A very happy birthday to my dear exuberant friend [livejournal.com profile] ekaterin24 aka [personal profile] zlabya!!!! I'm so glad we've gotten to be friends the last year--having you nearby makes my life so much better and fuller. I hope you've had a great birthday. Here is a sparkler tree for you as a birthday candle on an earth cake:

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A tulip poplar pretending to be one of Gandalf's fireworks--the one behind the fire station I told you to look up at, but taken a week ago. And here's your birthday moon:

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The supermoon rising over Greenbelt Lake a quarter hour after sunset this evening. Not that I can tell if it's any bigger than a regular full moon. If you look really close, you can see a gray dot along the shoreline a half inch from the left side of the pic--that's a great blue heron who just landed.

I also want to wish a happy belated birthday to [livejournal.com profile] just_ann_now! I hope it was a good one and there's a closer supermoon pic below for you.

Today I went to a brunch and movie in DC with my Jewish Lesbian group--it wound up being just 2 of us. But kibitzing over brunch and seeing a good movie was just what I needed today. We saw Denial with Rachel Weisz. It's about the 1996 trial in the UK between historian Deborah Lipstadt and Holocaust denier David Irving who was claiming libel against her. Wonderfully paced and well done.

I listened to interviews with Bernie Sanders and Michael Moore about the election on the radio on the way home, and they were calming. Then I took a walk and snapped the above supermoon pic and the one below the cut. So a much better day than the rest of the post-election week (excepting a lovely walk with [profile] zblaya on Friday and talking with ya'll.)

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Also posted at http://lavendertook.dreamwidth.org/214247.html with comment count unavailablecomments
A very happy birthday to my dear exuberant friend [livejournal.com profile] ekaterin24 aka [personal profile] zlabya!!!! I'm so glad we've gotten to be friends the last year--having you nearby makes my life so much better and fuller. I hope you've had a great birthday. Here is a sparkler tree for you as a birthday candle on an earth cake:

DSCN5490
A tulip poplar pretending to be one of Gandalf's fireworks--the one behind the fire station I told you to look up at, but taken a week ago. And here's your birthday moon:

DSCN5902
The supermoon rising over Greenbelt Lake a quarter hour after sunset this evening. Not that I can tell if it's any bigger than a regular full moon. If you look really close, you can see a gray dot along the shoreline a half inch from the left side of the pic--that's a great blue heron who just landed.

I also want to wish a happy belated birthday to [livejournal.com profile] just_ann_now! I hope it was a good one and there's a closer supermoon pic below for you.

Today I went to a brunch and movie in DC with my Jewish Lesbian group--it wound up being just 2 of us. But kibitzing over brunch and seeing a good movie was just what I needed today. We saw Denial with Rachel Weisz. It's about the 1996 trial in the UK between historian Deborah Lipstadt and Holocaust denier David Irving who was claiming libel against her. Wonderfully paced and well done.

I listened to interviews with Bernie Sanders and Michael Moore about the election on the radio on the way home, and they were calming. Then I took a walk and snapped the above supermoon pic and the one below the cut. So a much better day than the rest of the post-election week (excepting a lovely walk with [profile] zblaya on Friday and talking with ya'll.)

Read more... )
I had a nice weekend. Yesterday morning I lead a hike with a few members of my group for older lesbians around Greenbelt Lake a couple of times. Then we had lunch at the Silver Diner. I was wiped and achy for the rest of the day and was just lazy.

I took another walk around the lake today and then [personal profile] zlabya and I went to see The Queen of Katwe, a sweet uplifting film about a girl of Katwe, a slum of Kampala, Uganda, who becomes a chess champion. Formula upward mobility tale, excepting its not about white men, and nicely done, and what a beautiful new actress for the lead, Madina Nalwanga, and with the gorgeous Lupita Nyong'o as her mother.

So here's pics I took the last couple of days, if you'd like to come along:

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Just a couple of trees are turning so far, and this is one.

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First off, here's the green heron pic I promised [livejournal.com profile] lbilover. I took this pic at the swampy entry pond by the lake the other week. It's such a different looking bird when its neck is all tucked in.



It's way too hot this weekend to be walking around the lake, maybe too hot to go to the gym to swim. So I saw Ghostbusters yesterday--it was a fun piece of fluff.  Seeing a group of women working together in a zany way without being objectified was much more important than it felt to me while viewing it. The feeling was an "of course, no big deal that women are people."  The big deal was the hunger I felt all these years for the depictions that should have been there all along. Once it’s set right, it’s just normal and to be taken for granted. 

This is why it's hard for leftists, liberals, and progressives to generate enthusiasm.  It's hard to celebrate something that should be taken for granted because it is so obviously the right way things should go according to values based on the notion of equality. That is the challenge--it only becomes visceral in comparison to the past--it's a two step process to re-ignite the enthusiasm that got burned up getting to that point.  It involves reflection, not just immediate feeling.

Backlash is fueled by the visceral excitement of tearing down, while projecting the feeling of fighting back. It generates its own enthusiasm--we have our work cut out for us in pushing back against it.

I hope the Dem's can put on an inspiring convention this week. I hope it is made clear how much more progressive Sanders has made HRC’s platform—that isn’t lost with the choice of a more moderate VP—and one of the only choices whom removing from Congress would not lose a seat to the Republicans; Virginia has a Democratic governor who will designate a Democratic replacement. And it’s not lost by the revealing of the bullshit the party partisans plotting against Sanders had to say, as if we didn't know this already. Like Obama, the HRC/Kaine ticket is still to the left of where Bill Clinton and Gore stood—not a lot, but I’ll take it—it’s progress I am happy to get after years of Reagan and Bushes and in the scary face of what the Republicans are fielding now. Throwing into the mix the first woman president is not a consolation prize and not a Thatcher/May pyrrhic non-victory—HRC is far better than them and on the moderate left and will continue the hard won progress Obama achieved, more so if we can move the court and Congress left, which, unfortunately, would have been harder to achieve if she removed Warren from the senate to be her VP.

Untrustworthiness is a misogynist meme, maybe the most ancient woman hating meme, being used against HRC to dampen our enthusiasm for her. “Lock her up” shares the cadence of “Burn the witch.” It’s just as violent rhetoric, and as repellent and dishonest as appropriating Michelle Obama’s words and saying it is no big deal, while bashing everything she stands for. Notice the Republicans made sure women were responsible for that oh so unimportant lie they perpetuated--you can't accuse Melania or her speechwriter of plagiarizing, as they were set up to do, without furthering the "women lie" meme. I don't know if they were clever enough to stick them with it deliberately, but they are clever enough to make hay with its results.

The thing that HRC can’t say about the email issue is that we have a long way to go to making government email secure because no one can keep up with the hacking of the changing technology at this time and government systems are large and, therefore, harder to secure. Look at the big OPM breach of personal data this last year. In light of this, and with security on the internet being an ongoing problem for everyone everywhere piecing it together as best we can, the email issue is such a non-issue. And I would not be surprised if HRC’s private server was more secure than the government servers could be made at the time and kept vital information more secure. However, she can’t say this without giving the Republicans more fuel to put down government, the only imperfect instrument we have to defend us against corporations (such as arms manufacturers) through regulation and to put our money to use for services to benefit everyone, including those corporations, but only if we vote.

It's still up to each of us to inspire ourselves and push forward and believe we deserve a better government than the sad vision the Republicans presented last week. We must do this. Go Democrats for a great week!
I saw TFA yesterday.  Mixed review. I was a teenage Star Wars fan, the same time I was falling in love with LotR. Loved the first movie, was mixed on the next 2--did not like the prequels--I think I saw the 2nd prequel but not the third. I just wasn't interested in the making of a psychokiller.

So, I liked much of TFA, but I didn't love it. I had problems with some of the story and depictions of violence.

SPOILERS BELOW )
Pics still from the car on the way to Laramie:


Still in Colorado--here we're approaching the little church at Virginia Dale, CO . . .


. . . and the rocks there, which look a lot like Vedauwoo, for those in the know, and those in the not know, you will see Vedauwoo next post.

Almost across the border . . . )
I enjoyed PJ's big AU Hobbity Adventure Part 2. It needed more dialog and character interaction and development and less orc fighting, wizard wall-pressing, and smart dragons being bad at hide 'n' seek, but yay for pretty, pretty Middle-earth. Some of the changes were good, doing a better job of pulling the narrative into Tolkien's Legendarium than Tolkien did himself, some intensify the antisemitic link with Dwarves, which is very disappointing to say the least, and some were a bit silly, but it was overall a fun romp.

The-Hobbit_-The-Desolation-of-Smaug-Official-Teaser-1490


BREE

It was nice to see them work the Appendix's meeting between Thorin and Gandalf into the film. I liked seeing more women there, including Katy Jackson waiting tables. And cats.


BEORN

Totally, absolutely wrong. This Beorn is in no way a bear-man--he was way too lean, and looked much too wolfy. So I'd buy him as a wolf man, not a bear man. I mean, we all know bear men, and this one so did not look like one. But I have to say, I liked this AU Beorn far better than Tolkien's more arrogant Beorn. He was melancholy, other worldly, and with the mouse in hand, he came off as a gentle champion of nature's underdogs. He and Radagast would make the cutest naturalist couple. In every episode, Beorn would make a daring rescue of some imperiled woodland creature, bringing it home close to death for Radagast to heal and set free, and then Radagast would do something goofy and funny. Yeah, they're both terrible house keepers, so there would be no Odd Couple thing going between them, still Radagast would say or do something humorous to melt Beorn's aloof butchiness into sunshine smiles before they go off to make love like Rhosgobel rabbits together. End episode.

I really did imagine Tolkien's Beorn to be a better house keeper and gardner and longed to see his lovely gardens, which the film didn't deliver, but it was still a cool house--a lot like Radagast's--see, another connection! I did NOT miss the dancing dogs and livestock. Baaaaay-orn. Off with Hasselhoff of Bayorn Watch.

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