Monday, January 30, 2017

Hitting Close to Home

Trump's First Exile- In Route to Spain
Every now and then a unexpected jolt goes through your system. Last week, just when I was feeling a momentary lull, entertaining the thought that the political and social morass might be mostly a product of media and news wars, something I could turn of at my desk and on my phone, I opened my mailbox. And while standing in our little provincial street, I got a shock back to reality when this article tumbled out: La Primera Exiliada de Trump - Rumbo a España (Trump's First Exile- In Route to Spain). Now, not much comes to us by way of snail mail. It's a city, by all rights, the townsfolk will tell you, we even have a cathedral. But either way, with just 12,000. inhabitants you don't expect to get a front page article about another Californian, like yourself, who has jumped the big pond, not for love, but rather to become the first to emigrate away from what feels for her intolerable to come and live in Spain. You may agree with her decision to pack up and go. You may say, "Fine. If you don't like the USA, then get out!" Still, obviously, at least for me, this impact is hitting very close to home.

Friday, January 27, 2017

Refugees and Flowers

Beautiful flowers, succulents, plants of different shape, color and size brought in from the Northern Spanish ice and snow, each plant lovely, just like the refugees, frozen souls waiting to be brought into warm hearths from camps and fields and desolate cold. A moratorium was just placed on refugees fleeing from eight Muslim countries, such as Syria. Let's make a welcoming place for them instead and keep the flowers blooming.
#winter #frost #snow #freezing #succulents#cyclamen #pansy #NorthernSpain #refugees#cold #warmhearth #Muslim #moratorim

And She Writes

One Sister's Midnight Rant Worth Listening to:

Just turned off the replay of tonight’s Lifestyles of the Rich and Famous … no, I mean 60 minutes. I watched, admittedly transfixed, as our new con artist postured on his tacky and gauche, gilded setté, conning another one of the cons of our major networks.

Now, I’m a Celt. And that means I tell stories. I holler. I drink too much. I think too much. I talk to much. I get excited. I interrupt. I love and I heal and give with a fierceness and a loyalty that only my dog can surpass. It also means I will entertain a lot of discourse and political bantering and sectarian infighting on facebook. I will always be up for a good debate on just about any issue.

But, here is my shot across the bow.
On the subject of a filthy wall? NOPE! Come at me with anything to do with walls and that windy, militant, ig’nunt trash about roundups and deportations of millions of people and, discussion over. I will shut you down. Walls and mass deportations are pura NAZI. That’s right, I’m calling anyone calling for a wall or mass deportations a NAZI. If you count yourself among those who love me, those who love America, and your mind is on a wall or a roundup of millions of people at gunpoint, or the registration of certain members of certain faiths, you must have forgotten not only your history, but that I’m a disabled woman. We were the first victims of the Third Reich. I WILL not engage in a discourse that asks me to defend my right to exist. FFS, no human being is illegal!

Prey like a wolf or turn silently the other way –not sure which is more morally depraved at this point-- on the most vulnerable among us, and you’re culpable. Besides, in case you didn't know, children and poor people who walk your babies and change your elders' depends and pick and cook your food, and clean your houses and mow your lawns and study for medical school and law school and scientific and engineering breakthroughs that might cure your ass one day, and soldiers from these countless wars, are detained throughout this country in dog cages already! So, liberals gush away about President Obama, Deporter in Chief, and conservatives, gush away about the new bloke's immigration vision. History will not be kind to either of them. Or any of you traitors onboard with the policies of the Blackshirts and Brownshirts.

On fear: (don’t dismiss me as too privileged and
insulated from the consequences
of this election to meaningfully comment on fear
I’ve refrained up until now because, frankly, White
people have dominated the mic throughout this election cycle, and they’ve been fear-baiting the most. So, it felt courteous and
righteous to let others go first. And hopefully the first
thing people did as the results came in was comfort the ones
in their own midst before hitting social media.)

One thing I learned
when I was sick and
in the uncertain torrents
of a new cancer diagnosis, is
that fear, not cancer, is the enemy.
Lemme say that again ….
FEAR, not Trump, not even death,
FEAR is the enemy.
Fear has been the dominant currency of this election cycle.
We've all been terrorized by this broken system, some more than others. So, yeah, fear is legitimate at a time like this.
But ask anyone in remission or coming back from some other battlefield.
Prolonged anxiety, that goes
unaided and unanswered will bring everyone of us
to our knees faster than any tumor
or draconian policy, or blackboots, or goons
from the halls of power.

Had I rolled over and let myself
be paralyzed by fear and the shock of that diagnosis,
I would be dead. Let’s try earnestly to compartmentalize our fear
to short stints per day, and allocate the lion’s share
of our time and mental and emotional energy to taking
care of each other, starting with the most vulnerable, first.
I’m reaching out. I’m giving and receiving consolation.

Let’s get to gettin'. Organize. Resist. Rebuild this political apparatus and balance the power by the 2018 midterms.
We obviously have work to do!
Because, ain’t nobody comin’ to save us. WE are the heros and heroines in our own stories. Isn’t that the way it’s always been?
Please understand that only from my cold, dead
hands will they be dragging Rick or half my family
and friends and colleagues off.
I’m with you. For you. And I got you.
And, this is a big one…
Please, please, PLEASE don’t let it be
lost on us what the office of the
presidency, like any employment contract,
implies for the new guy:
We’re his boss.
He’s our apprentice.
Time to mentor the new help.
-Donna Davies
One of the young artists at Juvie.
(Clay) "The Wall"

Thursday, January 26, 2017


There is a lot of confusion about second languages in the US. Bilingualism is a benefit to all, something to promote and be proud of.
"In monolingual children, semantic preference increases with age, suggesting that bilingual children reach a stage of semantic development 2–3 years earlier than their monolingual peers. ... They argue that the linguistic benefits of being bilingual are more than simply being able to speak two languages."
This isn't a political statement, just common sense. Now, more than ever let's applaud bilingualism!
We live in a global society. Besides, speaking two or more languages is good for you!
"Bilingualism has the ability to change and improve cognitive function across the lifespan (throughout your life!), even delay symptoms of dementia in older age." Learn a new language! You can start with Its free and fun. I'm practicing Italian. There's a great menu to choose from!

Wednesday, January 25, 2017

Flat Caps and Immigrants

"Remember, remember always, that all of us, and you and I especially, are descended from immigrants and revolutionists."- FDR.
Seven centuries ago the Flat Cap originated in Ireland and spread universally throughout Europe, crossing the ocean to America four hundred years later on immigrants' heads bearing almost as many names as the men who wore them. My year long admiration of this versatile Old World cap in Italy and back at home in Spain didn't change my traditional gentleman's mind. "That cap is for old men", he'd tell me. "Do you think I'm an old man, a hick?, with feigned offense. There didn't seem to be a chance I'd ever convince him of his need for such practical good looks. Then, last Tuesday, on market day, he grinned a teasing smile and asked me to pick out my favourite tweed. Loving this immigrant cap on my old-fashioned chap.
#immigrants #FlatCap #newsboycap #peakyblinders #gorra #newsy #ChizHat#fishermanscap #OliverTwist #EightPiece #sombrereria #banditcap #tweed #motorcarapparel #dockworkers #highsteelworkers #beggars #bandits #ItalianScots #JayGatsby #AppleJackHat #PoorBoy #Irish #tradesmen #artists #oldworld #shipwrights #farmers

Monday, January 23, 2017

Mark's Open Letter

Sharing in appreciation of Mark's Open Letter, a personal reflection of the election up to yesterday's

Women's March. Gracias mi'jo for your perspective.
An open letter to family, friends and all who are interested in listening:

This election season has been one of the longest in US history, lasting over a year and a half. It shook this country to it's core, polarized millions, and created a nation of political analysts. While many strongly supported one candidate, I found myself feeling like millions of others, lost; do I support a narcissistic billionaire demagogue, or the pinnacle of Washington elitism and corruption? Either way, we found ourselves choosing one of two evils to lead our ever more noticeable oligarchy. In early November I drove to the polling station, voted for the candidate that most represented my beliefs (Hillary), and that night, as it became increasingly more evident that Hillary would loose, I was blown away. In spite of the plethora of professional predictions, swarms of anti-Trump media, and the billions invested in Clinton's campaign, Donald Trump was appointed president-elect. It's no secret that the media and most of Washington supported Hillary, including many republicans. But, millions across the nation decided otherwise, democracy in its purest form. And, while there are some white supremacists, neo-nazis, and other bigoted groups who are thanking their lucky stars, the large majority of Trump supporters were not out to actively dismantle equality across the nation, but to take a stand against false politics and puppet politicians controlled by domestic and foreign billionaires and monopolies. At this time I would like to remind you all that Bernie was leading in polls against Trump in almost every state. The people were ready for a candidate that wasn't a politician. But, on that heartbreaking day when our beloved Bernie was knocked out of the race, some his voters lost hope or joined Hillary, while the rest of those seeking political change turned their gaze to Trump.

With that being said, Trump has been a symbol of racism, bigotry, and overall disregard for groups like the LGBTQIA community, minorities, people of color, women, and many others. His track record is shameful, his comments wounding, and his twitter absolutely unbelievable. While he is not a career politician or a Washington crony, he is a whole different type of evil. To say that protests and demonstrations are unwarranted is naive and ignorant. Yesterday I marched with over 20,000 people in Sacramento, and 2.9 million worldwide (the largest protest in history) to send the incoming administration a message that equality in America is here to stay. Once again, democracy in its purest form. It was a beautiful moment in history, and a wonderful beginning to this presidency.

Now that my lengthy introduction is over, let me address my real point.

When I discovered that pro-life women and men were discouraged and even banned from coming yesterday, I felt that familiar pang of frustration in my heart. The last paragraphs were written to demonstrate the dissatisfaction of Americans across political spectrums. Whether you're a progressive, liberal feminist, or a conservative, right wing fundamentalist, we have ALL been saying ENOUGH. To exclude pro-lifers from the Women's March is to draw lines between allies. If we are marching for women's right to choose, then we must accept those that choose to not support abortion. Moreover, if we continue to demonize those that voted for Trump, not only will we loose the support of millions of people that have demonstrated their want for a fair political system, but also create enemies out of our fellow Americans. We cannot continue to preach love, equality and inclusion while actively shaming, attacking and excluding those who would help us take this country back from the top 1%. We are all America, and we need them as much as they need us. Do not let those in power divide and conquer this movement before it can succeed in bringing change to our domestic and federal political systems. Let's make a conscious effort to not only stop demonizing right wing voters, but to include, integrate, and organize them into the movement we are all rooting for. Do not forget the real enemy. Let's make Bernie proud.
#letsmakeamericaloveagain #hugatrumpsupporter

Sunday, January 22, 2017

My Kids are Marching

My kids today and the things they wrote about the Women's March, seen all over the world - Barcelona, London, Berlin... There are 16 reasons outlined on the Guiding Vision and Definition of Principles. Maybe you agree with all or with a good portion of them, like me. Imagine refusing black & white thinking. Imagine if you were there; What would what would YOUR sign say? (Paste your poster or write in your slogan in the comments below.)

Rocking our pussy hats at the SLO Women's March thanks to mama Mehl! So encouraging to be surrounded by thousands of strong women and allies! - Sara, San Luis Obispo, California

"Sacramento Women's March! Over 20,000 people marching to tell the new administration that they will not halt our journey towards equality. It was incredible, inspiring, and a little surreal to stand on the steps of the capitol building and take part in history. This is what democracy looks like." Mark, Sacramento, California

"President Trump, you have made a big mistake. By trying to divide us up by race, religion, gender and nationality you have actually brought us closer together. Black, white, Latino, Native American and Asian American, gay or straight, male or female, native born or immigrant we will fight bigotry and create a government based on love and compassion, not hatred and divisiveness." - Bernie Sanders
Mark & Dylan, Sacramento, California

Risa & Pat, San Diego, California.

The exclusionary hypocrisy of the women's march on Washington.

Monday, January 9, 2017

Sombra and Toti

Hacía tiempo que no veía a mi amiga Toti, la de La nueva vida de Toti
Confieso que al principio yo tenía envidia de ella porque era más joven y yo la veía más guapa y más grande. En las primeras carreras que hicimos vi enseguida que era muy rápida y no tenía miedo a nada. Yo no me atrevía a darlo todo porque tenía miedo no me fuera a pasar otra vez como aquella en la que me choqué y estuve muy mal; me costó dolores y tiempo recuperarme. El miedo todavía me amenaza.
Pero mis papis me mostraron que podíamos ser amigas sin que ninguna perdiera sino que ambas ganásemos. Si nuestros papis eran amigos, también nosotras podíamos serlo.
Hoy estuvimos juntas en este "prau" en el que no tengo miedo a correr todo lo que dan mis piernas. Pero me sorprendí a mí misma corriendo tanto como Toti. ¡Qué gozada! ¡Estoy en forma! ¡Joven y guapa!

I haven't seen my friend Toti, from (La nueva vida de Toti) The New Life of Toti in a long time.
I confess that I was envious of her in the beginning because she is younger and bigger. On our first runs I saw immediately that she was really fast and unafraid of anything. I didn't dare give it my all because I was afraid of what happened to me the last time when I crashed and was really hurt; it took some time to recover. The fear still overcomes me sometimes.
But, my papis showed me that we can be friends without either one losing, but rather both winning. If our papis were friends, then we could be also.
Today we were together in this meadow where I'm not afraid to let my legs go as fast as they want. But, I surprised even myself that I could run as fast as Toti. What joy! I'm in shape! Young and beautiful! - Sombra