Friday, February 24, 2017

Where is Dave Reichert?

I sort of got off track today.

I was going to a protest rally for a local Senator, not mine, who's voting all Trump all of the time. The Congressman is Dave Reichert. Trump Nation is arriving and the Republican-led Congress generally isn't seeing the danger signs yet. John McCain and Linsdey Graham get it, but most of the rest of them don't. Not yet.

Instead of representing their constituents, they're still letting the Trump administration plow services and regulation under, as Bannon said, ' the deconstruction of the administrative state.' That's double-speak for eliminating the Department of Education, the Department of Labor, the Environmental Protection Agency, and the Department of Urban Development and Housing, and the National Parks. These may not be the most efficient government programs, but they do a lot of good for our country and our people. How much more of an overt message do moderate Republicans need that the Trump administration isn't draining the swamp as much as sucking the swamp dry? Corporate deregulation is also part of their mission. The Republican majority Congress is still going along with it all and resisting the protests of real people at their town hall meetings, if they arranged the meetings at all.

Reichert put a camera and a lock on his door and won't open it except for people with appointments. Today, he threatened to cancel an appointment with the local Indivisible group if any people showed up to protest in conjunction with the meeting, even a silent protest that aligned with local police requirements.

Other Republican Congressmen faced angry constituents in their town hall meetings, reluctantly, but with some grace. Reichert refused to host a town hall at all. Oh yesterday, he did this Facebook live thing, but who knows if he answered any of the real questions. You couldn't even watch unless you first 'liked' him. I don't consider this Facebook live to be a live event, just picture one man in a room with an assistant. Nope. That's really just someone hiding out in a room and pretending it's an event. And with Facebook live, you can edit lots of what people see and hear. It's not a town hall meeting at all.

So, Reichert used to be the Sheriff of King County. He has experience with the public. Yet, he's too afraid of his constituents to unlock his door and face them except for extremely closely vetted individuals. He even coached other Congressmen to make sure their local offices had back doors from which they could escape. We're just a bunch of angry moms, dads, and grandparents, not vagrants or criminals.

But last week, Reichert voted to give people with extreme mental illness access to guns. Seriously. I wonder if he can see the irony in that vote.

So then, I didn't have anything to do this afternoon. I was too worried to keep watching the news. Instead, I made pancakes for Nick's sleepover kids and walked the dog. I really need to take a break from it all now and then. It's incredibly vexing. When I got back, Nick and I watched a couple of episodes of Neil DeGrasse Tyson in Cosmos on Netflix.

We watched science on television. Science is on the chopping block too, so I felt rather patriotic while I did it, standing up against the oppressive government in the name of learning more science and defying the anti-evolutionists.

I'll get back to active protesting tomorrow. I will. I promise.

Thank you for listening, jb

Thursday, February 16, 2017

A Subtle Little Soul

Early this morning, about a half hour before my Oh-God-Early alarm was supposed to go off, I woke up a little. Sometimes, I manage to fall back asleep after shifting into a more comfortable position. I was overly warm, so I slid my hand up the pillow to cool outside air.

Sometimes when I wake up, I pat around on the bed to find Blitz. He sleeps in bed with me all night. He's very quiet, so if I want to know where he is, I trill my fingers on his fleece pillow. If he's not there, I tap the fluff of my comforter further down on the side where he sleeps. Usually, I make contact with the plush that is his fur, pet him for a minute, then go back to sleep.

This morning, I don't think I was awake enough to look for him and my hand slid up to feel nothing more than the fleece of Blitz's pillow before I started to fall back to sleep. Then, as if from a dream, one finger felt a furry little paw.

Just one finger.

I smiled and then sank into my dreams for thirty more minutes.

Blitz is a subtle little soul. He knows I don't need much, just the touch of a tiny paw in the night.

Thank you for listening, jb

Friday, February 3, 2017

Kitten and Dog Games

So, Blitzen and I have a game that we play. Today, Teddy was so jealous that he came to the top of the stairs and just whined while I sat there and got it set up.

He forgot all the times I played almost the same game with him and he also forgot that eventually, he just stared at me like I was making him work or something. So, he sat down next to me, ready, in case I decided to include him. I knew I'd try. I'd try to include the big clunky dog with the tiny crazy kitten in the game that we all played together. 

I love games for which everyone around me runs in circles. I sat at the top of the fuzzy stairs and imagined leaning back and sliding down while I waited for everyone to get ready. Bump, bump, bump. I could slide. Only bumps don't feel as nice to me any more, seeing that I'm 56 years old and lumpier and crunchier than I used to be, so I just imagined bumping down the stairs while everybody got ready at the top.

Before I sat down, I had gathered up all of Blitz's kitten toys that I could find and I stuffed them into my pockets. This is my daily dose of walking around the house and performing downward facing dog alternately with deep squats. It's my exercise program, people, so just leave me alone and try not to imagine what the real me looked like when I was doing it. This almost made up for me sitting at the top of the stairs after collecting all the toys I could find while everyone else planned to run up and down in circles. Almost.

Blitz has a couple of dozen tiny mouse toys and fluffy, fuzzy, tinkley, and crackly toy balls. He actually likes some of the balls intended for Teddy better than what I bought especially for him. I guarantee that ownership and jealousy factor large in their popularity. So, I piled all of the fluffy, fuzzy, tinkley, and crackly balls next to the top of the stairs along with some of Teddy's big, but still soft ones.

My house isn't particularly unusual except that the builder installed some very nice wooden windowsills and banisters. On either side of my carpeted steps, there are matching four inch wide boards that I have always loved for the sheer woodenness of them.

I especially loved them when Nick, as a toddler, realized they were perfect ramps for racing Matchbox cars. I knew I was supposed to tell him not to, in case his cars could mar the perfect woodenness of those ramps, but the excellent speed accumulated down those ramps and the abrupt stop at the end just fed my inner child. For years, before we got new flooring downstairs, there was a red spot where the red cars crashed on one side, Nick's cars, and a blue spot where blue cars crashed on the other, my cars. I kind of miss those spots now that they're covered over.

So, one day when Blitz was playing with a small green ball that Teddy had abandoned, I used my toe to push it to the beginning of the ramp.

"Ready?" I asked him. He stared at me, uncomprehending.

And then I pushed the ball down the ramp. He went bounding after it, nearly ramming headfirst into the treasure chest across the hall at the bottom of the stairs.

What an awesome game. Blitz caught on soon enough that whenever I said, "Ready?" he would leap to the top of the stairs and stare at whatever toy I had lined up for him. That was the part that I loved the most, that total doggyness when he stared at the ball just before I let it roll.

So, I sat at the top of the stairs with all the balls I could find.


Over and over, I got to watch Blitz scrambling, rolling, bounding down the stairs and in between, Teddy took turns chasing the bigger balls. Blitz got tired at the end, stretched out on one step, reached his paws over his head, and melted onto the next step, one by one, like abandoned silly putty.

It's an awesome game right to the very end.

Thank you for listening, jb