When I heard about the mudslides in Santa Barbara, where I lived from 2002-2005, the first thing I did was email my old friend Angela down there. We had worked together closely for two of those three years and affectionately referred to each other as “Sugar Buns” named after the dessert at the Chinese buffet we went to at least once a week. I hadn’t gotten emails back from her since I married Dan in 2014, but as that happens when you move away sometimes and people get caught up in their own lives, I thought it’d be worth a try to reconnect and see how she was dealing with the onslaught down there. With no word, I thought I’d google her to see if she was still in SB, and instead I found her obituary. She was like a big sister or auntie to me, and was a true friend in every sense of the word. Along with being the most badass supporter of me through my divorce, she had the naughtiest sense of humor and often made me laugh til I thought I’d pee myself. To find out about her death 3 years after the fact was even more devastating. Angela, you were loved, and will never be forgotten.
* Thank you to those who took the time to comment on my husband’s guest post about his TBI and the effects its had on his everyday life. These Tips for Brain-Injured People are something that we’ve found very helpful, although he’s still working on implementing many of them. As the partner of someone with a TBI, there is a lot on my mind I’ve yet to share on this blog. I’ve encouraged him so much to talk about it, and we have taken some concrete steps to understanding where this elephant in the room is affecting our dynamic, yet I realize now that I’ve kept my mouth zipped about it in blogland. That will change. Soon.
* “The realities of P.T. Barnum’s “showmanship” have echoed throughout the century, and unfortunately, they are realities rooted in violence, exploitation, and deception.” I’m disgusted to see The Greatest Showman being touted as some fantastic movie when it is bragging about a man who oversaw the torture of so many animals. Anyone who has the slightest clue about circuses knows that the animals in them did not come willingly, are not doing “tricks” simply for snacks, and have been torn from their natural habitat, and I’m SICKENED that Hugh Jackman, an actor I once very much liked (and empathized with as he and his wife battled infertility and eventually adopted), chose to be in the main role that celebrates the life of the sick bastard that was PT Barnum, “a narcissist who exploited men, women, children, and animals for selfish personal gain.” Follow PETA’s example and boycott this movie – and tell everyone you know to avoid this crap as well.
* Thank you, and good night, Foster & Dobbs, who closed their doors recently after many years in the Irvington neighborhood. For a long time this was our quiet lunchtime getaway on Dan’s weekdays off, where we’d usually pick up a nice cheese or cured meat after enjoying a killer sammie.
* One thing I’ve noticed in our plans to move to the country is how a LOT of people will pooh-pooh me when I say that I absolutely will not do natural gas (or propane) in our next home. Similar to those who argue for use of nuclear power, there is often a tremendous blind spot when it comes to the safety, cleanliness and efficiency of using any type of gas for heating your home, cooking, etc. The fact is gas is NOT clean! The industry has done a bang-up job at convincing many of us otherwise (including me for many years) that it is some kind of an eco-friendly dream, even though, yes, it is a fossil fuel that yes, is damaging to the planet. Think about it – many of us protest fracking yet have NG in our homes – how does that make sense? The National Renewable Energy Lab stated that “renewable electricity generation from technologies that are currently available today, in combination with a more flexible electric system, is more than adequate to supply 80% of total U.S. electricity generation in 2050 while meeting electricity demand on an hourly basis.” And no, I’ve not forgotten about cooking either. There are SO many misconceptions about induction cooktops that I’ve learned: #1, you do NOT have to buy “special pans” – anything that a magnet clings to will work (so for example, our cast iron and All-Clad pots and pans we’ve had for decades will work fine), #2 “As the energy is supplied directly to the cooking instrument, it makes induction cooking 90-95% efficient compared with gas, in which about 35-65% of energy used is lost to the atmosphere, heating the kitchen.” (source). Oh yes and I’ll add a couple more: #3 – Similar to photography in that the art is definitely not about what camera you use, a gas stove does not make better food. It’s all about the person cooking it, and #4, to put it bluntly, I’m not going to build a home where the heating system has the potential to explode and therefore kill me. Seems pretty basic to me.
* Finally, for those of you who’ve possibly been under a rock this past week and missed Oprah’s speech at the Golden Globes (that’s the transcript linked), watch it now, and I dare you not to fall headfirst into the ugly cry…