Sunday, May 3, 2020

BAUMBLOG: April 22, 2020: Wake up Congress & Walk in Hood

APRIL 22, 2020: Wake Up Congress! + Walk in the 'Hood


I have a lot of necklaces, and no one sees them nowadays, so I intend to inflict them on YOU, Bloggelinis! This is my current fave, a Tree of Life -- very apropos for this moment, considering I greatly prefer living to the alternative. I got it last year when
Carolyn and I stopped at Mt. Shasta City Park, where you can find the headwaters of the Sacramento River! Yes! An important river begins in a beautiful rocky spring in the middle of town. Carolyn and a lot of other people are in the habit of stopping there to fill up jugs with this pure, delicious water. It's a wonderful communal scene that reminds me of an earlier time. And there they were next to their rainbow-painted van, two beautiful young hippie women selling jewelry that they made.

I will try to figure out how to take more flattering selfies in the future. I did put on eyebrow pencil in an effort to beautify. But you know how it is with eyebrow pencil. One brow is always darker than the other, so you try to match them. But then you end up making the SECOND brow darker. So you darken the FIRST brow, which is now DARKER than the second brow again, so you go back to the second brow.... etc. etc. until you end up with two black worms on your forehead. I stopped before that point.

So. Yesterday I delved into Buddhism, whose message has often been condensed into two words:


What IS appropriate action at this moment? Of course many things are appropriate to do now -- write a blog, wipe down your counters, wear a mask when you leave the house... But is there something we might be overlooking? Something that might be considered an elephant in the room? Hmmmmm?

You know, I always wondered how the world let the Holocaust happen. But then, when Global Warming became an issue, I understood. When a problem is really enormous and complex and difficult to solve, it is really human nature to just look the other way. Hey, maybe it won't affect ME. Maybe I'll DIE before the shit hits the fan.

No such luck for us. No such luck for the whole world, but REALLY no such luck for us in the U.S. We are heading toward being a failed state -- if we're not already there. We cannot wait for Joe Biden to become President on January 20, 2021 -- assuming there IS an election and assuming he wins the Electoral College.

Nurses demonstrated outside the White House yesterday demanding Personal Protective Equipment. (Please consider subscribing to Common Dreams, which published this article. You will get news and viewpoints you don't find other places.)

And in the Target Store in San Francisco, my friend Deb saw two men get into a fight over toilet paper. It started when one man took all 20 rolls that were left.

No-TP Man: Hey, please don't take it all. I need some for my family.

TP Man: I couldn't care less about your family

No-TP Man: Listen, they're here with me. See? There are four of us. Come on. You don't need all those rolls.

TP Man: It's none of your fucking business what I do or don't need.

No-TP Man grabs a roll out of TP Man's cart. They get into a fight. At no point do the Target employees make any effort to interfere. When TP Man checks out with 19 rolls of toilet paper, they gladly sell it all to him. The No-TP man checks out with one roll.

We need to act now. We must demand that the only vaguely democratically elected body --- THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES -- stand up on its hind legs and take charge. We need to protest, like the nurses. We all need to protest at the offices of our member of the House of Representatives.

How will the House take charge? How will they demand that the country turn its gigantic resources to making the medical equipment necessary? How will they schedule the mass testing that must happen and get the supplies? How will they then quarantine all the people who test positive? How will they organize distribution of food and income subsidies so that people are not starving or evicted? They can figure that out. That's what happened during the Great Depression and World War II.

Yes, it would be lovely to have an inspired, humane and charismatic leader like FDR. But we ain't got that. And we won't have that even if Biden IS elected. And you know what? Maybe that's okay. Maybe this is our chance to connect to the woman or man who most closely represents US at the federal level, and make them RESPONSIVE to us!

Next Monday, April 27, at noon, I will be demonstrating in front of Congresswoman Pelosi's office. I urge you all to do the same in front of YOUR Congressperson's office. We will demonstrate properly masked and keeping 6 feet apart, like the nurses did. I urge you to organize in your own Congressional District. Or, if you live in the Bay Area, you are welcome to come to PELOSI'S office, since she is by far the most powerful elected Democrat in the land. And we will do it every Monday at noon until Congress starts doing what's needed!

Please reply and tell me what you're doing. And if anyone needs cardboard for picket signs, I have a zillion house signs left over from my campaign for Mayor, and you can come and pick some up. Please forward this to all who might be interested.

And if you can think of something that makes more sense than this plan, please tell me.

Alright! Now, the Walk:

Carolyn told me you could easily walk on the streetcar tracks to Dolores Park from 23rd St., because the J Church isn't running, as is true of most of the busses and streetcars in San Francisco. The J Church runs along people's backyards at that point, in an effort to avoid 22nd Street, which used to be in the Guinness Book of Records as the steepest street in the world.

Now Baldwin Street in Dunedin, New Zealand and Ffordd Pen Llech, in Harlech, Wales have been duking it out for steepest street. In fact, last year, it was Ffordd, but then the Dunedin folks pointed out the gradient was measured on the INSIDE CURVE, which is essentially cheating! But the Dunedinners are very gracious winners, acknowledging Harlech as a beautiful town.

ANYHOW, 22nd Street really used to be in the Guinness Book of Records. But I'm okay with letting it go. I mean, come on, it's like an embarrassment of riches here. I always feel bad when we win a sports championship, because it seems to me that other cities need it more.

So. The backyard streetcar tracks. On the way, I ran into a Pandemic birthday party! There's the birthday girl, Lisa, on the far right.

The entrance to the ILLEGAL tracks! As someone who tries desperately to break through her Good Girl heritage, I get a thrill doing anything the least bit against the law. What if I get CAUGHT??!?

A classic white Victorian with a bower of yellow roses. I'm partial to yellow roses. I have a bush in my backyard, planted in memory of my dear departed Marty Selim, master of muffins -- and everyone's favorite dinner guest. Not many like him survived the AIDS epidemic. No yellow roses blooming at the moment in my garden. These roses are a delicious deep buttery yellow. Mine are paler, but with more fragrance.

Oooohhh! Here's someone who's REALLY daring!

The pups had fun romping! On the left, Loulou's got four feet off the ground!

And then coming out at Dolores Park..

It's a wonderful sloped place with a view of downtown and the bay and the East Bay hills. Before the pandemic, it would ALWAYS be very crowded in nice weather. Dolores Park is used a LOT.

And then, on the way home, in the Castro, I came upon.....
All for today, Bloggelinis. I sure hope that some of you like my idea of doing something.

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