Sunday, January 22, 2017

All Over The World... The Women's March 1/21/17

"A man you can bait with a tweet, 
is not a man you can trust with nuclear weapons."

~Hillary Clinton

Following is an unedited transcript of the tape in which Donald J. Trumprepeatedly made vulgar comments about women. Mr. Trump was filmed talking to the television personality Billy Bush of “Access Hollywood” on the set of “Days of Our Lives,” where Mr. Trump was making a cameo appearance. They are later joined by the actress Arianne Zucker. The transcription is by Penn Bullock of The New York Times.

January 21st, 2017 will be remembered as the day women all over the world stood up, and fought back, because...

Women's Rights Are Human Rights!

Donald J. Trump: You know and ...
Unknown: She used to be great. She’s still very beautiful.
Trump: I moved on her, actually. You know, she was down on Palm Beach. I moved on her, and I failed. I’ll admit it.
Unknown: Whoa.
Trump: I did try and fuck her. She was married.
Unknown: That’s huge news.
Trump: No, no, Nancy. No, this was [unintelligible] — and I moved on her very heavily. In fact, I took her out furniture shopping.
She wanted to get some furniture. I said, “I’ll show you where they have some nice furniture.” I took her out furniture —
I moved on her like a bitch. But I couldn’t get there. And she was married. Then all of a sudden I see her, she’s now got the big phony tits and everything. She’s totally changed her look.
Billy Bush: Sheesh, your girl’s hot as shit. In the purple.
Trump: Whoa! Whoa!
Bush: Yes! The Donald has scored. Whoa, my man!
Trump: Look at you, you are a pussy.
Trump: All right, you and I will walk out.
Trump: Maybe it’s a different one.
Bush: It better not be the publicist. No, it’s, it’s her, it’s —
Trump: Yeah, that’s her. With the gold. I better use some Tic Tacs just in case I start kissing her. You know, I’m automatically attracted to beautiful — I just start kissing them. It’s like a magnet. Just kiss. I don’t even wait. And when you’re a star, they let you do it. You can do anything.
Bush: Whatever you want.
Trump: Grab ’em by the pussy. You can do anything.
Bush: Uh, yeah, those legs, all I can see is the legs.
Trump: Oh, it looks good.
Bush: Come on shorty.
Trump: Ooh, nice legs, huh?
Bush: Oof, get out of the way, honey. Oh, that’s good legs. Go ahead.
Trump: It’s always good if you don’t fall out of the bus. Like Ford, Gerald Ford, remember?
Bush: Down below, pull the handle.
Trump: Hello, how are you? Hi!
Arianne Zucker: Hi, Mr. Trump. How are you? Pleasure to meet you.
Trump: Nice seeing you. Terrific, terrific. You know Billy Bush?
Bush: Hello, nice to see you. How you doing, Arianne?
Zucker: Doing very well, thank you. Are you ready to be a soap star?
Trump: We’re ready, let’s go. Make me a soap star.
Bush: How about a little hug for the Donald? He just got off the bus.
Zucker: Would you like a little hug, darling?
Trump: O.K., absolutely. Melania said this was O.K.
Bush: How about a little hug for the Bushy? I just got off the bus.
Zucker: Bushy, Bushy.
Bush: Here we go. Excellent. Well, you’ve got a nice co-star here.
Zucker: Yes, absolutely.
Trump: Good. After you.
[Break in video]
Trump: Come on, Billy, don’t be shy.
Bush: Soon as a beautiful woman shows up, he just, he takes off. This always happens.
Trump: Get over here, Billy.
Zucker: I’m sorry, come here.
Bush: Let the little guy in here, come on.
Zucker: Yeah, let the little guy in. How you feel now? Better? I should actually be in the middle.
Bush: It’s hard to walk next to a guy like this.
Zucker: Here, wait, hold on.
Bush: Yeah, you get in the middle, there we go.
Trump: Good, that’s better.
Zucker: This is much better. This is —
Trump: That’s better.
Zucker: [Sighs]
Bush: Now, if you had to choose honestly between one of us. Me or the Donald?
Trump: I don’t know, that’s tough competition.
Zucker: That’s some pressure right there.
Bush: Seriously, if you had — if you had to take one of us as a date.
Zucker: I have to take the Fifth on that one.
Bush: Really?
Zucker: Yup — I’ll take both.
Trump: Which way?
Zucker: Make a right. Here we go. [inaudible]
Bush: Here he goes. I’m gonna leave you here.
Trump: O.K.
Bush: Give me my microphone.
Trump: O.K. Oh, you’re finished?
Bush: You’re my man, yeah.
Trump: Oh, good.
Bush: I’m gonna go do our show.
Zucker: Oh, you wanna reset? O.K.
Mood: Happy/Inspired/Encouraged

~Me :)

Friday, January 20, 2017

January 20th, 2017

"There is but one just use of power,
 and it is to serve the people."

~George H. W. Bush

It's here. A day I have been pretending doesn't exist, and therefore wouldn't happen. But it does exist, and it will happen. At noon ET Donald John Trump will become the 45th President Of The United States. What was a nightmare over the summer, has become a frightening reality. I am frankly scared to death, but face it we will, and I and many others won't give up on our principals and core belief values. Never. Ever. So, while it's an uphill climb, we never bend to hatred. We will never bend to fear. And we will never, ever, bow down before Trump! We will remember the words of president's past to keep us inspired to move forward. Today is more than the inauguration of a madman, it's a countdown to the end of his presidency. 2020 isn't that far away! Unless it comes sooner, by his own misdeeds! Either way, we still have plenty to look forward 

 "It has been said that politics is the second oldest profession,
 I have learned that it bears a striking resemblance to the first."

~Ronald Reagan

"We all do better when we work together. Our differences do matter,
 but our common humanity matters more."

~Bill Clinton

"You could see blood coming out of her eyes,
 blood coming out of her... whatever."

~Donald John Trump
45th President Of The United States
Speaking about Megyn Kelly
During and interview in August of 2015

My thoughts are not with Trump today, my thoughts today are for the speedy recovery of President George H. W. Bush and his wife, Barbara Bush. Two folks I strongly disagreed with politically, but two people I never doubted loved this nation!

 True American patriots!

 Mood: Quiet


Thursday, January 19, 2017

Being Human

"Fairy tales are more than true: not because they tell us that dragons exist, but because they tell us that dragons can be beaten."

~Neil Gaiman

If it's Thursday, that means this is the last full day things in the world will make sense, at least as much sense as it has up until now. 24 hours from now Barack Obama will leave office, and Donald Trump will be sworn in as the 45th President Of The United States, and any semblance to normality will completely change. Forever. I haven't decided yet whether I will just sleep all day, or get drunk by noon and stay that way, or if I will just drift off into what I think of as the abyss, the allowing my brain the complete and total shutdown of the following of any news, politics, science or the research about any of the things I feel/felt that mattered. In other words... completely giving up.

My world isn't just about politics and news of the day. I love reading about fashion. I love music, so much so, that Alan routinely complains about the volume of noise coming from my office. I like to read too. Biographies. The plays of Neil Simon. Anything by Alice Hoffman, Mary Higgins Clark and Susan Issacs. Reading has brought me a great deal of happiness and peace. I fell in love with it as a small child, and at one time I considered writing, or perhaps journalism, but it wasn't to be. As disappointed as I was, I still had reading as a hobby, and I have ran to it many times when either the world got too loud and stupid, or my own head noise was too loud and stupid.

I am back there right now, and both the world and my own head is nothing but stupid noise. We are about to cross into some dark territory, and there is nothing we can do to stop it. Some supporters of Trump are already having regrets about voting for him, and as funny as that can be, it is also frustrating and infuriating. To be able to say, "I told you so" is really of little help... no, actually, it doesn't help at all. Trump is the 45th President Of The United States, and it's horrible. It's frightening. It's wrong. And... IT'S REAL. Sure, history will put a little (  *  ) next to his name because of Putin's involvement, but by the time his administration is over, will it matter? Will we even still be a nation by that time?

I don't know. 

So, because I have NO idea what comes next, I have decided to adjust my thinking as a way of caring for my frayed nerves, at least for this weekend. I am going to turn the noise off, and curl up with a book this weekend, and when I do it will be with this old book/friend, Making Minty Malone, by Isabel Wolff. Minty is a little bit Bridget Jones, and a little bit Carrie Bradshaw and a little bit of a every girl, everywhere.

I don't want to give too much away, but it's a fun lighthearted read, that frankly I couldn't put down the first time I read it, which, by the way, was back in 2000! I love Minty, and her misadventures. She is written as very human, and who can't identify with that? Being human is something I know about very well, pitfalls, missteps and embarrassing moments and all. I was very pleased to find a hardcover edition on Amazon last week, and it was only .99 cents + shipping! 

It's healthy to turn off the noise from time to time.


I think I will be doing a lot of reading in the near future, but one sure bet... I won't be reading the Art Of The Deal anytime soon. 

Mood: Contemplative




Tuesday, January 17, 2017

My Desk... 2017 Edition

"My ideas usually come not at my desk writing,
but in the midst of living."
~Anais Nin
 My ideas come to me under many different circumstances. My artistic ideas happen, oddly enough, when I already have a camera in my hand. Some of my best creative ideas, happen on the spur of the moment. I can't even count the number of times that I have planned, down to the very last detail, a particular photo jaunt, only to find multiple other ideas and sparks of inspiration either along the way, or while photographing the original people, places or things that brought me to that destination.
My desk is where all the serious stuff occurs. I pay bills. I edit photos. I read the New York Times, Huffington Post, Time, The Hill, CNN, National Geographic. You get the idea. I Tweet sometimes from my desk, but most of the time I Tweet from my phone while on the go. My desk is also where I tend to fret. I fret about Trump. I fret about bills. I fret about owning a home. I never realized how stressful a mortgage is! Yes, I do some fretting there, but I also play some Wordbird there, and I enjoy my office as my girl cave, so all isn't lost.
Although as I look around my office, I wonder why in the world my office isn't finished yet! I have been here almost 18 months, and it still isn't finished. I haven't chosen a color for the walls, I haven't gotten my chair for reading. I always wanted a cozy chair for the corner of the room, to curl up in with Dylan and a book. I love his snuggles, and right now the couch does nicely, but one day I would like a chair for the office. All things in their time I guess.
It's hard owning a home. You worry about the roof. You worry about the mortgage payment. You worry about the jerk up the street who loves to turn the corner going like 80 miles per hour. I just know one day he will run through the front bedroom! You worry about aphids. You worry about buying earthquake insurance. YOU WORRY!
Buts it's nice to know, when you have a cold, and a fever of 103.3, that you are sick in your own home. Your bedroom is yours. Especially when you have bonded with the four walls and the roof like we have. Once you bond with a house it leads to worrying about all the responsibilities, but it's a little easier to take because it's home. A refuge from the angry, sad world. LOL. It's a lot, and I don't know that we will always be here, but Alan and I decided a long time ago, that if we couldn't make a go of it here, we would be adults and sell, and I am okay with that.
But for now we are making it all work. That man and I are unstoppable. He really is THE ONE. And with the fur babies, we are a family. And then there is Elvis, gone but never forgotten. He is in Alan's office, on his desk, in the perfect little box. Elvis always sat next his daddy when he was alive, so I know he would be happy to be next to Alan now. When all is said and done, we are a family, and we are at home no matter where we put a key in the door.
 But truly... I need to get my office finished!


Mood: Greatful
~Me :)

Saturday, January 14, 2017


"It was written... I should always be loyal
 to the nightmare of my choice."

~Joseph Conrad
Heart Of Darkness 
We are living in strange days. A presidential election in America had become something that I had never seen in my lifetime. A deeply divisive, dark Shakespearean play of dirty tricks and lies which led to Donald Trump's celebrated but unlikely win, and in less than a week, he will take the oath of office and become the next president. Since the election, two months ago, things have gone from depressing, to downright scary. In November, when the unlikely happened, I began to grieve. Hillary had lost to a man who promised everything to his supporters, with no details how it would be accomplished. Hillary had not promised everything, but did give a lot of details about what she knew she could change for the better. It all should have been a no-brainer for American voters. Experience. Concrete plans. Wisdom. Instead America had decided to go with Donald Trump, all because he promised to "shake things up" in Washington D.C. and beyond, and had brought the right tone of hatred to feed his supporters the red meat they craved so much.

But make no mistake... Donald Trump's win came by way of the Electoral Collage. He didn't win the popular vote by 2.9 million votes, but we have to stand by the voting system in place, so while most American's, who bothered to vote wanted Clinton, what we are apparently stuck with is Trump. Or are we? Things surrounding Trump has taken a strange turn. So strange that life right now feels like all of us are minor characters in a spy novel. We have an actual MI6 spy, Christopher Steele. We have a covert dossier on Trump, complete with salacious details, can you say... "golden showers?" We have international intrigue. And finally we have a bigger than life villain, bigger than Trump himself, Vladimir Putin. 

Trump will take the oath of office on January 20th. It's my fear that we are living in the last week of any kind of normal for quite a while, if ever again. It's my fear that when Trump takes the oath, our country will become something completely different than the free land I grew up in. Something spooky. Something less free. Something strange and lost. I feel this way because of the revelations that have come out this past week, contained in the information discovered by Christopher Steele while he was performing opposition research for one of the candidates running against Trump in the republican primaries.

There is something much worse than "golden showers" in that dossier. Something dark and unnatural. Something that apparently spooked the former spy to the point that he decided that it needed to be seen by the FBI. That implies a crime... a serious one. We all know right now that American's can no longer trust the FBI, at least the FBI under the leadership of James Comey. That fact was made perfectly clear Friday evening by democrats, upon leaving a closed door meeting with Comey on Capitol Hill. 

As Americans we all should have the right to know what shook everyone up so much. But you can't unlearn a fact, once it's in the open. When Trump's Access Hollywood tape came out, and I listened to his stupid voice bragging to Billy Bush about grabbing women's genitals, I actually tensed up so much I hurt my back and neck. It was like no other pain I have every experienced in my life. And to this day, it hurts every single time I think about what Trump said on that tape. Once it was played, once I heard it, there was no going back. Life changed.

Life is about to change again when Trump takes office. And it will change yet again when the investigation into the Russian influence on our democracy is all said and done. We won't be able to un-ring that bell. It will be horrific. It will be devastating. And it will change America forever. It will always be a part of our history, and it will probably change our path forward. And we won't be able to not know it. The America I find myself in now, is not the America I grew up in. On it's own that is normal. It's expected. But when I was a child, someone as unprepared as Donald Trump is on the surface, would never have gotten this far, but then when I was a child there was no such thing as "fake news." Or "reality TV." And Donald Trump wasn't even on the map. One thing that hasn't changed since I was a child. Monsters. And the evil deeds they do.

Will America recover, when all is said and done? 
I wish I knew.
Rachel Maddow said last night on her show that
 "knowing is better than not knowing."
 I hope she's right. 

 Mood: Quiet



Friday, January 13, 2017

A Splash Of Color

December 15th, 2014
Cull Canyon Park 

It rains.
And rains.
And rains.
But there is a sky above the rain
Nothing can rot the sky.
Earth has turned to mud.
What of it?
The heart of the planet is made of fire, of ardent sun.

~Visar Zhiti
The Condemned Apple; Selected Poetry

It was a rainy day. Cold. It was December, so of course it was cold, but I had the best time taking this photo! Everything looked black and white that day, except for that beautiful robin, sitting in the tree. I love days like this. What might be otherwise sad or lonely suddenly a splash of color, or maybe a laugh happens, and the whole day becomes something completely different.

You know. Life. 

And now for a new photo...

 January 2nd, 2017
San Ramon, California

Mood: Happy

~Me :)

Thursday, January 12, 2017

Snow In The Abstract

 June 2nd, 2015

"It was a curious day, slashed with fleeting,
 familiar impressions."

~F. Scott Fitzgerald 

One day, during the summer of 2015, I was getting my car washed and the soap was flowing down the window in such a way that it reminded me of an abstract scene of Aspen trees covered in ice and snow. I had seen some trees, covered in snow, years ago, in the Sierra, and one particularly cold January day in the Berkeley hills and again in 2014 on Mount Hamilton road. Aspen trees are so beautiful in autumn, their leaves look like tiny lemon drops, and even in winter, when they are completely bare, there is something beautiful about the way ice and snow hug the branches. 

The day I took that photo it was 103 outside. Dry as dust, and I was about as far from winter as I was going to get! I suppose I was feeling lonely for a truly cold day. It was June 2nd, 2015, which is granted, still spring, but summer heat sometimes imposes itself with no attention paid to whether I was ready for it or not. Seasons do that. How about you? Do you see abstracts in silly patterns like soap, or maybe clouds? Everyone sees shapes in clouds. My friend Steven once told me he saw bunnies in clouds no matter what kind of clouds would be floating above him. I guess on that day I saw trees, with a few leaves covered in snow.

 Sierra Nevada, November 2016

Mood: Quiet

~Me :)

Wednesday, January 11, 2017

It's January, But May Is On My Mind

"Lots of people go mad in January. 
Not as many as in May, of course, nor June. 
But January is your third most common month for madness."

~Karen Joy Fowler
Sarah Canary

It has been raining, for what feels like forever, but is more closely 7 out of the last 10 days. Different amounts on different days. But the rain has been serious... it's not messing around! And where it hasn't been raining, it's been snowing! Yosemite should be absolutely gorgeous with snow, and since this coming weekend is promising to be full of bright sunshine, I know the roads will finally be open.

I can't wait! I am aiming for Sunday, as that will be the middle of the three day weekend. My files of winter photos are seriously lacking, so hopefully it will be a successful photo jaunt. All I need is Alan, my camera, some snow, and a little bit of wanderlust. Well, actually, it would help if my Fibromyalgia isn't raging, so I will have to cross my fingers about that.

But honestly, even if I am in pain from head to foot, I need to get out and just do my photos. It's important to clear the winter blues by smelling the cold, fresh air, and distancing myself from the things I have no control over. Life has a mind of it's own. 

Like the day I took the photo above. It was literally my last day in our cottage in Berkeley. I was dead on my feet, just exhausted from packing and moving, but I needed to get out of the cottage for a bit. The landlord was coming by for a walk through, and Alan knew I was hurt and upset, so rather than see me lose my composure, he held it all for me, and I took my camera and went to a nearby park.

These gorgeous flowers were in full, beautiful glory! I spent about an hour or so just taking in the lovlieness of the park. I sat under one of my favorite trees, and said my goodbyes. That was one of the most hurtful aspects of leaving the East Bay, saying goodbye to that park, which was a second home to me. I still visit the park when I need to go to the Bay Area, and it is just amazingly pretty no matter what season we happen to be in. And even though I am a million miles away, it still feels like home whenever I visit, or when I go hopping around my archives, and I see these white flowers.

Mood: Quiet



Tuesday, January 10, 2017

Beware The Man You Think You Know

Quincy School House
Quincy, California
October 15th, 2016
Songs Of Sapphique

"Walls have ears. Doors have eyes.
Trees have voices. Beasts tell lies.
Beware the rain. Beware the snow.
Beware the man you think you know."

~Catherine Fisher

As we inch closer and closer to Donald Trump taking office, I am finding myself thinking about different years of my life. I sometimes think about the first I heard about him. I think about how disgustingly seedy his life seemed, when the details of his first divorce came out. I remember thinking that it was a shame that affairs happen in marriages, but I remember thinking Ivana Trump was probably better off without him. 

I remember looking at pictures of the "other woman" and thinking despite the fact that she had slept with a married man, there was something gentle and likeable about her. I remember when Marla and Donald got married. She looked so pretty, and so glamorous. She looked happy, he looked like every other picture I had ever seen of him. He almost had this implication of "next" written on his appearance. And as it turns out... I was right. Marla would be thrown aside about 10 years or so down the road. Just as predicted by some of Trump's lawyers and friends.

And now the seedy, unfaithful husband will be president in 10 days and the joke is on his supporters because Donald Trump doesn't care about anyone but himself. He surrounds himself with YES people, and resists any kind of critique with not just dismissal, but aggressive dismissal. He thrashes and destroys anyone who dares question him. Whether they have his best interest at heart or not. If it's one thing we don't need in a president, it's a childish, aggressive narcissist who refuses to listen to anything that doesn't suit his predetermined ambition or inner dialog. 

We, America, are about to enter into the most dangerous time of my life, and that includes the Cuban Missile Crisis, the assassination of JFK and the attempted assassination of Gerald Ford and Ronald Reagan. All things that seemed to bring us together as a nation. But things are different now, and Trump doesn't want us to come together. So, I don't know what things will be like a year from now, assuming a year from now exists. Trump seems to get a great deal of joy out of seeing American's turn on each other over him. His decisions are dangerous and at least some of his early supporters seem to be waking up to that fact, but it's pretty late in the game to have an epiphany. I don't want to see another president impeached, but Trump seems like he is barreling toward that end with his alliance with Putin, and his MANY conflicts of interest. And there is nothing anyone can do but hold on, and hope that Trump can be stopped before real damage is done to the United States. 

Rainy days make me think about what's about to happen. I can't get out and do any photography, and my body tends to be in more pain on days like this one. This week is full of rain, and jammed packed with senate confirmation hearings of some people who have NO business anywhere near holding a government office! Also later today, is President Obama's farewell speech to America. I don't know if I can watch any of it. I have mixed feelings about him as a leader, but I never went to bed frightened for my life or with a sense of foreboding like I feel with Trump. 

I have appreciated many things President Obama did in office, and other actions by him perplexed me and exasperated me to NO END. There is ten days left, and then the world will literally change forever! As I sit here right now... I don't see anything good coming from Trump taking office. Even when George W. Bush was in office, I had to reluctantly admit he loved his country, it's a lot clearer now that he still loves his country, and I can see where I was wrong about him to a degree. It was a complicated time, much too complicated for one post on this blog. 

If Trump manages to stay in the White House four years I will be 59 years old, should I survive. The thought of him in office eight years is almost more than I can take. The GOP is poised to do away with the Affordable Care Act (Obamacare) and they want to privatized Medicare. Trump's followers either weren't paying attention, or just plain didn't care because now it seems like they are caught off guard by the predicted cuts to most social programs. I feel sorry for them. I feel sorry that they got so caught up in the gitchy, never boring, "reality" of Trump's candidacy that they voted against their own interests! We on the left tried to tell them. We tried. God HELP US WE TRIED! It's no solace that the people who will probably be hurt the most by Trump, will be his own supporters!

But in that we are all on a collision course with fate daily, there is nothing that can be done. So I am just listening to the rain, trying to hold on and photograph the rain for what it is, a cold distraction from how cold and dark life is sometimes. It's strange how beautiful and scary a rainy day can be depending on what window you are looking out of.

"I went to bed and woke in the middle of the night thinking I heard someone cry, thinking I myself was weeping, and I felt my face and it was dry."Then I looked at the window and thought: Why yes, it's just the rain, the rain, always the rain, and I turned over, sadder still, and I fumbled about for my dripping sleep and tried to slip it back on."

~Ray Bradbury
Green Shadows, White Whale: A Novel of Ray Bradbury's Adventures Making Moby Dick With John Huston In Ireland

Mood: Quiet