Saturday, February 8, 2014


Happy birthday to Ginny Bates!  She and Myra are consumed with renovating the new house behind them that they have bought in order to turn over the family home to Gillam and Jane before the first baby is born.  Myra sent me the photo below of her birthday gift to Ginny, a Fire-King tilted pitcher in jadeite green.
I woke up during the night with Foley pain.  Finally took a tramadol, my first in over a week, and waited for Belinda to get here.  She flushed the tube and I got a help with position change, and the throb has stopped. 
But Dinah is Not Eating.  Waiting to see what is revealed on her noon visit to the vet. 
I had my food stamps call yesterday afternoon with, as a bonus, Margot listening on Skype.  I was pretty worried about it; social worker Nanci Felice had told me the cuts in Texas are getting worse and worse.  After going over all the details, I was kept at the same level, $87 per month.  Which is ludicrous.  At one point, the HHS woman said “I don’t really see how you are making it.”  If it weren’t for Margot and other donors, I would not be making it at even a poverty level, and that’s a fact.
I have been watching the Olympics ONLY on BBC and it makes a phenomenal difference to have it through their lens:  Vastly more intelligent (and less intrusive) commentary not centered on mythic American exceptionalism, no use of the word “inspirational”, great humour and background, no commercials, and best of all, NO CHANCE OF HAVING TO HEAR MICHAEL PHELPS’ NAME GRATUITOUSLY TOSSED IN. The hard-on American men have for Phelps is baffling to me. I am actually learning substantive things about other cultures and I can fast-forward or replay when necessary.
In addition, the commentators who are not Clare Balding are, despite not being brilliant soft butches, still have a vocabulary and gift for vernacular that reminds of the era of colour commentary that existed in American media before worn-out-before-their-time former athletes (dumber than rocks, most of them) automatically became “retired” into commentator positions here.  The descriptions and background info provided are generally riveting, often delivered in rich working-class and/or regional accents sans nationalistic crap, and often rolling out words like penultimate, for example.
This morning Pam Spaulding informed us that a grievous political edit was made by NBC during the opening ceremonies broadcast in the US.  The following section of IOC Chairman Thomas Koch’s speech, the part emphasizing diversity and equal rights, was deleted in America:
"Now you are living in an Olympic Region. I am sure you will enjoy the benefits for many, many years to come. Thousands of volunteers have welcomed us with the well-known warm Russian hospitality. Many thanks to all the wonderful volunteers. Bolshoi spasiba, valantyoram! Thank you very much to everyone. Russia and the Russians have set the stage for you, the best winter athletes on our planet. From this moment on you are not only the best athletes, you are Olympic Athletes. You will inspire us with your outstanding sports performances. You have come here for sports. You have come here with your Olympic dream. The International Olympic Committee wants your Olympic Dream to come true. This is why we are investing almost all of our revenues in the development of sports. The universal Olympic rules apply to each and every athlete- no matter where you come from or what your background is. You are living together in the Olympic Village. You will celebrate victory with dignity and accept defeat with dignity. You are bringing the Olympic Values to life. In this way, the Olympic Games, wherever they take place, set an example for a peaceful society. Olympic Sport unites people. This is the Olympic Message the athletes spread to the host country and to the whole world. Yes, it is possible to strive even for the greatest victory with respect for the dignity of your competitors. Yes, Yes, it is possible - even as competitors - to live together under one roof in harmony, with tolerance and without any form of discrimination for whatever reason. Yes, it is possible - even as competitors - to listen, to understand and to give an example for a peaceful society."