May rambling: Don’t Mourn for Me, Organize!

Neal Adams, George Perez, Nate Hopper

Virginia bluebells – photo (c) 2022 by Wayne Harvey, used by permission

What One Million COVID Dead Mean for the U.S.’s Future

Mother Earth: “Don’t Mourn for Me, Organize!” and Earth Now Has a 50% Chance of Hitting 1.5°C of Warming by 2026

Environmental Racism: and the Philippine Elections: Last Week Tonight with John Oliver

Fact-checking “2000 Mules”, the movie alleging ballot fraud “uses a flawed analysis of cellphone location data and ballot drop box surveillance footage to cast doubt on the results of the 2020 presidential election nearly 18 months after it ended.”

John Green: My Religion and My Banned Books

The Real ID Deadline Is May 2023

Mexico to reroute trade railway connection from Texas to New Mexico due to Greg Abbott’s $4 billion stunt

Florida Taxpayers Sue Gov. Ron DeSantis For Eliminating Disney’s Special District. Also, Disney Copyrights Targeted in Bill Proposed by Sen. Josh Hawley. The librarian in me likes it. The fact that it’s meant to target the “woke” corporation, not so much.

Jon Stewart Warns “Authoritarianism” Is the Greatest Threat to Comedy as He Receives Mark Twain Humor Prize

 Concerns over ‘soft’ youth (1942)

The surprising afterlife of used hotel soap

How to build your poetry collection

The 23-game run of 23-year-old Mattea Roach on JEOPARDY!

Air Bud: Last Week Tonight with John Oliver

Now I Know: Why the  Michelin Man is White (and Maybe an Alcoholic) and Polly’s Neighbor Want a Walnut? and The Mystery of the Missing Internet, Rural Wales Edition, and The Moon Over the Rhine River

Voting

On May 17,  many entities in New York State are having their annual budget vote and school board election. Here’s the info for the Albany City School District

Additionally, the Albany Public Library Albany Public Library budget is on the ballot. “The total tax levy includes a 2.5% increase, which is under the NYS tax cap. The proposed increase would mean that the owner of a $150,000 home would pay approximately $5.98 more in library taxes next year. And there are 10 candidates for the four open trustee seats.

Note that the polling places may be different than the primary/general election sites. Check here. This is the first election for which a certain teenager I live with is eligible to vote.

Passing on

Nate Hopper was a member of our church choir. He was talented, friendly, funny, and generous of spirit in the too-brief time I knew him. The College of Saint Rose wrote on their Facebook page that the college senior had “been a member of the Saint Rose family since 2017. He once served as an RA, was beloved within our music community, and was the president of the Golden Notes, Saint Rose’s only co-ed a cappella group. “

Memorial for Alan Hahn, my old college buddy

Neal Adams, Comic Book Artist Who Revitalized Batman and Fought for Creators’ Rights, Dies at 80. Mark Evanier shares a few stories but especially here.

George Perez, Legendary Wonder Woman, Teen Titans Comic Book Artist, Dies at 67. He did a couple of pieces for FantaCo, my old stomping grounds, including the cover for our Avengers Chronicles.

Naomi Judd, of Grammy-Winning Duo The Judds, Dies at 76. Her daughters, Wynonna and Ashley, announced her death due to “mental illness”. Why can’t we say suicide

David Birney, Actor on ‘Bridget Loves Bernie’ and ‘St. Elsewhere,’ Dies at 83. Bridget Loves Bernie (1972-73, CBS), which I watched, was the highest-rated network show, #5, that was canceled after a single season.

Joanna Barnes, Actress in ‘The Parent Trap’ and ‘Auntie Mame,’ Dies at 87. She appears in both versions of The Parent Trap, which I saw during the pandemic.

A new database highlights African American burial grounds across NY state

MUSIC

Do Not Go Gentle Into That Good Night by Elliot Del Borgo

When The Battle Is Over  (LIVE) – The Sully Band Featuring Rebecca Jade

The Highwayman, written by Alfred Noyes, sung by Loreena McKennit

When I Rose This Morning – The Mississippi Mass Choir 

The Lark Ascending, music by Ralph Vaughn Williams, a poem by George Meredith

All By Myself – Eric Carmen

Ein Morgen, ein Mittag und ein Abend in Wien – Franz von Suppé

Show Biz Kids – Rickie Lee Jones

High Flight by John Gillespie Magee Jr.

Frank Sinatra’s ‘Watertown,’ a concept album set in Upstate NY, gets new life

Too many weeks “like this”

hitting things

sky's The LimitIn response to my most recent request to Ask Roger Anythingfillyjonk writes: Green says “I hope I don’t have a lot more weeks like this” after having several people in his life die and wow, I have had WAY too many weeks “like this” these past couple years. (ANOTHER friend at church lost her husband on Saturday). I’ve stared into the abyss altogether too much these past few years but find I have few answers

While I’m unclear whether it is an actual question or an observation, the narrative is compelling enough to try – emphasis on TRY – to answer it. The short answer is that I don’t know. Sometimes, I feel that I don’t know anything. But I keep throwing things against the wall, hoping some of them stick.

Releasing the rage

For one, I yell at the television when certain people are saying… the polite term is BS. This is a relatively recent phenomenon, dating perhaps from 2015. Lindsay Graham, for instance, is far more frustrating to me than people who are always awful, like Marjorie Taylor Greene or Josh Hawley. After expelling the anger, I feel better. No harm is done. Furniture and people are intact.

Recently, I mentioned to Arthur that a Dear Abby letter actually enraged me, much to my surprise. Basically, a family member thought another in his tribe was grieving for too long. She had “overstayed her time on the pity potty.” Abby for her part disagreed with the letter writer. Having allowed myself to be angry, it dissipated.

For far too long, I had tended to try to suppress my anger as “not nice” until I would blow a gasket. One needs to release the steam from the radiator.

Boy, I miss playing racquetball. That was a really good release of tension, hitting a bouncy thing with a fancy stick. I’m reminded that when I got really perturbed, I would find a stick, maybe a tree branch that had fallen, and strike it against a telephone pole or another item unlikely to be damaged. Therapeutic.

Can’t nothing be love but love 

On a Vlogbrothers post titled Motivation in Hard Times, John Green noted that he used to operate out of anger and resentment. And for a while, that worked for him. He showed up his old writing teacher who said he wasn’t good enough to be in his class. Ha! He had books published and then turned into movies. But ultimately, and he is a tad embarrassed by it, hesky's The Limit says it comes down to love.

In February, Dua Lipa interviewed Stephen Colbert on his show. She asked him about his faith. He said it’s “‘connected to the idea of love and sacrifice being somehow related and giving yourself to other people.'”

Surely, love is the optimal route. Yet you also need to find a term that’s become almost a cliche, self-care, whatever that is. It might be playing with stuffed animals or listening to music or reading comic books or getting a massage. Writing helps me somewhat. It’s naturally different for everyone.

I wish you well.

Sept. rambling: AmeriNZ blog turns 15

Soldier, Sister, Savant

weight
http://www.weblogcartoons.com/2006/06/27/weight-of-the-world/

The wonderful Sharp Little Pencil wrote a response post to my recent piece about neighbors. Hers is entitled The Noisy Neighbor and the Quiet Neighbor. This reminds me of an earlier period of blogging when the late Dustbury and I would inspire to write and expand ideas. Occasionally, Jaquandor and Arthur still do that with me.

And speaking of the guy who moved from Illinois to Kiwiland  26 years ago, he is celebrating his 15th anniversary of blogging. (As I noted to him, blogging that long is a sign of a crazed individual.)

In truth, I’d recommend the entirety of Arthur’s output in September. It is the month in which he deals with grief – two years or 104 weeks since the death of his husband Nigel. But he also addresses the idiosyncrasies of measuring time. (BTW, on that specific subject, see also John Green’s piece How We Spend Our Days.)

Also, I need to check out the book about and co-written by, my friend Diana de Avila, called Soldier, Sister, Savant. As one of the reviewers noted, “She survived a deadly motorcycle accident while serving in the military police; she overcame her devastation when diagnosed with multiple sclerosis; and one day, she awakened as an acquired savant.”

Linkage

Seven Days in January (General Milley)

As a juror in a criminal trial, I had to see the world differently

 Disney Princess Theology and Talking About White Supremacy

CIA Factbook

Heroes of Ireland’s Great Hunger

Goodbye, Larry Elder

Last Week Tonight with John Oliver: Lukashenko

vaccine_research_2x
https://xkcd.com/2515/ his work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 2.5 License.

Patient questionnaires do no good unless we have the resources to provide useful responses

Two-Thirds of Recent First-Time Fathers Took Time Off After Birth

Forbes: The 25 Best Places To Enjoy Your Retirement In 2021. I’m unconvinced about several of these, especially those located in a desert.

 The Meaning of Recurring Dreams

Psalms 3:16 and the Mandela Effect

In Memorium, 2021 Emmys

 Peter Palmer, the living embodiment of Al Capp’s Li’l Abner, has died at the age of 90.

William Shatner reacts to various impressions of William Shatner

The Top 10 Micro-Photos of 2021

Now I Know: The Officially-Living Person That Doesn’t Exist and On the Power of Listening and How to Stop a Menacing Walrus and 
The Man Who Went the Wrong Way Into the History Books and
 Why (and How) a Dead Man Committed a Murder and Ask the Elves for Permission First, OK?

MUSIC

Feeling Good – Nina Simone 

Spellbound Concerto by  Miklos Rozsa

Worried Blues –  Gladys Bentley

End Title  from Star Trek III: The Search for Spock 

Ed Sullivan Show clips, all showing up on YouTube in 2021:

 In A MellowTone  Duke Ellington and Louis Armstrong
You’ll Have To Swing It (Mr. Paganini) – Ella Fitzgerald                                         It Ain’t Necessarily So – Cab Calloway                                                                        You Keep Me Hanging On  – Vanilla Fudge
Never My Love – The Association 
Up On Cripple Creek – The Band                                                                                          A Girl Named Johnny Cash  – Jane Morgan

Coverville 1371: Cover Stories for Florence + The Machine and Beyonce

That Beach Boys mondegreen can get mon-de-violent

 

Health is a human right

Injustice has a cure

healthI had a spare $15 to spend at the DFTBA store on stuff randomly selected for me. The acronym means Don’t Forget To Be Awesome. I’m familiar with it because I follow the Vlogbrothers, John and Hank Green (no relation).

Among the merch, besides a Pizza John mug and various pictures and postcards were two magnets that read; “The idea that some lives matter less is the ROOT of all that’s wrong with the world.” – Paul Farmer.

Of course, I needed to know who this guy is. He’s a physician and anthropologist. The statement is “shorthand for the mission statement of Partners In Health (PIH), the organization he helped found three decades ago to advance the belief that health is a human right.

“With a growing team of health care professionals, volunteers, and donors, Farmer is spreading his philosophy of social justice and quality medical care to the most destitute parts of the world.”

The Vlogbrothers are supporting the PIH initiative to A Bold Solution to a Maternal Health Crisis in Sierra Leone, where “1 in 17 women run the risk of dying in pregnancy or childbirth.” I had made a contribution to this specific PIH project last year, and will likely do so again in 2021.

There are PIH programs around the world, including the Navajo Nation. PIH “acts on the belief that the best way to guarantee high-quality, dignified care is to rely upon and invest in local health systems.

“What does building a health system look like? It requires–among many things–well-trained staff; proper and ample medications and supplies; health facilities with reliable space, electricity, and running water; and universally shared best practices that ensure patients receive quality care.”

Or

I’m not suggesting that Partners In Health is the only vehicle for addressing health crises, only the one that appealed to me. I would however suggest that, before donating to any cause, check out the Charity Navigator. This link vets 900+ health-related organizations. PIH, BTW, received four stars.

January rambling: dn ǝpᴉs ʇɥƃᴉɹ

Ameristan

The UN Security Council’s Counterterrorism Committee says there’s been a 320 percent increase in right-wing terrorism globally in the five years prior to 2020.

Confronting Two Crises: The COVID-19 Pandemic, the Opioid Epidemic, and the IH by Jonathan Rosen and Peter Harnett.

Martin Luther King Jr. Defended Democracy Against Racism and So Must We.

Martin Luther King Jr. and Muhammad Ali’s Surprising Secret Friendship.

The Quest to Unearth One of America’s Oldest Black Churches. First Baptist Church was founded in secret in 1776. It’s been hidden under a parking lot in Colonial Williamsburg for decades—a metaphor for the failures of archaeology and American history.

Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom draws a direct line from the Bible to the blues.

Why Do People Keep Going to Church? — Even during a pandemic, it’s important to realize why worship is essential.

Lost touch: how a year without hugs affects our mental health

The Sycamore Tree – John Green.

There’s a right and wrong way to be bored.

The Happiness Project: Finding Joy in Tough Times.

NOVA  – Secrets in our DNA.

parts-of-the-skeleton-in-the-closet
From https://wronghands1.com/2021/01/08/parts-of-the-skeleton-in-the-closet/

Wikipedia at 20: last gasp of an internet vision, or a beacon to a better future?

The Orwellian Misuse of Orwellian.

JEOPARDY!: Ken Jennings Get Trolled by a Recent Contestant and the Guest Hosts Scheduled in 2021 So Far.

The Hollywood Con Queen Who Scammed Aspiring Stars Out of Hundreds of Thousands.

The best Gibson guitars were made by the ‘Kalamazoo Gals’.

Now I Know: The Imagination Library and The Blessing of Overpriced  Orange Juice and A Bridge With Some Firepower and The Bridge That’ll Flip You and Why Harriet and Duncan Weren’t Allowed in Iceland and The Internet Scammer Who Won.

What makes for a good flag!

dn ǝpᴉs ʇɥƃᴉɹ, created by the upsidedown text site.

ON THE WAY OUT

One Last Trump Dump, all of the folks he insulted on Twitter; why it’s clear Biden won; his campaign promise tally; the full list of the last-minute pardons; and more

Chomsky: Coup Attempt Hit Closer to Centers of Power Than Hitler’s 1923 Putsch.

Ameristan: Did He Bring the War Home?

Republican House members who voted for impeachment: Liz Cheney (WY), Anthony Gonzalez (OH), Jaime Herrera Beutler (WA), John Katko (NY), Adam Kinzinger (IL), Peter Meijer (MI), Dan Newhouse (WA), Tom Rice (SC), Fred Upton (MI), David Valadao (CA)

US Reaches Grim Milestone of 400K COVID Deaths.

Never Happens Here – Lincoln Project.

Jaquandor: Dear 45.

Cartoon: The end of an error.

Yes, He Can Be Convicted by the Senate After January 20.

Music

Seasons of Trump – Randy Rainbow.

With a Song in Her Heart – Laura Benanti as Melania.

One Day More  – James Corden.

Bye Bye Bloatus – Rufus Wainwright.

K-Chuck Radio: Some 45s  for 45

Right side up!

Transcript of Amanda Gorman’s inaugural poem

Joe Biden: “We Must End This Uncivil War”

Executive Order on Ensuring a Lawful and Accurate Enumeration and Apportionment Pursuant to the Decennial Census

Executive Order: 1776 commission rescinded.

I watched this year for Nigel.  

Enjoy the world’s greatest palindrome: 1 20 2021

MORE MUSIC

I Need You – Jon Batiste.

Fanfare on Amazing Grace composed by Adolphus Hailstork.

A Musical  from Something’s Rotten.

I Say A Little Prayer – H.E.R.

Coverville 1342: The Madness Cover Story II and 1343: The Motels and Sam Cooke Cover Stories.

Close To You – MonaLisa Twins.

Seasons of Love – Broadway stars.

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