2017 be like…

Love After Love

The time will come 

when, with elation 

you will greet yourself arriving 

at your own door, in your own mirror 

and each will smile at the other’s welcome, 
and say, sit here. Eat. 

You will love again the stranger who was your self. 

Give wine. Give bread. Give back your heart 

to itself, to the stranger who has loved you 
all your life, whom you ignored 

for another, who knows you by heart. 

Take down the love letters from the bookshelf, 
the photographs, the desperate notes, 

peel your own image from the mirror. 

Sit. Feast on your life.
by Derek Walcott

#opposeBannon

This is well worth reading, and noting, so that we can react, not only to the ‘shock event’ (Muslim Ban) but to what they try to push through in the background while we’re all focused on that ‘shock & mirrors’ play. 
From Heather Richardson, professor of History at Boston College:
“I don’t like to talk about politics on Facebook– political history is my job, after all, and you are my friends– but there is an important non-partisan point to make today.
What Bannon is doing, most dramatically with last night’s ban on immigration from seven predominantly Muslim countries– is creating what is known as a “shock event.”
Such an event is unexpected and confusing and throws a society into chaos. People scramble to react to the event, usually along some fault line that those responsible for the event can widen by claiming that they alone know how to restore order.
When opponents speak out, the authors of the shock event call them enemies. As society reels and tempers run high, those responsible for the shock event perform a sleight of hand to achieve their real goal, a goal they know to be hugely unpopular, but from which everyone has been distracted as they fight over the initial event. There is no longer concerted opposition to the real goal; opposition divides along the partisan lines established by the shock event.
Last night’s Executive Order has all the hallmarks of a shock event. It was not reviewed by any governmental agencies or lawyers before it was released, and counterterrorism experts insist they did not ask for it. People charged with enforcing it got no instructions about how to do so. Courts immediately have declared parts of it unconstitutional, but border police in some airports are refusing to stop enforcing it.

Predictably, chaos has followed and tempers are hot.
My point today is this: unless you are the person setting it up, it is in no one’s interest to play the shock event game. It is designed explicitly to divide people who might otherwise come together so they cannot stand against something its authors think they won’t like.

I don’t know what Bannon is up to– although I have some guesses– but because I know Bannon’s ideas well, I am positive that there is not a single person whom I consider a friend on either side of the aisle– and my friends range pretty widely– who will benefit from whatever it is.
If the shock event strategy works, though, many of you will blame each other, rather than Bannon, for the fallout. And the country will have been tricked into accepting Trump and Bannon’s real goal; whatever that may turn out to be.
But because shock events destabilize a society, they can also be used positively. We do not have to respond along old fault lines. We could just as easily reorganize into a different pattern that threatens the people who sparked the event.
A successful shock event depends on speed and chaos because it requires knee-jerk reactions so that people divide along established lines. This, for example, is how Confederate leaders railroaded the initial southern states out of the Union.
If people realize they are being played, though, they can reach across old lines and reorganize to challenge the leaders who are pulling the strings. This was Lincoln’s strategy when he joined together Whigs, Democrats, Free-Soilers, anti-Nebraska voters, and nativists into the new Republican Party to stand against the Slave Power.
Five years before, such a coalition would have been unimaginable. Members of those groups agreed on very little other than that they wanted all Americans to have equal economic opportunity. Once they began to work together to promote a fair economic system, though, they found much common ground. They ended up rededicating the nation to a “government of the people, by the people, and for the people.”
Confederate leaders and Lincoln both knew about the political potential of a shock event. As we are in the midst of one, it seems worth noting that Lincoln seemed to have the better idea about how to use it.”

My Friends Speak My Truth

I appreciate the Polyannas of the world trying to steer clear of the “carnage” and be all happy playing their “glad games”. 

Do you. 
However, I would not be ME if I just “tried to focus on the good” or posted “happy little things” right now. The best I can muster is to give the goodness to my son and the kids around me. The rest of it is a full blown roller coaster of rage and tears. Sorry not sorry. I am so disgusted by all of this I find myself swallowing that lump that forms in your throat when you try to hold in crying. It’s not OK. I don’t want to be silly or go out to dinners or even listen to music. I want to be informed and figure out how the fuck to stop this. 

Please don’t tell me “if you’re upset then they are winning”…NO. 

I’m upset because radical oppression of Basic Human Rights are being oppressed and I won’t be on the wrong side of this by just being glib or twee. 

It’s not a “media frenzy”…it’s sickening and disturbing illegal and un-American actions that are being taken by some seriously sick and oppressive men. Trump/Bannon/Pence are all sick sick units. They want to conduct illegal business practices, ethnically cleanse and fry homosexuals brains…literally…not figuratively. 

So no…I reserve the laughter and silly for the kids. You all are gonna get full on Feminist Freedom Fighter until this bullshit stops. I might even grow out my armpit hair and stop plucking my chin hairs…not sure yet. I might exclusively wear cameo print. I might start donning a black military beret in public…I might be all sorts of Patty Fucking Hearst…because who I am is not someone who stands one the sidelines and watches humanity take the bullet train to Hades. So feel free to unfollow. 

-CW👊

Winter Is Coming

SO LET’S MAKE SOUP! So delicious, so savory. I WANT IT NOW!

Cream of Wild Mushroom Soup

ig0907_cream_of_wild_mushroom_soup-jpg-rend-sni12col-landscape
Total Time:
1 hr 50 min

Prep:
20 min

Cook:
1 hr 30 min
Yield:5 to 6 servings

Level:Intermediate

Ingredients
5 ounces fresh shiitake mushrooms
5 ounces fresh portobello mushrooms
5 ounces fresh cremini (or porcini) mushrooms
1 tablespoon good olive oil
1/4 pound (1 stick) plus 1 tablespoon unsalted butter, divided
1 cup chopped yellow onion
1 carrot, chopped
1 sprig fresh thyme plus 1 teaspoon minced thyme leaves, divided
Kosher salt
Freshly ground black pepper
2 cups chopped leeks, white and light green parts (2 leeks)
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
1 cup dry white wine
1 cup half-and-half
1 cup heavy cream
1/2 cup minced fresh flat-leaf parsley
Directions

Clean the mushrooms by wiping them with a dry paper towel. Don’t wash them! Separate the stems, trim off any bad parts, and coarsely chop the stems. Slice the mushroom caps 1/4-inch thick and, if there are big, cut them into bite-sized pieces. Set aside.
To make the stock, heat the olive oil and 1 tablespoon of the butter in a large pot. Add the chopped mushroom stems, the onion, carrot, the sprig of thyme, 1 teaspoon salt, and 1/2 teaspoon pepper and cook over medium-low heat for 10 to 15 minutes, until the vegetables are soft. Add 6 cups water, bring to a boil, reduce the heat, and simmer uncovered for 30 minutes. Strain, reserving the liquid. You should have about 4 1/2 cups of stock. If not, add some water.
Meanwhile, in another large pot, heat the remaining 1/4 pound of butter and add the leeks. Cook over low heat for 15 to 20 minutes, until the leeks begin to brown. Add the sliced mushroom caps and cook for 10 minutes, or until they are browned and tender. Add the flour and cook for 1 minute. Add the white wine and stir for another minute, scraping the bottom of the pot. Add the mushroom stock, minced thyme leaves, 1 1/2 teaspoons salt, and 1 teaspoon pepper and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat and simmer for 15 minutes. Add the half-and-half, cream, and parsley, season with salt and pepper, to taste, and heat through but do not boil. Serve hot.
2006, Barefoot Contessa at Home

Working Hard to Articulate; Ice Cream Giants Made it That Much Easier

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I stole this letter off of social media because I felt it had to be shared. The eloquence spoken of such a complex and sensitive issue, made me wish I had written it myself. But I’m finding it so hard to articulate my feelings on the world around us, especially this concept – All lives won’t matter until black lives matter. So, I’m sharing this letter written by the founders of Ben & Jerry’s Ice Cream, and hope that it gives some clarity to where I stand. Thanks xxxx CL

Why Black lives matter.

Black lives matter.

They matter because they are children, brothers, sisters, mothers, and fathers.

They matter because the injustices they face steal from all of us — white people and people of color alike. They steal our very humanity.

Systemic and institutionalized racism are the defining civil rights and social justice issues of our time. We’ve come to understand that to be silent about the violence and threats to the lives and well-being of Black people is to be complicit in that violence and those threats.

We ask you to join us in not being complicit.

There is good news: the first step in overcoming systemic racism and injustice is to simply understand and admit that there is a problem. It’s trying to understand the perspective of others whose experiences are different from our own. To not just listen, but to truly understand those whose struggle for justice is real, and not yet complete.

Rev. Dr. William J. Barber, II, President of the North Carolina NAACP, said it best when reacting to the recent police shooting in Charlotte, NC. He said, “Our objective is simple: to ensure justice-loving people act toward justice, with all evidence, and that we stand together and act from a place of power and love, rather than out of fear and anger.”

It’s been hard to watch the list of unarmed Black Americans killed by law enforcement officers grow longer and longer. We understand that numerous Black Americans and white Americans have profoundly different experiences and outcomes with law enforcement and the criminal justice system. That’s why it’s become clear to us at Ben & Jerry’s that we have a moral obligation to take a stand now for justice and for Black lives.

We want to be clear: we believe that saying Black lives matter is not to say that the lives of those who serve in the law enforcement community don’t. We respect and value the commitment to our communities that those in law enforcement make, and we respect the value of every one of their lives.

But we do believe that — whether Black, brown, white, or blue — our nation and our very way of life is dependent on the principle of all people being served equal justice under the law. And it’s clear, the effects of the criminal justice system are not color blind.

We do not place the blame for this on individual officers. Rather, we believe it is due to the systemic racism built into the fabric of our institutions at every level, disadvantaging and discriminating against people of color in ways that go beyond individual intent to discriminate. For this reason, we are not pointing fingers at individuals; we are instead urging us to come together to better our society and institutions so that we may finally fulfill the founding promise of this country: to be a country with dignity and justice for all.

All lives do matter. But all lives will not matter until Black lives matter.

We ask people to be open to understanding these issues, and not to reflexively retreat to our current beliefs. Change happens when people are willing to listen and hear the struggles of their neighbor, putting aside preconceived notions and truly seeking to understand and grow. We’ll be working hard on that, and ask you to as well.

– Your friends at Ben & Jerry’s

Bizarre Fears

The real take-away from this story is I don’t sleep.

In fact, I’ve never been a great sleeper, but since having had Eku, I’m just crap at resting and sleeping all the time. I just worry. And worry. And fret. And worry.

So it was no surprise that I was lying in bed the other evening trying to calm and soothe my whirling and dangerous mind shifts to bring myself to slumber, when a horrible series of thoughts started brewing in my head. They grew and grew to such a degree that I had to yell out to Roy, “REMIND ME ABOUT LANDFILLS!!”.

(We’ve been together long enough that he doesn’t ask why, he just says ok. Thanks, boo.)

But the thought that I started to fixate upon began with the idea of buying Eku a new toy. A doll, in fact.

Even more specifically, a barbie-type doll. A plastic doll.

And as I was thinking of whether she needed a new toy, I started thinking about what happens to all of the dolls that have been purchased for little boys and girls after they’re done playing with them. Where do all the plastic dolls that are dumped end up?

Then I began envisioning piles of naked dollies, with cut hair, colored faces and bodies, missing legs, arms and heads, piling up in our landfills. Miles and miles of dolls with no other place to die. Ack!

It was a somewhat scary vision, to be honest (close your eyes and try to see it…freaky right?).

And what was worse was that I couldn’t figure out how all of that plastic that we’ve just discarded into a pit of filth would disintegrate, would decompose. Would these dolls that were once loved and now abandoned stay put as-is, slotted in between other types of rotting crap that also had no where to go and die?  Live forever in the place it was forgotten?

As this image was now taking a strong hold in my visual memories, I began to get both angry and panicked. My first issue was with the toy companies and consumers (me!) – Why do we allow ANY products to be made that can’t be destroyed with no harm to the environment? We do we buybuybuybuybuy all these toys that we know in the back of our brains, will end up surviving on this Earth longer than ourselves? I don’t want to contribute to the growing waste piles of decapitated doll bodies that will outlive my children’s children, but was I the only one feeling this way?

I suddenly recognized that we have SO MANY products out on the market that go no where at their “end”, and end up leaving behind the carbon footprint the size of a giant.

Then I started to panic.

If we have no way to breakdown these harmful plastics (barbies, train sets, bath toys, etc) down to air, then they’re just filling up landfills, overflowing into everything that is natural. We dump in the land, we dump into the sea, we burn crap sending all those plastic chemicals in the air. That would seem to me that we’re poisoning our ENTIRE LIVELIHOOD, which would leave WHAT???? to our children, or their children, and so on and so forth.

And then it occurred to me that we’re killing the planet.

I KNOW!! WHERE THE FUCK HAVE I BEEN??? WHAT ROCK HAVE I BEEN HIDING UNDER TO NOT KNOW THIS IN MY HEART OF HEARTS???

It’s called denial, and Cleopatra wasn’t the only Queen of it.

I suppose I just I chose to not think about it, so I didn’t.

Sure, there are areas in my life where I made decisions based on my fear for the survival of the planet. We buy 100% compostable diapers, and pay a pretty penny for them at that. But I couldn’t justify bringing ANOTHER PERSON onto this already over-populated and consumer-heavy planet and just continue to add to the growing piles and piles of shit soaked diapers from said new humans.

But did I stop to think about what else we would be consuming and dumping? And where would all the products that we just chuck away go???

My last thought was of a divergent/matrix/mad-max/sci-fy future. Where my kids’ kids’ kids would be freedom fighters, surviving under the Earth in tunnels to avoid the broken ozone layer and fire breathing sun. Eating freeze dried pastes instead of fruits and veggies. Thieving and stealing to survive because THEIR PLANET WAS DESTROYED.

All because we bought barbies.

Or…

Toy boats.

Blocks.

Bottles.

Diapers.

Juice.

Vitamins.

Tupperware.

Plastic cutlery.

Starbucks coffee.

Styrofoam peanuts.

Food in packaging.

Condoms.

Cigarettes.

Markers.

Pens.

Hair clips.

Flipflops.

Birthday party gift baggies.

Ziplock anything.

OH GOD! Stop.

So….back to the moral of the story: teach yourself to fall asleep, easily and quickly.

But if you can’t…It you are the thinker, worrier, over-analyzer, there is hope.

If you’re the same as me, drifting off thinking about the future of the world, and that vision scares you, start getting a clue about what’s happening around us before there won’t be an “around us.”

And it could all start with not buying the dollie.