What Country, Friends, Is This?

When is a comfortable space with like-minded people suddenly considered a useless “echo chamber”? I’m beginning to think, when you’re Black, it’s wherever you have the audacity to find a moment of peace.

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This stage of pandemic illness appears to be grief. My first stage was pandemic distraction: a noticeable but not debilitating interruption to my mental process, or ability to stay focused. It was understandable that I wasn’t more impacted at first. Very little of my day-to-day changed. I work from home, and because nothing about my work or finances is traditional, even if I didn’t know what was coming, I had no reason to worry for the foreseeable future. It was still strange, of course, but so strange that it wasn’t possible to really process the extent right away. After all, I’ve been an expat for years, and even in crossing the border back to the US, I’m on the opposite side of the continent to my extended family. I had no expectation of seeing family, aside from my son and his father, and we were all going to be sheltering together. Something was different, but it was calmly so.

Pandemic fatigue, my second stage, changed my daily life. Immediately upon waking up, I started to feel tired. After a short while, I began describing my brain like a computer, as there was now a background program constantly running whose entire purpose was to remind me of the new reality we’re all living. It had to make sure I didn’t forget, because inside my home was very different to what I was seeing on my timeline (Twitter being the starting point of all my news intake), and instead of one, big jarring re-realization every day, it apparently was better to just have a constant state of dysphoria. Just a quiet, creeping remembering. An always unfinished reconciliation between how I thought I was doing and how the world was clearly doing, and then a sharp disconnect followed by a million subsequent attempts to reconnect, with varying success. Attempts to keep them separate were unsuccessful, and attempts to blend them were worse, and just resulted in exhaustion.

I was actually okay, but the world was not okay, so I was not okay. 

This stage lasted from roughly April through August. If you’re wondering: yes. I did debut my YA novel in that time. Yes, I did roughly a thousand events and interviews and podcasts and lives and meetings. Yep. Did I enjoy it? Yes! Did I hate it? Yes. Can those two things be simultaneously true? Apparently! Life is not a pie, with feelings and the like taking up a certain percentage to make up a whole. It’s an overhead projector on which many transparencies can be stacked, all contributing to a whole. I’m not unhappy just because I’m sad, if you follow. 

Which brings us to pandemic grief. It isn’t the beginning of grieving. This summer was a marathon of that, as even a pandemic was not enough to stop the ongoing campaign of violent anti-Blackness. It’s just that now my daily life and state of being are characterized by it, by grieving. 

I don’t know when I will feel at home in my native country again, if ever.

I don’t know if I will ever feel physically comfortable among white strangers again. 

I don’t know how to explain why it’s not okay to face anger for feeling the way it is most logical for a Black American to feel, in light of: the public executions; the public defense of systemic abuse and tyranny; the immediacy of criticism leveled at our resistance to terrorization, even from people supposedly sensitive to our oppression. 

I don’t know how to make you care that white supremacy is abiblical. That I shouldn’t have to hear my oppressors defended in my place of worship. That a defense of Rome is not an apolitical stance. I don’t know how to tell Bible-believing Christians that they shouldn’t be comfortable with my execution. That their desire for quiet comforts has more to do with white privilege and exactly the ways the western church has adopted a separate and contradictory doctrine than it has to do with them wanting to fulfill 1 Timothy 2:2. 

I don’t know how to get through to someone who despises the 1619 Project not because it’s ahistorical, but because curating the national memory and imagination is more important than telling the truth–regardless whose terrorization must be erased and ignored. 

I don’t know how to explain why I shouldn’t have to worry about getting through to that person in the first place. Why I should be safe regardless who disagrees with me. 

There is too much observably true for me to have to give a history lesson that would be ignored anyway because it’s not the history we’ve decided to keep. If you already know about COINTELPRO, and it’s readily researchable, why would I have to remind you that the idea of my liberation has been directly correlated with anarchy, violence, and the fall of the nation? Why would I have to stop you spouting obvious lies or passive skepticism about Black Lives Matter when you already know you’ve been intentionally socialized to assume any group trying to reverse Black dehumanization–literally calling for an end to murder and inequality–is the enemy? Why wouldn’t you do the follow up work of deprogramming yourself? And if you haven’t, why would I think you ever will?

So grief. Because the intentional evil done by my government can be revealed and it changes nothing. The impact remains. COINTELPRO still bears fruit; we are discredited in the American imagination as soon as we are Black and demand to be free. All of which matters because the result is death. Slowly, through “preexisting conditions”, which is a funny way of saying, the long-term, epigenetic effects of prolonged and persistent oppression and terrorization. It’s visible in the human body; racism kills. Quickly, through state violence and “vigilante” heathenry. But is it genuine vigilantism when you’re all but deputized? When your violence is incited and invited? Grief, too, because my country slanders me to the rest of the world, so that even leaving again doesn’t promise relief. 

Grief, because it’s all related. The white-washing of history that leaves white people delusionally certain that this country is in fact theirs, that their entitlement to it is logical. The electoral college, a gift to slave holders to ensure they always had an advantage, regardless how outnumbered. The rotten core of every system, and the way it impacts Black Americans, who are now dying, incarcerated, homeless, so many things, and disproportionate to their national percentage. And grief because anyone could overlook it all. The international hatred for a small diaspora who refuses to give up their birthrite, who refuses to stop demanding their due. 

Grief, because I am acknowledging that communities I’ve been part of for ten years are toxic to me now, after all the work, and love, and dedication. It’s like another divorce. A host of beauty and blessing inextricable from an ugliness that cannot be overlooked. Grief, too, because I wonder how in the world I could replace these loves in the world as it stands? Where would I find them now, and how many traumas would I have to stomach in searching?

I think I’ve exhausted this vein, and I’m happy to end it here, however incomplete.

Someone will ask why I didn’t pitch this somewhere else to be published, to be compensated for the emotional labor of writing it all down, but something stage two taught me: there are certain things I cannot submit for editorial notes and suggestions, that I cannot make into an assignment or I’ll never get it out. If you’ve read this, received anything of use to you, and feel so inclined, you can always tip me here, or by clicking the green “Buy Me A Coffee” button, but be warned…I don’t actually drink coffee.

On Brotherhood

These last few, what has it been? days? weeks? is it a month yet? I’ve been wide awake, even when I don’t want to be. It’s been hard to relax, hard to lay down and keep my eyes closed. Because someone’s living it, someone’s talking about it, and someone’s denying the world that imposes on me exists.

We think that strength comes from not caring what other people think. I don’t see how that’s true. We were created to be relational beings, even if we don’t all execute that in the same way. I’m not sure what the stoicism that says I’m not upset or I don’t mind what other people say or think would gain me. What kind of person would it make me, if that were true? More than that, why is the expectation that it could be true?

I am a socialized being (albeit an intentionally re-educated one, by the grace of God which I mean quite literally). I’m an American, and I’m Black. I’ve gotten messages all my life as to the value system of the culture into which I was born. I don’t say this to absolve any other country of their scarred history, but to say that because of ours, the answer to our questions and our issues and our homegrown terror must take them into account. If I’ve been told all my life – on every conscious level and whether I agree with it or not – that the White American voice is required for all manner of validation, shall I be held wholly responsible then for dismantling all of the privilege that is therein implied, denying its destructive impact and cultural capital, by simply denying that a single voice does harm when it’s declaring injustice to be a lie,  accusing us of “attacking western civilization”, saying that “white people are being demonized” (because there is no way for someone to be wrong without being undone entirely…) or any of the willfully blind and unapologetic other things being said? On my own, I should just be the bigger person when someone tries to rewrite the definition of racism, which – if I can be – somehow means it won’t feel the least bit deflating? I won’t be discouraged or disappointed or further disillusioned, not ever or least only by admission long after the fact?

But if these are your countrymen, and that means anything, why wouldn’t I be? It *isn’t* enough for *me* to know the truth. People who look like me were the enslaved and then the segregated and then the scorned and mocked and antagonized and still the oppressed, but I should today in 2014 because ostensibly time heals all wounds brush off that so many people still refuse to acknowledge the truth? Why would I want to do that? How would that not grieve me?

I don’t *want* to live in a world where everyone looks like me or sounds like me or only knows the things that I know. I don’t want to go our separate ways, stick to our “own” kind, because where and when did that ever work? And, because it matters to me, how does that please God?

It does bothers me that you don’t get it. It just doesn’t change my mind. It doesn’t make me think maybe I’ve got it wrong. It doesn’t mean I’ll let myself be shut up, even when I don’t want to have this conversation all over again, even when I’m tired of having my heart race waiting for the other shoe to drop, waiting to be completely disregarded. I’ll never stop knowing what I know about you, about me, about us, about respectability politics and the fact that anyone would find murder justified whether a boy had stolen cigars or not. I’ll never stop knowing that criminalization and oppression and self-loathing and crime are related, even if you don’t know. I’ll never stop knowing how – before I can show my talents – I must first disprove a prejudice.

I just know it should bother you, too.

You’re. Of. No. Consequence.

“I’m sick of being Nathaniel and you’re Mr. Lopez.”

I was just watching The Soloist while I did my hair because it’s my routine. It’s my routine because it’s brilliant – the film, the score, the leads – and it’s the soundtrack to that activity. It’s my ritual. I’ve tried other movies but they were too distracting or they were boring because I found I could entirely tune them out. Anyway, this is what I do. And every time this scene ends – if you’ve seen the film, you’ll understand – and the woman who is the primary aural hallucination says those words – You’re. Of. No. Consequence. – the scene ceases to be about one man’s struggle with mental illness and becomes the perfect summation for what it is to be Black American. And through that lens, the entire scene can be seen anew.

Renisha McBride was killed a week ago.

Jonathon Ferrell was killed in September.

Trayvon Martin was killed last year.

Dozens are killed every month, I’m sure, as participants of criminal violence. Maybe because of this some Americans think we shouldn’t be so upset about the three named above. Except these three were unarmed. Two of them were looking for help. One of them was denied justice already. All of them were Black Americans, part of a cultural group whose lives are very much impacted by the way the culture began. Beneath someone’s thumb, behind someone’s line, segregated in ways both explicit and not. Expected to be wrong. So when they walked back from a shop or sought help, their lives were ended. So expectation – is that not evidence of the otherwise supposedly invisible brand of institutionalized prejudice and oppression? Why would people who’ve not gotten the chance to open their mouths and explain themselves be so grossly misinterpreted?

I can’t make this make sense unless I’m preaching to the choir. Even sympathetic parties don’t know exactly what I’m trying to say.

But here comes the message all over again, from both sides – from the side confident and selfish enough to say they don’t see it and from the side who does and carries on with life as it is…otherwise, yes, we’d all be activists all the time. You’re Of No Consequence.

How have I escaped this notion when my own father’s history is too hard to process all at once? Grace. But my identity being elsewhere – in Christ – doesn’t justify that the message is still loud and clear. Be an exception. Make us see you differently or we’ll assume the worst. We’ll forget we stole your dignity and then lambast you for being undignified.

Sometimes it just hurts.

 

Hey, Bethany. Stop hitting yourself.

Once upon a time, I cried laughing when I realized I’d saved a gift set of Burt’s Bees products for dang’on ten years because why wouldn’t I do something like that. It looked nice. Therefore I did not open anything, but kept it for the SPECIALMOMENT. Only when I opened everything. Yeah. It was borderline rancid. I took rather a good talking to when I admitted this on Twitter. Particularly when I got to the part where I still wasn’t throwing certain items away, but I WILL acquiesce and let the citrus-basil-something-or-other lotion go and I guess it’s not a good sign that it’s brown and wasn’t it like a pale orange when I first got it? But I tried it and it didn’t burn very much so I think they were overreacting. And also maybe just wanted my goodies.

That was before today. Today, I’m…mildly concerned. For myself. And my hoarding tendencies. And I’m only gonna show you these things because ….. hmm. I’ll get back to you on the ‘why’.

So as we do every couple years, the hubs and I have been purging our storage closet. This helps me deny my tendencies. Until you go through the “keepsake” box of the things too important to get rid of (so they get put in these bins and then the bins get neatly stacked so I win at life and oh no, this sounds like something from an episode of the show who shall not be named). And in my HIGH SCHOOL keepsake box? Aside from every letter/note passed even though I have to think a long time to remember about 25% of the note-givers. ::facepalm:: WHY is history so hard for me to part with? What accurate portrait of myself do I think my descendants will have by reading notes from people I CANNOT AT THE AGE OF THIRTY REMEMBER?!? Come on, son. Snap out of it.

But please remember. The following items…are from the high school box.

What you’re lookin’ at: a bag (an empty, run-of-the-mill this-is-what-your-purchase-came-in baggy from Sanrio); an opened sleeve of tissues; a small notebook.

What you’re not lookin’ at: the unopened Pochaco printer paper, still in pristine condition…and still being kept; the Pochaco coffee mug…which is obviously in the kitchen cabinet; the unused Keroppi stationary which I gave to my son to keep from having to throw it away.

Mama had a problem. I also came upon these tiny rubber stamps from the same store. O_O I feel like I need to remind you that I’m now thirty and these things were still taking up room in my house. …And that I did throw those pictured items away but only after taking pictures and herein immortalizing sweet mercy of heaven I see the problem now!

But you’re like, hey, even though you’re pretty sure this stuff was purchased in 1994 or 1995 which means you weren’t in high school, you were in junior high so. Close enough.

Come’ere, honey. There’s more.

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I was not in high school when I used this. Actually – full disclosure – I’m not sure I’ve ever seen this before in my life. But in all the times we’ve purged before, this was important enough to save a place. [Short break for tear-shedding.]

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YOU GUYS?! THIS IS A NEWSPAPER CUT OUT OF A PAULY SHORE MOVIE ANNOUNCEMENT. (Okay, I’m not at all ashamed that I love that movie and In The Army Now and junk but for TRUE?!) MAN. HELP ME, OBI-WAN! YOU’RE MY ONLY HOPE!

I mean, yes, at this point I’m like, BETHANY. Getchu some help. PLEASE. But do you wanna know the thing de resistance? DO you? Are even prepared for this?

 

……

 

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Oh. What’s that? You’re not sure what I’m showing you?

IMG_7503THAT IS A SLAMMER.

AS IN POGS AND SLAMMERS.

WHY HAVE I BEEN SAVING AN EIGHT BALL SLAMMER?!? You guys, this is my final blog post. I’m turning myself in. I can’t even right now.

Forget the scented drawer satchel from my favorite Victoria’s Secret Garden collection that I hoarded somewhere OTHER than the drawer as though not putting it in there would save the scent until I was ready. #dead

Forget the hospital wristbands I collected from other people and I have no idea what they are for or the date because WHAT DO I NEED THIS FOR?! #dead

NONE of that is the breaking point.

I. HAVE. A. SLAMMER.

#DECEASED

In Which I Labor

I know what you’re doing, by the way. This game you’re playing where you pretend I haven’t been ridiculously lazy about blogging – not the content, mind you, because let’s be real, candy woulda been involved one way or the other – and pretending to be entertained so I feel like a giant loser and have to commit to doing actual work here? You win this round.

First things first: My seven year old – who just turned seven, don’tcha know – is making up the guest list for his next birthday party. (Apparently, taking a trip every summer to celebrate the month of Morrow is lost on him and he’s wondering why he can’t have a crappy, four hour party like all the other cool kids.) Needless to say, he’s listed about a dozen people thus far – people I’m sure would love to celebrate him, btw – and nobody’s under the age of 21. Yet. Thankfully, there’s about four kids I know he likes. 🙂

Not good enough.

I wanna point out that today’s Labor Day (even in Montreal) and I’m blogging. Please double the amount of points I already deserve for awesomeness.

When there is an issue with my laptop that affects the way in which I interact with it, I realize how attached we are. The laptop and I. My son decided to bring his foot down on the left side of my computer and the audio promptly stopped working. I had to replace some drivers (some of which had no effect), it doesn’t hibernate like it’s supposed to, and until I disabled some start-up applications, it wouldn’t even let me move the mouse once the OS was open. So. Basically, I’m now able to do everything but listen to music and watch my stories – which is like having a child break your television, since I watch my shows online. And also, did I mention I can’t listen to music? Because I’m not sure I’ve ever mentioned how much music means to me. And also, that I listen to music when I write. And prepare to write. And develop a storyline prior to writing it.

(My son has offered – since music is so important to me – to make up songs. O_O)

EDIT: Sorry, I failed to mention that my USBs no longer work, either. And that I feel like an amputee.

Please Do Not Encourage The Bear.

So, I was totally not going to blog today because I’m lazy and also because … no, wait, it’s just the lazy thing. I did mention something about this into the internetz and Cat (whose first and middle name are Just Write) asked me which movie I’d review. It’s between The Squid and the Whale and Steel Magnolias. Let me explain.

I live in Quebec. I guess – to some – that would be Canada. That’s another conversation for another blog post for a time that will more than likely never arrive. Anyway, the point is that I am cut off culturally. This is what America does to its patriotic expatriate children. It cuts us where it hurts the most. In the television. Or laptop, as the case may be. I’m like an HOUR outside my home country, people. GIVE IT. But anyway, they won’t and Canada has this thing that’s supposedly the equivalent called Globaltv.ca which – I’ll be honest – has at this point given me hours and hours of “entertainment” but let’s never forget that I make due under duress. [Aside: I feel like I have some sort of slow spreading tv cancer though because I have watched every episode of Rookie Blue. Do NOT ask me what that is. You will regret it. It’s not turning “good” by any means but after a year of not getting to watch Law and Order but those seasons I already own…*breaks down* it’s getting to me. I’m chuckling right along with them and I DID NOT CRY last time but if I did, it’s because I have a child and therefore anything about harm coming to one’s child even if said child is now grown will upset me and I DO NOT HAVE TO EXPLAIN MYSELF TO YOU.]

Wait. Wait. Where are we? OH! So the Canadian Hulu Alternative. They have these movies that they swap every week or so and they’re all ridiculously old. In the past two weeks I’ve watched Prince of Tides and Bad Boys. (And obviously now Steel Magnolias and The Squid and the Whale, which I shall have henceforth call SW because come on.) And you’re like, why don’t you just watch one of the movies you own? Funny story/true story. The husband and I used to go to the movies about three times a week before we had the child-god and after that we used to buy movies 4 or 5 at a time at Blockbuster. So the other day, in Cote-des-Neiges en route home from someplace, we decided to swing into Blockbuster (remember. it’s. not in the US.) to check out what was on sale. 5 for $20 when you have seen all your own movies a batrillion times was just not something we could pass up. So in we went. And down we tumbled. For you see, there were about seven movies to choose from (multiple copies of each, bien sur) and the movie I can remember was All About Steve which was apparently that super stupid looking Sandra Bullock/Bradley Cooper flick. So. I guess we coulda bought five copies of that?

I’m pretty sure I’ve never experienced clinical depression before the moment I had to sulk out the door with nothing.

SO. That explains why I have these two movies from which to choose, review wise. Can I just make a note about each and call it a day? I’m so far off the road right now…

S.W. – Okay, this movie immediately grabbed me. The immediacy of the characterization made me pause it and twitter that I was in love with it. So you know it’s good. #Twitterinducing

All wonderful performances. If anything, I’d ask Billy Baldwin why his thing was “brutha”. I love slice of life, particularly when it’s coherent. *cough*Sideways*cough* <– As in, you weren’t and you were pointless and you suck. But this isn’t about sucky movies. *cough*Sideways*cough*

I absolutely loved Jeff Daniels. For the same reason I thought the others were so good – it was never overdone. Somehow, without introduction, it never seemed like a caricature. I’ll definitely be watching this again soon. And the authenticity of Walt recognizing the flaws in his hero, particularly because of the way his reconciliation with the other parent doesn’t immediately follow but you see that longing – and yes, Cat, this is in regard to your wondering. 🙂 I just loved it. Even though I immediately and for the duration of the movie was thinking, “Hey, I was gonna watch The Royal Tenenbaums.” Which may be why I so quickly fell in love with SW. It filled the interest I had at that precise moment. And when I saw the producer credit at the end, I wasn’t exactly surprised.

Loved the cinematography, also. Clumsy, intrusive but not noticeably after the first few introductions. Just enough to make you feel a little self-conscious for watching these people so closely.

That. Was my one comment about that movie.

SM -> Why didn’t anyone tell me Julia Roberts was mediocre in that movie? And why did Shirley Maclaine have a thing for movies where a mother with a daughter with poor judgment in men loses said daughter to an organic disease after daughter’s had child with not-best-pick man and then mother had emotional tour-de-force breakdown which is absolutely the best part of the movie? To be fair, Terms of Endearment was a much more poignant movie for me. And I already loved the characters because I’d seen The Evening Star like seventeen times before I ever saw its predecessor. Steel Magnolias was okay, I guess. I loved Shirley, Olympia, Sally and Dolly. The guys were pretty one-dimensional, if that. Oh, but Dylan. Nomnomnom.

Again. This is Cat’s fault.

I Miss Irritating America

Explanation: America irritates me, not the other way around. I mean, as far as I know.

So, as I recently twittered, I’d like to believe that the overwhelming majority of people who have the time/take the time to post comments on a Yahoo! news story are part of a functionally retarded minority. I say this because – seriously. Who are you talking to? Most people won’t read it (unless they accidentally push page down at the tail end of the actual article and thereby end up in the middle of these horrible text bricks, many of which are in all caps and use clever combinations of letters and numbers to say the ‘n’ word). I’m just a little worried about your motivation. It sort of bespeaks the personality type that would sit on his own porch, talking to the wind for hours on end. Because the point is how little his breath matters? Long term vision suggests that, on your deathbed, you’ll want that breath back.

Anyway, so apparently a man attempting to blow up a Northwest flight is proof that Obama is a know-nothing, impostor of a dark-skinned man who would dare remain on vacation in the wake of such a national non-tragedy. I respond to this in the same way I responded to the hyperbolic lambasting of Bush. (If you want to comment on how horrible Bush was, please don’t.) Every situation is not an opportunity to prove how self-deprecating Americans are. To me, it feels like the constant slandering does effectively diminish some of the privilege it takes to be afforded the right to constantly slander ourselves and our government. Particularly when it seems, you can’t make anyone happy for more than a fraction of a second. I don’t follow what this president is doing. But I have to believe it wouldn’t matter. “Bush was a beast.” It stands to reason that there’d be a period of time in which the new guy would have to work on fixing the mess into which he landed. But apparently, no. We can immediately see that he’s just a different kind of beast. And, ostensibly, so are the rest of our citizens, none of whom could ever do better, ever.

And since Americans don’t take a break from cutting off our noses to spite our faces, I don’t see why ugliness would’ve taken a Christmas break. And it didn’t. Enjoy. And then go blame it on the current president.  Oh and since this one’s caramel-colored, you can use that in your tirade. Go nuts.

Short and Bitter

We are on Day Three (of Three), here at Morrow Birthday Bonanza Week. Of course, the only one we care about is Ezzie’s birthday. And though there was mourning (from me) and calmness (from Ezra, which helped my depression over his becoming a young man instead of my babyfacedbabyheadedlovalump, not at all!) – there was also a rather alarming amount of time spent at the mall. Which – when one takes into account the photo sitting and dairy queen and carousel – I guess makes a semblance of sense. And now. A snapshot of snapshots that made yesterday bearable.

The Wake Held For Ezra's Babyhood

The Wake Held For Ezra's Babyhood

Though it was divinity watching the godsiblings defy logic and be better behaved for a sitting when the other was present (and most of that goes for my little girl who apparently has made a mockery of modeling on past attempts to capture her beauty), I do hate time and its passage. “Get yo’ hands off me!”

UPDATED: Things That Make You Go “Dang!”

Wow. I, too, was like…. sometimes you gotta know when to leave something alone. Covers for the sake of covers or because people want to believe that every generation has an Etta James is ridiculous and infuriating. But, um, … I’m not sure how to feel about Etta’s tirade against Beyonce. I have often thought the girl overrated and irritating. And maybe it’s just because I remember the night she sang all of the selections at the Oscars beautifully or that I just fell in love with her after hearing her sing “America, The Beautiful” to close the We Are One Inaugural Concert thingy. Because when Cadillac Records came out, I probably rattled off some anger at her daring to play Etta James, let alone releasing a single covering “At Last”. There is only one “At Last”. There will only ever be one “At Last”. … So why did I first smirk and then feel weird about Etta’s words? I have no idea. I guess I thought I thought she’d be too classy to bother commenting on Beyonce Knowles. (shrug)

INSERTED AS EXHIBIT A)

And if you don’t know who James Whitmore is… you’re horrible. Or if you think he’s the old guy in Shawshank Redemption. If you said he’s the thug (named Slug) from Kiss Me Kate?! You’re fabulous. And right. He was wonderful, even though I routinely fastforward through “Brush Up Your Shakespeare”… only because, come on, with the songs you have to choose from in that movie (Howard Keel, Katherine Grayson, Anne Miller, Tommy Rall and Bob Fosse and Bobby Van), I’m not gonna watch two thugs purposely screw up the dance sequence. Le sigh. I know what I’m watching tonight.

Raines, Raines, Come Again Another Day

So, what really perterbs me is how they could not only hide Raines in the broadcast schedule, but then apparently add it as a mid-season surprise and not pick it up so that there are only like seven episodes for me to watch on FanCast!! Once again, that’s FanCast.

Now I’m not saying the show is perfect, I mean, what else besides Law & Order is. But – save those few seconds where it’s a touch too ethereal, which only happens like twice – I love where they were going with it. And Raines’ characterization. It just makes me wonder who the hell gets to decide these things?!? Meanwhile, CSI has a half dozen franchises and is still giving viewers VD. (I heard it somewhere.) And while the heavens will part to shower us with light and angelic music upon his debut on Criminal Intent, who the devil says he can only have one show?!? I’m versatile, I like variety. I love The Cheetah Girls movies and Intervention. I could accept him as two different but delightful characters, okay?

I don’t wanna talk about it too much but the day before the Monarch Festival at Natural Bridges State Beach, we were basically drowned out by the sudden and persistent sound of emergency vehicles and then when I realized they were there on the beach – we were up at the Information Office where Josh works – I got this really weird feeling. Paramedics and firemen running can do that… Well, to find out – after having that sinking feelings – that the 11 year old boy who fell into a collapsed sand dune or something actually died in that situation and that it was his birthday party and that his parents lost their child as I was holding the hand of mine… I can’t get it out of my head for some reason. I can’t possibly imagine. Actually, I refuse to let myself try.

So, as often happens, I gave my letter writers a bunch of leeway in composing and getting back to me (read: months) and now I’ve gotta wrangle everyone back to the homefront. Because I love asking people to do things for me in the first place. Plus we’re still waiting for some elements of Josh’s, too. Because we can never have a less than precarious approach to a deadline. Of course, a Fulbright is well worth it. But that’s not the point.

Oh and Ezra had a blast at the Welcome Back Monarch Day Festival Thing this year. 🙂

Smoochie-boochies!