laurie kendrick

Terrorism

Of course,  what happened in Las Vegas a week ago was terrorism.

A mass shooting is just that and it doesn’t matter if the trigger man or woman is/was an atheist, an ISIS Jihadi or a devout Episcopalian with a Jewish mom really into college jai alai.      In these instances, religion doesn’t matter.    Neither does race.  Hatred knows no religious or ethnic barriers.

And as for crazy?   I would have deemed the shooter or bomber or truck driver or hijacker absolutely insane regardless of affiliation.    To get sucked in by ANY illogical movement because of psychopathy, or sucked into a religious fervor to the point you’d kill for it based on a promise of entry into some “celestial kingdom rife with grape laden virgins” or to get sucked into your own skewed cult of personality to gain infamous notoriety with a body count, is way beyond my sphere of comprehension.

Isn’t for you, too?

I’m no different than anyone else who watched the weeklong barrage of news reports coming out of Las Vegas with a lump in the throat, a sickening feeling….tears, too.    But I forced myself to watch as many uncensored videos as possible.  I read as many articles from legitimate news sights as I could stomach .  I know more about this “bump stock” contraption than any arms dealer.   I dived in, not to be morbid, but to be in the know, to empathize  and even learn what to do should I (God forbid) ever find myself in a similar situation.

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The shooter?     Complete enigma.

Or not.

There hasn’t been a significantly revealing press conference in several days.   So, this means one of two things,  obviously:   either investigators  have nothing to report or evidence is literally pouring in free fall.    There’s always a strategy involved in what cops are willing to release to the public.   Sometimes, info is telegraphed to suspects or people of interest not yet in custody.      If you have any doubts, go watch the way Chief Moose from the Montgomery County Police Department “spoke” to the dad/stepson duo known as the D.C. Snipers in 2002.   Chief Moose is an educated man, yet when he was speaking directly to the snipers via press conferences,  he seemed to use their vernacular.

Maybe we’ll never know the Las Vegas shooter’s motive or if he had help.  Maybe the tens of questions we all have will never get answered.   Despite the false flag nonsense from basement dwellers who just KNOW it’s the work of fascists, the globalists, ISIS, Hillary and Bill,  Trump, Antifa, Daddy Bush, Obama and Soros, the  New World Order, the Bilderbergs, The Reptilians, HAARP, the Illuminati, FEMA or  the United League of Lettuce Pickers, Local #48735.

2017 has already been a difficult year, even before the tragedy in Las Vegas.   Loss, illness, natural, disasters, terrorist attacks, political strife punctuated with violence,  problems of all kinds touched almost everyone I know in one way or another.

I know I’m not alone when I say September 11th changed the way I look at airplanes in flight, especially in descent mode over a major city.    It’s been 16 years since that fateful day.  I’ve probably seen all the TV series, movies, documentaries, videos probably 100 times.    I wasn’t in New York that day, but I can still hear the  high pitch roar as the engines revved before impact.  Then there was the horrible sound of the impact into the Twin Towers.     We witnessed murder in real-time that day.

The same with the massacre in  Las Vegas.    I’ll never be able to hear fire works or gunfire,  not to mention the horrible staccato sound made by semi or fully automatic weapons, in the same way ever again.    In fact, I never, ever never want to hear that sound again and  while I support the Second Amendment, my question with regard to those specific weapons is, why should I?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

AHS: Cult. Season 7/Episode 3

This episode is called ” Neighbors From Hell” and yep, I’d say so.   More on that in a bit.

Tonight, we’re briefly introduced to a new couple.    She has a severe case of Cleithrophobia, which is a fear of being trapped in confined spaces, with a soupçon  of claustrophobia added for interest.   All this is courtesy of her sadistic father who’d lock  her into a console cabinet next to the old Curtis Mathews floor model.    He is a typical husband wanting to make love to his wife but conventional sexual positions trigger all her phobias.    Well, thanks to the same shrink Ally sees for  clownaphobia,  she’s miraculously cured, so they go home  only to be greeted by a cadre of the same creepy clowns who lock them into coffins, leaned up against the wall, with a spray painted smiley face on it.     The same smiley face on the wall of the Chang’s  house when they were murdered.   Both were neighbors of Ally and Ivy’s,

Next scene:  Ally is dealing with the trauma of having shot and killed Pedro, who arrived at their home with supplies during the blackout, which is still an ongoing problem.   A cop is there and tells her there’s a castle doctrine/stand your ground  law.    Suddenly, the power comes back on .   Apparently, the terror “attack” was just a slight terror “inconvenience”.    It’s never mentioned again for some odd reason which is typical in every AHS episode.    Dangling plotline particles everywhere.

The next scene has our Sapphic couple going back to work at their restaurant and there’s an angry mob of protestors in front of the building angered by the murder of an unarmed Hispanic man, devoted husband and father of three, obviously killed by a white entitled, racist woman.   A news reporter covering the protest calls her “the equivalent of a lesbian George Zimmerman” (The Florida security guard who was no billed after shooting Trayvon Martin).     Tragic event , but the craftily worded moniker for Ally made me laugh.

So, then the gay man and his essentially frigid wife,  the beekeeping creepies who moved in the Chsn’s murder house across the street,  knock on the front door, wearing of all things, sombreros.    Ally answers the door and is immediately berated for her white privilege which entitled her to kill a poor, unarmed Latino, who she saw (as the supposed narrative goes, a murderer, rapist and thief.

Dialog stripped straight from today’s headlines.

Now, Ivy is standing at the door taking all their vitriol. but only REALLY gets steamed when they accuse her of not being a true Progressive. Them’s fightin’ words. She starts yelling back at them they throw Taco Bell coupons at her through the screen door.      Hilarious.

She goes back to the restaurant  and Kai suddenly appears at her car window and tells her that it took courage to kill the man who for all she knew, could have been a threat to her and her family. As for the mob in front of the restaurant?   He told her not to worry, he’ll take care of them.

I guess she believes him because Ally decides to confront the protesters to assure them despite killing Pedro, she’s one of them.    They see her,  surround her car and she screams at them that they’re wrong about her, she believes as they do.   She’s ‘one of them’..     When they ignore her,  she starts cussing at them like a cranked out stevedore.     Then, Kai appears out of nowhere and the mob quietly disbands, just as he promised.

Then then there’s a Craig’s list ad placed indicating an opportunity for a white man to be fellated by a hot and wanton  lesbian couple.      Proof of this?   There’s a portly naked man who answered the add and he’s standing in their living room ready for his perverse treat.       They kick him out.    Then the whacky bee keepers give young Oz, Ivy and Ally’s son, a guinea pig which is a no no for a no pets household.    It’s due to allergies or cruelty or something.     Yet, oddly enough, Ivy is a chef and handles all the butchering at their in-restaurant butcher shop.

There’s a black truck driving slowly in front of their house, emitting a phosphorescent greenish mist.     Like the old DDT mosqito misting trucks from back in the day.    The next morning,  30 birds lay dead in their front yard.      Later on, the black truck emitting the dayglo green mist is back for a repeat performance and Ally makes like the  guy in Tienneman square and stands defiantly in front of truck which doesn’t slow down.   She jumps out of the way and is sprayed with the green stuff and breathes it in, swallows it.      Ivy comes running to her aid and Ally’s nose is bleeding.

Moving ahead for time and my carpal tunnel addled right hand,  the couple and  Oz come home from somewhere only to find a big red spray painted happy face on their front door.    They go inside, just in time to see the the new pet Guinea pig explode in a bloody burst in the microwave.    Ugh!!!    Sooooooo done to death.

Anyway, in a fit or rage, Ally runs out and straight across the street to the whacky couple’s  house accusing them of doing all the terrorizing of her family..   When they tell them about the smiley face spray painted on their door, the frigid wife looks serious and tells them that they’ve obviously  been tagged by the neighborhood killers.   They panic.   And run back home only to find a spray  painted smiley face on the side of the neighbors’ garage door.

Then, the big black trucks comes back.   This time, two men in black galley suits  suits with breathing apparati get out and start to spray their front yard with the green stuff.    Ally freaks and confronts them and demands to know who they are.    “Who Sent You?”,    She then asks if they’re  from Monsanto (the company that  weaponized the chemical defoliant,  Agent Orange used during the Vietnam War) or if they’re there at the behest of Halliburton (Dick Cheney…need I say more???)

She rips off one guy’s  mask and he’s wearing a clown face.    Too much for this clown fearin”  chick and she faints and gets dosed again with the green mist.

They call the same cop who investigated Pedro’s accidental shooting and Ally  frantically tries to convince him that the whacky neighbors are doing all the crazy shit.  Then Oz, is sent a video of Ally in the bathtub with Nanny Wynter sponging  her tenders.   Ivy understandably gets angry and grabs Oz and leaves but not before seeing the gay husband from across the street arrested for waking up next to  his wife in a pool of blood and she is needless to say, very, very dead.

Oz is missing so, they  run back in the house looking for him and blood is everywhere,  and (Surprise!!!) there’s a smiley face painted in blood, this time inside the house.   I’m assuming cop’s blood.

OBSERVATIONS:   This show is rife with left leaning or pure Liberal types from the actors down to the dishwasher in Craft Services.   I mean, this is a Hollywood production after all, but the show actually seems to be mocking the left’s overblown reaction to Trump’s win.   The paranoia, need for safe spaces, white people accusing other white people of white privilege when they both live in close proximity to each other in a lovely, upper middle class neighborhood.     It takes it even further because the gist this season, seems to be all about irrational fears as they pertain to the election, and how they’re contributing to the dissolution of what we once knew as  the comfy,  all familiar American way.

Also, the exterior  of Ally and Ivy’s home looked oddly familiar.  Well, I did some checking AND dig this—-according to the website, TooFab.com, the Mayfair-Richards’ home is the same one where Laurie Strode (Jamie Lee Curtis) babysat Tommy Doyle for most of the movie, Halloween!!!!     And yes, the house still has the balcony above the front door, which serial killer Michael Myers flew off of after being shot by Dr. Loomis at the end of the movie.

As for Kai, who’s  a pinky clutching soul confessor , tell me your fears kind of guy,  also says “have a nice day” at the end of friendly every encounter.       If the purple haze of my youth will cut  me some slack, I do think I believe back  in the early 70’s when the smiley face was everywhere,  it was often accompanied on cards, stickers and  T-shirts with the phrase “have a nice day”.    Interesting, but probably meaningless…..maybe. .    .

Plus, it’s hilarious that clowns have all access pass keys to the homes  of every intended victim and apparently they also have stealth capabilities, along with access to knives, chemicals, video recording equipment, power tools, coffins, spray trucks, more chemicals and unlimited amounts of red spray paint.

So, who’s behind all this shenanigans just three episodes in?    Personally, I think Ivy  possesses a little sociopathy inside that head of hers, plus her body type fits the petite lady clown.    Ans then there’s the  shrink.  He knows all all his all clients phobias (as does Kai for that matter).   So, yeah, I think Ivy  and the shrink are behind it all.

And maybe Paul Ryan, too.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

It’s Father’s Day

father daughter

I dread this particular 24 hour span. I’ve never had a great relationship with my dad and this Father’s Day will mark almost six years since I last laid eyes on him.

My brother has been insisting for months now, that more than enough time has passed and that I and I alone will have to make the effort to “break the silence”. I respond to his haranguing by telling him, “Why bother? I don’t have a father”.

I’ve felt that way for years.

I woke up at 3:15 that morning after fitful night’s sleep. I tossed, I turned; my mind spun like a Roulette Wheel. Millions of normal, emotionally healthy people would be spending this day with their fathers. Could I do the same? And really, what would it hurt to visit my dad? It would be easy enough to make the effort to visit with the man who, as my mother always said, “was merely present for my conception”. That’s the role he always played; a part well cast by her rage and his bitterness.

Besides, I needed reconciliation.

I made the long drive to the country. It was pleasant—more so than I remembered. Daddy always liked it here. He spoke about it all the time. When he was younger, he loved being outdoors, especially in this part of South Texas. I also spent some time here growing up. Michael and I loved playing in the barn and swimming in the river. I’d have to agree with my father; there was something about this land. Gently rolling hills; rich farm land as far as the eye could see. Pine and Mesquite trees dotted the landscape. It was nice. Quiet. Peaceful. I was stressing over having to visit my father, but the sheer tranquility of the countryside was having an amazing effect on me. I was starting to relax.

I drove up to the gate which leads to his property. I remembered it being larger for some reason. It was locked, as usual, but Dad always said we should come right in. The combination was easy to remember…. it was Michael’s birthday. Never underestimate the relationship between a father and his only son. I got back in the car and drove over the iron cattle guard; it had a jarring effect on my car. I’d forgotten how that felt.

Memories.

I parked the car, grabbed my things which were on the seat beside me and exited the car. I walked over to him. Would he recognize me? Would he know I’d even stopped by?

I started the conversation immediately.

” Hi Daddy. I know it’s been a while since I was last here to see you. I guess an apology is in order, but things have been crazy at home.”

I was talking fast, hoping to avoid any awkward silence.

“You remember Robert, don’t you? Well, he was just promoted to partner in his firm and the kids are growing like weeds.”

I reached for my purse; I was going to show him pictures, but thought against it. He was never close to his grandchildren.

“Teddy reminds me of you, Daddy. He has your hazel eyes and your love of fishing. In fact, he and Robert went out in the Gulf a few weeks ago and they caught seven huge Red Snapper. And Kate is my baby. You last saw her when she was five. Well, believe it or not, she’ll be 12 in October and in seventh grade next year. Daddy, she’s so pretty and so smart. She made all “A’s” last semester. Sometimes, I wonder if she’s really my daughter!”

I chuckled.

Silence.

The wind blew my hair in my face. I brushed it away and continued to plow through our conversation.

“I suppose you’re wondering why I’m here today after all these years. Well, it’s Father’s Day and I felt I should be here. I felt that I had to make the effort”.

I looked down and kicked a few stones with the toe of my shoe. I could feel emotions welling up inside me.

I took a deep breath.

“Daddy, I’m also here because I can’t deal with this any longer. There’s so much I don’t understand. I need to know why you left the family. I want to know why you left me! I’ve always wanted to know the answer to that question!”

My voice was cracking.

“I was just 11 when you walked out and I didn’t understand the dynamics of marriage or divorce, for that matter. All I knew was that you left. You walked out one night without an explanation and without telling me goodbye. Do you have any idea what that did to me? The precedent that set for the rest of my life?”

I looked away, not wanting my tears to tell my story. The sun broke through the clouds and there we were, bathed in the warm Texas sunlight.

I took another deep breath. “Daddy, I believed for years that men leave and that love is expendable. If you get bored with your marriage or if you fall out of love, no biggie, just leave; exit. To hell with making the effort or fixing the problem, just go out and find a newer, younger, thinner model. Find a new family, too. See Daddy, I learned all of this from you! I learned that men leave and when they do, they leave broken people in their wake. I was broken for years. I never knew how to love. Daddy, I never knew how to be loved, either! It was horrible.”

I decided to sit down on nearby bench. The breeze was blowing through the pine trees. It created a hum…an odd discord actually that somehow, seemed fitting. Discord had always been the soundtrack of my life with my father.

I wiped away another tear.

“Life, post divorce was so hard for us, Daddy. It was a struggle in every way, but your absence was what hurt the most. I wanted you to be there when I got braces, when I had my first date…the proms. My graduation. I would’ve loved to have talked to you about the time Jake Shelton broke my heart in eighth grade, but you weren’t around. I hated that you weren’t there. But then again, you missed all of those things, too. And don’t even get me started about college! It was horrible and so were my twenties. What a waste!. I got involved in all these lousy, dead-end relationships. All were abusive in so many ways. I drank too much….did everything too much. But I guess I can’t completely blame you for my screwed up life. Your leaving was probably impetus for everything evil in my life, but no one put a gun to my head, either. I chose to live a wild life because running wild was easier than being responsible. Then again, you know a little about bucking responsibility, don’t you, Dad? Your lack of it constantly forced me to remind myself that I even had a father!”

I was getting angry.

“Allow me to break down what life was like for Mom, Michael and me after you left. We had no money and moved from that five bedroom home into a cramped two bedroom apartment. Mom practically lost her mind. She’d never worked before. She was the wife of a successful businessman, she never had to work. You never wanted her to. She was 39 years old when you left and she had nowhere to go and no money to take her there. She took menial job after menial job trying to support two children. She’d cry for hours sometimes, never leaving her room, except to retrieve another bottle of Vodka. God Daddy, back then, I always thought Mom was such a silly, spineless woman because she wasn’t handling the reality of your leaving very well. I would always say to her, “Come on, Mom. He left and he’s not coming back! Get your shit together!” I had no idea what she was going through; I didn’t know hard her life really was until I lived it myself after Joe left me”.

A large truck with a broken muffler drove by the highway and broke my concentration. Another breeze blew a strong whiff of the truck’s exhaust in our direction.

“Did you ever know why Joe and I broke up? History repeated itself, Daddy. Like you, he cheated on me. With a woman who worked in his building. According to Joe, she was everything I stopped being—thin, young, sexual and apparently, she was willing to put up with his shit. Imagine, that’s what he liked about her. Her tolerance? Well, by telling me that, he was damn sure right about one thing…she definitely did things I wouldn’t do! I wouldn’t put up with his crap. I kicked him out of the house the night he told me that. I wasn’t going to give him the satisfaction of leaving on his own accord. In the end my defiance didn’t matter. He had the last laugh, I suppose. The bastard married her the day our divorce was final”.

I shifted my weight on the bench and continued the one-sided conversation.

“Men break your heart and Daddy, you broke mine. No two ways about it. When you walked out that door, I stopped feeling safe. In some ways, I still don’t. It didn’t help that you wanted nothing to do with me or Michael after you remarried”.

I brushed my hair out of my eyes then folded my arms across my chest. I shivered. Suddenly, a sunny June morning in South Texas, turned cold.

“Holidays, special events, school plays…we never heard from you. For my 14th birthday, all I wanted was a picture of you because I’d forgotten what you looked like. Of course, Mom didn’t have one to give me. She ceremoniously burned everything you left behind, including pictures and her wedding dress. She put everything into a metal barrel, doused it with lighter fluid and lit a match. You, your memory and all your stuff went up in a ball of fire that really, was fueled more by anger, than anything else. Mom made us roast wieners over the flames. She called the whole process her “rebirth”; a second baptism, this one by fire. I understood the symbolism involved and felt if that helped her move on, great. But it hurt me–more than I knew. For years after that, every hot dog I ate–regardless–tasted like burned taffeta”.

I winced at the memory. The only response was the breeze rustling through the pines. I took a deep breath and looked around me.

“Well Daddy, the kids want to take Robert to brunch this afternoon and I’ve got get back into town for that, but I’m glad I came here today. I think we both needed this, at least, I know I did”.

And that’s when I lost it. Admitting that released a floodgate of emotion. I started sobbing.

“Being here makes me realize how much I miss you. I miss you. It wasn’t that I couldn’t forgive you–I did–years ago. I just couldn’t forgive myself for thinking that I hated you as much as I did, but in reality, I never hated you, Daddy. I just didn’t understand. And no one bothered to explain. Mother made the fatal mistake of talking so badly about you in front of Michael and me. We heard about what a bastard you were day in and day out! She negated our existence by damning you and in our minds, that made you the enemy. To hear Mom wax about what happened, it was as if you stole her money, her youth and her dignity. It was as though you all but murdered her. But in some ways maybe, you did. You killed her spirit”.

I shook my head.

“Even so, I’m mad at Mom too, because for the longest time, she knew I thought I was the reason you left and she never made any attempt to correct it. Why did she do that? She let me think it was all my fault. I agonized over this. I thought if I would have made all A’s or if I would’ve won all my tennis matches or cleaned my room better, you would’ve stayed. The little girl that still lives in the woman I’ve become is only now beginning to fully grapple with everything. I mean, can you blame me? You represented my very first relationship with men. What happened with you set the tone for every relationship that followed. And my God Daddy, you never had any idea what you left behind. Look at your legacy. It’s represented by disappointment and abandonment. And all that pain. I stupidly thought if I failed as a daughter, I’d surely fail as a girlfriend and wife and I believed that.

I bit my bottom lip and just stared at the ground, kicking at a pebble.

Want to hear something odd, Daddy? There’s a part of me that’s looking for a Genie. Yeah, a Genie and I want him to grant me one wish. That’s all I want; one wish. I’d ask him to give us more time. See, I don’t want more time, I need more time. But I can’t have that, can I? That’s my biggest regret. So many years went by and we hardly spoke to each other. Geez, why was there so much anger, Daddy? Were we really that mad at each other? Were we? Or was I more mad at you? I guess so because I wouldn’t respond to your letters and I wouldn’t even answer the phone when you’d call”.

And then it hit me…he had actually written. He HAD called. I realized that my mother’s rage and anger distorted everything, including my point of view, but that morphed into something very convenient and sinister. I used this horrific father/daughter relationship to my advantage. It became my excuse; remaining a victim suited my agenda. That was easier than admitting my culpability in my own unhappiness. Pointing fingers at the son of a bitch father absolved the wounded daughter from all blame.

I buried my face in my hands, then sat on the bench, shaking.

“Daddy, I have to know if…if you can forgive me? Please? I can’t leave without knowing we’re OK. Do what I never could or would do for you–please release me, liberate me from this heartache! Free me from all the pain that’s kept me from living my life.”

That’s when I noticed it was there again. The silence. But this time, I welcomed it. No words were spoken. Really, at that moment, nothing needed to be said. Something was different. I then realized this is what Deliverance must feel like.

I don’t know how long I’d been sitting there. I looked up. The breeze felt cool against my tear-stained face. The sun caressed my entire body. I shivered in it’s warmth. It was incredible. I felt very much alive. I stood up, emotionally drained and weak physically, yet strong in my resolve. I wiped a few remaining tears from my cheek.

“Well, I’ve got an hour-long drive ahead of me, so I better go now if I want to make brunch”.

I paused.

“Daddy, before I go, I want you to know that I miss you. I think about you all the time and please know that I love you, in spite of everything. I wasted so much time harboring all this pain, but I didn’t know what else to do! Hurting was the norm and I’m so sorry for feeling that way. More than you know. I’ve squandered so many years because of it, so please….help me try to get a few back if I can….let’s start over, OK? Today, let’s begin again. We’ll do that by visiting more. I’ll come back soon. I promise. I mean, after all, you are my daddy, right?”

I stood there for a second, allowing the moment to imprint on my memory. I wanted to remember everything. Every detail.

I mustered a smile and whispered, “Happy Father’s Day, Daddy”.

I placed a small bouquet of flowers beside his headstone and touched it briefly before walking back to my car.

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The Letter is “T”

Mrs. G.  was my first grade teacher.    Now, keep in mind I’m from a small town in South Central Texas and this little hamlet wasn’t very enterprising.  In fact, I think back on it now and I believe progress scared the hell out of the City Fathers (this was 1965, there were no City Mothers yet).  Construction of a Dairy Queen in late 1972 made some quake in their boots.

Even so, many who graduated from High School especially after World War II went to college  and then came back for some reason.   Family perhaps; it was easy and  familiar.    Others  left and never returned.  Still,  a few went home the night they graduated from High School  and just stayed there.

My father and mother dated in High School.   Both went to college and both came back home.   They got married and spawned three girls.    I’m the youngest.  Many of my parents’ siblings also came back home, settled down and had kids, so it wasn’t a big deal that my first grade teacher and a few subsequent teachers in later grades, also taught my older sisters, most of my cousins, my parents, every aunt and uncle.  They were also either friends or members of the same clubs and organizations as both of my grandmothers.

So misbehaving  in class: not an option.   Comparisons to older family members:  a constant occurrence.

I was hardly unique.  Lots of kids I knew were second generation students, especially in Mrs. G’s.  class.    She taught everyone in my family.   She was also principal of the school which housed first and second grades.   She was kid savvy, large and imposing.   She could be stern when need be, but basically, she was good teacher and above all, she was extremely patient.   One would  have to be in order to teach students with varying degrees of aptitudes..  And back then, kids were piled into three separate first grade classrooms.    I’m not sure of the methods used in terms placement, but I remember my first grade class being a mixed bag of quite gifted kids and others who (in the simplest terms) weren’t.

For privacy’s sake, I’ll call him Carl.

He came from a large family from “the wrong side of the tracks” as they say.    He sat across the aisle from me in  Mrs. G’s class.   He was very tall, lanky and shy.   He kept to himself, in class and during recess.   He’d talk infrequently.   Occasionslly, he’d initiate a conversation.   At other times, you might attempt to talk to him, but he’d ignore you and look straight ahead.   When he and I did speak, which was rare,  conversations were  always brief and about mundane things, such as the the Friday night football game or the raging thunderstorm that blew through  the night before.    Yes, Carl was different,  but he remains a very vivid first grade memory for two reasons.

Reason #1:  I remember looking at him;  his long legs,  the well worn, hand me down   “highwater” pants he wore.  I stared at his profile and saw  longish, blond whiskers growing above his upper lip.    At the time, I didn’t quite understand what that meant since none of the other boys in the entire  school  were as hairy or as tall.   Later on, I realized  he must have been held back several grades.   It was either that or Ma Nature cruelly bestowed puberty upon him at the tender age of six, which college biology later taught me, was highly unlikely.

Reason # 2:  One day in May, when the end of first grade loomed near, Mrs. G decided to test us on spelling and our familiarity with the alphabet.   She’d hold up photos of simple objects and we would either be called upon or we’d raise our hand s to tell her what the object in the drawing was and then we’d spell it out now for her.    These were easily identifiable things, nothing above our reading  level.

For example, she’d hold up a picture of a boat and Sheila would raise her hand and tell Mrs. G that the item began  with a “B.”    It was boat and spelled  B-O-A-T.      Gold star for Sheila.     Then, she’d hold up a pic of a car and Timmy would get a chance to demonstrate his spelling prowess.

Mrs. G got all the way down to “S” without a hitch.     Then came the next letter in the alphabet.     She held up a photo of a common vegetable, a terrific side dish, often baked or mashed, great with fried chicken or diced and fried, making it the perfect accompaniment for a hamburger.

Carl uncharscteristicslly raised his hand and announced to Mrs. G and the entire class that the object in the drawing began with the letter “T”.     Mrs.  G stopped him before he could say anything else.  I distinctly remember the perplexed look on her face.

“A “T” Carl?    Why would you say the item in this picture begins with a “T”?, she asked.

To which Carl replied adamantly, “Well, it’s a tater, ain’t it?”

I don’t remember how Mrs. G handled it.    I don’t remember how the class  responded.   But I remember thinking it was funny and to a six year old girl, it was.  I knew what a tater was a slang term for a potato.   I was six.  Name a youngster who doesn’t like Tater Tots or know they are born from potatoes.     But for me, it was also the emphatic way Carl answered Mrs. G’s questiin, as if every other  human was an idiot  for NOT knowing  the object in the photo wasn’t commonly called a tater.   There was an unusual certainty, a surprising confidence in a voice rarely ever heard.    There was  no gold star for Carl that day, but you have to give him credit.     If the bulk of what’s learned in childhood comes from home, he merely proved  that point, whether right or wrong and in his In his world, a potato was a tater.   Case closed.

My childhood memoties are getting blurrier everyday, but while I clearly remember Carl’s tater comment, I honestly don’t remember him after that.  I can’t remember him being in any my other classes.  I have no point of reference, either.  After a million moves,  I have no idea where any of my yearbooks are and I’ve only been to one of two class reunions.   I went to the first one, 30 years ago.    And I don’t keep up with my classmates, so I’ve no one to ask, not that they’d know of his whereabouts either.   You see, this particular  class of 1977 has never been very close.    But if I were to see Carl today, I’d ask him if he remembered me then I’d hug him, if he’d let me, and I’d ask him about his life, hoping he’d be willing to fill me in on things since 1966.

At the appropriate time,  I’d say goodbye and wish him well.   And I’d silently  apologize to him  for being a victim of ignorance to certain disabilities, which  at the time, was also used as another means of exercising prejudice.    Once again, I don’t know what happened to Carl, but it was obvious his problems hadn’t been properly dealt with by his family, but due to certain circumstances, might not have even been aware there was a problem.  Nor was he properly dealt with by the educational system in the place I once called home.    I’m currently far removed from anything school or student-related, but I’m pretty that 51-years ago, having developmental issues, coupled with being from a poor, struggling family  meant it was easier for educators to label, allow those particular kids to slip through the cracks, then simply look the other way.

I think Carl was a prime example of an unspoken caste system that once existed in public education.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Taking The Blair Challenge

That would be Blair, the creative force behind the highly entertaining blog known as The Shameful Sheep. I’d provide the link here if  I knew  how, but I think that would also require a WordPress upgrade and frankly, I just don’t wanna.  You see, WordPress and I seem to be drifting apart lately.    Commitment issues.   But Google TheShamefulSheep.com and enjoy the literary ride.

While I’ve never actually communed with Blair one-on-one, I think we’re somewhat alike.   It appears we view the world lit from a lightbulb  of similar wattage.   We’ve followed each others blogs, liked each others’posts and based on her writing style, I’d say we’d probably laugh at the same dick jokes.

While reading one of her posts recently, I noticed she was posed some questions to answer, so she then challenged her readers to do the same. Yeah, I know, it’s an old blogging chestnut, but to quote Poco, “When it’s all you’ve got– call it love” and frankly, I’m bored with politics and I’ve scorned whiney millenials and third wave campus feminists enough—this week—so, I thought what the hell, I’ll answer her questions and then some.

They are as follows, in no particular order:

1.  Think of the person you dislike the most in this world. If you had the ability to force them to eat a full plate of anything you wanted, what would it be?

I strongly dislike poseurs with extremely vague pedigreees.  Don’t claim privacy when refusing to answer probing questions on a blog in which you use your real name.   That said,  I would invite those on thatbparticular shit list to a banquet facility  where a meal of braised ocelot rectum and capers would be served on a bed of lice pilaf.    That would be followed by much needed vinegar and water boarding.

NEXT!!!!!!!

2.  What do you have an irrational fear of?

I have become more claustrophobic in my later years.  MRIs require total sedation but my most irrrational fear of all would be sitting in front of an open windows at night.

It was 1976 and my boyfriend at the time, got me into horror flicks.   Not so much the ones about ghosts and monsters, but about the ultimate thematic conflict, man  vs. man.   We saw this particular movie entitled, The Town That Freaded Sundown.    It’s based on a true story about the still unsolved post WWII “Phantom Murders” in Texarkana.    A hooded figure would attack high school kids “parking” as we used to say, on darkened backroads and in the woods late at night.    It was rather formulaic:  he’d kill the guy first, then rape the woman, then kill her in brutal fashion.  This had to happen a few times until the kids In Texarkana realized that going out and necking could be fatal.  A curfew was imposed, so let’s just say a lot of palms grew hairy that fateful spring in Texarkana.

Speaking of, this moratorium forces the killer’s hand.    He has to sate to his murderous appetite by moving  from the boonies into Texarkana proper.  So, he walks up to a house and the killer shoots Pa through the open window, then Ma gets shot in the face  through an open kitchen window.  And for some reason, those scenes have  bothered me ever since.  I’ve visited people who lived in in hi-rises and I’m talking upper floors ya’ll,  and I couldn’t sit or stand in front of an open window after dark.

3.   You’re going out to dinner tonight – what type of restaurant are you going to? Mexican? Chinese? American? Italian?

I like food from the many countries up and down the Mediterranean.  I also like  good Chinese and Vietnamese food.   But if specifics are required for tonight’s fare, since I’ve been trying to diet, I’d probably choose Chinese.  But on a good bulemic night, rife with self loathing, I’d choose all four restaurants.  Seriously.   I would….and I have.

4.  If you’re a blogger – do you have aspirations of writing a book at some point?

Yes, of course.   I’be been writing two separate screenplays in my head  for a decade now.   One is loosely based on my capicious three decade career  in Broadcasting (the “other” magical misery tour”) and the second book or screenplay would focus on  my gregarious maternal grandmother who loved fire engine red fingernails and wearing diamonds during the daytime.    ”Twas absokutely scandalous in small town South Texas circa 1963.

5.   You’re given an unlimited amount of money by Daddy Warbucks. The only stipulation is it must be spent on a dream you’ve had. What is that dream?

Hhhhhmmmmm…..if it was the slumber induced nightmare I had about Dennis Cucinic and Marla Maples’ uvula during horah in Minsk, then I’ll pass, but if you mean the dream in which I’ve had since childhood about encapsulating  the first giddy months of love in pill form, then yeah, I’d shove a shit ton of dough in front of some Big Pharma CEO and say make it happen,  Papi!

6.  What are you really good at?

I have failing at LOVE down to a science.   If one can fail well than I’ve been felled very well by failing.     On an up note, I do know which wine goes best with Xanax and chateaubriand.

7.   What have you never learned to do?

I know nothing about auto mechanics, I don’t how to play a trombone, figure out how the role lift and thrust play in flight and I’ve never taken the time to find out if Nero ever took violin lessons.

And gravity.    I’ve never understood how that works.   Or why Bruce Willis still is.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

A Toothache Can Be An Allegory

The second presidential debate is now history.   I refused to watch it, because had I done so, my death would have been imminent.   You see, I have no patience and intense short-fuse rage issues these days.  The culprit is an abscessed “wisdom” tooth which has to be treated with antibiotics before the wretched thing  can be pulled.  Proximity to the brain, dontcha know.

Pain above the neck is acknowledged through a short,  very direct route to the brain.    Below the neck, it all has to go through the spinal chord.   Make no mistake, if I stepped on a nail. I’d feel it immediately, but feeling the intensity can be slightly muted by distance, mere inches in some scenarios.   As my layperson’s mind perceives it, it could be compared to booking a non stop flight versus one with a lengthy layover in Denver.   There’s always a layover in Denver.

I finally got tired of burping up insane amounts of oral pain gels and faced my fears and  went to my dentist, an occupation that has scared me since seeing The Marathon Man as a kid.    The  kindly dentist took X-rays which revealed I had  a rather odd wisdom tooth that was quite infected.     He knew it was painful.   I confirmed that it was.  I was quietly praying for a script of Fentanyl; he suggested Naproxen.

I have to wait three more days for it to be pulled.     I’ve had a migraine, an earache, a sore throat and as mentioned, rage issues for the past week and a half.   Chronic pain, which I’ve lived with daily since a car accident on 1991, can wear on your heart and soul.   I was precribed an antibiotic which began working, but I only felt its defense forces for the first time this afternoon.  It was only then that I had an appetite, could chew and be civil.   It was the first time in a long time, I didn’t want to yell at those  pesky kids to get off my lawn, even though I have no lawn and I live in a gated community.  I’m the youngest homeowner here and I’m still south of 60.    I can remember “Let’s Make A Deal” while my mostly senior  neighbors can barely recall Roosevelt’s New Deal.

Age schism.   And many of my neighbors are of the nosey, gossipy variety, who hate my dog’s entire elimination system.    I responsible in that I pick up where he leaves off, but I’ve  been written up in the past and for another pet owner’s lack of duty regarding dog doodie.

Pets are barely tolerated, but I’m afraid children aren’t allowed here.  Of course,  no where is that mentioned anywhere in the contract with the builder or in  the HOA by-laws because well, it’s completely Illegal, but here, I get the sense it’s unspoken.  If there are any local kids missing,  authorities might want to check out some of my neighbors.   I walked by one house recently and got a strong whif of gingerbread.

I’ll move soon, and rebuild  and do as the late John Denver once warbled, come home to a place I’ve never been before.  Like an old Etch-A-Sketch from my childhood, I’ll erase a good part of my past.    Well, maybe not erase,  but I’ll make the bad stuff of memories far less retrievable.

Here’s a tip for you:  when God…the Universe….Putin tells you over and over again,  your life and everything in it isn’t working, acknowledge it don’t ignore as I did, cut your losses and run, don’t walk to the nearest exit.    Don’t sit there hoping things will change as you maintain the same currupted mindset that only served a purpose when climbing the ladder, not while stowing it away.   Minding these no so subtle cues often means leaving what’s familiar, but not necessarily healthy.    Taking it further, it also means excising certain people from your past, not because they’re bad, but because one or both of you have changed to the point nothing in the relationship is salvageable.   These are people I once knew from my childhood, a million years ago, from cities large and small,  a million miles away.    Depending on perception, we were victims and/or the fortunate ones to be where we were, when we were.    But nothing lasts, nothing is static.    Many people remain loyal to things which they have every right to do, but these are things I can no longer believe in, creating  a schism of a different kind.

I’ve recently spoken with some people in the psychiatric world about the changes I feel within and around me.   I wanted to know if this need to separate who I am with who and what I was is normal, given all my circumstances.   They each replied in their own ways, assuring me that shedding is perfectly normal and natural.   Dogs do, it; as evidenced by the fur on everything in my house, cats do it and people do it.  We shed dead skin cells to make way for newer, healthier ones.  The White Coats say what really matters is what’s really about the intention behind the mental aspects  of shedding.    Makes sense, so I’ve thought about, lost sleep over it, allowed guilt to eat at my being and arrived at this point.   It’s time to remove  things, leave things, and think differently about things because for me, it was and continues to be in in my best interests to move forward and stop looking back.    I had to remove myself from the things that hurt; which had become painful; which to due to impulse, neediness and bad choices, I allowed to become painful.

Not unlike my abscessed wisdom tooth.

AHS Season 6 Episode 2

Well, “My Roanoke Nightmare” continues to entertain…and provoke and remain Swiss cheesy in terms of logic.

It starts off kind of where last week’s show left off, but not exactly.    Last week’s show ended with Shelby is running amuck in the woods in pursuit of Kathy Bates’ character who literally bounced off Shel’s car when she was trying to escape the house.     She gets lost and is confronted by a man with the top part of his head missing;  he sees her and falls to her knees.  The end.

This weeks show starts of with her still lost in the woods but she walks upon a crucifixion or purification  scene in which.  The scalped man is tied and nailed, chest first to  a much larger version of one of those Blair Witch looking twig figurines we we were introduced to last week.      Kathy Bates’ character is the head of this puritanical coven, is it?…. and she has has Igor hunchback counterpart which looked something like Lady Gaga in bloody make up.    And whoever or whatever this person represents she’s egging on Kathy Bates’ urging of these angry, torch welding phantasmas.   He died something illegal with a pig  and the villagers slap on pig’s head (a fresh kill by the looks of it) and  then he’s not crucified, rather large figurine is turned into a spit and the man is burned alive.

Shelby screams, allerting Kathy Bates and company to her presence, a chase ensues and Shelby runs into the driveway and almost into a car, driven by her sister in law, Lee.

Shelby is rushed to the hospital and checked out.  She’s okay. Matt comes to see her; tells her that the cops were called…once again…searched the woods and found nothing.     They are becoming a total pain in the ass for this  local jurisdiction.   Anyway, Shelby still thinks its the local yokel inbreds who placed a low bid on the house during episode one.

Lee decides she wants to see her daughter, Flora.  So the eight year old ones for a weekend visit and of course immediately, befriends a ghost bonnet wearing ghost child named  Priscilla Flora who  during a game of hide and seek at the end of her visit, tells her that she’ll kill everyone in the house, and keep Flora alive until the very ends.  This enrages Isaac Hayes who  has come back from the grave to play Lee’s ex-husband who wants total custody of the child, due to Lees/ boozing fired cop way.  He takes Flora off in a heart wrenching good bye scene….child screaming for her mother, mother screaming for her child.    Then Lee falls off the wagon and drinks all night long.  Matt and Shelby awaken  to the all too familiar sound of glass breaking.   It’s Flora in the dining room just coming off her bender she’s drunkenly broken a bowl.    Everyone looks up and there are knives thrown into the ceiling.  Matt and Shelby assume Lee did that, too, but she denied it.  Matt takes her upstairs to sleep off the rest of it.   She’s awaked a few hours later the image of two 60’s looking nurses staring at her in bed.    She shakes her head.   They’re gone.  Then she hears a noise….runs towards it anyone scared shitless is inclined to do and she sees a bunch of blood pig tails nailed into the wall.  She shakes her head.   They’re gone.  She looks into a mirror and sees the man with the pig head on coming towards  her.  Again, she shakes her head and  he’s gone and apparently Lee is gone too because we don’t see her for a while.    More on Lee in a sec.

Its the middle of the night and Matt and Shelby are sleeping.   we hear a phone ringing.     Loudly.  Shelby sleeps through it, but Matt but go down three flights of stares to answer a desk phone that was outdated in 1985.   On the other end is a woman moaning.  He looks down and sees the phone isn’t even connected to the wall outlet.   Then, the moans start coming from the kitchen.  Matt turns around and sees a residual haunting of when the house was a senior care facility decade earlier.     He sees  are the same two nurses that Lee saw by her bed, that Shelby saw cross the hall in front of her that, that went unmentioned in the last last episode.   They are oblivious to his presence and they stand around a bed with an elderly woman in it, refusing to take her medicine.   One nurse accuses the patient of having a sassy nought so she pulls out a handgun and shoots granny right between the eyes.  This elates the sisters who revel in the fact that the patient’s name was Margaret, so they gleefully spray paint a large M on the wall.

The cops are called.    Nothing is there.  The ugly wall paper chosen to refurbish the house is undisturbed.   Matt, says the officer, had to have been having a vivid dream.

Then the next night, they are awakened once again to the sound of that damn pig.   Shelby and Matt grab his and hers flashlights and head into the wooded acreage that came with the house, in search of a pig.   They get separated and a pig comes out of no where and runs by Matt’s feet and he says nothing.  They meet up once again to find the greasy, dripping, gross remnants of the grilled man….but no Kathy Bates lead villagers.  The cops were called once again , but this time, the cops see the remnants, but they also think its the handiwork of Papa Hayseed, Ishmael Polk and his odd progeny.

Then one afternoon, Matt and Shelby are looking outside and see a pilgrim looking woman standing there.  They of course, run our to see who o what she really is and there’s nothing there, but she was standing on the entrance to a fruit cellar.    What do they do?   Run down the step ladder and into the old cellar, which is oddly free of cobwebs, spiders and or critters.  All they find is a video camera.   They take it to their VCR and play it.  Its an extreme close up of  bearded Denis LO’Hare  portraying a academic and author, namedDr. Elias Cunningham, who lived in the house in order to write a Charles Mansonesque murder mystery, based on a pair of pure sisters who were homicidal sociopaths.  They took pleasure in killing off old people that had become a burden to their families.

Sad.

Dr. Cunningham explains in the tape that the women only took boarders whose first names could spell out one word M-U-R-D-E-R.    But they hadn’t gotten to the R yet.  It was just MURDE.   And apparently, the five letters couldn’t be covered top by paint, so we see extras placing ugly green floral wall paper over it. The professor on the tape says there are demonic things happening in the house and that he’d been in the fruit cellar for days and didn’t want to step foot back in the house, but somehow, he finds the courage and takes his camera with him.     He walks through the darkened youse, demanding that whatever is in the house show itself, well, it does…in a big way.

Think “The Ring”.   I know….I don’t get it either.

Matt and Shelby freak and call the bank wanting their money back.     A representative comes to meet them .  They accuse him of nondisclosure, regarding specific aspects of the house’s past.  He claims he’s no real estate agent and can’t help them; the house is theirs until they choose to sell.

So, they’re stuck with the house and the pig noises and Kathy Bates who only roasts by night.

Oh yeah and Lee kidnaps her daughter and brings her back to the house.   Really?

There are a couple of other things I should add.    A bloodied meat clever is left in their front door and yet another window is broken.  It takes down a vase filled with flowers in  and mixed with all the flora is a small dirty bonnet….described by the human Flora, who’s new imaginary friend Priscilla said she’d make for her,  IF she helped Priscilla stop.

Stop what, we ask.

Flora  explains “all the blood”.

Later, we learn that Lee has kidnaped Flora and brought her back to the house and the episodes ends with Flora running into the forrest,  at the behest of a ghostly John Smith looking mother fella.      Matt, Lee and Shelby run after her and they find her yellow sweater tied atop a newly de-branched tree….a very tall tree….with no sight of young Flora anywhere.

This episode?  Intriguing to make me look forward to episode 3 next week.

Now, there are still major plot holes, and scary things that happen this couple won’t tell people., much less each other.   I’m finding if I watch this show as a civilian and throw logic out the window one of the few windows unbroken in the house. And don’t I wish I were the window and glass purveyor in that vicinity.    And lastly, we do know that they, whoever they are, are looking to kill someone who’s name begins with an R to complete the word “murder” which lies behind wall paper that’s the easiest to remove in the history of mankind.

As for Lady Gaga character as the Igor character?    Maybe I’m right.   Gaga’s name was featured as a guest star in the closing credits.    Now, I don’t know if that means that she’s there as part of the general cast or if it was specific to this episode, but it was there.