Shaky Ground

30 years ago today. The earth shook. In San Francisco. 4-month old baby. New nanny. 27th Floor swayed. Aftershocks still resonate.

Now shifting political plates. Prez & Congress seismic clashing daily. Even Republicans quaking about Syria. Lackluster Democrat candidates. Need new people to stablize the temblors.

Romney? Kasich? Haley? v. Bloomberg? Oprah?

Post Stuffington Post

Balloonistas from far and wide have left the ‘hood. Bleachers still up. Banging and clanging to come for the annual return of our sidewalk. Soon. We hope. Along Central Park West. Can park on our block again. Even if the No Parking signs linger. Scissors at the ready or they’d be up until May.

A rollicking fun weekend. Delicious non-turkey feast at the Oxbow. Parades. Family visits. Post Stuffington Frittata. Respite from politics. Even if. Some wore their opinions on t-shirts for lively dinner conversations. Until next year.

Queens Rule

Ocasio-Cortez had a positive message. She did not focus on her gender or ethnicity nor did she dwell on hating Trump. But rather gave her attention to girls behind the bars and guys in the garbage trucks. Yup. That will win back working class votes. Well done. Even though. She’s an avowed Socialist. So. A blue county turns bluer. Doesn’t change the congressional landscape and moves the party further left. Works in Queens. Swing districts. Not so much.

Speaking of queens. Stephen Frears of The Queen directs the quirky cheeky A Very English Scandal on Amazon. Homosexuality in the Beatles-era. Based on the story of MP Jeremy Thorpe portrayed brilliantly by Hugh Grant. Excellent ensemble cast.

Oh Da Joy

Don’t remember smiling as much as in the past couple of days. Papa Francesco. President Obama giddy in his presence. John Boehner stepped down in emotional tears of relief. In one day, U.S. Government turned on its head. Standing O and Mo Rocca at MSG Mass. Harlem school kids taking selfies as they chanted and sang. Multi-religious cultural core of Pope’s message.

Teacher, too. I’d never heard of Dorothy Day nor Thomas Merton. Until he included them with American icons Abraham Lincoln and Martin Luther King. Now I’ve learned who they are. Evoked the gaucho epic poem Martín Fierro at the U.N. Hadn’t read that since Spanish major in college. The quintessential forefather of Pampas Pastor Bergoglio. Inspirational interlude. Grazie Papa.

New American Divide

Peggy Noonan‘s piece in the Wall Street Journal analyzes the new voting “base”. From her New York neighborhood to the Trump-nomenon. Elites vs. non-elites with no particular party loyalty. Confounding pundits and reporters alike.

And then there’s the arcane paradigm pitting men against women. It’s beyond insulting to think that women vote in a mindless monolithic block. Hillary’s history-making inevitability. Really? Wondering why H-Rod and bff aide Huma Abedin stayed married to bimbo-eruptor Bill and sleaze dog Weiner. How does that recommend them to repudiate acts against. Wait for it. Women. Or girls.

Sunday Bells

Fifty years since MLK’s Dream. Let Freedom. As the country becomes more khaki with every generation, it may be achieved. Meanwhile, there’s a tea party faction chiming in on impeaching the first Black President. For what reason?!

Perfect weather as a wedding carillon sang out at Helen Hills Hills chapel in Northampton. Love & laughter for R&JB. Birthday wishes ringing for sister CindyJo. Golfing queen. Julie Harris, “The Belle of Amherst” sadly gone. Mount Holyoke College and Emily Dickinson extoll her perennial portrayal.

Pristine scene as Lady Liberty looms over every green at the Barclays. Manhattan skyline beyond clear as a … well.   Bon weekend.

Slippery Soap

Fellowes’ Downton is sliding into daytime telly contrivances. This longer episode was packed with one-line zingers, though less story substance. The classes become more muddled as they all ready for a game of cricket. Bates’ whisper of “soap” to O’Brien, gives terrible Thomas a reprieve. He’ll stay around to stir the hornet’s nest, but the evil witch is finally muffled. For now. Lord Grantham’s political correctness is an anachronism at best. He’s my favorite nonetheless.

Sybil’s Tom has climbed upstairs with ease. Even Carson approves of his exemplary behavior. Edith’s editor is a younger version of her fey old beau. Is there another jilt in her future? The hackneyed wife-in-the-asylum plot. Next week season finale. Already? Too much TV.  Monday workout, here I go.

Sybil’s Wake

Downton experiences the effects of Sybil’s legacy. She single-handedly shook the Abbey’s foundation, tearing down its walls of gender, class, and religion before taking her leave. LadyS was loved and respected Upstairs and Downstairs.

Dowager Countess leads the pack. Her barbs are back. It does seem a shame to waste a good pudding. Carson will be the last hold-out to tradition. Dr. Clarkson swallowed his pride to heal broken hearts. Truth is not always the best medicine.

DownTon

There’s a pall over Downton Abbey as we greet Season 3. Despite our long-awaited anticipation of a lavish, happy wedding, it quickly turns into a bittersweet affair with everyone pocketing morsels of joy where they could. Shirley Maclaine pulls off the nouveau riche American pretty well and brings a level of levity to the cliché. Maggie Smith’s pallor mirrored the downbeat mood, and her jibes didn’t rise to their usual hilarity. So, the contrast of wits was lacking.

Upstairs, the men held the higher moral ground. While, it was the women’s strength of character that dominated Downstairs. In the end, it’s an uppity soap opera. There will be bumps along the road. Still, glad it’s back.