Saturday, October 8, 2016


In Vermont for the Independent TV and Film Festival in Dover:

But for winter, what a place to live.



Friday, October 7, 2016

Butterfly People

This link is about certain tales that made the rounds after the Joplin tornadoes of 2011...

Whatever Butterfly People were - or were not - they brought comfort to some terrified people at the time: namely children.

There are so many lights in this story - the kind that even Category 4 hurricanes can't knock out. For the skeptics here, you also may find affirmation that do not tax your desire to "keep things real".

To paraphrase my namesake, Lady Brett Ashley in "The Sun Also Rises", about the nature of such tales and their lasting effects, "Wouldn't it be pretty to think so?"

Can't quite put my finger on it.

It'll come to me.

(Since there are an inordinate number of folks on social media who aren't adept at subtlety, it dismays us to announce that any "on the nose" comments will be clipped faster than a mohel at a triplet son bris.)

Part I: Unnatural Disasters, Art & Arks

That favorite Gauguin painting I reference every now and then is on my mind tonight, but really just its title - which is so much prettier in the original French, btw..

"Who Are We? Where Do We Come From? Where Are We Going?"

Indeed. So this happened then...

A friend who had just moved to New Orleans six weeks before Hurricane Katrina described having to evacuate his beautiful new French Quarter apartment even before he was finished unpacking.

As he was driving away from the only hurricane he'd ever been near, along with hundreds of thousands of other Gulf residents, he recalls the sudden horror of seeing car doors opening and animals being let out on the slow moving highway.

Later, he sent me a photo of sixteen animals - dogs of all sizes and a few cats, too - crowded into his SUV, each one seeming to realize that getting along in that small space with their new human buddy was perhaps most advisable.

The photos were remarkable in that none of the animals looked afraid - apprehensive, possibly - so strong, then, was their trust - I don't know another word for it - that this guy would take care of them.

Tiny cats sat atop droopy eyed pit bull/lab mixes. Frou-frou dogs, yapless at last, snuggled with big cats who busied themselves with bathing their traveling companions. (A thing I've yet to do on public transport, incidentally. I'm so unevolved, y'all.)

Bill never got over the ones he could not catch, the ones who ran into fast traffic going the other way. As days passed, he'd wonder bitterly if they weren't the lucky ones. It took all he had not to go back and find a third batch but by then the National Guard would not grant return passage.

That first bunch of sixteen? He drove inland a few hours and pulled into subdivisions, telling people what had happened and somehow, miraculously, found homes for all sixteen animals within a few hours. (Not one had any tags or chips denoting ownership.)

His second trip in was harder for reasons that are even too sad to write here. Suffice it to say that he found refuge in dark whiskey and closed shutters and died several years later, in more ways than one, like a soldier who'd seen things in battle for which no amount of training - basic or otherwise - could have prepared him.

The fact that he was a decorated US Army vet only adds to the tragedy. He had volunteered for veterans' groups for decades, he explained, ashamed of himself, of his inability to erase the memory of the worst thing to happen to him since 1967. But animals. And the worst and best of humans.


Earlier tonight I watched a woman plop a Pomeranian sized pup in the front passenger seat of her small car and I wrestled with the same damn thing I usually end up saying and went ahead and said it anyway:

"I know I sound like one of those crazy animal ladies because I am one, but an airbag killed a friend's dog in the front seat."

I think she won the prize for most pissed response: "Oh I think he'll be just fine." If looks and tones of voice could kill.

Then it hit me. I'm pretty sure all she saw heard was my white skin and southern accent. I started to tell her that the suspected condescension in my little speech was an equal opportunity non-tirade because, really, everybody knows animal people are crazy.

It's not like I was telling someone not to eat a hamburger or buy eyeshadow that was probably tested on bunnies: I was just trying to say that if a human kid is worth it...

But there isn't an excuse for me. I may be a horse's ass for 73 other reasons but, on that list condescending racist is astonishingly enough, absent.

(The fact that I loathe racists isn't lost on me: judging judgers, oh I'm wrong, all right - all over the place. Just not where you thought I was.)

For people, regarding automobile restraints, I've tried this with some success:

"I bet somebody loves you: Put on your seatbelt", delivered with my best for real/so shoot me almost an old lady grin. So far, no hateful comebacks.

A more direct approach is tempting...

"Hey, Einstein! Did you know that a small animal not strapped in is a missile in a 30 MPH wreck? Of course you did. Oh I know, it's just a quick trip to the store and isn't it funny how we're all almost always near home when it wrecks happen? It's just NUTTY I tell ya!"


The storm in question... Matthew. Which means "gift of God". We'll see about that.

All of this is probably coming from the fact that I'm worried out of my mind about a friend riding out this awful weather. She's got a boatload of animals and lives just 15 minutes from Daytona Beach. Scared tears are pressing up now as I even write this.

And I'll admit to a thin-skinned quality I'd do well to discard. Especially if I'm going to be some vehicle-safety animal crate version of Carrie Nation. Yes, reaction-free zones where detente reigns. (Or is that "reins"?) It's about animals. In general. About animal people.

We didn't ask to be broken wide f-ing open by animals. It was accidental. We didn't mean to tip over to the place where we no longer live ordinary lives and this in NO WAY implies heroism. Actually that's a sore point. I mean. Who DOES that?

It's OK to say you love animals. Parading your holy grail is a mixed bag. There is an off-putting quality to those who champion their own deeds. Trust me. The One who needs to keep track sees all. The rest of us are just muddling through.

I flinch wherever I hear someone describe themselves as "rescuer". Because if the truth is told? WE are the rescued ones, and it's like the old saying:

"They gave me a badge for being humble. When I wore it, they took it away from me."

Crazy animal people may end up killing more animals than they'd ever dream of with their unrealistic demands, infighting and egotistical parades of Oh the Good They Do.

I know real full- fime animal heroes who have non-profit rescues for which they receive ZERO outside donations, funding it entirely themselves with wise investments, so they will not be beholden to demagogues.

Know this: I'm not that noble, never have been, but, by golly I suppose I'm bragging that I know them. They live anonymous lives under the radar insofar as possible so that more animals can be reached. It really works that way.

Just so you know that I know: I'm waaaaaay down that St. Francis ladder. I'm simply that jerk who just wants to put not a horrifying thought into your head, a "what if" that perhaps you hadn't thought of before...

Btw, the airbag that killed my friend's spaniel was apparently defective: The velocity was messed up, I forgot what they said, and the pup's owner was lacerated badly for the same reason. But it still doesn't mean that bad things can't happen. All prevented by a pain in the ass couple of extra minutes before the ride.


Ill Winds

Very few shelters can accommodate multiple pets or big dogs, and I don't know how anyone can leave them behind. I daresay in this awful storm that humans who couldn't drive away without their beasts may die. And some of you will say that such stupidity deserves it.

(You undoubtedly write other charming assessments of human foibles on other comment sections across cyberspace. Dante may not have imagined your level of The Inferno, but this writer is a little ashamed that she furnishes it in her mind's eye whenever stepping in your verbal excrement. Ahem.)

It's too early to tell how everyone will be, but my heart's breaking ahead of time just like a bunch of you. We'll need all the mercy and Red Cross and, yes, all the RESCUERS we can get for months ahead. For all living things.

Structures that take a few hours to destroy can be rebuilt. Some tearing down might be an OK thing - walls that are largely invisible.

People live such separated lives in our gated communities, behind tinted windows - and these aren't mentioned to demonize those realities. Not at all. As Ben Hecht once wrote, most of us who live in cities are sick with unused self.

In times of unbearable sorrow spread among many, we're reminded just how connected we really are. A gift from a dreadful shadow.

Scratch your pooches' belly tonight. Save a songbird: let your cat inside. There are worse things than litter boxes.

Lecture over.

Prayers starting.

Group hug.

Thursday, October 6, 2016


For everyone in Florida... All the people, all the animals...

Words about angels aren't enough but hoping you get your fair share of the Butterfly People seen in the 2011 Joplin twisters.


Wordless Wednesday a Day Late

I'm a slow learner.

It honestly just hit me: There ARE no little things when it comes to love.

And yeah, the sudden clarity of this occurred halfway through this 1:00 video.



Wednesday, October 5, 2016

Eyes of beholders

Y'all. This is from a Reuters' story about recaptured territory from ISIL.

Btw, are sorry the photographer's name wasn't listed or we would certainly give credit.

This Syrian woman from Manbij is enjoying a smoke after her city was liberated.

There is so much beauty in this one image that we could just throw ourselves down crying happy tears....

Some things in this world are heaven and hell all at once and it's a privilege to merely behold the richness of it all.

Before you reply - this is only for maybe six of you.

And something is bubbling under this writer's skin about some comments on this public FB page. Some point missing mo fos.. For that reason this page might be worth watching for a while. With a plexiglass face/monitor protector like Dr. Lector needed.

It isn't even the mean idiot stuff. That's simple.

This will be paraphrased "I thought it was rude to compare the First Lady to our simian cousins and I'm not a fan whatsoever!"

Big overreaction warning here: oh we had one all right.

Like what were we supposed to do? Cheer broadmindedness? High five your funkless honest ass?? Is there any point this writer HAS made that has sunk in enough to prevent such condescending comments on - oops.

Seems like Field Marshall Hot Flash made us drop and give him fifty.

Fifty eight.



Caveat: If you're watching your sugar intake, skip this.

Quote from an online newsletter about freaking angels so yeah, I got your comedic edge right here, pal.

"We are each of us angels with just one wing and we can only fly by embracing one another."

Luciano de Crescendo

I know. What's next?? YouTube MIME videos!?

Tuesday, October 4, 2016

In other words: stages of jackassery.

We thought this post was going to be about just another nasty little incident in the news cycle. Nothing more. We planned to pillory a wretchedly behaving miscreant exerting their First Amendment right to be inhumane in staggering ways. Same old, same old. But as we started to lambaste this chick we realized that something was missing. Then it hit us. The missing thing was bigger than we knew - the good ol' days when we'd just get all flipping mad at mean people. Like. We were GOOD at it. We were true bona fide Butthead Avengers. And we mean MEAN people, even though it turns out they're more alike than it seemed: even when breaking down the lists into Really Mean People like despots, murderers, etc. all the way to crimes of lesser meanness. In other words: stages of jackassery.

These trickle down into tiny ass clown behavior of the plainly disingenuous - as in ones who claim persecution when called out on being racist - and on up to people who lie at the expense of another human's reputation, job, etc.

Regarding this last, we know someone who's just a great freaking person who's on the receiving end of this particular poison: He's resolute in his decision not to engage with the other party - the one we perceive as the true bad guy in this. No. Our friend is not "going there", so we'd feel pretty silly buying a ticket for ourselves in this circumstance.

But still. We priced tickets.

Anyway, it was a long list. It was a glorious one - if you were on the creation of it. Yea, the list of Things That Chapped Our Not Small Ass. And the fury? Ah, back then, we could even make punchlines out of it.

But now. A shift has happened. Now, it reaches us thusly: instead of ire or rage, a sharp sliver of something stabs deep as the fruitlessness of reacting becomes all too apparent. Connected to sadness more than rage.

Because hating haters? That thing that social media propelled to warp speed - especially in the shallowest segments of the "informed" populace? Just a toy to be outgrown. And in its place?

Damn damn damn...(Hell, yeah, a triple strong, trickle down damn.)

It can't be coincidental. We're certain they've always been in our midst, but seeing them fully - in their light - might be affecting our ability to kick ass in non violent but decidedly wicked ways nonetheless.

What light lubbers these be?, you may ask... And, yes, 'they' as in plural...

We know more than one person who sends prayers to those who cause harm. Big harm. To animals, to innocents. To the very ones who probably need prayers the most.

And these prayer-senders are sincere. Dogged. They falter not. And they don't do it because they were exhorted by ancient texts. Or because they fear hellfire. Get this: They do it because they've reached that crucial moment in a human's life when the old ways, the infantile ones, must be discarded and not in tiny pieces over time.

Btw, we're not talking about the times when the slings and arrows of outrageous fortune require physical intervention. Warfare. Because babies are dying and not as collateral damage: because they don't meet tribal or genetic criteria for life. Then tough people fight and die because humanity, until the leaks are fixed will be ever thus. So, hail to the heroes among us and the brave ones who passed before. (That's just in case this goody two shoes thing sounds like we don't comprehend real life, duuuudes.)

Back to those who fight with Light: They seemingly engage in a full reversal of momentum: retreating from that thing they most despise and, as if guided by superior military strategists specializing in surprise attacks, go full throttle to love.

Our lesson? It's very clear:

We NEVER should have started running around with a spiritual crowd: It was the ruination of all decent hissy fits.

Fortunately, we're unsure if these behaviors are transmittable. We know the first kind is. In that vein, we realize that the avatars among us carry quite a load and that there are those being born who are arriving with unsullied agendas and not a moment too soon.

They are fundamentally unadvertised as such, even if the occasional exception may be on the bestseller lists.

We don't know how to end this post. Except to say that it feels inconvenient, at best, to espy the distance between ourselves and the kind of soul who prays for haters vs being all busy with what the haters are doing wrong.

Did we already say "damn"?


Comments identifying the woman in this photo by name will be summarily removed. A truly evolved person would not even post her image. Apparently, unlike our better friends, we're content with a What About Bob!? version of becoming like Him. We're taking baaaaby steps.

Dieu aider Haiti.

Just this....with all our heart:

Dieu aider Haiti.


A place to visit before we visit that Place.


We were afraid to go in the grocery store last night. Because this was tied up out front. Aren't there laws about breeds like this being left in places where they could MAUL innocent people?

(Counting one, one thousand,, two, one thousand... Waiting for inevitable comment about how Cocker Spaniels are really sweet dogs.)



Cheetah didn't have a big sense of humor about this. Since he managed to unspool an entire roll all the way down the stairs, it just seemed like the thing to do.


Sunday, October 2, 2016

Shining things...

Sometimes a photo will reveal a light that wasn't there when the subject was posing.

We're not saying it's magical elves, but in this photo there was simply not a light where this one's coming from.

If the make up and hair aren't a dead giveaway, yes, this was taken between taping scenes in a TV show.

Here's to thinner veils in general. And to Emily who rocks the make up.

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