Thursday, March 29, 2018

Do you like age 59?

I do not like age 59.
It wouldn’t wish it on a swine.

I do not like the wrinkles plain
I would not like it on a train.
I do not like it here or there.
I do not like it anywhere.

My hair is grey, what hair is there
And that hair is spreading everywhere
It’s in my ears and in my nose
And do not even look down at my toes.

My nightly rises, my bones all creak
Why up so much? Don’t look, don’t peak

I can’t eat wheat, it makes me fart
And Pizza, oy!, it makes me shart

My eyes are fading, getting worse
Even my complaints have gone to verse

But I have a good life, a husband and a dog
My mind is clear, not in a fog

And so, I age, happy as can be
But still, I wish I was thirty three

Tuesday, March 27, 2018

Meme Alert

Reality and Why the Country Dosen't Speak the Same Language on Gun Violence

Americans have a hard time discussing gun regulations because we have different histories with guns.

For most of us older Americans, our history with guns is skeet shooting or hunting. For many veterans, guns were what kept you safe.

For kids now growing into adulthood, their history with guns is very different. The stats are that 25% of young people know  someone that has been affected by gun violence. But even more than that, they are subject to possible attack all the time.

Almost every school in America now has a lock-down drill.  Really, almost ever US school!

Think back when you were in school and you had earthquake or tornado drills. You learned to be wary of them. Now imagine that you had adults saying a tornado was a good thing. I know I am old, but we had drop and cover drills for nuclear bombs from Russia and they scared the shit out of me.

This is our children's reality. Of course they want sensible gun laws.

And finally.. this...

When You Have More Money Than Sense

An actual add on my feed today (p.s. - I would never get a dollar a wear out of these...)

Monday, March 26, 2018

Finally - A Good Use of the Internet

Finally a good use of the Internet.  Where to pee in New York (hopefully coming to other cities later!).

March For Our Lives

Eddie and I went to Washington  DC this week-end and participated in the March Four Our Lives. It was an uplifting and great event - only marred by the reaction from many afterwards.

There were about 800,000 people there, organized primarily by students. The speakers were intelligent, honest and committed. The thing I liked is that they weren't being crazy or unreasonable.

The advocated for better background checks, the end of sales of automatic weapons and the end of sales of high capacity magazines. They did not advocate outlawing guns, or hunting,  or hand guns for protection.  They were reasonable.

The media isn't able to hold its attention to such detail however, and so their reasonable ideas were meet with ridicule and misunderstanding from both the people on the street and legislators like Marc Rubio. But, at least he acknowledged them.

The March was uplifting and great. Afterward Ed and I visited Washington DC sights and had a great time, except after telling one Marine and his girlfriend that his dog was handsome (a dalmatian with a little bowtie) he sneered at Ed and I, "He's pro-gun."

That seemed to sum up our country right now. This guy didn't hear anything and assumed everyone up there was anti-gun.  We aren't.  My mom and Nick own plenty of guns. Ed's extended family includes plenty of hunters. We aren't anti-gun. We are anti-unregulated automatic weapons. We are anti-shooting school kids. Why is that so impossible to hear.

Friday, March 23, 2018

Hey, How Is That Mexican Paid For Border Wall Going?

So, it is a good time to check the status on The Wall.  That is the impenetrable construction on the US / Mexican border "from sea to sea". It will between 18 and 55 feet high (depending on when you checked with our VSG President).

Wall prototypes. Americans are not allowed to visit them (even though we paid $3.3 Million for them) because of possible "terrorist attacks"?
The cost was to cost $0 dollars to the US.  Remember this call and response?
      VSG Candidate Trump - "Who's going to pay for the wall?"
      VSG's Voters - "Mexico is!"

So that didn't happen.

When suggesting how much it would cost, Trump first said $4 Billion is all the wall would cost. I remember this as it was when Ed said, "$4 Billion. Shit just give him that money."

After a teeny tiny bit of push back, Candidate VSG Trump said:  $6 to $7 Billion.

Cost estimate of the wall post - inauguration: $12 Billion.

In January of  2017, Trump presented his first budget and wanted $18 Billion for the wall that Mexico would pay for.  (Here is where the cost of the wall exceeds the budget we spend on Judiciary - i.e. judges, courts and lawyers - in this country.)

Then Homeland security made a few estimates and changes. In February of 2017, DHS estimates:
  1. Wall not needed where the Rio Grande is (which is approximately 50% of our border).
  2. With this new change, cost of the wall from Homeland Security: $21.6 Billion (foxnews link)
So, we went from $4Billion -> $7 -> $18 -> $21 pretty quickly.  It stopped there though, right?  ROTFL!

This January, the VSG Administration upped the price tag to $33 Billion (link).

And then there is an independent estimate (link) summarized below.

As Bette Midler once said to the audience of the Academy of Motion Pictures , "How do you like it so far, kids?"

Congress Passed A Budget - Yikes

Congress has passed a budget.  And it is a doozy!

Given the Republican quotes and complaints about the Democrats and the national debt, you might think the Republican budget would lower the debt.

HA HAHAHA hahahahaha!!!!

Hummm.. no.

Well, maybe it is a smart plan? Nope - they defunded one group (ACORN) who has been defunct since 2009 - when the first budget cut funding for this group that registered low income people. Then cut and aste (and don't read) unless they insert something new.  Idiots.  Remember when Trump was going to force "Zero Based Budgeting" to undo this.  Come on - you remember...(link).

Maybe they fixed the DACA mess? Nope. Still broken. On hold based on court rulings. VSG Trump said this was the Democrats fault - even though he threw out the DACA rules.

Thursday, March 22, 2018

Presidential - In These Times

The standard for Presidential manners has fallen a bit.  But this is classy with a capital K.

Israel Eurovision Entry: WTF? or Fabuslous! Answer BOTH

This is Israel's Eurovision entry.  Sure, it's 50% What the Fuck Is This?, but the other 50% is Oh My God, I Fucking Love This!

(She uses the word fuck along with the parental modifier - so getting you ready).

Wednesday, March 21, 2018

Bullshit - Trump Leaked It

I love all these headlines that Trump is furious someone leaked that he congratulated Putin, even though the memos said not to, in ALL CAPS.

Duh! VSG* Trump Leaked This!!!

Look, for his supporters, it paints him as a rebel - which he loves.  It creates chaos in the West Wing - which he admits he loves. And it gives him a chance to fire someone later and suggest (without actually saying it) that the fire-e was the leaker.

It doesn't take a rocket scientist...

*Self-appointed Very Special Genius

If J Crew and Crazy Shirts Had A Really Ugly Baby

If J Crew and Crazy shirts had combined for this ad, it couldn't be more unappealing...

And it's Saks 5th Ave. - so ugly AND expensive.

As for that tag line "your new 9 to 5 starts at saks"... I don't think it does.

From the "hip" font in all lower case to the random underlining - this ad screams trying too hard.

Now I know you are saying, "Scott, what does this fabulous collection cost?"

Sorry I can't tell you.  I went to their web site via the add. It is late, takes multiple choices to list anything.. and the t-shirt and jackets aren't available on this site.

Other than that, aces.

Alan M. Dershowitz: Liar Here or Just Stupid

Well respected lawyer Alan Dershowitz has an opinion piece in which is annoying. One wonders if he is too old to remember everything (a sad statement because his mind is sharper than mine), or chooses to ignore information to make a slick click-bait post (which is worse, because it is then a lie by omission).

You can read the whole piece at the link or the first paragraph below.  But my point can be found right away. He states "There was no evidence of any crime committed by the Trump administration." And this original sin is why he says there should not be a special counsel. BUT, you idiot Alan, the special counsel was appointed because VSG Trump, by his own admission, fired the director of the FBI to stop the investigation of Russian meddling in our election.

Following his "logic", we had our intelligence agencies doing what he proposed, investigating Russian meddling in our election. This investigation directly lead to the firing of the FBI Director, and the Presidential direction for the FBI to stop the investigation. But that doesn't merit a special investigator???

See, you decide: Liar or Stupid.

Monday, March 19, 2018

Democracy Dies Without a Tear

President VSG Trump indulged in his favorite game, tear the country apart and spit on the constitution.

His tweet above is in reference to the firing of FBI Director Andrew McCabe. Andrew has been on Trump's shit-list since he contradicted our VSG President and said the FBI WAS behind James Comey and morale was good.

The publicly provided reason he was fired was due to a internal investigation, which is not complete and therefore could not be shared.

Sessions fired McCabe a Friday night (bury the news), the day before his 50th birthday and 2 days before his pension kicked in.

Oddly, right before Christmas, President VSG Trump noted that McCabe better be careful with only 90 days to retirement.  How amazing to know that he might be fired in the most humilitating way, 88 days before it happened.

Punishing FBI and Justice Department employees for doing their jobs is illegal. And here President Trump has publicly said he fired James Comey to stop the Russian investigation and then ruins the pension of a career FBI employee and Director that stepped in because VSG Trump fired Comey in a huff. ONCE our country - particularly Republicans - wanted us to follow the rule of law.  But not if it gets in the way of President VSG Tiny hands.

Sunday, March 18, 2018

Two comments on this look

We were in Palm Springs and looking at a very hip new hotel.  And then I saw this.


I mean I know why I hate it.

1) One of my step-mothers loved owls (or at least said she did so people got her shit-tubs of owls), and they still give me the heebee jeebees.  She was a neat freak, and all those unblinking owl eyes just waiting for you to make a tiny spill. 

2) It's not just an owl, it is a MACRAMÉ owl. Macramé doesn't work for me. It is uncomfortable, scratchy and the creator always wants you to display it.

On the positive side, I did talk to the deskman and we made fun of the ugly macramé owl. And he was cute.

Friday, March 16, 2018

This Has BUGGED Me For a While...

Fantastic Day in Anza Borrego Yesterday

Anza Borrego is a giant California state park in the desert. It is about 40 miles south of Plam Springs - as the crow flies, but not as one can drive.  There are mountains in between - so you go around and it is about 2 hours from Palm Springs or 90 minutes from here, Carlsbad, where Ed's meetings are.

There is a Palm Canyon hike which is about 3 miles round trip. I did it yesterday and it was fantastic.

Oddly, this is a hike I do occasionally, almost always in March.  It is kind of a birthday hike.

The ocotillo is blooming somewhere on the trip as you have to go down the mountain to get into the desert. And the variation in height gives different microclimates - so the ocotillo bloom along the mountain somewhere for a month.

Then there are the Big Horn Sheep. They are endangered, but these have been separated from other herds for so long, they have bred out most of their fear of people. And, in March, they are raising their young.  Since it was a very dry year, they come down to the oasis to drink.
I have a lot of pictures of this one, as he kept coming closer and closer.

This Bull was only about 20 feet from me for a while

Mom in front, 2 kids on the rocks behind her

Regarding the palm trees. These are one of the very very few stands of California Palm left in the wild.  They were very common thousands of years ago, but the desert grew and the palm groves collapsed.  The few stands of wild palms left are near oasis where water is forced to the surface. The California desert has quite a few of these oasis because of earthquakes / plate movement.

Friday, March 02, 2018


Perestroika: (noun) the policy or practice of restructuring or reforming the economic and political system. (...) perestroika originally referred to increased automation and labor efficiency, but came to entail greater awareness of economic markets and the ending of central planning. 

Perestroika: (Definitive Noun) The second and concluding part of Tony Kusher's revelatory theater piece, Angels in America.

Last night I wished I had someone to hug and talk to and scream with. Perestroika knocked me the fuck out. I don't have the proper words to fully explain it.

Photographed by Annie Leibovitz, Vogue, February 2018

Angels was written and workshopped in Los Angeles and I saw it at the Mark Taper Forum, before it went to London and New York the first time in 1991 / 1992. And the end of the play (part 2) is bittersweet. A defiant Prior Walter vows to live on and beat AIDS.

When I saw it in 1992, Stephen Spinella issued that as hollow scream against a killer that we all knew would beat him as it beat so many of our friends.

Last night Andrew Garfield gave that same line as a quiet promise that turned out to be true for hundreds of thousands of my peers and friends - and heartbreakingly false for thousands more.

Last night, I sat there and listened and cried. And then laughed and stood up and applauded with the theater through multiple curtain calls.

And then looked around, wiped my eyes and thought, "fuck me" - because I lacked the even internal words to emotionally explain what just happened.

I really though nothing could ever touch that first impression of Angels in America. The perfection of Stephen Spinella, Ron Leibman, Kathleen Chalfant and Joe Mantello is like a delicate, flawless memory frozen in time.  This cast didn't change those memories, but did bring me back to that place - that momentary balance where good and terrible hang in the scales and we scream and push down on a side that isn't going the way we want.

This cast hues close to the original in delivery, but some how makes it their own. Sure, there are moments that aren't (yet) perfect. Andrew Garfield is playing a caricature of gay may, but that is how the part is written. And Lee Pace, amazing though he is, still needs to work into this cast - Russel Tovey was their Joe Harper in London and you see them struggling to react to Pace and his choices.  But Nathan Lane blew out my worries as Roy Cohn.

I fear I am going to see it again and again.  I only saw the first Angels in American once (it is a 2 part show, each part about 3 1/2 hours). But before I couldn't go back because I couldn't let me heart break again. Now I would go back because I want that same heart mended.  In this case, time has healed a thousand wounds.
The amazing cast: Amanda Lawrence, Lee Pace, Denise Gough (Harper!), Nathan Lane, Andrew Garfield, James McArdle (Louis!), Nathan Stweart-Jarret (Belize!), Susan Brown - the body stocking people did.. well you have to see it.

Thursday, March 01, 2018

For Fuck's Sake - Now We HAVE To go

(wapo story link)

Mascot of the Month: Anna May Wong

Never before have I lifted my Mascot directly from another source, but I am today. Because... well I admire Anna May Wong in many ways and TCM has a great bio of her - and her movies are showing this Sunday on TCM.

A Very Young Miss Wong
from 1934
The beautiful and talented Anna May Wong (1905-1961) made history as the first Chinese-American Hollywood star and the first Chinese-American actress to gain international recognition. Despite her relatively short life, she had a long career that encompassed silent and sound film, stage, television and radio. Without the limitations imposed by racism, she might have enjoyed even more success and fame. Nevertheless, TCM celebrates Wong's achievements with a night featuring four of her films from the 1920s and '30s.

Wong was born Wong Liu Tsong in Los Angeles to second-generation Chinese-American parents and began performing bits in silent films at the early age of 14. Within a couple of years, she was receiving screen credits in such films as Bits of Life (1921), acting opposite Lon Chaney, who appeared in stereotypical "yellowface." Wong's breakthrough performance came in The Toll of the Sea (1922), playing Lotus Flower in this adaptation of Madame Butterfly, and she achieved international stardom after appearing with Douglas Fairbanks in The Thief of Bagdad (1924).

Chaney appeared again as Chinese in the title role of Mr. Wu (1927, also Silent Sunday Night), with Wong in a supporting role as the friend of the Chaney character's daughter (Renée Adorée). When the friend becomes pregnant by an Englishman, ancient law demands that she be killed by her father. Chaney's elaborate makeup is of special interest, as is the updated musical soundtrack with a score composed, produced, edited and mixed by Maria Newman, who also conducts the Viklarbo Chamber Symphony. The restoration featuring this score was first seen on TCM in 2000.

Piccadilly (1929), another silent, was filmed by British International Pictures during one of Wong's sojourns abroad, and directed by Ewald André Dupont. The film offers one of her best showcases and demonstrates what Hollywood missed in the way of a sensual and dynamic leading lady. Her performance in this film has been compared to that of Greta Garbo and Louise Brooks in some of their vehicles. Wong plays Shosho, a dishwasher at the Piccadilly Club, a London nightspot where she becomes an unexpected sensation as a dancer. Along with Wong's dazzling performance, there are early bits by Charles Laughton and Cyril Ritchard. The 2004 restoration includes a musical score by Neil Brand. 

Brawell Fletcher and Anna May Wong in Daughter of the Dragon directed by Lloyd Corrigan 1931

Daughter of the Dragon (1931), a Paramount release, stars Warner Oland as Dr. Fu Manchu, top-billed Wong as his unwitting daughter and Sessue Hayakawa as a young man who wants the daughter to help him in foiling Manchu's plots. The melodrama again casts Wong as an exotic dancer, and she further demonstrates her star appeal despite the potboiler aspects of the story.

Shanghai Express (1932), also released through Paramount, is a Marlene Dietrich vehicle directed by Josef von Sternberg that emerges as perhaps their best and most entertaining collaboration. Dietrich plays Shanghai Lily, an adventuress living by her wits on the coast of China during the country's 1931 civil war. Wong is her Chinese sister-in-sin and a defender of the Republic of China. The men in their lives include Clive Brook and Oland. The film won an Oscar for Lee Garmes' shimmering cinematography, with additional nominations for Best Picture and Director.

From Shanghai Express
Wong grew frustrated by the dwindling range of roles she was being offered in the U.S., where the Asian parts routinely went to Myrna Loy or other Caucasian actresses in "Oriental drag." She frequently traveled to Europe in the late 1920s and early '30s, finding more rewarding stage and film work there. In Hollywood, one of her biggest disappointments was the refusal of MGM to cast her as O-Lan in the 1937 film version of Pearl S. Buck's The Good Earth, a role that went to Austrian actress Luise Rainer.

In the 1930s and '40s Wong appeared in several low-budget films, doing her best to ensure that her Chinese characters were seen in a positive light. She moved into television in the 1950s before returning to film and playing Lana Turner's housekeeper in Portrait in Black (1960). She was planning for a role in the film version of Flower Drum Song (1961) when she died in 1961 at the age of 56. Her legacy remains strong - especially in the Asian-American arts community, where annual awards are presented in her name in the fields of movies and fashion.

by Roger Fristoe

Another site that has a beautiful tribute to Anna May Wong is The Red List.

So Help Me Guns.. er .. God

Not an ironic joke (LINK)...