Petrichor

Storm just about to hit. Notice the weeds. Beyond that is a sugar beet field.

The distinct smell of rain this morning. Last night we had a thunderstorm move through. Actual rain. The ground is yet wet this morning. Normally, storms here that produce any rain last about five minutes, if that. The ground seems a sort of polka dot vista before the dryness wins again. It’s nearly true that when it rains here in Eastern Oregon, that you can actually walk between the rain drops. I’m not talking about the mountainous regions, of course. I did hear that Sumpter, Oregon, got two inches of rain and then some, in short measure this past eve, which prompted flooding worries. Flooding. When the heat has baked us into fire-exploding potential fuckholocausts from end to end.

I have been busy submitting, trying to ‘get my stuff out there’. That’s my vague yet precise goal, after all, as a writer. Getting my stuff out there for rejections galore or the rare acceptance.

It’s humid, I’m not used to humidity here and it’s befuddling me as I wring sweat from my shirt. Heat, fine, whatever, I can deal. I LIVED IN LAS VEGAS. I know heat! I also lived in SoCal, cheek and jowl against the Mojave. Heat, pavement, Joshua trees, oh yeah, baby. Humidity, no thanks. I’d like to speak to the manager in my most Karen of ways, please.

Submissions. It rained. I have lots of cucumbers and my pumpkins are ripening. I prepared one already for fall pies and such. I discovered my local PBS station GOT RID OF THE GREAT BRITISH BAKING SHOW because it’s gone. It’s not in the usual 4PM slot on Saturday. WTF is happening?? Oh the humanity! Yes, I know it’s streaming on blah blah, go slap yourself with a catfish. It was something I looked forward to every week. A little lovely treat, a visual delight. It’s seemingly replaced by some travel show. You have enough shows on travel, PBS. Bring back TGBBS. How dare you???!! It’s popular and kid-friendly, hello. I know, compared to real troubles and the world at large, this is a tiny nonsensical wail. But it seems that everything that makes life even a bit bearable gets canceled or ended or ruined or stopped or…Yeah, that’s just life, okay. Okay.

Started the FX series, the Americans. I’m enjoying it so far. Reached season two. Enjoying it is maybe not the right phrase. It’s pretty grim, serious, layered and complex. You have to pay attention. There’s also all the 80’s stuff that seems relevant now or always. Escalation with Russia, who’s got a nuke, who’s a real American, mouthy teenage kids. I’m really impressed with the two leads so far. Also some applause for whoever did the wigs for that show. It should be called Americans in Wigs.

I’d go into the return of masks but fuck me, it’s exhausting. The left needs to work up a public campaign that makes it seem that wearing a mask, getting the vaccine will own the libs like there’s no tomorrow. A 24/7 campaign, as relentless and tireless as anything from the right wing garbage-spewing factories. Facts and logic and reality, no. Tricks, psychological warfare, bribes, yes. That’s where we are now or have always been. People do no operate on logical, realistic lines. People who claim to do that…BWHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA. Please, just don’t. Have you met people? Go hang out on Twitter for a bit. Or peek at the comments section under anything.

Rain , submissions, no Great British, masks back, wigs on the Americans are outstanding.

Oh, also, on that show. Martha. She drives me batshit bonkers. Hate her. I hope she dies in a Russian industrial accident. But I adore Claudia, or Margot Martindale. More of her, please. She’s fantastic, fun to watch. I just want a show of her and Kerri Russell exchanging threats over plates of scrambled eggs. And then they solve crimes or something because you can’t build a series over two characters doing that, right? Right?

Oh hey, I have two short stories about to hit the indifferent public spheres. City Full of Rain, by LitMag and Blood and Bread will appear this October in Hellhound Magazine.

Black Helicopters and Dinner Rolls

It’s March. When the heck did that happen?? Where did February go? Time flies! I am the very first person to ever write that. Oh, sorry. Are we now in post-post whatever goes era yet? Are we all back to expecting some truth and some reality into our national discourse?? International discourse now! We’re back on the world stage as a team player, yes? My head spins at the spin so I’m not sure what the spin is right now. See what I did there? Can you explain it to me so I know that I know I didn’t fall for the spin that was spun? Thanks!

Just a week or so ago, we had WILD WINTER WEATHER. Snow. More snow. Some more snow. Bracketed by very warm weather. Spring weather. SNOW AND WHAT IS HAPPENING, WHY IS WINTER HERE ALL OF A SUDDEN. Spring weather. The unsettled border areas between the last of winter and the start of the growing season are upon us.

Joe Biden is still president, by the way. In case some of you were wondering. I am not, cannot, go into the QAnon conspiracy badger sett right now. It’s like cutting off my fingers to spite someone’s golf game that they haven’t played yet. Jewish space lasers. I, um? I think people just got tired of waiting for Obama to take their guns so they invented the New Jersey pizza parlor cannibals eating children for their hormones to worship Satan, led by Hillary Clinton, the Hollywood ‘elites’, etc, with Geoge Soros funding all this because…Jewish. March 4th was supposed to be the day pumpkincunt took the White House back and that DID NOT HAPPEN. Take it from me in Eastern Oregon, in literal nowhere at all, that did not happen.

Now, you can stroll over to Parler and Gab, whatever else, to read all this. That is if you want to submit your data and set up an account. For sites that have been repeatedly data breached. I’m bad with computers and barely understand how to turn one on and off but even I know repeated data breaches are bad, m’kay. But hey, if you want to read how Biden is dead, being played by a crisis actor or that FEMA camps are being set up right now to ‘re-educate’ patriots or that masks are a sign of the Beast and the New World Order, that the COVID vaccine is Bill Gates’s master plan to erase the earth’s population…well, you can peruse your Aunt Martha’s Facebook page. Or that guy you went to high school with, who morphed into a 2A rabid weasel who types in all caps about state’s rights, small government and why liberal women are all whores who kill then eat their own babies.

I could go on and on about the nuttiness that is American politics right now. And on and on!

So to end this brief scattershot for the start of March, I made dinner rolls yesterday. From scratch. I let them rise three times. I had a small roast in the crock pot, I let the dough simmer near that heat. Light, fluffy, airy dough, kiss noises! I baked them to perfection. Paul Hollywood would have at least given me a slight nod. I think it’s important when the globalists cut the power and start stuffing us all in camps that I have the skill set to make my own bread. I’d laugh but irony and sarcasm are dead in America, so I’m just sobbing into a pint of ice cream while waiting for the black helicopters to wing past on their way to carry out orders from the Clinton mafia.

Hello, spring. Hello!

Exhausted

Is anyone else exhausted by the attempted coup everything from trumpie and company?

That above pic is Jake. Yes, he’s the best dog, a good boy, a furbaby and thoroughly spoiled in the best ways possible.

There was that one day of joy, when Biden got past the 270 mark, then…eighteen million months of trump throwing tantrums as the GOP and the Dems tiptoed around him. The waiting for Jan 20 so this current attempt to overthrow a legal election can be tucked under all the rugs ever and…ugh.

I can’t even. Is that still even a phrase??

I’m tired. I’m low, tired and pancake flat all the time now by all this happening in America. I just want to punch someone yet can’t lift my arm long enough, let alone make a fist, to do so. My blood pressure is heart attack high, frankly. I’m having all sorts of problems but won’t go into that because it’s boring and no one cares.

Hi, depression, yes, you widdle rascal. You here as well, gonna sit a spell and make sure I don’t make it to Christmas without some sort of chemical or actual intervention? Great! Let’s not be able to concentrate long…What was I doing?

I did manage to make homemade dinner rolls for the first time. I used my overnight bread recipe, and it works just fine for a two hour rushed roll job. They looked like rolls, they were cooked all the way through and I hate the holidays. Yeah. I’d rather do peanut butter and jelly sammiches at this point in time than cook ONE MORE GODDAMN FUCKING TURKEY WAH WAH WAH.

Speaking of holidays, have no plans on going to the relatives in freaking Idaho, COVID Central. I know, it’s freedom and liberty to totally ignore a raging pandemic so I can feel extra manly. I know! Spank me with an eagle already.

I’m trying to be lighthearted and fun with all the not-fun America is right now.

Even that thin defense mechanism seems broken as all get out. I just go numb anymore as a safeguard against whatever newest stench wafts out of the trump sewers.

I wait for Somebody Heroic to rise from these streets to put an end to all this. A cross between Wonder Woman and Captain America with a hint of RBG. Show yourself already! Enough not existing ever in the first place!

The cat woke me up at four. She also saw something outside, when it was yet dark, that made her hiss and retreat well into the house with an offended tail swish. What the what did you notice out there, Madam Jaws?? Neighbor dogs outside the fence? A coyote or several? What??

OMG, was it a BEAR?

You get wild thoughts at four in the AM. Though there have been bear sightings around where I live. We could have a bear or two nearby…not really or maybe, mmm. Or was that cougars? I can’t keep the sightings straight some days.

So should dive into a final editing or so read of my fourth novel, Remarkable Women of Brokenheart Lane. I just…I’m a deflated flower pot of useless golf bags. Woe is me, o Canada.

How many times can you watch Schitt’s Creek before it becomes necessary for people to step in? What is that number?

Snow Expected

The sky this morn

There’s snow forecast for my tiny neck of the woods. The sky appears appropriately cloudy. I hope it does snow. We need the moisture here. The local mountains have been hit pretty hard with the white slippery pretty stuff but nothing, so far, where I am. Boise got snow! Damn it!

Well, the celebratory mood, gone. Fizzled. God damn fucking orange coddled fuckwaffle. If this were any other person who’d just lost a major election, then refused to vacate…none of what’s being tolerated and shrugged off now would be tolerated or shrugged off.

If Obama had pulled this crap, Fox News and the GOP would have lined up to take turns hanging him from whatever tree they could find. If Hillary had dug in her lady  heels and gotten all hysterically I won I won gimme gimme…oh boy. Oh boy, would that have been something to behold in America.

Now, Biden won. He won. He and Harris will take over no matter what’s thrown at them…unless there’s an actual damn coup by Barr, orange fuckstick, McConnell and the rest of the toady GOPers. That’s being tried now. The voter fraud conspiracy!

I must focus on, oh, writing.

Oh that.

This all, too, shall pass, this current rotted pumpkin madness.

I am reworking the ending of my Odin and Jesus novel. To give it more of a punch, a kick, a boom. I want to write and work on this! WHAT THE HELL? I seem to be shaking off, a bit, of this strange not wanna write nothing spell some malignant demon flung at me on its way to whisper conspiracy hints in some broken-brained QAnon’s decaying skull organ.

I but jest. Sort of.

If you don’t know what QAnon is, please. Go and look it up. It’s a cult that’s growing, born from a hoax. No, the person behind all this admitted it was a hoax. And yet…here we are.

Writing! I’m supposed to be shilling my writing to those who might be interested and even those who slow down to gander at this train wreck of a blog.

So yes, reworking the ending. I think I will just pick a spot, start a new doc, see what happens. I have the ending, the last bit I am keeping for suresies. I think. Oh dear. Or am I ruining my tight little novel with…oh dear!

Yes, I would like to see how medieval cheese was made, Youtube. Yes, I would!

I found this channel on historical cooking and I LOVE IT SO MUCH. You get history and recipes! Score score!

Yes, I’m fine, I’m okay.

Waiting for the snow. Writing a bit and holding my breath as my country TREMBLES on some precipice akin to the Civil War or…something equally savaging. I do think…I don’t know, actually. I am just as lost as anyone else here, even those throwing out pat predictions this will all be fine or it will all be a clustermess of the highest order, grab your minivan and head for Canada.

I really like moose. I can learn to like hockey more than I do. I’d like to live on Prince Edward Island. Eh!

Bells Will Be Ringing

Saturday, Nov. 7 tidings of great joy

Hey there, fellow babies.

Sunday. Snow maybe arriving. Jaws asleep on the bed.

Biden won. He will be the 46th prezzie of the Divided States of Freedomland. Celebrations broke out when this was FINALLY ANNOUNCED OH MY GAWD. Dancing. Singing. Weeping. Drinking of the booze and toking of the weed.

Not only here in America but all over the planet.

Paris, London, Germany, Canada, India and…

Bells will be ringing, have rung, rung out. All over the world, bells rang out when they heard the news. As if a world war had ended. It was that kind of sensation. That the good guys fought that good fight and held the line through the long long night.

KAMALA HARRIS WILL BE VP.

A woman. A woman of color who’s married to a Jewish man. All the scary boxes ever get ticked here! Wheeeee. It hasn’t quite sunk in yet that a woman will be VP. In America.

It’s almost as if light and heat have entered the world again. Fanciful a bit, sure. Some actual political darkness has been pushed back a bit. It’s not gone. It’s not yet vanquished. It’s yet here pulsing with rage, waiting for a chance to strike, to regain what it’s lost. Ever vigilant we must be against Trumpian sludge that clings yet to our tiles.

I don’t know, something like that. I’ve been in a good mood. It’s throwing everything off.

I expected the worst. I expected trump to win outright, on Tuesday, what with all the voter suppression, gerrymandering, laws passed about when to count ballots, the postal service being fucked with…I expected the worst. That much cheating and trying to stop people voting. I expected the worst.

And then the drawn out counting for days, oh goddamn it.

It was the election that would not end. It’s still ongoing but at least we have a winner winner, chicken dinner now. trump and what’s left of his team are throwing massive fits but seemingly to little or no effect except among the trumpers still left.

Alex Trebek died today. 2020 let us have one good day. Just the one.

I admit I cried when they finally announced Biden on Saturday as the projected winner after Pennsylvania turned blue. To those outside the States, yeah…our presidential elections hinge on collecting the number of electoral votes from each state, which have to add up to 270. It’s not the popular vote, which Biden got, but the electoral college votes that count and…You can go look all this up, it’s exhausting. And outdated and weird and racist.

I cried. I just burst into ugly sobbing, my hand clamped to my mouth though there was no one in the house. I live in a deep red area. My family are trump supporters. I want to gloat and scream, instead I hide and have to be careful. There are armed people with guns here protesting that Biden won. It’s ugly.

Anyway.

Just a quick note from this grinning fool on an American election that got it right, somewhat. We’re still fighting over the Senate and…ugh. Runoff in Georgia!

Georgia went blue. Holy cow, y’all.

Time for another shot of whiskey.

trump won’t admit defeat and

Whiskey time!

Weed and Schitt’s Creek and Tequila and Elections and the Great Pumpkin and

The cast of Schitt’s Creek

Anyone else planning to spend Voting Hell Day in ‘murica with a bag of weed, a bottle of rot gut tequila, junk food galore as you marathon Schitt’s Creek? Anyone? Buehler?

I hate Ferris Buehler’s Day Off with a passion, by the way. Hated it when it first hit, hate it now. I just. Yuck. I have never been charmed by that slick mud puddle of a movie. Sorry if I crapped on your dreams or best movie or life, whatever.

I voted already. We can do that here in Oregon. We have mail-in voting since…ever. I don’t remember a time when you couldn’t just chuck your ballot back in the mail box. Well, until this year. I took my ballot to the drop box at the county courthouse. There was a car sitting there, idling. Paranoia hit me. WTF is that car doing there? WTF? Drive off, fuckweeds. Drive away! But I voted. Straight Dem, full total disclosure.

Just one more day…Not actually, as ballots come in from absentee and such will still need to be counted. If they are allowed to be counted, that is. My country seems caught on the idea that democracy is too hard, so let’s try fascism which is super-easy! Voter suppression galore! Woot?  

Hey, Kangaroo Court, er, Supreme Cunts, can ya fix the election already for Drippy Clownfuck McTraitorface? Oh you plan that if given even a sliver of a chance?? Wheeee!

Me and tequila have a complicated relationship at best. Any time I go near it, yeah, things get complicated. I end up pawing at people or under a table sobbing for a razor blade. There’s no in-between option. Vodka doesn’t do this to me or rum or whiskey. Tequila fucks my shit up, as the wise children opine. So prolly not gonna get some of that devil juice.

Weed is legal here. I am surrounded by dispensaries, not to mention, hey, my aunt grows the stuff, as do several cousins. I actually like it. It calms me. I just float. It’s kinda nice.

Election. Huh, so ABC is broadcasting a chump rally in entirety. Fucking hell on burned bran muffins, be they super-stupid?

Obviously I have nothing elegant or new to say on the day before the Day. I am hopeful yet OH MY FUCKING GOD WTF kinda something. Record number of voters showing up. Record number of voter suppression tactics in play. Rallies and lies and alibis, oh my!

Also saw where Trumpanzees are showing up to block roads, run buses off those roads, block voting sites. FBI investigating some of that.

Have not been able to concentrate for ages. Waiting for Civil War II to drop is kinda all-consuming at the present.

Schitt’s Creek is truly delightful. I didn’t have much hope at how it started—very broad stereotypes of both the rich and the not so rich, and small town everything, how funny, ha ha. But then. But then!

Depths and shades and nuances started to appear. David and Alexis, wow. Mr. Rose emerging as the most empathetic of the family and an actual pretty okay day. Moira…has her moments of utter loveliness. I was won over to Schitt’s Creek when Alexis asked her brother for a hug. He hemmed and hawed, as he does, then he just gave in and gave his sister the comfort she and he needed. That was in season two, or so. Maybe?

I am not charmed by Chris Elliot. I’ve seen him do this type of character too many times. I love his wife, whoever that actress is. Oh I know that too-nice, gotta help everyone but herself character. It’s my mom!

Possibly a much deeper dive into this series when I reach the end. I’m in season four or five, somewhere in there. Right after Patrick’s housewarming party where Ted kisses David. And I must say, I do really like Alexis and Ted together. I just do.

SPOILERS IF YOU’VE NOT SEEN THIS YET. SORRY NOT SORRY FUCK OFF ALREADY YOU SNIVELING SNOTMONSTERS

Oh. I seem a bit hostile. Ouchie.

Please please don’t let Stevie dangle in the wind as this series seems to do endlessly. Thanks in advance?? Eh…?

So yeah. Weed, booze, snacks, a funny show I can watch all day. While I try to wait for the final results without LOSING MY GODDAMN MARBLES.

I predict a Biden win but chump and lawyers and such will challenge it. Chump has stated this already, several times. At rallies. And so this nightmare doesn’t end, we all keep falling toward the rocks…splat.

Splat.

Splitter-splat.

How could they remove the Peanut’s Halloween Special off network TV?? THIS FUCKING YEAR SUCKS MOLDY MOTHERFUCKING BALLS.

It’s the Great Pum…NO IT’S NOT CAUSE YOU CAN ONLY WATCH IT ON APPLE FUCKING FUCKING WHATEVER FUCK FUCK FUCK

Yeah, I’m fine.

I’m okay.

Uh huh.

Aftermath!

On the highway going toward Baker City, Oregon. The Powder River

Hi, everyone. How’s it goin’? Well? Badly?

You’re drinking at six in the morning, already done with the day’s shenanigans? Is that just me??

I am super-awful at self-promotion, which is what modern authors need above all. Or maybe, always?

So. Hence the drinking. But! I will nonetheless post about my BOOKS and such, regardless of the sick sharp feeling of dread and embarrassment combining into a probably gut-slicing set of Ginsu knives in my innards.

I will persist even if I start puking up blood over trying to do my own sales anything, in other plainer words.

What is Aftermath: Boise, Idaho about, one might ask.

Native Idahoan Hannah Gray kills herself, as the zombies scratch at the door of the apartment she hides within. However, she wakes up in an office, in Boise, Idaho. Hannah has no idea what she’s doing here or what she’s supposed to be doing in this workplace full of women busy with superficial tasks. To her horror and confusion, the boss seems to be an actual zombie or, in this new reality, called a Fecto. To her further disgust, the Hannah who belongs in this world seems to be having an affair with one of the other Fecto bosses, who goes by the name Harrison Squack. The other Hannah was apparently a double agent in this bizarre new plane of existence. A strange society where zombies are in charge of everything versus the humans who have to just grin and bear it. Or else these naughty humans get sent to Salt Lake City for ‘retraining’, wink wink. Or just disappear or get featured on the news as suicides or as going against the nice Fectos who just want a better society for all. There’s, naturally, a rebellion afoot! The local Fectos seem all over that! Hannah plays along but she soon sets off a chain of events that leads to some wacky, wild and, ultimately, tragic events. 

To Post or Not to Post

yakima river.jpg
The Yakima River. Not sure who took this or what year this is. Washington State.

Hi again. Double post. Sorrynotsorry whatever. 

I always hesitate about posting some long rambling ranty rant that goes in every direction at once. Most of the time I don’t post those. Thank me with chocolate. I’ll also take your spare change or that coupon that’s stuck to your garbage can for two for one cans of creamed corn at the Piggly-Wiggly. That would mean a road trip for me, but I will accept out of date Piggly-Wiggly coupons because I didn’t post some unreadable screed on postmodern-retro tropes in feminist Marxist socialist anarchist subgenres of indie films that start with the letter J. 

However, sometimes I need to clear the writing pipes. 

As I’ve been uncharacteristically not writing at all lately, any sort of attempting to write seems a triumph. An actual triumph over my lackluster, nearly dead and gone to hell already spirit. 

So yeah, posting the occasional heavy-handed scream against the evils of the universe is gonna happen. Along with updates on my cat and my garden and the state of my sludge-slapped brain. What else, I ask ya, is a blog fer??? 

I am also trying to force myself to just write something, anything. To get back into practice. It’s very hard to concentrate. I have projects I need to get done that in years past I’d have whipped out,  many times over. I was oddly very productive once upon a time. It’s galling now. 

So yeah. Trying not to care how unpopular and unseen my writing is. I expected so much more by the time I hit this age and I can’t seem to slap myself into working toward fixing that at all right now. Just want to sleep. 

Just wanna sleep. 

 

afterward: thank you as always for reading my stuff. I appreciate it. 

 

 

 

 

July Hash Post

IMG_20200628_163135 (2).jpg
Storm about to hit plus the old locust tree. June 2020 pic. That’s a corn field behind it. 

The fireworks and dog and pony show are now over until next year. That’s Fourth of July to those not in ‘murica. I did not attend my family’s gathering. I have actually been trying to follow guidelines about public safety and not helping spread this pandemic about as hard and fast as possible. I guess I hate ‘freedumb’. I guess I hates it really damn hard or sumpin. Wear a mask, love the devil! That’s America right now!

jimmy_johns_lynching1
A Jimmy Johns employee makes a noose out of dough cause…BLM is the real problem here, obviously. Just head-exploding…yeah. 

Okay. Before I just start typing every cuss word every invented and calling upon Satan to curse my own with pus-filled painful boils for their MAGA-filled bullshit cunty cunt…Okay. Okay. See what I mean? Just a screaming unintelligible stream of consciousness filthy river that I hope will drown the world in a river of actual liquid feces infected with exploding small pox so we can be done with all this. Amen.

107563123_3313558652022721_2652252060394999970_n.jpg
is there an American equivalent of Ms. Salt? 

Ahem.

My mood has traveled to a low point in the life highway. Eh. What’s new. Except the sheer awfulness that is America right now seems to be a permanent stain on whatever composition is actually me. It’s tiring and stultifying.

The hits never stop; they pound relentlessly against the already torn fabric of this country and the world itself. Fraud. Lies. Greed. More lies. More damned lies. Mountains of lies. Victim playing while causing even more damage. Temper tantrums because the likes aren’t high enough from the press. Ratings are bad, temper tantrums, we all get punished.

Daddy isn’t happy! You earned that broken bone, America! Why do you make Orange Daddy hit you??? That black eye is YOUR FAULT FOR MAKING DADDY MAD AT YOU

106422811_10222775466433382_2282480323587419004_n

Oh. Here we go. Bear with me a bit. I apologize if I mangle this.

I’d go into the J.K. Rowling brohouha but others have done it so much better, so much more elegantly, with far more understanding that I do of this terf issue. I had no idea what a terf was until lately. TERF– trans-exclusionary radical feminist.

That’s a head scratcher. Why would you exclude entire groups from feminism? What would be the point and…? Oh, prejudice and ignorance and a host of some other stuff and things, got it. 

I will also state that trans people are people, the end.

Someone identifying as another gender or being gender-fluid or anything in between that—please understand I am not an expert in this and sorry if I state things wrong or badly—has no effect on me, my life or anything to do with me. It doesn’t detract from me or subtract from me that someone else is not like me or doesn’t identify in a way that I understand right off the bat. It might take me a moment to wrangle out details, word meanings, words used, terminology, etc. But I will try and understand, read up, listen up, catch up. It’s not my struggle, but it doesn’t mean it’s not real for others going through all this in some way or another.

Sometimes I don’t instantly receive all the changed anything to do with this issue of transgenderism and gender in general…I have to catch up, read up, watch something. I try to listen, instead of offering opinions and getting testy and defensive. I also, frankly, become afraid of SAYING OR WRITING THE WRONG THING about trans people or marginalized folks.

Because I know I have misconceptions, prejudices, wrong takes, hasty assumptions all just waitin’ to brand me a big ole idiot with poo for brains. I, like others, have no real need to be embarrassed or shamed, like, ever.

But.

How can you learn anything if you don’t venture into the unknown field of New Ideas and New Notions and Brand New Stuff That’s Scary At First To Explore. You might even get bogged down in It’s Always Been This Way Swamp. Ugh, amirite?

There is more than one way to be a woman, far more than Rowling and others in her camp cling to. You can only be a woman if you menstruate…? Um, no. Geez. That’s so obvious it shouldn’t even be offered forth as a reason to deny people basic rights and/or try to legislate them out of existence.

I understand Rowling’s essay, quotes from it, have been used as part of legislators trying to get laws passed against trans people. So, her views are actively and actually hurting people. I am not okay with that.

I am not okay with that!

Yes, read all the Harry Potter books. I did notice some troubling stuff. The 50’s perfect family conservative vibe, for one. The house elves…ick. The goblins…yikes, or was it just me who wondered why the goblins resembled the hoary stereotypes of Jews that people still vomit up to this day?

And Dumbledore being gay…after the last book was out and selling in the billions. It’s…yeah. Was it said in any of the books? No. Suddenly there’s a hot and heavy affair between Dumbledore and Grindelwald that wasn’t written about in any of the books? I…mm. Why not just be open from the start, write this side of Dumbledore into the story from the get-go? Why pretend it was there all along when it so clearly was not?

The females of this world get short thrift as well. They’re either stereotypical moms, like Mrs. Weasely or hard-nosed grim types, like McGonnagal, or shrill shrews, like most of the other female characters or love interests with no real layers to them, like Cho Chang or even Ginny Weasely. Hermione is the scolding, annoying rule keeper to the two boys being rule breaking adventurous risk-takers. Which is the backbone of Western literature, after all. Sigh.

I am all over the map here, with lots of profanity thrown in. Woot woot.

I am also not writing. I just. My brain seems very empty. Tumbleweeds don’t even bother blowing past the sad line of fences leaning here and there inside my skull. I should be almost done with the current rewrite of a film…This about the worst actual case of Don’t Wanna I’ve had. I just don’t see the point anymore in writing for love or money. Mostly love cause nobody gives a piece of toast about anything I string together; that might be the acute depression mumbling. Might be.

I seem to be waiting for the awful other shoe to drop here in my country. So I can adjust and get on with resisting in the correct way. As those that I’m protesting against have decreed are the correct ways to protest! So they don’t get upset or have to think or have to do anything at all, really but totally ignore my protesting. And then nothing changes and we all go on as before until another forty years has passed and there’s a need for protesting and…

Woot. However, things do change. They do. It just seems to take generations for actual change to register. Plant a tree today. Be buried a long time before that tree gets cut down to make way for more condos. It’s kinda like that.

Hopeful note!

I have a mini green pumpkin growin’ away. It’s so cute! I want to give it kisses and talk to it like I talk to puppies. Hey there, cutie pie! Oh you’re so cute! How are you so cute!? Baby pumpkin breath…No. No, that’s a garden too far.

Droplets of Alcott

68k4td19chv31

June. It’s June. A few more months than it’s the glut of holidays. Thank the blessed unicorns of the third-party American voters, I never ever take my various decorations down. Score!

Thanks. I’ll be here a while. Try the chicken.

And on to a movie I’ve been wanting to see since it hit theatres in 2019. So about twenty thousand years ago, or so it seems.

Ahem.

I did not go see it. I think I went to Rise of Skywalker instead, because hey, sat through the other two. And I actually liked Last Jedi. Do I hear snarls? Is that snarls?

Little Women! Feminist remake! Unpronounceable Irish-named actress as Jo! Timothy Challawallabingbang as Laurie, the alleged six foot plus Italian stud-hunk.

Um, no. No.

Otherwise the casting was pretty spot on.

Little-Women-Cast screen rant
Beth, Jo, Meg, Amy and Laurie Laurence

I LOVED Laura Dern as Marmee. This is the first time I found her to be human and lovable, instead of the stalwart lecturer of the four sisters, the saintly mother-goddess archetypal figure so often depicted in nearly every Little Women adaptation. This Marmee is far more human than superwoman. And it’s fantastic. Adds so many layers right there. The way she wipes tears from her cheeks, takes a moment to put on her Happy Marmee Face before facing her daughters…damn. We get a glimpse into just how hard her life is trying to raise her kids and make ends meet and live up to her own ideals is. That little sigh, that little moment of utter weariness. Show don’t tell moment, y’all.

Emma Watson as Meg. Eh. There’s really never been much there to play with. But Watson gives it her best. We also get glimpses of Meg’s talent as an actress, and the creative lives of these lively sisters reminds how limited and few their choices were and how limited a lot of the time women still have it. Even now. Yeah, I went there. Meg marries a good man, settles in for motherhood and caregiving, and oh…we get to see her dissatisfaction, her restlessness, her unhappiness even. This was covered a tiny bit in the actual novel, but Alcott resolved it too neatly and Meg gets to play St. Housewife the rest of her time in the Alcott universe. Through Little Men and Jo’s Boys. Don’t believe me? You have some reading to do, kiddos.

Beth is Beth. I did like this actress in the thankless role of Dying Young role. I am so glad it was not that drawn out or even given all that much screen time. You can see the potential of Beth and how she supports her sisters and lives life through her wild, free, strong protector-friend Jo.

And yes, we also get to blame German immigrants for bringing disease to the March family. That was in the novel, it’s been in all the movies, as it’s an integral part of the story as set down by Alcott.

littlewomenpughstreep
Amy and Aunt March discuss the realities of life.

Amy had to be my fave here. Florence Pugh gives this most unlikable sister actual layers, practicality, a lot of heart and that careless something we can call charm. Amy’s future relationship with Theodore Laurence, the hunkalicious boy next door, gets a lot of timne spent on it. In the movie, that is. Not the novel. The relationship does seem one-sided. however. Amy loves him, he tolerates her for the moment…but they do know each other, grew up a bit together and don’t ever really face any real challenges. At least, none on screen. Other than Amy’s other candidate for Rich Husband, Fred Vaughn. But he’s not given much more to be than Obstacle. We barely even see his face, let alone how all of this affects him. Amy tosses him aside like a used handkerchief. But we’re supposed to believe she had chosen love over being mercenary. Or has she???

Ah, Jo. One of my favorite literary characters. I identify with someone who wants to write. Yes, I do. I identify with someone who has such trouble fitting in and being what’s expected of a girl. Here the Jo character doesn’t really deviate from all the other Jo’s, not really. I did like how we got to see the business end of writing. The getting your stuff into print work Jo had to go through. She was always working out story ideas and composing her tales. We got to see that. We got to watch her work on a novel. It wasn’t she sat down at a desk, poof, the next scene, the novel is finished and ready to go to print. Nope!

ab763db7b10d79ff1b3df4db8a6e133a
Jo and Teddy.

I adore that this film tackled, head on, the Jo mantra that she would never marry and yet the novel and movie ends with the requisite happy ending. Because it’s what people want and expect, not because it’s what the characters want or need to happen. Gut punch. That’s a gut punch. That a story involving women or a ‘woman’s tale’ has to end in either marriage or death.

Gut. Punch.

I had no quibbles, much, with Professor Bhaer. Except…HE’S GERMAN, POOR AND NOT HANDSOME AND OLDER THAN JO BY A LOT OF YEARS. Ugh. In the film, he was young, French and should maybe have swapped with the Timothy Challawalla kid. I felt a real hollowness over this alleged romance between him and fierce independent Jo. It seemed to arise out of nowhere and suddenly, she was madly in love so they could have AN ACTUAL DASH TO THE RAILWAY STATION scene. I. Just. Ugh.

1229591-louis-garrel-attending-the-premiere-for-950x0-2
Louis Garrel as Professor Bhaer. Um…? Yeah.

Suddenly we’re in romantic movies land and it just rang so goddamn false. I DIDN’T BELIEVE THE CHARACTER SET UP OVER THE COURSE OF THIS LONG ASS MOVIE would suddenly turn into Meg Ryan galloping after Tom Hanks or some other screen couple we wait two hours for to do just that. Not Jo March, no sir! Christopher Columbus! But…then again, we are set up that the publisher guy told Jo her stories involving women had to have it end with a wedding or the death of the woman. She could not go off to a life of happy spinsterhood, no no no!

Now, the neighbor guy who was in love with Jo from their first meeting to marrying some other sister cause…mm.

I, too, always asked why Jo didn’t marry Laurie. Or Teddy, as she called him. Teddy, in the book, made the other boys call him Laurie, after beating the shit out of them. As they were teasing him anyway. He’s also presented as some sort of ‘other’ due to his hot Italian blood. Alcott’s wording. As if those of Italian descent are fire-blooded hotheads with almost no morality. Oh, you thought stereotyping of other cultures was a new thing??? Bwha ha ha ha.

We get to see a very torn up Jo, lonely and confused, reconsider her choices here. Openly saying she’d give another answer to that proposal. It was hinted at in the book but here we get to hear it.

Aunt March is played, with lots of fun and vinegar, by Meryl Streep. Teddy’s grandpa is played by Chris Cooper, one of my fave actors. Both are a hooty hoot.

I was taken out of this otherwise stellar film every time Timothy Wallawallbang bang popped into frame. He looks twelve years old to me. He’s heroin skinny with the frame of a stork. I just. I just can’t overcome my suspension of disbelief barriers to swallow him as the over six foot tall, built like a brick shithouse, Theodore Laurence. Who is also supposed to be astoundingly handsome. Rather the perfect foil to Jo March, who is often described as her hair being her only real beauty.

laurie
Christian Bale and Timothy Chalamet compare/contrast time

Teddy and Jo. They share actual bonds. Friendship, confidences, trust, companionship. They spark each other. We are led to believe this is bad; that actual passion, conflict and being hot-tempered are the worst things, like, ever.

Alcott makes it clear that because the two often fight, this is a bad thing. We are led, by Alcott, to think that Meg and John Brook have the idyllic- more or less—married relationship. All cooing doves, no screeching falcons. That a marriage should be polite barely affectionate people…or a marriage of that time. Okay. Okay!

This film breaks the linear fashion of the story up. That’s good. I didn’t expect it to work, I expected to be highly annoyed. I was not. It worked. It often paralleled a moment from the past with one in the here and now to one of the sisters. We got to watch a jigsaw puzzle being filled in rather than being spoonfed a homespun tale of sisters finding their way through life.

I was jarred a bit by all the legs and underwear shown. That’s fine for modern audiences but…not at that time. Even at home in private with no neighbor watching. Marmee had her skirt hiked up, baking, as Meg was brought home by Jo and Laurie from a winter dance due to a twisted ankle. Marmee, no. No.

And to end this rambling screed on Amy. I adored her speech about how marriage was an economic everything to women, not so much for men. As men held all the power, the land, even the children were theirs. Men held the pursestrings mostly and women were very limited as to what careers they could pursue without having to endure society calling them all sorts of names and shunning them accordingly. Amy declares she can’t be a great artist, so she will be an ornament to society. Laurie is horrified by this but she icily reminds him that she really has very few choices here beyond marry a wealthy man or live in poverty with a poor man or…work at some job she hates for very little money to retain her respectability. Aunt March, in an earlier scene, lays it out quite baldly. She never had to marry because she had oodles of money. She urges the sisters to marry wealthy men because that’s one of the only ways a woman can move up in the world. It’s also a means to take care of the entire family. As the Marches have no sons…well.

And of course…if you know this story at all…who does Amy end up marrying?

I could ramble on for days and days over the nuances of Little Women, feminism, the various cinematic takes on Alcott’s most famous work and the absolute puzzlement that the casting folks can’t cast a decent Theodore Laurence already. Though…Christian Bale was okay, in the Winona Ryder version. Which is such a beautiful film, if you have not seen it.

2020-01-28_lif_56577623_I1
Laura Dern as Marmee.

Over and out, fellow babies. I need to croon over my growing squash plants and squee over the opening of the bachelor buttons.

Oh! Jaws, the kitty, jumped off the fence and must have come down on it funky. I was freaking out thinking she’d broken her leg but after some rest and TLC, she was fine. Today I caught her tormenting a baby mouse, which is now resting and recovering a bit before I find a place to release it or…let it live with me a few days. I’m sorry, the little frightened squeaking! I put it in a giant glass container and will give it some water and…Yes, it’s ‘just a mouse’. But I like to think the March sisters would approve.