Friday, September 30, 2022

September Words of Wisdom

I like old bookstores, the smell of coffee brewing, rainy day naps, farmhouse porches, and sunsets. I like the sweet, simple things that remind me that life doesn't have to be complicated to be beautiful. --Brooke Hampton
Today I will not stress over the things I can't control and I will enjoy this beautiful day. --Brigitte Nicole 

The love of heaven makes one heavenly. --William Shakespeare
The higher we soar the smaller we appear to those who cannot fly. --Friedrich Nietzsche  

Don't be afraid of being outnumbered. Eagles fly alone. Pigeons flock together. --Unknown
I don't want to be part of a world where being kind is a weakness. --Keanu Reeves
Solitude is dangerous. It's addictive. Once you see how peaceful it is, you no longer want to deal with people. --Mia Siya
Cats have no guilt and very little shame. --Ursula K. Le Guin 

No mud, no lotus. --Thich Nhat Hanh
Stop looking for happiness in the same place you lost it. -Unknown 
When walking through the valley of shadows, remember, a shadow is cast by a light. --Austin O'Malley
When buying and selling are controlled by legislation, the first things to be bought and sold are legislators. --P.J. O'Rourke
Leaders with good intentions make promises, but leaders with good character keep them. --Tim Tebow

No great country can say it is secure without being able to control its borders. --Joe Biden (2007)
You cannot subsidize irresponsibility and expect people to become more responsible. --Thomas Sowell
People pay for what they do, and still more for what they have allowed themselves to become. And they pay for it very simply; by the lives they lead. --James Baldwin

Sunday, September 25, 2022

CSI: Sacramento

When he's not being crowned U-Haul Salesman of the Year for his role in the mass exodus of Californians worn down by Dem policies to more freedom loving states, Gavin Newsom is addressing other important issues that require his immediate attention (unlike the homeless crisis, crime, and record-high gas prices). Check this out:

That sound you hear is Golden State crime writers firing up their laptops. Because (all together now) what could possibly go wrong and how can I use it in a story
Kind of reminds me of this:

Thanks for the story fodder, Gavin! At least he's making himself useful to Californians for a change. 

Tuesday, September 20, 2022

God rest her soul

"Those who serve will be loved and remembered when those who cling to power and privileges are long forgotten."
Justin Welby, Archbishop of Canterbury

Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II has been laid to rest at Windsor Castle with her beloved husband Prince Philip, and along with the rest of her family: her parents King George and Queen Elizabeth (The Queen Mum) and her sister Princess Margaret.

The BBC's closing monologue to their coverage of the Queen's funeral (and also their non-stop coverage since having to announce her death on September 8) delivered beautifully by Kirsty Young:

What a momentous day it's been, from the might of the military parades and the splendor of Westminster Abbey, to that hushed intimacy of St. George's Chapel in Windsor. It's often felt in recent days that a veil of sorrow has covered the nation, but the Queen's funeral has surely exemplified her reign. She unified us in one final act of togetherness, unifying the United Kingdom and indeed the world beyond in respect, ceremony, and significance.

As a very young woman she famously said her whole life, whether it be long or short, would be devoted to our service; well, never was a person truer to their word and today we have come together, many of us with tears in our eyes, but all of us with an abiding warmth in our hearts for all that she gave.

Just over three months ago the world - and a certain little bear - said, "Thank you for everything," and the Queen looked as though she thoroughly enjoyed the occasion. We will surely be ever grateful to have had that final opportunity to celebrate with Her Majesty her remarkable long reign. If, as she once said, "Grief is the price we pay for love," then the weight of our collective sorrow is testament to the depth of affection in which she is held.  

She made history, she was history. Queen Elizabeth II is gone, but she will surely never be forgotten.

You can watch it on this thread on Twitter.


Sunday, September 18, 2022

Flights of Angels

The BBC has had a live feed of the Queen's Lying-in-State since Thursday, after her family accompanied her coffin to Westminster Hall and the public, which had been queuing up for miles, was finally let in to pay their respects. And I've been watching it obsessively ever since. Witnessing the mass of British subjects, many of whom had been in line for ten hours or more, pay their respects to the only monarch most of them had ever known, was a riveting, moving, and addicting viewing experience. I'm going to miss them when the lying-in-state ends and the feed goes dark.

To the British people, thank you for sharing this amazing part of your tradition during what must have been a devastating time for you. I'm going to miss seeing you all.

Note: All images are screenshots taken from the BBC's Live Feed.

Updated 8:12pm (PDT) - The lines are thinning out:

Updated 10:35pm (PDT) - It's over.

Rest in peace, Your Majesty.

Wednesday, September 14, 2022

The Ugly American

Meghan Markle has been making an unfortunate spectacle of herself since the day she was fixed up on a "blind date" with some random British guy she had never heard anything about, had no idea who he was, and didn't bother to Google, mewling only (she says), "Is he kind?"

The funny thing about that particular story (one of her many works of fiction) is that according to many sources, if someone asked the same of her the answer would be a resounding, "HELL, NO!"

I won't get into the countless times she has slagged the royal family, their customs and protocols, and their people since that fateful, gold-digging date; they are legion and you could probably find them by using that Google thing. Some info can be found here, and keep in mind that book was released in 2020, before things got really ugly. Abusing palace staff as well as driving the then-Duchess of Cambridge to tears (then lying and claiming she was the one left crying), and generally acting as if it wasn't just her husband who'd been to the manor born.

Keep in mind, most of us (me included) had no idea who Meghan Markle was when she arranged to be fixed up for a hot date with a ginger prince, and we would still have no idea today had she not managed to get him to put a ring on it. Without marrying up, Suits would most likely have been the high point of her Hollywood career. Her acting was apparently mediocre at best. Heck, did you see The Queen's performance in the Paddington Bear skit for her Jubilee? Probably better than any of Markle's performances. Certainly more sweetly sincere.
Speaking of her performances and her insistence on playing the race card, how about this tidbit? A while back, someone on YouTube did an analysis for Markle's imdb entry. She specifically looked at how many of the characters she played were important enough to warrant a full first and last name. Here are the results, from most recent:

Rachel Zane - Suits (series)
Amy Peterson - When Sparks Fly (TV movie)
Charlotte Boyd - Castle (series)
Officer Leah Montoya - CSI: Miami (series)
Jr. FBI Agent Amy Jessup - Fringe (series)
Holly Shepard - Without a Trace (series)
Annie Ortiz - Knight Rider (series)
Sadie Valencia - Good Behavior (TV movie)
Kelly Calhoun - The Apostles (TV movie)
Veronica Perez - CSI: NY (series)
Teresa Santos - Love, Inc. (series)

Notice anything? Out of the eleven roles she played that warranted a full name, five of the eleven - almost half - have Latina/Hispanic surnames. Montoya, Ortiz, Valencia, Perez, and Santos. Latinas.

This tells me a couple of things: One, that her mixed race wasn't much of a barrier to being cast (her acting, on the other hand...) Casting agents seemed to find her believable as both Latinas and non-Latinas. Word is some of her high school classmates assumed she was Italian. But the point is, these roles were given to a non-Latina actress and therefore took career and employment opportunites away from actual Latina actresses. If Meghan was so attuned to all the racial stuff she claims to be a victim of, shouldn't she have declined these roles? Surely a small price to pay to make the world a better place, empower her Latina sisters, and all that other self-made, independent woman stuff Markle is fond of blabbing about.

And now word is coming out that Markle is already wanting to know about her inheritance from the Queen and titles for her half-royal rugrats. Couldn't even wait until the woman has been buried. Greedy and grasping. Having said that, I would pay top dollar to see this scenario play out:

Her Majesty was nobody's fool. My guess is that any inheritance Prince Harry and his children receive from her will be part of a trust with strict guidelines about how the money can be accessed and used in order to be kept out of Meghan's grubby mitts.

Sunday, September 11, 2022

Never forget

Many have, I never will.
I will also never forget how meaningful this was at the time. We needed a kind gesture like this and guess who gave it to us.


From the video description: 

In a break from traditional protocol, Queen Elizabeth II of Great Britain ordered the change to the daily ceremonial parade to show solidarity with the United States in the wake of the 9-11 attacks. Prince Andrew, representing his mother, was joined by the US ambassador to Britain, William Farish, for the 45-minute ceremony. 

As the band of the Coldstream Guards began the US national anthem hundreds in the crowd sang along while others wept, before observing a two-minute silence. 

An incredible moment for both nations.

Saturday, September 10, 2022

Truly the end of an era

RIP Queen Elizabeth II, who died peacefully Thursday at Balmoral Castle in Scotland. She was the longest serving monarch in British history, and the second-longest in the history of the world (only a French king served longer and she was only a couple years behind him).

One of the saddest sights (of many) of the COVID era was the sight of her sitting alone at the funeral of her beloved husband Prince Philip. I wished someone could have just gone over and sat down next to her so she didn't have to go through that alone. I hope they are now spending a glorious eternity together.

This double-rainbow appeared over Buckingham Palace just before the Queen's death was officially announced.

At the age of 21 the then-Princess Elizabeth made this pledge to her people:

“I declare before you all that my whole life, whether it be long or short, shall be devoted to your service and the service of our great imperial family to which we all belong. But I shall not have the strength to carry out this resolution alone unless you join in it with me, as I now invite you to do: I know that your support will be unfailingly given. God help me to make good my vow, and God bless all of you who are willing to share in it.”
She was a woman of her word - just two days before her passing, she cheerfully and graciously received the new Prime Minister.

God knows the woman has earned her eternal rest, but the world is a poorer place without her.

More words of wisdom from a very wise and eloquent woman:
"Each day is a new beginning, I know that the only way to live my life is to try to do what is right, to take the long view, to give of my best in all that the day brings, and to put my trust in God."
On her husband, Prince Philip: "He is someone who doesn't take easily to compliments. But he has quite simply been my strength and stay all these years. And I, and his whole family, and this and many other countries, owe him a debt greater than he would ever claim, or we shall ever know.
"I pray God will never let me know the last time I ride a horse."

If you like, you can leave a message of condolence at the Royal Family's official website.

That's Her Majesty Queen Badass to you.

Images snicked from the internets. Let me know if any are yours so I can give credit where credit is due.