Saturday, November 12, 2016


It's been such a weird week. When the history books are written they'll probably still be talking about what a weird week it was. So I'll mix normal Randomday material with political weirdness and the blog will go on. Just as the country will. Probably.

So how many people were surprised by the results of the election? Steve says he thought all along that Trump could win. Maybe he should have been hired as a pollster or political consultant. But most of us were shocked.

Trump's acceptance speech was surprising... partly because his election was the biggest surprise, but also because he seemed ever so slightly less orange, and, if not quite presidential, at least dignified and conciliatory. I'm honestly not sure how to feel about him; I find his extreme extroversion toxic and he tends to suck all the air out of a room when he speaks, but that may just be my introversion reacting to him. If I don't listen to his speeches and never make the mistake of trusting media accounts of him again, and if he is surrounded by adults who make sure he follows the laws of the land (and put his Twitter account in a lockbox), he might even grow to be a decent president. It's a bigger job than just one man, and I do believe people can grow.  It's nice to see Republicans win all around: and while I don't really count Trump as a real Republican, there are real Republicans I respect who are working with him.

Hillary's concession speech... when it finally came after a pretty long delay... was really gracious. Nothing in the race became her like the leaving of it. I don't quite get why her followers are so terribly sad. She'll be okay. She has the consolation that she now has time to spend with Bill and the rest of the family, and she can go back to Chappaqua and get that building permit and pay the fees she forgot about for the work on her second mansion. And preumably, she can continue accepting foreign donations to the Clinton Foundation and grotesquely inflated speaking fees. What she'll spend it all on I don't know... she already has pantsuits in every color of the rainbow. I think she has learned not to call people "deplorable." Mock the Midwest at your peril! (I mean, did you see WISCONSIN going red?!) I do think it would be nice if she could discover that yes, the unborn person does have rights.

Portland has been experiencing protests/riots for five nights straight. It started out as poor distraught Millennials who couldn't deal with an electoral disappointment. I try not to mock or gloat...too much. But I've been there, on the White House lawn, crying and hugging people the day after losing an election (1992). I was devastated, and in my 20's. It never occurred to me to march in the streets and riot. Republicans generally don't do that. We always just were sad for awhile and moved on. But this is a different era, and these are the children of helicopter parents who have protected them from even the slightest disappointment. Not to mention all the apocalyptic self-help clickbait articles about the election: "what will we tell our daughters?!" For starters, how about, "respect the law, stay away from unlawful assemblies, obey the police when they tell you to disperse, and no, you may not take a baseball bat to the #TrumpProtest #TrumpRiot #NotMyPresident or whatever they're calling it tonight."

Seriously, Portland has experienced more than a million dollars of damage to various businesses. Police are tired from having to don riot gear for 5 nights in a row and even the mayor is pleading with people to channel their anti-Trump hate towards his favorite liberal causes like Sierra Club and Planned Parenthood. Meanwhile he wants to encourage normal Portlanders to patronize businesses to make up for the damage that has already been done. I don't ultimately think he will be successful; the Columbia River has become a bigger barrier to me wanting to go shopping in Portland than it ever was before. I'm thinking Facebook will soon need to have a nightly check-in feature for Portland and other cities where riots are going on: "yes, I got home safely and am now in my house with the blinds drawn." To be fair, the naive young people who started the protest movement have found that less idealistic anarchists are moving in and hijacking their peaceful protests. You've heard the saying that a conservative is a liberal who has been mugged by reality? ... I'm predicting a conservative renaissance even in liberal Portland.

Okay, enough politics. Steve is visiting Peter in Pullman this weekend and is even now watching the WSU Berkeley game. Last I checked WSU was winning handily, but Steve is wearing his Berkeley shirt. (He likes to say he became a conservative at Berkeley).

This week I started the job of pruning our grape fines. I don't think we ever did it right, and they are really gnarly. It doesn't seem to be possible to kill them once they've been established, or we would probably have done it, but previous attempts to prune and train them have not been successful. I have brought in some of my tender herbs (lemon verbena and pineapple sage) to try to keep them over winter without killing them. I also planted some sage and rosemary seeds to see if I can grow new plants from the seeds of the old. Several sage sprouts and one rosemary have resulted. Again, I'll be trying not to kill them this winter.

I introduced the girls to some classic American concepts today. I fried up some Spam for breakfast: Quarta had a piece and Tertia had half a piece... too salty. I think it has been at least 35 years since I last tasted Spam. This evening we watched Ferris Bueller's Day Off. It's probably been 15 years since I saw that last, or more. I never realized Charlie Sheen was in it. And the vengeful principal actor also played the emperor in Amadeus. And the school secretary with the high-pitched voice has a huge list of voice acting credits on IMDB. My mother would have loved IMDB... back in the '80s she WAS our family IMDB. But she couldn't remember names with 100% speed and accuracy, so there would be that moment in the early part of a film where she'd say, "Oh, that's ... what's his name?" and then a couple hours later when everyone had forgotten she'd remember and blurt out his name, whatever it was. We'd be in the middle of dinner and she'd put her fork down and say, "Cesar Romero!" or "Lon Chaney Jr!" It was a gift. I think Tertia has it too, but only with actors who have played in Harry Potter or Once Upon a Time.

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