flower power

My red, itchy eyes and nose are telling me what my eyes can see in and around the 209; the Almond Blossom season is upon us. I do love the almonds! As for their blossoms, well it’s most definitely love-hate kind of regard. I hate how they make my eyes and nose itch in a way that all the Zyrtec in the world will not fix. But there are the almonds to come and, right now, how beautiful the blossoms are blanketing the Central Valley snowy white.

Driving to work this weekend, in the gusty, windy deluge of rains that was Winter Storm Lucifer, I couldn’t help but admire something more about those lovely blossoms. We have been slammed hard in a way that topples trees and causes hills to slide and roads to crumble and holes to swallow up cars. Our reservoirs, lakes, rivers and streams are overflowing with some spillways failing and a glory hole spillway flows for the first time in years – a spillway called the Glory Hole! Heh! Even in our neck of the woods a levee is in danger of failing and flooding parts of my own city for the first time in 20 years. Don’t worry, the new Big Top is high and dry…dryish…actually quite soggy but in no danger of flooding. As for the blossoms, the blossoms continue to blossom and hold fast to the branches on all the fruit and nut trees in all the orchards everywhere in and around the Central Valley. That’s a good thing, a very good thing because I do love almonds.

Almond blossoms sent to teach us That the spring days soon will reach us. – Edwin Arnold

and it all started with a big bang

Legos, Big Bang Theory, Batman. Can it really get better than this?

Well, yes. Yes it can.

Create your own personal mini-fig and invite yourself to the room where it happens.

…we are made of particles that have existed since the moment the universe began. I like to think those atoms traveled fourteen billion years through time and space to create us, so that we could be together… – The Matrimonial Momentum – The Big Bang Theory

I deserve this today, today I deserve it. – Batman – Lego Batman

the privilege and the responsibility of the act of empathy

…there was one performances this year that stunned me; it sank its hooks in my heart, not because it was good. There was nothing good about it. But it was effective and it did its job—it made its intended audience laugh and show their teeth.

It was that moment when the person asking to sit in the most respected seat in our country imitated a disabled reporter—someone he outranked in privilege, power, and the capacity to fight back. It kind of broke my heart when I saw it, and I still can’t get it out of my head because it wasn’t in a movie; it was real life. And this instinct to humiliate, when it’s modeled by someone in the public platform, by someone powerful, filters down into everybody’s life, because it kind of gives permission for other people to do the same thing.

Disrespect invites disrespect, violence incites violence. When the powerful use their position to bully others, we all lose. …

Just in case you missed it, I just had to share with you part of Meryl Streep’s speech as she accepted the Cecile B DeMille award. Yes, I know, awards shows are so much more enjoyable without that political crap…not that awards shows have EVER gotten political about things like abortion, the environment, dolphins, the financial crisis, foreign affairs, wars, immigration, LBGT rights, Presidential campaigns, treatment of Native Americans, race, the AIDS crisis…This is nothing new; and as long as we can enjoy our First Amendment Right, I imagine that it will likely continue as long as there is a value or belief or platform to support or protest. People can get pissy when a woman on stage expresses such thoughts saying that she has no right to talk about politics, but she wasn’t talking politics. What Ms Streep was talking about was common decency and respect. Because when the person about to take the position of respected power in our country continues to act like a bully mocking those who oppose him, it does filter down into everybody’s life where people imagine they have permission to do the same thing.

My kid told me pretty much that recently when he expressed how mad he is still over the Presidential election outcome. Some might say he’s just a kid and really shouldn’t have an opinion. But he does. He should. He will be able to vote in the next Presidential election and he plans on voting to get rid of the bully. Perhaps he doesn’t have the words or the physical strength to fight against those who mock people like him but he does understand that he does have the privilege and responsibility to show respect and kindness…even when they are standing right beside him mocking him as he receives an award for respect and kindness. Mom is glaring murdering daggers at those middle school-aged boys until he makes eye contact chiding, Mom, don’t, because in the end, kindness and respect wins…and it will always, as long as we are brave enough to remind each other of our privilege and responsibility.

2017, hope, and the next generation

There is something troubling to hear in the news of the sudden, but peaceful death of a pop music icon of your own generation when he is around the same age as you…because he died peacefully can be a little bit disconcerting especially when the news reports add that George Michael was only 53. Sorry, but only 53 conjures up the assumption that most 50-something people are NOT facing very soon the inevitable end of their lives because only 53 suggests that there might be a few more years left to live.

Meanwhile…

WTF 2016?!!

I’m not the only one who has been saying that literally all year long. Just hurry up and end already! Please!

Perhaps that is why the AP is feeling like their New Year’s poll of 1,007 people surveyed online accurately portrays the tone of Americans right now. Optimistic as we face 2017? We have a president-elect gas-lighting nations, Congress, media, Saturday Night Live and corporations alike on Twitter; and when he actually tries to act presidential reaching out to include all Americans, his Trumpers freak out.

Sorry, imagining the potential with this kind of, er, leadership, I’m just not feeling all warm and fuzzy about the near future. I’m trying. Really, I am trying. But I just can’t. I just can’t even. I, and a number of other people I know (regardless of our politics), seem to be thinking more in line with what Michele Obama said recently.

We feel the difference now. See, now, we are feeling what not having hope feels like. Hope is necessary. It’s a necessary concept and Barack didn’t just talk about hope because he thought it was just a nice slogan to get votes. He and I and so many believe that — what else do you have if you don’t have hope. What do you give your kids if you can’t give them hope?

It’s true. What can I offer my young adult children, my teenaged son, my grand daughters if I can’t even begin to feel hopeful about the next four years…dear god please not eight years!!! It’s hard to imagine America while not having a grownup in the White House. Nailed it, Michele!

But thank you, Mr. President. Thanks Obama as you remind us of that generation right behind us, and I believe each successive generation, as long as we’re doing our job of being good models for it, they’re going to move this country forward in a better direction.

There is hope. Hope is right here. I’m willing to wait for it.