This year I feel incredibly lucky at Thanksgiving. Nobody at my feast will have voted for Donald Trump.
And they will all be relatives.
Didn’t I tell you that I’m lucky? It’s true — I will gladly spend then next two days cooking for them.
But I know that not everybody is as lucky as me. I feel your pain, I really do. One of my brothers voted for Trump, as did a nephew and, I’m pretty sure, a great nephew. But none of them are coming — they don’t usually come so I did not banish them.
It’s hard to talk to folks about this election and why we feel so strongly that the wrong side won.
It’s hard to talk about this election and not place all Trump voters into Hillary’s stupid basket of deplorables.
It’s hard to talk about this election to Trump voters and not slap them upside the head for being stupid, for placing our democracy at risk, for threatening the future of the planet either by a Trump tiff or by his unwillingness to accept that climate change is real and to do something about it.
For those of you who need assistance, I give you this video — with a shout-out to my friend Karen:
Not that it will change anything.
Happy Thanksgiving to all of you who are celebrating.
We all knew it would be a shit storm when the GOP got together to nominate Donald Trump in Cleveland. But even I didn’t think it would actually turn into a a convention hall where folks would be running for the bathrooms instead of the exits.
Apparently, though, they are. Because the GOP doesn’t just have a shitty candidate, they have norovirus:
The virus can be caught through contact from infected people or surfaces, or through consuming contaminated food or water. Norovirus inflames the stomach, the intestines, or both. Symptoms include stomach pain, nausea, diarrhea and vomiting. (Washington Post)
Of course, their candidate has been producing shit from his mouth and making the rest of the world vomit and crap their pants in fear since he announced he was running last year. And then again each time he speaks.
But with the norovirus taking hold of the delegates, I’m wondering if Mr. Trump needs a new form of transportation to make sure those delegates fill the convention hall to listen to the crazy line up of misogynists, racists and fear mongers.
Don’t you think that they should be riding in this fine vehicle:
Picture Credit: Father Kaine’s The Last of the Milleniums. Where else? He finds the best things.
Do you ever want to pack it all in? Shed these mortal coils? Have an out of body experience? Do you get so bored that you fantasize foreign travel, hanging out with a group of friends who won’t pester you with questions, eating a steady diet of fresh picked food, and drinking water from a mountain stream?
My inability to do that for a whole host of reasons, well, it really gets my goat.
But I think I can honestly say that when I consider having out of body experiences, when I think of packing it in, and when I contemplate shedding these mortal coils, I can’t even approach, neigh, fathom what Thomas Thwaite did.
Part of me sees the attraction. After all, remember, I spent five years living in Switzerland. And when you climb those mountains, your heart and soul expand. You have what I dubbed Julie Andrews Momentswhere you want to sing with joy. I can honestly say that I’d love to go back and spend some time there in those mountains.
But there are limits to how I’d like to go. With whom I’d like to spend time. And what I would like to wear when I get there.
For example, I do not want to imitate Thomas Thwaites. He became a goat hung out on a mountainside. With a herd of goats. Eating grass.
There’s an article in the Washington Post about Thomas the Goat Man. How he developed a prosthesis that enabled him to walk like a goat. The challenges he faced. The cold. How he felt that human kind was progressing towards robotics, and he wanted to go a different way. So he became a goat.
This video, read by a robo-caller, tells the rest of the story. You can watch it and hear the story for yourself. Or you can mute it, and watch a man in weird costume eat grass. Your choice.
I can’t help wondering if the little goats used to laugh and call him names. Did they let poor Thomas play in any goatherd games?
You may have seen this before, but I tried to write something new about my sister Judy. And, well, this piece really just sums up who she was better than anything I’ve come up with since.
She’s been gone now for 16 years. Not a day has gone by since that I haven’t wanted to talk with her, laugh with her, or, alternatively because she was my sister, smack her. There really isn’t a relationship like you have with a sister. Even long after they are gone.
Today, April 22, is Earth Day! It’s the Anniversary of the very first Earth Day. Here is Walter Cronkite’s report on the first Earth Day, 1970:
It would also be my late sister Judy’s 64th birthday.
Whoever made the decision to turn Judy’s birthday into Earth Day chose wisely. Judy was a born environmentalist and recycler.
On the first Earth Day, Judy was a new, very young mother who believed in saving the planet. She was the first “environmentalist” I ever knew personally, and well, I thought she was nuts. There was a recycling bin in her kitchen for as long as I can remember. And this was back when recycling took effort. She believed in gardens, not garbage, and she made life bloom wherever she was.
“I’ve got kids,” she’d say. “It’s their planet too!”
But years later, Judy took recycling to a whole different level when she helped people recycle themselves. In the 1990s, Jude, who was then living in Florida, began working with the Homeless, assisting at shelters. Then she actively began trying to help homeless vets food, shelter and work — to enable them to jumpstart their lives.
When she died in early 2000, the American Legion awarded her honorary membership for her services to homeless vets. A homeless shelter was named in her honor. So she’s still doing good works, my sister is. That would make her wildly happy.
Jude also gave me the Beatles. So it is very appropriate that they wrote a song for her.
You see, the night the Beatles were on Ed Sullivan, it was MY turn to choose what we were going to watch. And we were going to watch the second part of The Scarecrow of Romney Marsh starring Patrick McGoohan on the Wonderful Wide World of Disney. My four (all older and MUCH cooler) siblings were furious with me. But I was quite insistent. You might even say that I threw a Class I temper tantrum over it, but I wouldn’t admit to that. But hey, I was seven. And it was my turn to choose. Fair is fair, especially in a big family with only one TV.
Somehow, Judy talked me out of my turn. She was always very persuasive. Thanks Jude.
Recently, a close friend/relative was diagnosed with a chronic disease. He’s pretty miserable.
It’s a hard thing to accept, that diagnosis. To find out that you have something nasty that you don’t want, and it’ll always be with you. Gee Willikers, who the hell do you thank for that?
Still, having had a chronic disease for forty years, I’ve learned a thing or two that I can pass along.
I’ve learned that basically, it’s a frog’s life. Yup. A while ago I figured out that living life with a chronic disease simply means you’re a frog.
You don’t look like a frog!
You see, most of the time, life is normal. You hang out in the pond with your family and friends. You eat bugs which is gross, of course. But still, life is good most of the time.
This pond has an all you can eat buffet!
But naturally, life isn’t quite that easy. It isn’t quite that easy if you don’t have health problems. But if you do, well, you have to pay attention to what happens to you. The Devil is in the details. Actually, the devil is in the damn symptoms you probably think aren’t worth bothering with.
You have to watch out for pot. Pots. You have to watch out for pots.
Oh surely you’ve heard about frogs and pots!
No? Let me rekindle that image.
Rumor has it* that sometimes someone (an asshole no doubt) puts a poor, unsuspecting frog into a pot of boiling water. The frog (being smarter than the average bear) immediately jumps out. Of course s/he does! It’s painful! If s/he doesn’t, well, we won’t need to worry about that frog’s gender much longer.
Shit! THAT HURTS!
Sometimes with a chronic illness, you get really sick. It’s dramatic, debilitating. It sucks. And generally, the reaction is to JUMP!
Jump! To the phone to call the doctor. Jump! To call the nurse. Jump! To call my husband. Jump! To scream to heaven for my mother (because, in spite of the fact that she is in another realm, when something hurts, I want Mooooooooooooooom!). Jump! To call my sympathetic friends.
Hell, I’ll call whoever will come and help me. Because the water in that pot is too damn hot; I must react. Whatever it takes. I then follow the advice I’m given, and feel better. Much better.
Sadly, it’s not always easy being green. Or having a chronic disease.
You see, sometimes, the frog ends up in a pot of cool, refreshing water. And then, dammit, that same asshole turns on the heat. The results ain’t pretty.
Twice in the past few years, I’ve found myself hanging out in that stupid damn pot after someone turned on the gas (sometimes literally). In retrospect, it seems idiotic of me.. Me! The expert patient, with 40 years of practice! It seems so obvious. But day to day, really, it is not at all clear that the water I’m in has heated up so much that, well, getting out just doesn’t seem worth the effort.
Because, you see, when you have a chronic illness, there are little things that creep up, little pains that are really nothing. Nothing at all. Certainly nothing to complain about. Nothing to worry about. Nothing to mention to that person on the other side of the bed.
Just as surely, it’s nothing worth calling the doctor about. Nothing even worth remembering during those routine visits. Nope, it’s all good.
But then suddenly, unexpectedly, you realize that that little ache, that pain that started off so mild, that has stayed with you and built up. Day by day. Suddenly it becomes unbearable.
So, I thought of what advice I should give to my poor depressed friend.
Pay attention to your symptoms. If you have an acute problem, jump out of the pot. Call your doctor. Duh!
Pay attention to your symptoms. If something little seems hardly worth mentioning – JUMP ANYWAY!!! JUMP OUT OF THE DAMN POT!
More specifically, call your doctor. Let him or her know what is happening. SQUEAK! I know that’s what mice do, but I’m sure frogs squeak too,when they have to, too. It may be nothing, in fact, it probably is. But mention it anyway. And if it is something, there may be help closer to hand than you think.
The two times I stayed in the pot?
The first time I didn’t want to go on a medicine my doctor thought would help me; I read too much. The day after my first dose of that medication I was nearly pain free. Gradually, I had been barely able to walk, sit or stand. I have a good doctor but I didn’t want to follow her advice.
The second time, I was somewhat less stupid. I was away, and developed a painful skin condition, that started up slowly. It was no big deal. NBD at all. Until, after a couple of weeks, it was. When I talked to my doctor, she made a simple recommendation. I followed it and the pain went away.
I’ve lived with Crohn’s for 40+ years. And you know what I’ve learned? Find a good doctor, and listen to him or her. Then just float along as best you can.
Because except for eating bugs, a frog’s life is pretty damn good.
* When I was looking this up on my bible, Wikipedia, I learned that this whole “frog in the pot” thing may not be precisely true. It may not be that a frog will just hang out until it dies while the water heats up. Fuck you Wikipedia. Way to ruin a good metaphor. Go eat bugs, Wikipedia.
All images are from Google. I leap in your general direction, Google images!