Posts Tagged ‘Alec Baldwin’

Letter From Claverack 01 02 2017 Welcome to a new year and a new era…

January 3, 2017

Not yet quite six o’clock in the evening, the sun is gone and floodlights are on the creek.  Soft jazz is on the Echo and I am winding down from some writing I did today along with emails and a couple of loads of laundry.  An ordinary day at the cottage, most of it cozied up with my laptop while watching Marcel, Lionel and Pierre’s sixteen-year old poodle sleep on the couch.  I’m dog sitting again while they are off in Boston.

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New Year’s was surprisingly good.  My expectations were low and the reality great.  There was a feast at my friend Matthew Morse’s house with thirteen people, followed by going down the road to friends of his who have restored as their home a 19th Century roadhouse.  There is a balcony looking down into the tavern area and I was standing there looking down at a crowd that seemed like a hundred, sipping Moet Chandon as the New Year came in…

New Year’s Day was spent in recovery with a game of Clue over cocktails, followed by roast chicken.  Not bad.

Every time I peek into the state of the world, I want to slam the door and run into my bedroom with a cold bottle of vodka and a straw.

It sometimes feels like I have stepped into a Jean Cocteau film.

Hours after I exchanged e-mails with a friend who lives in Istanbul, working for Sony Pictures, there was a nightclub slaughter.  Responsibility for it has been claimed by IS.

In Baghdad, a suicide bomber killer a couple of dozen people.  This Sunday, I will light a candle for them at church, the people of Baghdad and Istanbul.  Turkey has been assaulted this month by a whole series of attacks.  Baghdad has never not been assaulted since we invaded.

Trump tweeted something New Year’s Eve that has lots of people outraged.  It seems impossible for me to follow his tweets though I have been told the cable news channels have been spending hours attempting to decipher them.

His press secretary has pleaded with people to stop mocking him.  I don’t think that’s going to happen.  Alec Baldwin has stepped into a brand-new career on SNL and we are going to be living with it for Trump’s entire term in office.  He is just too juicy a target for satirists.  I wish I were a comedy writer.

Trump’s team is saying we should be focusing more on punishing Hillary Clinton than being concerned about Russian hacking.  Did I say something about being in a Cocteau film?  [And if you don’t know who Jean Cocteau is, Google him…]

US officials are saying Russia’s “fingerprints” are all over the hacking and Trump is saying he has inside information on the hacking which he will reveal tomorrow or Wednesday. Personally, I can’t wait.  But then I am still waiting for him to tell us how he will separate himself from his businesses.  That may be more difficult than handling the Russian hacking.

Then, of course, since I last wrote Carrie Fisher, “Princess Leia” from “Star Wars” died after a heart attack on a flight back from London, only to be followed across the River Styx by her mother, the legendary Debbie Reynolds, the following day.

Eras seem ending all around me and I am not happy…

 

 

 

Letter From Claverack 10 16 2016 From a place of tranquility…

October 16, 2016

It is a beautiful afternoon in October in Claverack.  The leaves that fill my vision as I sit here on the deck are golden and some fallen ones float regally down the creek toward the pond.

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It was a day when I had an enormously difficult time waking up; every time the alarm went off, I hit the snooze button.  Finally, I staggered out of bed and into the day.  Slightly ambivalent about going to church, I reminded myself of the bag of groceries I had purchased for the Food Pantry at the Church and so I made my way there, a little late but still there.

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From church, I made my way to the Dot for Eggs Benedict on potato latkes.  And then home to wait for my friend Larry to arrive, bringing me some wood from his farm for my winter woodstove fires.

He and I sat on the deck after it was stacked, and admired the beauty of the place, enjoying the moment while listening to jazz.  He has now left and I am here, at the end of the afternoon, still listening to jazz and enjoying the beauty of the spot, the moment, and basking in the long friendship Larry and I have enjoyed, stretching back now more than thirty years.

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It is always easy here to slip into an avoidance of the world.  This is a place of tranquility.

Beyond here – and sometimes I do not want to move beyond here – the world is a mess.

Aleppo is being pulverized and no one seems to know how to stop it.  Assad and Putin seem to have no respect or care for the citizens trapped there.  It is a strategic notch they need in their belts and so the dying continues.  Reports indicate Aleppo looks like Berlin in 1945, a decimated city.

Donald Trump has once more been skewered on Saturday Night Live, not that Hillary got off easily.  He has denounced the performance in his famous tweets.

He has increasingly been declaring that the election process is rigged.  Some observers think that if he loses he is doing his best to delegitimize a Clinton Presidency.

It is rumored that the CIA is preparing a major cyberattack against Russia for its alleged attacks on American institutions, including the Democratic Party.  This is a new kind of warfare.

And in thinking of a new world, a friend told me that every year from now on, 3% of jobs will be lost to robots.  I think I’m glad I am at the place in life I am.  It will be interesting to see how all of this shakes out.

Soon, I will let you know how my experience with Cozmo goes.  It should arrive this week.

It is supposed to learn from me how to react to me.  A robot pet of sorts, I guess, and I couldn’t resist experimenting with it.

Cozmo is my birthday present to myself.

 

 

 

Letter From New York 10 08 2016 Chosen responsibilities and disgusting words…

October 8, 2016

 

My morning yesterday began with me flipping my laptop open and sitting down to write as a soft fog floated above the creek with sunlight glistening down through the leaves in the midst of changing color.

Just as I sat down to write, a mug of strong coffee at my side, the mother of a friend phoned and let me know her son was in the hospital and had been asking for me.  So I came and sat in his dim room, spelling his mother while she went home to shower and change into fresh clothes.

At two I had a conference call and then I made dinner for Lionel and his family.

The day unrolled in an unexpected way but that is life, unexpected.  It also made me think about how we have, in addition to our real families, families of choice.

My life, thankfully, is full of them.  Blessedly.  And for that I am grateful.

Since I have moved to Hudson, my friend’s family has been that way to me and I went to the hospital to perform the responsibilities of having made a choice.   Choices do come with responsibilities.

Out in the wide world, the cold open for last week’s Saturday Night Live was a send-up of the Trump/Clinton debate with Alec Baldwin doing a magnificent satire of Donald Trump.  It aired the night before the tax revelations.  Pundits wondered which was worse for him, the tax revelations or Alec Baldwin.  The video has gone viral.  If you haven’t seen it, look for it at the end of the post.

Thursday night, Lionel and I went to Coyote Flaco for dinner.  As usual, we sat at the bar.  Seated to my left was Tim and, as happens sometimes, we got talking.  After I had introduced myself, I introduced Lionel, joking he sounded funny because he was from Australia.

Tim, the man to my left, said, oh, I’ve never been there but am thinking of moving there if Hillary is elected.  Lionel retorted he was thinking of returning if Trump was elected.

It didn’t get ugly.  Tim said he couldn’t vote for her because she had done nothing but be in government service.  Not exactly true but close enough.

Asking him if he knew who FDR was, he said no.  So I said Franklin Delano Roosevelt and he said he didn’t know him because he was just little when he was in office.  He asked me if I’d been alive when he was in office and I said he’d died before I was born.

The poor man didn’t really know.  And, by the way, Tim is younger than I am.

After we left, I thought about it and realized most Presidents we have had have spent much of their lives in public service.  Let’s see…

FDR did spend most of his life in public service, seeing us through the Great Depression and WWII.  He was followed by Harry Truman who had worked in the private sector for a while but spent the majority of his career in public service, followed by Dwight Eisenhower who certainly spent his whole life in public service, followed by John Kennedy, who had done the same.

Lyndon B. Johnson owned some businesses but mostly was in public service his whole life, followed by Richard Nixon who, too, had spent most of his life in public service, followed by Gerald Ford, lots of public service there, followed by Jimmy Carter, who was a peanut farmer before his Presidency but he, too, gave a great deal of his life to public service.  Then came Ronald Reagan, who had made his living as an actor before he went into public service.

He was followed by Bush 1, who had spent much of his life in public service, followed by Clinton, who had done the same.  W had been in the private sector but then went on to be Governor and then President.  Obama has spent much of his life in public service.

Being in public service has become pejorative in this election and I am not sure why.

Then, yesterday, all Billy Bob broke out over a 2005 video of Trump saying all kinds of things I can’t and won’t repeat.  If you are interested, you can find them.

Paul Ryan, Speaker of the House, was “sickened” by them and disinvited Trump to a Republican gathering in his home state of Wisconsin.

A few Republican politicians have withdrawn their endorsements and it is rumored some Republican leaders are quietly gathering to see what is to be done about Trump.

It’s a little late; the ballots have been printed.