Category Archives: politics sucks

Dear Tom (and Ray), I met prejudice/ignorance today.

Loess Hills

Loess Hills.

I know I haven’t posted in a long time. Sorry. Been insanely busy re the upcoming move to Montana. But I have to say something about what happened today, and I’m including Ray because he’s a Midwesterner. Upper Midwest, but that’s okay.

I was chatting with this guy who had a real cute dog, a Scottie. I love Scotties, attitude and all. They are like little bearded hairy men. (Oh, by the way, when big ol’ Jake goes to puppy camp he’s greeted with, “Hello Sunshine!” He’s a happy camper!)

Anyways… I was chatting with this guy. He was here in Napa enjoying the sunshine. He’d driven down from Portland because he wanted a break from all the rain- which we happen to be having for a minute. Our weather has been beautiful.

We discussed the rain. We discussed my recent stop at PDX, landing in the midst of a horrific downpour. If you get off one of the little planes you have to walk through the downpour to get to the terminal. We were all soaked.

I mentioned my parents. Told him that they’d retired to Southern Oregon.

He asked, “Oh, did they move from California?”

I answered, “No, they moved from Iowa. We’re all from Iowa, I’m not a native Californian.” (‘Cuz yeah, I’m proud as heckfire to be from Iowa.)

He said, “Oh. Iowa. Bunch of illiterate evangelicals there.”

And I was like… “Um, what?”

He said, “Yeah, everyone is stupid religious. Nothing there but cornfields and ignorant racist white farmers.”

I asked, “Have you been to Iowa?”

He shrugged. He said, “I’ve read about it.”

Hey Tom, and Ray, I wanted to punch him in the face.

This is what I deal with on the West Coast. People who think they know the Midwest even though they’ve never been farther east than Vegas (or maybe they’ve flown to NYC). People like this dude, who was about as white as a slice of Wonderbread, who think everyone in the Midwest is a toothless dumbass church-goin’ snake-handling redneck filled with hate and vitriol; that we’re uneducated hicks who stupidly refuse to accept the superiority of the West Coast elites who should be in charge of EVERYTHING.

I don’t care if he had a nice dog. I wanted to kick the living shit out of him.

But I didn’t. I said, “You know nothing about Iowa. Have a safe drive back to Portland.” And I walked away.

Tom, you would have been proud of me.

XOXO! Julia

The Loess Hills: I grew up here, played here. My ancestors lived and died here.

Did I mention the University of Iowa Writers Workshop???

Besides, Iowa is home to one of the best bugs in the world – Fireflies! If you watch the video you’ll discover that we’re not all toothless yahoos.

 

Dear Tom, she wanted to punch him in the face.

First, on the home front, I harvested the last of my potatoes today:

20161211_143156

Colorful and yummy!

I cut back the asparagus. It’s time to prep the garden for winter- will do that this week. And maybe plant a couple rows of garlic.

So I just got back from Montana. Was a busy trip with loooooong weather delays in Seattle. Dang! That airport was like a bad movie. No joke.

On the way out my plane from Sacramento arrived twenty minutes early and then sat on the tarmac for two hours while we waited for a gate. As we sat there I watched my connection to Bozeman, (a little Bombardier), back up and take off. I begged the flight attendants to toss me out the door, but they refused. I spent nine grueling hours in the airport, but I did manage to get the last seat on the last flight to Bozeman. My wonderful daughter and son-in-law waited for me, waited for me so long we were forced to drive back to the ranch in The Crazies in a blizzard. In the dark. Pretty rough. Good thing my son-in-law is a kick ass driver and we were in a tank of a pickup truck. (I haven’t been on roads that bad since I lived in Iowa.)

I didn’t bother to take any photos this time around. The cold was bitter. But despite the cold, every visit to Montana is amazing. I am so grateful for my daughter and her husband. I love sharing their life, to the extent they are willing to share. 🙂 It’s my dream to live there. Cold doesn’t bother me, especially in Big Sky Country. Montana has really big skies.

That wasn’t the punching in the face part.

It was on the trip home that the punching nearly occurred. It wasn’t me, although I wanted to punch him too. I wanted to, in fact, pull him out of his seat and stomp on his head. It was my seat mate who said, “I want to punch him in the face.”

We boarded on time in Bozeman for the trip back to Seattle. I was seated in the back of the plane, just two rows from the rear exit. I had the aisle seat. A young woman with gorgeous eyelashes got the window seat. Across from me was an older white hippie dude with an iPhone and an iPad. Wearing lots of beads. I guessed that he’d come from the Dakota Access Pipeline protest. The beads and his rank aroma and his congested cough and sniffles were a dead giveaway. Not that I cared– about the protest, I mean. He has a perfect right to protest.

What he does not have a right to do, if he values his health and well-being, and the health and well-being of the other passengers, is endanger and piss off every single person seated in the rear of the plane.

He refused to follow any instructions from the flight attendants because he’d “been at the Dakota Access Pipeline protest.”

He refused to put his tray table in its upright and locked position because he’d “been at the Dakota Access Pipeline protest.”

He refused to stop texting via both his iPhone and his iPad (texting multiple people- I could see every text and every recipient) because he’d “been at the Dakota Access Pipeline protest.”

When our plane’s engines cut out on the runway because the deicer people accidentally sprayed the generator and we lost all power and began to freeze in the subzero temperatures he announced to the plane that “we should be grateful we weren’t stranded at the Dakota Access Pipeline protest because he’d just been at the Dakota Access Pipeline protest and it was way colder at the Dakota Access Pipeline protest.”

And don’t forget about “the tribal elders…”

The tribal elders this…” and “The tribal elders that…”

My seatmate said, “If I have to hear about the tribal elders one more time I’m gonna punch him in the face.”

I wanted to shove him out the back of the plane.

As he lectured, we were towed back to the gate. The plane was plugged in to a generator and we had heat. Then we had to wait for maintenance to decide whether or not the plane could start up and was safe to fly. We really wanted to get out of there because the weather was getting so bad we knew there was a good chance that if it took maintenance too long to decide we’d be stranded at least overnight, maybe for another day or two.

All the while, he kept texting via both his devices, despite the fact that he’d been asked repeatedly by the flight crew to stop. He ignored them, because, you know… The Dakota Access Pipeline protest

And then, once the engines were restarted and we were on the runway for takeoff, he made a phone call. OMFG. He called ‘Judy’ as we were taking off. Left her a message.

“Hey, Judy, this is R. I know it’s been years, but I just left the Dakota Access Pipeline protest where I was protesting and I’m headed to Seattle. I’ve checked online and it seems my connecting flight has been cancelled. I’m wondering if I can camp on your couch. I’m sure it will be warmer than the Dakota Access Pipeline protest. I’ll have to get up at 5 a.m. to catch a 7 a.m. flight but I figure you won’t mind. That’s sure not as early as I had to get up at the Dakota Access Pipeline protest. Listen, if you get this message, call me back. Again, this is R. Just so you know I’ve been at the Dakota Access Pipeline protest.”

If looks could kill. Everyone within earshot wanted to strangle the guy.

Since the rules didn’t apply to him, he texted and phoned his way through the flight. The flight attendants gave up trying to rein him in, they plied him with wine instead – six glasses of white wine. I think they hoped he would fall asleep, but he didn’t. Dammit.

This was the bad part. This was the really dangerous part. When we landed in Seattle, we hit a patch of ice. The plane skidded to the right, then to the left, then back to the right. It got real quiet because I think we were all praying the plane wouldn’t roll. On that first skid, since the idiot hadn’t put away his electronic devices nor placed his tray table into its upright and locked position, his iPhone and his iPad went flying across the aisle, right into another passenger.

Mr. Dakota Access Pipeline protest didn’t even apologize. Because he’s a special snowflake.

My seatmate, such a sweet pretty young lady, said, “I want to punch him in the face.”

I said, “Yup.”

So, Tom, to make a long story short, Judy never called him back because I saw him wandering around the Seattle airport five hours later. Still texting…

XOXO! Peace out. Julia

 

 

 

Dear Tom, opening old doors on Memorial Day.

Two of my uncles fought in WWII. One was a bombardier. He and his crew mates were shot down over Occupied France– it was their second plane, The Beast. Their first plane, I believe it was the Moonbeam Mcswine, got all shot up but managed to limp back to England where it crash landed. The original navigator was killed. In the second crash, all but the pilot survived. The pilot resisted. He was shot in the head by the Germans. The remaining crew members were transported to a POW camp in Germany. My uncle spent two years there. He weighed 90 pounds when the camp was liberated by the Russians. He said the first thing the men did when liberated was run wild over the countryside. Someone shot a cow. The men grilled it over an open fire. They’d starved for two years, surviving off the maggots on rotting potato skins. He wrote in his diary that the cow tasted like heaven.

Another uncle was a tail gunner. He was shot in the face, yet still managed to fly the plane back to England after the pilot and co-pilot were killed. He always wore a beard to cover his scars. (Had what he called a steel jaw.)

Takes big cojones.

My dad was just a youngster at the start of WWII. But he enlisted as soon as he could – 1945, a month before the war in the Pacific came to an end. He was grateful for Truman because, as he says, he and every man in his boot camp knew if they had to invade Japan they would all die. But my father wouldn’t have been part of the invasion anyway. He was so dang smart and scored so high on tests he was sent to the CIC- the Counter Intelligence Corps. Besides, he spoke German.

To this day I don’t know what he learned there. His standard line is, “If I tell you I’ll have to kill you.”

But he didn’t want to go overseas. He missed his mother’s cooking. (Which is pretty funny since he hated her cooking.) When his two years were up, he came home.

My two uncles are dead. My dad is, happily, alive, healthy and happy. And so busy he barely has time to talk.

My gratitude to that generation knows no bounds. These were just regular guys who morphed into hero guys. They had no choice. We are free (even to be idiots) because of them.

Because it’s Memorial Day, and because I had acupuncture this morning and my knee isn’t all that bad today, I started removing the old lead paint from an antique door.

That door will be my canvas. I have big plans…

door 1

Door Number One.

XOXO! Julia

Dear Tom, plug your ears. I’m about to go all pink on your ass..

As colors go, pink is okay. In general it’s considered a happy celebratory color. Think pink roses- either real live fragrant pink roses or pink sugar roses on a birthday cake. Right? Am I right? Both are happy and celebratory. (And of course there are the pink ribbons for breast cancer awareness so pink has its practical uses.)

pink birthday cake

And what is more lovely and inspiring than a radiant pink sunrise? Other than a radiant pink sunset, I mean?

pink sunset

But pink is not my favorite color. Not by a long shot. In fact, as colors go, it’s near the bottom of my list. Does that mean those of you who LOVE pink should feel bad or ashamed or in any way embarrassed about LOVING pink?

Of course not. As my grandmother used to say~ “Don’t be silly.”

Embrace your pinkness!

There are reasons why I am not all that fond of pink. Reasons that are unique to me, reasons I feel are quite legitimate. Let me explain:

I enjoy the scent of a pink rose. A glowing pink sunset or sunrise. I appreciate the way a simple pink sundress looks on some women. I even like a pale pink button down on some guys. Pink on a man can be very sexy.

pink shirt

But I hate pink on me. For one thing, it contrasts (in a bad way) with my auburn hair. For another it contrasts (in a very unflattering way) with my dark skin. And then, of course, there was the time my baby sister threw up pink Nestle’s Quik all over me while we were driving through the middle of Nebraska and there was no bathroom in sight. (Still one of my family’s favorite laugh out loud vacation stories.)

pink nestle's quik

And, oh, come to think of it, there was that other time my Aunt Jean made me drink an entire bottle of Pepto for a stomach ache and I proceeded to vomit pink stuff for hours…

pink pepto

Fine, I admit it. I hate pink. I won’t wear anything pink. I won’t eat anything pink. I won’t even wear a pink ribbon for breast cancer awareness month. I make my husband wear it. I. Hate. Pink.

Now, here’s the question. Does my dislike of pink have a thing to do with you?

No. My feelings regarding the color pink have absolutely nothing to do with you. You are free to feel anyway you want to feel about the color pink.

My dislike of pink is not cause for offense.

I love Jane Eyre, yet I was bored to tears by Pride and Prejudice. Many of my friends are Jane Austin fanatics, but they can’t stand the Gothic Bronte sisters. Does that bother me? Insult me? Hurt my feelings?

Jane Eyre

No.

That’s all’s I’m sayin’.

XOXO! Julia

Dear Tom, the only political rant I’ll give ya- I grok Trump.

I’m not saying I’m a Trump supporter, or that I have been a Trump supporter or that I will be a Trump supporter. Neither am I sold on Sanders.

But I’ll tell you this~ I NEVER wanted a Bush back in the Whitehouse nor a Clinton, regardless of gender. Yeah, sure, the economy was great during Bill’s presidency, but the Hill is not the Bill and I ain’t feelin’ the Hill. At least Bernie isn’t a liar. What you see is what you get and like most Americans, I am sick to death of liars.

Besides, I’d have a hell-of-a-lot more respect for Hill if she’d told Bill to ‘ef off. But she didn’t because she’s a political animal and she was determined to ride his coattails all the way to that oval office.

Well screw that. I don’t vote gender any more than I vote single-issue.

Here’s the thing. Listen up all you dumb-ass political pundits and party loyalists~

The American people are angry. We are sick of business as usual. We are sick of politics and partisans. We are sick of insults and elitism. We are tired of lectures from the haves- those who have the big bucks, and from the whiny hypocrites in Hollywood. When you are flying around on your private jet or basking in the sun on your private yacht, don’t you dare lecture me on the environmental impact of my 13 year old SUV. (I’m proud as hell to drive an old vehicle. Now that’s what I call real conservation!)

We ain’t as stoopid as you think, neither are we as racist, genderist, classist, or homophobic as you accuse us of being.

Nor are most of us single-issue voters. We hold, the vast majority of us, a mix of liberal, moderate, and conservative views. We are, the vast majority of us, living in the middle of the spectrum, not at either end.

Mostly we’re just trying to get by. We are raising our children and we are hoping and praying for better times.

You know what we want? We want to take a pitchfork to our government.

TRUMP AND BERNIE ARE SAID PITCHFORKS. GOT IT?

I would vote for either. What I will not do is vote for an establishment politician. Get with the times, pundits. You want to know Obama’s legacy? You’re looking at them – Donald Trump and Bernie Sanders. Why? Because the American people are tired of being blamed for everything bad in this world. We are indeed mad as hell and we aren’t gonna take it anymore.

And this is all I’ll say on this issue. Love you, Tom. Julia

P.S. Nasty comments will be deleted.

 

Dear Tom, Oscar says, people shouldn’t have to apologize for being successful.

Oscar is a Democrat. He’s a flaming liberal. He’s a bleeding heart liberal. He was arrested numerous times back in the ‘sixties. He burned his draft card. So he’s got street cred.

But he also works his ass off to support his family. (As do I.)

He says he is sick to death of the Democrats dumbing down the issues we face. He’s sick to death of gender, identity, and victim politics. He’s tired of the Democrats pandering to special interests– schmoozing with the fat cats while giving poor people a paternalistic pat on the head. Wink-Wink.

He says- Why would I vote for a Democrat when I see what they’ve done to this country over the past six+ years? Everyone is a victim. Nobody is responsible for himself or herself and his or her actions. Bigger government is not the answer.

My husband earns every dollar by the sweat of his brow. When I say he works his ass off I mean he works from 7 a.m. until 11 p.m. six days a week. He’s proud to be a doctor. He wants to help people. The government makes it nearly impossible for him to do his job. And live a reasonable life, as in have a weekend off once in a blue moon. Ask any doctor. They’ll tell you. Nobody wants their child to follow in his or her footsteps anymore. It sucks to be a doctor these days.

But Oscar asks, why is the Democratic party, the party to which I’ve been faithful my entire adult life, telling me I should feel guilty, that I should apologize for working hard? For being a success? Telling me I didn’t earn this money?

Oh, he is so mad. I’ve been mad for years at my own party. Yes, I am still a registered Democrat but at this point I would vote for a sea slug rather than vote for a Democrat. A sea slug has more integrity.

Coming soon – Yes Bacon!

XOXO! Julia