What does one do when the heat index is lethal and you’re learning what it feels like to be an animal at a zoo?

Yes, I have been seriously MIA yet again from this blogcasa. But that doesn’t mean it hasn’t been on my mind. There’s been a great deal of mayhem and chaos and downright insanity going on around the world. I’d rather not discuss the specifics as you’ve all probably had quite a stomach full enough of it all to vomit. Yes, it has been awful outdoors here–bad enough for moi to be forced to spend much of summer indoors in order to breath properly and avoid heat illness. This is royally pissing me off because I so look forward to having the windows and doors open during the summer. That has been impossible for months at this point. Gardening and walking has been restricted to the wee hours of the mornings and far and few between low humidity and heat days. Anyone who has not noticed the local change in temperature has not been paying any attention for their lifespan. You would think the increase in their electric bills from running their air conditioners all the time would raise a red flag. But not so for climate change deniers and the those who are just plain clueless. Anyway it’s been a shit summer for me because I physically can not endure the heat index. Please share your summer time weather experience at will. So instead of enjoying the great outdoors this summer I’ve been reading and watching far too many films and series. And thinking about a few things. For example: Do men ever worry about their reproductive rights? Seriously, does the male of the human species EVER have to fight anyone about his sperm and the consequences of sharing it with the female of the species? Hmm? Yeah, it’s been on my mind. Oh and every time I  check on my blogcasa I find things have changed at WP–usually to make things easier for blogging. But it’s a bit like coming home and finding the place totally redecorated and having to figure out what’s what every time. Ah the least of my concerns. At any rate, it’s taken a while for me to decide to do a little sharing of the sort that ought not land me in the pokey for defamation of character. Here’s a list of books, films and music I think are worth sharing. Please, oh god, please, share back because this is the first of August and I am running out of quality entertainment while under heat arrest.

I’ve occupied my  non-writing time with the likes of:

Show Me A Hero— book by Lisa Belkin, HBO mini-series.

 

IF anyone really wants to have a serious discussion about race issues in America this NON-fiction book and series offers a means for doing so. It also offers some how-to for dealing with community issues. And the trailer hardly gives a sense of the women whose true stories are worth the price of your viewing time.  It might look like it’s all about Nick and the white guys, but it’s NOT.

The HBO series Treme goes to post Katrina New Orleans and strives to portray the cultural, social-economic, racial, justice issues via the personal lives of compelling individuals. It is not a pretty picture of state, local or federal government. If you love the many faces of Jazz you’ve got it made. The issues should make your blood boil. The food will make you hungry. The music will have you dancing and singing. The satire will satisfy a need for intellectual substance. And you just might cry more than you expect.  Absolutely Addictive!

 

 

Another series worth spending some caged air conditioning time with is House of Cards—IF you can stomach any more political evil doing. Kevin Spacey, Robin Wright and an all around incredible cast dive into the cesspool otherwise known as the American political scene where there are NO rules at all. If you watch this then you’ll have no trouble thinking the worst of the republican and democratic parties–or any other political party. The pursuit of power by any and all means. Everyone is expendable and all collateral damage is acceptable. Evil is real. Oh yeah.

 

 

Ah more about human nature in glorious black and white—The Fifth Horseman is Fear. Jewish doctor, Nazis, Czechoslovakia and an injured political fugitive = great drama. What’s your risk factor?  There’s a lot to contemplate in this study of human nature, identity and oppression. The image of the pianos haunts me with its beauty, sadness and tragedy. Keep your eye on the boy in the film. What does he make of everything he sees and hears–oh I do wonder.

IMDB

 

Damn, I haven’t even gotten to books and music yet.

Okay I’m going to wrap this post up on an incredibly beautiful note with a link to a blog that those of you interested in film might find interesting. The Case For Global Film has a fine entry for the Hungarian film Love.   Love  stories are not just couples finding each other for sex and corny feel good times. What does love motivate people to do for each other? What does it mean in the grand scheme of all things? Is it the best thing about our species? Maybe. Is it the most powerful –and under-utilized weapon we have to deal with the self destructive chaos that our species creates in the world?

Love is yet another visually gorgeous film in black and white from 1972. If anyone finds a video for this film please drop a link as I’m not having any luck with my searches–yet. Hence the link which offers a host of other films all too often ignored in America.

For now–hello to all. Keep cool if you can. Sing, dance, eat well. Love. And fight the mayhem by refusing to let it overwhelm you.

namaste

Got Wood? ‘One Spirit’ Needs It on Pine Ridge Reservation for HEAT — Yesterday!

What heats your home? Propane? Electricity? Wood?

It’s the midst of the season of shopping till everyone is dropping and yet there are people who need wood heat to survive a winter in South Dakota. One Spirit tries to meet this need–along with food and clothing needs all year round.

One Spirit is a federally registered non profit IRC 501 (c) (3) organization which provides direct assistance to the Lakota on the Pine Ridge Reservation in South Dakota.  They’re a Top Rated Non-Profit for 2012.

One Spirit, PO Box 3209, Rapid City, SD  57709

Visit their website —>>> http://nativeprogress.org/  to donate things, money for food,  and clothing items needed by people –including those participating in the “Future Generations Ride” formerly known as the Big Foot Memorial Ride. There’s a link on the site to the Okini List which provides specific information regarding who needs what.  The 191 mile Ride begins on Dec. 23 on the Standing Rock Reservation and ends on Dec. 29 at Wounded Knee/Cemetery Hill on the Pine Ridge Reservation.

Ride image from One Spirit Site. http://nativeprogress.org/index.php/upcoming-events/big-foot-ride

One Spirit also runs a food program for over 1,000 people who live on an average income of $6,ooo a year.

http://nativeprogress.org/index.php/programs/food-program-145

Sixty dollars will provide a family with a box containing: Sweet potatoes, onions,  potatoes, squash, apples, oranges, carrots, sausage, ham and turkey. Thirteen dollars and seventy-five cents will provide some toilet paper (2), shampoo (1) and Era (52 ounces). Any amount of donation is appreciated.

From One Spirit Food Program newsletter:

A ten-year old girl lives with her grandmother. Her mother died 2 years ago after being hit by a car driven by someone who had been drinking. Her father is in jail. She comes to the New Warrior camp because as she says “horses are her happiness.” Grandmother is caring for this young girl and her siblings. Often there is not enough food and also often not heat. This young girl tells us that being hungry is going to sleep so you can forget about the pains in your stomach.
An elder called the other day and asked if he could be put on the food program. He has a heart condition, can’t work, and is not expected to live too long. Whenever we have extra food on distribution day, Bamm tries to be sure something is given to him.
An elderly couple are caring for their grandchildren. The log cabin  they live in is far from town and nestled in  the woods, with no running water, bathroom or electric. The home is heated by a wood stove. The grandfather, being an elder, has trouble finding wood and carting it to the cabin. The children come home at night and have trouble doing their homework because the cabin is so dark. There are other people  living in the cabin. For privacy the family has to dress outside in an outhouse. They have very little money and often run short of  wood, food and other essentials.
These are not unusual stories – they are what we hear every day. One Spirit, with your help, tries to get food to as many people as possible. This month we have more than 100 families on our waiting list. With your help, every one of them will get food.
Oh yeah–don’t forget the WOOD. Everyone needs heat. I sincerely doubt that BP or Shell Oil will be donating any propane gas to those in need. Nor does everyone have a tank for propane.  Yes, this America. People do freeze to death inside their homes on the reservations.  People go hungry in the Land of the Overfeeder at the Golden Arches.
One Spirit is on the book of faces too–>> http://www.facebook.com/OneSpiritSDakota#!/OneSpiritSDakota
Thank you.
Namaste.
We are all related.
Yep, even us and the wolves.

Where are your birdies bathing? Hmm?

Hey the heat is on and your local wildlife is feeling it big time.  It’s easy to offer your neighborhood birds some relief that does not entail opening the doors and windows of your home to the great outdoors to invite our fine feathered friends inside for some air conditioning.  Create a little bird beach with whatever you’ve got on hand that holds water, is no more than three inches high and which is fairly durable to avoid breakage.  I simply put to use an old children’s plastic picnic table for a level steady base and set on it a durable 20 inch round plastic dish that is about 3 inches high. By placing this all under or near some trees or bushes allows the birds to scan for predators before indulging in drinking and bathing.  The plastic dish is easy to clean out every day with a rinse and scrub before refilling with fresh clean water.  My local wingers seem to enjoy loitering on the lower picnic bench seats and extra table space. Hence, my calling it a “bird beach.” Yes, the squirrels like it too. But they’ve not chewed on it or hauled it off.  Nor have I witnessed any squirrels mugging any birds.  Everyone seems very polite and patient waiting their turns in the branches of the dead pine tree nearby. O yes, they do seem to keep their own sense of order out there where it’s hot even under the trees.

The orange plastic container featured in this video shows how simple it can be offer birds the water they need to survive. A bird bath does not need to be expensive or fancy. It just needs “to be” in order to offer some life-sustaining water. Please share your bird bathing creations at will.

Thanks to VAbirdwatcher for posting this video complete with music on youtube.

Venezuela Warms America’s Poor

In spite of record profits by Shell, BP, Exxon, Chevron and Mobil–it is Citgo of Venezuela that donates heating oil to Americans in need of warmth.

Click to learn more about heating program.

“Every year, we hear from families who struggle each and every day to put food on the table and heat their homes,” said Joseph P. Kennedy II, President of Citizens Energy Corporation. “We are deeply grateful to CITGO and the people of Venezuela for their generosity to those who need help keeping their families warm. Every year, we ask major oil companies and oil-producing nations to help our senior citizens and the poor make it through winter, and only one company, CITGO, and one country, Venezuela, has responded to our appeals.”

Click photo to learn about Citizens Energy Corporation

A little “hope” for Lynn–and the rest of us politically jaded Americans.

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