Thursday, September 29, 2016

She gave him enough rope

Well, that first debate happened.

At the risk of sounding braggadocious, I think I called it pretty well!

Secretary Clinton did indeed go after him on his questionable wealth (not that he isn’t really stinking rich...he’s just not as rich as he claims to be) as well as his unwillingness to release his tax returns. She needled him about that “small loan” from his Pops...you know, the $14 million one. She got under his skin by repeatedly calling him “Donald,” rather than Mr. Trump or Donald J. Trump as he demands of his acolytes.

He held his own for about 15 minutes and then the wheels on the Trump Train fell off. He became increasingly irrational and unhinged and by the end of the debate, I know that I wasn’t the only one questioning his sanity.

Which rhymes with Hannity, whom someone needs to call. Why doesn’t anyone call Sean Hannity?? Poor Sean. Call him!

By all accounts, Trump chose not to prepare for the debate, at least in the usual way. His Yampaigners tried to get him to practice, but the guy seems to have the attention span of a toddler. As well as the oratory skills of one.

I’m sure the Yampaign will attempt to get him to work on a little more debate prep before the next one, but I wonder if they have actually spoken with their candidate, or watched him over the past year. It’s easy to make your candidate jump through hoops and read from a teleprompter, but when he has to think on his feet, he has a bit of a problem, doesn’t he? Good luck with that debate prep and we’ll see you in the next round.

I don’t want to just bash the Yam, though (not a euphemism). I want to praise Hillary Clinton for knowing her shit, studying for the debate, and for striking the absolute right demeanor in dealing with this faux populist buffoon. She showed a total command of the facts and an unflappable stoicism in the face of the Yam’s attempts to interrupt and dominate the conversation. I honestly don’t know of any woman who hasn’t experienced a man talking over her, which is one of my pet peeves. Hillary handled it better than I do, that’s for sure!

The Yam’s closing remarks about how he wanted to level some nasty attacks against Clinton but he’s such a kind, thoughtful guy who didn’t want to hurt her feelings that he took the high road and chose not to...all I can say is “Crackuh, PLEASE!”

That was all about the first President Clinton’s infidelities. We all know about them and they are not a secret. That was 20 years ago or more and Bill and Hillary Clinton have apparently worked out everything in whatever way they chose to do so. I am quite certain that the Yam won’t hesitate to bring that up in the second debate, and hey, good luck with that. I guarantee that Hillary will be ready for that line of attack and will deliver one hell of an epic smackdown in response. Dan Savage has advice for Hillary better than anything I could write myself.

The Yam made a valiant yet stupid effort to tell his supporters that he won the debate...all the online polls said so! Sadly, many of his supporters are so gullible that they think that unscientific online polls are accurate.

Every thinking person knows the truth, though. Donald—hey, can I call ya Donald?

She cleaned your clock.

Thursday, September 22, 2016

Give Him Enough Rope

A nation of destiny has got to be fulfilled
Whatever you want, you're gonna get it

~~ “Tommy Gun” by The Clash


Beware!

The debate approacheth.

In a few days, we’ll be seeing the first debate between Hillary Clinton and the Vulgar Talking Yam. Apparently, Hillary is working hard on her debate prep, and the Yam is hanging out with his Yampaigners and eating cheeseburgers or something like that. Are we surprised?

Today I was reading a couple of articles about the advice from some Democratic insiders to Hillary about how to debate this fool. I really like one guy’s comment: “Give him the rope.”

This is sound advice.

We’ve seen over and over again that while scripted Trump can come across as somewhat reasonable (if you ignore his nonexistent or ridiculous policy plans) but once he veers off-script, he turns into the bloviating asshole so many of us have come to loathe. Although he loved to disparage others for using a teleprompter, he seems to have embraced the technology. But he won’t get to use it at the debate, of course.

Heh heh heh.

We know that Hillary is going to be fine with her command of the facts and details. She can bring that any damn day and has the easy task of making herself look presidential and reasonable. That should not be a problem. She also has the weird, double-standard task of coming across as warm and likable, maybe smiling more. ::eye roll:: I’m not going to get into all that because I have written about it before. She also needs to be tough as nails and not let Trump get under her skin. I am certain that she is capable of that, as well. Anyone who thinks Hillary isn’t tough just hasn’t been paying attention.

Trump is going to have a hard time with not letting her get under his skin. He obviously has a problem with strong women and wants to keep them in a position of subservience. Homegirl don’t play that game. He appears to be unable to let any slight against him go unanswered with his ridiculous schoolyard bully retorts. Let’s see how that plays out on the debate stage against one woman. If I were Hillary, I would make sure I bring up his questionable wealth—that seems to be his Achilles heel. He hates to be questioned on his wealth. I would go after that over and over. I would dig my thumb right into that wound and just keep digging and digging. No mercy.

I don’t doubt for a minute that Trump will try to bring up her husband and taunt her with Bill’s infidelities. My response to that, if I were Hillary, would be to calmly and coolly point out that what happened in my marriage is my business and that we worked out our problems and that I have been married to Bill for FOUR DECADES. Hell, she wouldn’t even have to say something like, “And how many times have YOU been married, Donald?” Everyone knows about his marital history and his messy divorces. Just stay cool, Hill.

I’m not sure there has ever been a candidate like the Yam. It has to be a hard debate to prepare for, but you know what? I think she’s got this.

Hand him the rope, Hillary. Then sit back, be cool, and watch what he does with it.

Friday, September 9, 2016

The Look

You’ve got the look
You’ve got the hook
U sho-nuf do be cookin’
In my book

~~ “U Got The Look” by Prince


Looks pretty goddamn presidential to me
An alternate title and song for this entry would be “It’s a Man’s Man’s Man’s World” by James Brown.

::sigh::

Earlier this week, the Yam said in an interview that Hillary Clinton doesn’t “look presidential.” I have to wonder how he would define “looking presidential.” I know my own personal definition would preclude being orange, but that’s just me.

This isn’t even subtle sexism. This is in your face sexism. He doesn’t think she looks presidential because she’s a woman. You all know that, right?

To cap it all off, after the NBC forum on Wednesday night, RNC chair Reince Priebus (AKA the Obvious Anagram per Charlie Pierce) tweeted that Clinton looked angry and defensive and that she sported “no smile.” Seriously?

This double standard for female politicians—and to be honest, pretty much every woman who deals in any way with anyone anywhere—is absurd. If a woman takes things seriously, she is told to lighten up and be more approachable. If she is forceful in her words, opinions, and delivery, she is told that she is being too strident or shrill, or that she is shouting. Women are criticized for their hairstyle, their makeup, their attire, their demeanor, their body. If she is subjected to harassment in the workplace, some suggest that her best option is to find another job. If she is raped, there are those who blame her for dressing the wrong way, acting the wrong way, drinking too much, or simply being in the wrong place at the wrong time. Or maybe they shouldn’t be in the same workplace because I guess some men just can’t control themselves if they are in close proximity to a woman as they work alongside her.

At the forum mentioned above, Matt Lauer frequently interrupted Hillary and after spending about a third of her time asking her email questions (let it go, Matt, let it go), told her to be brief when talking about her plan to deal with ISIL. When the Yam blatantly lied about being against the Iraq war from the beginning, Lauer just...let it go. (Wrong thing to let go, Matt!) Poor Lauer. I think his ass is still smarting from the spanking he got from pretty much everyone over how he handled that forum.

::heavy sigh::

Well, if anything good can come from that clusterfuck of a forum, it will be that the moderators of the upcoming debates will have paid attention and realize that they need to get their acts together and do some damn moderatin’.

If the election of our first female President will help even a little bit with the casual sexism that millions of women are subjected to every day, then I’m with her! I think U got the look, Hillary!

Wednesday, September 7, 2016

Return of the Nutwoodians

We are back!

I will have more to write about our adventures, especially our super cool Big Zombie Tour (3!), but I am very happy to be home. No matter where we roam, there is no place like right here. I could even make a rhyme and say “there is no place like home,” but I think that’s been done before.

I love exploring and visiting other places, but I really do love our place. It has been my sanctuary for almost 15 years and it is still my favorite place to be.

But there are times when it is a bit of a struggle and this is one of those times. Right before we left for Florida, we started seeing a major increase in the mosquito population here due to our massive rain and extensive flooding in the area. They began to swarm and Shane and Matt (who so kindly took care of Mr. Sheeba while we were gone!) said that it was almost a plague. It is still absolutely insane and they swarm around the car and around anyone who dares to venture out!

I didn’t get one single mosquito bite in Florida, but I got one within five minutes of being in the house!

The Zika virus hasn’t been found this far north so far, but we do have shitty things like West Nile virus. I’m reasonably certain that I will die of some sort of mosquito-borne illness. Malaria or Yellow Fever or something like that.

It infuriates me that Congress is so derelict in their duties that they refuse to fund Zika virus research. Glad you got to take your summer break, Congress. Sure hope none of your family members got bitten by mosquitoes—especially if those family members happen to be pregnant. In the meantime, while you were vacationing, there are over 200 pregnant women in the U.S. who have been diagnosed with Zika. I cannot imagine how scared those women are.

What really infuriates me is that there was a bill to fund emergency Zika research and immediate action, but the Republicans added a provision to defund Planned Parenthood, and of course, the Democrats refused to be extorted. (I support their refusal to fund that bill.)

Really? You are going to attach your partisan politics to a bill that will help PREGNANT WOMEN who might contract a virus that damages fetuses? Do you even understand what you are doing? Do you even care about these women and the children they will bear who might be severely deformed and will cost millions of dollars to support?

UGH. Get your shit together and start addressing public health, whether it’s Zika virus or antibiotic resistance or gun violence! It is all a matter of public health!

Even when you go on vacation, the real world intrudes, doesn’t it?

Friday, September 2, 2016

The Next Leg

Well, that week sure went by fast!

Ken and I were talking today about how when we first get here, it’s like the week stretches out in front of us and it feels like forever. Once we hit Wednesday, it just zooms by. Next thing you know, we’re packing up to leave!

It was a fun but very low-key week. Our biggest activity was going to the Speakeasy on Monday and the rest of the time was total vegecation. Even though I don’t work anymore, I told Ken that it was still a true vacation for me because I didn’t have to do laundry or cook meals or take care of any of those little tasks that consume a day. I got to sit out on the balcony and get some serious reading in. Very enjoyable!

Our activities were curtailed a bit by Tropical Storm/Hurricane Hermine. Although it hit on the Gulf Coast (we’re on the Atlantic Coast), we still got the outer edges with some heavy rain and even a tornado warning! The lights in the condo flickered a few times but we never lost power. I was saddened to hear that one person died due to the storm.

We got to hit our very favorite places, including the Sea Shack, Norwood’s, Oceans Seafood, The Breakers (my favorite burger ever!), Toni and Joe’s, Bethune Park to see the manatees, and JB’s Fish Camp. Ken also got to golf one morning and I got to drive the cart, and I had two new bird sightings on the course: a roseate spoonbill and a wood stork! Yay!

It was no surprise that today, the day before we leave, we had the nicest afternoon we had all week. There was actual sunshine and even a beautiful rainbow over the ocean, very close to shore. Hard to believe that just yesterday we were under a tornado warning!

Our next stop will be Newnan, Georgia followed by some activities in Senoia, Georgia on Sunday. Some of you might know the significance of that! I will post more about it soon. I am very excited!

Tuesday, August 30, 2016

Let the Music Play

Stay with the music
Let it play a little longer
You don’t need anybody
All you need is now

~~ “All You Need Is Now” by Duran Duran

I think this is the first time I’ve ever spent my birthday on vacation and it was truly a special one!

For one thing, I got many wonderful wishes from family and friends on Facebook, including some fun memes ranging from this one to Donald Sutherland from “Invasion of the Body Snatchers” to a picture of Simon and his tight white pants. (So many others were hilarious, but I can’t list them all!) All the wishes made me smile and I enjoyed them very much, so thanks to everyone!

Second, we got invited to a party in Orlando! To make a long story short, we saw one of our favorite entertainers from New Orleans, Gypsy Elise and her husband Ryan on Sunday. They moved to Orlando about a year ago and play gigs in the area. They were at one of our favorite new places in New Smyrna Beach, the Treehouse Bar at Norwood’s restaurant (a great, old-school place with amazing food). Gypsy and Ryan used to have monthly speakeasies in NOLA, where Gypsy cooked up a feast for everyone and those with artistic and creative talent would perform a song or two. We never made it to one in NOLA but happily, Gypsy and Ryan are continuing the Speakeasy in Orlando and were kind enough to invite us!

We made our way to Orlando (about an hour away, a little longer with traffic) and we had an absolutely wonderful time! We got to meet their son, JR, who is adorable and seemed to have fun playing soccer with me in his room. Gypsy gave me a super cute crossbody purse and had filled it with 54 packets of taco sauce for each of my 54 years. Ha! Another guest, John, brought me a container of 54 tea lights (with one to grow on). Almost everyone was a stranger to me but I felt welcome and at ease, and for an introvert like me, that is NOT easy!

Gypsy had put out an amazing spread of beef bourguignon, potato salad, regular salad, a fruit and cheese platter, some other things I think I’m forgetting, and for dessert, a pear upside down cake. Everything was delicious! After everyone had gotten their fill, the music started.

A London-trained pianist named Julian played ragtime, Chopin, and a rendition of “Rhapsody In Blue” that gave me chills. He also played some impromptu duets with Ryan (who is also an amazing player) including a funked-up version of “Heart and Soul.” Ryan played other songs on his own like “St. Louis Blues” and a fun snippet of “Goodbye Yellow Brick Road” at my request, one that we all joined in singing. There was a lovely duet with Nathan who played the saxophone. Julian’s girlfriend (I’m sorry I didn’t catch her name!) sang “My Funny Valentine” and “Over the Rainbow” with Julian’s accompaniment. A very nice woman named Shondra read her poem and it was excellent. A guy named Swami (not his given name, haha) read his short ode to jazz. And of course, Gypsy herself sang a medley of songs, including the New Orleans classic “Iko Iko.” Gypsy and Ryan broke out the tambourines for us all and it was fun to play along even when you don’t have a whole helluva lot of talent! (Note to self: I need to buy a tambourine.)

It was a lovely evening, and I am always blown away by the talent that is out there. There is nothing more wonderful than sharing the joy of music with others. Unless it’s sharing the joy of food with others. Put ‘em both together, and it’s magic! Something that struck me as I watched these talented people (and something I’ve seen in many other talented artists) is the way the music transports them. The smiles, the concentration, the joy. I may not have that talent, but I feel that sometimes when I play the piano, and I certainly feel it when I see others playing so beautifully.

Thanks again to Gypsy and Ryan for their hospitality, and thanks to everyone for such a fun night. It was an unexpected treat and made my day feel special!

Thursday, August 25, 2016

It is to laugh

We got problems right here in Central City,
We have problems on the North, South, East and West,
New York City, Saint Louis, Philadelphia, Los Angeles,
Detroit, Chicago,
Everybody has problems,
And personally, I don't care

~~ “Elected” by Alice Cooper

Ohhhh, lawd. Lawdy lawd.

You know, I’m to the point where my only recourse when dealing with the Vulgar Talking Yam is to laugh.

I mean, really. He is just absurd. I am laughing at you, Yam!

His latest weird waffling about the immigration thing is playing right into Hillary’s hands. It’s impossible to know what his policies are. Hell, I don’t think HE knows what his policies are. It seems to me that a couple of months away from the election, you should have figured that out by now. “Unpredictable” is not a desirable trait when choosing the most powerful leader in the world.

I think the majority of people are starting to figure that out now. I’m still taking nothing for granted, but we’re onto you, Yam. The American people have your number, as does Hillary. The upcoming debates are going to be delightful! Hillary’s got your stamina right here, pal. HA!

But it’s time to leave this all behind as we hit the road for our annual vegecation in New Smyrna Beach! I’m looking forward to some beach time and relaxation and some time away from politics.

Oh, I’m totally kidding! I’ll still be reading my usual political feeds but more importantly, the TV market (Orlando/Daytona Beach/Melbourne) where we’ll be is the #1 political ad buy in the country for both campaigns at the moment. NUMBER ONE. We’ve been down there in election season before but this time it’s going to be insane. We don’t plan on having the TV on a lot—we like to just sit outside and read if we’re not out and about or on the beach—but I’m sure we’ll get plenty of exposure to politics gone wild.

We also have a special visit planned on the drive back when we stop in the Atlanta area. More to follow, but if you know me, you might be able to guess what we’ll be doing!