Justified Fury

I was quite moved with a passage from a magazine interview with the actress Tracee Ellis Ross recently and thought I would share it with you, as I relate wholeheartedly…as if someone was “singing my song”:

“In April, Ross gave a TED Talk about another topic that she feels is healthy and vital: the wisdom of fury, an emotion that first stirred in her around the time of the 2016 presidential election. ‘It was a feeling that I didn’t have a lot of experience with, that was a little bit beyond anger,’, she explains. ‘It wasn’t frustration. It didn’t have the frenetic quality of rage. The name that landed was *fury*. And I started to notice that I was hearing *furious* from a lot of people, a lot of women. As women, we’re told we’re not supposed to be angry. So what do you do when you’re pushing up against that fiery feeling? In the context of #MeToo and Time’s Up, of fighting against sexual harassment and for equal pay, what is the constructive way to be furious? We’re in an age when it’s easy to quickly vilify, and in some cases that is absolutely appropriate. But I think the fury has a lot of wisdom in it if one can sit with it in the right way.”

My favorite psychologist once told me that “righteous anger ” can be a completely valid response, a viable reaction to provocation.  And I would take that further to say that the vehemence of the fury (anger, rage, etc.) is in direct proportion to the vehemence of the provocation.

I find the current rage, anger, fury completely justified as we continue to suffer from an insane person in our country’s hallowed home.   God help us.

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Fowl play?

In response to a FB post from cousin Joe Brown (sounds like a song or movie title, doesn’t it?)…this recollection was my response.  True can sometimes be very funny in their reality!

True story: while I was still living in Indianapolis many decades ago, a bunch of couples of us drove in a little RV from Indy to NW Missouri to visit one of the guys’ former coaches, who I think was retiring (NW Missouri State College or something).

When we arrived,we went to the celebratory party (I think at the coach’s home). So many nice people, and thank God, a lot of BEER being imbibed. There was a delightfully fragrant ambient aroma there; fried -ish. Sure enough. Smelled like super-fine fried chicken.

When we went into the kitchen, following the enticing aroma…there was a delightful lady tending to a giant cauldron, frying up batches of it. Lawd, its aroma was intoxicating.

The resulting nosh was this delicious bunch of bite-sized fried nuggets served in giant bowls with a variety of dipping sauces. Our group was “eating” it up with gusto! I truly was delicious.

So…here it is…

NW Missouri/KS border area is turkey farming territory. We had arrived for the coach’s party during the castrating season. So…those deliciously prepared delicacies were deep-fried turkey “nuts (testicles)”. Of course, our hosts didn’t tell us that until we all had several beers in our guts… and by that time, it didn’t matter…chuckle…they were delicious!

Who knew? Go figure!

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Technology Trauma AT&T (et al)

Issue:  weird glitch message received that I needed to ‘log in’ to my Outlook, as my password had been changed (I did not).

In trying to figure this out, I just decided to delete my outlook account and re-install it.

That day, I spent over an hour trying to do so; it deleted alright, but nothing I tried would re-install it.  Continually got “stuck” on a dark grey page, something about ‘account info’ with a blue circle spinning for 15 minutes; I shut it down, re-tried a 2nd and 3rd time, and both of those times it still got stuck – that wasted 45 minutes in and of itself. This is the 2nd experience I have had with this glitch re: a password change that never occurred in the first place.  There went about 90 minutes of useless time spent.

Next day:  went to ATT store
Arrived:  1145am
Left:  after 2pm
Result: no resolution…

*When my name was called and a rep approached me it was quickly learned she was not “tech support here” (and could not help)

*She then sat me down and called the Tech Support number for me on their bank of land lines and left me to my task

*The first tech I got (“Ty”) on the phone was the only one I spoke to OVER THE NEXT 2 HOURS I could understand (and I am pretty good at understanding many accents through a previous career). The frustration was indescribable, a super-poor experience.  As a person who has received awards for “customer service excellence”, this was an abomination, and I do not use that term loosely.


*I could not understand what I was hearing (techs speaking in heavy accents, at the speed of sound in “techie language”), with no results.
*Having to juggle the desk phone and my cell phone at the same time, while trying to HEAR over…
*Loud piped music, loud conversation by a table of robustly speaking fellows, and probably 20 customers around the room
*Holding the desk phone handset (very uncomfortable, hard as a rock) for 2 hours left my hand in a painful cramp for hours after I left
*Having to insert my finger in my non-phone ear to try to HEAR and DECIPHER what was being told to me left my ear raw and painful (I do not exaggerate)
*All the while juggling my rear end on a teeter-y stool that had no place at the counter for your knees, and had NO BACK ON IT (my aching back!)
*Changed password 3 times, nothing helped, meanwhile trying to keep record of all of them for any future use (heaven forbid)
*Another in-house store rep came to try to help me (as my battery was closing in on dead) for probably 20 minutes, to no avail.  But I must say she was very patient, appeared to know what she was doing, but nothing SHE tried worked and I was left to call yet another “tech support” number. However, I will commend her for helpful attitude – her name was/is Tarif
*Not ONE of the store reps bothered to check on me during that length of time to ask if I was achieving results or having difficulty.
*The final:  the last phone tech support rep told me it had to be a problem with the Samsung unit (I have a Galaxy S7, not even 18 months old) and gave me that final number to call Samsung directly.
* Left totally frustrated and near tears, and not ready for more “phone tech” talk.  Not a single word from any of the reps as I left, and I had spoken to several during those 2 hours, not that I expected preferential treatment;  it just felt odd after my being there for so long with no results. 

*When I got home, discovered that Yahoo app had been installed, so I could finally see my emails, but its format was not to my liking
*Reluctantly pulling out the Samsung support number this morning, I decided to give it one last shot to try to re-install my Outlook email download into my cell.  First try – I decided to use the process of installing by indicating my “POP3” server…BINGO.  It worked.
*Go figure

This whole experience (now) makes me chuckle at a memory years ago with a copier and co-worker, a millennial named Jennifer (who I adored).  Smart as a whip, cute as a button, two adorable little kids (after 5 miscarriages – oops, TMI) so she was special to me.  Once again, the copier was no-op, I did everything the “troubleshooter stickers” on the machine told me, to no avail.  But I knew Jen was known for a copier Midas touch, so I summoned her help, sat back and let her work her magic – and yep, it was up and running in short order.  I thanked her, and asked what it was that made her so successful at troubleshooting that thing.  She laughed like a hyena.  You know what she said?  Here I thought she had all these skill sets with technology…but…she said “HAHAHA …I just keep pushing buttons until it works!”

I felt like Jen this morning when I got my cell problem fixed all by my very own self. J And maybe those “support techs” should tell us just what Jen told me.




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Bathing my 3 babies

So stunned and proud of my kitties today. My little furfamily has had a bizarre flea attack (all 3 of them) this week, though they are 100% indoor. I must have tracked something in on my shoes, or invited unwanted “guests” through an open screen door off my deck.

Upon calling my Vet, as usual, I received a ton of valuable information, and to my relief, no requirement to “bring them in”. I love my vets and staff at Leland Veterinary Clinic. As a kitty Mom for over 40 years, I have used multiple vet clinics that, no matter what, if you call for *anything*, they require a visit ($$). But not this group! I was given clear instructions as to what to do (there were several things!)…and appreciated that I could be a real Mom-Doc to my babies.

One of the vet staff-directions was to bathe them with an oatmeal-based cat shampoo (that I found extremely difficult to find, but remained relentless, as I know the value of colloidal oatmeal related to skin soothing). As it finally played out, engaging in human being-to-human being conversation with a fellow animal lover/store employee delivered a final discovery of a product. We must have searched the applicable cat aisle, dog aisle for a good 20 minutes trying to find something fitting the criteria.

To my utter astonishment, all three succumbed to the “nape of the neck” hold (no fingernail gouging [I don’t have any], just firm grasp, along with eye contact and soft talk) while being showered and shampooed in our deep kitchen sink with an extendable showerhead option (thank you, Delta faucets). I won’t say they did not physically tousle, but they let me be the pack leader. For these 3, who are personality plus and feisty, this was a huge gift. I expected lots of blood on my person – not a drop. And Pickle is a BITER (from birth)!

But the most logical thought about this phenomenon came from my friend Laura Linton Miller, who feels they know when you are trying to help them.  I choose to believe that, given this experience with my otherwise feisty 3 catties. Thanks, Laura.

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8.31.18 Tributes to Aretha and McCain

The plan today was to take my ATL BFF to her birthday lunch; but while readying her little gift bag, writing a BD card, feeding my trio of catties, pressing a shirt, (you know how it goes) as I usually have TV in the background, I caught the tribute to Senator John McCain.  Had planned for a pickup at 1130am, but could not make that happen.  Though I, like many, were never always in agreement with John, his integrity, valor, nobility, common sense approach for “across the aisle” non-partisanship was a steadfast practice for him.

I owed my friend a prompt arrival to pick her up for her birthday day…but as great BFFs are…she understood.  She knows my intense emotionality for subjects that swarm my psyche.  How do you thank a person like that?  I guess you just show your love any way you can.

That was this morning.

Early tonight, the news covered another of our beloved Aretha’s tributes.  Ariana Grande, Smokey Robinson (et al) delivering honorable renditions to this Queen of Soul (and she sure was mine for that music).  Tyler Perry, thank you from my own soul.



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Inconsolable loss: Aretha, Dmitri, Gma

Excerpt from interview with Flosha Hvorostovsky re: Dmitri’s voice:
they were so moved by the music and the tenderness in his voice, that both simply sobbed, and they could not be easily consoled,

Oddly enuf, Doris Norrgard’s translation of Flosha’s interview re: Dmitri’s passing came to my screen the 2nd day after Aretha’s passing. I wrote to her of my reaction:
Doris Norrgård I must share with you how timely it was when this interview met my gaze…in the wake of Aretha Franklin’s passing. I could literally not speak yesterday – and I began to understand what “inconsolable” meant – for a 3rd time; my grandmother’s passing was 1st, Dmitri’s passing was 2nd. Florence’s description was perfect, describing Dima’s parents’ reaction to first hearing him sing:

“they were so moved by the music and the tenderness in his voice, that both simply sobbed, and they could not be easily consoled”. Perfect.

Though they had entirely different genres of music with their voices (yet could sing others), their musical gift of voice is very nearly indescribably deep, intense. I had no idea that Aretha had performed “Nessun Dorma” on behalf of an ailing Pavarotti at the ’98 Grammys. So, they had a bit of operatic connection, Dima and Aretha, after all. And for the record, my grandmother’s name was Florence.

Sometimes the pieces fit together in the most magical way.

I will continue to make pelmeni on DAH’s birthday every year. And many thanks to Flosha for her bravery and kindness in sharing these things with you, and therefore, us



http://www.openculture.com/2016/01/aretha-franklin-sings-puccinis-nessun-dorma-at-the-grammys-1998.html  Nessun Dorma sub for Luciano Pavarotti at Grammys


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3gCuyrKVDCs   Nessun Dorma / 2015

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=diwF1-xJwZM  Natural Woman



Aretha SONGS


LYRICS to Nessun Dorma (in English)

None shall sleep,
None shall sleep!
Even you, oh Princess,
In your cold room,
Watch the stars,
That tremble with love
And with hope.
But my secret is hidden within me,
My name no one shall know,
No… no…
On your mouth, I will tell it,
When the light shines.
And my kiss will dissolve the silence that makes you mine!
(No one will know his name and we must, alas, die.)
Vanish, o night!
Set, stars! Set, stars!
At dawn, I will win!
I will win!
I will win!






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Blue Water

I have never forgotten three particular things about open (or otherwise) water.

ONE: having grown up on a river, being able to see Kentucky from the Indiana side, the first time I saw water I couldn’t see “across” was during a Chicago visit – Lake Michigan was a mind-blower, and as a first time, quite terrifying. However, I loved it, and knew at some point I would see similar sights, perhaps even more majestic, but ways in which I was unfamiliar.

TWO: Then I moved to Florida, and routinely beached at Clearwater on the Gulf Coast. Loved the relentlessly soothing waves (but no rousing ones – not on the gulf). God, it was hot. Sauna-hot.

THREE: Upon visiting my friends Linda and Steve Magee, owners/captains of a Deep Sea Fishing charter in Key West, FL, they graced me with a day’s trip to fish, and I was blown away by the color of the deep sea. It truly is the deep blue as it’s described – they couldn’t get me off the back of the boat just watching it rush by. It does all the fantastic photos justice…it’s really THAT BLUE. And as for me, a bit of a synaesthete – particularly beautiful, as it is the color of the number 7 🙂

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