Press "Enter" to skip to content

A Sunday afternoon ramble

Boy, this working for a living stuff is hard. Stimulating, challenging, often fun, and a great way to break a long financial drought. But hard.

This afternoon for the first time in quite a while, I was able to wrap up work before meandering in the woods with the dogs. Brilliantly sunny day — and we’ve had more of those than any winter I can ever remember here. I’m sorry for you in the east suffering all those Bad Boy winter storms (Zeus or Giorgio or Henri-Claude or whatever they’re calling them, these days). I’m sorry for you Californians facing a dangerously dry summer. But here? Glorious!

Anyhow, so instead of charging out and back for the sake of doggie exercise and canine elimination needs, I actually rambled. Meandered. I might have even managed a few minutes of strolling. It was amazing. Really.


And now I’m just rambling here. Just writing down whatever comes to mind. These little verbal expeditions tend to embarrass me, but they also draw a lot of thoughtful, touching comment. Which is I guess at least part of what this blog ought to be about. It’s one of the best feature’s of Joel’s blog, that he just exposes all those warts and lets you visit him inside the Secret Lair on good days and bad.


Still, other things go on in the world.

I watched Woody Allen’s Blue Jasmine last night. It wasn’t one of the greatest Woody Allen movies (that might be Midnight in Paris). But it featured the greatest performance of Cate Blanchett’s great career, and a surprisingly effective small part from — remember this guy? — Andrew Dice Clay.

The thing that, for me, made it only a good Woody Allen movie and not a great one, is that neither Allen nor his production designer/set decorator team have the foggiest idea what a working class apartment look like.

The allegedly run-down San Francisco apartment poor Jasmine Francis ends up in after she loses her fortune, is small. But it’s decorated to the nines! It’s like so Crate & Barrel idea of humble. Its walls are all dramatic burnt oranges, contrasted with crisp fall greens. Orange walls shade into gold walls — and all kinds of other things a poor grocery bagger with a beer-n-football-lovin’ boyfriend wouldn’t think of. The kitchen shelves are meant to look poor by being small and nothing but open boxes. But no! The dishes are arranged with a decorator’s touch, every hue harmonizes, and pots and pans hang brassily from the ceiling.

I mean, srsly people.

I know that Hollywood has often put middle-class characters into leafy hillside manses or SoHo lofts that they couldn’t afford if they pooled their money and slept 10 to a bed. But portrayals of the working class have usually been right on. Shabby houses, cheap goods, arranged without much style. Maybe some doily-level pride. Something like I remember from childhood. Filled with surly people, as often as not.

Well, the people were surly, though also salt-of-the-earth. But those damn designer walls distracted me through the whole movie. Even worse, the wall colors in the “poor” apartment had obviously been designed to reflect and blend with the rich side of Jasmine’s life. Which was exactly the wrong thing to do.

It was like in the otherwise terrific movie The Help, which would have been perfect except for Emma Stone running around with a hair-do decades later than the era the film was set in.

Oh well.

But why do they do that? Have they never heard of this minor little detail of their art — the need to create suspension of disbelief? Are they so enamored of this years particular shade of puce or that cute perky bounce of the hair that they’re willing to lose a certain discerning part of their audience?

I know different things bother different people. Bad gun handling in a movie that is all guns all the time is a crazymaker. But you could chalk that up to ignorance and carelessness. This they do on purpose.


Here’s a random link while I wait for the next thing to waft into my mind:

Millennials turn out to be as naive and easy to manipulate as the religious right.


And another, as I wait for brilliant sunflowers to open in my head: MamaLiberty’s excellent “Unreported” — about the crimes that never happen because we’re aware and prepared.


Now actually, I have four more tabs with intending-to-blog links in them. But I’m still intending to do something with them. I’ll mention them only briefly here.

Something about how those who thought they were doing right by getting concealed carry permits are now paying an increasing price. Something else about consequences for tyrants.

But — by golly — I’ve run out of everything else that’s accessible in my brain. And those four I’m going to save. So that is that. Sunday went where Sunday would — and didn’t get very far. It apparently didn’t merely meander or stroll. It moseyed before settling down for a nap.

Sorry. But at least it’s out there. I Have Blogged.

I do apologize for “lite” blogging lately and I can’t promise it’s going to change very soon. Maybe March? Who knows? So I really thank you for coming back here and finding it worth your while.


  1. Larry Black
    Larry Black January 26, 2014 4:56 pm

    Have been reading you for a while. Feb Swat article was dead on and said what so many of us try but are ineffective. Good to meander every once in a while. Have been working politically defending Constitution part. 2nd Amend. However now I realize it is first a cultural battle.if we lose the culture battle (already lost?) then there is no way to win the political battle. Got any hope?

  2. Stephen
    Stephen January 26, 2014 5:54 pm

    When I write i tend to ramble too. It’s good for you.

  3. Shel
    Shel January 26, 2014 8:01 pm

    “Lite” is fine for me, especially if it’s because you are doing something useful for you. I wonder if one of those programs, like Dragon, that converts speech to text would be helpful. Perhaps you could meander with a recorder and a lapel mike or something thereby keeping your hands free.

    LB: If you’re active in 2nd Amendment issues, you probably know that GOA is saying illegals will vote 8 to 1 against supporting the Constitution and there are 8 to 11.5 million illegals. The mainstream Republicans will support amnesty because the big businesses want the cheap labor. There has to be a tipping point somewhere; one always wonders if the next big thing is it.

  4. RickB
    RickB January 27, 2014 3:15 am

    Thanks for the update.
    From what I’ve read in various biographies, many great writers took long walks.
    Beats having to get drunk!

  5. MamaLiberty
    MamaLiberty January 27, 2014 5:17 am

    Thanks, Claire, for posting the link. Been doing a lot of deep thinking on this, so there is more to come. πŸ™‚

    And I’d love to take a long walk outside with my mutt… but it is -3 right now, and very dark. Looking at April sometime for increased outdoor exercise here, but I’m so glad you have that opportunity.

  6. Karen
    Karen January 27, 2014 5:36 am

    Not just a meander, but healthy exercise and replenishing your vitamin D. What could be better on a Sunday afternoon? πŸ™‚

  7. water lily
    water lily January 27, 2014 6:08 am

    I didn’t like Blue Jasmine, except for Blanchett’s acting, of course. It reminded me of those people I knew when I worked on Wall Street. And yes, the sister’s home decor was very distracting. Was the movie supposed to be a remake of A Streetcar Named Desire. Who knows? I used to like many of Woody Allen’s movies, but I think the last good one he made was Midnight in Paris, which I love.

    The concealed carry permit news story is indeed something to ponder.

    Regarding meandering vs. working, I always carry my little voice recorder with me. If inspiration strikes, I’m ready.

    Today will be the first mild weather day here in a while. I think I’ll wash the car and go for a walk!

  8. LarryA
    LarryA January 27, 2014 9:47 am

    [Something about how those who thought they were doing right by getting concealed carry permits are now paying an increasing price.]

    Waiting for that one.

    Yeah, Constitutional carry and we shouldn’t need a permit for a right etc. I’m a believer.

    But concealed handgun license laws accomplished four very important goals.
    1. They were possible. Had Marion Hammer held out for Constitutional carry in Florida it wouldn’t have passed and started the ball rolling. We would be lucky to still have right-to-carry in Vermont. Instead 42 states are on board, including four with no-license carry.
    2. CHLs created a discrete group of gun owners who could be studied. It surprised a lot of people when they turned out to be responsible, peaceful citizens from diverse backgrounds.
    3. Concealed carry gave the lie to the blood-in-the-street predictions by the anti-gun folks. As state after state went right-to-carry without the predicted disastrous results the Brady folks and VPC lost most of their credibility.
    4. Now more and more people are realizing how dangerous “gun-free” zones are. Without CHLs most of the U.S. would still be “gun-free” and the distinction would not exist.

    So I’m kind of glad that wave happened.

  9. Claire
    Claire January 27, 2014 10:36 am

    Excellent points, LarryA. I admit I was dead set against the CCW permit movement when it started, but I also admit it laid the groundwork for a lot of good things — including (so unexpectedly!) the small-but-growing constitutional carry movement. I’m still wildly uneasy about getting government permits for self-defense, but a lot of my friends have done just that and they give good reasons.

  10. dsc
    dsc January 27, 2014 12:56 pm

    Always enjoy reading your posts no matter how “lite” they may be. Good thing February is a short month.

  11. naturegirl
    naturegirl January 27, 2014 1:15 pm

    Meandering is good, especially if you have the weather for it. I bet the fur babies loved it too!

    As for movie sets, there’s awards for that. And sometimes the wish for one causes ridiculous designs to show up.

    Just poking your head in here to let us know you haven’t gotten buried underneath other peoples’ work (and not just your own) is appreciated πŸ™‚

  12. jed
    jed January 27, 2014 4:20 pm

    I have always been dead-set against licensed CCW, for myself. Yet I recognize Larry’s points, and the arguments of my friends who’ve gotten their license. Now, it there a disconnect between that and my decision to get my amateur radio license? I can envision that argument too.

    Meanwhile, Cats v. toilet paper.

  13. Paul Bonneau
    Paul Bonneau January 27, 2014 4:25 pm

    [This they do on purpose.]

    To me, it is more like carelessness or laziness. They *could* go to the raunchy part of town and shoot their movie there, but, “Eeuuwwwh!” They’d have to put up with the smells, etc. They figure their audience will simply not notice the lack of authenticity, and they are probably mostly right. But for those of us who do notice, the movies really lose their appeal because of it. Eh, they are a bunch of phonies anyway, living in their own little artificial world. Can you see Woody Allen with a wrench in his hand, or picking up a garbage can? I can’t. They are hothouse orchids.

    That’s a great article about progressives, but it fails in one respect: to note that it could ever be otherwise, in a winner-takes-all political structure. When everyone is grabbing for that cudgel of power, guess who is going to be successful at getting it? The connected, the corporate insiders, the ruling class. Guess who will end up sucking the hind tit, over and over again? The mass movements of conservatives, tea partiers, liberals, progressives and what-not. Suckered yet again, what else is new? All is working as planned for those in power. Maybe people ought to give Panarchy a try, where liberals can be liberals, conservatives can be conservatives, and so forth, all at the same time.

    Susan, it sounds like you live an exciting life. πŸ™‚

    [LB: If you’re active in 2nd Amendment issues, you probably know that GOA is saying illegals will vote 8 to 1 against supporting the Constitution…]

    Hmmm, why should the votes of “illegal” people matter, when the votes of legal people don’t? I doubt they really do matter. I suspect another “divide and conquer” tactic here. My own impression is that home-grown ‘Mericans are just as susceptible to the siren song of socialism, if not more so, than Mexicans. I bet a lot of Mexicans have guns too, if they can afford them, since they often have to live in the poorer, more crime-ridden parts of town. Anyway your RKBA does not depend on what others, be they members of Congress or poor Mexicans, do. It depends on what *you* do.

  14. jed
    jed January 27, 2014 5:20 pm

    Ramblin’ on, Erin has kicked off Blue Collar Prepping. I never thought of prepping as having a collar at all, much less what color it might be. So, I have to guess that “white collar” prepping is like having that armor-plate and concrete safe room with the bank vault door, and a contingent of oh-so tactical armed guards at your beck and call, to actually deal with that yucky stuff out there. That yucky stuff, being partially composed of the rest of us — “blue collar” preppers. I guess there must be some other collar colors too.

  15. Shel
    Shel January 27, 2014 7:28 pm

    It may be that votes don’t matter, at least Michael Savage thought that about the 2012 election

    Phyllis Schlafly gives a lot more detailed information on the voting patterns of immigrants, if of course the studies are to be believed.

    We all know that divide and conquer is a staple tactic of Obama and that the NRA will exaggerate things for their benefit. I don’t understand what motivation GOA would have to do this, unless it’s to increase their donations as well. Perhaps that’s the case, but I think they would do better to try to appeal to immigrants, if they believed them to be amenable, which they apparently don’t.

  16. Kent McManigal
    Kent McManigal January 28, 2014 8:34 am

    If voting could make a thing right, or legitimate…. but it can’t. I don’t care where a person was born or what papers they have. No one has a “right” to vote to violate anyone else. Including by establishing imaginary “borders”.

  17. Debbie from Maine
    Debbie from Maine January 29, 2014 8:15 am

    Claire, just wanted to say thankyou for all your thoughts and ideas. Keep it up at whatever pace you can. I also want to thankyou for the link to Mama Libertys e book. Have it and read and reread parts of it. And I plan on practicing when it isn’t so bitter cold here. Again thankyou and keep writing.

Leave a Reply