Posted in Robert and …

“Robert and …” #17

A blog category of pics I’ve taken of HR (Hubby Robert) and … well, just about anything

Robert and … mansplaining. Here’s HR in his gay Smirnoff t-shirt at breakfast, left hand either furtively hiding something he doesn’t want me to see or gesturing awkwardly, as he drones on and on about some trivial topic or other. If I remember correctly (and don’t hold me to it, my mind often wanders/wonders), I think he was painstakingly explaining to me how important it is to double check the forks and spoons after washing them (our dishwasher is ill right now), since I tend to just let a little drizzle of water touch them before tossing them in the dish drying rack …

“And the thing is, Neal, you MIGHT want to look more closely for little pieces of food or butter or soap bubbles or whatever on the forks and spoons because, YOU KNOW, that’s probably not all that good for us … … … ….”
Posted in Humor

Here’s What I Have to Put Up With

I don’t know about you, and I don’t claim to be an exercise physiologist, so correct me if I am wrong, but I always thought that walking involved movement. Especially your legs propelling you forward.

HR comes from an alternative school of thought. The “Walk Till You See Something—ANYTHING—That Grabs Your Attention Philosophy.” Then stop and take multitudinous (Is that a word?) photos of the attention grabber. You can always edit—and walk—later.

So this morn, we ventured out on our SMW (Sunday Morning Walk), which we often do instead of church (nature’s sermons are much more interesting).

If I wanted to hold a grudge, I could document at least a dozen “attention grabbers” Robert stopped for this morn. But let’s allow two to suffice.

We paused for a good five minutes at this “interesting” old chopped-up bush.

I think I’ve told you this before, but Robert NEVER thinks to inform me that he is going to “stop for the op.” After all, his attention has been grabbed! I usually end up walking at least a block away, chattering animatedly about some important topic, like how disappointed I was in the last season of The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel. When I realize HR’s nowhere near me, I turn around and head back, ignoring the sympathetic stares and giggles of people who heard me talking to myself.

And looky here …

A caterpillar! (A good ten minutes.)

This stop was multidimensional for Robert. 1. To take twelve dozen photos. 2. Good Samaritan-ly to save an innocent life. The caterpillar was in the middle of the sidewalk. (We watched the Tiny Worlds documentary series.)

It’s important to take the time to document the caterpillar’s body from EVERY conceivable angle.

Here are a few of HR’s pics …

See what I have to put up with?

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But when all is said and done—and photographed—I do love our walks. And I do love HR.

Southern Magnolia bloom

He’s my blossom.

Posted in Seeing Race and Racism

Seeing Race and Racism #3 “Look Up”

So HR (Husband Robert—you should know that by now!) and I ventured up to Atlanta this past weekend to see, believe it or not, the Atlanta Opera‘s rendition of “The (R)evolution of Steve Jobs.” Beyond fascinating, the opera focused not only on Jobs’ incredible technological accomplishments but even more on his nature as a flawed human, similar to all tragic heroes. And like each of us, I suppose.

Near the opera’s end, at Steve’s memorial service (you may remember that he died of pancreatic cancer), wife Laureen sang a cautionary song about the advice an evolved Jobs would perhaps give to the world: “Version 2.0 of Steve might say: ‘Look up (from your phones), look out, look around. Look at the stars. Look at the sky. Take in the light.’”

Of course, walking out of the Cobb Energy Center after the performance, many in the departing crowd were multitasking by seamlessly looking down at their “One Device” (including me, I must confess), while walking without falling.

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While in Atlanta Robert and I stayed at the incredibly beautiful Georgian Terrace Hotel on famous Peachtree Street.

The Georgian Terrace Hotel

The grand old hotel, completed in 1911, has hosted Presidents and other luminaries over the decades. (Btw, we got a good deal, and an upgrade—we always request them everywhere we go. Try it.) And one morning we learned, after grabbing our morning coffee and chocolate croissants on the hotel’s terrace, that the stars of “Gone With The Wind”lodged at the Georgian Terrace for the 1939 World Premier of the iconic movie.

Historical marker just off the hotel’s massive terrace

But hold on just a second. Our history lesson was about to take a somber turn. See the last sentence in the historical marker’s second paragraph? “Clark Cable, Vivian Leigh, and most of the ‘Gone with the Wind’ cast stayed here ….” Interpretation: the white actors stayed at the Georgian Terrace, not the black actors. The black professional actors did not stay at the Georgian Terrace because they were not allowed to attend the world premiere at nearby Loew’s Grand Theatre. The Grand was a segregated theatre in 1939.

Butterfly McQueen (“Prissy”) did not attend. Hattie McDaniel (“Mammy”) did not attend, even though she won an Oscar for Best Supporting Actress.

Butterfly McQueen and Hattie McDaniel on the set of Gone with the Wind

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Here’s Robert, in front of the hotel’s very cool multi-level marble staircase, which Clark Gable, “Rhett,” probably traversed.

And here’s Robert on the 17th story rooftop (we bypassed the fancy stairs for the elevator), beside the pool.

Do you see that little bump in the distance, to the left of HR’s head?

To the far left in the photo below.

It’s Stone Mountain.

(travel channel.com)

Ever heard of it? Well, Stone Mountain is a quartz monzonite dome monadnock (okay, that’s a mouthful). “The mountain is the world’s largest single piece of exposed granite. It weighs over a trillion pounds and covers 583 acres. Only about a third of it is visible above ground. It was formed completely underground and has been uncovered over millions of years of erosion.” (stonemountainguide.com)

It is also the home of Stone Mountain Park.

From the “Explore Georgia” website … “Stone Mountain Park is Georgia’s most visited attraction. With more than 3,200 acres, the park is a unique destination where guests can experience an exciting variety of attractions, entertainment, and recreation. Check out Sky Hike, the nation’s largest family adventure course in the treetops … The Lasershow Spectacular at Stone Mountain Park is the world’s longest-running laser show. Other attractions include Summit Skyride, Dinosaur Explore, Dinotorium, Historic Square, Farmyard, Camp Highland Outpost, Scenic Railroad, Great Locomotive Chase Adventure, Geyser Towers, golf, and museums.”

But there’s something else at Stone Mountain, something that’s kept pretty low in the advertising. “The largest high-relief sculpture in the world depicts hand-chiseled figures of the Civil War. At Memorial Hall, visitors can see the carving’s original designs, scale models, and an 11-minute feature film.”

The carving depicts three Confederate leaders: Jefferson Davis (President of the Confederacy), Robert E. Lee (a general and overall commander of the Confederate States Army) and Stonewall Jackson (another Confederate general and one of the best known commanders after Lee).

But that’s all in the past, right? Old history.

Climbing up, 2021. ABC News

I SO agree with The Stone Mountain Action Coalition about the problem TODAY with the carving …

“Stone Mountain Park, a public park owned by the State of Georgia, is the world’s largest Confederate memorial and shrine to white supremacy. The Park is the birthplace of the modern Ku Klux Klan and was established as an official Confederate memorial by the State in resistance to desegregation and the civil rights movement. To this day, the Park’s prominent hateful symbols continue to cause pain and attract hate groups and violence.” (stone mountain coalition.com)

And with ideas about what could be done …

“The Stone Mountain Action Coalition wants to reclaim Stone Mountain Park from the state-sponsored Confederacy. We are calling for immediate changes including removing Confederate flags, renaming Park streets and features currently honoring Confederate and Ku Klux Klan figures, and advocating for new legislation to address the restrictive Georgia laws that require the Park to serve as a Confederate memorial.”

Stacey Abrams says it best …

“Confederate monuments belong in museums where we can study and reflect on that terrible history, not in places of honor across our state. Paid for by founders of the 2nd KKK, the monument had no purpose other than celebration of racism, terror & division.” (Fox 5 Atlanta)

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I’m married to a black man.

And even though we talk about all of this, I can’t truly understand his feelings and responses to it all. The horror goes back, way back, to the founding of our nation, built on the backs of slave labor. When all men were created equal.

Well, except for black folks. And indigenous folks.

States (including my own) are now passing laws making it illegal to tell what truly happened in our past, “Gone with the Winding” our racist legacy. “Protecting our children” from … truth. Here in Georgia, less than a month ago, misguided Governor Brian Kemp signed into law House Bill 1084, unconstitutionally banning free-speech discussions of “divisive concepts.”

cnn.com

Note #1: The celebratory revelers are overwhelmingly lily white.

Note #2: The location of the signing is Cumming, Georgia. Here’s another historical marker, this one in downtown Cumming, remembering the city’s and Forsyth County’s incredibly violent and racist past.

Question #1: Brazen insensitivity or purposeful symbolism?

Question #2: Why are So Many So Afraid of recognizing the significance of the year 1619? The year 20-30 enslaved Africans arrived in Virginia?

hampton.gov
In my old faithful study chair. With our newest read.

Question #3: Why keep the stone mountain hidden, obscured underground? Some things need to be uncovered, exposed.

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Maybe 2.0 Steve Jobs was right. We might be better off looking up, looking out, looking around, away from denial of what was, and in many ways, what still is.

Away from the racist carving near the base of the mountain. And up to the yellow daisies that occasionally appear on the summit.

Letting in the light.

New Georgia Encyclopedia
Martin Luther King Jr.
Posted in Robert and …

“Robert and …” #16

A blog category of pics I’ve taken of HR (Hubby Robert) and … well, just about anything.

Robert and … a silly/terrifying blue-haired wooden Easter chick thing, eerily close to some Spanish moss on a tree trunk, showcasing his gay watch band, as well as both his little squirrel necklace (remember HR’s nickname is Squirrel) and his bear necklace (don’t get me started on that). Oh, and of course, a children’s playground in the background.

Posted in Humor

This Is What

So this is what I have to put up with when Robert and I go out for a morning walk.

“Just a second, let me snap a quick picture or two.”

I can either put my Apple Watch fitness thingy on Pause and just stand there, or shake my arm to confuse the watch into thinking I’m still walking. Which causes great exhaustion after one long minute.

HR finding beauty in a retaining pool

Or throw together a quick blog post.