Category Archives: dog love

A beautiful day to vote

Deb was right. Voting was a surefire pick-me-up. Voting was in fact so exciting it overrode my usual reserve and I found myself reaching out to a fellow voter.

“My vote has never felt more important,” she said. Yes! Yes! Even here in Massachusetts.

After depositing our ballots, fellow voter and I talked about — what else? — the weather. She loves the fall. I love the fall. She grew up in Cuba. I was born in Massachusetts. Summers are hotter here, she said. Ocean breezes making a difference.

(Will my brother be able to vote? Will Barrett throw the election to trump, having after all, worked on the Bush v Gore matter?). Never mind that for now.

It is a spectacular fall day. Crisp and blue-skied. And voting brings satisfaction.

And now it’s back to work. Postcards to Voters in Pennsylvania and editing the middle years (1740 to 1743).

Insomniac’s Rabbit Hole

When I wasn’t asleep at midnight, I started reading twitter (don’t @ me). The comedian Bill Burr’s opening on SNL was getting a lot of commentary. A lot. So when I still wasn’t asleep an hour later, I came down and watched it.

Source of controversy: his criticisms of white women.

The failure to acknowledge how we benefit from white supremacy. The way we take over social justice movements and want credit for being “woke” when we are anything but. (Even using the word “woke” for ourselves being, of course, an offense.) Our Gucci boots (huh?)

One prominent Black woman I follow declared it hilarious (Roxane Gay @rgay). Another noted that you could practically recite his reading list based on it. Tressie McMillan Cottom pointed out his Black wife.

White women in the comments were attacked for taking offense and further, the offense was offered up as proof of the validity of Burr’s critique. And of course, to complain about this would be centering the conversation on white women’s feelings. Instead of, I don’t know, having an opinion?

Here’s the thing. I don’t take issue with his observations about white women. At all. Our history speaks for itself, particularly our relationships to and within political circles. Pretty bad.

We were all reminded of this recently during the look backs at Suffrage — an ignominious chapter of activism when white women excluded Black women from leadership roles and from the very goal of achieving the vote. The decision to segregate a Suffrage parade in DC was particularly cringe-worthy.

Wells-Barnett had no intention of abiding by the rules segregating the parade. She stood on the sidelines until the marchers from Chicago passed, then fearlessly, she stepped to the front of the procession.

The Washington Post, August 2020

But this?

I just didn’t find it funny. I don’t need to compare him to either Louis CK or Dave Chappelle to back up a claim of tone deafness or even assert tone deafness. I just didn’t think it was funny.

And I’ll go one step further and assert this: my not finding it funny says jack all about where I land on the ally-spectrum.

What WAS hilarious was Burr’s take on Bostonians in a faux Sam Adams ad.

After a hike in the Middlesex Fells and a nap under my weighted blanket, I feel restored!

Potpourri

Today my brother is being transferred to a rehab facility. In a pique of helplessness, I ordered him a diffuser and some jasmine oil — to elevate his mood? When what he needs are electrical stimulators or computer driven exercise devices?

His impatience to GET ON WITH IT will serve him well and it may not necessarily shorten the length of his recovery. So much remains up in the air.

Listening to old Tippet interview with Vincent Harding on dog walk. A few takeaways:

  • To label the justice movement as one centering on “civil rights” is to fall very short of MLK Jr’s vision of the “beloved community.”
  • Stories are essential
  • We need to seek out our wise elders

The commotion of limb removal next door, believe it or not, refreshes my grief at Michelle’s passing. Even tho she lived in Manhattan and I dwell in a leafy suburb, we both frequently felt assaulted by noise. My commiserator in chief. I still can’t believe she’s gone.

Re-reading passages from Virginia Woolf’s diaries this week, a little light bulb went on. Here’s my insight: Jude Hill has a distinctly Woolfian sensibility and that may be why I felt so instantly drawn to her. Listen:

  • All I mean to make is a note of a curious state of mind.
  • My theory being the actual event practically does not exist — nor time either.
  • I wrote this partly in order to slip the burden of writing narrative
  • I want to sort out all the ideas that have accumulated in me.

The complete collection of Woolf’s novels got away from me at some point. I regret that. Reading her in college was like opening a door to myself. Big time.

Confession: I once took a pack of colored pencils to a copy of The Waves and appropriately highlighted all the color words. I’m sure I had a reason.

Interestingly, I now prefer more “straight up” narratives. A product of aging no doubt. Ask me if I care.

British crime novels, it is!

No really, I’m working my way through Kate Atkinson’s Jackson Brody series.

Sibling insurance questions call. Redux.

Sunday during the pandemic

Nothing like a walk in the woods to restore the soul — even if there were a lot of other dogs and not all of them on leashes. Almost everyone we saw wore masks.

The vernal pools are drying up, as evidenced by mud.

It was warm enough to work up a sweat and amazingly, even after 40 minutes, my hips didn’t hurt. We walked for at least an hour.

The NYTimes puzzle disappointed today. One of those cross-referencing structures that makes me go cross-eyed and not enough easy fill to help matters.

But what doesn’t disappoint is the pandemic routine of coming downstairs every day to already brewed coffee. It’s so, so great. Every damned day!

I was all set up to enjoy an outside quilting session yesterday when my next door neighbor’s yard crew arrived and knowingly violated the gas leaf blower ban. I was driven inside and also driven temporarily insane. Apparently my neighbor, though I sweetly texted, was powerless?

There’s something about living in a country on the verge of having no rule of law that makes this minor, willful transgression extra maddening. And, BTW, this time of year? They are blowing a few blades of grass off the driveway.

I planted cucumbers. Will they have time to produce? I have no idea. Meanwhile, the chipmunks LOVE to dig wherever I’ve recently planted. I spend half my time outside using my foot to slide dirt back into holes.

While rooting around the basement, I found this quilt top and decided to layer it up since I already had the batting out.

It’s about the slave trade.

Hints: sail shapes, indigo, brown stripes like ship planks, blue for the Atlantic, maps, fish for the sea, and African-inspired black and taupe print.

Walk the dog

I know this neighbor. She is a knitting empress.

K informs me that this horse has been here as long as he’s been coming down this street. I do not ever remember seeing it. I know.

It’s hot. The lake is appealing.

One beautiful entrance and another tear down.

Wishing you a relaxing weekend. How do I know it’s Saturday? Cause K slept til 7. Because my pill box only has one more day. Because the yard crews are blessedly absent.

And lest you think my reaction to the crowd at the protest this week was over the top, check out the number of new cases in Massachusetts today. Almost 500. Now the curve is going down. That’s comforting. But it doesn’t escape notice that states where the curves are spiking and people are alarmed, they’re reporting cases in the 400’s.

In Massachusetts, the reporting of 400+ cases is just Saturday. Or Tuesday.

I’ve now made 81 masks.