Count Me Out

I won’t be watching the presidential debate tonight. Living in the eastern time zone means that the event won’t begin until 9 p.m. I’ll be in bed and hopefully engrossed in book seven of Diana Gabaldon’s Outlander series by then.

It’s not that I don’t care about the debate. Quite the opposite. I care so much that I fear I’ll throw up when Trump resorts to his de rigueur raft of lies. I care so much that I know I’d never be able to fall asleep once the debate ends. So I’ve set up a recording and I’ll watch sometime tomorrow afternoon. 

In the meantime I’ll be praying that Hillary shows what she’s made of:  Her grit and determination. Her capacity for compassion and concern for the underserved. Her immense intelligence and extraordinary political savviness. 

I’ll also pray that those who are undecided will recognize that there is really only one legitimate choice in this election. Hillary Rodham Clinton. I’m with her. 

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The end of everything might’ve begun the day somebody told Donald Trump that he

Could be anything, even President, if he told enough lies and threw the right people

Under the right bus at the right time. He cowed his Republican opponents, one by bitter one.

Now, a tombstone engraved “R.I.P., G.O.P.” rises plaintively from a grave between 

Reason and insanity; a silent symbol of the demise of the once proud party of Lincoln.

Dixie Chicks in Tampa

Last Friday night Studly Doright and I went to see the Dixie Chicks perform at the Mid-Florida Credit Union Amphitheater in Tampa, Florida. Studly is not a music lover. He knows the words to only one song–“Happy Birthday”–and that’s no joke, but Studly loves me, so in celebration of our 40th wedding anniversary he consented to accompanying me to see one of my all-time favorite groups. 

He blanched slightly at the cost of the orchestra section tickets, but he shelled out the money with a smile. I think that was a smile. Might’ve been a grimace. With Studly it’s sometimes hard to tell.

I love the Dixie Chicks. Lead singer, Natalie Maines and I have much in common. We were both born in Lubbock, Texas, we are both super fans of Howard Stern, and neither of us can stand Donald Trump. We’re practically twins, only she got all the talent and I’m at least twenty years older. Other than that, it’s hard to tell us apart. 

 

Natalie Maines

 
 

Me

 

Uncanny likeness, isn’t it? 

When I was a child my parents loved to drive to Lubbock and dance to the music of The Maines Brothers, Natalie’s dad’s band. I feel like this binds us, as well, even though I never got to see the group play live.

 

Maines Brothers Band

 

The Dixie Chicks have had to deal with some nasty stuff for more than a decade stemming from a candid comment Natalie made about then President George W. Bush while touring in Europe in 2003. Country music stations turned their backs on the Chicks and many country artists condemned them. 

In comparison to statements made by current GOP candidate Trump and his followers in regard to President Obama and Hillary Clinton, Natalie’s comment was harmless, yet the Dixie Chicks have lost millions of dollars in revenue since 2003. Funny, that freedom of speech thing seems to be selective.

Enough politics, though, this concert kicked ass from beginning to end. The opening acts, Smooth Hound Smith and Vintage Trouble were totally engaging even in the intense tropical heat. I’d pay money to see both groups as solo acts, and was tickled to see artists from the acts appear later in The Dixie Chicks‘ sets.

 

Smooth Hound Smith

 

Vintage Trouble

  

But it was the Dixie Chicks we’d come to see: Natalie Maines, and sisters Emily Robison, and Martie Maguire. They did not disappoint. 

    
 Even Studly mumbled along to “Goodbye Earl” and “Wide Open Spaces,” throwing vague lines about happy birthday in to fill the gaps. 

I sang every song, but as the evening went on I began to worry that they wouldn’t sing “Not Ready to Make Nice,” the Chicks‘ anthem about the price they paid for Natalie’s comment about President Bush. You see, I’ve alienated quite a few friends over my outspoken Liberal views, and “Not Ready to Make Nice” resonates with me. I needn’t have worried. They saved it for the encore and brought the house down.

From what I witnessed in Tampa, The Dixie Chicks are being embraced with open arms. They were a long time gone, but now they’re back with a vengeance. And I know I like it. 

Here’s “Not Ready to Make Nice” from YouTube. The lyrics follow. Enjoy.

http://youtu.be/pojL_35QlSI

“Not Ready to Make Nice”
Dixie Chicks

Forgive, sounds good

Forget, I’m not sure I could

They say time heals everything

But I’m still waiting.

I’m through with doubt

There’s nothing left for me to figure out

I’ve paid a price, and I’ll keep paying

I’m not ready to make nice

I’m not ready to back down

I’m still mad as hell, and I don’t have time

To go ’round and ’round and ’round

It’s too late to make it right

I probably wouldn’t if I could

‘Cause I’m mad as hell

Can’t bring myself to do what it is

You think I should

I know you said

Can’t you just get over it?

It turned my whole world around

And I kinda like it

I made my bed, and I sleep like a baby

With no regrets, and I don’t mind saying

It’s a sad, sad story

When a mother will teach her daughter

That she ought to hate a perfect stranger

And how in the world

Can the words that I said

Send somebody so over the edge

That they’d write me a letter

Saying that I better

Shut up and sing

Or my life will be over?

I’m not ready to make nice

I’m not ready to back down

I’m still mad as hell, and I don’t have time

To go ’round and ’round and ’round

It’s too late to make it right

I probably wouldn’t if I could

‘Cause I’m mad as hell

Can’t bring myself to do what it is

You think I should

I’m not ready to make nice

I’m not ready to back down

I’m still mad as hell, and I don’t have time

To go ’round and ’round and ’round

It’s too late to make it right

I probably wouldn’t if I could

‘Cause I’m mad as hell

Can’t bring myself to do what it is

You think I should, what it is you think I should

What it is you think I should

Forgive, sounds good

Forget, I’m not sure I could

They say time heals everything

But I’m still waiting

Written by Dan Wilson, Emily Robison, Martha Maguire, Natalie Maines • Copyright © BMG Rights Management US, LLC

That’s Not What I Meant to Say

Forgive me, but my language might get a little graphic here. Saint Helen, don’t read this one, or if you do, read it with your eyes closed.

I engaged in a verbal battle with a Trump supporter on Facebook. I would have ignored him, but he called Hillary the “c” word, and I don’t mean “Clinton.” My intention was to call him “An asshole with typing capabilities” but autocorrect kept changing it to “ashore.” 

The sentence, “apparently you’re an ashore with typing capabilities” isn’t witty repartee. Heck, it doesn’t even make sense. I finally gave up and told him to piss off,  which Autocorrect changed immediately to “pus” off. And that’s just gross.

While I’m speaking of autocorrect, has anyone besides me ever noticed that when you’ve mistyped a word and replacement options are given often they don’t even vaguely resemble the word you had in mind? I once was offered the word “Illinois” when trying to type “loving” in a poem. Granted, I’d gotten the word started with an i instead of an l, but in what context does “His Illinois arms” make sense?

Ok, I feel better now. I’m going to go give that Facebook troll a pizza of my mind. 

  

Hillary for President

  
A couple of days ago I posted the following essay on my Facebook page. As essays go, I’ve written better, but several friends asked me to share my thoughts with a wider audience. So, here you go. 

I’m a Liberal. I haven’t always been. In fact, I once was a staunch Republican. I voted for both Bushes, Poppa and W. 

I did not support Bill Clinton, but, I was always impressed by Hillary. Her fight for health care reform sparked something in me. You see, I’d always been fortunate to have access to good insurance through my husband’s job–until his job was “excessed” during the deregulation of the natural gas industry and we found ourselves at the mercy of a health care system that doesn’t value those on the fringes. 

Now, I wasn’t ready to leave the GOP then, but I was beginning to notice the blatant inequities between the “haves” and the “have nots.” While my family had never been wealthy, until those bleak days when we didn’t have access to good insurance, I’d never had to worry about falling ill and losing everything we’d worked for. Still, I believed I could work within the party to fight for women’s rights, for equal pay, for health care reform.

Sadly, it took Sarah Palin for me to see what a backwards institution the GOP had become. Not all Republicans believed the stupid things she spouted, but enough that I became certain that I could find a better party in which to place my trust. 

I voted for President Obama in 2008 and I’ll never regret that decision, even though I suffered heart palpitations while doing so. I voted for him proudly in 2012, convinced that he was the best man for the job, and he has never let me down.

Now, on the verge of the Democratic Party nominating the first female candidate for the highest office in the land, I’m so very proud to say I’m a Hillary supporter. I cannot believe that the party I once supported has devolved into one that embraces racism and hate, but the GOP’s nomination of Donald Trump has proven that to be true. Trump will not make America great. He only knows how to make Americans hate.

This is me, and I approve this message.

Peace, people.

Vote Blue

No scholarly tomes grace the table beside her bed, instead Harlequin romances and Fabio-graced

Bodice rippers stacked three deep provide her nighttime reading inventory. Yet she argues

Politics on social media having watched Sarah Palin make nonsense of sense while appearing

Perfectly coiffed, but maybe a bit drunk. She feels that Hillary is untrustworthy, after all, 

FOX news tells her in sly words and simpering phrases that this is so. Claims she’s 

Heard Hillary say our second amendment rights will disappear and babies will be aborted 

Even as they are born, healthy, but unwanted. Yet when pressed for proof, name

Calling ensues and ugly words are exchanged. I console myself with the thought

That she really is not very informed, but the cold reality is, she will be voting in November.

Will you?

The Luxury of Hurt Feelings

crystal ball toting gypsies
cry cataclysm and none heed
as cassandra nods in ardent
sympathy and odd redemption.

call it age or wisdom
chalk it up to experience,
but I know what I know and
that I cannot know it all.

i threw away my soothsayer’s
tools, seeing clearly that
in your pride you’ll gladly
wallow in the dread luxury

throw us all under a red
double decker for the sake
of trampled feelings; an
injury we can not indulge

grow up, grow a pair, this
election is ours to lose
with ramifications beyond
our meager lifespans.

  

Keeping the Peace

Heated arguments arise with names called and choices questioned. I hold my own 

Most of the time, keeping a cool head even when others seek to goad me into ugly 

Banter about this candidate or that policy. Occasionally though my cool demeanor

Slips away leaving righteous anger shooting from my fingertips. Sarcasm

Dripping from my well-schooled tongue. Oh, ye of closed minded beliefs, heed me!

I am Fury. A woman unsubmissive, unintimidated, unrepentant. Ultimately

Remorseful and exhausted. So much for keeping to the high road.

Peace, people.

  

A couple of strong-willed women just hanging out.
 

Politics: The Lighter Side

I have to admit this political season in the United States is getting to me. One cannot turn on the TV without encountering a nasty story or stories about this candidate or the other. 

On social media one might scroll through dozens of political memes before encountering even one cute kitten video, and weren’t cute kittens the reason social media was invented? 

I’m guilty of posting the political stuff on my Facebook page. Even though there is absolutely no one on my friends’ list who doubts my political leanings I am compelled to seek out and share that one photo that just might make everyone, even obstructionists like senate majority leader Mitch McConnell, change their minds and see things my way.

  
Can you imagine? The phone rings, 

“Hello?” I say.

“Ms. Noyes, this is senate majority leader Mitch McConnell.”

“No effing way!”

“Yes, it’s me. Surprise!”I can hear the smile and goodwill in his voice.

“Look,” he continues, “I want you to know that SCOTUS meme you posted…it really made me reexamine my position. Now, not only am I going to urge members of my party to visit with the President’s nominee, but I’m going to suggest they give him a down vote so Mr. Obama can nominate a true Liberal to the court.”

“Well, it’s about time you saw the error of your ways. Would you now please ask jackassinpoughkeepsie to stop trolling me online?”

“Sure! Sure! Anything for someone as politically astute as yourself.”

Something occurs to me, “Say Mitch, you know if you go this route with the Supreme Court nominee the National Rifle Association is going to pull its support so quickly that not only will your head spin, but the heads of your children and your children’s children will look like multi-colored tops orbiting the equator.”

“No worries! I’ve stockpiled the um, donations the NRA has made to my campaign for years, so I’m set for life. For several lives, actually.”

“Good to know, Mitch. So I’m pretty busy. I need to get back to scouring the web for cute cats. I hear there’s a great video showing them jumping out of boxes.”

“Okay! Hey, keep up the good work. You really made me see the light.”

“‘Bye Mitch.”

“Goodbye Ms. Noyes.”

My imaginary conversation with Mitch made me do some soul searching. What if, instead of posting serious political memes on my Facebook page I looked for the lighter side, the Pollyanna version of politics. So with that thought I give you the following. Both sides will get skewered:

Truly. Hitler might be surprised at all of the candidates, left and right, who’ve been compared to him.
My point….
  
 
See, I’m being kind-ish.
 
 
Hadn’t seen this one before!
 
 
Mrs. Clinton does field some odd questions.
 
 
bwahaha!
 
  
  
Now, this is clever!
 
 
Sing it!
 
 
Kasich was the only one I had to struggle to find anything even remotely funny about. Kasich, the only moderately sane GOP candidate.

My personal favorite:

 
But, honestly, wouldn’t we all rather see this?

  
https://www.facebook.com/AndMyCat/posts/1224833260861682
 

And as always, Peace, people!