Saturday, June 11, 2016

Maybe You Had to Be There...

We like when the joke's on us. OK, sometimes not until years later, but we eventually come 'round.

But feeling acute embarrassment when you're the only one in the room is... weird. Until that moment where you realize it's actually pretty f-ing funny.

Btw, because this ends up being about something semi-obscure, everyone won't get it. That's actually fine by us because it means that number people will look at us from now on with a giant DOH over our us like a cartoon cutout.

(But if you don't get it, it's OK not to write that in the comments section. Really.)

Besides, this is less of a joke - or proof of our density - than it is more a result of not hearing something correctly. Still. We sure ran with it for a few minutes.

We were driving back from a 60 mile pup transport when we heard an ad for a concert that sounded wonderful and fascinating. We just heard the end of it, urging the listener to... "... buy your tickets now for 'Mozart Impaired'".

Approximation of our thoughts about this particular concert:

Wow how cool is that? The genius of Mozart, but discussing his possible emotional difficulties, alcoholism, chemical imbalance, etc. Hmm. Perhaps they'll make connections between genius and random psychological conjecture on the poor boy. It's so long ago that it can't be gossip, right?

The more we thought about it, the more exciting it all promised to be. We imagined scholars and musicians gathered in a listening hall, shedding light and, undoubtedly, compassion on the genius that was Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart. What could be better? Gosh, maybe they'll even showcase some arias!

(Yeah, we're opera geeks, on top of everything else.)

We pretty much thought about it the rest of the way home, our curiosity peaking while we let the pups out, etc. It wasn't until about an hour after first hearing the commercial that we went online to check out ticket info.


It. Wasn't. "Mozart Impaired".

It was....


"Mozart and Part".

The music of Arvo Part.

We are tempted to go on here and explain just how similar those words sound, but we're just going to. Hush.

(Bowing deeply. As in bending from the waist to acknowledge our silliness - not the thing you do with a string instrument.)

Sweet dreams, y'all.

Bet Somebody Called Her Chrissie..

We didn't know who Christina Grimmie was before the news earlier - that she was a singer and that tonight, after her show in Florida, someone shot her to death.

She was 22 years on earth.

Her brother tackled the shooter. They're saying he was a hero who probably saved lives by doing that. But this.

We picked this clip on purpose. It was from her audition on 'The Voice'.

This is what a kid making her dreams come true looks like.

To her grieving family: We didn't know your sweet girl, but tonight our hearts broke some as we imagine your loss. May your angels hold you near.


Thursday, June 9, 2016

The Website That'll Straighten Everything Out.

Disclaimer: The following is not a verbatim account, but the best we could do under extenuating circumstances. Admitting to this kind of multi-tasking is actually embarrassing. We were attempting to eavesdrop - politely - and scribble down what was being said, all while simultaneously we pushed pizza and salad into our face.

Then, on top of all that, it was occasionally difficult not to stop iced tea from shooting out of our nose. That was not from laughing at the people we were listening to, but from noticing the brazenly disapproving stares of other diners trying to unsuccessfully shame them into silence. THAT part was hysterical.

On that note, we realized we'd be one crappy spy: We really liked the people we were 'spying' on. Then again, the word "spy" might be stretching it. They were saying things that did and didn't make sense and we just wanted to write it down.

In a way, we wish we'd videoed the whole thing so you could see what we're trying to say...

They were a little bit loud, accepted themselves a little too much and hadn't a clue anyone else was in the room, except for the waitress who they thanked profusely whenever she came by.

And this happened. In their party was a boy of about fourteen who had some behavioral difficulties that probably made regular dining-out a rarity. He would suddenly be overcome by brief but impressive emotional displays which were obviously hard to control. He seemed afraid of different things in spurts, then he'd calm down and enjoy his food, even laughing at his Grandpa who patiently attended him.

The conversation began with the boy's mother telling the others that the "truth" about Trump University was on a website (link below) and that she wanted to share it on FB as soon as she got home.

Her oldest daughter showed her the site on her tablet and this ensued:

"Well, for gosh sake! Why didn't you just SAY so!? All this Trump University lawsuit stuff turns out to be a big scam. I tell ya..

"Somethin' told me these kids were up to no good as soon as I heard about it. Ya know, when folks hear somebody's got somethin', they'll just try and get somethin' for NOTHIN'... And if their scam don't work out, then right to the phony lawsuits they go!"

If she'd said two more things, we might have just believed her.

Actually, she reminded us a bit of Sarah Palin except without getting red-faced and rhyming insanely. And, unlike Palin, this gal was quite chubby and her husband couldn't seem to keep his hands off of her. We thought that part was extra freaking awesome - especially since we were in a part of town where being overweight is nearly an arrestable offense. And we didn't see a single skinny chick in the room whose husbands were even acknowledging them.

The more we think about this, the less it's about Mr. Trump at all. Except for the fact that we didn't know he'd set up a website to refute claims about the infamous legal action being taken against him. (The guy IS brilliant. There are still an awful lot of people who think if something is online, then it's true.)

In short? An unexpectedly adorable day in America where everybody was just trying to do the best they can with what they've got.

Wednesday, June 8, 2016

Broken Places in the Sky

We'd hoped they were the only heroes necessary in this story. We're talking about the two men on bikes who stopped Brock Turner during the act of rape.

This isn't minimizing the work of the police or prosecutors: Rather, this is about a spontaneous decision to act that helped stop a violent assault and might've even saved a life. But, dammit, it turns out that more heroes were needed after all. So, to the guys who've voiced your outrage about the six-month sentence for Brock Turner: You are heroes, too.

We know that all kinds of people were outraged from the slap on Brock's wrist. Desiring a sentence more severe than six months is hardly a lynch mob mentality.

Empathy is one thing - and we've especially never condemned it in a justice system so overwhelmed as to be past the breaking point...

But good grief. What happened in the sentencing phase of that courtroom reminds us of jurisprudence in a third world country where women are regularly held accountable for crimes against them, instead of the convicted defendant.

And to the men who aren't buying Mr. Turner's father's op-ed defense of his son: Thank you, as well.

It may seem as if your voices go unheard, unheeded by those who've judged lightly, unheard by the very men to whom your comments and ire were directed...

Yet of all the women who heard you and who are grateful,, only one of us matters right now. While we don't presume to fathom the depth of her extrajudicial injuries, we're betting it helps a hell of a lot to know that you other guys are out there, too. The sheer numbers of you have been impressive.

Maybe you'll tell us it was the least you could do. Perhaps, but believe this: Y'all fixed a broken place in the sky.

Lastly, we're not suggesting that women should sit back and wait for knights on white horses. We're just saying a little cavalry never hurt anybody.

Tuesday, June 7, 2016

Tough Call

Anything worth gambling on happens far from Vegas.

We - as in all of us - may never know where we stand, exactly, between a deed's goodness or its foolhardiness; how close we are to the rosy glow of helping or the frost of incalculable harm. Not because we're stupid, but because, among those of us who tend to engage, not doing something can feel like those deaths of a thousand cuts they talk about.

They don't exactly come up on road signs. Mainly because they won't freaking fit:

"Caution: Critical Situation Ahead - one in which you may be impelled to interact even though you've unwittingly been steeping in ignorance about the very thing requiring great discernment. Buckle up!"

So what's it gonna be, kids? And there we will be, unaccompanied by certainly - indeed, abandoned by it entirely - weighing whether or not to take action that, in the end, may not affect us at all, but which can change everything about the second party. Forever. When it's all said and done. If we live any kind of a life at all, this'll happen more than once, but never, ever, in exactly the same way.

That's why most people keep on driving.

We like to think we would've done the right thing with that little bison. That we would have kept. On. Driving. After all, just because we look away when the lion gets the gazelle in the nature shows doesn't mean we begrudge her that meal. But. We also know what it's like to recall when the ache of inaction surpassed regret itself - for that thing we 'shouldn't have done'.

It's why, as time hauls ass much faster than we ever thought it could go, we're pausing more - hell, at ALL - before grumbling about the idiots who interfere with mother nature. Maybe answering to our second nature - to matter.

At least in that possibly foolish moment, in that one act which they've undoubtedly second guessed a million times since, checkmating the brain with the heart, they honest to God just tried to help.

Whoooo Goes There or...

Whoooo Goes There or...

"Woo" goes here.

Sometimes, after crossing paths with an unusual critter or even having a 'close encounter' with a more ordinary one, we'll Google that animal's name and, next to it, the word "totem" to see what comes up.

Even if what we find is as flagrantly subjective as rote dream interpretation, we like the notion that something more than chance is at play between us and a nature.

Fable or not, ever since Androcles took a thorn out of a lion's paw, people have wondered about the capacity for gratitude among beasts. The flip side, from another fiction, but based on actual accounts, includes the revenge of Moby Dick. Yet in each rendition, gratitude and rage are both served by the subtleties of memory.

What do they know and when do they know it?

It seems that animals can often intuit the difference between humans who greet them kindly vs ones who mean them harm. Recent and numerous accounts of whales being completely still while humans attempt to free them from fishing nets are marvelous indeed - especially when they happen near waters where they're still hunted.

Think of that: One flick of their massive tail could kill several humans at once, and yet they wait, with what can only be construed as trust.

Whether we believe in totemic messaging or not, and without being guilty of anthropomorphizing - and, no, there's not another word for it - we're pretty sure the guy in this story didn't have to look up a thing.

To those of you who go the extra mile for the animals - especially those in the wild, those 'strangers' in need, thank you for showing us how it's done.

Monday, June 6, 2016

When parodies become too real:

"Trump-ty Drumph-dy stood in front of a wall... of these guys."

The link below and the photograph were written/taken by our friend Robert Wright, who lives in San Jose and attended the Trump rally there earlier this week.

Now then, if you read it and think, hell, she wouldn't have even posted it if she wasn't friends with the guy who wrote the letter, took the picture, etc, you'd be right.

Here's why: It's that whole six degrees of separation thing.

The fact that we know someone - a retired English teacher, in case you're picturing some crazy radical - who, on the night in question, exercised his right to free lots of things, but who especially did not stand down in front of scary apparitions like this... We're more than proud. We're honored. We're honored, sure, that he's our dear friend, but we think he's one bodacious American citizen.

About the photo: Perhaps it is grossly prejudicial for us to illustrate account of the night with this particular shot. Maybe not. Perhaps WE'RE the prejudiced ones, because it sure looks, a la Larry David "pret-ty, pret-tyTeutonic to us!" Apparently jack boots nostalgia is juuust about to turn a corner near us.

Sunday, June 5, 2016

Float like a butterfly, indeed...

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