Dear Senator Johnson:
Today is Memorial Day. To show my respect for the men and women who served--and are serving--our country bravely and honorably, I am writing you a letter I know you won't read.
Two of those men died this week for standing up against bigotry and terrorism. They were not on foreign soil and they were not combating Muslims or ISIS or any of the other bugaboos our current administration likes to shout about. They were combating white Americans. As of right now, our President, the Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces, who has found time to tweet gloatingly about Congressman Greg Gianforte bodyslamming an unarmed journalist, has not, apparently, been able to find the time to make a public statement about Sergeant First Class Rick Best, Second Lieutenant Richard Collins III, or about the civilian who also died combating white supremacist terrorism on American soil, Taliesin Namkai-Meche.
Senator Johnson, I am appalled and disgusted. I would greatly appreciate it if I could see evidence that you are also appalled and disgusted--or at least that you condemn the actions of Sean Urbanski and Jeremy Christian. This is not a complicated issue; there are no shades of gray or subtle nuances to be explored. This is white supremacist bigotry, and it is continuing to motivate domestic terrorism as it has done for more than 150 years. (The Ku Klux Klan was founded in 1865. I am not exaggerating.) Sergeant Best, a white man and a veteran, did an honorable and morally right thing; he stood up against bigotry, and he died for it. Lieutenant Collins, a black man and a veteran, did the same thing and died for it. The only way we can honor their memories, and the memory of Taliesin Namkai-Meche, is to take the same stand and to turn the force and strength of the American government and the American people against the terrorists in our midst. "Thou hypocrite," said Jesus in his Sermon on the Mount, "first cast out the beam out of thine own eye; and then shalt thou see clearly to cast out the mote out of thy brother's eye" (Matthew 7.5 KJV). I am old enough to remember the Oklahoma City bombing in 1995. I don't know why that wasn't enough to convince Democrats and Republicans alike that a bipartisan effort to eliminate domestic terrorism was necessary, that we need to be as "tough" on white supremacists as we claim we are on foreign terrorists (by which we seem to mean Muslims), but if it wasn't enough, as it seems it was not--since white supremacism continues to flourish and, in fact, to grow--I am asking you to understand that the murders of Best, Collins, and Namkai-Meche are enough. Grassroots efforts are necessary and valiant, but they have to be echoed by those in positions of power. They have to be echoed by legislators.
Please speak up. Please advocate against domestic terrorism committed by white Americans. Please make Collins, Best, and Namkai-Meche the last people who have to die before we finally call white supremacism unacceptable and move to eradicate it. It is the beam in our eye, and we need to cast it out.
During the previous presidency, we used to hear occasional grumbles that it was somehow inappropriate for troops to be ordered into combat by a President who wasn't a veteran. We're not hearing any of that this year, though: funny about that.
Of course, FDR wasn't a veteran. Some say he served in the Navy in WW1, but he didn't: he was a top civilian administrator of the Navy, no more ex officio a veteran than the President was. Nor was his Secretary, Josephus Daniels, a veteran; nor was his President, Woodrow Wilson.
Abraham Lincoln, though, he was a veteran. At age 23, he spent two and a half months fighting mosquitoes in the Black Hawk War, as he himself later put it. Never saw combat, though he did see some victims of it.
My late father was a veteran: he was a Navy physician (though never a combat surgeon) during and just after the Korean War, and he continued occasionally but regularly serving Naval families as a Naval Reserve officer for many years afterwards.
B's father was in the Seabees (that's the Naval Construction Battalions) during WW2, which is where he met her mother, who was in the WAVES (that's the Women's Naval Reserve). So I owe the US Navy a lot.
They're all gone now, but their naval service was touched on in their funerals.
We are excited—and Cat is honored—to announce that The Girl Who Circumnavigated Fairyland in a Ship of Her Own Making and The Girl Who Fell Beneath Fairyland and Led the Revels There have won the 2017 Grand Prix de l’Imaginaire for Roman jeunesse étranger (Foreign Youth Novel)!
The Grand Prix de l’Imaginaire awards were established in France in 1973, alongside a national science fiction convention. The first awards were given in 1974, and the Grand Prix now has the distinguished honor of being the longest-running French prize at 43 years and counting. It is also a juried award, with the jury often consisting of French speculative fiction authors and other professionals.
Cat won’t be able to attend the award ceremony at the Maison de l’Imaginaire during the Saint-Malo Étonnants Voyageurs since she was just in France for the Les Imaginales in Épinal. However, she sends her delight and thanks for this momentous occasion!
Their regular production was My Fair Lady. Of all the classic shows from the classic period of Broadway history, this is the classicest, if that's a word. Every song in it is better than good, most are great. Eliza had a very strong voice, and kept her accents straight. If only she'd put more power in "Show Me" and "Without You", which is where she really tears loose. Higgins developed character over the course of the show, as if the actor gradually stopped being afraid of the part, but he wasn't that great a singer. Doolittle cut the rug with his music-hall songs pretty well. Freddy was ... unmentionable. The best actor in the show was the Mrs. Higgins, but the best moment was the look on Mrs. Pearce's face as Higgins sings the last verse of "A Hymn to Him" to her. The costumes were impressive throughout: When Eliza steps out, she's rigged for the part.
B. was with me for that one, but one was enough for a weekend for her, so she didn't go back the next evening for Chess in concert, first of a mere two-performance run. The reason for doing it in concert, just the music with a thin skein of narration, proved to be to cram in as many songs from as many different versions as possible without having to make them fit or to deal with what the director, who delivered the narration, feels is a basically unstageable plot.
Because it was a concert, the parts were all divided up among a lot of different people. Some were quite good, and some were ... not. (The ones who could never hit the right note; the ones who kept shifting between octaves in the middle of the song. On the other hand, then there was the singer who plowed through on the right notes despite the orchestra being completely out of tune.) The problem was that there wasn't enough of the good ones. By far the best of a lot of medium-good Florences (pinch-faced, but excellent voice with good characterization) sang "Nobody's Side" and hardly anything else. I also liked one Anatoly with a really deep voice. A woman sang "One Night in Bangkok," but maybe it should have been some other woman. And maybe her microphone shouldn't have kept cutting out. The narrator was right; the storyline falls apart in Act 2, and it went on too long.
In between, I got up to Davies for a gratifyingly heterogeneous SF Symphony chamber music concert. In order of increasing oddness, Barber's String Quartet (where the famous Adagio for Strings comes from), a flute-oboe-piano trio by Eugene Goossens (very French-sounding), a wind-quintet-and-piano sextet by Poulenc (a chaotic work from his "Stravinsky fils" period), and the Varied Trio by the centennial boy, Lou Harrison, for violin (played normally), piano (sometimes with its strings plucked), and percussion (alternatingly xylophone, rice bowls (some with water in them), and baking pans), exotically peaceful.
Big week. The sale of Rainbow's End (now "Rainbow's Ended"?) closed on Tuesday, after a marathon clean-up session. (The buyers had done a walk-through Monday evening, and called with a list of things that had to be cleaned up. If they weren't done by EOD Tuesday, they were going to hold up closing. Since the closing for our purchase was scheduled for Wednesday, that was a non-starter. Cleanup had to be done.)
First (realtor) Chris and I cleaned up the messes left by the movers who ghosted on us last week, the housekeeper, and me when I came by both Thursday and Sunday and simply ran out of spoons. I think some valuable things may have been hauled off by the guys from 1-800-GOT-JUNK, but I was pretty low on spoons at that point.
After that, (this is still Tuesday!) I met G at UHaul to rent a truck so that we could get his motorcycles out of the garage. Fortunately, our housekeeper (G', if you've been following the details of my notation) offered to store them at her house. We probably came within inches of dropping a bike, more than once.
After that, I came back to the house (no longer ours, since they did close on time) to pick up the hazardous materials we'd taken out of the garage, since GOT-JUNK doesn't do hazmat. I came around to the front after that, and took a blossom and a bud from the Royal Amethist rose. Then I sang "The Mary Ellen Carter" on the way home to keep from losing it.
Wednesday, the purchase of our new house on Whidbey Island closed. I also learned that 1. the household hazmat site on Aurora Avenue is closed on Wednesdays, and 2. latex paint is not considered hazardous, so they won't take it. I was, and still am, too short on emotional cope to react significantly to either event.
Thursday I bought cat litter for solidifying the paint. I was kind of out of it, and didn't do much except reading (see links).
Friday I found out that C had not gotten signed up for Medicare. Damnit, she was positive that she had; if I'd known we could have done it when we visited the office to deliver our marriage license. Weeks ago. Shit. I also took care of the nine cans of paint that actually had room for cat litter to be added.
Saturday I tried to get C signed up for Medicare, and failed. (I failed again today.) There's still a lot of other stuff I've been neglecting.
Meanwhile, I've been doing paperwork mostly connected with health care, utilities, you name it. If I'd been under any illusions that retiring was going to be less stressful than working, well, ... Maybe it gets better? Damned if I know. I've also been reading a lot, mostly math and computer science, probably because it gets me into a flow state where I'm not really aware of anything else. Not being aware of anything mostly sounds pretty good right now.
Oh, yeah; I ought to schedule an appointment with my therapist. Not that that's been doing any noticable good lately. I have difficulty imagining how it could do any good, which may be part of the problem. (That's not a new thing; except for learning about CBT and getting me on the first of a series of drugs that may or may not still be working it didn't do a whole lot for me back in California, either.)
And don't get me started on politics.
And all of that without insults, straw men, or painful spelling errors!
(in fact, it took on the tone of a Sunday morning one-upmanship contest along the lines of "but wait! I have another relevant fact on that!" With emphasis on both relevant and fact.)
* My husband made short bread from scratch, and it was so delicious. Store bought shortbread is going to taste like cereal from now on.
* I cleaned out the guestroom closet and a friend took the debris away for her school's garage sale. Now you can walk into the closet and see all the stuff like sheets, coats, blankets, dining room table leaves, Xmas boxes, etc that needs to be in there. (One of the reasons we bought this old, comfortable, shitshow of a house is that it has closets in almost every room and they're huge. The downside of that is stuff gets put in them and you forget it's there and just put stuff in on top of it.)
* I also cleaned out and did some rearrangement of my office, mainly getting rid of the desk which wasn't being used since I don't have a desktop computer anymore. A lot of old publishing letters and paperwork went to my archive at Cushing Library, freeing up filing cabinet drawers for things to go into and I gave away some more stuff to the school garage sale. We're going to put a chair in there so people can actually go in, sit down, and read. (The process started with the realization that we didn't actually have to keep the door closed to keep the cats out since Jack and Tasha don't eat paper, plastic, and string like Harry did.)
* I love the new mattress. I'm actually having longer more detailed dreams, or at least remembering longer more detailed dreams, because I'm not constantly waking up trying to find a position that's not painful.
* I lucked into a half-price frame sale and got some prints we bought at Comicpalooza framed and hung up in the hallway.
* I've been gradually trying to get the choking vines out of the front flower bed, and it's sort of almost starting to look better.
* Doctor Who has been awesome. God, I love Bill as much as Donna. I want Donna to get her memory back and she and Bill have to find the Tardis and go off to rescue the Doctor.
Stuff I need to do today:
* Finish off the Raksura Patreon story (https://www.patreon.com/user?u=
* Pull more vines out of flower bed.
Stuff I need to do this week:
* Re-paint the trim in the stairwell.
* Make some serious progress on Murderbot 4.
* more vines
Things I have coming up:
* I'm doing a signing with Rachel Caine at Murder by the Book in Houston, TX, on Saturday July 15, at 4:30
If you can't come in person, you can order signed copies of The Harbors of the Sun and The Murderbot Diaries: All Systems Red and Rachel's Ash and Quill, the latest in her Great Library series, and Stillhouse Lake. Plus whichever of our other books the store can order.