The Last (Pancake) Supper

 

Fifteen March Twenty-Seconds ago, upon punching my timecard’s final out slot, I found myself navigating through the mercifully short, 15 minute, p.m. commute. I was feeling all tuckered out…my exhaustion caused not so much by my paid labors but, instead, due to my having taken on responsibilities as a caregiver… my teaming up with paid, home care professionals… our mutual goal being to assist in my nearly nonagenarian Mom’s recovery from a recent heart attack… to nurse her through an ever-growing, myriad of other age related complications, as well.

As was customary during that (now) bygone era, upon greeting Mom, I was once again sitting at her sickbed, our telling one another all about our days… as well as reminiscing about the good old days. It was while chatting, attempting to cheer her up that I started experiencing… well… it was sort of a feeling of deja vu. I say, ‘sort of” because a role reversal of sorts was involved.

You see, it had been my caregiver Mom who, decades earlier, used to sit bedside… chatting to cheer me up as I weathered the countless childhood storms… i.e., the emotional turmoil of being relentlessly, verbally and physically assaulted by elementary, junior high and high school bullies… i.e., the physical illnesses, which ran the full gamut from colds/flu, measles, mumps, chickenpox to my more serious, post-op convalescence following my tonsillectomy.

Of course, no recollections of those times would ever be complete without mention of my Mom’s favorite, surefire home-remedy / cure all… i.e., her made from scratch pancakes saturated with maple syrup.

Fortunately, I had never succumbed to that “macho” notion that “real men” don’t cook… so I not only knew our “secret” family recipe but, thanks to Mom’s OJT, I also had plenty of work experience in preparing them.

So, the more we talked… the more I realized Mom had always selflessly and tirelessly stood in my corner throughout my life… the less fatigue I was feeling. And the more I wanted to repay her for all of her past moral support. Oh, you should’ve seen the smile on her face when, clear out of the blue, I said, “Mom, I’m heading for the kitchen to prepare a pancake supper for the two of us.” Within an hour, we were sitting down at our dining room table and savoring the delectable, finished product.

I am so glad that Mom and I had shared our special meal together, for a mere two days later, she wound up breaking her leg. Nine days after that, after being admitted to a nursing home, a post surgical complication… pneumonia… set in with a vengeance and after that?

Well, exactly one month after our pancake supper, I was delivering Mom’s eulogy.

Mere hours ago, on this very night, I headed to the exact same kitchen to prepare a new batch of pancakes. Later, as I sat down at the exact same dining room table I raised my coffee cup and sent my words to the heavens…

“Mom, this fifteenth anniversary memorial pancake supper is to honor you and keep your memory alive. I shall love you forever, with all my heart.”

I should also mention that, set before me (us?) was the exact same, saved syrup bottle that both Mom and I had poured from on this very night, 15 years ago. A bottle once filled with sweet maple syrup, but now empty… no strike that. It is still filled with the bittersweet memories of the last pancake supper Mom and I had ever enjoyed together in this Earthly realm.

About all I could possibly add, here, is that since we can never really know if the last time we see one another will be the last time, we need to always act accordingly.

 

Advertisements

Hush Money & Blank Checks

Neither Donald Trump’s (alleged*) extramarital hookup with porn star Stormy Daniels (real name Stephanie Clifford) nor the (allegedly*) $130,000 political hush money coughed up to silence her seems to faze the run-of-the-mill, Evangelical Christian who has lost his / her moral compass. Nope, not as much as an ounce of outrage… as one would expect from any holy roller worth his / her salt.

I mean… where the hell is the litany of fire and brimstone sermons heavily referencing Biblical passages… oh… say… Sodom and Gomorrah… pillars of salt… etc.?

Well, it would seem that, in contemporary times, Evangelicals are not looking back… not looking down their noses… not looking anywhere else but up to their bad boy Donny. These… uh… well… let’s just refer to them as lowercase “c” christians… harbor an atypical, attitudinal mashup… an unorthodox mix of laissez-faire and beating around the bush.

To better illustrate how they’ve been rationalizing and equivocating about something that’s unambiguously wrong, check out this FOX “News” softball interview where Pastor Robert Jeffress tiptoed through the theological and political minefield, thusly…

“Evangelicals still believe in the commandment: Thou shalt not have sex with a porn star. However, whether this president violated that commandment or not is totally irrelevant to our support of him. Evangelicals knew they weren’t voting for an altar boy when they voted for Donald Trump. We supported him because of his policies and his strong leadership.”

Hmmm… I’ll refrain from digressing, extensively, by setting aside the pastor’s whopper about “strong leadership”.

Since it’s been more than half a century since the last time I counted myself among the devout, churchgoing Catholics, forgive me if I’m a bit rusty, here, but… oh… what the hell… I’ll give it a go anyway.

While Alex Pope’s “To err is human to forgive divine” is a core tenet of many a religion… I do seem to recall that any granting of absolution is provisional. The prerequisite, here, is that the sinner, with all his heart, must desire to mend his wicked ways, vow to never sin like that again and, working towards those goals, be actively seeking spiritual guidance.

Yet, to my knowledge, Pastor Jeffress has neither mentioned that Trump is remorseful and ISO such advice nor has that holy roller (who must have a hole in his head) ever mentioned he is currently (or soon will be) helping to extricate and elevate the so-called prez from his dens of iniquity / amoral abysses.

To sum everything up… I am not a father, either theological or biological, but, nevertheless, I will still offer some fatherly advice to Pastor Jeffress.

1. Never forget that your BFF, the thrice wed, twice divorced so-called prez, neither respects womankind nor views marriage to be the sacrament it is. Marital infidelity is his MO. And, if he cannot remain faithful to poor Melania, there will come a day where he will not remain a faithful servant to Evangelicals.

2. It is also conceivable… and staying totally within his vast range of character flaws… for that misogynist to selfishly think only about his own pleasure. Consequently he would abdicate and delegate all responsibility for birth control usage to his conquests.

3. Remaining mindful of all the above… any cad who’d think nothing about hauling out his checkbook to cover up his tawdry affair… will someday… if he hasn’t already done so… also think nothing about cutting a check to foot the bill for an abortion… perhaps more than one.

Hmmm… considering how you Evangelicals have a zero tolerance for all abortion… were it ever proven your bad boy Donny was ever a party to that…

Would you still cut that bad ass a blank check?

 

 

* Just to stay in CYA mode

Will Past Performance Predict Future Results?

 

North Korea warming up to Washington? Kim Jong Un and Donald Trump favoring words over weapons? Both combatants sheathing their nuclear sabers and, instead, sitting down at the negotiating table?

While we, the shrewd, sane and peaceable people of our world, should savor this momentary respite in world tensions, we must also remain realistic.

Never forget we are talking about the same Trump, who royally PO’d Mexico’s President Enrique Peña Nieto during a telephone chat… so much so that the angered Nieto cancelled their scheduled face to face meeting. The bone of contention had been Trump’s boondoggle border wall… Donny’s totally bizarre insistence that Mexico must completely foot the bill for its construction.

True, “past performance does not necessarily predict future results”. However it would be totally within character for capricious, delusional DT to firmly grasp at any North Korean extended olive branch…

And then promptly use it to conk KJU over the head!

 

Rising the Phoenix from the Radioactive Ashes?

 

It’d be an understatement to say January 2018’s events had been unnerving. It all started with a Tweet, posted by a cyberbully who, due to his well-known character flaws of self-importance, imprudence, impudence and ignorance, needs no further introduction. Said he…

 

“North Korean Leader Kim Jong Un just stated that the “Nuclear Button is on his desk at all times.” Will someone from his depleted and food starved regime please inform him that I too have a Nuclear Button, but it is a much bigger & more powerful one than his, and my Button works! — Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) January 3, 2018”

 

How reckless of “Tweetie” to further engage and enrage his temperamental North Korean nuclear nemesis… particularly considering how their past rounds of infantile squabbling have already left the entire world on the brink of WW-III.

And to what end? I mean, here we witness the so-called prez, perhaps obsessing over not measuring up below his own bloated belly’s bellybutton? Maybe compensating for that shortcoming by boasting, online, about the size of his “nuclear button”?

As if that weren’t already bad enough, on January 13th, Hawaiians faced down what they believed to be a nuclear nightmare-come-true. Indeed, they had (erroneously) received the stark warning that a ballistic missile was already en route, inward bound… that thermonuclear exchange and the annihilation of humanity was imminent.

Then, on January 15th, I had unwittingly exacerbated my own anxieties… i.e., by switching on my FM radio at precisely the wrong moment. It had been quite disconcerting to hear the Emergency Alert System attention signal already blaring away… likely the exact same menacing monotone that had needlessly scared the crap out of my Hawaiian compatriots. My first reaction… “WTF did that numbskull narcissist do now?” Yep, I actually had groaned that aloud.

Of course, in that instance, it had been an actual alert… an AMBER Alert to help track down the whereabouts of a missing, perhaps abducted child.

My nerves, nonetheless, had become a bit frazzled. I was more than ready for some much needed escapism… perhaps courtesy of the Comet TV Network? However, once more, this proved to be ill-timed. I was now watching their feature presentation: Panic In Year Zero… a low budget, post apocalyptic film… a production that would have never won any awards for special effects. BUT it sure as hell did offer up a plausible portrayal of nuclear war’s grotesque side effect… societal breakdown… e.g. the male characters, first, becoming hunter-gatherers and, next… once their testosterone poisoning began kicking in full force… they further devolved into little more than knuckle-draggers… their predominant MO being pillaging, raping and manslaughter.

Then… just about when I thought it was safe to go outside, again, and get on with my life… on January 16th, a totally unexpected flash over my home state lit up my nighttime skies and generated an accompanying, minor, sonic boom… wound up fully backlighting my closed, thickly insulated kitchen and dining room curtains and “rocking” my home’s brick, mortar and drywall. Once more I groaned, aloud, “WTF did that numbskull narcissist do now?”

All the sudden I found myself desperately searching though my brain’s “files” for some “plain vanilla” type explanation… oh… say… thundersnow. However, just as quickly as I had hatched that theory, I had to debunk it. True, there had been a heavy  snowfall on that day… BUT… the extreme cold air mass, which had descended immediately afterwards, certainly would’ve made wintertime lightening… already a meteorological rarity… even more so.

The good news was that night’s 11 o’clock news story, which fully cleared up the mystery… a meteor had plunged to Earth. Yet, I could not help but wonder. Had that rocky space debris’ flight plan, instead, sent it streaking over Washington DC, how would “Prez” Tweetie have reacted / overreacted?

Factoring in his repugnance for intellectuals and all time honored, scientific principles (e.g. recall how he stared… sans eye protection… at 2016’s solar eclipse after being warned not to), it’s easy to see how his response would’ve been to trust his (cheeseburger glutted) gut and “go ballistic”.

The late astronomer / author Carl Sagan postulated along similar lines. From his book, Cosmos… Chapter IV – Heaven and Hell… I’ve condensed his observations from pages 73 – 76 (inclusive)…

 

“In the early morning hours of June 30, 1908, in Central Siberia, a giant fireball was seen moving rapidly across the sky. Where it touched the horizon, an enormous explosion took place. It leveled some 2,000 square kilometers of forest and burned thousands of trees in a flash fire near the impact site. It produced an atmospheric shock wave that twice circled the Earth.

This remarkable occurrence is called the Tunguska Event [and] was probably caused by an icy cometary fragment about a hundred meters across – the size of a football field – weighing a million tons , moving about 30 kilometers per second, 70,000 miles per hour.

If such an impact occurred today it might be mistaken, especially in the panic of the moment, for a nuclear explosion. The cometary impact and fireball would simulate all effects of a one megaton nuclear burst, including the mushroom cloud, with two exceptions: there would be no gamma radiation or radioactive fallout.

Could a rare but natural event… trigger a nuclear war? A strange scenario: A small comet hits the Earth… and the response of our civilization is promptly to self-destruct. It might be a good idea for us to understand comets and collisions and catastrophes a little better than we do… this is a real possibility and underscores the dangers in an age of nuclear weapons of not monitoring impacts from space better than we do.”

 

January’s unsettling events have since compelled me to seriously evaluate how I’d react IF… more likely WHEN… “Tweetie” provokes WW-III. One certainty… we could never expect a “prez”, ignorant enough to use social media for such an antisocial purpose, to ever effectively cope with the resultant nuclear wasteland… and far more importantly, even begin to sense the “survivors'” physical pain, mental anguish and emotional drain. Nope, he could never rise that phoenix from the radioactive ashes.

Under those dire circumstances, the “survivors”, most assuredly, would need flawless leadership… someone possessing the resolve, resourcefulness and reasoning power of Sci-Fi botanist / astronaut, Mark Watney… portrayed by actor Matt Damon… in the Hollywood big screen film, The Martian. To synopsize the plot and Watney’s plight, after winding up marooned on the otherwise barren of life, totally inhospitable Mars, he was left to figure out… every single minute of every single “Sol” (day)… all that he’d need to accomplish to survive. He wound up summing everything up, thusly

 

“So, in the face of overwhelming odds, I’m left with only one option: I’m gonna have to science the shit out of this.”

 

 

So what would the Trumpian response be? Well, once the fallout had settled, the holed up in his underground “prez” would emerge from his lead encased bunker… utterly clueless as to how to cope with an unearthly, uninhabitable Earth. He could never possess even a minuscule fraction of Mark Watney’s textbook knowhow and survivor instincts.

Worse yet, the “prez” would know no real life “Watneys” and even if the scientific community did step forward to offer their advice and services, “Tweetie” would still turn a deaf ear… would denigrate and spurn them. Consequently, the “prez” would preside over his world… no strike that… rule over a shithole nation and planet of his own making. Even far worse than that, he would still expect high praise and applause from countless hordes of beleaguered walking cadavers who’d be sloughing off their burnt flesh, puking their guts out… and dropping dead.

Returning to the here and now… IF… more likely WHEN… our Emergency Alert System starts signaling the end of the world… I’ll be lacing up my Sketchers and jogging, full speed ahead, towards Ground Zero… not away from it. I mean, given the two options of…

A. Existing within Donald Trump’s virtually lifeless, hopeless, burnt to a cinder, irradiated shithole nation and planet.
B. Dying and taking my chances with attaining either eternal life or facing down godforsaken oblivion.

I’d opt-in to choice “B”.

So, my readers, my comment section is the venue to tell the whole world what you’d choose. It’ll only take a few seconds to type in your one character… either your “A” or “B”… response.

Of course, other lengthier comments are also welcome.

 

 

My WordPress 2-Year Anniversary

2 Year Anniversary Achievement

 

My WordPress 2-year anniversary has arrived… uh… 2 times. How so? Well, I wound up opening up my account in January 2016, immediately posted a blog, promptly deleted it and then didn’t return until March 3rd… the posting day of my second “first” blog.

Since then, with the exception of Greenland, folks living on nearly all of our world’s major continents / land masses / islands… 88 nations total… have eye and ear witnessed my blogs.

My heartfelt thanks to both WordPress for providing this author (sans a publisher) and DJ (sans a transmitter) the perfect platform for creatively expressing myself and to all of you who’ve been spending your precious time reading my prose and poetry and listening to my BlogCasts. 

 

 

 

Political Activism / Ballots Can Stop Bullets

 

In the wake of the recent, Parkland, Florida massacre at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School, many of us caring, decent folks… worldwide.. have once more paused to consider America’s chronic, gun violence epidemic… America’s blood splattered history. Regrettably, such decency is not a trait shared by the powers-that-be who are figuratively and literally calling all the shots… those who… to keep it real… are supposed to be answerable to We the Majority of the People. And that, folks, puts them in direct defiance of 66% of polled Americans who DO want stricter gun control laws.

Weighing heavily on our minds is how, over the course of the past two decades, innocent souls… some of them yet to even see the seventh candle flickering atop their own birthday cakes… mind you… have been traumatized when forced into no-win confrontations with armed to the teeth, gun nuts (a.k.a. domestic terrorists). Indeed, the victims we are speaking of are school / college kids, church goers, concert / political rally attendees  and other everyday people who are merely going about their everyday lives.

Who’ll be next? Well, that could easily be you or me… especially if you reside in or are visiting ill America.

Inclusive within our compassionate thoughts are all of the wounded victims… who’ll now bear the physical and emotional scars, suffer in pain and contend with chronic disabilities… till the day the take their last gasp of oxygen… how they’ll be forever haunted by flashbacks and night terrors associated with all of the dark, malevolence that went down within these rural / suburban / urban war-zones.

With even heavier hearts, we remember all who’ve needlessly paid with their own precious lives… how many of them had yet to even experience so many of life’s joyous moments and simple pleasures. And for what?

Just to ensure the status quo carnage triggered by the intransigent National Rifle Association’s lobbyists (terrorists all). All to maintain the NRA’s ownership of the congressmen and the so-called prez. All to guarantee this lobbyist / politician collusion will continue… that these conscience barren entities will persist in representing the willful, trigger happy sociopaths… allow both gun nuts and their enablers to quench their mutual, insatiable thirst for human blood… your blood and mine.

We the horrified onlookers, also offer our heartfelt (yet otherwise useless) prayers and condolences to the surviving families and friends of all who’ve perished…

Yet… in reality…

Not one of us has a prayer of ever feeling truly safe so long as America remains ill. And the cures to this cold, metallic and leaden societal scourge will remain elusive unless… well…

The remedies must begin with the enactment of far, Far, FAR tougher, no-nonsense, gun control laws. The catalyst to speeding up this recovery process involves We the sane People, becoming more vocal… more involved.

The upcoming protest movement… the March 24, 2018, March For Our Lives, is a prime example of political activism at its very best. That’ll be the time and place where Parkland’s finest… young students… will lead the way as they (and folks of all ages) take to the streets in Washington, DC (and all across America).

Properly filling in ballots can also stop the flying bullets. We must call out and/or vote out each and every defiant, cantankerous, cancerous, know nothing, do nothing, good for nothing lobbyist owned politician. After all, those unscrupulous entities are the idols of each and every mentally disturbed creature who has ever scratched his itchy trigger finger to declare open season on humanity.

 

My thanks to follower and reader Yassy for inspiring today’s post.

 

 

Parkland… We Will Remember (March BlogCast)

 

A little over two weeks ago, gun violence… once again… erupted and reared its ugly head, here, within gun sick America… this time the bloodshed occurring at Parkland, Florida’s Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School. Once more, the lives of innocent school kids and educators have been tragically cut short.

It is with heavy heart that I extend my condolences to their surviving families and friends. My best wishes that the wounded victims experience the speediest and most complete recoveries possible. May the living nightmare everyone has been enduring begin to ease up so, hopefully, you can start piecing your shattered lives back together again.

My respect and admiration also go outward bound to you, the surviving students, who have turned to political activism. Your resolve to ensure your voices get heard and continue to be heard by the gun lobbyist owned legislators and “president” have proven that youth is a force to be reckoned with. You do offer a glimmer of hope to all the rest of us, who’ve been feeling powerless due to our overexposure to decades’ worth of worthless, decadent politicians.

Come March 24th… when you take your March For Our Lives demonstration to Washington, DC, continue to raise your collective voice to give ‘em all hell… and don’t stop until they stop dragging their political asses.

As for my further response to this massacre, I’ve decided to suspend my regular BlogCast format in favor of providing all who perished yet another social media platform to be remembered and another opportunity for all who survived to be heard once more…

 

Parkland… We Will Remember

To Enhance The Incomplete Bios of CNN’s / Anderson Cooper’s Tribute…

The Stoneman Douglas Drama Club performs “Shine”

(An original composition to express both their sorrow and hope for a safer, saner tomorrow.)