…life is crazy

well, hubbkf made it safely, if not severely hungover, from vegas…all is right in my world again.

i’ve been doing some serious mulling lately, and yes, it does make my head hurt…life has been just plain weird for me for about the past year or so…but mostly with interpersonal relationship stuff of others’ design.  you can’t live in a town of 132 people and not experience some collateral damage…but as difficult as some of that has been and still is, recent events have made them look piddling in comparison.

the saturday before last, i was happily snuggling a six-week old infant, who’s mother is a young woman with whom i’ve had the pleasure and good laffs to work with in the past, at a bridal shower i was co-hosting.  the glow of the mimosas mingled with the heavenly scent of freshly bathed babby…and he is just the best babby…he was petted, patted, passed around, had his wild hair smushed down and endless ladies playing with his long fingers…and slept contentedly through it all.  the air was full of fresh promise and joy for our little sweetpea as she starts out on a new adventure…

and last saturday i was at the funeral of my cousin’s husband…both are 43 and would have been married 25 years in may…since he ended his life with a shotgun, there was no casket present…just loads of pictures, his hunting trophies including a massive buck and a bearskin…my heart still aches for my cousin who had been through so much with this man…his tween-aged niece played ‘the carol of the bells’ on her violin because he had asked her to learn it to play at christmas time…the rest of the music was equally heartbreaking, featuring two songs that were played at my brother’s funeral and at my dad’s…i could barely breathe i was crying so hard just thinking about the waste of young lives being taken away from us…my 22 year old son clutched my hand through it all…he is amazing…

i am so struck by the sharp curves of life right now…but through it all there was laughter mixed with the tears…with my closest family around me, we partied, we laughed, we cried, we made promises that we would no longer wait for a funeral to bring us together…i hope this is true.  i’ve discovered that i really miss being with my dad’s side of the family…i find so much of myself in them…and my kids.  after listening to my uncle (the widow’s dad who i adore) and my son shooting the breeze, i was amazed at how much my son is like him.   i’m a lot like the widow…in fact one of my aunt’s (whom i also adore) friends mistook me for her…but i’m also a lot like the youngest cousin, who instantly struck up a deep re-acquaintance with my son.  he will be moving to their neck of the woods in may, so they’ve already started making plans to hangout…

i wish i had something deeply profound to say about the vagaries of life, but i don’t…so, i’ll keep mulling it over and be grateful that i’m still in it…

…eck!

mittens just really creeps me out…every interview i’ve seen reinforces his shiftiness for me.  this clip, however, takes the proverbial cake…that ann likely did not bake…

let me count the ways…

hubbkf just isn’t a romantic guy…but he is pretty sweet sometimes…

hi hon...

he bought me a stylus to go with my ipad!  now he’s going to test it out some more…

trying to...

and this is what i got this morning:

morning...

since hubbkf is in vegas right now, i can hardly wait to see what kinds of things i’ll get once the partying begins…

…you had me at ‘otheration…’

take it away, ashley

political conflation, entertainment and trayvon martin…

this morning mpr had a great program about news coverage of the trayvon martin tragedy and how politics is shaping the public’s perception of it.  valid points about the difference between journalism, news channels and opinion…all things which get jumbled together.  that being said (and i hate that phrase) this entry is just my opinion…things that i’ve been mulling over since i first heard about this case.  and it may be edited at any time as new thoughts strike me or as i find a more elegant way to put them…

one of the callers tried to make the point that race AND gun laws have no place being discussed together in this instance.  i’m going with this first because i’ve been pro-gun laws forever…even though my dad, brothers, uncles and cousins all hunted and collected guns.  my husband is a hunter…i have guns in my house.  but i don’t like them…even though i know hubbkf is conscientious and careful and both of our kids went through gun training, they scare me.  each time i look at one i am deeply aware of how in just one instant, in the pulling of the trigger, lives are profoundly and irrevocably changed. 

i’ve never understood the raging hard-on certain segments of our society still sport over the 2nd amendment…yeah, when the constitution was written guns were needed on an almost daily basis…for food and for protection.  but, haven’t we advanced beyond that?  how is it in this age we still rely on guns or violence for ‘safety?’  we like to pretend we’re civilized, but when the need for weapons still remains so vital, then it’s apparent that we are not.  when you have to make the argument, ‘but we need guns because there are bad people out there!’ yet still don’t make the connection that we’re doing something wrong with how we teach and care for our society, well then you better just give up and go back to your fortified cabin in the woods…and don’t even get me started on the amount of money that is made off of  and spent on the proliferation of death and weaponry…

and yes, race has everything to do with how society uses their guns…people have been conflating the fact that yes, most young, black men die by another black hand…but that has nothing to do with this case and only serves to gin up public outrage on both sides.  race, in this case, is more about ‘belonging.’  zimmerman felt that martin didn’t ‘belong’ in the neighborhood. why?  because he didn’t recognize him?  because he was walking around kind of aimlessly in the rain?  because he was dressed ‘gansta?’  our intrepid caller ventured that had it been a ‘creepy white kid’ he would have felt just as threatened.  i think our caller would be in the minority of males. 

but really, who does belong?  why do we want to belong?  what is belonging?  was trayvon wearing the hoodie because he wanted to look like he belonged to a certain group?  or was it because it was raining and he didn’t want to get his cell phone wet as he was talking on it?  obama made the statement that if he had a son, he would look like trayvon.  what does that (and the firestorm afterwards) tell us?  for some, it tells us that they get really, really butthurt over anything obama says.  it tells me that we have a long fucking way to go yet…no matter how many people of how many colors tells us we don’t.  when the president of the united states lays it out there that even his son would not be safe from racial violence, it should sober us up a bit rather than be met with the gleeful, hateful ridicule that it has.

because it’s real. 

as you know, i live in white bread rural minnesota.  i can count on one hand the number of people of other ethnicities beyond scandihoovian and german around here.  and on any given day, the only faces are see are white.  while i live in an area where violent crime is nearly nil, i hear the racism all. the. time.  there’s a whole family that lives a block and a half away from me that uses the n word on a regular basis…and not cuz they’re keepin’ it real with each other…it’s because they hate them…and they will flat out tell you that.  there’s an old dude in town who is notoriously racist…my in-laws refer to him as a ‘horse’s hind-end’ but if you’re watching television with my father in law and there’s a program or news story or something showing blacks doing something either sketchy or ‘black’ my father in law will kind of shake his head and say, ‘i don’t understand those people.’  he doesn’t dislike them, but even his sweet old soul recognizes that there is something ‘different’ about ‘them.’  racial jokes fly at coffee, at the bar…wherever.  and nobody ever bothers to look around to make sure they aren’t going to offend somebody.  my own brother, much to my constant mortification, has referred to obama as our n***er president.  so, yeah…racism is still here and it’s still a problem…the only reason it’s not a violent crime problem here is lack of opportunity.  so, i figure that if it’s so prevalent here, it must be magnified in proportion to populace.

and for the few minorities that we do have here, i really feel for them.  if i was the only person of color in this sea of whiteness, i’d be freaking out and feeling very alone.  most of us out here are deeply intertwined and you can’t swing a dead cat without hitting your best friend’s cousin…so it must be daunting to be one of few that isn’t a part of the community.  i can identify with that since i attended five schools and moved numerous times around the country as i was growing up.  always to these little towns where everybody has know each other for years.  if you aren’t just like them–a jock, a good ol’ boy or what have you, you better start making yourself comfortable with the nerds and outcasts.  and it sucks.

because we do all want to belong…and yet we all want to be different.  why was trayvon wearing a hoodie?  why do any of these young men wear hoodies?  why do i spend $70 on a pair of silvers?  uh…because they are kick ass, that’s why.  and even though they are still (sadly) the height of style in these here parts, i don’t wear them because everybody else does…i wear them and spend that kind of money on them because if something can make my ass look good?  you bet i’m wearing ’em.  i wonder if my father in law knew how much i spent on them if he would shake his head and say, ‘i don’t understand you people?’ like he does when he sees the gangsta boys on the news…and the single moms with the nails and the hair…yeah, i don’t think so either.  because they are ‘different.’

and even though we put that difference on them, we still want them to be like us.  why do people get outraged and dismissive when people from other cultures don’t immediately embrace every americanism the moment they get here?  why do they bitch about them not speaking english, as if they will just magically eloqute perfectly as soon as they are unfinished packing their belongings.  why don’t they understand that people need to feel they belong?  whether to their culture back home, to their new home or only to themselves?

this plays out so well in the political arena…us against them has been increasingly insidious, i think, since the advent of the 24 hour cable news station.  i use news here in the loosest term possible.  like it or not, just because you have the word ‘news’ in the name of your program (or network) does not make it so.  oprah is the only time this is not true…cuz when you are oprah, and your network is called own…yeah, it IS all about oprah. 

too many people make the mistake that they are watching real ‘news’ when they tune in to these channels.  sure, they do throw out some real news, real facts, real headlines…but ninety percent of what they are pandering is entertainment and opinion.  twenty four hours is a hella long time to fill…just try filling a few minutes of time by talking and see how far you can get without a)babbling b)having nothing to say c)babble about having nothing to say.  so, when you have to capture the viewer’s attention (which gets shorter by the day) you gotta have something to make them tune in for.  and divisive politics is an even surer bet than sarah palin not going away anytime soon.

so, they fill their shows with opinion and outrageous statements spouted by outrageous personalities…and too many ignorant people consider themselves to be ‘educating’ themselves.  (i would truly love to have even a nickle for every time i read this sanctimonious claim in on-line comments sections ‘hey, i educate myself on all the issues!’  yeah, a steady diet of fox news does not make one a scholar, sirrah…) this type of stuff then becomes ‘facts’ that you can take down to the local coffee house and make yourself sound smart for reciting.  but, they aren’t facts…it’s just more of the political machine trying to gain more points for their side.

and that’s all it is…this case should never have been politicized to the degree it has been.  our intrepid caller was right that it shouldn’t be about race AND gun laws in that it should be about justice…and repeal of idiotic gun laws. 

i’ve heard claims that politics has never been as nasty as it is now.  i wouldn’t bet the ranch on that because back in the day, wow, could they fling some poo…they just couched it in better terms.  and they were dealing with things like slavery and women’s rights and child labor…you know, things that literally meant life and fucking death to people.  and now we live in a country that, while it still wants to control other people’s lives and deaths, just isn’t as blatant about it.  it feeds it to us in the form of blazing titillation meant to incite instead of inform…

…what to do, what to do?

tomorrow hubbkf  leaves for vegas…he will be gone for a week, so the question is: what am i going to do with myself?

well, first off there’s work…can’t get out of that…i have some minor book-keeping things hubbkf wants done while i’m gone…also zero fun, but must be done.

i also plan on watching the first season of ‘the wire’ since i will have the big tee vee all to myself…i should also organize this blog…and maybe come up with a plan/rhyme/reason for it…and work on my book…i have to quit using maxine’s indisposition as an excuse to NOT be writing…

i also have to work-out everyday…even though i no longer have to worry about fitting into my dress this weekend, i still have a wedding on the 21st to dress for…sigh…

i’ll also wait patiently by the mailbox to await the long anticpated letter from evil insurance company allowing hubbkf to go to the mayo…

i’ll also be making a solo bereavement trip…this has me a bit leery because i am not well-versed in metropolitan driving…i get lost easily, distracted by other vehicles and downright panic stricken…hey, i live in a town where we have gravel roads!  city driving…not for me.  but imma do it because, goddammit, i would want my family there for me…and none of the rest of my sibs or rents feel moved to go, so, overcome my fear and ineptitude i shall…*

i’m also going to start visiting more of the sadlies’ blahgs for more music resources…good music always makes me feel better, and just as my life seems to be in an imutable rut, so is my musical life…so, any suggestions?

*also…anyone who would bring me to forest lake, mn on friday night, drive me to the funeral and then back here…feel free to make that offer!  cuz, really i am scared shitless to do this…IF i ever have to drive in the cities (which has been only about five times), i usually follow somebody or otherwise hubbkf or number one son find me the most absolutely direct route to get there…so, yeah…anyone?

…trey parker has my soundtrack

this is me today…who knows why…i’ve been in a blue funk for the past two days…who knows why?

hubbkf and i celebrated 27 years of wedded bliss on saturday…we had a lovely, lovely day…actually, it’s been a lovely, lovely life together…oh, yes we’ve had our *difficult* stages, but hey…all in all, i can’t imagine my life with somebody else…guess i feel like alfred does towards leann…and i hope hubbkf can appreciate that sentiment…

anyhoo…just glad i’m out of the blues…