The Bomb

When I was a child, I had a recurring dream that I woke to find a wall running down the middle of my house. Over the course of the dream, the wall moved, until finally it was just outside my bedroom. At that point in the dream, I went into the closet, where there was a small hole in the floor for the bathroom pipes, and started to expand the hole so I could dig my way under the wall.

I always woke up then, so I don’t know if I ever escaped.

This dream showed up eight or ten times. The connection to the Berlin Wall is obvious, but I suspect it was brought on by general Cold War fear-mongering. The Russians are coming! Communists are hiding under your bed!

And, of course, The Bomb.

The alert debacle in Hawaii, coupled with the “who has the biggest button” debate, has put me back in mind of those days when we worried about whether some idiot would decide nuclear war was in their country’s best interest. Truth is, I thought we’d moved on from that. Maybe someone would drop a dirty bomb somewhere. Maybe a nuclear power plant would blow up. But I didn’t think the Fail Safe scenario was still on the table.

Yet another reminder to never underestimate just how stupid things can get in this Best of All Possible Countries.

I picked up most of my childhood fear from headlines and television. Fortunately, my school did not do the duck-and-cover drills, maybe because Friendswood was run by Quakers, and while they were conservative Quakers, they were still against wars. And my parents laughed at the people building bomb shelters.

But the fear still slipped in and came out in my dreams.

In recent years, many other bogeymen have been thrown up to scare us all. Crime always works. Terrorism, too, especially if it can be tied to some other country. (Apparently we aren’t supposed to be scared of mass shootings by white men, even though that’s a more common kind of terrorism.)

September 11 caused a lot of fear. As someone who lived in Washington and whose sister lived (and lives) three blocks from where the World Trade Center used to be, I was properly scared. But then I got more scared by what those in power were doing with that fear.

I re-read Catch-22 when I was waiting to be screened for my first plane ride after September 11, because I was already starting to worry more about the abuses my government was committing in the name of “security” than I was about terrorist attacks.

But now we’re back to The Bomb, because despite various efforts to reduce the number of nuclear weapons over the past seventy years, we still have enough of them to wipe out the Earth over and over and over.

And while I can be cynical about other scare tactics and even occasionally find some hope that we will deal with the non-war problem humanity faces with climate change, I’m still scared of The Bomb.

I’d blame that on the childhood fear-mongering, except that the trouble is that we, in fact, have a huge stockpile of very dangerous weapons under the control of people who, at best, tend to think that sometimes doing the unthinkable is necessary. (That doesn’t take into consideration the ones who would give the same amount of thought to dropping a bomb as they do to sending out a tweet.)

I notice that the Atomic Scientists are worried, too.

Last year I kept pointing out that I didn’t want to march in the streets again. Been there, done that, back when I was young enough to find it exciting.

I don’t want to worry about The Bomb again, either. If I’ve got to worry (and despite being at heart an optimist, I do worry), it would be nice if I could limit my worrying to new stuff, like sea level rise and mudslides and artificial intelligence developed by people who also pride themselves on their pragmatist, sometimes you must do the unthinkable, reasoning.

But it appears we are cursed with fallout from the human habit of never quite fixing one problem before lurching on to the next.

I’ll be at the Oakland branch of the Women’s March this Saturday.

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BVC Eats: COMFORT FOOD Dill Vegetable Dip

A garden bed of green, lacey dill plants

Dill plants

I can feel a few of you flinch from across the miles–Dill? Dill is pungent–it will knock your socks off!

Dill, carefully controlled, can be marvelous in a sour cream and real mayo dip. It was one of those easy dishes to teach a child, and one of two dips* my mother always tossed together for a quick party.

Here’s the basic recipe for the Dill Vegetable Dip. Do not approximate–extra herbs can change the balance, and Beau Monde is a mix. Extra mayo makes it smoother and oilier, so we stuck to 12 oz of sour cream to 8 oz. of mayo.

1 1/2 cups (12 oz.) real sour cream
1 cup (8 oz.) Hellman’s Real Mayonnaise**
2 Tbsp. minced dry onion***
2 Tbsp. dry shredded parsley
2 tsp. dried dill weed
2 tsp. Spice Islands Beau Monde seasoning

First swirl your sour cream and mayo together. Then sprinkle in your dried ingredients as you stir. I add them one at a time and mix by hand to get thorough blending.

Don’t taste it yet! The minced dry onion will be crunchy and the dip will have little flavor. Place in a container with a lid and refrigerate at least an hour–several hours is better. When you retrieve the dip you will have an awesome accompaniment to raw vegetables, plain corn chips and potato chips, and even baked potatoes.

Do you have a comfort dip you share far and wide?

*********
* (The second dip was using Lipton dried French Onion soup with sour cream. I can’t have that anymore–wheat gluten, yeast, and sulfites in the mix–but I have even dreamed of that one!)

** There are many wonderful regional mayos you could use–or make your own. But I don’t recommend a sandwich spread for this particular recipe. You need the sour cream-mayo mix.

***We’ve done the conversion and used dried onion powder instead of minced, so that can be done. But fresh anything gives you a very different dip.

Dill plants photo By H. Zell – Own work, CC BY-SA 3.0, Link

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About Inconsolable Rage and Forgiveness

If you have not seen Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri, go do so. I will not refuse to speak to you if you don’t, but really, I say this because it’s the best film I’ve seen this year.

I see a good number of light-weight comic book movies, and I love them–I used to edit comic books, I write science fiction and fantasy. I enjoy a good explosion or a superhero slugfest as much as the next pop-culture-addicted  woman. And some of the films I’ve seen this year use the fantastic to go deeper–Wonder Woman, Coco, The Last Jedi, and certainly The Shape of Water. But sometimes you want something grounded in the world. Dunkirk pulled off the trick of being epic in scale and simultaneously deeply personal; both it and Darkest Hour pull off that difficult trick with historical films: maintaining tension for a watcher who knows how the story came out (seriously, during Darkest Hour I was wildly frustrated with the politicians who wanted to make peace with German: “Guys, it’s Adolf Hitler!“). If I were to come up with one thing that ties all of these films, it’s courage, courage of various sorts, courage as nobility.

Three Billboards is in a class of its own. No one in the film is particularly noble, and the courage on display is not world-changing. The film is about anger and grief, and how uncomfortable we are with those emotions in other people. But it’s not an uncomfortable film. It’s funny and savage and never goes precisely where you expect. And it’s filled with extraordinary performances: Frances McDormand is always marvelous, as is Woody Harrelson. And Sam Rockwell is fearlessly loathsome, a deplorable. That the film is a mystery story of sorts is part of the point, and beside the point.

I’m maybe not being too clear about this: writing about things I admire makes me inarticulate. But please, because I like you: go see Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri.

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About Inconsolable Rage and Forgiveness

If you have not seen Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri, go do so. I will not refuse to speak to you if you don’t, but really, I say this because it’s the best film I’ve seen this year.

I see a good number of light-weight comic book movies, and I love them–I used to edit comic books, I write science fiction and fantasy. I enjoy a good explosion or a superhero slugfest as much as the next pop-culture-addicted  woman. And some of the films I’ve seen this year use the fantastic to go deeper–Wonder Woman, Coco, The Last Jedi, and certainly The Shape of Water. But sometimes you want something grounded in the world. Dunkirk pulled off the trick of being epic in scale and simultaneously deeply personal; both it and Darkest Hour pull off that difficult trick with historical films: maintaining tension for a watcher who knows how the story came out (seriously, during Darkest Hour I was wildly frustrated with the politicians who wanted to make peace with German: “Guys, it’s Adolf Hitler!“). If I were to come up with one thing that ties all of these films, it’s courage, courage of various sorts, courage as nobility.

Three Billboards is in a class of its own. No one in the film is particularly noble, and the courage on display is not world-changing. The film is about anger and grief, and how uncomfortable we are with those emotions in other people. But it’s not an uncomfortable film. It’s funny and savage and never goes precisely where you expect. And it’s filled with extraordinary performances: Frances McDormand is always marvelous, as is Woody Harrelson. And Sam Rockwell is fearlessly loathsome, a deplorable. That the film is a mystery story of sorts is part of the point, and beside the point.

I’m maybe not being too clear about this: writing about things I admire makes me inarticulate. But please, because I like you: go see Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri.

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About Inconsolable Rage and Forgiveness

If you have not seen Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri, go do so. I will not refuse to speak to you if you don’t, but really, I say this because it’s the best film I’ve seen this year.

I see a good number of light-weight comic book movies, and I love them–I used to edit comic books, I write science fiction and fantasy. I enjoy a good explosion or a superhero slugfest as much as the next pop-culture-addicted  woman. And some of the films I’ve seen this year use the fantastic to go deeper–Wonder Woman, Coco, The Last Jedi, and certainly The Shape of Water. But sometimes you want something grounded in the world. Dunkirk pulled off the trick of being epic in scale and simultaneously deeply personal; both it and Darkest Hour pull off that difficult trick with historical films: maintaining tension for a watcher who knows how the story came out (seriously, during Darkest Hour I was wildly frustrated with the politicians who wanted to make peace with German: “Guys, it’s Adolf Hitler!“). If I were to come up with one thing that ties all of these films, it’s courage, courage of various sorts, courage as nobility.

Three Billboards is in a class of its own. No one in the film is particularly noble, and the courage on display is not world-changing. The film is about anger and grief, and how uncomfortable we are with those emotions in other people. But it’s not an uncomfortable film. It’s funny and savage and never goes precisely where you expect. And it’s filled with extraordinary performances: Frances McDormand is always marvelous, as is Woody Harrelson. And Sam Rockwell is fearlessly loathsome, a deplorable. That the film is a mystery story of sorts is part of the point, and beside the point.

I’m maybe not being too clear about this: writing about things I admire makes me inarticulate. But please, because I like you: go see Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri.

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BVC Announces Exception to the Rules by Doranna Durgin

Wild Hearts Book 2: Exception to the Rules by Doranna DurginException to the Rules
Wild Hearts Collection: Book 2
by Doranna Durgin

You Can’t Go Home Again…

But Hunter Agency operative Kimmer Reed has to. She’d fled as a teen, swearing never to return, but now–vastly changed, greatly disguised–her latest assignment has brought her back. Still, watching over a computer genius who also has her own bodyguard should be a piece of cake–after all, who’d think to look for Carolyne Carlsen here?

Surprise. Everyone. And so Kimmer plays a dangerous cat-and-mouse game to keep her mission hidden, the genius protected–and the bodyguard far, far away….

~~~

“Imagine the pace of the TV show Alias, the smart, emotional whammy of Buffy, and characters you care about every minute.”
–Julie Czerneda, Aurora-winning Author of the Night’s Edge series

Buy Exception to the Rules at BVC Ebookstore

 

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BVC Announces Exception to the Rules by Doranna Durgin

Wild Hearts Book 2: Exception to the Rules by Doranna DurginException to the Rules
Wild Hearts Collection: Book 2
by Doranna Durgin

You Can’t Go Home Again…

But Hunter Agency operative Kimmer Reed has to. She’d fled as a teen, swearing never to return, but now–vastly changed, greatly disguised–her latest assignment has brought her back. Still, watching over a computer genius who also has her own bodyguard should be a piece of cake–after all, who’d think to look for Carolyne Carlsen here?

Surprise. Everyone. And so Kimmer plays a dangerous cat-and-mouse game to keep her mission hidden, the genius protected–and the bodyguard far, far away….

~~~

“Imagine the pace of the TV show Alias, the smart, emotional whammy of Buffy, and characters you care about every minute.”
–Julie Czerneda, Aurora-winning Author of the Night’s Edge series

Buy Exception to the Rules at BVC Ebookstore

 

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On the Lighter Side

The last year was rough on a number of fronts for a lot of people. I’ve been having a rough time keeping a positive outlook, and I used to be a happy-go-lucky person. I’ve always been easily amused–something I embrace (how is that insultingto be called  at all?) I got to thinking about how can I inoculate myself against the evils of crappy stuff happening in the world and to my friends and so on? Well, I can’t keep such stuff from affecting me entirely, and I wouldn’t want to–then I’d be a total psychopath.  But I can try to maintain a certain equilibrium. Positive equilibrium.

I do the usual stuff like some meditation, exercise, random dancing, dog snuggling, walking in nature, read, watch good movies (and bad), and I watch comedians. I especially like Jeanne Roberson. Here is one of my favorites:

I decided to actively pursue the lighter side of life. Finding the funny. Finding the joy in every situation I possibly can. I’m trying not to take myself to seriously, and trying to remember this one true thing: “This too shall pass.” Sadly, no knitting for now because of tennis elbow. I hope to get over that soon.

What sorts of things do you do and enjoy for the lighter side of things?

And then there’s Rollin’ Wild. What if animals were round? You should watch ALL the clips.

Oh, and a little PS. Watching a movie with an actor whose name is Preston Vanderslice. Isn’t that awesome???

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