Sight of the Day
Thursday afternoon: returning from New Seasons market, I was entranced by the sight of our two resident, usually docile mourning doves, who swooped down from the tippy-top top of our deodora cedar and engaged in a coordinated attack upon two much larger crows. The crows flew nonchalantly, even as the doves chased them to our rooftop, from where one crow safely launched itself up and away from the doves. The other was chased off of the roof and then down the block. The doves took turns dive-bombing the crow, forcing it to fly lower and lower until it found shelter in a neighbor’s shrubbery.
Protecting their nesting site? Impressive courtship display (“Oh baby, you know how I love it when you harass the corvids“)? Or just feeling bodacious? Whatever the reason, I enjoyed the doves’ aerial show.
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I’d like to send some angry doves to Washington to peck some sense into a certain group of chickenhawks. The SCOTUS’s four Resident Retrograde Catholic Assholes  were at it again, and were joined by swing asshole Justice Kennedy in their latest yep-we-done-lost-our-shit 5-4 ruling, this one involving Christian prayers at government meetings. I’ll sum up the majority reasoning rationalization: You see, boys and girls, violating the Constitutional, if someone has been doing it for years, ceases to be a violation and becomes protected “tradition,, “history” and/or culture.
Now that they’ve reamed the First Amendment a new one, let’s all go out and have our way with the others.
Yessum, Mr. U.S. Attorney, we-all in Bunnyboner, Mississippi kinda heard ’bout that Fourth Amendment prohibiting warrantless searches and all, but our Sherriff’s department been bustin’ into houses and ransacking shit for decades – it’s our law tradition.
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Another religion-politics face palmer was brought to my attention by MH, this one involving Monica Wehby, the Portland doctor who’s thrown her neurosurgeon’s cap into the political ring for Oregon’s Republican Senate primary race. Wehby is apparently not conservative enough for her party’s wingnuts, who’ve criticized her stance on abortion, which is a teense too prochoice for their tastes. Oh, yeah, and she’s identified herself as a Catholic.
We’ll likely never know if Wehby is a practicing/believing Catholic or merely a “cultural Catholic.” Or, she might be the kind of self-identified RC (as I suspect many politicians are) who no longer practices and/or believes the tenets of her religion, but who doesn’t want to rock the ark and does want to claim a label that (used to) guarantee a bloc of votes. As reported in The Oregonian, in an early primary debate, when the subject of abortion came up, that’s when she played her RC card:
Wehby said abortion should be a woman’s choice – although she’s also quick to emphasize that she’s a Catholic who is personally pro-life.
Some of us would like to quickly emphasize that the proclaimed Catholic Wehby is divorced, and is sympathetic to gay marriage  and that, like abortion, both divorce and gay marriage are ginormously big no-nos in the Catholic religion.
Some of us would also just as quickly prefer never to have to think about a politician’s supernatural beliefs, never, ever again. We are a secular democratic republic; we elect people to be our political leaders/servants, not priests (or doctors, or…). But Wehby dragged her religion into the public arena, so her hypocrisy, or at least inconsistency, is fair game. Because, really, Roman Catholic-influenced thought and strategy of any kind is just what we need to bring justice, evenhandedness and stability to our halls of government.
(Threatened with a lawsuit for failing to perform potentially life-saving abortion, a Catholic hospital’s defense was: life begins at birth, not at conception – a complete reversal on the Catholic church’s long standing anti-choice position that human life begins at conception.)
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When politics is too effin depressing, and writing coherently about it would involve – nay, require – way too much profanity, it’s time to think about art. Specifically, the theatre.
MH and I are season subscribers to two local theatre companies, Portland Center Stage and Hillsboro’s Bag & Baggage Productions. This gets us typically one to two plays every four to six weeks, but an unusual set of circumstances/reschedulings have us attending three plays in eight days.  Last Sunday we saw the PCS production of The Last Five Years, a two-person musical that depicts the story of a New York City couple’s relationship in an unusual, innovative way (the woman’s story is told backwards, while the man’s is told chronologically.) Tonight we’ll take in B&B’s version of Noel Coward’s Private Lives, and then Sunday we’re back at PCC, for Othello .
Our seats were just three rows back from the stage for The Last Five Years, and the actors’ prodigious saliva slinging reminded me of being in the splash zone at the Sea World Shamu  shows. Don’t get me wrong – I’ve no phobia about being pelted by thespian bodily fluids. In fact, I proudly claim to have been showered with the saliva of many theatrical performesr, including twice on two separate occasions by Lily Tomlin. 
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bye-bye goodie boxes..for now
I sent the last care package of the academic year to son K, to mark his last week of classes at UPS , which stands for the University of Puget Sound in Tacoma and should not be confused with that other UPS, which is my favorite method for shipping packages to…that other UPS.
Several of the employees in the local Office Depot’s copy/print/shipping department have come to know me the past three years, and they prep a computer monitor for their shipping system as soon as they see me enter the store. One of the employees, herself a college student, chats with me about the latest Star Trek: TNG episodes she’s seen  while I type in my answer to the contents of package question on the shipping form. I love listing the package contents as “junk food,” although, really, Pepperidge Farm Milano Mints should not accurately be described as junk.
Good news from K this week included learning he’ll be home in two weeks, gainfully employed for the summer , and that he got a research grant for his senior year! The grant entails helping a chemistry professor do…something. Like, chemistry-researchy stuff.
Good news for Belle included surviving AP hell week. She had Advanced Placement tests three days in a row, starting with AP Calculus on Wednesday. This weekend she’s blowing off steam by attending her high school prom. There may be prom pictures posted on this blog next week, a sentence I could never have imagined myself writing several years ago. Also next week, Belle is having another I-could-never-have-imagined-myself-writing-about adventure, for which photographic proof will definitely be needed . That’s all I’m allowed to say about it, for now.
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Department of Hey, Nice Try
Although I have a rule to never donate to panhandlers, I wavered when I saw the sign held by a man in Portland, who was standing by the 16th St. entrance to the freeway. Just for one moment I thought that the originality was deserving of reward:
Ninjas captured my family.
Need money for karate lessons.
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“Reality is the leading cause of stress amongst those in touch with it.”
(Lily Tomlin as Trudy, from The Search for Signs of Intelligent Life in the Universe. )
May your reality be stress-free, and may your hijinks ensue.
Thanks for stopping by. Au Vendredi!
 Roberts, Scalia, Thomas, Alito.
 It is really, really, way past time for those old white (and one black) men to die. Too bad they have the best health care our money can buy.
 (“I don’t have a problem with gay marriage. … I think it’s not a government decision. I think it’s a personal decision”) – from the same debate.
 Three Plays in Eight Days – sounds like the premise of an off-Broadway satirical revue.
 Yep, I’ve seen Blackfish, and even before that, had sworn off seeing animal shows for ethical reasons.
 During her one woman play, The Search for Signs of Intelligent Life in the Universe.
 She and her boyfriend are going through the entire seven year series.
 And there was much parental rejoicing.
 Written by playwright/director and Tomlin’s longtime partner, Jane Wagner.