2024

Plants can be so alien looking. This is the tip of a vine Michael has growing on our brick house. 👽🌸📸

Lucky shot, but it’s one of my new favorites. I’ll post to Pixelfed, which I should probably visit more than once a year. But micro.blog really is my go to for pretty much all the posts, except sassy political posts I put on LinkedIn.

Anyway, here’s a bee on a Lauren’s Grape Poppy 🐝📸🌸

30 FAVORITE PHOTOS OF LUCY THE BEAGLE 📸🐶

These are most of the photos of Lucy in my collection that, for one reason or another, I had marked as being favorites.

14 years is a significant amount of time to have a best beagle friend. Saying goodbye after 14 years of hellos - it’s a loss I never anticipated would be so excruciating and heartbreaking and deeply painful.

I know I keep saying this, but I truly found a place in myself that I didn’t know was there when she left this plane. I expressed so much raw, pure grief in 10 minutes than I think I have yet in my life. And I could tell that it was physically coming from a place in my body and essence that was so deep, and cutting so close to my core. A profound lament. A moment of shared, sad humanity.

There’s another Over the Rhine song that just came to mind. “Nobody No. 1” from their double album, Ohio.

And though we love to numb the pain We come to find that it’s in vain Pain is our mother She makes us recognize each other

c’mon now, child, don’t cry…

I miss my girl.

I miss Lucy.

Giving Cowboy Carter a first listen. So far, I’ve gotten full body chills and honestly want to cry because what she’s doing is amazing. Her homage, reclamation, genre bending & blending, and inspired reinvention is easily advancing music’s agenda. It’s beautiful to see and hear.

Arguably one of the finest ice creams in America.

Darkest Chocolate Mouth-filling and palate-gripping with a pleasingly dry finish. The most amount of Fair Trade cocoa and the least amount of anything else.

What’s a pint’s fair cost? $8.00? $10.00?

Try $14.50.

Jeni has gone and lost her damn mind.

What iPhone photo cutout?

7 Fun Ways to Use That iPhone Photo Cutout You Accidentally Created

STATE OF THE STATE OF THE SEPARATION OF CHURCH AND STATE

I’m not at all sorry that I have a strong and sincerely-held belief that, no matter how well-intentioned it may be, a state of the state address by a state governor in a statehouse surrounded by state representatives and state senators and state cabinet members and state Supreme Court justices all paid for with state tax dollars should not begin with a prayer in Jesus’s name.

There is no place for such a ritual in a public address.

#ohioTheHeartOfChristianSupremacy

My old boss and mentor and now friend Beverly got this for me when I graduated from library school. It’s sitting now prominently in my office downtown.

Amazon: for when you need an ad to say you don’t have ads.

Okay, so first he’s doin’ shoes, then he’s doin’ cologne, now he’s doin’ Bibles. How much more do we have to endure before he’s simply doin’ time?

A smiling, criminally indicted former president holding a Bible he’s selling for $59.99 plus shipping and handling, a somber criminally indicted former president holding gold footwear he sold for $399 juxtaposed against contrasting formal backgrounds. Text: "You cannot serve both God and money. Matthew 6:24 (NIV)"

Filing under, “Funny ‘cause It’s True”.

So not only are we forcing births through abortion bans, but now we’re also forcing births through disinformation campaigns. I do not understand this republican, right-wing, crazy obsession with fetuses and wombs and women. I mean it’s all about control and patriarchy and keeping women in their place, obviously. But I do not understand that obsession either.

Love this! 🐲⚔️🕺🏻

Coniferous trees shrouded in fog with an overlaying inspirational quote: "Fairy tales are more than true: not because they tell us that dragons exist, but because they tell us that dragons can be beaten. - Neil Gaiman, Coraline."

THIS IS A CHICKEN 🥚

Posted to LinkedIn:

This is a Chicken.

Despite what the liberal media would have you believe, this is a chicken.

Immediately upon fertilization (and cryo-preservation) it is a chicken. All rights of chickenhood are bestowed upon it because it is a chicken. It can peck and eat insects and seeds, it can preen and take dust baths, and because it cannot sweat, it cools itself by dunking its beak in cold water or flapping its wings. It can even lay eggs (which this is not because it is a chicken) and hatch them. It can mate, and it can perch and it can roost. It is important to note that chicken life cannot be wrongfully destroyed without incurring the wrath of a holy God, who views the destruction of His image as an affront to Himself. Everyone recognizes that this is true of unborn chicken life no less than it is of all other chicken life—that even before birth, all chickens bear the image of God, and their lives cannot be destroyed without effacing his glory.

Except for when you pay money for a chicken to be raised, slaughtered inhumanly, defeathered, and deep fried for the church picnic.

Even God says a good scald on a chicken, which this is, is alright because that s*** is just finger licking good.

Upon a red background lies a white chicken egg. The headline reads, This Is a Chicken. The paragraph under it reads, Despite what the liberal media would have you believe, this is a chicken.  Immediately upon fertilization (and cryo-preservation) it is a chicken. All rights of chickenhood are bestowed upon it because it is a chicken. It can peck and eat insects and seeds, it can preen and take dust baths, and because it cannot sweat, it cools itself by dunking its beak in cold water or flapping its wings. It can even lay eggs (which this is not because it is a chicken) and hatch them. It can mate, and it can perch and it can roost. It is important to note that chicken life cannot be wrongfully destroyed without incurring the wrath of a holy God, who views the destruction of His image as an affront to Himself. Everyone recognizes that this is true of unborn chicken life no less than it is of all other chicken life—that even before birth, all chickens bear the image of God, and their lives cannot be destroyed without effacing his glory.  Except for when you pay money for a chicken to be raised, slaughtered inhumanly, defeathered, and deep fried for the church picnic. Even God says a good scald on a chicken, which this is, is alright because that s*** is just finger licking good.

Fixed my “reply by email” button on MB.

Also I found that the Wayback Machine did archive some of my Twitter posts under my first username. Can anyone point me to instructions on how to import them here? I saw something about that some time ago but couldn’t get it to work.

🥰🐾💞🐶

This dog 🐶 🐾🥰💞💞💞

FUN FACT FOR THE SABBATH

The mission of The Satanic Temple, the only Satanic religious organization recognized as a church by the IRS and the Federal Court System, is to encourage benevolence and empathy among all people, reject tyrannical authority, advocate practical common sense, oppose injustice, and undertake noble pursuits.

Also they sell lovely coffee mugs in the gift shop. 🤘☕️🖤

AND THAT’S WHY YOU ALWAYS LEAVE A NOTE

“Whassa matter, Garfield? Cat gotcher tongue?”

I chuckled when I had that thought.

It calmed me down from being angry at whatever IT pro did this while finally installing some light cable management at my desk and who didn’t leave a note.

At least they set it aside and didn’t like, stomp on it some more.

And they carefully placed this beautiful, broken paperweight right next to my semi-sacrilegious calendar which I LOVE hanging here at the downtown state owned office tower.

For February’s design it has a large, intentionally pixelated picture of Jesus, his hands thoughtfully hovering over the opening in his chest that leads to his sacred heart (and who know where it leads - heaven? A vacant shopping mall? Who really knows for sure?).

At the same time he’s holding a bouquet of long stem red roses in one hand and a floating, red, heart-shaped Mylar balloon in the other. He looks both peaceful and confused.

The caption reads, “Ah Jesus Christ, you shouldn’t have!”

AND THAT’S WHY YOU ALWAYS LEAVE A NOTE

P. S. If anyone asks and offers to pay for a replacement I’m going to say this was a rare vintage piece that I paid $80 for, but I’m willing to go down as far as $75 to cover the cost of replacement. (I am pretty sure I paid like six dollars for it.)

I mentioned PunkPost: Beautifully Handwritten Cards Mailed by Artists For You the other day.

This is the PunkPost card I sent Michael for Valentine’s Day.

Cool, huh? ❤️

Honestly my weight loss goal is to lose enough weight to be able to fit into the Kate Bush Fish People shirt that I got. Here’s the logo/image. Isn’t that gorgeous?!

There was a band called Frente! in the early mid 90s that you might remember. They were Australian and did an acoustic cover of a New Order song called Bizarre Love Triangle. Their original song Labor of Love got some radio play, too. But their second album, Shape, wasn’t particularly commercially successful or popular but it is such a good album. They were maturing in their writing and playing and it really deserved more recognition. I would’ve loved to have seen where they would’ve gone next, but they split up. They were the opening act, touring for Shape, when I saw Everything But the Girl with my friend, Krista, in high school-the second concert I ever went to (Tori Amos was first). Anyway, the version of Shape on Apple Music has a differently mixed version of the first song, but I can’t find anywhere why or where it came from. I really like it. The last I knew, they remastered and re-released their first album for its 21st anniversary - I was a kickstarter supporter - but haven’t heard a peep since.

Dance Hall Days by Wang Chung is one of my favorite 80s songs. Along with the original, there’s an orchestral version and a re-recorded version on Apple Music and I’m listening to all three this morning. 🎵

Because of course they did. I am SO ready for reasonable people to all light a torch, grab a pitchfork, and be done rolling over and taking it from the right wing once and for all. End the corruption. Eat the rich. Tax the churches. Abolish legalized slavery. Fix the goddamn environment. Care for the vulnerable. Hand out healthcare like it’s Halloween candy. Obliterate fascists. And lock him the fuck up.

I love Punkpost.

They hand write & mail greeting cards. Price incl. 300 characters ($1.50 if exceeded), postage & envelope, plus fancy handwriting & doodles. Add-ons incl. a printed photo, confetti, & gift card.

To make someone’s day special and support an artist, check them out.

My brother and I have talked for a few years about getting a matching tattoo. I decided to see what ChatGPT’s tattoo designer might come up with. I gotta say…I really like this! I’d want a human artist to interpret it in their own style, but as a starting point I think this kinda nails it.

Added my Prince symbol pin to my pinboard at work office. 💜💜💜

I mean if the jackboot fits…

Today I learned that being an Authoritarian Follower is, at least in part, a hard-wired genetic thing that impacts about 18-20 percent of us (and republicans take advantage of it all the time).

Lucy is about the same. Wouldn’t eat. Slept all night and almost entirely all of today. Finally ate a few bites of Wendy’s chicken. Had to crush her pills and mix them with water to get them in her. Her eyes are a little brighter and alert today. Definitely not out of the woods though. 🐶❤️‍🩹

❤️💔❤️💔❤️💔

Our Lucy beagle is absolutely wiped out. Another infection and pancreatitis flare up. Also trying to regulate her glucose/insulin without the precise monitoring of a hospital. She still hasn’t eaten but is drinking water and seems to be keeping it down. I’ve not seen her this weak before. 💔💔💔

Lucy wouldn’t eat yesterday, has thrown up at least twice, wet the floor six times overnight, and hasn’t eaten today. She has a tremor. The vet’s first recommendation was get her to the hospital which, financially, isn’t an option for us right now. So we’re here at the vet. Waiting. Hold on to hope.

I’m not a huge U2 fan, but the songs I like, I really like, and Sunday Bloody Sunday chief among them. I guess they re-recorded a chunk of their back catalogue including Sunday…

Am also very much not a fan of artists reworking lyrics because it dilutes the integrity of the piece

But this works

Yup

A lip gloss looked like it would be the same dark shade of red as my frames, but it’s brighter than expected. I’ll still wear it sometimes. Maybe more often than sometimes if anti-trans legislation keeps being passed. A “Read My Ruby Red Lips” social media campaign in the making, perhaps? 💋🏳️‍⚧️✊

Re: The Satanic Temple, I highly recommend reading their stated mission and seven tenets, none of which recommend drug-fueled ritualistic Eyes Wide Shut type orgies with steam ironed robes and creepy masques everywhere.

In fact, they don’t even mention Stanley Kubrick at all.

Weird, I know.

Look, Ma! I’ve gone back to church after all!

I’m grateful that there are people in my life who express gratitude.

2023

Stopped at a divine coffee shop called Fox in the Snow cafe and picked up a delicious latte and this little fellow which I gobbled down like a turkey, by which I mean I said “gobble gobble” while I quickly ate it. It was…messy.

I seriously might have the best husband in the world. Check out this birthday gift from him! 👟🎂🤩

Michael gave me THE best Christmas present this morning: a 1950s wooden toy chest filled with (almost all vintage) Muppets! And he didn’t even mix Sesame Street in which would have secretly disappointed me. Nope. I was left speechless and smiling, and feeling completely seen.

Welp, we brought Lucy on our trip to see family, and she seems to have adjusted just fine to being in a somewhat strange environment without full sight or hearing. ♥

🥰 I started my Cultivating Gratitude class last week by asking people to share a childhood memory/possession they’re grateful for. I talked about my Ernie doll and the Ernie poster Mom made for me. Well today one of the participants gave this to me. It made me smile for five solid minutes!

I was just browsing pictures and laughed out loud when I saw (and didn’t remember) that I had put my 8th grade yearbook photo in a folder called “memes.” Appropriately filed. Good one, Me.

🎵 I am 100% certain that the specific play counts are off, but I’m ok with the final Apple Music Replay ‘23 rankings.

An afternoon updating a PowerPoint for a class I’m doing tomorrow, and PPT just crashed hard. Our agency won’t enable OneDrive for Business so it wasn’t auto saved.

I lost every update I’d made.

Ironically, the class I’m doing tomorrow is on gratitude.

Here’s a slide that doesn’t lie.

Here’s a photo of Lucy waiting to see the doc.

Wearing nothing is divine Naked is a state of mind

song.link/us/i/7116…

Lucy’s morning routine 😔 💊💊💊💊+💧💧💧💧=💸💸💸💸 but also = 🐶 which means it’s worth every dollar. It’s just…a lot of dollars. She does really well with taking everything though. Bonsai was a nightmare when it came to taking meds. I still miss that stubborn Shiba. 🐕

WAKING UP AND SMELLING THE COFFEE

This is what I woke up to this morning, and what I’m grateful to wake up to almost every morning. It’s a Kate Bush coffee mug full of coffee and a glass full of water. My husband brings them to me (sometimes the coffee is in a Prince coffee mug) and sits with me and then together, we wake up. Sometimes we talk about things. What our plans are for the day. Something the cats or dog did. The state of democracy in America. Shoes. Plants. Consumer credit card debt.

Sometimes we’re tired and silent. Michael will lay back and stretch and I will creak and groan and whine about having to get up. Lily invariably tries to nuzzle him while she purrs loud enough for the next door neighbor to hear. Maggie will get in the same spot in my lap and expect my full attention and many ear scratches and tummy rubs. Lucy will do something clumsy and interrupt the conversation or the quiet, which we always forgive. And Pete will join us when Pete is good and ready to join us.

Then when it’s time, he’ll get up and head to the kitchen, and I’ll get up and head to the shower, and then we have our days and try our best, which looks different all the time.

I’ve always cherished the intimacy of our morning moments. They make me feel safe. They remind me that I am loved, not judged. And I’ve gotta admit, it’s pretty nice when the coffee and hydrating water magically appear.

He’s a keeper, and I’ll keep him around for as long as he’ll have me.

I hate the YouTube app almost as much as I hate the Substack app. My seething hatred could lead to overlooking something, but are text status update-like posts in people’s YouTube subscription feeds now? There’s no video or share button on this post. I can report it or scroll past it. That’s it.

Michael named him Ralph.

Today was, thankfully, my last day of grand jury duty. I don’t want to do it again ever. Here are some photos I took today, though. I used a little AI to remove a trashed plastic cup from the ground and part of a streetlight that was in the way. The silhouette photo has no AI embellishments.

You have no idea how pleasing this is for me.

Immoral. Hypocritical. And totally a Republican thing to do.

Cool garden beneath street level

Noticed the pride flag flying at the county government building and snapped this pic.

Cropped 3 different ways.

Which is better, A, B, or C?

Grand Jury day 5. It’s been emotionally draining. Here are some of the signs I’ve seen. Other signs were not so obvious. Still others were a little too on the nose.

I’m obsessing over widgets the way I was with iOS shortcuts. I don’t understand how to build them but I looooove looking at them.

Here’s my current phone lock and home screen.

I also really like this photo of the Statehouse and sky that I took.

#CurrentMood #NowPlaying

I’m not sure what emoji signifies “I’ve got Grand Jury duty for the next two consecutive weeks” but here’s the sign that greeted me just before the nice lady did. I wish it was in better repair, I really like the design.

GRAND JURY WITNESSES REPORT HERE 👈

(and then it points to the nice lady)

🙋‍♀️

Michael is going all out for his Fall display this year. Ours will be the best porch on the block!

My husband sure knows how to arrange some flowers.

Yesterday’s selfie. I had to wear a suit ugh

Color me surprised. 😡

We had a wonderful dinner date tonight. Michael is always at the top of my gratitude list. Always. Here are some photos we snapped of each other at the restaurant. Aren’t we a pair of hams?

Y’know what, box? You’re right. I DO deserve a donut.

📸 Day 9: Language

When I took this, I wrote a hope-filled essay to go along with it.

“Love is everywhere in everything if you look closely,” I wrote.

But I lost hope during the pandemic.

Not sure how much will return, or when, where to find it, or how to create it.

Maybe I should check the bricks.

📸 Day 8: yonder I have jury duty today. I’m at the back of this line and will check in way down yonder.

📸 Day 7: Panorama

A close up panorama of Michael’s mantle.

📸 Day 6: well

…Cupid by the hour sends valentines to my sweet lover and me 🎵

And THAT’S how you ask someone’s gender in a demographic question. Well done, apolitical.com !

📸 Day 5: Forest

“Mama says they was magic shoes. They could take me anywhere.”

-“Forest” (Forrest) Gump

(See what I did there? 😂🤣)

📸 Day 4: Orange Trying to choose bolder colors for things I wear or carry around. This is my orange lunchbox, which goes with my orange water bottle, which goes with my army-green-on-the-outside-orange-on-the-inside man purse. Not fascinating, but still, orange you glad I didn’t say banana?

📸 Day 3: Precious

I took this photo of Maggie in 2017 when she’d fallen asleep on Michael’s pillow. It was 2:00pm according to the time stamp, and in March of that year. She looks smaller than she actually is.

I always liked the kind of soft glow the sun cast on her from the window.

📸 Day 2: Buildup

Finally got a (long overdue) new Sonicare toothbrush. It’s pink! 🫨

Goodbye buildup and hello shiny teeth 🦷 (or Outside Bones)

(♪ Your teeth are your skeleton escaping ♪)

Micro.blog is having another photo challenge for the month of September. Let’s see if I can post a picture every day. Today’s word is abstract and here’s a sort of abstract photo of a Dahlia that Michael just brought inside to me like three minutes ago. 📸

That face you make when you want to make explainer videos for your work but then you see your background on a test video and you think you might need a green screen but you know they’ll never, ever purchase one for you.

I found an old, old photo of me and Lucy. We both look so young!

THERAPY SESSION

I have a therapy appointment today. I started going in-person, but he’s not far away. He’s helping me navigate what it means to be neurodivergent.

I still never know what to talk about. It’s not like I don’t have issues to unpack. I guess I just never know where to start. How to answer, “How are you?”

I mean, you want the honest answer? I’ve lost all my passion, hobbies, and friends. I don’t go do social things anymore because they make me anxious. I am uninspired and bored. I let work define me so I don’t have to define myself. I stay in the bedroom all the time on the computer. I thought I knew who I was and it turns out I was masking my whole life and so much so that the real me is buried somewhere, and I don’t know how get to it. I don’t contribute enough to the household. I’m in a sinkhole of debt and student loan payments are coming due and I don’t know where to get the money, but I still have Starbucks and steaming services all the time. I don’t know how to unmask. I love/hate my dad and don’t know what to say to him anymore when he needles about something political or calls it the “China virus” or says Trump is an inspiration. I don’t know if I want to say anything to him at all. I miss my dog. I think about her almost every single night before I fall asleep and wonder if I should’ve stopped her suffering earlier. I love my job, but there is so much to do and I am incredibly overwhelmed, yet I prioritized this post long enough to write it. I don’t know where to start. With anything. I don’t know what the end looks like. And I have no idea what’s in-between.

But I usually just answer, “I’m alright,” and then sit quietly, awkwardly, trying to think of something to talk about.

Here are three more photos I took at the wedding we went to on Saturday. I like them.

We attended a beautiful love celebration this evening. It was downright righteous. I dipped out early (lots of people), but was really grateful to have experienced it with my husband. Together.

IDK if micro.blog’s iPhone app will handle animated GIFs, but I got the cats a “catnip bag” and snapped this Live Photo and turned it into a GIF because it makes me laugh. Don’t come knockin’ on Maggie’s house unless you’ve been invited!

Oh, we’re calling it a witch-hunt? Well I say burn the witch.

Also, someone please let me know if #BurnTheWitch is trending anywhere.

Also, I know the reality of that phrase is well steeped in obscene violence, murder, and misogyny, but I think it’s kinda perfect for him. 

Discovering music from 15 years ago.

Ok, I am seriously thinking of getting these frames. I saw them and I was like omg 😍 👓❗️

I figured they’d look ridiculous on me. Then I tried them on. And I was like OMG 😍👓‼️

I think I might actually be able to pull of this look. Not even kidding. What do you think?

THE LONG SURRENDER BY OVER THE RHINE - A REVIEW

This is one of the few Amazon reviews I’ve ever written. It still holds true for me today. The Long Surrender is still my favorite, and still their best, album.

I grew up in Cincinnati, and a friend introduced me to Over the Rhine when I was in high school in the mid-90s. They’ve been my favorite band since then, so I’m a fan of most of their music. I believe this album to be their best, and I kick myself three or four times a year for not helping to crowdfund it. On its own, it’s a gorgeous record. Their lyrics and songwriting have never been stronger. The production by Joe Henry is, of course, just as essential as the music itself. If you’ve never heard Over the Rhine before, you’ll certainly appreciate the very true, authentic talent you’ll hear. But if you take a deeper, more deliberate listen, you might discover a few more layers that will make your experience even more profound.

When I listen to The Long Surrender, I hear a concept album rich with metaphor and deep meaning - I hear a civil war, complete with an antebellum period and a reconstruction. From the first few chords you’ll know you’re hearing an ending starting to begin - a war brewing within us and around us. Percussion throughout the first half of the album evokes many images: a dusty southern veranda being swept by a broomcorn broom, a field march calling soldiers to serve, a grown up baptism, a slow, seductive, southern flamenco, and cannon fire.

Lyrics like, “The blood is sweet, the veil is thin, let your wreckage cleanse my skin” are some of the best they’ve written - delicious poetry, every word. “Undamned”, a perfect duet with Lucinda Williams, begs us, “Don’t count me out just yet.” You won’t, don’t worry. “Infamous Love Song” ends in a deep growl signaling the last breath of war. The turning point - the beginning of reconstruction - starts with “Only God Can Save Us Now.” In this song, the percussion changes from a call to arms or a battle into a swinging, knocking pendulum in an old and towering grandfather clock. The song, which features a gospel choir, is about Berquist’s mother who lives in a nursing home, and the people bound there with her. The gospel choir returns for “The King Knows How” - a rollicking train ride on a long train track that’s still being nailed down. Here, you’re on a trip to Memphis (or maybe heaven) to visit with Elvis (or maybe Jesus).

“All My Favorite People,” is a living room parade celbrating our most beautiful imperfections, like a New Year’s Eve party just past midnight. If my civil war is life analogy is to be believed, it’s also delightfully ironic for a song celebrating the broken to appear during a time of reconstruction. But really, what else is there to celebrate by that point? “Unspoken,” the album’s final and only instrumental track, leaves us with a sense of perpetiuity and continuity. We’ve been here before, and we’ll be here again.

The Long Surrender is what it says it is. When you listen to it, you’ll think about how we’ve surrendered to ourselves and to each other. How we’ve surrendered to life as it is or can be, and also to death - our own or someone else’s. You’ll think about how we can surrender to both our enemies and to our allies. It’s through all this surrendering that we learn why we are who we are.

That’s what this album means to me. And, that’s why this album is essential to me. I hope you listen to it, and I hope you find it as meaningful as I have.

I have a distorted self-image. But which is which?

My favorite Sinéad O’Connor cover: Elton John’s “Sacrifice”

youtu.be/ktP6Xb6AX…

I’ve got a lovely bunch of coconuts

There they are, all standing in a row

Big ones, small ones, some as big as your head…

Ohhhh, I’m not well 🫠

Society needs libraries almost as much as I need this t-shirt.

Just kidding. Fight those puritanical propaganda pushing puppets tooth and nail. Bigots disguised as martyrs out to save America from itself need to go away now, please. #FightCensorship: www.ala.org/advocacy/…

Pete always has the best silhouette.

My Apple Music library is a mess. I never should’ve integrated added streaming with my regular music files. iTunes Match is on top of it all and now there’s all this mis-matching, I’m getting songs I never added, my demos & b-sides are all wrecked. How do you organize your music library?

Sunshine on a cloudy day 🎵🌻

What the hell does issue 1 have to do with farming and what the hell does an “anti-ag extremist” even look like? Is that like, someone who boycotts cream style corn?

God I want the entire Republican Party to go away. If I could press a button, I’d do it in a heartbeat without a single regret. Liars.

Sanctuary: our purple palace (notice the Prince poster print)

44 Ohio Republicans brought forth a drag-ban bill, you know, because they’re assholes. Thank god they care enough to protect us. Not from assault weapons. Not from climate change. Just from drag queens.

Posted this photo on LinkedIn as a small form of protest. #StopHB245 #OhioTheHeartOfItAll

Drag isn’t a crime, but Ohio House Bill 245 would make it one.  #StopHB245 #OhioTheHeartOfItAll

I have a bit of a twisted sense of humor.

Arrested Development. 30 Rock. Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt. Difficult People. All favorites, and none too quirky or dark for me.

So when I got this text, it took me a sec to process. Then I laughed. I laughed really hard.

This is the view from our porch. I am so grateful to Michael for making this house a home.

YOU GOT A FAST CAR 🎵

A white contemporary country singer appropriating er… I mean covering Tracy Chapman? I’m skeptical.

Though I must say I respect his decision, according to Wikipedia, to keep the gendered lyrics in tact (“… work in the market as a checkout girl…”). One of my biggest pet peeves is when a singer re-genders song lyrics or titles (eg “The Boy from Ipanema” etc.). Also a pet peeve? Club remixes that shouldn’t exist. Like the 5,000 club mixes of Fast Car listed on Wikipedia.

🤔🤢🤮

What the hell is the matter with people?

Hashtag I’m Gay 🏳️‍🌈

CurrentMood x 1000

We (barely) met the statewide deadline for our mandatory training initiative and I was looking for a “yay” .gif to post in our Teams channel and saw this and I just don’t know how I’ve lived without it for so long

Also I kinda feel like this HR disco ball should be our unofficial mascot. Can we do that? Shine a light on it? Work it into our mission statement?

“Human Resources: Our mission is to recruit, retain, and disco all day long.”

🪩🕺🏽💃🏽

My Starbucks is on strike today. I ended up spending the time I would’ve spent in line chatting with the organizer and wishing him good luck.

Hi, @help !

Since iOS app was updated a while ago, I have to change the settings on each post I make before I post it otherwise what I write goes to my test blog, which I don’t want it to do.

Is there a way to default to posting to my regular ol’ site and not the test site?

A few garden photos 🪴 📸

Work focus mode 🏳️‍🌈 😁

My first attempt at minimalistic iPhone screens. I removed all app icons because they were a disorganized mess and since I figured I usually search or Siri for them anyway. Pete (she/her/hers) is the centerpiece. I love the depth effect with her ear.

I AM NOT A SHOE PERSON, BUT...

Ok. So. Once there was this pair of shoes I saw at Macy’s. They were men’s shoes, they were on sale, and they were allllll silver glitter everywhere with a black sole. And I wanted those shoes. I wanted to wear those shoes to work on casual Fridays and become “The Guy with Those Shoes”. I was ready for it.

I’m not even I shoe person. Michael has like 40 pairs of shoes, and I have maybe 5 including flip flops and indoor slippers. But these shoes spoke to me. They called to me with their siren’s song. And I waffled and wishied and washied and decided one day, yes, I am getting those shoes.

And I went to Macy’s, and they were gone. And they didn’t have them online. And I was pretty bummed.

This was like five years ago and I still remember those shoes. And I still kick myself for not getting them.

Then today Michael was saying one of his pair of Chuck Taylor’s is getting worn and will need to be pitched soon.

I said, “Well, hey, if you’re going to get a new pair of Chucks, you might want to do it this month. I bet they’ve got some fun pride themed exclusives. Here, I’ll look them up.”

And I went to their website.

And I looked for pride shoes.

And you guys WILL NOT believe what my eyes beheld.

Shoes. Glorious shoes. Glorious shoes that are unisex shoes with rainbows and color and alllll silver glitter everywhere with multi-colored soles.

The Shoes

Me

I. Must. Have. These. Shoes.

A sidewalk breakfast with this handsome fellow is sure a nice way to start the day.

Well that can’t be good.

My friend from high school is doing great things down in Cincinnati and just wrote a book! Steal the Street by Mark Mussman, PhD

Today is Lucy’s 13th birthday 🥳 I never really thought Snoopy looked like a Beagle until this moment when she was a little older than a pup. I thought to myself, “omg I know I’ve seen that pose in a Peanuts strip” and sure enough when I put them side by side, all I could see was 100% Beagle. So grateful for these 13 years. She’s just the best.

Oh by the way, the State of Ohio’s Department of Administrative Services is changing the name of its Office of Diversity Equity and Inclusion. The new name removes the words “diversity” “equity” and “inclusion”. You know, the most important words. The words that explain what the office stands for. The words that some white people think are controversial.

The new name is something like Opportunities or something or other. It’s forgettable, offensive, dismissive, and tone deaf. #OhioTheHeartOfItAll #CancelCulture

This is the view from the office break room where I work. Not my home office. The office office. The one downtown. In the tall building. Yup, that one.

It’s nice to wake up to Norah Jones. I wish I’d followed her discography more closely. Such a great voice and style. She has a murder ballad called “Miriam” on Little Broken Hearts and it’s probably my favorite of hers. Oh and her demo of “Spring Can Really Hang You Up the Most” is lovely too.

📚 “Other people should not have the power to make decisions about what I read or what my children read. That is foundational to our democracy. And it’s dangerous to entrust others with that power.” - Tracy Strobel, Cuyahoga County Public Library CEO

🎵 Unlikely. But, alright. I can hang with this.

Right On (feat. Joanna Newsom & STS) by The Roots

🎵Jackrabbits is probably my favorite Joanna Newsom song. Also, Go Long. Also, Good Intentions Paving Co. Also, Peach, Plum, Pear. Also, The Book of Right On. Also…

REPUBLICANS: PRO LIFE? MORE LIKE PRO AFTERLIFE. BECAUSE PEOPLE DIE. BECAUSE OF THEIR LAWS.

People - kids - are going to die because of this. Suicide rates will go up. By why should a republican politician start caring now about kids dying. They’re too busy suppressing votes, gerrymandering, cheating, lying, sucking Trump’s withering member, and adjusting their AK-47 lapel pins.

The staggering fine print of Texas and Florida’s new anti-trans bills

I honestly think we’re doomed, I think Republicans and obscenely rich billionaires know we’re doomed which is why they only take care of themselves, I think our political systems and leaders have completely failed us over and over again, and I don’t think it’s fair. 😢🌎🔥

I sure do love this beagle.

Janet Jackson is auctioning off all her stuff. Like 100s of pages of clothing, jewelry, awards, and memorabilia. No idea why.

But I’ll tell you what: I would absolutely KILL for some of that Rhythm Nation 1814 stuff. Especially an 1814 hat (7 of them, worn by backup dancers)

Re-m.b: @Pratik Original Post

Exactly! I’m disappointed in CNN, and I’m really disappointed in Anderson Cooper’s need to defend their decision. People died because of that guy. People literally were dying by the thousands each day while he was laughing about drinking bleach, and telling his dolt-filled cult to disregard science and attack and physically threaten scientists and doctors. While he was having his rotten life saved by the best medical service providers in the world only so he could drive around and flaunt his existence and wave his tiny hands at people from inside a limousine. And you wanna give this asshole more of a megaphone? And then insist it was the right thing to do? Shame. Shame on you, Mr. Cooper. You know better.

People have well made up their minds about this guy. Report on him, do it the right way, fling as much mud as it takes. But don’t give him or his cult a free pass. He’s had enough of them.

I downloaded an AI photo app that colorizes and corrects old photos. Here’s one of my grandmother. She encouraged me to imagine. Spoiled me rotten. Sang me to sleep. Made rice pudding from scratch. Had a mean old cat. Liked Morning Glories. Had a gentle soul.

🩷

This is one of my favorite pictures of my mom acting goofy. She’d kill me if she knew I posted it, but I don’t care. It makes me smile, and it reminds me how grateful I am to her for being my mother. #mothersday 💐

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis signs bill legalizing anti-LGBTQ+ medical discrimination

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis (R) has signed the “Protections of Medical Conscience Act,” a law that allows healthcare providers or payors to deny service on the basis of “a conscience-based objection,” including any ethical, moral, or religious beliefs. The bill provides no definition for what constitutes a “moral” or “ethical” belief.

Some photos from Michael’s garden.

Trump Proves Hate & Violence Is Not the Fascist’s Final, Last-Gasp Option: It’s Their First

A new report from the Leadership Conference Education Fund documents how hate crimes have more than doubled in the United States since Donald Trump entered politics in 2015.

You Have to Grind This Motherfucker Down - How Things Work

This piece of writing right here? This absolutely deserves to be shared widely.Actually what it deserves is a goddamn Pulitzer. I could read this 100 times and not get tired of it.

Somebody, please. Take. Him. Down.

Garish. That’s how I’d describe Ohio’s new tourism branding. Absolutely garish. 🤢🤮

And I wonder how many millions of dollars some consulting firm got paid for doing this.

#Ohio #CrappyDesign #BadDesign #tourism

HEADLINE: DEWINE UNVEILS REIMAGINED, PREVIOUS SLOGAN. (NOT THE ONION)

Apparently Ohio has a new tourism slogan, “Ohio, the Heart of it All” which is exactly like the old tourism slogan, “Ohio, the Heart of it All.”

It has a new logo and branding that might as well have been designed by…what’s something that doesn’t design things very well? A Great Dane? Microsoft Paint? Liza Minnelli?

Well, whatever. The point is that it’s ugly. Like, I can’t even with this design. Is it supposed to be inspired by the first time we had this slogan in 1984?

That script is awful. Like, is it supposed to be retro or something? Because it’s not modern, that’s for sure. And that has to be the ugliest blue and red combo I’ve ever seen.

Oh and wait until you read the genius marketing copy the state paid someone a ton of money to write.

Ohio, The Heart of it All is more than the state’s brand theme, it’s a place in people’s minds, and in their hearts. It speaks to Ohio’s central geographic location, but just as importantly, it conveys that Ohio is the heart of the heartland. The heart-shaped state. The home of heartwarming stories and heartfelt joy. It aptly describes a place that is incredibly diverse, from 75 state parks to big city amenities which include a thriving arts and culture scene and award-winning culinary experiences, to the charm and comfort that can be found in its distinctive neighborhoods and historic small towns.

Are you kidding me with this? Is this a joke? Did Chat GPT spit that out? That has to be AI generated.

No, no. I take it back. AI would never produce such, just…awful word vomit.

Shame on you, Ohio. We deserve better.

But then again what did I expect? All Republicans ever do is take us backwards. Sometimes to the Dark Ages, sometimes to 1984. Why should this be any different?

🤦🏻‍♂️

Another typical move from the GOP to hold on to power at any cost. Fascists. They’re trying to make it impossible to amend the state constitution. God I can’t stand our politicians in this state.

Stop Rolling Back Democracy in Ohio, No on HJR 1 and SJR 2 - Resist.Bot Petition

Election lawyer Marc Elias (paraphrased, via Heather Cox-Richardson):

“We cannot out-organize voter suppression.” Voter suppression is not “campaign tactics.” It is “the illegal and immoral deprivation of constitutional rights.”

May 8, 2023 (Monday)

UN-NATURAL DISASTERS

These are not natural disasters. We are powerless to stop earthquakes but not mass carnage from guns. Fatalism is a favorite tool for those who peddle in death under the pretext of the “Second Amendment.”

I’ve been saying that these are not natural disasters for literal years, around the time each year that we’re forced to take “surviving an active shooter” training. And that training always, always begins with, “Well, I wish it weren’t so but the fact of the matter is that these situations happen and you need to be prepared for them.”

And it makes me want to scream at the top of my lungs! These situations wouldn’t happen if politicians would get their heads out of their wallets and start taking extreme measures to stop this horrific nonsense. Fuck the 2nd Amendment. It should be abolished. And fuck the NRA. They should be held accountable. And most of all, fuck the gun totin’ flag wavin’ truck drivin’ bible thumpin’ cousin humpin’ ignorant uneducated straight white male pricks who glorify guns. I can’t even with them.

Another Horrific Shooting

📰 Texas lawmaker says 3rd graders should get training for gunshot wounds

More guns + fewer restrictions + Republican logic = train 3rd graders how to control bleeding after a mass shooting.

“Can’t address the real issue, it’s just a part of life today,” they say, and shrug. 🤷

Well thank god Texas and other red states are protecting children (even the zygotes!) from the REAL dangers: critical race theory, drag queens, and the free expression of ideas. 📚

If US flags were ordered to be flown at half-staff “as a mark of respect” for the victims of every mass shooting that happened, US flags would never fly again.

A Proclamation on Honoring the Victims of the Tragedy in Allen, Texas | The White House

Speaking of songs that have made me cry…

Out To Get You by James

Some years ago I was listening to this song loudly, driving in my car, and for some reason it just kind of made perfect, overwhelming sense to me on such a primal level that I started crying about life and living and expectations.

Once In a Lifetime by Talking Heads - song.link

Took Lucy for a drive with the windows down. We listened to my Aunt Dorothy’s 1960s girl group, The Teardrops. Take a listen! Dorothy sang lead on this sassy song (which, btw, I lip synced to in my drag debut my 20s-it was a hit).

I’m Gonna Steal Your Boyfriend by The Teardrops

On Monday, Zephyr sued Regier arguing that his actions violated her rights and the rights of her constituents, as articulated in the Montana Constitution.

Atta girl. Sue their fucking trousers off.

Trans representative, banned from House floor, sues Montana Speaker

Alex Barnett is a hero and we need more people like him to stand up and fight back.

Student sentenced to 10 days in jail for peaceful protest of anti-trans policies

After years of making millions of dollars for Fox “News” and being paid millions in return, Carlson was thrown out like a half-used carton of rancid milk. If only the stench he exuded could be so easily expunged.

God, I love Dan Rather.

Tuckered Out

I’d forgotten I got this and just started listening to it. If you listened to the band Belly in the 90s and liked their 2nd album, King, you should give this a spin.

Holidays 2022, by Belly

The Seattle Public Library on LinkedIn: Books Unbanned

The Seattle Public Library believes in your right to read what you want, discover yourself, and form your own opinions. Starting today, we are joining Brooklyn Public Library in offering our collection of e-books and e-audiobooks to teens and young adults ages 13 to 26 living anywhere in the U.S. through the “Books Unbanned” initiative.

Happy National Library Week 📚

Kate Bush’s album of re-worked and re-mixed and re-recorded songs, Director’s Cut, is my favorite Kate Bush album. I love the maturity in the songs, the arrangements, and her voice.

I really, really like the team I work with. This sign set the tone for our team meeting yesterday. 🥰

If it seems to you like women in Red states are the subjects of witch hunts, you’re right. And it has nothing to do with “life”: it’s all about economic and political power.

I hate politicians.

Men are No Longer Burning Women at the Stake - They’re Now Killing Them By “Big Government”

I signed up for my friend Daron Larson’s mindfulness newsletter.

You should, too. He’s really good.

But I was not expecting such a deep, real, and complicated existential CAPTCHA moment.

Am I? Am I a human? I’m not a robot. Check the box. Am I? Am I a human?

This is the poem our officiant, Heidi, read out loud to us when she married us. It’s by Anis Mojgani, and so is the photo (thepianofarm.com).

“The feather house”

If there is a room inside of me with your name written in it the language it is written in is a lovely one. One of figs and birds and beaches the color of butter. The walls blue and at least one of them made from nothing but windows. Another has shelves of speckled stones. The light pours across the floors and the trees outside burn with song.

📚Here’s a fun and novel way to experience Dracula, little by little, in chronological order. I plan on signing up (again). Let’s see if I actually read it this time. 🧛🏼‍♂️

Dracula Daily starts in two weeks! (and some book news) - Substack link

ABBOTT ELEMENTARY 2X21 "MOM"

Janine's plan for a Memorial Day weekend solo trip is derailed when her mother shows up unannounced asking for help; Gregory notices his colleagues are great at small talk and realizes he needs to brush up on his people skills.

ABBOTT ELEMENTARY 2X20 "EDUCATOR OF THE YEAR"

Gregory is named Educator of the Year. Later, Janine deals with a difficult student, and it's revealed that Barbara hasn't completed her teaching requirements.

An Activist Court - Steady Newsletter

The unhinged rationale behind this case, that somehow the FDA’s approval of a drug with decades of exemplary safety data could be tossed aside by a reactionary Trump-appointed judge with an anti-abortion vendetta, shows the rot of a system stacked with right-wing political actors wielding legal opinions in place of legislation and impervious to the will of the voters.

Pretty much sums it all up.

Happy Earth Day

A view of Earth captured by a satellite. (NASA Earth Observatory/Black Marble data/Josh Stevens)

A view of Earth captured by a satellite. (NASA Earth Observatory/Black Marble data/Josh Stevens)

Today’s my dad’s birthday. We had a very painful, strained, damaging relationship around the time this photo was taken what with him being him and me being me. But over time we have grown closer. His acceptance of me and his feelings of pride about me mean a lot. We still fight over politics.

🔴🐘🔵🫏

Just shared this photo and it made me smile. Heidi made this blue masquerade mask for me for a fundraising gala we went to many years ago.

Her art company is called OpenHeartCreatures (link to Instagram Profile).

She was also the officiant who married me and my husband. Big 🥰 when I think of her.

Two Open Heart Creatures

All. Of. This.

🏳️‍⚧️

🎵 Now playing The Drinking Song by Louden Wainwright III from the album Recovery.

Oh but the drink, a toll will take Blood vessels in the nose will break Bags beneath the eyes another sign

Is it kind of sad that this is the only release I’m remotely interested in this Record Store Day? I mean, that Boy George duet is really pretty…hm.

RSD ‘23 Special Release: P.M. Dawn - The Bliss Album…? (Vibrations of Love and Anger and the Ponderance of Life and Existence)

They’re gonna getcha every time…

That irony was certainly lost on one politician! In 1978, a bill was introduced in the Maryland state legislature to make it illegal to play “Short People” on the radio. Delegate Isaiah Dixon wanted radio stations and employees to be criminally charged and fined for playing the song, but the bill was not passed.

📚 If at first you don’t succeed, defund the public library

These religious extremist right wing whackadoos claim libraries “groom” children. I thought churches did that.

The only thing libraries groom children to be is better citizens who won’t shut down public libraries.

Once this song gets in my head I must listen to it and I must listen to it like 50 times on repeat. It’s. So. Good.

Look At Miss Ohio by Valerie June

Redbud in bloom 🌸📷

SIGN THE PETITION: Don’t defund Missouri Libraries action.everylibrary.org

The freedom to choose what you read and believe belongs to you. Not a parent’s group. Not a politician. Not me. You.

There are some who’d take that freedom away from all of us.

Missouri State Republicans Vote to Defund Public Libraries

SERIAL MOM (1994)

She's the perfect all-American parent: a great cook and homemaker, a devoted recycler, and a woman who'll literally kill to keep her family happy.

I will never fathom this country’s obsession with guns.

I just love these Bleeding Hearts that Michael put into a bouquet. 🌸

THE KIDS IN THE HALL 2X02 "#202"

Sketches:

  • Cops - O Canada: Our home and native land.

  • Trapper: The daily hunt begins.

  • Cabbage Head - Old Friends: Cabbage Head at it again.

  • It's Not Working Out #1: Chris is fired.

  • The Loner: …And his toe.

  • It's Not Working Out #2: Chris is fired… again.

  • Simon & Hecubus: In the Pit of Ultimate Darkness.

  • It's Not Working Out #3: Chris is fired… one more time.

  • Girls Of Summer: Coach Buddy does it again.

THE KIDS IN THE HALL 2X01 "#201"

Sketches:

  • Spring: What a man likes about spring.

  • Comfortable: How comfortable are these couples?

  • Trucker #2: Truck Owner makes a phone call.

  • Hard Day: An undercover alien overreacts to innocent questions.

  • Off Swingin': One cool cat.

  • The Doctor: How far can you coast on just charm?

  • Bobby & The Devil: Bobby has a guitar fight with Satan.

These statistics should frighten us. Compel us. Move us. But here we are.

I’m attending Microlearning Conf ep. 8.

My friend and favorite Learning & Development guy, Mike Taylor, is presenting. No cost to attend so check it out if you ever do any training.

Airmeet: MicrolearningConf ep.8

📸 Ok. So. We asked a nice couple of young ladiesl to take our photo (after they asked us to take theirs) and she snapped this right as a loud AF vehicle decided to be loud AF right in our ears. And I freaking LOVE this photo 😂🤣☠️

Hello @help. I made a post and it looks like some of the markdown didn’t really take somehow when I view the post on my blog. Looks fine when I go to edit it on the web or on the Mac app. Can you help? Here’s a screenshot of what I’m seeing on the published post.

APRIL DRAG CHALLENGE - WHAT I'M DOING AND HOW YOU CAN DO IT TOO

What I’m Doing

For the month of April, I’m changing my active social media account profile photos to a photo of me in drag.

Why I’m Doing It

Drag is one thread in the rich tapestry of LGBTQ+ culture, and LGBTQ+ culture is under attack. From banning books in schools and libraries with LGBTQ+ themes to pending and enacted legislation banning drag performances, our community is being actively censored, canceled, and denied free speech rights protected by the First Amendment.

I’m doing this to raise awareness about these attacks.

How You Can Participate

Join in! Make this a movement. Change your social media profile photos to either a photo of you in drag, or a photo of a drag icon. Leave the photo for the entire month of April.

Want to do more? Include a statement on why you’re doing it. Raise awareness about what’s happening by sharing links to reputable news articles covering these stories on your profiles. Write letters to the editor. Talk to your family and friends. Volunteer. Support local drag shows and artists. Donate to The Trevor Project.

If they’re going to come for one of us, they’re going to come for all of us.

Show your solidarity with the LGBTQ+ community and take the April Drag Challenge.

Additional Resources and Links

The War on Drag Shows (Popular Information)

Tennessee Passed the Nation’s First Law Limiting Drag Shows. Here’s the Status of Anti-Drag Bills Across the U.S. (Time.com)

Anti-trans Legislative Digest: Drag Bans, Bounty Hunters, And More (ErinTheMom on Substack)

Texas AG Tried to Get a List of Trans Residents … For Some Reason (RollingStone.com)

The anti-drag bills sweeping the U.S. are straight from history’s playbook (npr.org)

📸 March Photo Challenge #31: Practice. My favorite photo of my husband. I cried when I saw what I’d captured. I hope with more practice I’ll be able to take even better iPhoneography pictures. Maybe even get a “real” camera one day.

📸 March Photo Challenge #30: Mirror. These two were definitely mirror images of each other when they were kittens!

📸 March Photo Challenge #29: Slice. Got me a movie, ha ha ha ho!

📸 March Photo Challenge #28: Prompt. I feel like “prompt” as a prompt is pretty meta and couldn’t really think of anything special to take a photo of, so here’s a photo from the long-long ago of me and Nina West at a bar. My prompt for that evening was: drink!

And it’s only March.

Baker & Taylor on LinkedIn: #uniteagainstbookbans #libraries www.linkedin.com/posts/bak…

📸 March Photo Challenge #27: Support. It was nice to feel some support on my first day at the new job. I haven’t started at a new agency in almost 8 years so it’s all a little disorienting for me. New people, new routine, new assignments…

The House of Representatives votes this week on dangerous legislation that could enable more book banning across the country. We need to take action

Protect the freedom to read - call your Rep and urge them to vote NO on HR5.

“There is always a large horizon…. There is much to be done. It is up to you to contribute some small part to a program of human betterment for all time.” -Frances Perkins

March 25, 2023 heathercoxrichardson.substack.com/p/march-2…

THE PJS 3X10 "A RACE TO HIS CREDIT"

Thurgood gets accepted for a new credit card, but his complete ignorance as to how credit works gets him buried in debt.

THE PJS 3X09 "LET'S GET READY TO RUMBA"

From TV Guide: Mrs. Avery's new zest for life after surviving a heart attack leads her to challenge champs Bebe and Jimmy in a local dance contest. Meanwhile, Thurgood refuses to enter the competition with Muriel.

ABBOTT ELEMENTARY 2X19 "FESTIVAL"

Abbott Elementary rallies together to fight the threat from Legendary Charter Schools. Ava pitches a festival to draw parents to school and collect their signatures for a petition. However, Draemond shows up with the intention of derailing the event.

ABBOTT ELEMENTARY 2X18 "TEACHER APPRECIATION"

It’s Teacher Appreciation Day. When the district gives Abbott two courtside tickets to a 76ers game, the teachers must decide who deserves them. Later, Janine invites the teachers to her house for game night and her sister, Ayesha, comes to visit.

📸 March Photo Challenge #26: Instrument. A photo of a photo of Tori Amos playing her signature instrument. Also, you can see the gaze of a certain Blank stare hanging in the corner.

📸 March Photo Challenge #25: Spice. Zig-a-zig ahh!

GRACE OF MY HEART (1996)

Philadelphia teenager Edna Buxton wins a talent contest during the early rock 'n' roll era, changes her name to Denise Waverly and moves to New York City to make it big. Though she flops as a recording artist, fast-talking record producer Joel Millner recognizes her songwriting talent and teams her with struggling songsmith Howard Caszatt.

📸 March Photo Challenge #24: Court. Took this today while I was downtown and near the Supreme Court of Ohio. Ironically, or maybe just plain defiantly, I stopped in a no-stopping zone to snap a few shots. Learn more about the architecture, sculptures, and art here.

📸 March Photo Challenge #23: Chance. I grew up with Golden Retrievers so we kinda took a chance when we got a Shiba Inu and later a Beagle. Boy am I glad we did. Also I wanted to post a photo of Lucy as a pup so here ya go.

THE MUPPETS 1X04 "PIG OUT"

The gang has an epic night out when they run into Ed Helms at Rowlf’s Tavern and they all perform their favorite karaoke jams, but Kermit is not pleased when no one shows up to work the next day. Meanwhile, Fozzie has an unfortunate accident during the show.

📸 March Photo Challenge #22: Insect. Taken in 2016 when I volunteered for and was on the board of directors for a local, socially conscious art & music festival called Summer Jam West. That year’s theme raised awareness about the Monarch and encouraged planting milkweed 🐛

I don’t approve of Instagram but I strongly approve of Jennifer Coolidge. Check out the full W article here

📸 March Photo Challenge #21: Tiny. In Gilda Radner: Live from New York (1980) the character Emily Litella reads a children’s book called “Tiny Kingdom” to a classroom of hooligans. I won’t spoil the surprise, but there’s a big twist at the end of this tiny tale that will leave you in stitches.

ABBOTT ELEMENTARY 2X17 "MURAL ARTS"

Jacob secures a visit from a mural arts program for his students but doesn’t agree with their chosen design and attempts to influence their decision. Barbara and Melissa learn parents are petitioning to turn Abbott into a Legendary charter school.

Michael just made the first bouquet of the season 🌸 tête-à-tête and hyacinth.

📸 March Photo Challenge #20: Houseplant. Pre-lung transplant surgery Michael had a veritable houseplant jungle. Here’s a photo of our little lioness, Maggie, taking a break from exploring it. Post-surgery he’s allowed to have a few houseplants but has to practice restraint.

OHIO IN THE NEWS. AGAIN.

Today Ohio joined five other Republican-dominated states—Louisiana, Alabama, West Virginia, Missouri, and Florida—in leaving the Electronic Registration Information Center, a national data-sharing consortium that updates national voter rolls. Right-wing election deniers say that the bipartisan ERIC is controlled by left-wing groups that enable fraud.

March 17, 2023

📸 March Photo Challenge #19: Analog. A close up of the All Wave logo on my 190 gms virgin vinyl 10” record Off You by The Breeders. All Wave maintains a completely analog recording and production process. No computers. Nothing digital end to end. Kim Deal invented it. More Info

📸 March Photo Challenge #18: Portico. Another challenge word I had to look up. And I don’t come across many a portico in my day-to-day so I reached back to 2018 for this photo. I’m dressed as a Gays Against Guns Human Being here in front of the Ohio Statehouse’s portico.

📸 March Photo Challenge #17: Early. This is my awesome Kate Bush mug. I drink coffee from it in the early mornings during our together time when nothing is awake yet. We have some of our best conversations in the early morning. It’s a very intimate, special time for me.

The cover from my mother’s book.

📸 March Photo Challenge #16: Road. A page from my mother’s childhood copy of The Wizard of Oz. One of my most treasured possessions. “Which road leads to the Wicked Witch of the West?” asked Dorothy.

🪑 ALWAYS COUNT THE CHAIRS 🪑

We have semi-regular manager summit meetings at my agency. My role has been to co-coordinate them with a small team.

At the last one, I stopped in to the large conference room first thing in the morning to make sure it was set up for that afternoon’s meeting. I glanced around quickly and thought to myself, “This looks fine. No messes, nothing to rearrange, I know how to work the projector in here, the tables are all lined up classroom style, it looks like some tables were removed from the back, but I’m not worried; this afternoon will be good to go.”

I went about the rest of my day and headed upstairs when it was time for the meeting. The managers started pouring in as we were handing out papers and agendas and training materials and I felt a pain in the pit of my stomach. Slowly I realized there were more managers coming into the room than there were going to be places to sit.

Well, shit.

I started scrambling and pulling chairs from the side of the room, hurling them towards tables as fast as I could, breaking into a heavy sweat, feeling panic rising, feeling my boss look at me, becoming certain my credibility had just taken a massive hit. More managers, more chairs, more managers, more chairs.

It felt like we were 52 chairs short even though we only had 51 people coming to the meeting.

I ran out of table space, and so set up a short row of chairs in the back of the room. I knew the people sitting there wouldn’t have the best experience because they wouldn’t have a surface to write on, but I didn’t have any other ideas so into a row against the back wall they went.

The last person walked into the room just as I was finishing up that last row.

The last person happened to be our agency director.

Well shit.

“Mortified” only begins to describe how I felt. But by some corporate miracle I wasn’t fired on the spot and the meeting continued as planned, with only a short delay at the beginning.

The lesson I learned that day? ALWAYS count the chairs, Matthew. Always count the chairs.

Today we have another manager summit meeting. The topic of the summit is motivation.

My colleague and I stopped in this morning to set up the room. Not only did we count the chairs, but we set up the tables in Ts so that we could fit 6 managers to each T. Because of this setup we ended up with one EXTRA chair (yes!). We set up 10 flip chart stations for the 10 groups of managers who will be participating in an activity on motivation. We numbered the flip charts using letters. The letters we used?

M-O-T-I-V-A-T-I-O-N.

This will be my final manager summit meeting at this agency. I’ll post more details later, but I’m transferring to a different agency at the end of this month. I’m excited and nervous and daunted and happy and sad and all the things you are when you start a new chapter. I’ve learned a lot during my time at this agency. But the one lesson above all other lessons that I’ll carry forward forever?

Always count the chairs.

Several Ohio pension systems lost millions of dollars after their shares in a pair of failed banks tanked over the weekend.

Ohio pension systems lose millions in failed banks but say they’re a tiny fraction of investments

Tiny fraction? Tell that to the pension owners.

📸 March Photo Challenge #15: Patience. An early album named Patience from my favorite band, Over the Rhine. “I love the patience in your eyes” is a line from the song Circle of Quiet. These liner notes are autographed elsewhere.

“Nearly every tumultuous movement in American politics has coincided with a call to ban books.”

“The Librarians Are Not Okay - The Atlantic”

📸 March Photo Challenge #14: Horizon. The lyric sheet from my limited edition Scarlet’s Walk CD by Tori Amos. From one of my favorite songs, Carbon: “Keep your eyes on her horizon.” First time this has been out of the box since the year it came out.

I’ve worked at this agency for about 8 years. Most of the time it was good. I loved my first boss, and I loved my second boss. We just clicked. But my third boss, well, let’s just say we think she’s from Eastwick. Unexpectedly, she arranged this for my last day in the office.

Tell Congress to fund libraries here.

bit.ly/FundLibrariesFY24

Takes about one minute.

📸 March Photo Challenge #13: Connection. A very cool and complicated iOS shortcut that I’m not smart enough to build made this. I know it’s cheating a little but the song’s been in my head all day long thanks to this challenge so I’m submitting it.

I swear some of these Republicans would be burning witches at the stake if they still could.

Democrats Need to Fight Harder as the GOP Tries to Eradicate Trans People

📸 March Photo Challenge #12: Shiny. A photo of the lyric sleeve from my vinyl copy of Dove by Belly. The song, my favorite on the album, is called “Shiny One.”

📸 March Photo Challenge #11: Gimcrack. I guess I do own a few knickknacks. Also, I absolutely had to look up the word “gimcrack” because I’m not as smart as all that. That’s like a GRE vocabulary word right there.

  1. Post a great album with no explanation.
  2. Tag others to do the same.

Okey dokey, then. @odd @jean @maique

📸 March Photo Challenge #10: Ritual. Logging in to work each day is more like a routine than a ritual. I don’t have many rituals. Although some days after hearing the news on Alexa I do feel compelled to sacrifice a goat or something. Just depends on my mood I guess 🤷🏻‍♂️

📸 March Photo Challenge #9: Together.

Here’s a photo from the other day of me and Maggie Cat together. I love this cat so much and I’m afraid her head cold hasn’t quite been kicked yet despite months of medication.

📸 March Photo Challenge #8: Walk. I got a compliment on these sneakers yesterday. I wear them on my feet to walk around. They were limited edition for pride month, but they provide no arch support so I hafta wear insoles.

📸 March Photo Challenge #7: Whole. This is one of my favorite people, Heather. I deeply admire her authenticity and how she brings her whole self to work every day - unabashed, unapologetic and utterly real. An absolutely beautiful human being worthy of all the good things. ♥

📸 March Photo Challenge #6: Engineering.

KIM'S CONVENIENCE 1X01 "GAY DISCOUNT"

Mr. Kim offers a gay discount at the store, while Mrs. Kim tries to find Janet a cool, Christian, Korean boyfriend.

30 ROCK 7X13 "LAST LUNCH"

Jenna prepares an emotional farewell song as the cast and crew reunite for one final "TGS".

30 ROCK 7X12 "HOGCOCK!"

Liz has trouble adjusting to being a stay-at-home mother. Jack takes stock of his life, and Tracy struggles to get on without Kenneth.

30 ROCK 7X11 "A GOON'S DEED IN A WEARY WORLD"

As her new kids arrive, Liz scrambles to save TGS from cancellation. Jack finds a new NBC president.

30 ROCK 7X10 "FLORIDA"

When Jack persuades Liz to go to Florida with him, they make a shocking discovery about his mother. Jenna and Tracy assume responsibility for the show in Liz's absence, resulting in disaster for Kenneth.

30 ROCK 7X09 "GAME OVER"

Jack asks Devin Banks to help him discredit Kaylie Hooper, Jack's teenage nemesis and KableTown's future CEO. Liz considers her options as she tries to become a mother. Tracy directs Octavia Spencer in his movie.

30 ROCK 7X08 "MY WHOLE LIFE IS THUNDER"

Jenna annoys Liz with her wedding envy, Jack devises a plan to avoid disappointing his visiting mother and Tracy attempts to cheer up Kenneth.

30 ROCK 7X07 "MAZEL TOV, DUMMIES!"

After an encounter with Dennis Duffy, Liz and Criss decide to take drastic measures to start a family. As Liz looks toward the future, Jack and Jenna evaluate their own self-worth, and Tracy laments a shocking medical diagnosis.

30 ROCK 7X06 "AUNT PHATSO VS. JACK DONAGHY"

Tracy and Jack engage in a battle of wits after Tracy depicts Jack as a villain in his latest project. On Jack's advice, Liz puts her own needs ahead of those of "TGS." Meanwhile, Jenna tries to shield Kenneth from Hazel's manipulation but her own selfishness gets in the way.

30 ROCK 7X05 "THERE'S NO I IN AMERICA"

Realizing that Jenna could decide the Presidential election, Liz and Jack stage a debate to win her support and her followers. Kenneth turns to Tracy for advice on how to be an informed voter, while Pete tries to recreate the magic of the 2008 election.

30 ROCK 7X04 "UNWINDULAX"

Liz and Jack find themselves battling to influence voters in the upcoming presidential election. Meanwhile, as Jenna goes to great lengths to please her new fan base, the writers seek out new ways to mess with her.

30 ROCK 7X03 "STRIDE OF PRIDE"

Liz works to prove to Tracy that women are funny while simultaneously attempting to head off a meltdown from Jenna after some negative publicity. Jack tries out an unconventional dating strategy.

30 ROCK 7X02 "GOVERNOR DUNSTON"

Jack and Liz find themselves at odds over political satire at "TGS". Criss and Liz make a surprising relationship breakthrough. Meanwhile, Jenna, discouraged by the disappointing sales of her summer dance hit, is thrilled to learn that Kenneth's mother and her boyfriend still buy music.

30 ROCK 7X01 "THE BEGINNING OF THE END"

The "TGS" gang returning from hiatus, only to be shocked by Jack's awful fall programming lineup. Meanwhile, bridezilla Jenna taps Liz to be her maid of honor, and Tracy is invited to a dinner party by Kenneth and Hazel.

30 ROCK 6X22 "WHAT WILL HAPPEN TO THE GANG NEXT YEAR?"

Determined to prove his marriage has survived Avery's kidnapping unscathed, Jack asks Liz to officiate their vow renewal. Meanwhile, Criss (Marsden) tries to convince Liz that he's worth sticking around for. Tracy meets with Cornel West to discuss his influence as a black celebrity.

30 ROCK 6X21 "THE RETURN OF AVERY JESSUP"

Avery finally returns home from her kidnapping ordeal in North Korea, yet Jack grows uncertain of her fidelity while she was away. Elsewhere, Criss is crossed due to Liz's role as top wage earner, and Jenna seeks a sponsor for her approaching nuptials.

30 ROCK 6X20 "QUEEN OF JORDAN II: MYSTERY OF THE PHANTOM POOPER"

Angie brings "Queen of Jordan'' back to TGS. News about Avery forces Jack to confront his feelings for her mother, and Liz finds herself in a feud.

30 ROCK 6X19 "LIVE FROM STUDIO 6H"

Kabletown chooses to stop funding live shows for TGS. While Liz and Jack embrace the change, Kenneth argues that live format should be kept intact, and he tries to convince the TGS staff to fight for their right to be live by taking them and our audience through a magical look back at the illustrious history of Studio 6H.

The episode was filmed twice. The East Coast version aired for the Eastern, Central and Mountain time zones. The West Coast version was aired in the western, Alaskan and Hawaiian time zones.

30 ROCK 6X18 "MURPHY BROWN LIED TO US"

Jack sets Liz up on a blind date to show her what she's missing in her relationship with Criss. Meanwhile at KableTown, Jack has to scramble when his plan to manufacture couches hits a speed bump. With Tracy's help, Jenna orchestrates a public meltdown to get Paul's attention.

30 ROCK 6X17 "MEET THE WOGGELS!"

Jack's mom upstages his ribbon-cutting ceremony. Meanwhile Jenna hooks up with a "rock star" and Tracy frets about his son heading to college.

30 ROCK 6X16 "NOTHING LEFT TO LOSE"

Tracy regains his sense of smell and finds an unusual father figure in Liz, while the writers spark a prank war with Jenna.

30 ROCK 6X14 "KIDNAPPED BY DANGER"

Liz's scripted version of Jack and Avery's love story leaves Jack confused and frustrated by his feelings for Diana. Meanwhile, Jenna and Tracy attempt to beat Weird Al Yankovic at his own game, and Kenneth gets an unexpected new job at NBC.

30 ROCK 6X13 "GRANDMENTOR"

Liz struggles in her new role as mentor to Hazel. Kenneth has a difficult time letting go of his page duties and takes drastic measures to make sure Tracy is taken care of. Meanwhile, Jack and Jenna come up with a plan to get Avery back in the headlines.

30 ROCK 6X12 "ST. PATRICK'S DAY"

Jack feels unworthy of his latest award and attempts to redeem himself by taking on the writers in a strategic board game. Liz believes she's cursed on St. Patrick's Day when her ex-boyfriend Dennis shows up to derail her relationship with Criss. Meanwhile, Hazel struggles to keep the peace between Tracy and Jenna.

30 ROCK 6X11 "STANDARDS AND PRACTICES"

Jenna hatches a surprising new plan to get publicity, while Jack finds himself begrudgingly playing parent to his teenage nemesis, Kaylie Hooper. Liz rejects the new authority Kenneth has over “TGS” with his new job in Standards.

30 ROCK 6X10 "ALEXIS GOODLOOKING AND THE CASE OF THE MISSING WHISKY"

In order to hide his relationship with Lynn, Frank convinces his mother that he is dating Liz. Tracy and Jenna team up to try to solve the case of Pete's missing whisky. Meanwhile, Jack teaches Kenneth how to take down his first business nemesis.

30 ROCK 6X09 "LEAP DAY"

Jack learns to appreciate Leap Day while Tracy takes the writers to a restaurant to spend an almost-expired gift card. Liz helps Jenna seduce an internet billionaire.

30 ROCK 6X07 "HEY, BABY, WHAT'S WRONG? (2)"

Criss and Liz decide to celebrate Valentine's Day, but they need to buy a dining room table first. Jack entertains his mother-in-law, Diana, as Jenna frantically looks to Pete to fill in last-minute as the producer of her first live performance on "America's Kidz Got Singing." Back at the office, Tracy and Frank try to help Lutz find someone to spend Valentine's with.

30 ROCK 6X05 "TODAY YOU ARE A MAN"

Liz finds a secret weapon to help in her contract negotiations with Jack, Kenneth leaves his job because he feels under-appreciated, and Tracy and Jenna perform at their accountant's ungrateful son's Bar Mitzvah.

30 ROCK 6X03 "IDIOTS ARE PEOPLE THREE!"

Tracy Jordan challenges Liz by leading his own protest in defense of idiots everywhere. Jack faces off with Devin Banks yet again, but still finds time to interfere with Liz's relationship by giving Criss an ultimatum, and Liz tries to get rid of Jenna's new assistant.

30 ROCK 6X01 "DANCE LIKE NOBODY'S WATCHING"

Tracy becomes frustrated in his attempts to anger Liz. Jack questions the family value of the network's new talent competition and Kenneth awaits the Rapture.

30 ROCK 5X23 "RESPAWN"

Tracy interrupts Liz's summer vacation. Meanwhile Jack feels lonely and turns to Kenneth, while Jenna must choose between being the Wool Council spokeswoman and her relationship with Paul.

30 ROCK 5X22 "EVERYTHING SUNNY ALL THE TIME ALWAYS"

Liz realizes that she needs to take control of her personal life by fixing up her dream apartment, but she encounters an obstacle along the way. Meanwhile, Jack has his own problems to deal with when Avery is held hostage. Elsewhere, Tracy finds out that Kenneth, Dotcom and Grizz have bonded in his absence.

30 ROCK 5X21 "100 (2)"

With TGS facing imminent cancellation, Jack asks Hank Hooper to allow them to do their 100th episode as a final chance to prove they deserve a place on the air. Meanwhile, Jack questions a life decision of his and Jenna wonders if motherhood is for her.

30 ROCK 5X19 "I HEART CONNECTICUT"

Liz and Kenneth try to find Tracy's whereabouts before "TGS" can be canceled. Meanwhile Pete, feeling emasculated, challenges the writers and crew to a contest of strength.

30 ROCK 5X18 "PLAN B"

Liz Lemon discovers that without Tracy Jordan, NBC is putting TGS on a forced hiatus. However, when she passes on the news to the cast and crew, they all assume that the show will be cancelled and turn to their backup plans, leading Liz to wonder about her own. Meanwhile, Jack Donaghy is forced to hire his nemesis Devon Banks in order to turn around his disastrous acquisition of TWINKS, a network for gay men.

30 ROCK 5X16 "TGS HATES WOMEN"

The Girlie Show with Tracy Jordan is accused of being misogynistic, so Liz Lemon hires a female writer, Abby Flynn in order to prove that it isn't. However, she becomes frustrated when it turns out that Abby is provocative and extremely stereotypical. At the same time, Jack Donaghy formulates a plan to one day become the CEO of Kabletown, but to do that he needs to eliminate his competition, the current CEO's granddaughter, Kaylee Hooper.

30 ROCK 5X15 "IT'S NEVER TOO LATE FOR NOW"

"It's Never Too Late For Now" is the fifteenth episode of the fifth season of the American television comedy series 30 Rock, and the 95th overall episode of the series. It was directed by John Riggi, and written by Vali Chandrasekaran. The episode originally aired on the National Broadcasting Company network in the United States on February 15, 2011. Guest stars in this episode include Eion Bailey, Adriane Lenox, and Sue Galloway.

In the episode, Liz Lemon decides to give up on love and tries being a spinster but eventually meets a man named Anders. However, there is more going on than there first seems. Meanwhile, Jack Donaghy finds it hard to negotiate a proper salary with his night nurse, Sherry since she has some sort of leverage on him; and Pete Hornberger and Frank Rossitano form a band and write a song.

30 ROCK 5X14 "DOUBLE-EDGED SWORD"

Jack Donaghy heads to Toronto with his wife, Avery. When she goes into labor, they try their best to get back to the United States with the help of a meth smuggler, Lorne. Meanwhile, Liz Lemon boards a plane with her boyfriend, Carol, as the pilot. Things do not go well when the plane has not flown yet and Carol keeps telling them that they will leave "in about half an hour" several times. Elsewhere, Tracy Jordan deals with the pressure of having won an EGOT and the formal expectations that he has to meet.

30 ROCK 5X13 "¡QUÉ SORPRESA!"

Jack Donaghy meets with Kabletown's boss, Hank Hooper. Jack doesn't like Hank's tactics of being a friendly boss and, in order to impress him, steals Kenneth Parcell's idea. Liz Lemon keeps Avery Jessup's pregnancy from relentless reporter Carmen Chao. Meanwhile, Tracy Jordan and Jenna Maroney fight over a sweatshirt.

30 ROCK 5X12 "OPERATION RIGHTEOUS COWBOY LIGHTNING"

In the episode, Jack Donaghy decides to pre-tape a celebrity benefit for a natural disaster, but his plan goes terribly wrong. Meanwhile, Tracy Jordan continues to drive Liz Lemon crazy with his irresponsibility. However, when a reality show camera crew starts to follow Tracy around, Liz tries to use it to her advantage.

30 ROCK 5X11 "MRS. DONAGHY"

In the episode, the fictitious show The Girlie Show with Tracy Jordan staff are affected by budget cuts at NBC. Meanwhile, Jack Donaghy married his girlfriend Avery Jessup but following the wedding he learns that the minister did not marry the two of them. At the same time, TGS star Jenna Maroney shares a dressing room with her co-star Danny Baker, and Tracy Jordan has a health scare.

30 ROCK 5X10 "CHRISTMAS ATTACK ZONE"

In the episode, Liz Lemon and Avery Jessup convince Jack Donaghy to confide in and grow closer to his visiting mother Colleen Donaghy at Christmas time. At the same time, actor Tracy Jordan tries to stop the release of his new film before it ruins his new serious persona, and Liz also tries to fix Jenna Maroney's relationship with her former boyfriend Paul L'Astname.

30 ROCK 5X09 "CHAIN REACTION OF MENTAL ANGUISH"

Jack recommends that Liz start seeing a therapist when she worries that Carol is getting bored with their relationship. In an attempt to take Jack's advice, Liz begins talking to Kenneth about her problems. Jack also finds himself caught up in one of Tracy's schemes when Tracy tries to convince him to invest in his son's theme restaurant in Times Square. Meanwhile, Jenna and Paul celebrate their six month anniversary.

30 ROCK 5X08 "COLLEGE"

Jack worries that GE's microwave sales have improved too much without his help and tries to find glitches in their newest design. Meanwhile, Liz partakes in a crew lottery despite Jenna and Tracy's warning her not to do so. Elsewhere, the TGS writers discover that Jack is the voice of an online dictionary's pronunciation guide.

30 ROCK 5X07 "BROOKLYN WITHOUT LIMITS"

"Brooklyn Without Limits" is the seventh episode of the fifth season of the American television comedy series 30 Rock, and the 87th overall episode of the series. It was written by co-executive producer Ron Weiner and directed by Michael Engler. The episode originally aired on the National Broadcasting Company network in the United States on November 11, 2010.

In the episode, Liz Lemon finds a pair of jeans that make her look sexy, but which leave her with an unexpected moral dilemma; Jack Donaghy attempts to stop Regina Bookman being elected by endorsing her political rival Steven Austin; and a jealous Jenna Maroney attempts to sabotage the chances of the new Tracy Jordan film winning a Golden Globe Award.

30 ROCK 5X06 "GENTLEMAN'S INTERMISSION"

Avery Jessup becomes suspicious of the relationship her fiancé Jack Donaghy has with his employee and friend Liz Lemon, so she orders Jack to set boundaries in their friendship. This proves a problem for Liz when her father, Dick Lemon arrives in town on a break from his marriage. Meanwhile, actor Tracy Jordan is upset when he discovers that his pre-recorded NBC obituary shows him to have done nothing worthwhile in his life, whilst Jenna Maroney learns of the video obituaries, she decides to make a video of her own.

30 ROCK 5X05 "REAGANING"

Jack's determined to save Liz's relationship with Carol and Tracy shoots a commercial.

📷 March Photo Challenge #5: Tile. My friend Bec originally suggested a round mirror for the bathroom because it would look good with the large, white, rectangular subway tile. They have good taste. Michael added the scale and dried flowers. He has good taste, too.

📷 March Photo Challenge #4: Zip. I’m not a big fan of pullover hoodies. I just like the ones that zip. Like this one hanging on my home office chair.

📷 March Photo Challenge #3: Solitude. Fun fact: Suzanne Vega’s voice was used as a test during the creation of the MP3 format. She’s known as “The Mother of the MP3”. My favorite album by her is 99.9F°.

Ok so here’s my shower setup, which I’m sure you were dying to see. I splurged and got a shower speaker. At least I think it’s a shower speaker. The illustration on the box sure made it look like it’s waterproof. Guess we’ll see tomorrow morning 🚿

📷 March Photo Challenge #2: Weather. I garbled an Apple Music Siri command in the car this morning and she interpreted it as a request for Dave Matthews Band. I leaned into it & took out this CD for today’ photo when I got home. T-t-talk about the weather 🎵

📷 March Photo Challenge #1: Secure. Columbus, OH The inner workings of an old bank vault.

She’s really more of a friend and colleague than an employee, but she got me this for Christmas a couple years ago. I have it on my backpack and it always makes me smile.

She lost her father this weekend, so I’m holding some space for her and her family in my thoughts today.

Jennifer Hudson just took me to church, y’all.

You gotta watch this. 📺🎵🗓️⛪️

Tomorrow

Tennessee is about to ban drag. Like, completely make it illegal. 🤬 I keep thinking it’s a sign of what’s to come to the rest of my community, as if this attack weren’t enough.

In solidarity here’s a photo of me in drag from my much younger days. 🏳️‍🌈💅💃🏽

Pete is a very photogenic cat 🐱

Back in her own bed ❤️🐶

Lucy had a good night and was more alert this morning. They’re still stabilizing her insulin levels but she’s on track to come home this afternoon. 🐶❤️

Our Lucy Beagle has pancreatitis which is being complicated by her diabetes so they want to keep her another 24 hours in the hospital. She’s still not eating so they’re going to put a feeding tube in to get some calories into her. They’re going to monitor her glucose and adjust insulin dosages. The doc said most dogs heal fine after having a swollen pancreas, so he’s “cautiously optimistic” which I guess is positive. 🐶

Lily decided I needed a short break. I didn’t argue.

A few photos I snapped yesterday morning on the wet way to work. I loved the lights shining on the wet pavement.

Roberta Flack’s first piano came from a junkyard – five Grammys would follow

Roberta Flack recently announced that she has ALS. She can no longer sing or speak.

Tragic. That really makes me sad. :(

Wednesday (trakt.tv) We finished the series last night. Both of us really loved it.

2022

The lemon cheesecake husband made for my birthday this week.

THE FIRST DAY OF BEING 44

I won’t forget my first day of being 44.

Michael’s baking a cheesecake. I can smell it in the oven from the couch where I’m sitting with Lucy, our now only dog. One of our cats, Pete (she/her/hers) is sitting on the windowsill of the big front window, grooming herself. Norah Jones is playing on my computer - her first album. I haven’t listened to it all the way through in years. On this “Super Deluxe” edition, there’s a really great demo recording of Spring Can Really Hang You Up the Most. You should look for it if you’ve never heard it.

We just had a terrible fright. I was in the bedroom, where I spend most of my time for some reason, and Lucy was under the covers. I noticed her stir and held up the sheets and blankets so she could find her way out. But she didn’t really. I guided her out. She got up and stated walking very tentatively around the bed - like she wasn’t sure where the edge was. I got up from where I sat and talked to her. She wouldn’t look at me but she was trying to find out where my voice was coming from.

“Jesus Christ,” I said outloud, “Please no. Not today. Not today."

I brought her out to the living room and I called for Michael, who was downstairs. He heard the fear in my voice and came directly upstairs. I told him what I thought was going on, that Lucy wasn’t able to see out of her good eye, and he agreed. And then I broke down. Like, I had a complete meltdown. I cried like I’ve rarely cried before. Shaking. Hitting the couch with my fists. Scratching my leg compulsively, asking why. Why now? Why today? Why was she fine 10 minutes ago and now she can’t see? Why on my birthday? My dog loses her sight? Well happy fucking birthday to me.

It felt like my brain was tying itself into a big, wet-roped knot, wringing itself out. A wet knot, squeezing and constricting the more I tried to untie it. My body was completely stiff and I was forgetting to breathe, except for the gasps I took without realizing it between loud sobs and shouts and cries out to Michael asking why.

I started picturing all of the things we’d have to do to take care of her. I felt her confusion while she tried to sniff her way around the living room, disoriented but still wagging her Good Girl beagle tail. Carrying her outside to go to the bathroom, not being able to take her to the doggie daycare we just signed up for, worrying all the time that she might fall or hurt herself. 

This did not help anyone. 

Michael, god bless him, kept his cool entirely. He was looking up a doggie gate for the top of the stairs using his iPhone in one hand, and comforting me with the other. He couldn’t reassure me that everything was going to be ok, and I think it bothered him. He said wise things. He told me to let it out. I did.

By this time I had Lucy up on the couch with me and was petting her. I was starting to calm down a little bit, but not really. I had to blow my nose and wipe my red, bloodshot eyes. I stood and asked Michael if he’d keep an eye on Lucy, and of course he said he would. I went into the bathroom just a few feet away. While I was cleaning up, I heard Lucy jump down off of the couch.

And then a day-after-Christmas miracle occurred. 

We still aren’t sure what happened. She was completely back to normal. She looked at me when I talked to her, and walked around without trying to feel her way. She wagged her tail. I thought, “Thank you, God,” even though I’m firm in my atheist beliefs. I guess it’s just what you say when you think you’re losing your dog and it turns out you might not be after all. I gave Lucy a big chewy treat.

I called the vet and left a message about what had just happened, without the personal commentary of course. They just called back and we’ve got an appointment this week. They cleared her for doggie daycare tomorrow, too. This makes me feel very relieved. 

I told Michael I hadn’t felt the way I did - the amount of pain and despair that was coursing through me - since high school when I was a near suicidal teen. I haven’t come close to those feelings since about that time, and it scared me. It still scares me. It felt like I was breaking. Or already broken. On reflection, I’m not sure which scared me more: Lucy losing her sight or me having a mental breakdown and sobbing for like 45-minutes straight. 

When I was thinking about writing this post, I picked the title intentionally. You see, I used to write a “The last day of being…” post each year on Facebook on Christmas Day - the day before my birthday. I’d take a selfie and post it with some reflections on the previous year. I enjoyed writing them. It’s good to reflect.

But this year, I decided I wanted to write a “The first day of being…” post. I planned to write while looking forward to some of the things I hope I get to accomplish this year. Hobbies and habits I want to form. People I want to see and why. How to spend more time being present with Michael. Saving Lucy’s sight (again) was not on the list.

I won’t forget my first day of being 44.

Lucy beagle with a chewy treat

Lucy is playing the part of “Reindeer” as she accompanies me, “Elf,” and my husband, “Santa,” while we drive around town and drop off his homemade gifts for his friends. 🎁🍪🍪🍪🍊🍫🍫

John Cleese’s classic “silly walk” burns more calories than a normal gait It’s not particularly silly, is it?

A few photos from our Cincinnati Xmas

My little brother, who has two young daughters, gave me a present. I was like omg social & emotional skills I totally need this but it turned out the box had something different in it. So I pitched a fit and threw it at him and sulked for 7 minutes. (JK I said thank you.)

The Genius of Water (Fountain Square, Cincinnati, Ohio)

One of the many things I love about my husband is his decorating aesthetic. I don’t care for Christmas but seeing this warms my black little heart every morning.

TX AG = Queer Basher

You fight because you think the they’re coming for your pathetic semiautomatic weapon. They aren’t.

We fight because we think they’re coming for us. They are. Through legislation and book bans and outright discrimination disguised as religious freedom.

My team is responsible for a good deal of technical, procedural writing.

See an example of my best technical writing abilities at step #7 (attached).

It’s a good thing I’m not the boss of them. Oh, wait! I am the boss of them!

Those poor people.

Yup. From its provocative, jarring intro to its banging climax and disco denouement, there’s not a dull moment and there’s not a doubt that this is a dance pop masterpiece. Exquisite 🪩🎵🐴

Beyoncé’s ‘RENAISSANCE’ is the No. 1 Album of 2022

How to ban 3600 books from school libraries

⚠️ This guy is a madman. Seriously - his interview responses are ludicrous. And he’s winning the fight. Why? Why are we so bad at fighting fire with fire? 💡Idea: Let’s all challenge right wing books. Get that crap off the shelves. 📚

MY WORK PHOTO “CONTEST” SUBMISSIONS 📷

Work is having an employee photo “contest” and winners will have their pictures hung in the drab, recently painted in ugly colors hallways. I submitted these nine pictures for consideration. What do you think of them?

Now, it’s important to note that I say “contest” because leadership, which happens to comprise conservative Republicans, ignores votes cast in their “contests” and just picks what they like, and typically the winner is literally in their clique. Integrity, right?

I’m not even joking. They had a conference room naming “contest” and I created the survey and saw what actually won…and then Monday’s newsletter came out and they’d picked a different name entirely for the conference room, a name submitted by someone in their clique which actually came in last. So unless they were reading the survey results upside down, they were shady. And if they’re shady about a conference room name, imagine how much faith I have in their ability to lead.

Anyway, pretty pictures! 📷

An old photo of Bonsai as a pup. 🐶 She was so darn scrappy. I miss her.

CVS' diabetes scheme

But, without a doubt, many CVS customers believe they were providing additional dollars to the ADA that the organization otherwise would not receive. That isn’t true.

Don’t shop at CVS, y’all.

Me: plays Fallout 4 again and again

Husband: Keep playing that and one of these days you’re gonna turn into a Fallout 4!

Me:

Feeling cute might delete later idk

Not really sure if AI gets me. I mean sure, who needs pores? And I’ll take that computer generated haircut any day. But Matthew as astronaut? Hm…

Here are some better pictures of the mantle as Husband designed and decorated it.

Follow me and my somewhat eclectic taste in music on Apple Music. Or don’t. Whatever. It’s up to you. 🎵 [https://music.apple.com/profile/UndamnedOne](UndamnedOne on Apple Music)

These are some of my favorite photos of Bonsai. She was a scrappy puppy, a beautiful but slightly aloof and stand-offish dog, and a stubborn old gal. And I’m going to miss her for a long time.

Royal’s Bonsai, the spunky Shiba Inu

July 17, 2008 - December 3, 2022

The vet said we were making the right decision. It was time.

I’ve never felt heartbreak like this.

💔

Grabbing some food at Northstar before calling it a day. Happy birthday, husband!

Husband’s first pedicure!

Here’s a grainy and crooked photo of my handsome husband decorating the mantle in silver, blue, and white for the season. ❄️📷

📷 This is my husband. It’s just… him. No frills, no fancy bow tie, still waking up a little, and talking with me in the morning. I cherish the times we share in our mornings together and I cherish him. I honestly don’t know what I’d do without him. ❤️👨🏻‍❤️‍👨🏼

I’m afraid of Americans.

This x one million

I tried to start a chapter of GAG here in Ohio before the pandemic but couldn’t drum up enough interest or participation. So I gave up.

Also, fuck guns. The 2nd amendment should be abolished.

Gays Against Guns | Come Out Against Gun Violence www.gaysagainstguns.net

I’m afraid of Americans.

Omg I just had some Pop Rocks for the first time since I was like 12. How did we grow up on this stuff?

TASTE THE EXPLOSION, MATTHEW. TASTE IT.

I do like the little sizzle noise it makes. 🤭

Bonsai wouldn’t eat all of her dinner and now she’s doing her pacing thing. Looks like I might be in for a long night. Last time she woke me three or four times before finally settling in. It sucks watching the dog you’ve had since she was a puppy in decline. It just sucks.

Lovely random text from an old friend. Grateful for the people in my life, even if I don’t see or talk to them regularly.

Ohio committee votes to send LGBTQ resolution to full state board of education

The Ohio school board’s executive committee approved an updated resolution declaring its opposition to the proposed federal expansion of Title IX protections to include members of the LGBTQ+ community.

I’m afraid of Ohioans.

Another one of the last roses from Michael’s garden this year 📷🌱

I used PunkPost to send a just-because card to Michael. I did the words writing, they did the handwriting. It came in the mail yesterday. Michael was very moved. I’m so grateful for him. ♥

My sleepy beagle.

Lucy the Beagle

Some fall foliage photos from Michael’s fabulous garden. 📷🌱

In 2018 I had a goal to send 52 handwritten cards of admiration to people who inspire me. I got 26 into the mail. I should pick up where I left off. It was a humbling exercise in gratitude, and several people told me it brightened their day. Writing them always brightened mine 💌

Ohmmmmigod this is hilarious

One of the last roses of my season. And it’s my favorite scented one. Mmm. 🌱📷

Got to see my brother and his family this weekend. First time since the pandemic hit. Very grateful to have spent the time with them. I was plumb tuckered by the end of the day. I think we all were!

Some photos from the weekend. 🌱📷

Ohio Statehouse, north-facing entrance. Taken this morning just as I stepped up out of the underground parking garage. Fiddled with some of the settings. 📷

A selfie with my Nan Whaley Nan Fan sticker and #OhioDeservesBetter t-shirt. I wish she’d obliterate Mike DeWine (who refused to debate her out of cowardice), but Ohio is dumb. She may not have a snowball’s chance, but she has my vote.

So Gallup has these fillable templates you can use to recognize or thank a coworker or whatever. I decided to give one to someone I really value. I don’t let this dorkiness out that often so I hope she appreciates it. Oh who am I kidding. I dork out all the time. Case in point:

Did you know the USPS offers a service called Informed Delivery that shows you what mail is coming to your inbox? It’s dumb, and more and more the emails have just as much digital junk as anyone’s junk folder.

It’d actually be a useful service if it: 1) stopped including digital advertising and SPAM in the emails and instead used that screen real estate for, I donno, vaccination campaigns, maybe?! 2) let you block unwanted junk mail from arriving in the first place and 3) was smart enough to link you to a valid bill payment site for utility bills received.

Until then, the service is more clutter than it is useful. I was able to report missing mail once thanks to it, but so far that’s been the only benefit.

Husband is super stoked about the Underwood typewriter he bought.

On this day in 2013 I was in library school learning how to library. On this day in 2018 I gave a “fuck Trump” speech at a library conference in front of three hundred or so librarians.

Here’s an example of a PunkPost card. Wayyy cooler than what I could ever make. (But don’t worry @archimage I still hand write my own thank you cards)

Lucy loves to wrap herself in the covers 🐶

A bouquet from Husband. 🌸

Some of my favorite photos from yesterday in Michael’s garden. He thinks I’m a really good photographer and should pick it up as a hobby. I do do pretty well with an iPhone I guess… 🌸 📷

My “uncle” Tom passed away today. He was a renowned photojournalist and professor in Ohio, and a good person. In his later years he was really into creating and lecturing on digital abstract art. He gave me a beautiful piece of his work for my housewarming.

This is a photo of my sweet husband in his antique booth. He takes great care and pride in maintaining it.

And don’t you forget it.

Prince & The Revolution poster

Dear PowerPoint Gods and also Divine, please don’t let me get fired for doing this.

A little game of cat and mousepad.

MISS JACKSON, IF YOU’RE NASTY!

Nobody: …

Beyoncé: RENAISSANCE

Me: This is a poem. A compelling and captivating exploration of Blackness, materialism, and higher consciousness nestled jarringly and confidently at the intersection of House, Disco, and R&B. There is nothing like this in her catalog, or in anyone else’s, either. It’s relentless and tremendous. A galaxy lives in this work.

Also me:

Iron weed. I think. Michael always has to remind me.

Remember the song Bright as Yellow by The Innocence Mission? It was about their only hit in the 90s because it was on a movie soundtrack. Empire Records, maybe?

Anyway this bright yellow 🌻 reminds me of that song. “And I do not want to be a rose, I do not wish to be pale pink…”

Michael said this was a good rose photo. 🌹

Here’s a rare sight: Lily Cat and Lucy Beagle having a Sunday morning nap together 💤 🐶 🐈

Bzzz! 🐝🌸

Did I mention that I got a new coffee mug?

I created an Apple shortcut (i.e., modified someone else’s) which allows me to tap an icon on my home screen that appends a shared note with a time stamp. It’s a log for Bonsai’s coughing. It makes me sad every time I press it.

I wrote a thank you note to the commission director from yesterday’s training session, but she doesn’t have a physical address any more since going fully remote.

So, I snapped a picture of the note and emailed it to her 📝 🤳📧✨👍🏼

Your Mabel looks like my Maggie @joshd

One of the reasons I’m becoming/I’ve become more of an anti-theist than an atheist. And it’s only going to get worse in this country, the land of the free and the home of the brave. Not sure who that’s referring to, though. Ants, maybe? Ants have it pretty good. 🐜

I just took the best photo of my husband that I’ve ever taken. Seeing his laugh and how alive he is in this made me cry. I’m so thankful for him.

I keep seeing typos like this in professional writing. There’s a word or two missing here, right? My mind isn’t playing tricks on me, is it?

Wearing a mask foolproof protection, but as Los Angeles’ COVID cases tick upward, masks help hold the line.

Anyone else seeing this?

I’m giving a training in two weeks. I might’ve hidden a secret Matthew slide deck inside of the official corporate-y branded slide deck.

Send good vibes. Michael’s mom needs all of the good vibes very much right now. ❤️‍🩹

Sunflower 🌻

Lily loves her head scratches

Michael got a dress form and left it on our porch. I took this picture of it. That is all.

Popular Information is donating 50% of all revenue from new subscriptions to the largest nationwide, independent, nonprofit abortion fund assisting patients in all 50 states.

If you want to help the Women’s Reproductive Rights Assistance Project, go there and donate.

Sounds about white: GOP lawmaker calls Roe ruling victory for white life as Trump rally cheers

One of my favorite Sinéad O’Connor songs 🎶

California Poppies from Michael’s garden. See the face? 😮

Poor Bonsai’s heart murmur is progressing, and so is her arthritis. Here’s a photo of her at her best-and probably how I’ll always remember her. Scrappy, headstrong, smart, funny, aloof. Her birthday is coming up. I want her to make it through that. I don’t want to lose her at all, of course. I hate so much watching her health decline. ❤️❤️💔

This is one of my favorite photos. We’d just told our how-we-met story at an love-themed open mic storytelling night called Speakeasy. It was Michael’s first time speaking in front of a big crowd. He did great and they loved our story 💕 I love it, too.

I just explained phat pants to Michael and he was mortified. “Those are awful! How did you ever walk in those?!”

Ah, the 90s. I do miss me some good phat pants and some drum n bass music. And Deee-Lite. I really miss Deee-Lite. But I suppose we all miss Deee-Lite.

So that shortcut that I modified (I literally changed 2 steps so it wasn’t no big thing) also shares the generated image to the iOS share sheet, which means I can post it to Sunlit, like this. But then one must ask oneself: who really cares what Matthew is listening to anyway? Probably not a good everyday use case, but for those “omg you gotta hear this you guys” posts, maybe I’ll use it.

Hm. So I figured out how to modify a fancy “now playing” shortcut to upload a fancy “now playing” photo to micro.blog, but did not figure out how to post it to a post automatically so manually typed all this. Anyway, here’s what is now playing:

The first day of my intended-to-be-a-vacation-week week and I’m loving the view from the front porch as I’m eating my cereal.

…I really, really need this break. I need to stop focusing on me in a selfish way, and start focusing on me in a self-compassionate way.

endurance 📸 He doesn’t like this photo. I think it’s fantastic, and a testament to his continued endurance and hard work and humanity since the surgery about 17 months ago. He’s more than surviving, he’s thriving. And I couldn’t be prouder to call him my husband.

ON WOMEN'S RIGHTS

The decision whether or not to bear a child is central to a woman’s life, to her well-being and dignity. It is a decision she must make for herself. When the government controls that decision for her, she is being treated as less than a full adult human responsible for her own choices.

  • Ruth Bader Ginsburg

Peonies picked from Michael’s garden. He put them in a beautiful red glass vase and the colors look so nice together. They’re wonderfully fragrant, too. 📸 🌱

fish 📸 here’s a photo of some fish that I took in 2010 that I don’t remember taking. Sigh. I’m so bummed that I forgot yesterday’s submission. I know it’s a little thing, but I haven’t met many challenges in life lately and I was looking forward to a small win.

stripes 📸 Dammit! I forgot to submit a photo yesterday because I wasn’t sure if this photo of Maggie would count since it doesn’t really focus on her stripes. Aak! I was so close to meeting the May challenge! 🥺😢😭

written 📸 Michael and I first met at a breakfast diner. After some flirting, he gave me this - a guest check on which he’d written his phone number. “Can I give this to you?” He asked me. I had just taken a bite of breakfast. With a full mouth I mumbled a hearty “Yes, you can!”

schedule 📸 Ok I know a screenshot is cheating a little, but hey. Here’s my schedule for next week. Vacation days, baby! I haven’t taken an intentional weeklong vacation in many years. Looking forward to some me time and detoxification (from work, life, etc.)

mountain 📸 I used to sing in a Big Gay Chorus. One year we went to a big conference in a big city on a big mountain with a bunch of other big gay choruses. This is the view from the stage of the venue we sang in. It was an absolutely exhilarating experience.

intricate 📸 all credit goes to Michael for sharing this intricate doily with me so I could do today’s challenge. He got it from an estate sale. I laid it on my silver MacBook Air for the pic. The overhead light gives it an orange-ish glow underneath.

plain 📸 I work for a conservative state agency in a conservative state with a conservative governor and a conservative government and this is my plain view of my plain cubicle wall at my plain job. Hashtag no filter.

Almost submitted for today’s photo challenge but I wasn’t sure if rope would count.

textile 📸 One of the many reasons I love Michael is his ability to transform our house into a home with things and techniques I simply wouldn’t think of - like adding this outdoor textile rug to our front porch. Little touches like this really make all the difference.

symmetry 📸 When their stray cat mother had a litter of kittens in our backyard, Lily & Madeleine (Pete) were the only two survivors. We weren’t planning on keeping them, but how could we not? Here they are as young kittens napping in symmetry.

beverage 📸 the remnants of a beverage I ordered from Starbucks this morning. Yes, I know they’re evil. They didn’t even include a straw with my delivery if that tells you what kind of monsters they really are. Yes, I had it delivered. Stop judging me.

indulgence 📸 The sticky, sweet indulgence of Krispy Kreme doughnuts 🍩

Photos that didn’t make yesterday’s photo challenge. I really like the one with the lens flare.

random 📸 A coworker just popped into my cube, greeted me, and said he had a random question. I almost snapped his photo. Instead, I took a photo of the random thing he was asking about: a portable projector.

hold 📸 This sculptured green arm and hand hold out a light bulb over Pearl Alley where Pearl Market, the downtown farmers market, takes place on Tuesdays, Fridays, and weekends.

time 📸 I need a new battery for my watch. Right now it doesn’t tell time so it’ll go back in the sock drawer for a little while longer.

clouds 📸 Yesterday I took a pic of the house but I was facing the sun and it wasn’t turning out well. I almost deleted it then wondered what it’d look like if I cropped out the house part and just left the sun and clouds. Turns out it’d look a bit like this.

fence 📸 This guy hangs on our fence all year long. At first I thought he was kinda spooky, but he’s grown on me.

community 📸 Cheating a little because I didn’t take this picture, Evan did. We were at an American Library Association conference in San Francisco in June (pride weekend). The marriage equality ruling had just come down. The community was electric, we were so free and alive.🏳️‍🌈

This was almost my photo challenge submission for today, but I decided to go with Prince lyrics instead. Still, doesn’t this look tranquil and soothing?

tranquility 📸 Prince’s Batman Soundtrack has a duet with Sheena Easton called The Arms of Orion. It has a lyric about searching for a lover in the Sea of Tranquility in it.

Here’s a photo of the liner notes with that lyric from my 1989 limited edition Batman Soundtrack tin.

maroon 📸 Almost forgot. I couldn’t think of anything very creative for today’s maroon theme, so here’s a boring picture of a boring tie in my boring closet. I like to wear it with a light blue shirt, charcoal grey sweater vest, jeans, and jacket.

pot 📸 Since passing the first year of his transplant anniversary, husband is allowed to have potted plants again as long as he doesn’t go too crazy. Here’s one in the kitchen.

bloom 📸 common name bridal veil; botanical name: spirea vanhouttii (thank you Michael) in bloom at the parklet across the street from the Catholic church across the street from the house where we live.

A recent photo from Michael’s garden. I like this one. I played a little bit with it-bumped up the saturation and darkened it. I don’t really know what I’m doing when I do that stuff. I just adjust the bars until I like what I see. I used an app called Macro for this. 📸🌸

These didn’t make the photo challenge but I still like them. The theme today was “union”.

union 📸 Michael and I just had our 6 year anniversary. When I think of union I think of us being married. These are our engagement/marriage rings, made of rosewood, sitting on the bedroom dresser in front of a jewelry box.

park 📸 Here’s a photo of Bonsai in better times at a state park in Ohio. Good vibes for Bonsai are appreciated. Her arthritis and heart murmur are progressing quickly. She’s my special ol’ gal and I’m so grateful that she’s been with me so long. 🐕

silhouette 📸 This is one of my favorite photos of Michael. It’s more of a somewhat silhouette than an actual silhouette and he’ll probably hate that I shared it since it was taken back when he was wearing his oxygen…but I really adore this man and this is but one reason why. 🐈‍⬛ 👤

Earth 📸 Meshell Ndegeocello Earth Compact Disc Maxi Single (2002) 💿 🎵 Original version available on the Maverick album Cookie: The Anthropological Mixtape

thorny 📸 A rose thorn in Michael’s garden 🌹 for today’s photo challenge: thorny.

experimental 📸 Experiment IV [Extended Mix] [2018 Remaster] 🎵 Kate Bush playing with Apple Music visualizer. (Today’s photo challenge: experimental)

photo 📸 Today’s photo challenge theme is meta. I mean, er, photo. And here’s my submission. It’s a photo of me taking a photo for the theme photo.

switch 📸 I’ve never done a photo challenge before. Think I can make it through the entire month? Today’s theme: switch

A few weekday morning photos from the Ohio Statehouse’s north lawn, facing east

4 Photos from Michael’s Garden

AN IDEA WORTH SPREADING

I’m thinking about breaking up with TED.com. Their mission of “ideas worth spreading” has a caveat lately that comes with a price tag. I don’t want to become a member, which they’ve been hounding me to do for months. And my organization isn’t about to plunk down the exorbitant amount of money they’re asking for in order to license their content for use in the corporate classroom (I don’t remember the exact price but it was well beyond prohibitive.) Plus they just did this big feature on a lousy billionaire whose name rhymes with “tusk” and who I can’t stand. 🤮

I feel like their words say they love the open and free exchange of ideas, but their actions say we are living in a material world, and TED is a material girl. 💎💎💎🤔

*LINDA BELCHER PSYCHIC SOUND*

I swear I’m becoming a musical psychic. It’s weird, you guys. Not long ago I was at the dentist and they had an 80s radio station on. For some reason I suddenly hoped they’d play I Just Called to Say I Love You. I thought to myself how I hadn’t heard it in long time and it would be nice to hear AND IT WAS THE VERY NEXT SONG. Then this morning I rather randomly decided to listen to Been Caught Stealing while I was showering. Just now I’m sitting in the waiting room at the pharmacy AND GUESS WHAT SONG JUST PLAYED. I sweartogod if Return of the Mack plays next, I will stand up and walk my ass into the middle of the street outside and start shouting musical prophesies to everyone who passes by until someone gives me my own reality show.

It’s Easter morning. I’m still in bed on the computer listening to music. I just put on Horses by Patti Smith. I did not put on Easter by Patti Smith even though it’s Easter because it doesn’t start off with “Jesus died for somebody’s sins but not mine” the way that Horses does.

G-L-O-R-I-A indeed. 🎵

1975 Horses  Patti Smith  C D U S A 2005 Arista Columbia Legacy 82876 71198 2  06

https://music.apple.com/us/album/gloria/1038568061?i=1038568064

PINWHEEL PLANTING CEREMONY AT OSU HONORING TRANSPLANT PATIENTS

Here are some photos from the pinwheel planting ceremony we went to today. Each pinwheel represents a successful transplant at OSU Hospital. The pinwheel is symbolic: 1 stem with 8 spokes representing the potential number of lives that can be saved (and major organs that can be donated) by 1 hero donor. Over 11,500 pinwheels were planted. I’m so grateful for my husband and so overwhelmingly thankful about his donor’s choice to be a hero. If you’re not already, become an organ donor today.

Snapped this while I was on a quick walk in the Short North earlier this week. It’s the sidewalk outside of Stonewall Columbus, our local LGBTQ community center. Makes a good iPhone wallpaper. 📸

Tête-à-tête in front of daffodils 🌸

Lily laying sideways 🐈

Stopped and got out of the car to snap this one.

New record player. Testing it out with the first record that caught my eye. So far, sounds good. I know Whoopi’s fallen out of favor lately (by “lately” I mean pretty much everything she’s done since Jumping Jack Flash except for Sister Act), but this performance is truly exceptional. 🎵🎭

Today is my friend-anniversary with my pal AJ. I’ll try to find something I’ve written about him to post here soon. Haven’t seen him since before the pandemic. Hoping he gets vaccinated and then we can hang out soon. He’s a good kid, albeit a typical teenager at this point.

First signs of life from Michael’s 2022 garden. I like the little irises. And the hyacinths are going to smell so good! Can’t wait for full bloom. 🌸

Another old photo. I took this in the alley next to the high rise building where I work downtown. There’s always construction going on down there, it seems. I was walking to grab some lunch and these love bricks caught my eye. I wish I’d thought to move the lunch specials board out of frame before taking this, but oh well. It really kind of struck me, the way these love bricks were laid out. It was kind of a crappy time in the world. I can’t remember what the tragedy of the day was at the time. The Paris attacks? A murdered journalist? The Pulse massacre? Something else? I don’t remember. But seeing these love bricks caused me to write a hopeful piece. It had metaphors about rubble and rebuilding and constructing and effort and looking close enough to see it, because it’s there, etc., etc. I miss that feeling of hope. I haven’t felt it strongly in a very long time. This was a nice reminder of what it felt like to be hopeful in the midst of a not so hopeful time.

Our internet is down at work so I was browsing through some old photos on my phone. This is one that I took at a Columbus Pride parade many moons ago. 🏳️‍🌈

🎵 Now Playing: Ooh Child by Beth Orton. She sings “someday” like it may never come, and it just rips up my heart.

https://music.apple.com/us/album/ooh-child-alternate-version/693523352?i=693523353

just curious why I only seem to have one category available to me to choose when posting, even though I’ve used multiple (perhaps too many) emoji in posts. Screenshot attached. @help

This song was really popular during my clubby drunken nights in my early 20s at the gay bars in Columbus. They’d play the video and I’d go nuts wherever I was standing. Using it this morning to get a little energized for a class I have to teach. 🎵

music.apple.com/us/album/…

28 DAYS OF BLACK HISTORY - DAY 18: STRANGE FRUIT

The “28 Days of Black History” series has been fun, challenging, enlightening, and informative. This issue shares the harrowing story and meaning behind the song “Strange Fruit” made popular by Billie Holiday. I maintain to this day that if you can listen to it - if you can move through the pain in her voice and delivery - without weeping, without reflecting on past and present inequities and injustices, then you have some soul searching to do.

Day 18: Strange Fruit Performed by Billie Holiday

🎵 I pulled out a few old tour books last night to look at with Michael, including this, the first tour book I ever bought at the first concert I ever went to: Tori Amos’s Under the Pink tour in Cincinnati, 1994. I was so obsessed with her. Admittedly, I’m still obsessed with her early work. It had such a significant impact on me.

We also looked at my Madonna Reinvention Tour tour book from 2004. It’s worth a pretty penny on eBay even though it’s missing the red string (the string proved too tempting to the cats as it had dangled from the bookshelf).

I’m not really ready to say much more about this other than I’m taking a break from non-sobriety. I don’t know how long of a break. Two weeks? Two years? A week and a day? Not sure. All I can really say is that today I am doing ok. Today I am embracing sobriety.

Michael is in the midst of decor-ganizing so I thought his anniversary gift (iron) should come out a little early. It’s an engraving of the poem Heidi read to us when she married us, “The Feather House”. ♥

Michael’s getting ‘round to changing the mantle display he created for the holidays this year. (The red & white theme was a smart way to take us to Valentine’s Day.) These two little guys are my favorite. I wonder who they’re supposed to be hmm. ♥️ 👨🏻‍❤️‍👨🏼 🎄

Bonsai and Lucy got their nails done today 💅 They’re loved wherever they go and one of the groomers came rushing out to put this flower on Bonsai 🌸 🐕

My little brother and his wife had their second daughter. Here’s a photo of her with Mom 🥰

Happy Valentine’s Day from my husband Michael 🥰

LOOKS LIKE SOMEONE GOT THE MEMO

One of my team members was running a little late today, for like the first time ever, so I might’ve razzed her a little bit while mostly airing some sarcastic grievances of my own. I also might’ve created a public record in the process. Please don’t request it. Thank you in advance.

BALTIMORE

This is considered like the holy grail of Tori Amos collectibles. It’s a 45 she recorded as a teen (before she was “Tori”). 🎵 The asking price doesn’t surprise me. But the shipping? Really? I mean, like, really? You’re really gonna do that, pal? I’m tempted to make an offer for what he’s asking MINUS FIVE DOLLARS. 💵💵💵💵💵👎🏼

Irony as big as a billboard. Wait. Is this irony? Or just an unfortunate coincidence? I always forget since that stupid song where she screams like a banshee about rain on your wedding day.

A “paws” in Lily’s busy day of napping and also napping.

Lucy, looking. 🐶

Sleepy Lucy Beagle needs her nails trimmed 🐕

BONE DRY

Eve - Over the Rhine

The first Over the Rhine song I ever heard was Should from their album Eve. My high school friend, Keith, put it on a mixtape for me. Years later, I learned the song was written about someone HIV positive, which made it even more meaningful for me. 🎶

If angels walk among us, certainly Dolly Parton is one. Also, Jeni’s ice creams are the only ice creams served in heaven. Also, I want this ice cream.

ALEXA, WHY IS IT SO COLD IN HERE?

Amazon Echo - SNL - YouTube

Seriously one of the funniest things I’ve watched in a long time.

Q: HOW TO PREVENT 6,500 LIVES FROM BEING LOST, 250,000 HOSPITALIZATIONS? A: DON’T.

It’s almost like some conservative justices don’t care about people as much as they care about “states’ rights.” Or Benghazi or whatever.

“The mandate would have covered about 84.2 million Americans (our population is about 332 million). OSHA estimated (before Omicron) that the rule would save 6,500 lives and prevent 250,000 hospitalizations over a six-month period.”

heathercoxrichardson.substack.com/p/january…

HAPPINESS PIE

apple.news

Quebec’s ‘unvaxxed tax’ has people rushing to get vaccinated - NPR

In the province, roughly 90% of its eligible population has received at least one dose of a COVID-19 vaccine, according to Canada’s COVID-19 tracker.

Canada really does sound better and better all the time.

ITE RELEASES MACMOJI AND OTHER AWESOME SIRI SHORTCUTS

iTE - MacMoji

I love this shortcut for Mac and iOS - easy (albeit pretend) way to get the latest MacBook Pro model. 💻

More Siri Shortcuts by iTE

GARFIELD MINUS GARFIELD

I LOVED Garfield comic books as a kid and would check out stacks of them from the little kiosk library in the mall every time we’d visit.

As a much more cynical adult, I absolutely cackle over the Garfield minus Garfield comics, which do exactly what it sounds like they’d do. Wikipedia: Garfield Minus Garfield

More macro Maggie 🐈

Macro Maggie 🐈

Ladies and gentlemen, a portrait of Pete the Cat (she/her/hers) 🐈

Bonsai and Lucy 🐕

A rare sighting of 4/5 pets together. Bonsai is, of course, aloof and out of frame. 🐈🐕

PRE-COVID ERA SELFIE

This old selfie is staring me down 🤳 👀

I THOUGHT IT WAS SKINNY & SWEET

It just occurred to me that 9 to 5 may have very well been the first movie about “remote” work. 🍿

BONSAI

This is our beautiful girl, Bonsai. She’s 13 (but doesn’t look a day over 7). She hasn’t been herself lately. Won’t eat. Refusing her heart medication no matter what we wrap it in. Just acts kind of distant. Every time I think about losing her, I cry. I can’t cope with aging, death, or dying. I don’t know how. I know it’s “just a part of life” but that doesn’t help. We’re going to the vet (again) on Monday to talk about her appetite and how on earth to pill her when she doesn’t like anything anymore.

2021

QUANDARY

File as:

Huey Lewis & The News OR Lewis, Huey & The News OR Lewis, Huey & News, the

PUNKPOST ROCKS

You’ve gotta try it out-send a card to someone you love or haven’t seen in a while. It’s worth every penny, I promise.

Punkpost iPhone app: itunes.apple.com/app/apple…

Send cards online: punkpost.com

THE CDC SLASHES ESTIMATES OF OMICRON'S PREVALENCE IN THE U.S.

NPR via Apple News

CDC:

“I think we, as a society, need to trust people to follow all of the components of this…”

People:

LAST BRONCHOSCOPY

Me and Michael arriving for his last bronchoscopy appointment this morning.