Beach Combers (reblog)

A vintage photo of my cousin and his friends playing music on the beach inspired me to write this poem a couple of years ago. I’d forgotten about it until today when the photo showed up in his Facebook feed.

Rock on.

70’s Music

Sirius/XM radio absolutely is the best. Regardless of my mood, there’s a station that suits me. Today I had a really short trip into Tallahassee for some allergy meds, so on my way home I tuned my radio to the 70’s station.

“Me and Julio Down by the School Yard” by Paul Simon, was playing, and I sang along, even though I always screw up the lyrics. What were he and Julio doing down by the schoolyard? Whatever it was, it was against the law.

Then Ringo Starr’s “You’re Sixteen” came on, and I was immediately transported back to my living room in Floydada, Texas, where my 16-year-old self performed a corny dance routine to the song for my mom and a high school boyfriend. I incorporated a hat and cane for good measure. As I recall, neither member of my audience suggested I go into musical theatre as a career.

Steely Dan’s “Do It Again” was next. I know it by heart, so I cranked up the volume and rocked out. When I turned into the driveway at Doright Manor the mailman was pulling away and gave me a smile and a wave. I’m sure he was thinking I’d squandered my talent by NOT going into the music biz.

I’ve been so weary. Of politics. Of allergies. Of petty squabbles. Thank you Sirius/XM, for lifting the cloud.

Peace, people.

Peace, People

When I’m on the ball, I sign off on my posts with the phrase, “Peace, people.” Occasionally I’ll add to the phrase something pertinent to the post, but usually I stick to the simple sentiment that came to me out of the blue when I first started writing this blog.

During most of the sixties I was a child, too young to be a part of the hippie generation, but old enough to throw the peace sign around like a true member of the love generation. The idea of peace seemed radical then, and even more so now.

I’ve come to cynically believe that we will never have peace because it just isn’t profitable. Politicians love to feed the hungry mouth that is the military industrial complex, so young women and men will continue to march off to war. We will be told that it is the patriotic thing to do, so we will cheer them as they depart and mourn those who do not return except in flag draped coffins.

Peace continues to be worth striving for, though. I still pray for peace every single night, and I vote for those I hope will prevail against the hungry, hungry war hippo.

I found this T-shirt design at a Target store in Tallahassee a couple of years ago and bought it immediately. It became my favorite due to its message and its extreme softness. Then, I lost it. I have a feeling I left it in a hotel room on one of my cross country jaunts. Miraculously, I found it again at a different Target in Davenport, Iowa. Yay!

Yesterday I wore my peace T-shirt as I ran errands around Tallahassee, and for the first time since buying it I was rewarded with at least half a dozen responses, all of them positive and encouraging. One young man asked me where I’d gotten it because he wanted to get one for his girlfriend. Several people of varying ages flashed the peace sign at me and smiled. I felt light-hearted for the first time in ages.

I’m tired of young people dying in old men’s wars. Maybe others are, too. And just maybe it’s time for the peace sign to make a comeback in a big way. I’ll do my part.

Peace, people.

Foul Weather Friends

Get ready to say “awwwww!”

Match, a chihuahua, is the elder statespet of my daughter, Ashley’s, home having been adopted several years ago. When the family added another adoptee, Snuggles, a couple of weeks ago, Match wasn’t all that thrilled.

Snuggles, a pastel calico, tried to make friendly overtures towards her canine sibling, but Match was having nothing to do with her. Of course sometimes Snuggles’s efforts at forming a friendship were a bit aggressive–the dog’s wagging tail was just too intriguing to resist attacking.

But last night as a thunderstorm passed through their area, my daughter snapped two pictures that melted my heart. Poor Match was frightened by the storm, and Snuggles came to his rescue:

Ashley said Snuggles calmed and comforted Match during the storm. Maybe this is the beginning of a beautiful friendship, or maybe the two will only be foul weather friends. Regardless, this made me smile.

Peace, people and pets.

Words With Pervs

I’m an avid Words With Friends player. At any given time I’ll have a dozen or more games going on with people I actually know and with others that I know only through Facebook or blogging. Some of my favorite opponents are those with whom I have only an internet relationship.

Lately, however, I’ve been inundated with opponents, who I learn after we’ve each played a few words, are only there to flirt or are in search of a more intimate relationship. Granted, given the opportunity they might only be interested in scamming me out of money, but they always start out by being curious about me. With these players I’m firm. I’m there to play WWF, not chat. If they continue to try and worm their way into my life I’ll ignore them until they either resign or give up. I’m not taking a loss in a game because of their poor behavior.

Here’s how one guy tried to get stuff started:

Chances are he’s not a native English speaker, even though his profile shows he lives in Wisconsin. The grammar is too odd.

After I told the guy that I would not chat and that he was free to resign, I got this:

Creepy, right? I figured out after this how to mute chat on the app.

I just wonder what has changed to bring all these pervs to my virtual door seemingly at once. I’ve played WWF for years without being harassed until just a few weeks ago. Now I might get five new weirdos a day clamoring to chat. I’ve stopped accepting games now from folks I don’t know outside of the game. And that’s a shame because I have had so much fun getting to know others who enjoy WWF.

Peace, people!

Finally February

After an interminable January we can finally welcome its shorter, and hopefully sweeter, sister into our lives. Today was Groundhog Day, and I understand that Punxsutawney Phil did not see his shadow this morning. According to legend this means winter will come to an early end.

I’m sure this comes as welcome news to all those who’ve endured the back-to-back winter storms that paralyzed much of the U.S. over the past week or so. Even here in Florida we felt the cold sting of winter, so hurray for good omens.

Although, how much faith can we really put into a soothsaying rodent?

Peace, people!

Searching for the Right Valentine’s Day Card

How Do I Love Him? In 25 Words or Less

On February 2nd

The search began

For a card proclaiming

Undying love for my man

I looked at flirty cards

And sexy ones

Religious and

Romantic ones

Those that didn’t

Catch my eye

Were too verbose

With too many verses for my guy.

The number one thing

He likes in a card

Is conciseness in verbiage,

Just a few words from a bard.

So I strive to appease

The less words the better

This year I found one

With only one letter:

👁 💖 U

I think he’ll like that message, don’t you? I’m not sure I can find one with a briefer one.

Three Billboards, My “Sort of” Review

Studly Doright was on the road all this week. He was supposed to have made it home last night, but an issue arose that prevented his return. I’m still not feeling terrific, so while I was bummed that he would be gone another night, I was glad I wouldn’t have the worry of keeping him awake with my sneezing and snorting.

Having an extra and unexpected night to myself I decided to finally watch the film, Three Billboards Outside Ebbings, Missouri. Studly watched it one night many months ago when I was traveling, so last night seemed a perfect time for me to play catch up.

Studly wasn’t sure how he’d felt about the film, so I approached it cautiously. I knew Frances McDormand was awarded the Oscar for Best Actress for her performance, and that the film had garnered lots of praise and additional awards, so I figured it would be worth my time. I was right.

First of all, Ms. McDormand was incredible as a mom wracked with guilt and a driving need for justice as her daughter’s brutal rape and murder went unsolved. Woody Harrelson, as the police chief in the small town of Ebbings, gave a performance that haunted me all night. Why he didn’t win the Oscar is beyond my understanding. Sam Rockwell, who did win Best Supporting Actor for his role as a deputy with a whole host of issues, was nothing short of brilliant.

I loved this film while understanding why Studly did not. I identified with Mcdormand’s character from the get go. I’ve been that mom who just barely had her sh*t together, who lashed out at her children when she was really just lashing out at her own failings as a mom and wife. I felt her guilt for sending her daughter out into the world with angry words, and then never seeing her daughter alive again.

This movie has no easy resolution. That is why Studly struggled with liking it. He acknowledged that the acting was incredible, but he was dissatisfied with the way the story unfurled. The denouement wasn’t what he’d hoped. I believe that’s also why I liked it.

I could imagine the characters evolving and finding closure. The film left me with hope. While maybe we can never fix this one horrible event, our lives don’t have to be stuck in purgatory for eternity. Maybe we can move forward with understanding even as flawed as we are.

I am a lousy reviewer, but I couldn’t get Three Billboards out of my mind. If you’ve seen it, I’d love to discuss the film with others.

Peace, people.