Category Archives: politics

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

 

 

 

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Dear Tom, You don’t prop a woman on Coumadin up against a cement post…

and hope she’ll stay put, not when she’s reportedly feeling weak and lightheaded and has no motor control. I’ve been a hospice nurse for over 20 years. Prior to that I was an ICCU/CCU charge nurse. I’m married to a doctor.

Hillary Clinton is a sick woman. This election is causing people who are normally clear-headed and reasonable to dismiss things that should be of major concern. The mainstream media is contorting itself, squeezing into clown cars, burying their collective heads in the sand, trying to ignore the evidence staring them in the face.

This is sexist? It’s a conspiracy? She stumbled? She tripped?

Are you effin’ blind???

As an RN and a human being, watching that video made me sick to my stomach. I was horrified! The poor woman! What is wrong with all of you???

Coumadin is a blood thinner. The biggest rule about Coumadin? No, it’s not avoid leafy greens. It’s don’t fall. If you fall on your head you can suffer, in layman’s terms, a brain bleed. If you are on Coumadin and you fall on your head, you can die.

It’s obvious to me that Mrs. Clinton’s handlers (and likely Mrs. Clinton) are way too concerned with appearances. There is too little concern for her well-being. She should have been in a wheelchair, or they should have laid her down on the ground, and above all, she should have been taken to a hospital.

Mrs. Clinton did not stumble. Nor did she trip. SHE HAD NO MOTOR CONTROL. SHE HAD NO MORE MOTOR CONTROL THAN A PARAPLEGIC OR AN AGED POLIO PATIENT OR AN ALS PATIENT OR, YES, A PARKINSON’S PATIENT.

For crying out loud, press people! Use your brains! You are supposed to be intelligent. You are supposed to ask questions. Ask what medications she’s taking prn- as needed. Where are today’s Woodward and Bernstein???

Mrs. Clinton and her handlers were so worried about not calling attention to the situation that they put her in danger. *Mrs. Clinton had no ability to protect herself.* She was propped against a cement pillar and had one woman holding her arm. She could easily have collapsed, broken her arm or her hip, hit her head and died.

Unbelievable. Unbelievable.

Dear Tom- Those who live in a bubble don’t understand that not everyone has it easy.

bubble

Oscar works with a physician who lives in a well-off area of Palo Alto. She and her family live in the high-tech bubble surrounded by other high-tech bubblers. Other than her once a month drive to Oakland for admin meetings, she rarely leaves her bubble.

A number of years ago, her husband, a techie engineer, worked for a startup and made millions when it was sold. Now he works for a big time high-tech company and, yes, makes tens of millions of dollars a year.

Their children attended private schools. Their son went to Stanford and now works for a startup. He’s made millions and plans to return to Standford for his PhD in something or other. Their daughter attends a very expensive college.

When they travel overseas, which they do often, they travel first class. Do you know how much it costs to travel the world first class?

Yesterday she said to my husband, “You know, young people have it great these days. They get out of college and within six months they’ve made a few million dollars.”

Oscar was flabbergasted. He said his mouth dropped open. He asked her, “Do you know what it’s like for most young people in this country?”

She looked confused. “Well, it’s like that,” she said. “They all get rich.”

Oscar said, “You live in the wealthiest neighborhood in the wealthiest part of the Bay Area. Do you know what it’s like in the Central Valley? In the North Bay? In Solano County? In Oakland? In Richmond? Do you know anyone who lives in the Midwest or the Rust Belt? Do you know what happens to those kids, to those families? Do you read about what’s happening in other parts of this country?”

Again, she seemed confused. “But they have the same opportunities…”

“No,” Oscar said. “They don’t.”

He said she’s never ridden BART (Bay Area Rapid Transit) or left the freeway on her drive into Oakland – in fact she’s scared to death to leave her bubble. But apparently it’s never occurred to her that there are actual people living actual lives out there.

(Whenever I have to drive a kid to the Oakland Airport I’m all over Oakland searching for one particular burrito place- a real dive- in a real bad neighborhood. But both my daughters insist this place makes the best burritos in the world. In fact, the last time married daughter was here she made me detour so she could buy one to eat on the plane and another for her husband. It survived in her purse through two flights, a long layover, and a two-hour ride home from Billings. Still, finding the place and getting her to the airport on time was insane. And I’m not stupid enough to go there at night. Generally if I have to go to Oakland or San Francisco I first take a bus to Vallejo, then a bus to the El Cerrito BART Station, and then I take BART and walk to my destination. Or I take the ferry from Vallejo. Easier than getting lost. Truly, if you want to know how the other half lives, take BART.)

This woman has never seen patients outside of her bubble. You know, she sees the kind of people who can afford plenty of organic fruits and veggies and nuts and grass-fed meats or have the luxury of becoming raw foodies if they prefer… The people with au pairs and personal chefs and trainers or free access to a training facility and a nutritional educator at their high-tech company. They live in secure neighborhoods.

The conversation Oscar repeated to me blew my mind. It is, as we speak, blowing my mind.

Her life is good. She’s a physician. She can’t possibly be so stupid as to think the entire world lives like she does. Or is she?

I don’t know. I only know she’s surrounded by a bunch of people who see the world exactly the same way she does.

My husband and I both work in one of the most depressed areas of the Bay Area. You. Have. No. Idea. How. Bad. Things. Are.

Oh my gawd. I’d get into the politics of the entire situation but then I’d probably get hate email.

Holy shite, Tom!

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, I don’t see the point…

2015 has been exhausting, both for me, personally, and for our nation and our world. I’m plumb tuckered out.

I’m tired of blogging – an exercise which I suspect means little these days.

I’m tired of the publishing wars. Legacy publishing versus indie publishing versus far too many authors I know who are now poor as church mice, homeless even- authors who once upon a time, as in three or four years ago, made bundles of money.

Now me, I’ve never made bundles so I’ve never spent bundles. As they say– don’t give up the day job. Oh, a couple years ago, 2010-1013, the world was a much different (and more hopeful) place. I made a bunch. I sold lots of books. The life of writing was good and I felt inspired to write more and more and more.

These days, not so much. In fact, I find myself less and less interested in engaging the market, i.e., readers, and I have little interest in promotion. To be honest, I find it hard to muster the energy. Attempts to engage, attempts to promote, don’t sell books anyway. So engagement, just like blogging, is another exercise in futility.

But what about that pot of gold, you ask? What about that lightening strike? The newly discovered land? Well, I ain’t holding my breath. Never have.

You know, I’ve read those books – the strike it rich quick books – those books that have caught fire, those six-figure signings, and except for the very first book in the Hunger Games series, those six-figure books bored me to tears. Whatever it was about those books that caught fire did not ignite the fires within me. Couldn’t even make it through the first five pages of a couple of them.

BORING…

More and more I find myself buying nonfiction and re-reading my old favorites in the fiction genre.

But do I plan to quit altogether? Quit writing? Huh. Good question. Maybe. I’m working on a short story as we speak. I have a re-release scheduled for February or March. I have a number of books in the queue. Maybe I’ll finish them, maybe I won’t.

Regardless, I am convinced I’ll be appreciated after I’m dead. My stuff is good. Someday someone will realize it.

In the meantime:

I’m busy with family and friends. I’m traveling. I’ve got bushels and bushels of lemons to juice for lemon curd. I have to figure out how to halter break my steer, Hank. All in all, while my appreciation and affection for the beauty in life continues to grow, my attachment to the publishing world diminishes.

And I’m okay with that.

I miss you. 2015 was a sucky year for you and your family. They lost you. I lost you, my dear dear friend.

I look forward to 2016. The number fifteen has always bothered me in any case. I think it’s a bad luck number. 2015 has been proof of that for so many people.

Anyway, I’m tired– was up the entire night with a sick dog. No, not a kid although I did have a couple kids home– a sick dog. When I say the entire night I mean exactly that, the entire night. Oscar slept through the whole thing. But then that’s typical for Oscar. He sleeps the sleep of the dead. I wake if a neighbor three doors down drops a pin. Onto plush carpet.

The best blog around? The one worth reading? Marylin’s – Things I Want to Tell My Mother. Her recent post is frame-worthy: The Gift of Words. Go read it, you’ll love it.

All right, Tom, maybe I’ll re-watch the genius Big Bang episode (The Opening Night Excitation) and go to bed!

I love you, Tom. Here’s to the approaching New Year.

XOXO! Julia

 

 

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