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First off, here's the green heron pic I promised lbilover. I took this pic at the swampy entry pond by the lake the other week. It's such a different looking bird when its neck is all tucked in.

It's way too hot this weekend to be walking around the lake, maybe too hot to go to the gym to swim. So I saw Ghostbusters yesterday--it was a fun piece of fluff.  Seeing a group of women working together in a zany way without being objectified was much more important than it felt to me while viewing it. The feeling was an "of course, no big deal that women are people."  The big deal was the hunger I felt all these years for the depictions that should have been there all along. Once it’s set right, it’s just normal and to be taken for granted. 

This is why it's hard for leftists, liberals, and progressives to generate enthusiasm.  It's hard to celebrate something that should be taken for granted because it is so obviously the right way things should go according to values based on the notion of equality. That is the challenge--it only becomes visceral in comparison to the past--it's a two step process to re-ignite the enthusiasm that got burned up getting to that point.  It involves reflection, not just immediate feeling.

Backlash is fueled by the visceral excitement of tearing down, while projecting the feeling of fighting back. It generates its own enthusiasm--we have our work cut out for us in pushing back against it.

I hope the Dem's can put on an inspiring convention this week. I hope it is made clear how much more progressive Sanders has made HRC’s platform—that isn’t lost with the choice of a more moderate VP—and one of the only choices whom removing from Congress would not lose a seat to the Republicans; Virginia has a Democratic governor who will designate a Democratic replacement. And it’s not lost by the revealing of the bullshit the party partisans plotting against Sanders had to say, as if we didn't know this already. Like Obama, the HRC/Kaine ticket is still to the left of where Bill Clinton and Gore stood—not a lot, but I’ll take it—it’s progress I am happy to get after years of Reagan and Bushes and in the scary face of what the Republicans are fielding now. Throwing into the mix the first woman president is not a consolation prize and not a Thatcher/May pyrrhic non-victory—HRC is far better than them and on the moderate left and will continue the hard won progress Obama achieved, more so if we can move the court and Congress left, which, unfortunately, would have been harder to achieve if she removed Warren from the senate to be her VP.

Untrustworthiness is a misogynist meme, maybe the most ancient woman hating meme, being used against HRC to dampen our enthusiasm for her. “Lock her up” shares the cadence of “Burn the witch.” It’s just as violent rhetoric, and as repellent and dishonest as appropriating Michelle Obama’s words and saying it is no big deal, while bashing everything she stands for. Notice the Republicans made sure women were responsible for that oh so unimportant lie they perpetuated--you can't accuse Melania or her speechwriter of plagiarizing, as they were set up to do, without furthering the "women lie" meme. I don't know if they were clever enough to stick them with it deliberately, but they are clever enough to make hay with its results.

The thing that HRC can’t say about the email issue is that we have a long way to go to making government email secure because no one can keep up with the hacking of the changing technology at this time and government systems are large and, therefore, harder to secure. Look at the big OPM breach of personal data this last year. In light of this, and with security on the internet being an ongoing problem for everyone everywhere piecing it together as best we can, the email issue is such a non-issue. And I would not be surprised if HRC’s private server was more secure than the government servers could be made at the time and kept vital information more secure. However, she can’t say this without giving the Republicans more fuel to put down government, the only imperfect instrument we have to defend us against corporations (such as arms manufacturers) through regulation and to put our money to use for services to benefit everyone, including those corporations, but only if we vote.

It's still up to each of us to inspire ourselves and push forward and believe we deserve a better government than the sad vision the Republicans presented last week. We must do this. Go Democrats for a great week!

Also posted at http://lavendertook.dreamwidth.org/201370.html with comment count unavailablecomments

Happy Birthday!

A very happy birthday to dear mews1945!!! I hope today is filled with love and all good things and that you feel a little stronger each day. Here are some pretties and fuzzies from around Greenbelt Lake, and thereabouts for you.

A sweet william in all their variety of colors that was blooming in May by the lake.

A deer in the woods behind my apartment building who was very fascinated by my talking to him in baby talk--so many critters seem to just love that.

A squirrel by the lake feasting at a lakeside house's yard where they put out bird seed.

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Also posted at http://lavendertook.dreamwidth.org/201138.html with comment count unavailablecomments

One of those anniversaries and world rant

My mom died one year ago tonight. I think she did well to go then and not now--I do not think she would have liked experiencing this past year of the world. A year ago, Trump was still a joke candidate, and a total long shot. And yesterday, not to mention the past month, would have been a terrible send off for her. So it was a mercy.

More massacres. And Republicans running around without their masks on anymore. It is backlash culture--the masks off are the last ditch effort, and hopefully, November will prove that more people in the US are moving onward from there, but it's so not a sure thing that the spawn of the Koch Brothers won't prevail. I hope we can rally and get out the Democratic vote--and I hope Sanders' movement keeps momentum for pushing all branches of government to the left--if it fizzles then nothing will have been salvaged of this year.

It's unconscionable that the President has not been allowed to nominate a Supreme Court justice and I can't blame Ginsberg for losing her cool in light of this hijacking of our government by Republican thugs set on destroying our nation--she must be so demoralized by that empty seat that at the very least should have been under debate several times over by now, and the media has just buried the issue under.

My mom and I shared political views and, with all our personal differences, I rant to honor her. But today I am just really sad.

Also posted at http://lavendertook.dreamwidth.org/200750.html with comment count unavailablecomments

Black Men Killed by Police

The killing of the five police officers in Dallas was horrible. The killing of the two black men two days in a row by police officers was also horrible, an everyday horror for black people, only now getting the focus it should have gotten for decades due to the spread of ready video technology, and I don't want the focus shifted from that ongoing injustice by the Dallas killings.

Over 500 people have been killed by police in this country this past year and almost half have been black and (with overlap) hispanic people. I am glad protests are still ongoing and thank the bravery of the people getting out there in the streets in peaceful protest.

For those of us who can't get out there for various reasons, here's at least a petition to sign from an established organization seeking justice for Philando and Alton

Also posted at http://lavendertook.dreamwidth.org/200694.html with comment count unavailablecomments

More Vintage Saki

I scanned in a few more "Saki: The Early Days" pre-digital pics tonight, when she was just a tiny noodle. I sure miss that little girl. Sweet Tuxie, who loved his Saki (albeit often in a dysfunctional way), spent several minutes this evening staring at the foot rest where Saki often slept like he was seeing her there. Makes one wonder.

Making herself pretzel comfortable. Who needs yoga pants? Not Saki.

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Also posted at http://lavendertook.dreamwidth.org/200332.html with comment count unavailablecomments

Happy Birthday, Dreamflower!

A very happy birthday to [profile] dreamflower02!!! I hope it is full of hobbity goodness!!! Enjoy!

These are sweet williams and daisies by Greenbelt Lake that were blooming tin May.

Also posted at http://lavendertook.dreamwidth.org/199979.html with comment count unavailablecomments

Time for June to be over already

And for today's life prank, I woke up with no running hot water. The water heater system for the entire building failed and they hope it will be fixed tomorrow. I'm not one who can brave a completely cold shower, so the month of a thousand paper cuts continues . . . I am so ready for June to end. Oy.

Also posted at http://lavendertook.dreamwidth.org/199827.html with comment count unavailablecomments

Existential Dread Salute

OK, now I'm just being existentially trolled. Yesterday, when I was putting the sun room back in order, I noticed my finger was feeling stiff, and saw it was swollen and purple and red. I don't recall hitting it or bending it wrong. The stiffness went away in short order, and it never hurt, but it's still purple and red now.

It is, of course, my middle finger. Very cute existential demons, very cute--laugh away.

I expect it is just a burst blood vessel--what I googled doesn't seem at all alarming. So I'm not going to worry about it unless it starts hurting, turns green, starts singing "Daisy", or doesn't resolve in a couple of days. Anyone else have this happen?

Weird. And just . . . enough already, OK? O_o

Also posted at http://lavendertook.dreamwidth.org/199445.html with comment count unavailablecomments

Kvetching, Vigil, Films, Books, and Hike


A lot of annoying times for me these past 3 weeks, in addition to the upsetting world angst. Nothing life shattering for me--I'm just bent out of shape like it was--shape up self! Car repairs that took 2 days and resulted in having to replace the radiator and fan assembly. At the same time, I had a maintenance person in for 2 days working on the drip that had become a stream from my bathtub faucet and had to keep calling on him when the first days work resulted in not all the water going up to the shower head when switched, until he came up with a makeshift solution, which I hope holds.

Then the next week my bedroom ac stopped working. That took a week and a lot of calling, waiting for contractors who did not show up, hot nights, then the maintenance man making my sunroom into a mess when he brought in a portable ac. It was finally fixed Tuesday.

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Also posted at http://lavendertook.dreamwidth.org/199336.html with comment count unavailablecomments

A Long Expected Long Moot Report

It has been a long couple of weeks of home and car repair stressors. But I’m finally taking some time to finish my moot write up that I started a couple of weeks ago now. I was a bit absent here in the spring focusing on moot prep, and since it focusing on household stuff that got pushed aside and not so good with keeping up with posts and comments here. I’m working my way back.

So we had this moot Memorial Day weekend. (-:


The moot started a couple of hours later than planned—Friday morning I heard from poor hildigard_brown that her flight out of Austin was cancelled and she was rebooked for Saturday afternoon. I was sad not to meet her that morning and for the time she would miss out on, but I took the time to relax, take a walk before the day got too hot, and then drive up to the bus station in Baltimore to pick up aliensouldream and gabi_fics (from Manchester, UK via NJ, down to DC and back up to Baltimore) getting there just as their bus got in half past noon, and there were their smiling faces and it was a happy reunion! The two of them bought so much happy cheer to be here and with all of us that was infectious.

From Baltimore we went to the hobbity Le Madeleines in Columbia for lunch and happy chatter. Claudia, you remember Le Madeleine’s, right? Actually we talked a lot about politics and I learned some things about Brexit and Rupert Murdock’s machinations thereat (crossing my fingers about the vote today.) A wonderful start to the moot. Then I dropped them at the Greenbelt Marriott to check in, while I went back up to BWI to pick up shirebound in from San Diego and lovethosehobbit from Salt Lake City and collected my lovely hugs with our reunion and brought them back to the Marriott to check in. lovethosehobbit brought really cute Gandalf & Frodo silhouette bumper stickers for all of us. I need to clean a spot on my car for mine.

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Also posted at http://lavendertook.dreamwidth.org/198920.html with comment count unavailablecomments
So much to post. But I have somewhere luxurious to be and it's called BED. Oh bed! And I will get up when I damned well please. A good night to you all. <3

Also posted at http://lavendertook.dreamwidth.org/198767.html with comment count unavailablecomments


Signal Boost: Transport to Hospital Help

My fandom friend [personal profile] morgan_dhu is short of funds for transport so she can get needed surgery. You can find her post here on LJ or on DW to learn more about her situation and go to her go fund me site here. <3

Also posted at http://lavendertook.dreamwidth.org/198530.html with comment count unavailablecomments

Orlando was Primarily a Hate Crime

I am so angry at the media right now, including NPR framing the attack in Orlando as a terrorist act. This slaughter was primarily a hate crime against the LGBTIQ community. As yet there has been no direct connection found between the shooter and ISIS except as inspiration--a group for the killer to claim association with to frame his killing as a political act beyond personal religious belief. Islamic fundamentalist hate for same sex love is no different than Christian fundamentalist or any fundamentalist groups' hatred of queer folk.

And the people in Orlando shot are no more dead than the children and adults shot in the non-ISIS inspired Newtown massacre. The scope of the slaughter is due to the easy obtaining of a military assault rifle, pure and simple.

And yes, a bomb would also create such widespread slaughter, as in the Boston Marathon bombing, but bombs take a lot more planning and ingenuity to assemble and thus allow more avenues for discovery--they are harder to pull off. The killer yesterday would have had to have done a lot more work and planning, that would have had a good chance of being discovered as he was already watched. But the assault rifle he obtained lawfully could not be taken away because anyone can buy one.

By calling this act a terrorist act, rather than primarily a hate crime, politicians can deflect from the weapon used and banning assault weapons, and focus on discriminatory crap against Muslims like expanding watch lists--which would have done NOTHING to prevent this already watched killer from obtaining his arms legally like any other violent hate-filled individual out there who doesn't fit an Islamic terrorist profile. It is not only the ISIS inspired who use assault rifles for mass killing and the people in Orlando would have been just as dead if their killer was a Christian fundamentalist or neo-Nazi homophobe. And targeting the mentally ill will do nothing good. No one should have an assault weapon. Rage is all too human and we do not take the hate crimes of domestic violence seriously enough, and that was clue for what this killer was capable of.

But not even the Democrats, let alone the Republicans want to take on the NRA, and we give them outs to not do so by making terrorism the issue here rather than the weapons available to the enraged.

No enraged person should have access to a trigger they can pull for mass killing, whatever ideology or lack thereof inspires them. (I'm not too crazy about access to individual targeted guns as well, and military use is another argument, but let's just start here with assault weapons to enact some laws against mass slaughter.) The second amendment was designed with flintlock rifles in mind, not automatic weapons with hundreds of rounds. By framing the act as terrorism, we deflect from the insanity of allowing these weapons for mass slaughter to be legal and easily obtained.

The people who kill people cannot easily kill SO MANY people without assault guns. It doesn't matter whether this hate-filled act was inspired with a terrorist group's agenda in mind. The slaughter is still the same. The issue is not international terrorism but the need to ban these weapons of mass killing from the hands of anyone harboring any homegrown hatred, which means banning them from the U.S. public, period.

Also posted at http://lavendertook.dreamwidth.org/198148.html with comment count unavailablecomments

Forever Saki Eternal

Just missing a certain adorable little girl.

Shiny-eyed Saki Took
Pics from 9 years ago when we first moved into my current apartment.

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Also posted at http://lavendertook.dreamwidth.org/197908.html with comment count unavailablecomments

A belated birthday wish . . .

"Oh no!" says Moo, hiding her head under a pillow:

"It's past midnight where julchen11 is and surely she's gone to bed and we missed wishing her a happy birthday!!!!

"Well, maybe she won't mind seeing birthday wishes when she wakes up," says Tuxie, "so I'm going to say, Happy Birthday, Julchen, no matter how hard spell check tries to change her name to I don't know what!!!

"I guess you're right, Tuxie. Happy Birthday, Gulches! Gulches? It's Julchen, you stupid computer--I said, Happy Birthday, Gulches!!! Oh, it did it again--STOP that!!!! JULCHEN!!!! Happy Birthday, Julchen!!!"

We brought you some mountain laurel blooms and hope you had a lovely day!!!!

Also posted at http://lavendertook.dreamwidth.org/197801.html with comment count unavailablecomments

Twin Birthdays!!!

Happy Birthday to two very wonderful hobbit folk, my dear friend jan_u_wine and addie71!!! I hope it is a fine one and you have a great long birthday weekend! Here's some pretties and critters in your honor I saw the past week:

Mountain laurels--opening a little late this year due to our cold rainy May until this week.

A very mellow frog I saw today who wanted to send birthday greetings along.

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Also posted at http://lavendertook.dreamwidth.org/197317.html with comment count unavailablecomments

Happy Birthday, Hanarobi!

Happy birthday to the wonderful [personal profile] hanarobi!!! Here is a rose from beside the Youth Center in Greenbelt to tide you over until your roses start blooming soon.

And some more you things under the cut:Collapse )

Also posted at http://lavendertook.dreamwidth.org/197078.html with comment count unavailablecomments

Bird Watching

For lbilover. This is a terrible pic--he don't got no head--but he is indeed a scarlet tanager and I'll be surprised if I ever get a better pic because they flit fast, but I got this view today:

This scarlet tanager boy was high up in a tree by the path around Greenbelt Lake. I think I saw the tanager girl nearby--olive with a light chest. And the most gorgeous bright tangerine oriole flit by about 4 feet in front of me. We were all very happy for sunny cool weather. It was a gorgeous day to take off from work.

Also posted at http://lavendertook.dreamwidth.org/196754.html with comment count unavailablecomments

Soggy May

Life's been calm the past few weeks. I could do with some more of that. I saw a scarlet tanager out my living room window twice in the past week, and saw some Baltimore orioles down by the lake. The skinks came out when the sun peeped out today, and the mountain laurels are just starting to open up. Some of my hobbit posse here is coming out for a moot in a couple of weeks and I am very much looking forward to that.

Here's some pics from around the lake the past week in between the rains:

Lady slippers by my favorite mossy stump in the woods outside my apartment leading down to the lake.

American bullfrog down by the entrance pond of the little creek that leads down to the lake.

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Also posted at http://lavendertook.dreamwidth.org/196423.html with comment count unavailablecomments

My Fetching Grrl

Seven months now, and I'm missing my Saki so much. I just see her everywhere--just expecting her to walk up with tail held high, eyes meeting mine, and making greeting chirps.

I promised [personal profile] mews1945 some pics of Saki fetching. So here she is bringing back a cough drop in its wrapper that I threw for her. She's almost 3 here, when we were living in the old efficiency. I'm so glad she only spent half her life there and I was able to move us to this one bedroom with more views.

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Also posted at http://lavendertook.dreamwidth.org/196104.html with comment count unavailablecomments
Today would have been my Mom's 83rd birthday.

Also posted at http://lavendertook.dreamwidth.org/196004.html with comment count unavailablecomments

Birthday Wishes and a Patapsco Valley Hike

Very Happy Belated Birthdays to blslarner and kittyfosterami!!! I hope it was a great birthday week for both of you.

I'm sorry I've been so absent lately. Things have been feeling hectic and busy--some good things, but a lot of stressful things.

But of the good things was the beautiful weather the last couple of days, and the gorgeous hike I went on today with the fun company of [personal profile] zlabya and a local women's hiking group to the McKeldin area of Patapsco Valley Park, about half way between Baltimore and Westminster.

So let me take you on the trail:

It's lined with little wild flowers, though you can't see them too well in this pic--lots of violets and spring beauties, among others.

And here's the Patapsco River we walked along most of the way:

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When Saki First Came Home

Tonight is 6 months without Saki. Here are some of my first pics of her when I brought her home from the county shelter. Pre-digital pics. I'm still figuring out how to use a new Canon printer/scanner I got this weekend, that is way more complicated to figure out than it should be.

Basket full of love.

Comfortable on the sofa.

Sitting pretty in the bathroom window with her big wild eyes. She was a cute little kitty, but she just got more beautiful as she aged and became more steeped in love.

I miss you so much, little girl.

Also posted at http://lavendertook.dreamwidth.org/195267.html with comment count unavailablecomments

My April Fools

I have this pair of New Balance sneakers that don't quite match.

Either that's an "N" when Moo stretches out like that, or a "Z" for Zorro!

In any event, today is her and her son Tuxie's designated approximate birthdays! Today Moo is 11 and Tuxie is 10. Happy Birthday to my silly Interlopers, who 10 years ago were strays outside my building, and decided being inside with cushions was best.

Happy Birthday Mooshka and Tuxie Tinuviel!

Also posted at http://lavendertook.dreamwidth.org/195060.html with comment count unavailablecomments


My April Fools

I have this pair of New Balance sneakers that don't quite match. Either that's an "N" when Moo stretches out like that, or a "Z" for Zorro! In any event, today is her and her son Tuxie's designated approximate birthdays! Today Moo is 11 and Tuxie is 10. Happy Birthday to my silly Interlopers, who 10 years ago were strays outside my building, and decided being inside with cushions was best. Happy Birthday Mooshka and Tuxie Tinuviel! Also posted at http://lavendertook.dreamwidth.org/195060.html with comment count unavailablecomments


Most Happy Birthday to the wonderful shirebound!!! I hope it is full of love, fun, and puppy snuggles and as sweet a day as you are, dear friend!!!! Here are some pretties that have shown themselves around the lake here the past couple of weeks that I hope you will enjoy seeing. ((My apologies on the lousy formatting of my posts of late--for some reason DW or LJ is not allowing me space between paragraphs and pictures and I haven't figured out why or how to reset it. *grumbles*)) Redbud tree blooms: Read more...Collapse ) Also posted at http://lavendertook.dreamwidth.org/194255.html with comment count unavailablecomments

Happy Middle-earth New Year!

And who is more deserving of a vacation on the anniversary of the ring's destruction than Bingo or Frodo and Sam, I ask you? They quite enjoyed their time at the Arizona-Senora Desert Museum and strolling about. Read more...Collapse ) Also posted at http://lavendertook.dreamwidth.org/193960.html with comment count unavailablecomments

Spring Critters in MD

It's unusually warm today for March--upper 70's. So when I took a walk around Greenbelt Lake on my lunch break, I expected I'd see these guys emerge: But I didn't expect to see this adorable garter snake already in the season: Read more...Collapse ) Also posted at http://lavendertook.dreamwidth.org/193762.html with comment count unavailablecomments
A very happy birthday to the wonderful [personal profile] monkey5s!!! I hope you are having a day full of purrs and good cake. I hope you will enjoy seeing more critters at the Arizona-Sonora Desert Museum. Below you can see a prairie dog practicing tai chi chuan moves. Read more...Collapse ) Also posted at http://lavendertook.dreamwidth.org/193404.html with comment count unavailablecomments

A Bright Memory

Five months ago, there was a Saki. I miss you, little girl. Also posted at http://lavendertook.dreamwidth.org/193253.html with comment count unavailablecomments


LGBTIQH, bingo&amp;sam, together, bingo, f/s
Lavender Took

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