Flailing in a Sea of Cs….and the water’s rising, folks, except where it isn’t

Posted in Uncategorized on January 25, 2015 by Queenie


Photo by Geof Wilson, in a story about the recent tar sand oil and brine spills up North, contaminating the waters

I wrote a comment to a friend the other night. In short, (which said a lot, really), it stated: Aiming for Contentment and Challenge, and curious as to how they’ll get along. In quite a wonderful response, worthy of Queenie status, I got back: I see Contentment and Challenge to be very compatible, as long as you are the one choosing BOTH.

Couldn’t have said it better myself.

I was in a pretty fine place. My current path, I figured, should I choose to ascend to it, involved first two, and then three Cs: Commitment, Change and Challenge. And yes, The Contentment thing will surely follow dutifully right along if the others are honored properly. Immediately another C raised its head, as previously documented: Choice. What’s with all these Cs anyway?

And then yet another made its way to the fore, demanding attention: Conflicted.

I want to write about me, my process, my upward spiraling, (see previous post where I talked about Narcissism in writing), my adventures in attaining my reborn dreams, but events keep conspiring to get me off on other tangents. From my viewpoint, (and as stated, it doesn’t take much to discern from which side of the aisle I beseech), the last major election put a few more nails in our coffins. I’m not sure we’re not already sealed in and breathing our last, though perhaps still not aware of that, or in serious denial. For many the quick retort to such a statement is: Duh, wha? as they toddle along on their merry little way with heads full of Bible verses, visions of sugarplums and handguns, and the Lord and Mitch McConnell on their side. Politics seems now to be a game of Contempt (yet another C word) and Conflict. More Cs, more Confliction. Another C – Cooperation? Not so much.

I’m afraid I’m going to be dragging out my soapbox and leaving it in the middle of the room for easy access. In that, I suppose I am fortunate that I do not have one of those jobs where I have to fear speaking what’s left of my mind in cyberprint, for some nosy boss or a sneaking and peeking potential boss to hack around and find out the nature of my being, or at least my politics, and subsequently eliminate me from consideration or current employment.

I started these writings as a venting for a broken heart, hoping to tell a few tales and relate enough entertaining homilies to perhaps help along other likewise wounded beings on the path to a better, less painful place. Though there have been a few fallings back into the ruts, my own healing is fairly well accomplished….especially if I embrace Spinsterhood in this ever mounting collection of years. As I quit spending so much energy on healing my heart, I turn back to the nature of my being and what I love perhaps beyond Love, and that is Nature itself – my planet – this earth which sustains us – until it just can’t anymore. And what vast amount of healing it needs. This goes beyond hurting my heart, it hurts my very soul.

Looking around the Universe, it seems highly likely that other planets once held life until the Big One asteroid got them, or like we seem wont to do, the inhabitants destroyed their own dollhouse. I ascribe to the mindset that we are NOT the only beings in the entirety of All That Is, (Really? Could anyone really believe that – that we are it?), and that we surely could have been visited and even influenced by others who spin around the galaxy and laugh or cry over us and our antics. A few clicks around the internet and you are inundated with conspiracy theories galore, and after a while, even the craziest make as much sense as what we are doing to ourselves here, right now, as we kill our planet as fast as our technology and benumbed senses can manage it. I went far afield and listened to fantastical stuff about reptilian aliens being the source of it all, to their benefit, and governments were in Collaboration with it all. (Another C. Good grief.) No matter what the source, it appears we’re heading headlong into the abyss.

Many books have been written about what’s going on, how it’s too late here and forget about it there, or maybe, if we start 30 years ago, we have a chance to turn it all around. Survival might somehow be possible, and we should educate ourselves. Some that have been highly recommended by equally qualified sources are: This Changes Everything by Naomi Klein, and Craig Child’s Apocalyptic Planet. (Thanks to JCH for the recommendations.) These are not going to be fun reads. However, only last night I watched a climate change denier poo poo any such ideas, with ridiculous comparisons to “science said this and that before,” and wah, wah, wah…it hasn’t happened, and this warming earth they claim is nonsense…..and I wanted to throw things at the television. OK, so go drink that water up in North Dakota then, and out of the Yellowstone River. Please.

That brings also the matter of, ahem, the News. Lately it is chock full of the latest disasters falling upon the water sources that feed all our thirsts and the crops we need to survive. Demon oil trumps all, while other power opportunities are pushed to back of the bus, or buried. (Not unlike those who fought for their rights in this country 50 years ago, and STILL do. That’s yet another diatribe about racism, voter suppression and gerrymandering. Sigh.) The news, if you can get it without additives and spin and malevolent purposes, is a necessary evil. We need enough of it to act and choose wisely, but it is way too easy to overdose, go limp and catatonic in the face of such realities. Can one read Childs’ book and stay abreast of the news and not go insane, or fatalistically depressed? Check with me later – I’ll be under the covers, hiding.

I am in a rant mentality. I am disturbed and frustrated. I’m too old and tired to march anymore, and WTF good does it do anyway. Hey, I (and all my likeminded compatriots) were RIGHT when we marched up Congress Avenue in 2003, and sure enough there were no WMDs and the war was bogus and misguided, intentionally so, but very very good for a few who risked nothing and had a lot of profit to gain. But NO….. we were nothing, and we were summarily dismissed and ridiculed, and labeled disloyal and anti-American. Same now, we KNOW we’re right, or righteously righteous, and so what. We’re being run over and poisoned and pushed aside, and treated little better than fungus. (Unless perhaps somehow we are truffles. And even then you get eaten.) In fact they’re killing us with Monsanto. How convenient. I am flummoxed. In the end we all DIE. Is the death of the planet and those on it, both animal, vegetable and in between, worth the few years of high living of the few that this heinous activity of war and plunder supports? How much of ENOUGH is just never enough? No way to get my little head around it. I find some comfort in supposing that if Reincarnation and Karma are the real deal, and these bozos come back to what’s left of this planet, payback’s going to be a bitch.

At what point do you lose your JOY? And at what point in fighting for Beauty do you lose yourself in the battle? Babies are still being born and their parents live in and with Hope, and unless they are starving, they have no idea how fouled the waters are, and how many trees are lost. They are happy to be loved. Those who walk with the weight of the world become stoop shouldered and very poor company. Where is the balance? Do we take small comfort in the little victories in the midst of a tide of darkness? I know that Life is about the NOW. I know that. No guarantees of any sort about any tomorrows, and the plane might fall out of the sky on your very own just completed dream house. Such atrocities and calamities of every flavor are delivered regularly. So how do I condemn those who are indeed living all big and bad in their Nows, but at the expense of the tomorrows of even their own descendants? It is indeed madness. Or is it just me, spinning in my own rut. (I have told you my own theory about the off world planet they’ve been promised for their part in this mess, haven’t I? Oh but I digress…or maybe not.)

I just wish we weren’t so distracted and could care more. And Do. And Help. And in the end, just BE. That shouldn’t be too much to ask. I’m going to go outside and look for a lizard in the sun, and see if he has any connections. Probably not – too far removed from the evil source that spawned the others. Not even a cousin, light years removed. He and me will eye each other and give way on the path, give thanks for the sun, and be grateful for the warmth and our shadows on this beautiful day.

Aho. Peace. And WAKE UP, please. And don’t CAPITULATE. (Had to end with a C, didn’t I?)



Posted in Uncategorized on December 19, 2014 by Queenie

There are times when it comes upon you that Change is on the horizon. And when Change is inevitable, (as it always is, whether we want to admit it or not), the best you can hope for is that some amount of Choice will be involved, more on the voluntary well thought out level than choices made in the midst of chaos or sorrow.

I came upon a lightbulb moment some time ago – one of those clarity things – that, ahem, “The Meaning of Life is, (wait for it), Choice.” The self help gurus will indeed preach that stuff is going to happen – all manner of stuff, and a goodly lot of it bad – and that it is up to our pitiful or powerful selves to make a choice about how we react and respond to whatever has dumped itself upon our unsuspecting heads.

Change is upon me. It’s circling, planning its attack, and perhaps it’s time for me to acknowledge that I can see the whites of its eyes, and not find myself gasping for breath with an arrow in my breast. I need to make a friend of Change, and not encounter it as an enemy, waiting to ambush me while I languish in blissful ignorance.

Among other sobering events, my precious mother, the Queen Mum, had a heart attack this summer. It’s been a while now – not that long, but long enough for the slap of it to wear off. I, of course, was 600 miles away, doing what I do, an art show, and deep in my own stuff of the moment. The details needn’t be recounted. Everyone lived. Neighbors, friends really, rallied to the call and got her to help. I was home the next evening, stark and spent, but there. It was an amazing combination of events, timing, and people available (and WANTING) to help, all coming together to deny her that ride to the Great Mystery. And Good, for none of us was, or still is, ready.

She will be 91 in a matter of days, and still a pistol. A wobbly pistol, but she can still shoot. I’m already well into Medicare and Social Security, and my spring chicken ingenue status card is long expired. Tick tock now what. I still feel youngish in some corner of my soul, but the soul is ageless. It’s our psyches and our bodies and our sheer will to fight through the bullshit that wear out. Somewhere in here, I’m still seventeen. But I think some of us are born old, worn out before we have a chance to laugh and love. Some seem born cursed – a fine example of Karma perhaps – for how could some good folks deserve so many two by fours to the head? Some are born to die young, having accomplished….what? And some seemingly purely evil creatures live long and prosper. What’s with that? Too much for us to understand, evidently.

All this pondering is getting me to the point of WHAT NEXT? Parts of what I do for a living, (sometimes that’s a more than generous phrase), are falling away, not working like they used to – sort of like my left hip. I may be overstepping the boundaries of my two blogs since a lot of this has to do with The Last Stand at the Slippery Slope, and trying to decide if there will be one. More whining about how much my beloved boonies are now becoming citified and untenable need not be rehashed here. Suffice it to say my solace and serenity on the home front is sorely compromised, and the lake cove, (where I find peace in the waters), has been gone for four years now. Sadly, I don’t believe it’s coming back….like my ingenue status.

So things are afoot. Change is here, or somewhere near, around a rock or a corner. What I don’t want it to be is between a rock and a hard place.

There’s a peace and maybe, more than maybe, some excitement in making a decision that’s made in good time. It harkens to the feeling of freedom when you finally move to let go of something that no longer works for you. Despite all good memories of how good things used to be, comes the time when you deal with the truth of it all and admit that it’s not likely to ever be that way again. Mights and Shoulds are poor things to bet on. I’m a firm believer in the the fact that holding on is far more difficult than letting go, at least in matters of the heart and even just life in general, when things have gone south. Holding on too long might just leave you with entrails decorating your space while you insist on giving too much energy to Hope, when Hope has left the building. In some cases, the horse is on life support, and time to let him go. Stop the beating of it, and yourself, however noble you believe the cause to be. When even Maybe fails you, step away. Let it Go.

Though lately I’m thinking of some particulars that need to be dropped from my life experience, the connections loom large. Letting Go of one large thing opens the space for other opportunities to walk in the door. It also opens a window of creativity to think differently.

I haven’t felt this way in a while. It’s time for some goodbyes. It’s time for some new directions. It’s time to let some things go. And no, I didn’t see the movie, and I don’t sing the song. This is MY story. It’s time to Let it Go, give a new way some energy, and then Let it Be. I always was a Beatles girl.

The Morning After – Election Hangover Blues

Posted in Uncategorized on November 5, 2014 by Queenie

I had words from a “fan” today, (get a load of me, saying that I have such a thing as a fan, and I’ve near deserted my fan base, such as it is, but you know who you are….), and said fan told me he awaited a Queenie Blog discussing the election. Feeling less than vertical after the results of the election, (I think they used to have real ones, in non-revisionist history and once upon a time long ago), I told him I’d leave that to Margaret and Helen, heroes of mine, but I have this day and an inclination to just have a go at it. I’ve been threatening to go back to writing for some time now, and I suppose this could be it.

I’m not sure I really want to wade into the cesspool that is the election and the state of politics in the country. Anyone who knows me is well aware of my leanings, and anyone who is not quite familiar with me will soon surmise. All that being what it is, and my firm enough belief that nobody’s mind is likely to be changed about most anything at this precipitous point, I think I’ll just say to hell with it all, and relate as to how this feels to ME. A writer at times can be nothing but narcissistic, and I believe that to be a trait that comes quite easily to me. See…me, in two consecutive sentences, now three.

But this ME is also a citizen of the planet, and MITAKUYE OYASIN. We ARE all one, although very few are willing to admit or even consider that, as some shoulder their guns and proceed to kill the hell out of who ever is not of HIM or HER, just because the IT was different and therefore wrong. I do stand by the words of my grandmother I think it was, who said, “Some people just need killing.” It was probably more properly directed towards men in general, but I thought I’d just go a little more global with it. Some people just need to Go. Away.

In trying to figure which of the various assaults on humankind and the planet shreds me the most, it’s hard to pick a favorite. I am probably first and foremost a Lover of Nature, and from that springs so many aspects of my life. I think I gave up on Mankind, mostly Unkind, a few decades ago, though I have made efforts in making some kind of a difference in whatever it is I do. And there are just enough pinpoints of Light and Love out there to give one more day’s allegiance to Hope. I’ve written a piece on Hope before, (in the book), but there are too many days now when someone takes a big ax and cleaves just a little more off of the legs of HOPE. Hope may be wobbling lately – I know I am.

So that love of Nature aspect makes me particularly aware of the little thing called Climate Change, spawned by all the wonderful minions of Pollution, Corruption, Greed, Power, and why not throw in Sociopathy. There are surely more, but it’s off putting to think of them. It seems, IS, incredible to me that politics now trump Science, and scientists, (most of them having anything to do with a desperate or disparate opinion about Climate Change), are now viewed by so many with suspect eyes, and accused of malevolence and having an agenda. What? Are scientists suddenly sporting bank accounts in Switzerland, or wherever it is folks hide money these days? I am old enough to remember when “scientists” and “doctors” were paid to say that cigarettes were harmless, and what folderol to say anything bad about them. Perhaps that casts those voices of scientific factoids in dubious light, and sets a bad example. Maybe they were a precious paid few, like those who stand up today and say Balderdash to Climate Change. Could they possibly be affiliated somehow with Oil, Gas, Fracking, those sorts of things? I don’t know. But don’t I?

When I hear the findings of a science type guy who warned us against our poor behavior too many years ago, and we’ve since passed the benchmark of his perceived point of no return – and now he tells us to live our lives, be happy, love who you can, because we’ve just gone and done it, too late, see ya….well, what’s his angle supposed to be? He’s not offering a place on some space pod to the next planet, and is simply doing his scientist thing. Maybe he did something radical like write a book, but more likely an article. He’s not standing in government and pontificating about what a fraud and unknown factor it is, all Move Along Now, Nothing to See attitude, while beginning each response to a question with,”I’m not a scientist, but…..” Madness, I tell you. We’ve gone mad. Somebody has. You can’t make this stuff up.

In my best conspiracy theory voice I spout my silly tale about how I think we’re already hooked up with the aliens, the bad aliens, who have colluded with those in charge, and some of those SOBs surely must have another planet at the ready and transportation provided. How, HOW, can anyone who lives and hopefully still can breathe in their corner of the planet serve such evil as to eventually destroy their earth home? Does no one really believe it can’t happen? Or at least, not quite in THEIR lifetime, so screw it. And the kids and grandkids, unless they’ve booked passage already to Alturon, they’re just collateral damage. We’re quite familiar with collateral damage.

All of this is connected to education, for what a nation of degreed personnas we are producing to carry on for us, as long as that degree is D.A. – Dumb Ass. We’ve got a glut of them. They spout off about those programs that are on channels that USED to be educational….anyone watch The Learning Channel lately, or better yet, the History Channel? I used to love to watch the History Channel, because, guess…. I loved learning about History. Hadrian’s Wall, how the Vikings were horrible folks that killed the monks and women and children….(yeah, sounds familiar, just the names have been changed), watching the true madness that was Caligula….and I’m no great brainchild, I’m just curious and engaged. Now we’ve got Duck Dynasty and that ilk, and may I proudly say that it’s reported that our new Lt. Governor has said that God speaks to him through the characters on that show. Thank you, that’s a lovely design on that jacket…you say the sleeves go ALLLL way around and then tie in the back? Perfect.

I don’t know where to go with this. The list of evildoing is long, too long. One can rant for only so long, and the audience tires, gets bored, or as I have been informed before….depressed. Nobody likes a downer. Does Duck Dynasty really make anybody feel better? Or just better than them? Our bar has gotten frightfully low.

So the elections happened. Many, (the majority, they’d have me believe), are glowing with happiness and righteousness, as some of them said on a post today: “That’s how it is, we won, and if you don’t like it move out of the state.” Not put so nicely, either. My tribe? Well, we’re in mourning, thinking about the planet, schools, the health of fellow human beings, (maybe our own), our right to Just Be, and so many other things. No one I’ve had contact with is even angry. We’re just sad. Even Shock took a holiday. Nothing surprises us anymore, except EVERYTHING. I weary of trying to make a comeback, to make it be Right. And how does anyone, could anyone, think that my world view, people centric, animal loving, peaceful ways be Wrong? Am I back to my narcissism? There seems to be less and less of Live and Let Live. Nothing but Right and Wrong, and Different takes a back seat, if he gets on the bus at all. Or thrown under it.

There are exceptions. Same sex marriage has a foothold. But forget about your “rights” if you’re a woman. Nope, you’re just wrong, and that’s that. War? Religion? Enough already.

So I go into myself. I do Art. I write. I dare to publish. I am so melancholy about the things I didn’t do, or would have done differently. But that’s wasted energy, and all I have is Now, and whatever future there is. A guy got killed in New York yesterday when he got hit in the head because a worker above dropped a tape measure from his workbelt. All those storeys down, down and down, till it hit this poor guy, who had just taken off his hardhat, right in the head. Small target, BAM. Dead. Who wrote that script? What do you say about that? Sort of like the guy whose bedroom went into the sinkhole, and he was in his bed, and he went down hollering…down and down and down, till he wasn’t anymore. Fate plays strange tricks.

Maybe the rest of us are meant for a slow, strangling death by means we can’t  yet imagine, or the plague of the day, or poisoned water, or the crazy with a gun,….fill in your own blanks. The point is, if I can even drum up a point, that time is ticking away, I’m weary of fighting stupidity raised by greed or just other generations of ignorance, or rising to the occasion fueled by Hope and Purpose, only to feel slapped down for my own delusional thinking – or apparently so. I grieve for those days when I believed I could really DO something, change something, make that difference. That I still believed love might happen. Some days I still do, but I don’t think about it much. Sort of like I still want to believe in Enlightenment. I am almost glad to be almost old.

The latest news and a chilly, wet day have made for an unsettling ambiance. The rain is good and wonderful and so much needed, but today it feels like cold tears. It’s been crying all day.

Loneliness walks around outside my house sometimes. I am not keen on inviting him in. Winter’s coming, and he might enjoy the fire, but he makes for poor company. I suppose he and Disappointment can go sit out in the Loafing Shed and tell sad stories and complain about the weather and politics. I’ll keep my own company, and try to entertain Contentment, if I can find him. Better turn off the TV. The news is a bummer, and anything enlightening is scarce. Sort of like Hope.

Peace, y’all.

Boyfriends Aweigh!

Posted in Uncategorized on May 21, 2014 by Queenie

The jury appears to be in. Finally, after dispensing with the middle man, I was able to talk to the owner of the Bad Boyfriend Printer Repair.

Sidebar: It is here that I must confess my sins. I have been remiss in writing Queenie Blogs and have succumbed to the siren call of Facebook, where I have entirely too much of a presence – at least compared to my journalistic exploits when I sit myself down to write a blog entry.

So my FB friends are aware of the tales of the Bad Boyfriend Printer and his less than stellar performance, and that he was subsequently shipped out to determine if he were curable. Like all things in medicine and psychoanalysis – while they, (you know, them they), tell us what they would expect to be the best outcome in various precarious situations requiring surgery or analysis, or repair, they are sure to throw in all the unaccounted for unknowns, (think Donald Rumsfeld if your brain and conscience will allow you to do such a thing), and then you must agree to the fact that any repair or treatment is not guaranteed, exactly, or that it might fail….later. Or maybe even right then. Also sort of like hearing all the possible side effects of any and every drug advertised these days….fatality is always an option. So No Thank You in that department. But I digress….

All that said, a current dilemma is the misbehavior of my printer – quite the necessary accoutrement if one is attempting to make some manner of living by printing such a thing as photographs. I allowed as to how the recent spate of poor service in the form of inferior and unacceptable prints could no longer be tolerated, and the line was drawn. Of course I had to take him for consultation and possible repair. Far apart and few between are the “boyfriends” who have volunteered to accompany me, (or get themselves to) help of whatever variety might be needed. For some, counseling; for others, treatment maybe. Counselors were indeed one time seen, and Dr. Phil was even watched. Nothing really helped, in the end.

It has come to much the same end with my Bad Printer Boyfriend. They think they know what’s wrong, and they can likely fix it, but it will take about $400 of ink, on top of the repair, so maybe $800 give or take. Well Howdy Doody, I can get a brand spankin’ new Boyfriend Printer, all virgin-like and trainable for about $1200…. So what would YOU do? He would even come with a warranty! Well, for a while anyway – one hopes long enough to get the kinks out and see what we’ve got with the new blood.

What we seem to have currently is a “failure of the printerhead,” and I’m thinking it doesn’t get much more serious than that. But I was told that printerheads are really tough and durable, at least in most cases, and that with a TON of new ink to use, they could drain him, soak him, ream him out, purge him, and he might be all better. I think it sounds kinder to put him down and get a new contender. Besides, he can donate all his still good inkblood to his successor. He can go down a hero, generous to the end. And maybe even stored for future transplants, who knows. A respectable obit.

Bad Boyfriend Printer was, and I do give him his propers, just the best thing for the longest time. He has performed admirably, for many years now, and was very, very good, till he wasn’t anymore. I’m at a point in my life where bad behavior just can’t be tolerated, and so….Off with his Printhead! He had plenty of chances, I promise. I spent so much money on ink while trying to cure him with Nozzle Checks and even, at the end, some sort of Full Monty Power Cleanse that took even more ink….but no. It was not to be. Printhead failure. Alas. Not even Cialis can fix that.

So Boyfriend Aweigh it is…. Like Anchors Aweigh! Cast off for new and exciting shores and adventures. I’m gettin’ me a Brand New Boyfriend Printer, no miles on him, no baggage, all fit and proper for me to ruin him as I can. A younger, newer model, too! I bet his printhead works just fine. Of course I’m having to BUY him, but luckily I have more credit than pride.


Printer Hole

Here is the hole where my old boyfriend printer used to live. The new one will have to occupy the same space, though I’m going to clean and scrub and disinfect and burn sage so that he’ll think he’s my first, and not just a replacement – easily obtained, perhaps quickly forgotten like the ones before….after all they did for me, for so long.

Onward we go. This new one, what shall his numbers be? Will he travel safely, arriving undented, unshaken, and in unsullied printhead perfection? Will I love him as I loved his predecessor….as long as I could? Ah, a girl can but dream.

I’ll do my best to stay away from FB, at least in the telling of Queenie Tales. I must get my readership back up, (such as it is), lest my minions think I have crossed over…(to FB).

Stay tuned, y’all. Queenie’s back in town.

What Price Sleeping? (Soapbox Alert)

Posted in Uncategorized on February 2, 2014 by Queenie

I am in such a state of mind. I’m paying a lot of attention to the state of things, maybe mostly about the rapidity and NOT ending assault on the planet, and how we are literally killing the planet (and therefore ourselves) in an unprecedented and totally unaccountable fashion, and I can’t get my jaw off the floor. I sense an imminent doom, I mean possibly within my generation, or at least the next, and I sit gobsmacked and incredulous. Yet we, “the we that seem to run things, or not care,” just waddle along and distract ourselves with more wars, more games, more shootings, the latest celebrity death, as the fabric of the world that supports us is just ripped beyond salvageable shreds. It’s horrifying. Yet truly it is MOVE ALONG NOW, NOTHING TO SEE Time in America, and most everywhere else.

I wish we were spending as much time on the chemical spill in West Virginia, and how it’s just really not over, and how…. oh never mind, details available if you want them… instead of the sad, wasteful death of a movie celebrity. I wish someone would bat an eye (or OPEN them) when the fellow who destroyed the records about the Gulf oil platform debacle is sentenced to a pat on the wrist, (not even a slap), instead of getting all apoplectic about another celebrity’s sex life. There’s also another train derailment with toxic chemicals and the worst of crude oil from Canada, but nobody cares because today is ALL ABOUT FOOTBALL. I know we need distractions and entertainment, (said by the one who is hauling butt and brain to West Texas in a few weeks to try to get a grip on sanity), but for cripe’s sake, the West Coast is out of water. And what water there is in West Virginia, even if there is plenty of it, is poisoned…..although we’re told it’s safe, and don’t you like the smell of licorice? Um, no, always hated licorice, as a matter of fact. And uh, I also read today that the oceans will be toxic and devoid of life, or sustaining life, and that would be US, by 2040-something. Even if that’s only possible, don’t you think we might look into it? But then, what do you hear about Fukishima? Oh right, move along now, nothing to report. And Fracking is Fabulous, unless you’re fond of that water stuff – the drinkable kind. If you want to light it, you might be in luck.

I know I am sitting here spinning on my soapbox on a cold and dreary, blustery day, when I’m supposed to be whoopin’ it up and picking a football team, and eating neon cheese and salsa, (you did hear there is a Velveeta shortage, right, and there is the GOOD news in the midst of all this mess), but earlier today I also read that there were, or are, are might be, nuclear attacks planned for New York, and if not that, the super volcano in Yellowstone, any of which will bring us to our knees. Pick your calamity – even if the fake ones are not making us crazy, the real ones are going to get us. We can’t even define “real” anymore. For the first time in my life experience, we are debating and denying Science because it has become political, or dare I say, religious. Dear gawd, (intentional irony), don’t get me started on religion. That’s a whole ‘nother can of worms. And you do know that the can that the tomato and chili salsa comes in to be united with the neon cheese is also tainted and dangerous to us, right?

We are so barraged with the hazards of Life As We Have Made It that we can no longer take it in, and I guess that’s part of the issue. I heard once: If you can’t dazzle them with brilliance, baffle them with bullshit. My BS meter is beyond broke – overstressed. Like me. Seriously, I am an optimist by Nature, a happy endings gal, but it’s hard to be an optimist and a realist in the same sentence. I want to sing, and dance, and ride the rivers and take fantastic images of our incredible world, but I am shaken and off balance. And sick of it. And soon from it?

Please, can we just pay attention? And maybe, just maybe, DO SOMETHING?!

Come to think of it, Imminent Doom sounds a little like Eminent Domain. Just sayin’.

Who Am I and Why Am I Here?

Posted in Uncategorized on January 28, 2014 by Queenie

LQ and Uncle Tom Blog

For anyone long enough in tooth to remember that phrase when first it came to light….. Well, we’re oldish, aren’t we? Lest I get past the opportunity to enlighten what rest of you there might be, let it be said that some political parties, (maybe some or both, and then there are some more), do incredibly well at selecting dubious running mates for the highest office in the land. Witness those many years ago, way back in 1992 when then third party candidate Ross Perot  – (Yes, once upon a time there actually appeared a Third Party, or something that called itself that, but pretty much ended up as For Entertainment Only material) – offered us James Stockdale for his second in command. Said Mr. Stockdale uttered those immortal words at but the very beginning of the Vice Presidential Debate, trying to legitimately explain the makings of his being and character, and that was the beginning of the end of that little venture. To get the “rest of the story,” Google him and see what pitiful chains of events led to his caricaturing, and how he as candidate never quite rebounded from it. (Also reference the Howard Dean scream.) Once Saturday Night Live got ahold of it, he was done, and another American icon of miss-speakery was borned, not to mention a prime example of “out of context.” But perhaps I digress too far.

In my own little corner of the world, I seem to be living my own version of those questions. I am way slow in coming out of my voluntarily imposed hibernation after the intensity of fall and winter show season, and I feel like Punxsatawny Phil wanting to run from the lights and cameras. Already? Again? People? Appearances? Fie. I’ve dipped a few toes slowly into the stream of real life, (again, not sure there is such a thing), with a couple of movies and lunches and the like, and a few art deliveries which are welcomed and appreciated. Still, I am feeling like a mole not wanting yet to come out into the sun, and afraid of my own shadow. But February and Ground Hog Day are fast approaching, and I need to get with the program. Many programs. If I don’t move I may seize, and if I’m going to seize up I’d rather do it in action mode, elsewise have folks think that I just went to bed and never got up again.

Besides the overwhelm that accompanies weeks of exposure and on-ness of show season and the physical demands therein, the next season to appear was one of loss. People – people around me both closely or connected to those I care about, and some celebrities who had some impact on my life, started dying. I know this dying thing happens every day, but if we were affected by the whole of it in addition to the connected ones, I don’t think we could get up in the morning. I suppose that’s why we, or should I just say I and not assume anything about the rest of my fellow planet dwellers, have to filter the news and the never-ending barrage of mind and psyche numbing events both close and far. The calamities of animal cruelty and mass shootings and wars upon anything and everything sap my dwindling levels of well being, and I withdraw and hope to renew.

First a favorite artist friend went to hike in Big Bend – my (and his) beloved Big Bend. He sat down on the trail and never got up again. In the midst of the big Christmas show a brother in my used-to-be family died on Christmas Eve. Then the brother-in-law of a new and good friend. Then the Queen Mum’s favorite cat. And now one of the best cowboys in West Texas, a fairly new but stellar acquisition on the friend list, good as gold, special as the sky….gone. I think I’m gobsmacked.

Somehow I’ve lost track of myself in the last few months. I’m nursing a stubborn injury that won’t quite go away, and that’s frustrating and worrisome. Lately I’m not even comfortable picking up my guitars and using my voice, and yesterday one just sitting innocently in its stand just popped a string and gave it up. I’m quiet and seeking solace under the covers. Mind you I’ve had some magical and wonderful moments – the Queen Mum turned 90 and friends came! – lots of laughter and love, but these big losses have made their mark and taken their toll. They’ve rekindled the memories and feelings of being crushed down with the weight of them, and the need to shake off the misery and hold on to the sweetness is necessary. None of us can deny the weight, but sometimes we just have to put it down, or we will end up under it, smashed and exhausted. I believe buried might be a good word, and if we’re still alive, it’s not a good state to be in.

Particularly, the ex-family experience with death hit hard. Well, not quite hard, but I’ve yet to figure out exactly how it is it did hit. The drama, pain and intensity of it was over the top, and I was grateful to be removed from it, yet somehow ill at ease for not being there, but saying No to some siren call of something that would have taken me to the funeral. Yet the still connected closeness of it ragged at me, blurring the lines of reality and chick movie. It seemed like the horrible horror movie where you scream DON’T OPEN THE DOOR to the hapless un-heroine or dumb of ass guy, right before they…open the door. I didn’t open the door. No phone calls came. All is as it was… except for the dreams that returned, (see post from March a year ago), but I think they may have eased off now.

The picture at the top there is of me and my incredible uncle, Tom. He was my mother’s brother, and he was something. Really something – a gift to the planet and those around him. I mean just look at him – if I had a dream guy, there he is. He was intelligent, a fabulous writer – witty and soulful – and he died when he was 33. Hodgkin’s disease, maybe even treatable now. He saw combat in Korea – the forgotten war – and he came home, diagnosed, and was hospitalized for a time in San Francisco. In true chick movie fashion, he and his nurse fell in love and married, settled in San Francisco, agreeing not to have children because they knew his time was limited. I had probably my first real road trip back in 1958, driving cross country from Texas to California with my grandfather and mother across all those lands I would come to love so much, going to see him in that storied city so far from my ken… going to see him one more time before he died. He was in the hospital then, never to leave again as a conscious being. I remember their apartment, filled with Oriental furniture, and her distinct China Doll haircut. She was exquisite, and Italian. We were all home grown Texas. Her parents didn’t speak that much English and lived up north somewhere. He died. They brought him back to Texas and buried him with the family in generations old plots. Scraggly land, sure not like San Francisco. She sent flowers with a heart in them to the cemetery every year on the anniversary of his death.

Life went back to what it was. Time passed. We heard that his wife was going to remarry. Well good for her. She could go on. Next thing we heard, she was dead. They found her in a hotel in Florida, where she was supposed to be boarding a cruise ship with her new husband. But she never made the boat, and maybe they were to be married on it. Whatever the details, it didn’t matter. She wasn’t healed, and she couldn’t heal. I believe there was a note saying she couldn’t be with anyone else after Tom. She just couldn’t do it. She couldn’t even just be. She took her own life. Wow. She asked to be buried next to her husband in Texas – she of the China Doll face and foreign heritage. Her parents wouldn’t hear of it. They made a big stink and demanded she be brought “home” with them. I suppose my fractured family had nothing to fight with, and her family took her back, denying her dying wish. Now there’s the real chick movie, albeit a sad one. No happy ending. Only – and here’s the kicker – it’s all real. Family story. Happened. At least these are my memories, and I’ve told this story for years.

My own story is not so over the top, but it’s full of dysfunction and stupid stories and everyone looking for love in all the wrong places. It’s no wonder chick movies have such an appeal to me, especially since most of them have very happy, if insipid, endings. Oh gawd we all love a happy ending. Even a sappy wappy happy ending. They’re all over television, (when not competing with the Woman in Jeopardy genre, which I won’t watch), and even real Hollywood movies pop one out once in a while. But life as a bona fide chick movie really doesn’t come around to call. The phone doesn’t ring. Or if it does it’s very likely a wrong number. The letter doesn’t come. The bills still do, and every once in a while, a pretty card from a real friend.

And yet I still believe in Happy Endings, that Hope Springs Eternal thing. I know, in all the new TruthSpeak, that I have to make my own, and here I’m remembering a very good line from a chick movie, (that would be Tootsie), but I shall refrain from quoting it, and you should thank me. I’ve been off my own rails for a bit now, but not too far off, and I guess that’s why they call it sidetracked. I’m writing myself notes about what I’ve been ignoring or short shrifting, trying to get my own attention.

I want that little girl back, and don’t even know if that’s possible. I want to be looking up in wonder at endless possibilities, but it’s a hard sell. I’m making my peace with enjoying wonder on my own, but I remain skeptical. I’m not sure where I’m going, or when. I don’t have a plan, and I’m sure that is a very bad thing. However, I look at my friends or the stories of strangers who had every plan in the world, only for it to go SPLAT, so what’s the bottom line here? Is that the old Expect the Best but Prepare for the Worst scenario? I know all about Living in the Moment, but have to get a bit more involved or start looking at real estate under the bridge. It’s just time to… DO.

And there you go, I’ve gone and done a good thing and written a piece. I’ve been missing that. I hope someone’s been missing me. I know I have. So I will return to real life as I know it and come out into the sunshine. I’m heading back to Big Bend next month to fill up my creative coffers, and celebrate the sky. I will enjoy the road and my friends, and come back to myself. And oh yes, new guitar strings on the list.


Happy Belated New Year, feeling like the New Year is a pair of stone-washed, faded and well worn (out) jeans, supposed to be in fashion, being passed off as new and shiny, and charged at full price.

What are we fighting for? (And I mean that in every way.)

Posted in Uncategorized on August 28, 2013 by Queenie

I’ve been away for a while, for a multitude of reasons that don’t need going into here. And while I’ve been gone, the world has kept spinning and turning, in the way it always does. I am in a disgruntled state, despite my own declarations and intentions of living in some semblance of grace and gratitude and attempts at being in a good place. Why? Well, there are a lot of Whys, always are, but I am befuddled and beheadslammed as we, (as in the country “we”), prepare to go to what amounts to war with yet another nation. What, did we have an extra load of time and weapons we haven’t played with yet? Not enough tax dollars gone to war this week?

I’m sure any regular reader, (if there are any left while I disappear for too long these too many times), will know which way I lean in matters of state, church and politics. It’s all a sorry mess, and I semi apologize, only semi, for those who I am about to offend. The questions I want to ask go beyond affiliation with any particular party or line thereof, and I just want to know….. about war. About bombs. About death and destruction, and what defines crossing over the red line which has been getting attention of late. Or any damned line.

It is without question that chemical warfare is heinous. It is cowardly, evil, despicable…. there are any number of appropriate adjectives, all too terribly correct and usable. It seems a great deal of the world is at “war” these days, and we always have been, and I wish to holy hell (whatever that may be) that we could get over our pitiful human selves and our propensity for having to kill the “other” because they are of different colors, creeds, religions or whatever difference it is we get all hepped up about. (Or because we just want what they have because they have it and we don’t. There’s another essay.) Different doesn’t have to be wrong, it could just be different and let it go at that. And yes, I know, that is entirely too simplistic and innocent a belief system, and it doesn’t nearly support the war machine or gun manufacturers or even some preachers, whatever it is they preach. Call it childlike, but that would be just fine, for at least a child that has not been exposed to the manifesto of difference and hatred thereof is capable of such an open acceptance before it has been taught to hate. Yes, we do have to be instructed, or manipulated, into hating the different. We’re not born prejudiced, but like those little kids that used to appear on the sad talk shows dressed up in their pointy-hatted KKK costumes, we’re pretty quick learners.

So I’ve just been thinking: Why is this chemical warfare attack so much worse than the other kinds of wholesale slaughter that are inflicted on innocent humans being? No one is spared, I get that. Women and children and young and old and infirm – they’re all taken from their daily lives of just trying to exist or get along or feed their families. But just tell me, is that death more specific or wanton than the car bomb that kills and maims and ruins lives? I see children on busses taken out on their way to school, or mothers cradling their shattered babies, and they are just as dead. And the drone strikes seem to be fairly good at taking out innocent civilians, what we hear about them. Are their lives less collateral (or just more) because they died in a likewise unmanned attack that was for some more specific reason? Whoever pushed the button was equally invisible, and who has Right on their side? I’m not sure I can equate the horror of a chemical bomb as any more horrific than body parts splayed and sprayed across a marketplace, blown to smithereens. Everybody’s dead, or ruined in one way or two others. I don’t get it, but then, I don’t get a lot of things.

Why are we pursuing justice for these, when atrocities against mankind, (and womankind and childkind) are everywhere for the picking. Don’t like the Middle East? Well, seems there are plenty to defend in Africa. Or in the Amazon. Or, gasp, North Korea, China, and those Ruskies are at it again. I’m not even going to bring up the specter of oil, (though I just did), because it’s just too easy to connect the dots. It seems we can only protect and defend so many, and only if…… sigh. And all the while, we don’t protect and defend our own citizens. And don’t get me started on the environment, because before too very long, we won’t be caring about oil so much, when we’re trying to find a little bit of water to drink, or some air to breathe. Or food that doesn’t poison us – if the water and air hasn’t taken us first. It’s madness, all of it, and in the end, we have only one planet. And we’re not very good at sharing it, or caring for it. We don’t seem to deserve it. And you know what they say – you get what you deserve. Do we? Did the victims of chemical warfare get what they deserved? Justice isn’t just blind – it’s among the casualties.

I’m just tired of war. I’m tired of death. I’m tired of politicians and liars. I’m tired of greedy sons of bitches for whom enough is never enough. I’d like for them to get a load of my enough, or the enough of some native peoples in the Amazon who just want to feed their families and be left to their lives… not to mention our own Native Americans who are having their lands raped, pillaged and plundered yet again because, once again, they’re just in the way.

I don’t understand what we’re fighting for. I don’t understand why. And how we are all expendable, especially if we’re in somebody’s way. Somebody bigger and meaner, or with a bigger gun, or more of them. I think we’re all collateral damage, along with humanity and compassion. I know, not ALL of us, but there are enough of the “thems” that just keep taking us out, because: (insert belief system here.)

I’m really not a negative person. I love life. I love art, and animals, and my friends, my mother and my planet, all not necessarily in that order, and a lot of other wonderful things. I miss civility. I miss honor. I know it’s out there – that’s why I love my friends, for they possess it. But I feel powerless against this rage of hatred, bigotry and righteous bullying and murder in the name of, what… I can’t even put a name on it, for it’s so distorted. But we’re told it’s worth going to war over – again and still. For what?

Sorry for the rant. Or whatever it was. This is supposed to be a happy, funny place. I don’t feel like joking right now. Next time. I hope. Thank you for listening. I’m going to water my garden and listen to the birds, and hope for rain.