Sunday, June 28, 2015

Over the Rainbow

It’s a rare occasion in which I’ll call someone out on his or her ignorance, yet I had no choice but to do so twice this week.

Scenario 1:  Enlightening Mr. Newman to the fact that Shirley Jones is, in fact, David Cassidy’s stepmother, but portrayed his real mother on The Partridge Family.  She is the actual mother of Shaun Cassidy, thus making David and Shaun half-brothers, not full-brothers.  (Side note:  The Hardy Boys/Nancy Drew Mysteries is streaming on Netflix.  It’s bad seventies TV at it’s finest, so I naturally endorse it).

Scenario 2:  Late Friday evening,  I received a personal message on Facebook from someone I hardly know inquiring as to why I had not rainbow-alized my profile picture or, at the very least, remarked publicly about Friday’s ruling regarding gay marriage. At first I felt honored; not many people give  two hoots and holler about my opinion on anything, so after the euphoria of that wore off, I simply said,  “I didn’t think I needed to.”    I went on to explain that my closest of gay friends (ie:  people I know and love in the ‘real world’) had already received a congratulatory message from me via call, email, or text. “Plus,” I continued, “I look horrible in pastel colors and horizontal stripes.”

Thinking the matter concluded, surprise met me yesterday morning:  another message from this person, informing me that she found my flippancy offensive.

I did not respond.

Until now.

Lady, you don’t know me, you’re not gay, and suddenly jumping on the Straighty Support Bandwagon does not make you any more special than anyone else.  You’re part of the ‘look at me, not the cause’ syndrome that’s hurling our society even further down to hell in a hand basket.  Real support means you’ve a long history in some fashion with any given cause, you’ve embraced it, you’ve actually cried with those affected by it, and you sincerely rejoice in its victories without drawing attention to yourself.

I could go into my own personal history regarding this cause, but I won’t.  All I’ll say is that it’s one that’s near and dear to me:  from standing up for the ‘sissy’’ on the school playground to kissing several young men right out of the closet during my college days to holding the hand of someone who lost his partner of 30 years to a horrible illness….what a long, glorious trip it’s been.

Don’t talk to me about the rainbow...I’ve been over it more than once.  Oh, and by the way, my remark about pastels and horizontal stripes came from my dear friend, Gay Barry - not me.

Whew, now that that’s over, I’d like to address the so-called Christians in the room:  judge not, lest ye be judged.  Jesus taught tolerance, acceptance, and love.  The hate-filled venom some of you are spewing opposes those ideals.  Honestly, I’ve known atheists who are more Christ-like than you.  Think about it.

No matter our faith, the best witness we can bear is through our deeds, not our words.  We are on this particular plane to learn and to love, and as four incredibly wise men once put it:  all you need is love.  

Let’s get over ourselves, shall we?  Let’s educate ourselves.  Let’s live and let live.  Let’s walk the walk rather than talk the talk.  Let’s stop speaking in cliches or, worse, utilizing them as a literary device, Beth Newman

Do as you will, as long as it harms none.  

Love is all you need.

Sunday, June 14, 2015

Do Something

First off,  big thanks to all who turned out to the Imperial Farmers Market in Sugar Land, TX yesterday.  Yours truly reserved a table in order to peddle a few wares:
If you couldn't make it out, both books are available through Amazon.

What a great day it turned out to be.  Nothing soothes the soul more than being surrounded by creativity and farm fresh eggs.  Community involvement - I normally shy away from it, but yesterday's event took me back to my own small-town upbringing.  Every event from the stock shows to the senior proms were held in the Dimmitt Expo building -never in conjunction, but sometimes awfully close.  There's nothing quite like slow dancing to Wham's Careless Whisper while inhaling the unmistakable  aroma of cattle manure.

Now don't get me wrong, boys and girls - I do love where I currently reside.  It's a safe, clean, convenient suburb outside of Houston, TX.  One that has experienced a lot of growth over the last ten years (see safe, clean, convenient).  That growth keeps the community well above water economically - a good thing until you Google Sugar Land Podiatrists and over 500 names pop up.  Honestly, where to you even start?

But back to the Market and a chance to make a little cha-ching.  It's a nice feeling when others spend their green American dollars on something you've created.  I've written a great deal about creativity recently.  I believe we all have a creative streak, and I think we owe it to ourselves t0 take the time to channel that creativity.  Even if you've no intention of making a buck -especially if you've no intention of making a buck.

To create simply for the sake of creating.  To not even consider garnering a green American dollar for it.  Working with one's hands, one's imagination, with precious little concern about looking a fool.

Therein lies the rub - some folks simply don't want to be the weirdo who makes stuff.  I'm finally at the stage in my life where I'm willing to let my inner weirdo shine. Are you?  You're taking the time to read this, so that tells me right there you're probably  a dime short, so you may as well embrace that urge and just go for it. (Side note:  those who know me personally assumed I'd come out of the weird closet a long time ago.  Trust me, Sally - you ain't seen nothing yet.)
Perhaps if we turn off the telly, shut down the screen, and cut back the hours, we could get a full-blown grass root creative society going. Grow our own food, sew our own clothes, design our own decor, sing our own songs.   Everyone's welcome, provided they don't force us to really listen to the lyrics (I'm looking at you, hipster-musician.  You're bringing the party to a crashing halt with your pretentiousness.  Plus, you reek of artisan beer and clove cigarettes.  Clean up, straighten up, and stop taking yourself so seriously).

I have a dear folk-singing, french-speaking friend who told her young children that they could have anything they wanted for Christmas provided they didn't see it advertised on TV.  As a result, she raised a fine group of artists, musicians, seamstresses, and one convicted meth-maker. (Hey, at least he learned to create something and he even made a fine living from it for a

The older I get, the more I get that life is incredibly precious and short.  None of us has any guarantees, so we may as well get over ourselves, scratch that creative itch, and see just how much we can accomplish before exiting this plane.  Good luck, and may the creative force be with you.

ps...feel free to share your creative efforts in the comments section.  A chance to inspire and get inspired.  Let's do this thing!

Sunday, June 7, 2015

Disciplinary Action (aka: My Simple Summer Journal)

Due to the nature of my vocation, summertime means downtime and I couldn't be more pleased.  I've enough to keep me busy and financially sound throughout the season without grind grind grinding at that grindstone. I've time to relax, enjoy, and partake of hobbies (henceforth known as 'disciplines' simply because it sounds fancier and more efficient).  I've also got time to think, which isn't necessarily a good thing.  In order to keep track of myself and to determine if I'm actually accomplishing anything, I've decided to set up a journal.  I gladly share it with you in the hopes that you, too, will take time to work on your disciplines, to ponder, or to simply sit and be this season.

Monday:  Spent most of the day at the sewing machine, my new favorite discipline.  My master plan for 'custom' (ie: homemade) summer wear is actually coming to fruition.  It's quite enjoyable and fulfilling.  Not so fulfilling is the constant media coverage and peanut gallery comments involving the arrival of Caitlyn Jenner.  She's here, she's happy, she will serve as an inspiration and good role model for the transgender community, and quite frankly unless our last name is Jenner or Kardashian, we've no business mulling it over at the rate in which we're doing it.  Move along, people...

Tuesday:  Custom summer wardrobe complete.  Have also officially converted all jars into simple and friendly-looking storage containers.  Nothing fancy.  I repeat - simple.  I yearn for simplicity and have made the decision to distance myself even further from the clutter of 'the virtual world' in order to co-create something a little bit more meaningful.  Something that will cause Mother Earth to smile and my husband to mock.  Ingrate.  I'm saving him a fortune on canisters and have freed up quite a bit of space in the pantry.  That should and will count for something at some point. Mark my words.
        Make your counter space a simple work of usable art.  I've entitled this Why the Hell Did I Buy Mung Beans?   No need to buy Mason jars.  Just save the ones your mayo, spaghetti sauce, etc. come in. Once you've eaten the contents, wash thoroughly.   Place goods inside jars.  Viola!

Wednesday:  A brief scan of the headlines and catch an item about an egg shortage.  Seriously considering how I can raise chickens on the patio of my humble townhouse without the homeowners association on my case when it occurs to me that thanks to heavy petitioning and emotional board meetings, the evil regime has officially been overthrown and we can all breath a bit easier.  Let our plants grow the way God intended them to grow. Maybe place a cute doo-dad atop our brick fences. I double-check the association guidelines and nowhere does it state that chickens aren't allowed.  Now we're getting somewhere.

Thursday:  The previous night's viewing of The Last Waltz'on Netflix has me musically inspired and has also provided within me a new found appreciation of The Band.  I partake in another favorite discipline, the ukulele, and am happy to report that I've almost got Evangeline and The Weight down.  Well, maybe not down, but passable.  You can probably figure out what I'm attempting to do after a few bars. 
Am determined to actually write a song.  A love song:  Your Kisses are Better than the Empanada (But Not as Good as the Rice and Beans).  I got the idea from tonight's dining experience.  See, inspiration surrounds us; we merely need to remain alert.

Friday:  I feel incredibly simple (read into that what you will).  It occurs to me just how little time I've devoted to 'the virtual world' this week.  I, like so many others, have been guilty of scrolling in order to pass the time.  It feels good to work with one's hands (not just the index finger, or the middle finger depending on what's happening in your neck of the woods).  I make a conscious decision to plug in only a couple of times a day, if that much.   Too much mind clutter is not good for the soul.  Trying to create something is, I believe, and even if we're not good at it (see ukulele playing), it never hurts to try.  Perseverance, friends.  Perseverance.

Saturday:  My fabulous sister-in-law is downsizing, and brings me a cornucopia of goodies, including this:
I've dabbled in yarn disciplines, and am delighted to give it another go.  Thanks bunches, CK!  I sort through the tub while watching a documentary about The Eagles.  While there's no denying the impact of their monstrously catchy tunes, I've come to the conclusion that Glenn Fry is a complete and utter jackass.  That's another one of my disciplines:  passing judgement on art-eests who take themselves much too seriously, and it's one I've mastered beyond measure.  I'm so put off I throw a ream of yarn at the telly, and vow to myself that if I ever meet Mr. Fry, I will throw a ream of yarn in his face.  (Note to self:  keep yarn in purse just in case).  I pour myself a glass of wine (another favorite discipline), humming along to Take it Easy.  

And take it easy, I shall, Mr. Fry and company...indeed I shall.