LGBTQIA +ARTIST EXHIBITION


Several events for PRIDE Month 2021 were scheduled in the Corpus Christi area including poetry reading and a PRIDE Pet Paw-rade where owners and their pets could show  their support and show off their PRIDE colors and accessories.  A PRIDE parade and block party will be held in October during LGBT History Month when the weather is cooler and more have the opportunity to get vaccinated.

PRIDE Corpus Christi put out a call for artists who “personally identify, or feel they have been defined by society, as a part of the LGBTQIA+ demographic.”   The  goal of the exhibit was “to celebrate the achievements of and gain recognition for LGBTQIA+ artists in the Coastal Bend.”  Artists selected had their art on display at the La Palmera Mall in Corpus Christi from June 1  to June 30 for PRIDE Month.

The free exhibit was tucked away in a small space on the upper level of the mall.  I visited the simple installation last week and was moved by the personal expression of their feelings through art.   Husband photographed several for me.  Scroll for more of art by these mostly young people who have come out personally and artistically.

KIRA GONZALEZ   ‘LOVE IS LOVE’ (2021)   ACRYLIC ON CANVAS

 

GUILLERMO “GUY” GALLEGOS ‘CIERVO O VENADO (2019) ACRYLIC ON CANVAS

 

JOSHUA DUTTWIELER   ‘WE ARE ALL HOUGHTON #1 ‘   2021)  PHOTOGRAPHY

 

JOSE “JOEY’ GONZALES   ‘SELF PORTRAIT’ (2019)   OIL ON CANVAS

 

BRYSON OLIVAREZ   ‘THE PLAYFUL CARCASS’ (2021)   MIXED MEDIA

 

BRYSON OLIVAREZ  ‘PLAYING WITH COLOR’  (2020) MIXED MEDIA

 

SCOTT-ALEXANDER RIVERA  ‘THE HEART OF LOVE IS LOVE’ (2020)   ACRYLIC POUR ON STRETCHED CANVAS

 

SCOTT-ALEXANDER RIVERA  ‘PRIDE EXPLOSION’ (2020) ACRYLIC POUR ON STRETCHED CANVAS

 

SAMANTHA TREVINO  ‘LIM JAEBEOM’  (2021) ACRYLIC ON CANVAS

 

PHOTOS BY HUSBAND.  HE IS REFLECTED IN THE SIGN THAT WAS BEHIND DOUBLE GLASS DOORS AT THE ENTRANCE.

Books and Movie Trailers


Recently I found two digital books that I could download to my Kindle from our local library.   Both had been made into movies:   Nomadland: Surviving America in the Twenty-first Century and Let Her Go.


Now every time I receive a package from Amazon, I wonder if some tired retiree from an rv camp had some part in it.  The book, written by journalist Jessica Bruder, follows (literally at times in her own van) real-life nomad Linda May,  a 64-year old grandmother, who found going on the road a last choice after she lost everything in the Great Recession.  It is written in documentary  style.  Some of the travelers find seasonal work at rv parks, national campgrounds and Amazon warehouses.  Apparently Amazon likes older workers because they are dependable, don’t demand much and are willing to  work part-time in conditions that are not ideal for senior citizens:  fast-paced where employees are tracked for efficiency.

The movie, directed by Chloe Zhao, is a fictionalized version of the book.  The main character, played by Frances McDormand, is purely invented and she plays on the background of real characters and events from the book.  There are three characters from the book who play themselves in the movie including Linda May who is the one the author mainly followed.  Scenes from working at Amazon are filmed in a real Amazon warehouse; Amazon fares better in the movie than in the book in my opinion.  I have not seen the movie and only read reviews about it and viewed the trailer.   Here is a link to the movie trailer –  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6sxCFZ8_d84

Let Him Go, written by Larry Watson and published in 2013, is a novel set in  South Dakota and Montana in the 1950s.  The opening chapter has the wife packing to go somewhere on a mission: husband (a retired sheriff) is given the option of going along.  He opts to go even if it means walking off a job that is below his skills.  Their son had died a few years before and his widow had remarried soon after, taking their young grandson with her and the new husband.  The grandmother learns that all is not well with the child in his new environment with the domineering  step-father.  Determined not to lose contact with the child, protect him if necessary and even bring him back, the couple takes off.  The husband is reluctant but goes along to support his wife.  Diane Lane  and Kevin Costner play the grandparents in the movie.

From reading reviews and watching the movie trailer, the movie appears to follow the book closely.  I have not seen this movie either.  Here is a link to the movie trailer – https://youtu.be/GfMkjdIc24I

Do you prefer to read the book first and then see the movie or see the movie and then read the book?  Or do you think one version is enough?  I always think the book is better.  Some movies make me want to do more research if it involves history.

TEXAS INDEPENDENCE DAY 2021


Texas Independence Day is the celebration of the adoption of the Texas Declaration of Independence on March 2, 1836. With this document signed by delegates, settlers in Mexican Texas officially declared independence from Mexico and created the Republic of Texas.  It remained a Republic until1845.

On March 2, 2021 Governor Greg Abbot declared another type of independence for Texans by lifting the state-wide mandatory mask requirement and opening all businesses to 100% capacity.  It will be up to businesses whether to require masks for customers and employees; the governor urged “personal vigilance” as he pointed to the arrival of vaccines and good Texas economy as reasons for his decision.  He tightened control over Covid restrictions by mandating that county judges could only implement restrictions if hospitalizations rose above 15% of the capacity for any of Texas’ 22 hospital regions.

Texans should have been dancing in the streets, right?   Yes, bars and restaurants welcomed the news that they could open to full capacity.  Yes, and those who did not believe in masks in the first place and  considered the restrictions an assault on their freedom by the government were rejoicing.  Enter the divide.

Abbot was soon criticized by those in the medical field, government leaders and even the CDC for opening the state too soon.   Citizens took side on the issue. Some businesses began announcing that they would still require masks for employees and customers; others will not require them. This goes into effect Wednesday.

Personally, I am ready to get back to something like normal, but I think he should have waited until more Texans were vaccinated,  COVID numbers were better and we were closer to herd immunity.   Husband and I have had our second shots so we feel we have some protection, but we will not have a problem continuing to wearing  a mask when required.   Will it be the right decision or will cases, hospitalizations and deaths spike?  Will vaccinations make a difference?

April 21 is San Jacinto Day in Texas, the day the Texan Army led by General Sam Houston defeated the Mexico Army near present-day Houston in 1836.  We will see where we are  by then and  if Governor Abbot can claim a victory for all Texans or if he will he face defeat like General Santa Anna, the general who led the Mexican army.

CHECKING IN FOR 2021


We were all ready to see  the past year of 2020 come to an end.  An even year that was odd in many ways.  A pandemic raged around the world and the President of the United States was impeached.  2021: The pandemic is still with us and the President of the United States is impeached…again.  Wait!  Deja vu will not overtake us!  There is hope:  democracy survived and vaccines are arriving. 

Meanwhile, back on the coast.  Odds and ends of life.

This year I will not be volunteering again for the Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) through United Way of the Coastal Bend.  I started out last year in January but COVID finally shut it down.  This year it started up again in February with different arrangements, again because of COVID.  Clients will be able to leave their documents of copies of documents in a sealed envelope.  Then they will be called back in about a week to review the return, make any changes or corrections and sign the return for filing.  I will really miss volunteering this year, but I thought it best to avoid additional exposure.  Maybe next year.

Good news on the exposure  side.  Husband and I had been on a waiting list for a COVID vaccine through our doctor’s office as the practice is affiliated with a large hospital.  Monday we were called in for our first dose of Pfizer and scheduled for our second one in three weeks; we are in Tier 2.    It was an easy process.  No side effects so far.

Yes, 2020 was a rough year as the pandemic affected us all in some way.  For many the financial impact made it even worse compounded by the uncertainty of when it would end.  Deaths continued as Americans debated the merits of in-person voting versus mail- in ballots to elect a president.  Schools opened and closed.

And life went on with love, laughter and loss. Babies were born and couples married. New careers were launched. I have learned not to take anything for granted.  Each day is a gift.  The seasons came and went as usual while we modified holidays and activities to include masks and social distancing.   Yes, we are  still a divided country in many ways, but surely there is more that unites us.  We will get through this.

New Orleans cancelled Mardi Gras parades this year because of the pandemic.  But you cannot stop the spirit of NOLA.  Residents were encouraged to transform their homes into floats.  There is a book, Porches on Parade, How House Floats Saved Mardi Gras.

Laissez les bon temps rouler – Let the good times roll!

Below is a link for the book.  A portion of the proceed will be donated to local artist funds.  If you scroll down, you can see some of the houses.

https://book.pediment.com/mardi-gras-2021-porches-on-parade-hardcover-book/?variant=328993671414

“Let It Snow” or “Stayin’ Home”


With colder weather hitting parts of the country, including snow in some places, I thought it would be a good time to share this parody of “Let It Snow” that Husband wrote.  His clever ditties and songs always make me smile.  And these days I am grateful for anything that makes me smile.  At the end there is a rendition of the song by Dean Martin, one of my favorites.  The thermometer on our patio this morning read 50 degrees – cold for us.  Enjoy whatever your weather and stay well!

This was taken at Briar Cottage on Christmas Day 2004 when we had a rare snow.

Stayin’ Home

Oh, the Covid outside is frightful,
But inside Briar Cottage it’s delightful,
And since we can’t go out to roam,
We’re stayin’ home, stayin’ home, stayin’ home!

In spite of what Trump might say,
Covid won’t just go away.
And even though you might use bleach to clean,
It won’t protect you like a vaccine!

So I’ll wear a mask while shoppin’,
To protect you if I’m breathing deep or coughin’,
And even though it breaks my heart,
When were together we’ll be six feet apart!

 

FRIDAY FOTO: LONGHORN ON THE LEX


Photo borrowed from the Facebook page of the USS Lexington Museum on the Bay

Tex, the Longhorn steer, recently visited the USS Lexington on Corpus Christi Bay for a first-ever fundraiser for the WWII aircraft carrier.  It was a show streamed live on the ship’s Facebook page from the flight deck and featured Brian Black and his band.  Yes, he is related to Clint Black (brother) and plays country music.  Tex was available for photos as he was saddled up, literally, for a good cause.  This historic ship was closed for two months because of COVID-19 but it is now open for visitors.

In December the Lexington will host another fundraiser on the flight deck.  This time it will be put on by the Professional Bull Riders (PBR) and will benefit charities that support the military and their families.  The event will be  professional bull riding right on the flight deck. Yes, real bull riding by real cowboys.  Only in Texas!

Link to the Lexington website is here.

 

Yes, I think Ike would like Frank!


Ike Campaign Button

In 2012 I wrote a post about the controversy  over the design of a planned memorial honoring the Commander of the Allied Forces in Europe during WWII  and 34th president, Dwight D. Eisenhowser.  Frank Gehry was to be the architect.  That post can be found here,  “Will Ike like Frank?

The Eisenhower Memorial will be dedicated today after almost ten years of planning.   It is located in Washington, D.C.  near the National Mall.   I think Ike would approve of the final design.

National Public Radio had an excellent description by Susan Stanberg with good photos.  You can read her review or read it.  The link is here at Eisenhower Memorial, NPR.

The “I like Ike” campaign button reminds us of a time when presidential campaigns were a bit tamer than the one facing us in 2020.

 

 

Saying good-bye to my sister and singing hymns and drinking wine


It rained. A steady yet gentle rain came straight down on the cemetery, wrapping it in privacy. Discreet sign reminded us to social distance. We made our way slowly toward the place where we would say good-bye to her. There was the usual covering over the grave site but no chairs. There was no escape from the reminders of COVID-19. At first we paused at the edges of the shelter with our umbrellas, as if afraid to get to close to each other. Gradually we moved in just enough to get out of the drizzling wetness. Some stayed along the edges with umbrellas still up to keep them dry. It was a private service with less than two dozen people attending. Masks hid our smiles but not our tears. Ours is a hugging family; we hug when we first meet; we hug when we leave. Not many hugs on that day.

No minister. Service led by her granddaughter. A prayer, a bible reading. Poetry readings. One written by the granddaughter. One written by my sister to be read at her service. A hymn, “When We All Get to Heaven” sung by Alan Jackson, played on a small speaker. Each of us placed a white rose beside her urn and a spray of flowers.   A prayer. We left in the rain. I will miss her bright spirit.

BARBARA ANN MITCHELL
1935 – 2020

Pre-pandemic we would have gathered after the service at a church or a home for food and fellowship. Not today. Daughter and Son came home with Husband and me. We sat in the living room, silently at first, as we drank wine. Bottles of cabernet sauvignon and chardonnay had been opened. Talk of hymns. I was too far out of practice to play any on my out-of-tune piano, so Son called up hymns from his phone and played them on the small speaker used for the service. Daughter, Son and I sang along across the room from each other. So many memories. Don’t attend church these days but I knew the words to every song called out. Husband must have thought the three of us were a little crazy. Wine and hymns? In the pandemic of 2020 it seemed an acceptable thing to do when you lose someone. 

 

MY SISTER AND ME
circa 1948

LIFE GOES ON


Just what we didn’t need, a hurricane in the middle of a pandemic. Hurricane Hanna chose not to keep her distance or stay at home. Instead she chose to waltz into the Gulf of Mexico and make landfall on the Texas coast as a category 1 hurricane without much warning. The eye of the storm came in just south of Corpus Christi with some wind damage and flooding caused by rising water but no loss of lives. We were fortunate but hurricane season is just beginning.

My plumbago blooms; the cactus blooms.

President Trump tweets daily and plays golf on the weekends.

We order groceries online and do curbside pickup. A sister dies.

And life goes on. I am grateful for every day.