Hats Off to GQ’s “Son, Men Don’t Get Raped” by Nathaniel Penn

I love my local public library’s book and magazine holdings–even if I don’t always love what I learn via all information sources. While browsing the magazine racks this weekend I came across GQ‘s red tagged Special Report on sexual assault in the U.S. military–“Son, Men Don’t Get Raped” by Nathaniel Penn.  There’s a certain irony in this September 2014 issue of GQ as this is its style edition and there are lots of photos of great looking guys wearing wonderful clothing throughout the magazine. So many in fact that I had some trouble navigating my way to the article that had caught my attention. To clarify, not because I was distracted by the images, but because of the sheer amount of fashion pictures.  It’s all about a man’s image. And this article offers a haunting and compelling counterpoint to all those slick photographs of handsome, healthy masculinity.  What happens when a basically healthy man is destroyed by his fellow man via sexual assault?

Penn’s piece offers a shattering look at the ongoing, and increasing, issue of male sexual assault in the military. The number of victims are in the thousands, these men  have no recourse for medical aid of any kind from the VA, they are discharged from all branches of the service if/when they report being sexually assaulted by their comrades and superiors, and the consequences damage them for life.  Penn eschews a straightforward narrative prose approach by letting dozens of quotes from victims speak for themselves to tell their stories, which taken as a whole present a damning portrait of how the American Armed Forces across the board is NOT dealing effectively with sexual assault by men against other men.  The issues of power and control are in full throttle swing here on multiple levels and the picture is appalling. Indeed the military has succeeded in de-humanizing itself from the very top ranking officers down to the lowest ranking private.  There is no compassion, there is no legal redress, there is no medical treatment offered, there is no accountability. There is only abuse and destruction of men by other men on the psychological, physical and emotional levels.  There’s not much to recognize of the noble ideal of officers and gentlemen in this scenario which is destroying the lives of men who joined the military to serve their country.

The bottom line is that–the men who swear to defend the United States of America by doing military service do not defend each other—they enter a system in which rape, a crime of power and control, is rampant–and clearly no one within the system gives enough of a damn to do what needs to be done to address the problem. Other countries have–but not the United States.  Here the victim still pays the price for the behavior of the criminal.

Yes, son, men do get raped all the time in the military — and it’s not by enemy forces, but by their so-called brothers in arms.

Kudos to GQ for publishing this devastatingly candid article about an issue apparently no one in the U.S. government really wants to do anything about. Why is that? Refusal to face reality that the military system is dysfunctional and destructive and therefore counterproductive? Because it’s run by damaged people with power and control issues of their own? Because the public lives in denial of reality? Because it’s hard to accept that the ideal is not real? Or ____ ?

Link to GQ — “Son, Men Don’t Get Raped”

http://www.gq.com/long-form/male-military-rape

 

 

 

 

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Breakfast Special, #40, “All That Funky”

 

 

All That Funky

*

Ahmed Essa

*

Little George nudged Anton with his elbow to alert him to Sarge’s appearance in the hallway leading to the building’s utility room. “Well, well, well, if it ain’t Mr. Tardy Hardy himself.” Little George teased Sarge as he came to a halt in the doorway and stood looking around the room.

“How are you, Little George? Anton, sorry to hold up the wiring show today.” Sarge entered the room and went to where he’d found the jerry-rigged wiring mess on a previous visit.

Anton smirked as he replaced the water hose for the washing machine. “No problem, Sarge. No lack here for crew work. You get that chill out of your bones from playing in the Ling’s basement lake yesterday?”

Sarge pulled out the section of plywood serving as a temporary covering for the wiring, set it aside and turned to Anton and Little George. “My feet are a damn sight happier than they were yesterday. Lily gave me something she calls ‘bear grease’ to put on them. She said it’ll help keep the damp cold from setting in. I don’t know what it really is, but it’s definitely agreeing with my feet. Oh hey, I brought some cookies.” Sarge took a brown paper lunch bag out of his coat pocket and handed it to Little George.

“Lily has bear grease?” Little George opened the bag and took out a coconut cookie and offered the bag to Anton who did not hesitate to help himself.

Sarge shrugged. “That’s what she called this stuff. You want some for your feet, Little George?”

Little George took a bite of his cookie and shook his head. “Not right now. Thanks Sarge. Good cookies. If I didn’t know better I’d say they came direct from Mrs. Ling.”

“In a way they did, seeing as Lily and I made them from Mrs. Ling’s recipe. Go ahead, eat those. We can make all we want now.” Sarge grinned and went to another part of the electricity repair project down the hall leaving Anton and Little George standing with the bag of cookies between them.

Little George moved to look down the hallway as Sarge went up the stairs to the room on the floor above them. He looked at Anton. “How did he get that recipe from Mrs. Ling?”

“How you think? He fixed that water mess in her basement. How else?” said Anton.

Little George shook his head. “We all fixed some mess in that basement at some point in the last year. Mrs. Ling didn’t turn over no coconut cookies to any of us. You don’t think he . . ..” Little George shrugged suggestively instead of speaking.

Anton stared at Little George unnerved by the fact that he was even going so far as to suggest what he was. “No. You lost your mind or what, Little George? How you even get that idea in your head-gear?”

Little George held up a cookie. “This recipe intel is not something a woman gives up for nothing, Anton.”

“Sarge working a blown fuse-box plus a flood by himself is not nothing. And you know it. Loretta been giving you some strange ideas again, Little George?”

Little George carefully set the bag of cookies out of harm’s way on top of the washing machine and resumed his caulking task. “Anton, you have no idea what it’s like living with Loretta.  It’s a package deal with her sisters. They are always together at one of their places or another. You know, you’ve seen them all at my place.”

“Uh ha. What’s that got to do with your weird Mrs. Ling and Sarge cookie action idea?”

Little George laughed. “Anton, you do understand that if Sarge took it into his head to start giving the time of day to women besides Lily, there’d be a whole lot more crazy shit going on with the women and men folk in the neighborhood, don’t you? You got to know that, DeWitt, considering all the work you been doing during this snow-in trying to keep people leveled out.”

“Sarge got no such agenda, Little George.” Anton considered the truth of Little  George’s notion and silently thanked Sarge for not being inclined to play the lady field as he easily could.

“Not saying he does, Anton. Big Man ain’t the problem. It’s the women who are the problem. You got it nice and quiet all settled with Esther who is about as sane a woman as they come. She don’t go in for the sort of talk I hear coming from Loretta and her sisters. Last night something set them off but good. It got so I couldn’t stand to hear no more.  I went over to Stinky Pete’s for a couple hours to get relief.”

“I read that. You got a point, Little George. You went to Pete’s for relief? Anton don’t think he wants to hear what sent you there.”

“You don’t. I don’t want to repeat any of it. I don’t want Lily getting wind of any of it either. She gets enough grief for her learning curves already. She doesn’t need any more from my women folk. I don’t know exactly what it is about Sarge that gets them all worked up, but they do get worked up. We all know he don’t do nothing to get them going. They get going all on their own. Maybe it’s one of those fairmoan things. I don’t know for sure. But I do know being around that sort of woman talk about men gets under your skin. You know what I mean. That’s where that Ling and cookie and action idea come from. I know that’s a dumbass thing to think. Sarge ain’t ever been anything but genuine nice and polite to women folk, and us too for that matter.  It’s just . . well, I got two ears full of Loretta and sisters company man-talk that put a bunch of us working our jaws about a Playboy centerfold to shame.  If you don’t believe it, come on over for a chat sometime when Loretta holding court at our place.” Little George looked over the handsome man working with him. “Now that I mention it, that sounds like a damn good idea. Yes it does. You being right there in the flesh get their minds off Sarge and on you instead.”

“What? Like you goin’ to enjoy that somehow?” Anton stopped working and stared at the big man beside him. “That about as bad as what started this conversation track.”

“Look at you.” Little George grinned. “All puffed up and in-dig-nant about being a diversionary tactic. DeWitt, I’ve been giving you some shit for fun. Chill out.”

“You been messing with me this whole time?”

“Only since the part about you coming over while Loretta having the after supper chat-fest. We both know no way Esther allow that game plan see any action.” He laughed loudly at the bewildered disbelief on Anton’s face. “What’s wrong? You don’t care for that little payback prank?” Whistling happily, Little George ignored the other man and focused on his task. Without looking at Anton he said, “This suggestion box is willing to entertain other candidates worthy of ar-dent feminine attention.”

“Are you crazy? Everyone knows how funky things are with you and Loretta. No man want that action with her sisters. No way.”

Little George kept his eyes on his work. “Funky it may be. But all that funky has an upside. You don’t think I put up with all that nonsense for nothing, do you, Anton? Hmm?” He took a cookie from the bag, put the whole thing in his mouth and made a face.

 

A Quick and Dirty Review of Deborah Meyler’s ~The Bookstore~

*Public Domain Photo by Alexandre Duret-Lutz

Seldom have I ever been so on the fence regarding a book I’ve selected for a spot of easy reading than I was, and still am, as I’ve been with The Bookstore by Deborah Meyler.  After reading several pages at a random opening, I checked this novel out of my wonderful public library~ (side note: Everything under human control in the library is wonderful, though the departments ruled by computer intelligence are quite questionable of late. Artificial Intelligence is driving the staff a tad mad due to its distinct lack of common sense regarding book culling. For example, who would remove the second book in a young adult fantasy thriller series thus leaving a gap between volume one and three? What sense does that make? All it does is discourage the would be reader because the story is now incomplete. Okay enough of this developing issue.) Yeah, I promised a quick review for everyone on the cyber-space run.  Let’s get to the good stuff first: This is an easy-going read writing wise–you will not have to work through any deviously poetic complex sentence structures. The supporting cast of characters connected to the bookstore are very engaging creations–and mainly male. You get a decent sense of New York City’s never sleeping city atmosphere. There are interesting references and allusions to great art and great books. There’s a slightly developed commentary on the demise of independent bookstores being put out of business by corporate run big box book retailers. This is a nice big plus because it supports the assertion that Esme, our thoroughly modern young woman on the academic art history move, has a decently educated mind in good working order–except when it comes to the entire concept of pregnancy. She’s clueless like so many young people these days when it comes to her biological nature beyond sex for fun.  But I won’t hold that against her.  She does have many good qualities along the tune of -> Yes, ladies it can be very cool to be well read, intelligent and interested in much more than the moron box taking center stage in many living rooms. For the most part I like Esme very much. Hang on to “for the most part” –the not most part when I don’t care for–or comprehend–Esme is part of what still has me on the fence regarding this book.

What’s got me on the fence? Esme’s love interest, Mitchell. For the life of me I can’t figure out what this young woman finds to love in this cold-hearted bastard.  Being handsome is not enough–statues, male models, actors and non-famous dudes on the street can be very good-looking–but women don’t fall for them just because of the outer packaging–or do they?  I guess some do. Maybe Esme is supposed to be one of those ladies? Perhaps it’s because she’s twenty-three and has a libido in good working order? I’m serious here, folks. if  Meyler had given Mitchell a character profile beyond handsome economics professor from a wealthy family –I’m sure some of you are arguing that’s plenty, but it’s not in this context. Esme has too much going for her to be picked up by a handsome sexual predator running amok in NYC. Or does she?  Maybe there’s something amiss with the young Miss? I’m still not sure after finishing the book–which I nearly gave up on several times because I had such serious trouble buying this particular woman and man connection.  All the good things, bookstore, homeless people, Stella, George, Luke etc. kept me reading though–and the hope that Esme might get a clue or two regarding the man using her for nothing more than satisfying his own very manipulative dysfunctional ego. It’s not like she doesn’t have plenty of other men to compare this asshole to in order to see the light.

Mitchell’s character is a cliché in the extreme. Hence, I dislike him immensely. Disliking him is probably what Meyler had in mind. Problem is, he’s so dislikeable that it’s hard comprehending why Esme loves him. There’s nothing even remotely loveable about this guy as he is portrayed. If there’s some unwritten or edited out part of this novel that is loitering with intent to explain Esme’s feelings for this man, then it needs to get edited into the novel. Yes, women–and men–fall for the wrong sort of people all the time. True enough. But stating this guy has charm and giving him none at any point in time makes Esme come off as a complete dunce.  It would help matters considerably if the reader got some glimpse of what lures Esme into loving this man. Yeah, the slam dunk sex foreplay in the women’s restroom fails to do that for me.  It works for sexual attraction, but not for emotional attachment and involvement. Hmm. Maybe that’s Meyler’s point–that people confuse physical sexual attraction with emotional love attraction? Maybe.  I’m not sure.

Oh–yes, Esme does have alternative love interest choices which appear to operate on a more positive level–or could. There are hints which I won’t spoil here for any interested might be readers.  In many ways this is story about dealing with such relationship scenario. Perhaps it’s a modernized version of a very old cautionary tale for young women.  It certainly works in that regard. Hmm, maybe this review is getting me off the fence as I air my concerns here. Maybe.

If anyone has run through The Bookstore’s very accessible pages and cares to comment on my fencing–please don’t hesitate to share your thoughts about any chapter or verse in the novel. So, was this quick and dirty enough? Oh a little short on the dirty–hmm–consider a toothbrush standing in for a vibrator. How’s that for a little dirty?

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Meyler’s author page at http://authors.simonandschuster.com/deborah-meyler/408315626

Breakfast Special, #35, “Lily Muses”

“Lily Muses”

Lily stood at the gas stove waiting for the water to boil for tea. Outside the kitchen window the sky was grey but cloud and snow free as it had been for the last two days. Listening to the local radio report that several main transportation routes were now open and nearly a third of the mainline buses were running somewhat regularly through and in Falls, she wondered how long it would be before Sarge took his leave of her and the Flats and returned to his home in the freight district.  Sooner or later there’d be trucks arriving at the freight docks and, as she understood his description of the location, his place on the second floor of a converted warehouse was only a five-minute walk from work. The college was reopening in three days for daytime classes. Her own regular daily schedule would soon resume. Life in Falls was on the verge of returning to its usual urban ebb and flow after several weeks of extreme weather conditions and a number of events involving fatalities as a result. Lily was not looking forward to a return to the usual scheme of things in Falls, the Flats or most especially in her private life. Having never been other than completely candid with herself, she didn’t have any problems figuring out why. The reason was as direct and unpretentious as the man she didn’t want disappearing from her apartment and daily life. When Sarge departed for his home in the freight district, there would be no more dancing at all hours of the day and night; no more off the cuff conversations about books and personal mysteries; no more Funny Man spreading around home people land scents everywhere he went because he liked them; and a host of all the other no mores of things that were currently a direct result of his presence in her personal space; including the fact that there would be no more human heater quietly warming up the space between the down quilt and flannel cotton sheets night after night, a something which made her home people vibes happily hum with contentment.

Being well attuned to her inner self, Lily knew her emotions concerning Sarge had come a long way from unexpectedly enjoying his company at the theatre and hoping he’d feel the same enough to want to meet again.  She’d taken a giant leap forward simply as a result of his behavior regarding the taxi cab and everything up to and including sharing her down quilt. Sarge presuming nothing and making no demands upon her person had gone a long way with her from the start. Living in close quarters for the last few weeks a relationship had developed to a degree between them that Lily knew from past experiences under normal circumstance would have required at least six months of concentrated effort on her part to build. She was also painfully aware of the reasons for the failures of her previous serious relationships, even if they didn’t all quite make sense to her. Personal incompatibilities were one thing, cultural incompatibilities were another and double standard gender behavior expectations yet another; all, with a few unpleasant surprise of other sorts, had quite effectively motivated her to call a halt to engaging in any relationship for nearly two years until she got a firmer handle on the cultural mentalities at play in what for her was a very serious hunt for a suitable life partner. In her own culture she’d have been settled with a mate years ago. With good health and a little luck, she’d have been a mother at least twice by her current age. She’d known this entire field of the life game had changed for her prior to even arriving in Falls. Awareness of the change had been a large factor in agreeing to travel this path into unknown geographical and cultural landscapes. Quite simply, there was no one of a suitable age remaining for a life partner even by sheer default. Her choices had seemed clear enough at the time: remain with her rapidly dwindling cultural group until they all passed on or venture into another world and take her chances making a life for herself with the option of finding someone suitable to share it with.  She’d chosen this adventure after playing with the numbers of probability in her head for several days. Afterwards she’d simply said to Priest and Gran that she thought it would be fun looking for a needle in a haystack, even though she had no idea whatsoever what a haystack really was. But she was well acquainted with several bone and metal needles and thought that finding one ought to be easy enough even in a very messy place with some patience and persistence. Since then she’d learned about real haystacks, a few things about men, and women, in this culture and a great deal about herself while keeping her senses on red alert for what had become a very elusive needle indeed.

*

*

Though she’d not admitted or discussed with Rosa or Esther, her two closest friends, anything regarding her still evolving emotions concerning the man keeping her company in her apartment, and very little regarding her personal views of him, she’d been keeping up a steady discourse with herself and her home people vibes all along. A few times she’d given serious consideration to discussing Sarge with Anton, but she’d decided against that knowing full well just close he was with Esther and that the only way to keep him from sharing something with his wife was to either not tell him the information at all, or to have it be something he considered so negative that he’d not want to share it of his own accord in order to not upset Esther unless it was absolutely necessary to do so. In addition, there was the matter of his current notions of proper masculine behavior that had inadvertently created issues for her with other men while trying to be helpful. Though in hindsight, those issues had probably kept her from wasting more time and effort on the wrong men.

Lily sighed, glanced at the repair request list and poked her home people vibes into stirring.  Gran, I’m way past liking his smile. I’m to the point of knowing I’ll miss not seeing it when he’s not around. For starters, I feel good knowing he’s coming back here after he goes off to fix something for someone in the Flats and that he’ll be here when I come back from doing something of my own. I’m not sure exactly how he’d deal with caribou, but he’s good at keeping the water, heat and electricity running here. That counts for a lot in this crazy place. He gets along with Rosa’s kids, even Marianna. You know what a terror she can be. He likes being around them. I don’t have to explain to you why that’s a big relief. I sure wish I’d asked Priest a lot more questions about guys from where he came from. But, Priest being Priest that might not have been much use where I am now. This one though, I can almost talk with him like I could talk with Priest. He’s curious and smart in ways Priest would understand better than you because of the books. There’s not much point in talking about having fun with him, we both know having fun with these guys doesn’t always mean what we think it does. So far though, he hasn’t tried to push me in a corner because of it. Not once. I don’t want to jump to any conclusions about that yet though. 

There’s something about him though that gets women’s attention. It’s something like the attraction John has as a musician.  With Sarge though, it’s something else. Obviously, because he’s not a musician, at least not as far as I know. But there’s something I can’t put into words yet. No, it’s not like me being attracted to him. If it was, I’d understand it already.  Esther has noticed it too. It makes her watch him with her hard eyes when there’s a potluck and lots of people around. I think she’s waiting for him to do something. Whatever it is, he hasn’t done it yet. I know she’d tell me right off if he had. It’s as if she’s holding her breath. She likes him. I know she does by the way she talks with him. That’s a good sign. Esther doesn’t like everyone. She’ll be very polite to people she doesn’t like and they’ll never know she doesn’t like them unless she says so to their face. I’m sure she’s not doing that with Sarge. I’ve tried to get her to talk about it, but her eyes go hard then and she shakes her head and won’t say what’s on her mind. Rosa just says it’s not what the women do to try to get his attention that’s important, it’s what he’s not doing in return that matters. As long as he’s “not chasing the tails” as she says, there’s not a problem. My best guess at this point is that this has to do with their notions about sex in some way. That might be my ideas and theirs about that little book influencing my thoughts though.

 Rosa and I have gone through the copy she made of it a couple more times. Now I know the handwriting isn’t his. Anton says the book isn’t Sarge’s and I believe him. Anton knows lying would hurt me more than whatever the truth is about why he has that book with all those women’s names and numbers in it. Oh yeah, he and Anton seem to be becoming good friends. That’s a first. I mean they actually spend time together talking about books and ideas even when they’re not working on someone’s house or doing something else with the rest of the Watch guys. We’ve had a couple of good conversations as a group with Esther joining in too. Priest would consider this a good sign, I think.

  I should tell you, Gran, that not too many people manage to get past what Anton calls his “ghost life” in order to feel really comfortable with him.  I think that’s because they can sense he is dangerous if he’s provoked and they don’t want to take a chance on provoking him. Sarge isn’t afraid of Anton. I can see Anton likes that he isn’t. Hmm. Yes, it’s clear to me that Sarge isn’t afraid because he is a dangerous man too. It’s like them each being dangerous cancels out either of them being scared of the other. It’s odd thinking of Sarge as being dangerous though.  He never behaves in ways that bring it to my attention or anyone else’s for that matter. When he’s with the Watch guys he doesn’t act threatening or intimidating like many of the street guys do. He doesn’t seem to have anything to prove in that way. Maybe it’s because he’s already proved it with other men and the others know this somehow? I wonder if they can smell it? Can I smell it? Hmm. Yes, I think I do, Gran. Oh, I understand what you mean. I can be dangerous too. Yes, I can. It’s like this, Gran, Sarge reminds me of a polar bear who knows exactly how big and strong he is and that he won’t ever go hungry because he’s hunted seals so many times he’s got absolute confidence in his ability to get one whenever he wants to eat. I know, I know, men and bears are not the same creatures. Like I said, I sure wish I’d grilled Priest about guys.

    Where does that put things? That’s exactly what I’m wondering.  I don’t want him to go, but I don’t know if he wants to stay.  I mean, I don’t know if he’d want to stay for the same reasons I don’t want him to leave. For all I know for sure, he’s just into fixing things, like Ricardo. He never says no to anyone who asks for his help. Lily stared at the list. You’re right I’ve got to say more than simply drop vague hints in order to find out what he’s thinking.  Let’s take a look at this list of his and see what comes to mind. Feel free to help out.

The water boiled. Lily spooned loose orange blossom tea into the teapot then filled it with the water.  While it steeped she walked over to the fridge and read the list of home repair requests that Sarge had prioritized as his own from the main list over in the Info Hub.  Based on what she’d learned about how he worked on his own, she calculated that there was a good solid week’s worth of work on this list alone with plenty more on the main list. She stood tapping her fingers on the paper and wondering how he intended to do all this work and return to his full-time job at the docks at about the same time.  Is he planning on not doing anything else but working constantly with a few hours sleep thrown in whenever possible between night shifts on the freight docks and day shifts making house repairs in the Flats? Why on earth would he do that? Or, maybe he isn’t planning on leaving as completely as I thought he would? Maybe he plans on sticking around at least long enough to work his way through the list? As if on cue, the apartment door opened and Sarge came through it with a wave and a very happy to find her at home smile greeting before sitting down and removing his boots out of her sight. “Hi, Lily.”

~~~

Breakfast Special #1 https://47whitebuffalo.wordpress.com/2013/04/25/breakfast-special/

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Breakfast Special #36 ->  https://47whitebuffalo.wordpress.com/2014/01/01/breakfast-special-36-szechuan-shrimp-lo-mein/

More Amour ~ With legs, hands, lips and ~~ The Kiss

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Okay, some sexy love fun is in order and, well, the photographs sing their own song. John Lee Hooker just ices the cakes. Hmm.

I don’t think I’ve ever seen high heels quite like the ones in the very last image of this video. Ladies, the last set of heels is all yours.  Homage to the sensual side of love–with a lot of legs. Yes,  a lot of legs. I think we have some idea of what appeals to this particular incarnation of “Irene Adler.” And to many of the rest of us.

Bang Bang Bang Bang ~ John Lee Hooker

Irene Adler·

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It ought to be easy to find a translation of a song’s lyrics, right? Not so with In The Forest, a Polish tune.  Apparently the words cause even modern native speakers some grief because this is not modern Polish.  Best I can figure is that perhaps there’s some questions about if the guy deserves what happens to him–and, the thought “shit happens.” You’ll have to watch to the very end to get that last thought via an image. At least that ‘s how I’m interpreting it right now.  It’s bit of a walk on the dark side of romantic relationships. Just a bit. Don’t be dissuaded from listening because you don’t know Polish and there are no lyrics. The images tell a very familiar girl and boy story. I have no doubt you will recognize it.

In The Forest ~ Warsaw Village Band

JARO Medien GmbH – Bremen

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I discovered Edna St. Vincent Millay in the fourth grade. What can I say? Great things in the school music and arts program–which also included The Highwayman of which a version also appears here and Poe’s The Bells, which does not appear here.

Love Is Not All

Love is not all: it is not meat nor drink
Nor slumber nor a roof against the rain;
Nor yet a floating spar to men that sink
And rise and sink and rise and sink again;
Love can not fill the thickened lung with breath,
Nor clean the blood, nor set the fractured bone;
Yet many a man is making friends with death
Even as I speak, for lack of love alone.
It well may be that in a difficult hour,
Pinned down by pain and moaning for release,
Or nagged by want past resolution’s power,
I might be driven to sell your love for peace,
Or trade the memory of this night for food.
It well may be. I do not think I would.

Edna St. Vincent Millay

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Drive Elevator Scene ~ The Kiss ~ composer Cliff Martinez ~  Heads up, if you’re squeamish,  then stop watching for a short time, don’t stop listening or you’ll miss out, after the kiss while the music is in transition. If you have not viewed the film Drive, which is a truly great film, then I highly recommend it. Mary Poppins it is not.  That said, what would you do to protect those you love? Also, yes, Ryan Gosling’s character knows the man in the elevator is a hit man and he knows he has fatal intentions. He steps into the elevator knowing. These are not random acts. Everything has intention.  I cannot think of another film kiss that can compare with this one. If you can, I invite you to share it. Furthermore, there are clips of this scene set to other music by fans. I don’t know why they bother because Martinez’s score here is flawless for sheer emotive power in my opinion. Everything matters in this scene, every image, every look, every sound.

 PowerfulScenes

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What can I can? If you love poetry, then discover Neruda if you have not already.  Here’s just one sonnet why.

One Hundred Love Sonnets: XVII

BY PABLO NERUDA

TRANSLATED BY MARK EISNER

I don’t love you as if you were a rose of salt, topaz,
or arrow of carnations that propagate fire:
I love you as one loves certain obscure things,
secretly, between the shadow and the soul.
I love you as the plant that doesn’t bloom but carries
the light of those flowers, hidden, within itself,
and thanks to your love the tight aroma that arose
from the earth lives dimly in my body.
I love you without knowing how, or when, or from where,
I love you directly without problems or pride:
I love you like this because I don’t know any other way to love,
except in this form in which I am not nor are you,
so close that your hand upon my chest is mine,
so close that your eyes close with my dreams.
[Online source: The Poetry Foundation http://www.poetryfoundation.org/poem/179257]

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Before Sunrise Written & Directed By Kealan O’Rourke ~ A very lovely animated work about the dark finding light and the rest is transformation.

kealanorourke

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Opera imaginaire ~  Lakme Flower Duet ~ Opera that works for me. Perhaps it will work for you too. I love how this transcends all sorts of obstacles and barriers on multiple levels: gender, culture, language, nature, humans, media, music and spirituality. If you don’t get it, then, well, you just won’t get it until you do a few dances with with a spring wind scented with apple blossoms.

magermunson

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Oh My Love ~ Katyna Ranieri, song by Riz Ortolani’  ~  Oddly enough I cannot recall how I found this gorgeous piece.  I have heard of Ranieri. I have heard the song from some long ago time. There it was on the tubes of you and I was lucky enough to find a live performance by the very expressive Ranieri.

Mauro Piffero·

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Irene and Sherlock  Love Game ~ Vitamin String Quartet ~  Oh my, Sherlock is BACK! with a modern wonderful vengeance. There’s a bit of an homage to Sherlock currently on the sidebar to celebrate this delight.  I selected this one because of the violin.

LittlestVioletSeller

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The Highwaywman ~ Loreena McKennitt ~ Listen and read and imagine.

Xouliamas

Album: The Books of Secrets
Year: 1997

Lyrics by Alfred Noyes, abridged by Loreena McKennit

The wind was a torrent of darkness among the gusty trees
The moon was a ghostly galleon tossed upon the cloudy seas
The road was a ribbon of moonlight over the purple moor
And the highwayman came riding,
Riding, riding,
The highwayman came riding, up to the old inn-door.

He’d a French cocked hat on his forehead, a bunch of lace at his chin,
A coat of claret velvet, and breeches of brown doe-skin;
They fitted with never a wrinkle; his boots were up to the thigh!
And he rode with a jewelled twinkle,
His pistol butts a-twinkle,
His rapier hilt a-twinkle, under the jewelled sky.

Over the cobbles he clattered and clashed in the dark innyard,
And he tapped with his whip on the shutters, but all was locked and barred;
He whistled a tune to the window, and who should be waiting there
But the landlord’s black-eyed daughter,
Bess, the landlord’s daughter,
Plaiting a dark red love-knot into her long black hair.

“One kiss, my bonny sweetheart, I’m after a prize tonight,
But I shall be back with the yellow gold before the morning light;
Yet if they press me sharply, and harry me through the day,
Then look for me by the moonlight,
Watch for me by the moonlight,
I’ll come to thee by the moonlight, though hell should bar the way.

He rose upright in the stirrups; he scarce could reach her hand
But she loosened her hair i’ the casement! His face burnt like a brand
As the black cascade of perfume came tumbling over his breast;
And he kissed its waves in the moonlight,
(Oh, sweet black waves in the moonlight!)
Then he tugged at his rein in the moonlight, and galloped away to the west.

He did not come at the dawning; he did not come at noon,
And out of the tawny sunset, before the rise o’ the moon,
When the road was a gypsy’s ribbon, looping the purple moor,
A red-coat troop came marching,
Marching, marching
King George’s men came marching, up to the old inn-door.

They said no word to the landlord, they drank his ale instead,
But they gagged his daughter and bound her to the foot of her narrow bed;
Two of them knelt at the casement, with muskets at their side!
There was death at every window
And hell at one dark window;
For Bess could see, through the casement,
The road that he would ride.

They had tied her up to attention, with many a sniggering jest;
They had bound a musket beside her, with the barrel beneath her breast!
“now keep good watch!” And they kissed her.
She heard the dead man say
“Look for me by the moonlight
Watch for me by the moonlight
I’ll come to thee by the moonlight, though hell should bar the way!”

She twisted her hands behind her, but all the knots held good!
She writhed her hands till her fingers were wet with sweat or blood!
They stretched and strained in the darkness and the hours crawled by like years!
Till, now, on the stroke of midnight,
Cold, on the stroke of midnight,
The tip of one finger touched it!
The trigger at least was hers!

Tlot-tlot! Had they heard it? The horse-hoofs were ringing clear
Tlot-tlot, in the distance! Were they deaf that they did not hear?
Down the ribbon of moonlight, over the brow of the hill,
The highwayman came riding,
Riding, riding!
The red-coats looked to their priming!
She stood up straight and still!

Tlot in the frosty silence! Tlot, in the echoing night!
Nearer he came and nearer! Her face was like a light!
Her eyes grew wide for a moment! She drew one last deep breath,
Then her finger moved in the moonlight,
Her musket shattered the moonlight,
Shattered her breast in the moonlight and warned him with her death.

He turned; he spurred to the west; he did not know she stood
Bowed, with her head o’er the musket, drenched with her own red blood!
Not till the dawn he heard it; his face grew grey to hear
How Bess, the landlord’s daughter,
The landlord’s black-eyed daughter,
Had watched for her love in the moonlight, and died in the darkness there.

Back, he spurred like a madman, shrieking a curse to the sky
With the white road smoking behind him and his rapier brandished high!
Blood-red were the spurs i’ the golden noon; wine-red was his velvet coat,
When they shot him down on the highway,
Down like a dog on the highway,
And he lay in his blood on the highway, with the bunch of lace at his throat.

Still of a winter’s night, they say, when the wind is in the trees,
When the moon is a ghostly galleon, tossed upon the cloudy seas,
When the road is a ribbon of moonlight over the purple moor,
A highwayman comes riding,
Riding, riding,
A highwayman comes riding, up to the old inn-door.

~

~Bear:  LOVE    http://bearspawprint.wordpress.com/2013/12/13/music-themes-love/
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Eva:   More Amour — With legs, hands, lips, and The Kiss —            https://47whitebuffalo.wordpress.com/2013/12/13/more-amour-with-legs-hands-lips-and-the-kiss/
Eva:   What’s Love Got To Do?    What’s Love Got to Do? Musical Theme for Friday, the 13th of December 2013.
____________________________________________________________
Willow: ??     http://willowdot21.wordpress.com/
____________________________________________________________
Johnny: LOVE
http://johnnyojanpera.wordpress.com/2013/12/13/musi-theme-december-13-love/  ____________________________________________________________
Deborah: Love and Random Acts of Kindness: A Musical Exploration           http://myriad234.wordpress.com/2013/12/13/love-and-random-acts-of-kindness-a-musical-exploration/
____________________________________________________________
D.S. Nelson: ??   http://hatpaintladdersandwonkypooh.wordpress.com/

 

 

 

 

 

Breakfast Special, #34, “You Can Do Anything You Want”

“You Can Do Anything You Want”

JJ, aka Joyce Jankowski, dialed the third number on her list as she leaned against the wall in the little “sunrise” call room. While waiting for an answer, she watched the girls and women gathering for a session fo Esther’s course in basic self-defense. On her way into the front room where the girls were rolling out the well-worn floor mats, Esther stopped and looked questioningly at JJ. “Any luck at all?”

“Not yet. I’ll let you know when we have a real contact. Go on with the class. Good sized group in there already.”

Esther glanced at the women in the room across the hall from where JJ was sitting on the floor. “Something to do on a slow snow lockdown night is better than nothin’ probably the why. But I’m not complaining. They’re here. I’ll take advantage of presence. Thanks for working the phone, JJ.”

“No problem, Esther. I live for phone work these days.” She grinned as Esther waved and went to greet the group.  A voice came on the other end of the phone and JJ launched into her script for the phone call. In between a series of stops and starts on hold and off, she listened to Esther talking with the women and girls.

When JJ thought she just might be making some headway with the person on the other end of the phone line, Esther made a quick exit from the front room in response to the appearance of Antonio, one of the Watch making the early evening rounds. JJ watched them disappear together in the direction of the basement stairs. For a moment she thought of switching her position in order to have a clear view of the hallway simply for the sake of having Antonio in her sights for a few seconds. Deciding not to encourage what she’d come to consider absolutely hopeless behavior, she settled in for the long on off hold game. Encouraged just enough to keep holding instead of hanging up, JJ waited with one ear to the phone and the other paying partial attention to random snatches of conversations in the room across the hall.

Hanging her head in resignation while a new voice went through their required spiel, JJ closed her eyes for a few moments. When she opened them a movement in the hall caused her to lean forward enough for a better view. As she was put on hold yet again, she frowned at the sight of an unfamiliar tall man in blue jeans, a grey thermal top and heavy work boots standing in the hall talking to someone in the self-defense class. A greeting from the phone informed her that she was off hold again and JJ gave the live voice her full attention.  When she looked into the hall again the tall young man was nowhere in sight. Knowing that he’d been seen by and spoken with someone in the roomful of women and girls, she relaxed thinking even though he was a complete stranger to her, he was a known entity to someone.

As her phone call finally began bearing fruit for her labors in patience and understanding, a trio of teenage boys came through the yellow door and stood in the hall looking into the self-defense class in the front room. Recognizing Thomas when he pulled off his hat and opened his coat, JJ began waiting for an opening in the conversation where she could return the favor of being put on hold in order to caution the teenagers to adhere to the house rules for proper behavior or to leave the premises. When he disappeared into the front room, she groaned in dismay expecting trouble at any moment. When all remained calm and quiet on the sound waves from the hall and front room, JJ remained on the line hoping for the best from the unpredictable mix of women and teenage street machismo.

A few minutes later she knew she been lulled into a false sense of all-is-well when the thuds and thumping sounds from the other room were loud enough to carry over the phone and cause the person on the other end to ask if JJ was okay and what was going on at her end. Glad for their refusal to hang up in case she needed some help via another phone line that they could provide, JJ yanked the length of the  phone jack cord out of the small box that its lay coiled inside to keep from being tripped over. Standing up with the phone in her hand, she walked across the hall to stand between the two teenage boys watching intently what was going on in the room.

JJ froze at the sight of Thomas being held in a headlock by Julianna who was intently listening to the unfamiliar tall man she’d seen earlier in the hall. Hearing the person on the other line demanding to know if she was alright, JJ raised the phone receiver and whispered. “I’m okay. No, it’s a self-defense class dealing with a guy. Listen for yourself.” JJ held the phone towards the room so that the person on the other end could hear what was going on.

“Go ahead, squeeze like I showed you, Julianna.”

“What’s that gonna do to him?” demanded one of the older women watching intently.

Sarge turned to her and grinned. “It’ll cut off the blood flow to his brain and make him pass out for a short time. As long as she doesn’t apply any hard twists, he’ll be fine when he wakes up.”

Someone in the group said, “Hard twist and turn give him some bad break neck action.”

The teenage boy standing to her left yelled, “Come on, little girl, give it what you got.”

Finding herself oddly fascinated by the atmosphere in the room, her work as a trauma nurse which gave her a certain perspective on the physical grief people doled out to each other on a daily basis , JJ watched Julianna grab hold of her arm hooked under Thomas’ neck and pull it closer together with his neck in the v between her upper and lower arm until she applied the pressure required to render him unconscious. When he fell limp at her feet, she looked up at Sarge. “What do I do now?”

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heartsumind

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“You can do anything you want. But don’t take too long doing it. If you’re going to make a run for it, then run smart to where people can see you. He’s not going to stay down.” Sarge walked over to Thomas’ feet. “One of my favorite moves is taking their shoes. Definitely slows down most guys. Running barefoot on asphalt or cement is not their forte.” He yanked off Thomas’s boots and tossed them towards the women and girls watching closely. “Just throw the suckers somewhere out of his sight and reach. If there’s a street nearby toss them in the traffic lanes. Then, if they’re wearing long socks or tube socks like he is,” Sarge yanked off a sock and tied it around Thomas’ ankles. He yanked off the other one and quickly tied his wrists together, “you can play this game. You’ve got to be fast though. You can’t hesitate or have second thoughts about things. You just go with the flow. Let your imagination run the show.”

“What if he comes around before you’re done?” said a young woman who’d stepped up to get a closer look at the unconscious Thomas.

Sarge pointed at Julianna for her to put a knee into Thomas’ solar plexus then adjusted her position so she was putting all her weight into the correct pressure spot. “You don’t have to be big or heavy to mess up his air this way. It’s all about finding the right places and focusing your attention on them. If he comes to and he can’t breathe right, then he’s going nowhere.” Sarge saw Esther come to stand next to JJ.  He smiled and waved at her. “Hi Esther.”

Esther looked at Thomas on the floor. “What’s going on in here?”

“Self defense,” said everyone in the room at the same time.

Esther pointed at Thomas. “Looks more like assault from where I’m standing.”

Sarge shook his head. “It was not. He volunteered all the way. Right guys?” He looked at the teenage boys in the hall for confirmation.

Amidst a chorus of feminine voices offering verification of Thomas’s willing participation in the demonstration, they nodded and turned to Esther saying with quiet whispers of: “Thomas stepped right up for show and tell. He did it cuz of that little witch.” And, “No harm. No foul. He knew what he was steppin’ into, Mrs. DeWitt.”

JJ spoke into the phone receiver while shrugging at Esther who looked at her in disbelief at the sound of her voice. “You catch it all? Sure, he’s still out. Yeah. Um,..I will…” JJ backed away from Esther and the teenage boys and collided with Antonio who’d been standing behind her. Blushing brightly she regained her balance with his help then slipped back towards the phone room to see what Esther was going to do next. She did not hang up the phone.

“Untie that boy, right now.”

“Can we finish this first, Esther?” said Julianna.

“He looks plenty finished to me.”

Thomas stirred and lay blinking up at Julianna and Sarge who were still standing over him. He smiled at Julianna. “What’s next? I’m game.”

Julianna pointed at Thomas. “You hear that, Esther? Thomas said it himself, he’s game for the next move.” With that she untied his hands, grabbed his middle finger and bent it backwards. Using the finger as leverage, she forced him to turn onto his side so she could twist his arm behind his back and settle her knee between his shoulders. Her audience clapped and cheered when she held up her free hand clenched in a fist.

Seeing the worried look on Esther’s face, Sarge walked over to her and the teenage boys. “It’s all good, Esther.” He looked at Thomas’ two companions in turn. “Right guys? We’re all cool.” He was gratified with the respectful way the teenagers nodded and backed away from him and Esther. “Now I’m going to go find that circuit breaker we salvaged the other day. Any time you want some help with the class, Esther, just let me know. They can practice with me all they need. Won’t hurt me none.”  With a little wave at the women and girls, he walked off down the hall to the basement stairs.

Esther looked at the group excitedly talking amongst themselves. She watched Thomas put his socks and boots back on then exit the room strutting as if he was the biggest, loudest rooster on the block. The trio politely made their way out of the house and to the street without giving her any of their usual back talk. Antonio, carrying the tools she’d helped him find, followed in their wake with an eye to making sure they didn’t do an about-face. Esther turned and saw JJ watching her.

“Who is that, Esther? Where did he come from?” demanded JJ, un-hung up phone still in hand.

Esther glanced at the closed basement door then stepped closer to JJ. “That’s Sarge. He belongs to Lily.”

JJ’s stared at Esther. “Lily? Our Lily?” She looked towards the basement door than back at Esther. “You’re kidding. Since when?”

“Since the big snow hit Friday night. Anton went for his lesson and a visit on Saturday and there he was right smack dab in Lily’s pad.”

“You’re sure he’s like hers hers? She’s actually owning him?”

“Oh he’s hers hers all right. Whether she admits she owns him or not, he’s definitely hers. Whatever else he is, he’s all Lily’s from the bottom of those steel toed construction industry boots to the top of that hair mess on his head.”

“What do you mean by ‘whatever else he is’? Where’d Lily meet him?”

Esther glanced over her shoulder at the class now practicing on each other what they’d learned. She stood next to JJ and whispered. “He’s the guy from the breakfast bar. Remember the one she said asked her out?”

JJ pointed with the phone receiver towards the basement steps. She swallowed hard and shook her cloud of short blonde hair. “What? That’s the guy from the bar?”

“Mmm. I just said so.” Esther elbowed JJ as Sarge came through the basement door and down the hall towards the front door. As he neared them on his way out, Esther nodded at the circuit breaker in his hand. “I see you found what you were looking for.”

“Indeed I did, Esther. I meant what I said about helping out with your class.”

“Esther will give that notion consideration, Sarge.” She made a point of looking him over as he walked past. “They beat back some on a man your size they might not think twice about beating on anyone else. Give you and them a workout. Maybe you get more than you bargain for.”

Sarge laughed. “Don’t worry, I can take a workout from them easy. I better get a move on now. Bye, Esther.”

“Good-bye, Sarge.” Esther looked at JJ who had moved out of sight inside the call room. “What you hiding in there for, JJ?”

“I’m not hiding. I’m on hold, again. Is he gone?”

“Yes. But not forgotten. He got them all wired up.” She shook her head at the laughter and cheering going on in the other room.

JJ looked to the room across the hall. “Maybe that’s what they need. They sure were paying attention for a change.”

“No doubt his fine face and ass got their attention very focused. Not to mention the rest of him.”

JJ frowned. “Didn’t Lily say the guy from the bar had a beard?”

“She did. She also said he was an older guy.”

“She said he had trouble talking and that he was real shy.” JJ looked pointedly at the noisy front room. “He does not have a beard. He is not an old dude. He has no problem talking. He is definitely not shy. What is going on with Lily? It’s not like her to all of a sudden bring a guy home out of nowhere. She didn’t let John or Mark inside her apartment for months.”

“I do not know. Anton does not have a sure clue. Rosa says it’s all this snow messing with her. Rosa probably has something on that count. What Rosa and I do know is that when that man is not out with Anton and the Watch doing repair work, he is right there at Lily’s place. When the work is done he don’t hang out with the guys drinking beer. He don’t smoke no dope either. He don’t roam around looking for some random lady action.  Oh he chat with Anton for a time, but otherwise, when crew work over and done, he makes tracks straight back to Lily’s pad.”

“Is he like living there with her?”

Esther’s opened her eyes wide and nodded. “Exactly like. Rosa told Lily she could send him to sleep in the generator room at night so she have some privacy. So far he is not sleeping in the generator room.”

“Whoa.” JJ backed up against the wall, listened to the on hold music for a moment, then hung up the phone. “She can call back. She’s got this number.” JJ set the phone on its small table between two folding chairs. “Are you telling me that after, what is it, nearly two years of ‘I don’t need no damn man’, Lily has done a one-eighty with this guy?”

“One eighty, double three sixty, whatever, she done broke her cold shoulder for sure.”

“You’re not looking too happy about this, Esther. This should be a good thing. You don’t like him? Why not?”

“Problem is I do like him. Other problem is,” she jerked her thumb towards the still full front room, “they all like him too. You saw him. Don’t tell me the only man you pay any attention to is the one you won’t get next to. Antonio on the same floorboards at the same time or not, that man is not the sort of eye candy any woman with her lady senses in proper working order ignores.”

Despite feeling uncomfortable at the mention of Antonio, JJ nodded her agreement. “By that line of reasoning, then Lily’s lady senses are in proper working order. Maybe this is her breaking the cold shoulder to all guys statement. Why not? Why shouldn’t she have a good time with a hot guy she picked up in a bar, albeit a breakfast bar, but a real bar nonetheless? Hmm? Why shouldn’t she? Guys do it all the time. Find themselves a woman looking for a good time, take her home and have a good time together. Why shouldn’t she?”

“Not saying she shouldn’t. As long as she and the man on the same page respecting that good time.”

“What are you saying now, Esther? What’s wrong with him on that page? He looks like a perfect candidate for that page.”

Esther pinched the bridge of her nose. “Sarge ain’t on that page, JJ. First time I met him at our door and he say he looking for Anton who he met at Lily’s, hell, just the way he say her name tell me right off he got a heartbeat for her. Everything follow confirm that heart action. I’m not talking about some mindless crush like that fool Thomas got for little Julianna. I’m talking, she got him hook, line and sinker and he happy as all get out about it. He don’t give a damn. He just wallowing in it like a pig in shit.”

“Oh. That could get messy. If Lily is just…” JJ glanced at the front room. “That would not be good for her or him.” JJ came away from the wall. “Wait a minute, Esther. This is Lily we’re talking about here. One night stand is not part of her personal vocabulary regarding men.”

“One night isn’t, but one night, night after night sure seems to be a new addition to her dictionary from the looks of things so far. When Anton showed Sarge around here he made a point of directing his attention to the spare bedrooms and making him welcome to one. Very politely Sarge say, thank you very much but he doing fine under Lily’s down quilt. I kid you not. I was setting out boxes up and down the hallway as usual for loading when he said that. I nearly loaded myself into a couple of boxes right then and there. He ain’t sleeping on that red couch. He ain’t sleeping on the floor. And he sure as hell ain’t sleeping in her bathtub unless he part frog. He sleeping in her bed and if he’s sleeping in her bed, he is not sleeping there alone, cause you know damn well Lily is not sleeping on her couch, floor or in her bathtub.”

“What’s Lily saying about him?”

“Not much since we went through his coat pockets looking for clues. All that turned up was a little grey address book. Lot of women’s numbers in it. What else going to be in such a man’s book? It got Lily’s attention.”

“All things John considered, of course it would.”

“Hmm. That’s why I tried to put her off it. Pointed out the fact names and numbers are just names and numbers. None of those women are anywhere in sight here and now. That seemed to do the trick at the time.  Only problem is that since then, she not sharing much intel about him and her.”

“Maybe that’s because it’s working out, whatever it is. At least for now.” JJ gestured towards the windows. “If the snow is making her homesick, having someone else around right there with her for company is probably good for her.”

“You got a point there, JJ. Anton says Sarge is pretty easy-going with the guys. You saw for yourself how he is with the other team. Having him around during this snow lockdown could be a lot like having a big friendly dog come for a visit.”

JJ laughed. “A big sled dog just for Lily. I say we keep our noses out of it unless invited to do otherwise.  But considering we don’t know anything about him, we keep an eye on him. Otherwise, who cares what they’re doing together?  If he gets on her nerves, well, you heard him, he said he could take a workout. He looks solid enough that he could take one or two wallops from Lily without any serious damage.”

“My ears don’t believe this coming direct from Florence Nightingale herself.” Esther stepped back and looked her friend up and down. “You don’t mean that, JJ.”

“Oh yes I do, Esther. Judging from him playing substitute teacher across the hall, I think the man can probably take whatever Lily dishes out and a whole lot more when he crosses one of her lines. The way he was talking in there, I wouldn’t be surprised if he’d enjoy it too. That aside, who among us is going to tell Lily to do other than what she’s doing? There’s nobody I know of that wouldn’t get a dish of their own behavior thrown right smack back at them. She’d be totally within the rights of fair play to do that too. I will be there if she needs me. Hell, I’ll even be there for him if she does him some damage that needs medical attention. But as of right now, I am not going to stick my nose in what’s going on with her and . . .and that fine-looking piece of ass, or whatever he is, that has gotten through her front door. I’ll keep my eyes and ears open, but unless I get wind of something definite that makes him big bad news for her, I am not going to mess around with what’s going on in Lily’s pad. I suggest you do the same.”

“JJ, I grant you got the right end of the stick with most of that.  It’s just . . ..” Esther hugged her arms and shrugged. “Oh I don’t know. I guess I don’t like the idea of any dog getting beat with any stick, especially not heart-wise.”

“Heart-wise? You’re concerned for his emotional well-being? Don’t be, Esther. A guy with his looks got the heart-breaker game down pat long ago. If Lily shoots him down, he’ll be right back up and back in the game in no time flat.”

Esther pursed her lips as she watched the women still practicing moves on each other across the hall. “Maybe and maybe not. No one ever quite what their image put out. All you got to do is look in the mirror to know that truth.”

JJ ruffled her hair with both hands and sighed. “Yes, well, nothing’s happened yet, so there’s point in you worrying about what might happen. Knowing you, you’ll worry plenty when something does happen. Though for Lily’s sake, I hope this, . . this, well, whatever she’s doing with Mr. Self Defense, turns out better than her last two close encounters. Even if it goes nowhere, having it end on a positive note would be a good start for future such adventures with man-kind. Okay, I’m going to get back to dialing and whiling away my time.”

Esther turned towards the front room. “I guess I better find out what else Sarge tried to put in their skill set besides tying Thomas up with his own socks. Why he even give them an idea like that?” Shaking herself a little she exchanged a quick light hand hold with JJ before they went to their self assigned tasks.

~~~

Breakfast Special #35, “Lily Muses” https://47whitebuffalo.wordpress.com/2013/12/22/breakfast-special-35-lily-muses/

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Breakfast Special #1 https://47whitebuffalo.wordpress.com/2013/04/25/breakfast-special/

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Clip from The Long Kiss Goodnight wherein Geena Davis illustrates how to put a pie to use for self defence–or offence as the case may be.  Warning this is funny but violent.

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Women’s self defense using damn near anything.. He’s not slick, he’s not fancy, he’s just a guy,  he gets winded. but he makes a very vaild point–ANY thing can be used for self defence.

DavidCaines100

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More of everything…

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Women’s Self Defense  Soft Targets —

Uploaded on Oct 16, 2011

Brutal street techniques that could save your life, These techniques are for self defense purposes only!

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Funny but motivating

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Please feel free to share your favorite self defense videos–serious, silly, educational et. al.

Breakfast Special, #33, “Ma Bell Intel”

“Ma Bell Intel”

Esther propped her feet up on the little green pillow that served no other purpose than that of being the favorite cushion of her heels. Unlike Anton who stood out of sight as far as the phone cord allowed, when she wanted privacy on the kitchen phone, she seated herself within direct line of sight of the main hallway so that she could immediately see anyone coming in her direction from any of the first floor rooms and the front door. At this time of night about the only foreseeable source of interference with her phone conversation with Rosa would be some member of the Neighborhood Watch coming through the door to report an emergency beyond the night’s crew’s ability to address on their own. Considering the extreme unlikely hood of that happening since Anton was already out with the crew making the rounds, Esther was looking forward to an uninterrupted intel sharing chat with Rosa about the tall man who for all intents and purposes was currently living in their Lily’s home space—and about whom Lily wasn’t sharing much intel at the moment.

A quick glance to make sure their agreed upon time had arrived, Esther dialed the number listed in the white pages under Ricardo’s name, and patiently waited for Rosa’s soft, “Hello.”

“Hey there, Rosa. Oh yeah, nice and quiet here too.  All your little house guests doing okay?  Oh heck yes, Julianna and the other girls did a fine job sorting all those clothes. Tomorrow I’ll give them some needle and thread action on some jeans. Boys too, if any are so inclined. So how are things on the first floor? Hmm? That tall man still behavin’ like a gentleman? Ricardo share any intel? He what? The whole day?  Maybe they both on the same wavelength. Hell yes, you make the most of that child care action. That girl got a whole litter of cat curiosity inside her just waiting to jump on the unsuspecting rest of us. Lily say anything about all that? Ahh ha. Oh yeah, dancin’ in the hallway again? Tonight? Well, that’s one form of sweet touch action, I guess. Nope. All intel Anton share be about that Zinn history book he and Sarge both read some time back and been having some serious hard talk about. Anton says it solid evidence Big Man got a mind can play on the same field with Lily. Her numbers action aside, of course. Yes, you’re right about that, Rosa. Esther hear you loud and clear. . . mmmmm.

When Esther and Rosa hung up their phones twenty minutes later, they each gave some serious thought to what they considered the most important things they’d learned via direct experiences about the males of the species over time. Rosa quietly wandered down to the second floor landing midway to the first floor and listened to the sound of music still coming from Lily’s home space. Sitting down on the step to the second floor landing, she lost track of the music while thinking about her little niece’s behavior with the tall gringo and wondering what to make of it. Ricardo wasn’t just unconcerned, he was downright thankful that there was now an extra mind and pair of hands to help deal with Marianna and her mischief, especially on days like today. Rosa couldn’t fault him on that point. It was clear Marianna needed more one to one attention than she or Ricardo had been able to spare under the current circumstances.  Yet with all the people moving through her world every day, Marianna had zeroed in on the very newest and most unknown adult available.  Lily had told her that aside from reading a book with her and making sure Marianna didn’t con Sarge into preparing more food than her little stomach could possibly hold, no matter what the six-year-old claimed, the girl had indeed spent the majority of the time downstairs constantly interacting with him even after she’d returned from helping Esther with “sun rise” projects. It wasn’t lost upon Rosa that this seemed to please Lily in some sense that she hadn’t divulged to Rosa.

Meanwhile, at exactly the same time, Esther made her way to the dark bay window seat that faced Rosa’s house across the snow buried street. Making herself comfortable, she contemplated the fact that her Anton was actually putting forth efforts to develop more than a causal passing acquaintance with a man from a side of the tracks he generally had no interest in visiting. She’d overheard enough of their conversations to realize they were both enjoying being able discuss ideas and books without having to worry about their manner of doing so in regards to proper language usage or any other intellectual formality. Sarge was not put off by Anton’s lapses into what he  called his ‘street chimes’.  She had even heard him occasionally use some of the lingo himself when in the company of certain groups of the neighborhood men. As for Anton, he’d told her outright that he honestly didn’t mind listening to what he called Sarge’s occasional monologues because it was clear the man wasn’trying to play ego games, but just really needed to get his thoughts out of his brain-space. Plus, he always welcomed Anton’s reactions and thoughts with an openness and lack of bias that was prompting Anton to share a great deal more of his own thinking than he generally did with anyone besides Esther and a few other people. Her husband felt like they’d created a certain sort of safe space for speaking their minds without any control or dominance issues—and that was feeling good to Anton especially under the circumstances created by the current weather lockdown.

At about the same moment in time, both women thought along the same lines of: forget whatever Karen’s cat might have dragged into Rosa’s house in the Flats, the important thing now was, what kind of man had their Lily hauled directly into her home and life with no apparent intention of sending him any further on his way.

~~~~

Music Notes: Snoozer Quinn, Snoozer’s Telephone Blues

upload by lupine22

The legendary guitarist Ed ‘Snoozer’ Quinn (1907-1949) performing ‘Snoozer’s Telephone Blues.’ Recorded by his friend, the cornetist Johnny Wiggs, at the Charity Hospital, New Orleans, in 1948.

~~

Breakfast Special, #34  https://47whitebuffalo.wordpress.com/2013/12/05/breakfast-special-34-you-can-do-anything-you-want/

Breakfast Special #1 https://47whitebuffalo.wordpress.com/2013/04/25/breakfast-special/

A frankly candid cartoon explanation of gender date dynamics = “Brain Divided”

Hi. It’s Thurdsay. I’ve been not blogging. If you’re reading this, then you are blogging.  For your enjoyment during my brief intermission from cyber-space, I offer an animated explanation of what’s going on with men and women and everything between them. Frank & Candid. Take a few minutes from speeding through blogland a la Word Press and have a good cartoon time.  🙂

*

“Brain Divided”

The Cgbros

Published on Aug 13, 2013

Check out this great CGI animated short film by the talented Josiah Haworth, Joon Shik Song and Joon Soo Song! Presented by Ringling College of Art and Design and debuting online exclusively in Cartoon Brew’s 4th annual Student Animation Festival. For more information about this short film please see the links below:
Brain Divided Facebook Page: https://www.facebook.com/BrainDivided Short film “Brain Divided” Official Vimeo: https://vimeo.com/66771902 http://legend20x.wix.com/josiahhaworth Josiah Haworth’s Animation Reel: vimeo.com/63448192 Joon Soo Song’s Animation Reel: vimeo.com/66196390 Joon Shik Song’s Animation Reel: vimeo.com/66089657
To learn more about the production of this film, visit: cartoonbrew.com/brewtv/braindivided-8585­1.html

Breakfast Special, #32, “Hidden Talents”

Hidden Talents

Ricardo knew it was one of those days when having a television might be useful if it could possibly attract and hold Marianna’s attention just long enough for him to deal with her latest mess while she was busy creating the next. He was unhappily aware that he was currently at least three mess steps behind his daughter. There was no help coming from her older brother, Jose, who just shook his head refusing his father’s request for at least an attempt on his part to engage her in some sort of game playing. Even the usually resourceful and patient Julianna gave him a definite no way glare when he tried to enlist her aid. Rosa was currently tolerating Marianna’s decidedly less than helpful presence in the kitchen while Ricardo cleaned her toothpaste drawings off the cold windows in the front room. He was painfully aware of the fact that the electric hand drill that he’d been fixing remained in pieces on the newspaper covered card table by the window at the other end of the second floor. It was the reason Rosa had drawn Marianna into her cooking domain at first sight of her standing on the empty folding chair taking a very intrigued look at the pieces of metal, plastic and the little screws and tools  laid out so enticingly, apparently just for her entertainment. So it was clear Marianna thought judging from the delight on her pretty little face at the time that Rosa caught sight of her.

It was with no small relief, and no lack of surprise, to Ricardo when he went to relieve Rosa of Marianna and found Sarge in the kitchen, having deposited four loaves of cinnamon bread on the counter, currently conducting a calm conversation with his daughter regarding the pros and cons of adding dish-washing liquid to the large pan of refried beans on the stove while gently, yet effectively, removing the plastic bottle from her two-handed grasp. Meanwhile, Rosa, making tortillas at the table, was watching Sarge contend with her niece’s latest unwelcome creative effort. Catching sight of her brother, Rosa shrugged and pointed with a tortilla at the ongoing exchange between the man and child. Nearly at the end of his own considerable patience, Ricardo was stunned into grateful silence when Sarge turned to Rosa and himself and said, “Is it okay if she comes downstairs to help me make some cookies? Lily is busy working on ‘sunrise’ projects with Esther and I wouldn’t mind some company.”

Thinking even a five-minute reprieve from Marianna would do his nerves a world of good, Ricardo vigorously nodded his assent. Rosa smirked and laughed darkly. “You want her help. You got it, Sarge. Deal best way you can.”

Sarge smiled and plucked Marianna off the folding chair she was standing on peering into the pot of beans. Setting her on her feet, he looked down at her while she stared up at him. “Are you up for mixing some cookie dough or not? If you are, then let’s make tracks, little Missy.” Without waiting for Marianna’s reply, Sarge walked away and proceeded directly out of the second floor home.  Marianna looked at Rosa and then at her father before turning on her toes  and running off to follow Sarge down the stairs to Lily’s apartment.

Only after mixing and baking several batches of oatmeal, sugar and snicker-doodle cookies; noisily slurping down two cups of chicken soup for a snack; taking a spontaneous brief nap on the velvet couch; getting a peek inside Lily’s little transistor radio; having some milk and warm straight out of the oven cookies; completing a thorough practical investigation of the workings of Sarge’s boot-lacings; making from memory a very detailed pencil drawing of Karen’s still MIA cat on the inside of an empty paper flour bag: listening intently to two readings of The Stinky Cheese Man, and her very first lessons learning a simple waltz box step did Marianna reappear on the second floor.  After reluctantly following Lily up the stairs, with Sarge bringing up the rear to insure her compliance with upward motion, she demurely followed Ricardo around the table of dinner foods as he filled a plate for her. While still not quite her usual pleasantly friendly self with the other children, she did join their ranks on her own rust colored carpet sample to eat her dinner. After dinner she laid siege to a corner of the lilac wall with a pencil and a few crayons.

About an hour later, Marianna tossed her crayons and pencil into their designated boxes. She stood watching the various activities of the rest of the children for a few minutes then turned around and made tracks to where the adults were talking quietly and sipping small cups of strong coffee at the little card table. She patted her father’s hand until Ricardo slipped an arm around her for a hug and she deposited a quick peck on his check. Then she surprised everyone, especially Sarge, by silently demanding to sit in his lap under pretense of needing to yet again investigate the contents of his shirt pockets. Finding nothing of interest in either pocket, she simply sprawled out across his chest and promptly fell asleep.

As this was something none of his nephews or nieces had ever done with him, Sarge sat stock still at a complete loss regarding this novel experience. Looking at Ricardo for help, he found the older man trying not to laugh as he whispered, “Go with the flow, hombre. Don’t wake her. Por favor, whatever you do, do not wake her up.”

Seeing that Rosa and Lily were in agreement with Ricardo, Sarge slid a little further down on his chair in order to decrease the angle of his chest being used as a bed and to keep Marianna’s slight form from slipping off of him. There she stayed for nearly ten minutes until Ricardo was satisfied that she was indeed sleeping soundly enough that Sarge could get up without waking her and carry her to the small room she shared with Julianna. After Sarge carefully laid her down on the twin bed, he stood aside watching Ricardo remove her soft soled indoors shoes and socks, cover her first with a cotton thermal blanket then a thicker comforter.

Upon returning to the card table with a very relieved Ricardo, Sarge caught Lily looking at him in a manner he had no way to interpret since no woman had ever looked at him in such a way before. Nor could he recall seeing his mother or his sisters-in-laws ever sending such a look towards his father or brothers. Unsure of how to even question her about it, he simply sent her a silent ‘what’ look of his own, in case he’d done a boundary crossing without any clue of there even being a boundary to cross. He relaxed when she responded with a slight shake of her head and one of her winking  eye smiles. Taking this as an indication that he’d not committed some indiscretion that she’d inform him about later, he settled back into his prior conversation with Rosa about spices.

Later that night when they stood together at her apartment windows watching the moonlight flickering among the falling snowflakes, needing some reassurance, Sarge could not help but ask Lily if he’d done something out-of-order by letting little Marianna basically do as she pleased when she’d decided to use him as her mattress. Lily responded with a soft laugh. “No, you didn’t do anything wrong, Funny Man. You did just right. Marianna can be hard to handle on such days. You helped Ricardo and Rosa out a lot by giving her the kind of attention she needed today.”

Reading the compliment via her tone and words, Sarge barely managed a very quiet reply. “Any time. She’s a lot more fun than any of my brothers’ kids. She’s way smarter too.  That’s probably why she acts up like she does.”

“Probably.” Lily watched the snowflakes piling on top of one another. “Hey, are you up for a little soft shoe or some swing before we both hit the books again?”

“Definitely. It’s your turn to pick the music.” Sarge watched her reflection in the windows as she went to the record player on the table along the red velvet couch.

Lily picked a record from the cardboard box, put it on the player then held up the album cover and caught his reflection watching hers. Grinning, she waved her fingers.  “You ready for some Stomp time, Funny Man?”

“Absolutely, Lily.”

Unexpected Dance from Fanfan, Alexandre Jardin, 1993

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Breakfast Special #1 https://47whitebuffalo.wordpress.com/2013/04/25/breakfast-special/

~

Breakfast Special #33 https://47whitebuffalo.wordpress.com/2013/11/26/breakfast-special-33-ma-bell-intel/

“Humans from Earth” the ~ We Be Human ~ Theme for Wednesday 13/11/2013

Hello fellow Homo Sapiens.

It’s Sunday in my part of the world. I’m picking a Musical Theme for Wednesday, 13 of November 2013. Everyone interested is invited to join in–either with full length posts or shorter versions or to share your favorite picks one at a time. It’s all cherry coke with a slice of fresh lime on the rim.

I think this little ditty illustrates the Theme I’m reaching for: Humans, as in ‘us’.

Yes, this is open to other treatments in Art of all genres, your own works, and whatever you care and/or dare to dig out of your kitchen mind sink.

Have FUN.

Humans from Earth by T-Bone Burnett

From Wikipedia:

Homo sapiens (Latin: “wise man“) is the scientific name for the human species. Homo is the human genus, which also includes Neanderthals and many other extinct species of hominid; H. sapiens is the only surviving species of the genus Homo. Modern humans are the subspecies Homo sapiens sapiens, which differentiates them from what has been argued to be their direct ancestor, Homo sapiens idaltu .

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Homo_sapiens

Hey Johnny, Willow, Bear and Deborah—and other intrigued parties–drop a line for play, pass or chipping in. Cheers. 🙂

 

 

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