Equanimity


Snow at last! A very wet, heavy and messy snow.  I hope my pups bladders are strong and can wait for relief for a good while longer. Meanwhile, I will take out their home cooked favorite food (chicken innards with sweet potatoes) to mollify them. Living with three furry ones in one open studio is a challenge during and after snow and rain storms. My pups do know how to stay put and dry out on a towel at the ready for them on our return home. My little guy, Sumo, good at avoiding puddles will likely need a bath upon return home from our current mess. Ah, I do remember those times when fresh snow was exciting, when a wooden sled was near, and a lot of fun was to be had right across the field and up on the hill. 

These days I fail to feel the sense of equanimity my little laughing buddha so perfectly displays, but year after year his snow covered happy face delights and inspires me nonetheless. 



WOMEN'S MARCH ON WASHINGTON - Santa Fe, NM

 

January 21, 2017, Saturday 11 AM - 2 PM,  New Mexico State Capitol

Twitter: @WMWsantafe
Live Streaming from facebook event page on the day of the event.
for posters email sunny@sunnyshender.com

Mission Statement: 
“To stand together in solidarity with our partners and children for the protection of our rights, our safety, our health, and our families—
recognizing that our vibrant and diverse communities are the strength of our country.”

Pure Gold


Tina Fey did set the bar high, Alec Baldwin reached it here.


Tesuque Pueblo Native


Native American from Tesuque Pueblo
where every year their men elect their choice of men to their official positions, 
where men to this day choose which women will be allowed to dance and women still have no say in the matter!
This man saw no problem with that, 
I will have to inquire with a Native American woman next.
Honestly, I wonder what they think about their role in their society.

Red, Wet & Wonderful





Snow run-off poured down outside our Whole Foods grocery store 
due to the warmth of today's sunny mid-afternoon. 
The splattering gave me a whole new appreciation for this patio.
Glistening wet surfaces have become so rare here in the Southwest 
where droughts have challenged us for way too long.


CATUA & OMTUA


CATUA & OMTUA
Heroes of the pueblo uprising he wears proudly on his sleeves.


43 year old Native American from the Tesuque Pueblo
He just made it out of the hospital after a slip & fall on ice.
His left leg got reinjured, his rib had been broken too. 


For protection. he wears around his neck a leather strap
attached to a vessel wrapped in sinew and filled with sacred cornmeal.


"I am an alcoholic."
He has worked 3 out of the 12 steps.


Higher Power
grant us the serenity
to accept the things we can not change
the courage to change the things we can
and the wisdom to know the difference.

Not Guilty!



October 24th, on a bright and mild Monday morning, on my way to the Community College down a major traffic artery on my scooter, a 29-year old woman chose to ignore my signals of wanting to make a move and change lanes.

First I heard a woman's voice scream, then I felt a bump from behind that made me lose my balance. Next, I found myself splattered out flat on the street, propelled over my scooter, stunned, terrified and in shock. The first impact had been my helmet hitting the pavement sending a jolt back in to my spine.

I was then and I am still fully aware of how vulnerable I am, not just riding a scooter, same would go for attempting to cross streets while walking with dogs and drivers simply not giving us the right-of-way. I am vulnerable because of my age, my lack of flexibility and the accumulation of stress in my body, besides the lack of financial and social resources, including proper insurance. While I do have insurance, the damage to my scooter and my own physical self were not covered. They would have been if the driver had fled the scene! 

I had turned my head to check the lanes in the back of me. The two lanes behind me had been clear. No cars in close range only three cars way back that had just crossed the traffic lights, far on the other end of the block I had been on. Splattered out on the pavement, I looked to check on those cars to notice that quick acting strangers already had blocked off traffic thankfully. Two strangers I believe helped me to get up and hobble over to the curb. My left knee hurt and greatly concerned me, but I was able to move. My scooter was on its side bleeding fuel. I was hit from the back, my basket clearly shows this. I did not sideswipe the car as later the cop would claim. The driver of the car bumped ME from behind. I did not sideswipe her car with the basket mounted on the back of my scooter as the cop later claimed.


First responders in a fire truck happened to notice the accident in passing and stopped. Able to walk, sore, but not in excruciating pain, I refused medical help or a ride to the hospital only asked for something to whip up the blood from my left pinky. Someone called the police, a cop appeared on the scene maybe 20 minutes later. He talked to the driver of the car then gave ME a ticket. My supposed violation "DRIVING ON STREETS LANED FOR TRAFFIC" what the fuck! What does that mean? The cop would not elaborate, invited me to contest the ticket in court. Well, that is what I did a month later. I pleaded NOT GUILTY!

How did this happen? I have been riding in traffic on two wheels for half a century, starting at the tender age of 10 riding my bike on streets to school and through heavy traffic in mid-town of the largest city in Switzerland, Zürich. I was maybe 12 when I fell in my attempt to follow my Mom on her bike through an intersection where my bike got caught in a track for our trams. I fell then, was stunned then, and I still remember it clearly half a century later. My left leg was in a cast and I walked on crutches for about 6 weeks. 

I loved biking in Amsterdam especially, but also New York and San Francisco. Now getting around on my bike in Santa Fe is a whole different matter. Santa Fe's culture of drivers paying little to no attention to signals and signages makes for a major challenge in negotiating traffic. I was fully aware of this when I first started riding a scooter in Santa Fe 10 years ago. But here in the American Southwest, we have the perfect climate for riding on two wheels, sunny, dry and temperate most often. Riding a scooter is fun and a whole lot cheaper than my ancient gas-guzzling VW van. $2 fills my tank and may last me for a week. While my first scooter, a Honda Elite 250 cc, was heavy and a challenge for me to handle, my current Genuine Buddy 125 cc is a breeze, so easy to maneuver it is pure joy. My point is I am not an incompetent, dare-devil senior who takes up a hobby thinking that makes them feel like they might be young again, makes them take stupid chances that may get them into trouble. I read that seniors have a high injury rate for that reason. I may have white hair, but I did not have a 'senior moment' either, I did not space out or become inattentive.

For the first 6 weeks, I laid in bed mainly, left leg elevated and iced, getting up as little as possible, going through a whole tube of Arnica gel in one week only. Walks with dogs were minimal. The hyper energy of both of my pups on lead, tugging here and there, made walks very stressful. A wrong move might create serious damage, tear tissues that may require expensive medical attention. I felt very vulnerable as if I were hobbling on eggs. I would start to feel better, only to feel worse again due to aching inflammation in my leg especially during nights. Concrete floors I learned were now hard on me. The pain in my knee has been my main concern. I still can not fully bend it which makes sitting down or putting on a sock, but especially boots challenging. Reminder, cut toe nails often enough! I also hurt my left hand. It still is swollen some, aches and I still have a lack of strength that shows in my being challenged holding a pot when doing the dishes. I have no idea yet what this may mean to my ability to practice my profession of 3 decades in the future. As a massage therapist I depend on the strength in my arms and hands. A huge ugly bruise on my left upper arm did not bother me a bit, neither was I left with any pain from my chest crashing into the ground. I assume because I had been going slow approaching red lights. The impact on my head when hitting the pavement seemed to have had no lasting effect on my spine. It was the first day in the season I had worn a woolen ski mask under my helmet which must have been a blessing. With the new year, I have been pleased to notice another level of ease yet in my walking. I still hobble, but I move forward a bit faster and smoother, while most of the aches during the nights have subsided.

The day before this accident I had been up on the mountain with my pups hiking with surprising ease after weeks of debilitating sciatic pain that made straightening my back upon rising a major challenge. That day all that pain somehow had dissolved and I had hiked through the woods with a renewed freedom and endurance. Time will only tell if I will be able to go again on such long, rejuvenating walks in the woods. Now, I am truly grateful that the impact of this accident did not compound on that earlier misalignment. I do know that I am truly lucky and things could have been a whole lot worse.

Only when I did go back to the scene of the crime, reluctantly, the day before my pre-trial hearing on January 3. did it dawn on me on how this accident may have happened. Until then I just could not comprehend how a car had suddenly gotten so close. How did I not see it coming?  I was approaching a major intersection (Cerrillos Street/ St. Michael's Drive) where my 2-lane street was about to turn into 4 lanes. I now seem to remember a car on a side street waiting to enter the traffic that actually prompted my concern of a busy right lane and my wanting to change one lane over. I turned my head, looked back assured myself of the two lanes behind me, looked forward as I just about passed that side street and gotten to the 4 lane section, slowing down for the traffic light ahead of me. I bet that car I had spotted on that side street was driven by that woman who sought to merge the far left lane quickly. She admitted to me that she had noticed my intent to make a move, but she failed to give me my right of way and to keep a safe distance but attempted to quickly pass by me. 

January 3rd, after 3 hours in court, the first one in, and the last one out, my ticket got dismissed. After 10 weeks of mulling things over, arguing my case in my head, I never even got sworn in and I was never given a chance to make my case in front of the judge. I did argue with the cop who claimed I sideswiped the car and failed to check the lane on my left, due to inattentiveness, hah! He cited evidence on her car, I asked how his assumptions jived with evidence on my scooter. Officer Trujillo had no answers. At first, he suggested a plea but then pressed on for dismissal of all charges. Yep, my ticket got dismissed without prejudice with no fine, and no record! 

But also no compensation for the stress of one cop's wrong assessment of supposed evidence and one woman's failure to yield. While I should have felt immediate relief, maybe even elation, I felt confused about my mix of emotions. I should have felt grateful, this accident could have been so much worse. Gratitude though has never been my forte. Being accused wrongly won over my emotional landscape. Such has happened to me too often. So since I could not argue my case in court, I made an attempt to do so here.

Hallelujah


kd lang - 2006

Meeting Rattler

Christmas eve, out walking my pups, with camera in hand hunting for pics at sunset, an ominous layer of thick white clouds on the horizon looked promising. At this inopportune moment, a Hispanic guy in a turquoise jacket approached us. Dogs make for great openers. He was polite enough to ask for my permission to pet my pups. They loved the attention, of course. The guy gushed how dogs know people. We talked a bit. I noticed an elaborate tattoo covering his throat. They call him Rattler, likening him to a rattlesnake he confided. Said he is 44 years old, getting up there. Girlfriend threw him out, so he was prowling the streets, on Christmas eve. I inquired about his family. He lost his Dad early and his Mom a bit later to Leukemia. I suggested he go back to his girlfriend and apologize. Never. He would never ever submit.

Incredulous sounding, he kept repeating that his look-alike brother was the one that just got killed right near the plaza. Said his brother got shot just like a dog. I had read the recent headlines. Rattler kept on ranting about street-justice. If cops will not do it, he will. I suggested a 12-step meeting. Yep, he knew about them, had to attend them by order. He then declared his love for Jesus but continued to lament the loss of his brother. In parting, I begged him to talk to his higher power. He had turned already to accost another female pedestrian.  I returned home with pictures only in my mind, none in my camera.



Not A Rock 'n' Rollin Kinda Stone



The restraining, constraining, detaining effects of humans on nature.

Remember,
the patriarchal, linear, oppressive, violent culture is in its last throes!


Old white men now in power will pass on.
Millenials will replace them.

A different generation, a different breed
for whom the self is less defined
gender is a choice along a continuum,
nature is more valued and less opposed
the outlook is more global
no longer us versus them.

In short

there is hope.

Shadow Self


Native American guy accosted me for a hand-out. 
When I refused his buddy gave me a hug against my will.
Reeking of alcohol he insisted that he loved me and will always love me. 
I am afraid this stranger believed I really needed a hug. 
The man was right.




Christmas Decor Española-Style in the Land of Enchantment



Mister Romero's antique Chevy Pick-up Truck
on my street, in my 'hood, in the City Different
decorated by his wife Cynthia
the way it is done for the Christmas parade 
in Española, New Mexico, the Land of Enchantment.


Sweet surprise of Swiss chocolate Christmas decor,
the kind we would hang on our Christmas tree,
a real tree with real candles
that on occasions would catch fire
so a bucket of water was always on hand.


Stormy Weather Ahead Of Us


Michael Moore's To-Do Lists

Morning After To-Do List:

1. Take over the Democratic Party and return it to the people. They have failed us miserably.
2. Fire all pundits, predictors, pollsters and anyone else in the media who had a narrative they wouldn't let go of and refused to listen to or acknowledge what was really going on. Those same bloviators will now tell us we must "heal the divide" and "come together." They will pull more hooey like that out of their ass in the days to come. Turn them off.
3. Any Democratic member of Congress who didn't wake up this morning ready to fight, resist and obstruct in the way Republicans did against President Obama every day for eight full years must step out of the way and let those of us who know the score lead the way in stopping the meanness and the madness that's about to begin.
4. Everyone must stop saying they are "stunned" and "shocked". What you mean to say is that you were in a bubble and weren't paying attention to your fellow Americans and their despair. YEARS of being neglected by both parties, the anger and the need for revenge against the system only grew. Along came a TV star they liked whose plan was to destroy both parties and tell them all "You're fired!" Trump's victory is no surprise. He was never a joke. Treating him as one only strengthened him. He is both a creature and a creation of the media and the media will never own that.
5. You must say this sentence to everyone you meet today: "HILLARY CLINTON WON THE POPULAR VOTE!" The MAJORITY of our fellow Americans preferred Hillary Clinton over Donald Trump. Period. Fact. If you woke up this morning thinking you live in an effed-up country, you don't. The majority of your fellow Americans wanted Hillary, not Trump. The only reason he's president is because of an arcane, insane 18th-century idea called the Electoral College. Until we change that, we'll continue to have presidents we didn't elect and didn't want. You live in a country where a majority of its citizens have said they believe there's climate change, they believe women should be paid the same as men, they want a debt-free college education, they don't want us invading countries, they want a raise in the minimum wage and they want a single-payer true universal health care system. None of that has changed. We live in a country where the majority agree with the "liberal" position. We just lack the liberal leadership to make that happen (see: #1 above).

Let's try to get this all done by noon today.
-- Michael Moore

Day Two's To-Do List:

1. Must quickly and decisively form an opposition movement, the likes of which hasn't been seen since the 1960s. I will do my part to help lead this as I'm sure many others (Bernie, Elizabeth Warren, MoveOn, the hip-hop community, DFA, etc.) will, too. The core of this opposition force will be fueled by young people who, as with Occupy Wall Street and Black Lives Matter, don't tolerate b.s. and are relentless in their resistance to authority. They have no interest in compromising with racists and misogynists.


2. Prepare to impeach Trump. Just as the Republicans were already planning to do with President Hillary from Day One, we must organize the apparatus that will bring charges against him when he violates his oath and breaks the law -- and then we must remove him from office.

3. Must commit right now to a vigorous fight (including civil disobedience, if necessary) which will block any and all Donald Trump Supreme Court nominees who do not meet our approval. We demand the Democrats in the Senate aggressively filibuster any nominees who support Citizens United or who oppose the rights of women, immigrants and the poor. This is non-negotiable.

4. Demand the DNC apologize to Bernie Sanders for trying to fix the primaries against him, for spinning the press to ignore his historic campaign, for giving Clinton the questions in advance at the Flint debate, for its latent ageism and anti-Semitism in trying to turn voters against him because of his age or religious beliefs, and for its anti-democracy system of "superdelegates" who are elected by no one. We all know now had Bernie been given a fair shot, he probably would have been the nominee and he -- as the true outsider and "change" candidate --would have inspired and fired up the base and soundly defeated Donald Trump. If no apology is soon forthcoming from the DNC, that's ok -- when we take over the Democratic Party (see yesterday's To-Do List, #1), we will issue the apology in person.

5. Demand that President Obama establish a Special Prosecutor to investigate who and what was behind FBI Director James Comey's illegal interference into the Presidential election 11 days before the vote was held.

6. Begin a national push while it's fresh in everyone's mind for a constitutional amendment to fix our broken electoral system: 1. Eliminate the Electoral College -- popular vote only. 2. Paper ballots only -- no electronic voting. 3. Election Day must be made a holiday for all -- or held on a weekend so more people vote. 4. All citizens, regardless of any run-ins with the criminal "justice" system, must have the right to vote. (In swing states like Florida and Virginia, 30-40% of all Black men are prohibited by law from voting.)

7. Convince President Obama to immediately do what he should have done a year ago: Send in the Army Corps of Engineers to Flint to dig up and replace all the poisoned pipes. NOTHING HAS CHANGED; the water in Flint is still unusable.

Will try to get these done by sundown. More To-Do tomorrow...
--Michael Moore

Michael Moore On MSNBC's Morning Joe's.

2016 Presidential Election

Election Day I woke at 2 am, got up at 4 am and was at my polling station at 6 pm where I served as Election Judge until 8:30 pm. Polls were open from 7 am to 7 pm, 12 hours during which I handed out 250 ballots out of a stack of more than 800. I was the only Independent in a crew of 5 terrific senior ladies. While roughly 50% of voters in Santa Fe voted early, the turn out for such an election of such utmost importance was disappointing to me, not others, but I consider less than 80% voter participation as I believe it has been reported from Denmark and from Venezuela, less than satisfactory. By the end of the day about 10% of ballots were marked invalid, still to be determined by the County Clerk and the Secretary of State, because of creative, improper write-ins. If this were to translate nation-wide, Hillary might have been our President Elect now if voters had not carelessly used their ballots as protest votes that nobody took notice of and nobody cared about! 800,000 ballots were counted in New Mexico by 11.10.2016, about 55% of eligible votes. The silver lining, New Mexicans voted for her and they took back the House of Representatives they had lost for the first time in 40 years to repugnant republican control 2 years ago. For us, this is excellent local news.

The election outcome truly shocked me. I did not think it possible for him, the narcissist, the liar, the groper and the molester, the big mouth with the silly tweets, the grotesque orange maned one with abhorrent involvements in businesses and practices that stiffed his contractors, deprived them of their dues with the skillful, but surely unethical use of repeat bankruptcies, the one that loved to fire people for entertainment, the one that had no inhibitions on walking in on beauty contestants in their varied states of undress, the one that ought to be revolting to anyone with any sense of common decency and humanity.

He won 290, electoral votes, 20 more than the required 270 votes.
She won 60,274,974 of the popular vote,  about 300,000 more votes.
His less than 60,000,000 votes make for very low voter approval.

232,556,622 eligible voters
46.9% did not vote
25.6% voted for her
25.5% voted for him



It's the economy, stupid! Trump voters were all too happy to cast all his horrible attributes aside in the hopes of him delivering the goods. Never mind the costs to women he threatened to criminalize for having abortions, to immigrants and their families he threatened to pull apart and cart off as if we were back in the thirties, or to the environment that he will hand deliver to big corporations to exploit with no regard to science and our future. The profit motive will rule. Already stocks have gone up on private prisons, eager for a boom from the holding of those lacking proper documentation.

Turns out even white women, oh the shame, participated in his having beaten her. I am with Barbara Bush in not able to fathom how a woman could ever vote for a prick like him. Yep, we got a white-lash as Van Jones put it. Rachel Maddow already blamed 3. party voters in swing states for his win. I like Cenk's break down, not sure I fully agree, but he does make some good points.

The sure loser is the Democratic Party. Will they learn? We will see soon enough by their pick of their new leader. Will it be Rep. Keith Ellison, pushed by Bernie, or will it be Howard Dean, or Tim Kaine her running mate as suggested by the NY Times? Here is Cenk's take.

How the 99% chose a 1 percenter to represent their needs will remain a mystery despite all the analysis done and yet to come. His voters will no doubt come to a rude awakening, sooner rather than later. Meanwhile, we have got to resist the fascist tendencies, the corporate take-overs and stand up for human rights and against the cruelty and meanness that already reared their ugly heads. Donate to the ACLU, locally SumosUn Pueblo Unido!

Freak-Out!



The unthinkable happened,
the unmentionable got chosen
by not just a handful of deplorables
and a rigged system of electoral votes
not a truly democratic system
and clueless media and their pundits.

Ashamed
 to be an American today.

Ashamed
for every woman that cast her vote for him
despite his groping and raping, 
despite his outrageous and demeaning remarks to women,
despite instigating a most vile witch hunt on Hillary.

Ashamed
for every aging, white male
educated or not
that cast his vote for him
willfully blind to the awfulness of his character
his associations with the KKK,
Russia's Putin,
and Israel's Prime right wing ass.

Ashamed
for every prior Bernie supporter that cast a vote for Jill or Gary,
unwilling to recognize the true danger of a Drumpf presidency,
therefore willing to endanger 
undocumented immigrants,
documented immigrants, 
women in need of abortions,
women in need of low-cost health care,
women with looks other than #10,
people with special needs,
Lesbians, Gays, Bi-sexuals, and Queers.


Unreal!
We are outta here.



Sumo Implores YOU to go VOTE - Blue!




With recent polls, Sumo is unsure if it is safe to come out from under the covers.
While I prefer purple, I already voted blue, all the way through.
Sumo implores you to go out & vote early & blue, all the way through!

President Barack Obama - Bill Maher 11.4.2016

Bill Maher got his recent birthday wish, he got his time with President Obama and posed just the right questions.


I especially appreciated the question on our bloated military (600 billion to a trillion) and the reference to Eisenhower's warning in regard to the US military-industrial complex. President Obama, in his eloquent defense, made it sound like the US military is an international force for peace. I am not buying it, and neither is Putin and too many in the Middle East and Africa. President Obama, a-glass-half-full-guy, cautioned Progressives in not fully appreciating the good the US effects around the world, even if imperfect and urged citizens to stay involved and demand change from the grounds up. Problem is we demanded change, we demanded peace, we protested against so many wars yet the ears of the powerful stay purposefully deaf.

Socialism and the issue of what should be free from the for-profit motive for the common good are other relevant topics that did not make it into the election debates but should have. President Obama stressed that we already have systems in place that deserve our support and building on, such as the health care system and I am sure the extracting oil & gas industries among others. I am still with Sanders and abhor the exploitation of our earth and people's basic needs such as health care. Retrain the workers in the extracting industries, don't use them as an excuse. Let's hope that at the very least our prisons-for-profit are on their way out.

President Obama claimed that atheists are not being persecuted, maybe, but we sure are being bombarded with ridiculous religious legislations and have to suffer through repeated, ever lengthening, archaic Christian rituals imposed on us all. Acknowledgment of a steadily growing number of citizens not identifying with a religion is surely welcome on my part and those recovering from Catholicism.

In closing, President Obama showed himself, as usual, to be eloquent, charming and cool, but not necessarily right on the issues.