Saturday, December 31, 2016

Archive: Writing

These are essays from the Diaryland Archive. Each opens in a new window.


...and I couldn't have done it without Mr. Coffee...


Video meliora proboque; deteriora sequor

Thursday, December 29, 2016

The Hitchhiker's Guide to America: 2016 Edition

I am not suggesting that Douglas Adams was like some kind of prophet or anything like that. 'Cuz I, um, totally don't think that. That would be insane. *cough* Here's what I will say: If you already know where your towel is, then you're a cool frood and we can totally sass a Pan Galactic Gargleblaster sometime, dude, hey, let me know when you wanna hitch a ride with some Dentrassi, those guys don't give a wet slap about anything but food and drinks and having a good time.If you do not know where your towel is, well...

Wednesday, December 28, 2016

Today in Portland
There wouldn't need to be a "policy" to tax CEOs who earn 100x that of their employees if the system worked the way it was supposed to work in the first place. I'm glad they're trying, but does anyone think this policy won't also have some crazy loophole?

These people say "loophole" like it's an Easter egg they happened across to level up in the game of life. Loopholes aren't GOOD things, you know. Loopholes are bad, and they are woven deliberately into the language when they write up the tax policy so that they can be exploited by the highest earners.

That happens, and we all let it. It's bullshit. There is plenty of money for feeding the hungry and sheltering the homeless. The system is set up so our combined pool of taxes lift the poor & unfortunate out of poverty as well as build our roads and schools. But the Romneys and Trumps of the world are gaming the system. Tax shelters are more important to these people than shelters for women and poor children. Until the same payroll tax that we all pay is applied to investment income above $250K, then the rest of us still don't have a fighting chance to get ahead here. But good try, Portland, I hope it works. I truly do. ∎

Volume 1, Issue 2

In his wildly popular sci fi account chronicling the end of the world, Douglas Adams imagines a guidebook to the universe that is so massive it only exists in electronic form, you swipe a screen to access anything you want to know about the entire galaxy. This was 1978, you guys. We had vinyl and 8-track tapes, and the OS of my favorite toy was a light bulb. No, not the EasyBake Oven. Lite Bright — you can paint with light, motherf***er.

Lesser men than Adams have been called "Prophet." Respect.

You Can Panic Now

On the cover, in "large friendly letters," the guide said, "DON'T PANIC." In literary circles, it is understood that expression along these lines has the opposite effect. Essentially, Douglas Adams was saying, "Panic." It's like when you tell someone hysterical to "calm down."

In the guide, along with proving that God does not exist, are other helpful tips for navigating the galaxy, such as how to hitch a ride on a passing star ship and where to get laid while planet hopping on a budget. Also, Douglas Adams has something to say on the topic of dolphins.

Artwork by acidebetta
“Curiously enough, the dolphins had long known of the impending destruction of the planet Earth and had made many attempts to alert mankind to the danger; but most of their communications were misinterpreted as amusing to punch footballs or whistle for titbits, so they eventually gave up and left the Earth by their own means shortly before the Vogons arrived.

The last ever dolphin message was misinterpreted as a surprisingly sophisticated attempt to do a double-backwards-somersault through a hoop whilst whistling the ‘Star-Spangled Banner’, but in fact the message was this: So Long, and thanks for all the fish.”
 ― Douglas Adams, The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy

Douglas Adams was writing about the Rapture. Consider "dolphin" as symbolic of intelligent, clever and generally well-liked creatures. Almost magical. Like David Bowie, for example. This isn't something you'll find in Cliffs Notes, but you can trust the stalwart Interpreters of Literature on this one — while you were outside sportsing, we were reading everything and talking about it over our inhalers and various collections of comic books, cards and action figures.

If Douglas Adams was a modern day prophet, it follows, then, that Donald Trump is the symptom of a growing sickness that's been festering since the 1980s. Fareed Zakaria delivered the message that, without an emergency Trumpectomy, the cancer would ultimately destroy democracy. Is it a coincidence that David Bowie died from cancer after an eighteen-month battle? 

Eighteen months from Trump announcing his toxic candidacy, the dolphins began to depart the planet. 

Starman Hitches a Ride

Soooo, mankind might have to come to terms with something right about now: The Rapture happened and we didn't make the cut. 2016 was the end of days. As existentialist philosopher Jean Paul Sarte famously opined, hell is other people. We are the "other people." 

Welcome to Hell

Sorry, dude. We tried. Wanna hang? Netflix 'n chill until the apocalypse? There's nothing you can do. I might as well try those hot Cheetos now. 

So long, and thanks for all the fish!

NBS News, Dec 28 2016

Tuesday, December 27, 2016

Sherbert or Sherbet?


Update Jan 10, 2018:
It has come to my attention 
that I was at Stop n Shop 
when I took this photo, 
not Star.

Saturday, December 24, 2016

Merry Gen X'mas from our home to yours, y'all

Merry Christmas, everyone.
We put up a quick Joe Show.

Friday, December 23, 2016

This year's Christmas card

Losing Your Religion? Consider an Upgrade!

A Short Primer 

for the 

Spiritually Conflicted

If your thousands-of-years-old religion's definition of "decency" requires you hold hands in fellowship with others so you can hate better, as a group, then you will definitely encounter a great many problems navigating 21st century America. If you have been casting about for guidance out of the God quagmire, this primer is for you.

Despite mankind's tendency towards marginalizing ("othering") itself, in modern society this practice is beginning to look stupid, and even devout Christians are starting to question the "rightness" of hate in the name of God. The colloquial term for this emergent cognitive dawning is "woke." Though loud, the voices that continue demanding religion reigns over law are diminishing, leaving mostly red-faced zealots, con artists and madmen still preaching hellfire, beatings and jail for perfectly nice, normal people who are merely trying to live a decent life with friends and loved ones. Are humans evolving towards a new Enlightenment, or gradually reverting to a kind of merry Polytheism? The right answer may be somewhere in the middle. But there's an indisputable truth that even modern Christians are beginning to embrace: Decent human beings simply do not act like assholes in the name of God, or any gods.

Given the awkwardness, no one will hold it against you if you find yourself wondering whether or not you should upgrade your religion. To determine if upgrading is the right choice for you, ask yourself the following questions:
  • What are the risks of keeping everything the same?
  • But will upgrading solve my problems? 
  • Do I know how to perform this upgrade?
  • Is it worth it to replace parts?

1. What are the risks of keeping everything the same?

For this section. let's begin with an exercise. Try this exercise at home. Use extra space if necessary.

Define it to Overcome it

How old is your phone? When did you get it? When you got that phone, what were your reasons for upgrading from your old phone? Ask each member of the group to provide three reasons why they felt they must get a new phone: 
  • ___________________ 
  • ___________________
  • ___________________

If you put down "It was too old," that's a good start. If your phone is, say, five years old, your whole world is at risk of becoming obsolete, is it not? And when you got your new phone, ask yourself, did it come with a manual for the abacus, an ancient device Wikipedia suggests came into use in 500 BC? It does not. That would be silly, using such an old manual. Nothing in it applies, does it? Next, carefully compare and contrast the moral code you renew each day and defend with your very life against the reasons why you upgraded your phone...a device that didn't even exist when Generation X was born. You subscribe to a belief system that suggests, in an infinite universe spanning an infinite number of worlds on an impossible-to-know number of galaxies, that nothing has changed in *infinitaliauries [*See Gen X Anthology].

"But why upgrade?"

Because whether it's your phone or your bible, at some point that lifeline in your hand is, simply put, too old. What had once been ideal no longer works. Your friends can't connect with you anymore. The platforms you are accustomed to using are no longer supported, even by those who created them, and eventually your entire operating system will be rendered obsolete.

2. But will upgrading solve my problems?

If you find yourself becoming ashamed, embarrassed or outright appalled by the terrible way your peers treat people that do not attend your same exact house of worship, or do not live, act, talk or look just like you, then congratulations. Your conflicting feelings are the signal that your intelligence is intact. It means you're actually a decent person. Your heart, as they say, is in the right place. What do you do about it? You have several options.

If you're simply enduring the occasional pang of guilt for ostracizing members of your own family, friends and total strangers that have nothing whatsoever to do with you, and if you've run out of excuses to justify the behavior of your peers and leaders, then the problem can probably be solved by swapping out the components that no longer work.

Other issues have more complicated solutions that may extend further than a basic part swap can fix. For example, if the only reason you don't go around bashing people in the face with a beer mug is because there's a religious book that says not to do that, then it may be that you lack the necessary empathy for all living things, or you may have insufficient education, are gripped with some vague kind of general rage, or are experiencing a combination of all three. Solving this problem with an upgrade may not be possible. Professional help is strongly recommended.

3. Do I know how to perform this upgrade?

For this section, please refer to Chapter 4, Section B, Who Is This God Person, Anyway 2: Electric Boogaloo.

Upgrading may be as complex as finding another religion altogether, but it may also be simple given what parts of your bible you use to beat people over the head with; you may find it easier to upgrade in steps. You can retire the glaringly insane parts. For example, for the numerous Christian organizations currently still using a bible as their manual, retiring Leviticus and Deuteronomy may do the trick.
 [*See chapter 9: Actually That's Not Even The Bible.]

If you become enraged 
when you hear "Happy holidays!"
then please do start small for your own safety and that of others in your community.

4. Is it worth it to replace parts? 

While selectively replacing obsolete parts of your church *creed may grant some peace of mind for now, note that you will still be a card-carrying member of a group that supports hateful name-calling, ostracizing, spitting on, beating and killing of fellow human beings who don't happen to be you. Always research a potential upgrade beforehand to determine if it's feasible given your family situation, where you are living, and your level of comfort with embracing a new belief system.

The question you need to ask yourself is this: will replacing parts take you far enough towards inner peace? You love God, and you've read your bible cover to cover, but you're pretty sure that a tragic mass murder at a gay nightclub isn't any kind of fulfilled prophecy. The Deuteronomy example referred to earlier makes for a good exercise, because this is the scripture that is widely interpreted (controversially) as condemning homosexuality.
[*See chapter 9: Actually That's Not Even The Bible.]
"Their wine is the poison of dragons, 
and the cruel venom of asps." 
(Deut. 32:33). 

But, soft! In recent centuries, the church has swapped out "dragons" for "serpents," lest anyone suspect that this is just a book written by well-meaning thinking people who were using the best information they had available to them in their time and place in history. So who did they ask before deciding that the "dragons" bit was what needed upgrading? Did they ask the cartographers who'd replaced "Here Be Dragons" on the map once they actually went there and dragons? Next time there's a tweak to the language, probably to upgrade "serpents" to "snakes," perhaps it would be a good idea to consider taking some suggestions about one or two other changes. Perhaps your church has a suggestion box. Suggest that human sexuality is far more complex than "gay people are dragons."

Community Enrichment Exercises
  • Teach your kids the "do unto others" bit. Ask each child to remember a time when they felt bullied, then discuss as a group what is the bully thinking when deliberately causing hurt to others? Talk about "decency."
  • Push Commandments 2, and 5 through 10, as those are a great start for kids in terms of a general guideline on how to not be an asshole. Swap out 1, 3 and 4 for those "Goofus and Gallant" comics in Highlights Magazine. 
  • Discuss with peers how the bible specifies the exact same punishment for eating bacon as it does for homosexuality. So next church breakfast, observe in a loud voice how odd it is that nobody is actually getting smote down into a slurry of pork and flannel, and maybe pass the maple syrup along with a mildly worded suggestion that you congregates all ease the hell up on the gays.

Give Yourself Time

You don't know how far back it goes since your family and community have been using _______________ (insert your church affiliation) as a virtue signal, irrespective of how many fellow human beings are getting marginalized and worse in the name of your church.
Intellectually you know that being _______________ (insert your church affiliation) is a personal lifestyle choice, not something that should be used as a cudgel with which to bludgeon 325 million other Americans into playing a massive national game of "Monkey See, Monkey Do" with you.

Put simply: you know that your religion is yours. You know that it feeds your soul. You know in your heart that you are lucky to live in a great nation of laws where you live free to practice openly and without fear of harm by others. Perhaps in your zeal, you may have forgotten that it is the law, and not your church, that grants you that freedom. You may have let slide in recent years that the same law applies to each and every human being in the country, including those who choose to opt out altogether. Freedom from religion, as noted by the late Frank Zappa, is an equally valid lifestyle.

You can't simply stop being _______________ (insert your church affiliation) overnight. You are so used to hating your neighbor by now that you can't figure out when you learned to act this way.

You Were Taught To Hate, But There's Hope

It's not your fault. You were taught to hate in the name of God and it is understandable that you are feeling uncertain and lost in a world that seems to have left God behind. But it didn't! It's just that your church is clinging to an antediluvian notion of what "God" means. Loving God is wonderful, please continue. but make it a priority to un-learn hate. You have plenty of support if you want to try. What if you're happier? What if more people seem to like you a lot better? What if you take down your self-imposed fence, talk to your neighbor and find out you have everything in common except the deity you were taught to worship, or your skin color or some other thing that happened to you arbitrarily based on happenstance of birth? The worst that could happen is you find out you still don't care for that guy, but for a real reason, like maybe he doesn't recycle or he introduced you by name personally to each of his Chia Pets, in which case, sure, build a real fence and keep an eye out for weird goings on next door. But the best thing could happen, too: fellowship, in the best sense of the word.∎

Area Photographer Plagued By Nightmares
"I guess I was absent the day Sister Eileen taught us God Hates Fags,"  
says local photographer, 
raised Catholic, name withheld out of fear of the blond kid in the red shirt.


Sunday, December 18, 2016

The Star Wars Holiday Special : Merry Gen X'mas

Long ago in a galaxy we 40-somethings refer to as "our childhood," there existed a linoleum-tiled, imagination-fueled, cherry Kool-Aid world of motorized toys and remote control toys and really rad high tech toys like Lite Brite and 2XL. Sometimes these toys were entertaining for a solid hour or two. Most of the time, we made our own entertainment. Like Shock Tag. A shag rug, socks on your feet and at least one sibling to shock with your finger is all you needed. A kid in the mid-to-late 1970s America could make a pretty good time out of not-much-at-all. We HAD to...dude, the 70s were so weird. That's what my book is about...if I ever finish it.
Our first tablet.

The adults made their own fun, too. They HAD to...their shows and news came on TV at specific times on specific channels, and the TV went off overnight. I need you to understand: I don't mean the TV got turned off. I'm saying the transmitter shut down its signal and went to static until morning.

Friday, December 16, 2016

It Was An "I Want Yule" Party

On Saturday afternoon, The I Want You opened for the Weisstronauts' annual holiday bash. Joe and I took the opportunity to host a lovely after party. An "after party" that starts around dinnertime? Perfect. These days, that is about my speed. That's not an "aging scenester" thing...yes, I'm aging but even when I was the right age to head out to someone's basement at 3am after band load-out, I didn't. I pretty much always wanted to go home and jettison my bra and let the silence supercede the deafening ring of rock and banter. I loved going out to rock shows, but my love affair with "silence" burns quietly eternal.

Thursday, December 15, 2016

It's "fuck this shit" out tonite

#brrr #myfacehurts #freezingmyballsoff

Saturday, December 10, 2016

There is only one thing in the world worse than being talked about, and that is not being talked about. - Oscar Wilde

Wednesday, December 7, 2016

Company Holiday Gathering

One of the great many benefits of a small company, especially a fierce little start-up, is the chance to make new friends. 

It's a perfect, awesome winter night in the North End. 

Cheers, y'all. 💝

Tuesday, December 6, 2016

Smile When You Bless The Gagh!

Some are born dorks. Some achieve dorkness. Some have dorkness thrust upon them.

Today on Deep Space Nine (Netflix), Worf told everyone that the legendary Klingon warrior Kahless had said "Great men do not seek power, they have power thrust upon them." I yelled, "That was Shakespeare, mofo!" Then I messaged Joe this outrage. He was at work. So he said, "I'm gonna go find some lunch." What he meant by that is, "You're a huge dork." Later when I explained in greater detail, knowing that he wanted to hear the whole thing, with pictures and footnotes, he said "You're a huge dork," and then added "...but you're MY huge dork" and made me a cup of green tea. You guys. I should not be finger-wagging about a Klingon on this, the feast day of Saint Nicholas. That's like watching Rudolph and telling everyone that Santa is a giant, skinny-ass dick. Okay, I DO do that when we're watching Rudolph. Santa is a tool.

Santa Is A Klingon!

Painting of St. Nicolas, our only Klingon Saint.

But allow me to explain. 

The figure of Saint Nick is said to have inspired the legend of Santa Claus and the legend of Krampus. Santa & Krampus, so compounded, such a figure can be profiled as follows: 


Painting of Kahless the Unforgettable,
from the Memory Alpha Wiki.

Imagine a mythical figure who is fiercely honorable, yet ruthlessly rigid about the line between right and wrong, with a beastly nature who is quick to punish those who have acted badly, but who respects and rewards those who act with honor? 


Yeah, that's a Klingon right there, y'all. Fa la la la la, la la, la laaaggghhh! Today is a good day to diiiiie...!🎅

Related: Happy Saint Nick's Feast Day!

As an aside: I find lots of threads connecting the plays of William Shakespeare and the Star Trek universe. The Klingons aren't the only ones who pull from the bard, but they're certainly super duper good at it. Here's a little piece of fun for you...

Who Said It? The Klingon or the Bard?

1. "Great men do not seek power; they have power thrust upon them."

2. "If we are mark'd to die, we are enow to do our country loss; and if to live, the fewer men, the greater share of honor."

3. "Be not afraid of greatness: some are born great, some achieve greatness, and some have greatness thrust upon them."

4. "Today is a good day to die."

5. "Go honor the valiant who die 'neath your sword, but pity the warrior who slays all his foes."

6. "By the doom of death end woes and all."

7. "You cannot loosen a man's tongue with root beer."

8.  "A man cannot make him laugh, but that’s no marvel -- he drinks no wine."

9. "Life every man holds dear, but the dear man holds honor far more precious dear than life."

10. "Honor is more important than life."

Friday, December 2, 2016


I usually feel too old for Refuge Cafe.
Every time I go in there I can't help but think of how it used to look as Herrell's, such an Allston landmark.
But the young barista made the hell out of a hot chocolate for me today.
This was like a hot fudgey milkshake.
Well done. 

Hello Kitty

Neighbor kitty.

Thursday, December 1, 2016

Throwback Thursday: 1991

College of New Rochelle, New York

Someone sent me this photo. I'd never seen it, but I think it's the stage in Maura Ballroom.
I've got a vague recollection about being one of the students addressing some prospective freshmen,
or maybe it's an alumnae event.
I know it's not a party.
Those were my "not a party' flats and black velvet scrunchie.

Wednesday, November 30, 2016

Midnight Radio

There are 3 SuperLowBudge Radio shows on YouTube right now. More to come.

Please enjoy.

Saturday, November 19, 2016

Recipe: A Very Good Vegetable Soup

"Baby, this soup is outstanding."

"There's a secret ingredient."


"...okay, TWO secret ingredients."

Michelle & Joe's 5th Annual HollyDaze

If you're "new" please message for the address.

Friday, November 18, 2016

Worrier Pose

Image: sent to me, don't know who drew this!

Thursday, November 17, 2016

Tuesday, November 15, 2016

Everything's Darker

Monday, November 14, 2016


The I Want You is playing Charlie's tonight.
Yeah but look at my husband's ass in them pants.

Oh, Nini...I get you, little pig

No Facebook for me, as of late, so what was the first thing I saw when I logged in today? Cynthia's post about her pet pig. Nini is a real life pig in the city! But she still forages. Will you look at the satisfied smile on that pig? Thought you'd all love this pig the way that I do. That'll do, Nini. That'll do.

Sept 29 Update:
I came back to tag "New York." Cynthia von Buhler is a gifted artist, writer and illustrator, and she produces and performs on various stages with bands and immersive theatre shows. 

If you have the means, by all means, do see/hear/experience something Cynthia.

Saturday, November 12, 2016


I figure I have more or less reached the age when it's time to contrib my version of the Tree of Life.
(Pastels on paper and digital paint)

Thursday, November 10, 2016

Reason #452

He's playing along to his favorite movie: Sixteen Candles.
I love him so much.
I can't believe I gave my panties to a geek.
I wish I were besties with Molly Ringwald just so I could text her and say "look what you did."

Tuesday, November 8, 2016

You guysz

I don beel so guh

Monday, November 7, 2016

Recipe: "Leftover" Chicken Pot Pie

This is only "leftover" chicken pot pie because I use the chicken soup from earlier in the week. 

This is a fast prep, and 45 minutes to bake. When you make a chicken soup, use ingredients that you think you'll like in a pot pie later. For example, I love to put a big bunch of spinach in my chicken soup, but if I'm planning on converting the leftover soup into a pot pie, then I won't add the spinach to the whole pot. I don't like spinach in a pot pie. So when you put the pot of leftover chicken soup in the fridge, know that you'll be converting that beauty into pot pie in a few days. It's kind of like you're cooking two meals at once.

Open Letter: The Night Before

Dear Friends,

I voted early. Tomorrow, November 8th, I've got sinus surgery to correct what's apparently been the root cause of my recurring troubles throughout my adult life, including sinus headache and ear infections. Put simply, I'm all jacked up in there. Since I'll be sleeping through the whole thing, that means that I won't be on hand all day for the election coverage. This is probably a gift to me, from the universe. So. Some thoughts on the eve of what will surely be an insane Tuesday.

First of all, I know I'm not the only one flat-out astonished that it's come to this. That Donald Trump ever became the actual real life Republican candidate. Do people understand the whole Trump...thing? I guess not. I guess just the fact of being on TV people? Maybe so, I mean parents are triggering new outbreaks of measles and mumps because some rando hair-do on TV told them to, so...USA! USA!

Look. I grew up in Connecticut, the part that's pretty close to New York. Here's the thing -- that part of Connecticut is a kind of woodsy enclave what they call a "bedroom community," meaning close enough to the city so people could drive or take the train. There, you talk about going into "the city" and doing some shopping. It's the Connecticut that roots for the Yankees (not the Sox), and we'd go to baseball games. Get some Italian ice in Little Italy, my parents saw a ton of Broadway shows and sometimes took us to Saturday matinees. I saw West Side Story with Rita Moreno as Anita. We listened to Howard Stern every morning before school. A lady named Liz Smith wrote a gossip column where "The Donald" and Ivana were always in her column for some glitzy reason or another. I'm saying this dude was around a lot, for us, and you know something? He was always a joke. There was never a time when Donald Trump represented anything smart, charming or admirable. He was this tacky society idiot that showed up on Howard Stern and tried to be funny. We cracked up, but if memory serves, Howard was just egging him on so we could all laugh at him.

New York in the 1980s: 
Howard Stern was a king. Donald Trump was a fool.

My working class family happened to be friendly with a number of rather affluent people. Very wealthy. Sprawling homes and land. They had homes in New York. They traveled the world, spoke several languages, played tennis and kept horses and that kind of thing. Lovely people who were nice to us, who seemed just comfortable and I guess what you might, today, call "woke." I have stories. But let me tell ya, I cannot recall knowing a single affluent person in my life that ever looked, sounded or acted like that crass, crude, blowhard Donald Trump. Money cannot buy grace. Dollars do not equal class. Plenty of people have money and gravitas. You can become obscenely rich without becoming obscene, but not that guy. And now he's running for President? How the f...?

And that is the primary problem that I have with Trump supporters. What exactly are they supporting? He doesn't know anything about anything. "He's a business man" is the top thing I hear these people say, and that is dumbest thing ever. First of all, what does that even mean? When I hear the "businessman" crowd cheering, I want to ask for a specific list of actual skills. Secondly, even if Trump were in possession of an outstanding business mind—he isn't, in fact it's well known that he's a straight-up crook—that quality does not meet the minimum requirements of the damn job. That's like saying your garbage man would make an excellent baker because he gets up early in the morning. There is no correlation.

Next problem I have with Trump supporters is more personal. You see, Hillary Clinton wasn't my favorite a year ago. I've got essays here in my blog that say as much. But over the past six months or so, I've done deeper digging, into her record, but truthfully, digging mostly into my own reasons for disliking her. I came up with dick. Nothing, zero. Just a vague feeling. So basically I was being ridiculous. I was an idiot.

You Don't Have To Feel Warm Fuzzies About Your Representatives

Without going too deep into a whole litany of findings, I'll just say that through a combination of research and contemplation, I'm all in for Hillary now. I'm with her. The fact is that she has been working her entire life since law school towards this day, and her record is stunning. Outstanding. More qualified a candidate, I don't think we have ever had, and I mean that sincerely. It isn't up for debate. Put her CV side by side with any other candidate. It's a fact -- she's the right person for right now. She might be the best POTUS we've ever had, flaws and all.

Finally, I want to make a point about the difference between conservatives and liberals. Being liberal means unconditional acceptance of, and empathy for, and if possible fellowship with people that aren't the exact same as you, thoughtful attention to preserving the planet's natural resources and limiting and repairing the impact of our our human footprint, and warmth and charity to shore up those less fortunate. That's the "liberal agenda." But this litany of hopes and dreams for the people of our country is what gets you the moniker "libtard." A brutal insult, and for what? For learning? For trying to be a decent person? I don't understand how it's bad to want everyone to be safe, educated, have enough food to eat, a home, clean water, clean does decency and equal rights and sharing become the evil thing, while people are applauding and supporting corrupt billionaires and politicians out for personal financial gain with no regard for anyone or anything? I guess if you, I'm sorry, I'm having a really hard time understanding, and I have tried and tried. I think that the reason these deplorable haters have been so far able to keep waving their signs and spewing just terrible, awful things is because "libtards" keep right on supporting their right to write those signs and say those things. We say hey, we may not agree with what you're saying, but we defend your right to say it. We say this even as they're calling us nasty libtard bitches. "Hang the bitch" and all the horrifying chants, and we're over here saying well, that's free speech. You know what? It's hate speech, actually. That's different. And I, for one, am done tolerating this hate. I retract my support. So I suppose I need to accept the label: I'm a libtard bitch, hi, how are you? Is it just me, or can I invite to go fuck themselves anyone who can't understand what's really going on here?

So, in sum, I'm pretty angry right now. Really, really angry. They've called me and my sisters nasty libtard bitches long enough now that, congrats Trumpers, you've summoned the seether, who is all in for Hillary, and I'm all done tolerating your ignorance, racism, misogyny and blind faith. Just so you know. That's where we're at, here. Because my bucket came up dry the last time I reached down for tolerance for the Trump fans, the 3rd party people, and the "anyone but Hillary" and "never Hillary" peanut gallery. This is important and you are blowing it. So say "Benghazi" or "emails" to me one more goddamn time, I fucking dare you.

Friends, good luck to you tomorrow. Good luck to me. Good luck to all of us,



Related: What Did I Miss?

Sunday, November 6, 2016

Michelle and the Very Odd Fellow

I approached his cab from behind, so I didn't get a good look at the driver. Given the unseasonably warm day, the driver's side window was down, so a friendly "hallooo, are you free, sir?" was enough to get a wave from a meaty hand attached to a hamhock of a forearm. I climbed into the back seat with my haul from Trader Joe's."Thanks! I over-bought. These bags are too heavy for walking home." I told the cab driver my address, just about two miles away, and he started the ignition and nosed the cab into Boston traffic.

He did not look into the rear-view mirror, he did not turn his head to check the blind spot. I did, reflexively. "We're good," I offered, though I got the distinct impression that he didn't care for my opinion on the matter. That's when I noticed that he couldn't turn his head more than a couple of inches. He was slumped in the driver's seat in an unnatural, off-kilter position with his bald head jutting forward, so it looked as though he'd leaned over to check the radio at some point and had stuck that way. He was a big fellow, in a big yellow polo shirt. All I could see from the back seat was yellow cotton-encased flab billowing into the center console, and that fleshy head the size of an overturned bucket seemingly fixed in place to look out the lower third of the front windshield. Scoliosis? Arthritis? Spina Bifida? I'd never seen someone drive a car in that position before. How odd. But whatever his ailment, he didn't seem to make it an issue, so no biggie. Homeward bound was I, with this very odd fellow at the helm, me in the back seat, hoping that he could see where he was going.

"Do you know how to get there?" I asked. Everyone knows my neighborhood, but it's thickly settled with a lot of one-way streets, so it never hurts to ask. He said that he knows the way, and added that he's been driving a cab for 20 years. Wonderful. But then he made a sudden turn, without signaling, in the completely opposite direction. Oh dear.

"Is this...a shortcut?" I asked. That's how you handle it when cab drivers go the wrong way, just in case they know something that you do not know, like a closed road ahead or construction. When he answered, I realized that he did not even remotely know where we were going at all, despite his confidence in turning that wheel and utterly despite my having just told him my street name very clearly. I asked "Is this...a shortcut?" He replied by saying the name of an entirely different street that is located way across town. He wasn't even close. I mean the street he said didn't sound even a little bit like what I'd just said. It was as though he'd made up, on the spot, where I lived without consulting me or something. So I repeated the name of my street louder, carefully enunciating. For good measure,  I spelled it, too. There was traffic, so it took a bit to get us turned around going the right way. Okay. That was quite odd. But maybe he can't hear very well, I reasoned. and figured that since he didn't see me, he can't read my lips.

No sooner did we get going the right way, the odd fellow told me that he did know a shortcut. Another sudden turn of the wheel, and then we were locked into taking, well, a longcut.

At This Point I Wanted To Say Some Shit

What I wanted to say: What the hell, man? You are terrible at this job. I've been in your cab for two minutes and you've already been wrong twice. Why don't I just direct you where to drive so we can end this whole thing quicker?

What I said: Nothing.

The radio was tuned to a talk show, the volume set very low. When he grunted in approval at something the radio host said, that's when I realized there was nothing wrong with this fellow's hearing. I recognized the radio host's voice. "Is that Howie Carr? Wow," I said. He said, "Yeah. Republican radio. Well, I call it Republican radio." I took a moment to ponder what he meant by "I call it..." since Howie Carr has been a nationally popular Republican radio host, columnist and author for decades.

What I wanted to say: Everyone calls it Republican radio. That's what it is. This is a Republican radio show that's on right now.

What I said: "I used to listen to Howie Carr every day on my commute. He's super-conservative, but he's also well-read, humorous and gives good radio. I haven't heard his show in years."

I left it at that. I could have said more. I did listen to Howie Carr during drive time for years, and I remember being entertained and sometimes even informed. But there were times I had to turn him off, for my own safety and that of other drivers, because he made me need both fists to be angry at the air with, plus some steering wheel pounding.

"I like this station," he said, then he called it the wrong call letters.

What I wanted to say: "No, this is WRKO."

What I said: Nothing.

"On weekends they have sixties music, oldies. I like that. You wouldn't think, on a Republican radio station, they'd play that music, but they do, I dunno why."

What I wanted to say: What the hell are you talking about? A listenership of old white people? That's the primary oldies demographic. "Oldies" is both what it is, and who it's for, at the same time.

What I said: "Well. Seems about right to me."

Now we were within sight of a big building and a car dealership. For some reason, he decided to inform me that New Balance owns that building, that dealership, and all of Braintree Street down from the Stop 'n Shop.

What I wanted to say: No, they do-fucking-not own that building. That building, and that dealership, have been owned by the Ciccolo family for decades. Two brothers run the whole thing. I have met them. And the new Braintree Street construction isn't New Balance, either. And the old building at the end near the Stop 'n Shop is owned by this lawyer whose office suite is on the 5th floor. I've been in his office dozens of times.

What I said: Nothing.

As he negotiated another left turn in our unnecessarily lengthy journey to my house, I guess he wanted some kudos. "Is this the fastest way you seen? Pretty good, huh?"

What I wanted to say: This is the dumbest route and you're an idiot.

What I said: "Well. Ya know. There are a number of ways to go. I gave up my car about 12 years ago, so I'm out of practice on the roads. Now my brain is rewired for walking and the bus."

He told me again that he's been driving a cab for twenty years. "Around here?" I asked. A less...confident...person would have heard the unspoken implication tacked to the end of that, to wit, "...because it doesn't seem like you know this area too well." But, quite sure of his rightness in all things, this fellow said, "Here, Roxbury, Dedham, all ovah." He asked if I remembered some business that had closed down about 15 years ago. I said no. He said, "What are you, about 65?"

What I wanted to say: "Are you fucking kidding me right now?"

What I said: "I'm 46."

"Oh," he said. "I figyid when you said you gave up yer cah you musta been in yer sixties." Since he can't turn around or look in the rearview, he hadn't seen me. I'm just a voice, to him.

What I wanted to say: That's quite a leap in logic. I have no car, so I'm 65? Is that the same Nothing that you use to reach all of your Nothing conclusions in Nowhere land?

What I said: "That's quite a leap in logic. I gave up my car because I no longer have to drive to work, I live in the city now, cars are expensive, it's hard to find parking here, and ultimately I don't need it. It had nothing at all to do with my age."

Howie Carr was still on the radio, introducing a guest, and the topic was, of course, the election. The very odd fellow said, "There is only one clear way to go. Trump can do no wrong, that's what I say."

What I wanted to say: Well, you could not be any more wrong.

What I said: "Well, you could not be any more wrong."

Because I'd had enough of this wrongness. This fellow was the wrongest person I had ever met, and my husband's parents think Paul Ryan is "an inspiration."

Finally, finally we reached my one-way street. I paid this very odd fellow who was blatantly, unequivocally wrong ten times within the span of a fifteen minute cab ride. I gathered my things in an awkward double-armful, and got the hell out of that cab. On the porch, I re-organized my bags to get a better grip for the climb upstairs. I dug out my keys, I got the mail out of the mailbox. As I stood on the stoop flipping through the envelopes, about to go inside, here comes the very odd fellow again, driving down my one-way street. He'd turned right, into another one way street that comes next after my street. Turning right is wrong. It just loops around.

"Guess I'm goin' the wrong way," he called out as he drove off. I still didn't get a very good look at him. Just the awkward lean of a sloping head, loose lobular ear flesh and a fleeting impression of close-set, droopy eyes.

I said to no one, "What an odd fellow." Yes. You are definitely going the wrong way. The wrongest possible way. Best of luck to you, sir.

Best of luck to all of us.∎

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Thursday, November 3, 2016

Throwback Thursday: 1994

I don't always "throw back" on Thursdays,
but when I do it's because I found a photo of Joe at 23.

Tuesday, November 1, 2016

Love My Committee Work. Hate The Bus.

I can never get back from my BU committee meeting in less than an hour and a half.
I hate the fucking bus. 

Monday, October 31, 2016

SuperLowBudge Radio: The Jellyfish One

It's been awhile, but I put up a new SuperLowBudge Radio hour'ish.

Friday, October 28, 2016

Freaky Friday 2017: Another Start-Up

[Downtown Crossing, Boston]

Interior, Awesome LLC

Software developer sits behind writer.
Both think, "How can they do that all day long?"
Cue swirly music.
Realizing they've exchanged bodies, they say,
 "Oh fuck. Call everybody and tell them what happened."
"Yeah we don't have time for this. We'll deal with this shit later."
"I just filed a new bug."
"I just closed it."
They high five and go back to work.

From the blogger known as 
"Lo🆆 â„ŦuDget 💲uperherĶĒ

Freaky Friday 2017: The Start Up

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