There’s been a lot going on.
And more news on my dad.
The most recent of the above happenings are the massive amounts of water that hit Texas and Louisiana — apparently it’s the biggest national disaster in American history. (Which I understand was not caused by climate change, but was made a lot worse by it; more on that later.) And which is why I’m writing this from LAX — my flight back to NYC was supposed to go through Houston. D’oh!
But at least I got to spend another day with my parents. Because the news on my Dad is that his bladder cancer metastasized into his lung. (I know.) So I was here in California hanging out with my parents (and my adorbs nephew) before my Dad starts chemo, doing what we do best: eating and drinking. (And those of you who pooh-pooh California wine have definitely not tasted what my Dad pours.)
I’ve been after him for years to eat healthier, and now he’s finally listening . . . sort of. He’s switched up his breakfast from half a pastry bought in bulk from Costco with a list of ingredients as long as a Trump tie, to his version of health food: half a toasted whole-wheat bagel with cream cheese. (I know.) Baby steps. But there’s one thing I can’t get through to either of them about that drives me bananas: the environmental stuff.
Do you know how hard it is for an enviro-dork like me to watch her own mother dry the fitted and flat bedsheets separately — in their industrial-sized dryer?
Or to see her dump like a quarter-cup of Comet scouring-powder-with-bleach into the sink to clean the “stain” from a carrot I peeled?
Or to watch my dad drink three single-use plastic bottles of water when he plays tennis, instead of using the big, snazzy tennis-ball-color Klean Kanteen I got him for Christmas? And the fact that he refills those plastic bottles is almost worse, given the chemical-leeching nature of that plastic, which he denies. I’ve got a denier in my own family! The horror!! And my parents are Democrats, for gosh sakes. Shows how little progress I’m making in saving the planet when I can’t even get my own parents to reduce waste.
But I love my mom and dad. I always know they’ve got my back. And they do turn off the A/C at night (daytime temps hit 100+ while I was there). And I got to go with them to meet two different oncologists. And see my cute cousin and her cute hub. And have dinner with my friend Mandie at the hip, LA-beautiful, super-yummy vegan Mexican restaurant, Gracias Madre. You know you’re in California when they ask if you’d like cannabis in your skinny margarita. (I just had regular booze, since I had to drive my mom’s Lexus back down to Orange County.)
Hey, speaking of deniers . . . This is for all my Trump-supporting readers (it is a goal of mine to reach you guys, although I may not accomplish it by comparing the Prez to a traffic cone): About a week before Hurricane Harvey hit, Trump issued an Executive Order that revokes flood-risk standards that take climate change and sea-level rise into account when building new infrastructure. We don’t need those, right?
‘Cause corporations don’t like regulations.
And ’cause Donny has the penthouse at Trump Tower, so he’ll be fine when Lower Manhattan floods again, right? (Good luck, Texas. And South Florida. And the Carolinas. And my neighborhood in the West Village for that matter — the flood waters missed my door by a few feet during Hurricane Sandy, but I still had to vacate, having no water or power for almost a week, and just after I’d had some fairly substantial surgery — good times! Bonne chance, Louisiana!)
And ’cause Obama’s the guy who set those standards, and racists do NOT like things that Obama accomplished.
And speaking of affordable healthcare . . . nah, let’s save that for another post.
But speaking of Houston, Trump (and Jeff Sessions, if they’re speaking to each other) must’ve been shitting themselves when they saw all the Tex-Mex folks being rescued from the flood waters, with their little old abuelas and soaking-wet pets. “Whaaat?? They’re saving immigrants? Where are the white people??”
And I can imagine the hubbub on Air Force One when the Tweet storm about Melania’s stiletto Manolos started. “Who on this plane wears a ladies size 9 1/2? You, little guy over there, give Melania your Nikes — we’ll get you a new pair in Houston. Mnuchin, hand over your white button-down! And get her a MAGA baseball cap, STAT!”
By the by, y’all know it’s the environment that’s taking the worst hit by the Conservatives now, right? And when I say “the environment,” I mean the people who live in it — who drink the water and breathe the air and eat the food. (That’s us.)
While Trump plays with firetrucks, and calls white supremacists “nice people,” and threatens nuclear war with Korea, the Republicans and their corporate cash cows and zillionaire funders can quietly tear apart the government as we know it. Why do you think they put up with him? He’s the perfect focus-puller. And stop crediting him with distracting people and the press with his Twitter bombs and his ridiculous rallies. He doesn’t do it consciously. He doesn’t do anything consciously.
And that’s how we end up with a bill in Congress to dump the EPA, a halting of a mining health study, a disbanding of a federal advisory panel for the National Climate Assessment, the downsizing national parks, scrubbing the EPA’s climate change website . . . Protect our citizens? Nah. These guys interpret the Constitution like Will Farrell’s Ricky Bobby interprets Christianity:
Meanwhile, Kenya just passed a strict law outlawing ALL plastic bags, punishable by up to four years in prison. That’s Kenya, people. I’ve been to Kenya, and spent time with locals — it was amazing. But if a country with some of the worst poverty I’ve ever observed first-hand can understand the harm of plastic waste? C’mon, Governor Cuomo, get out of bed with the single-use bag manufacturers.
Well, I’m finally back in NYC now. A (white) couple sitting next to me on one of my flights was trying to get back to Houston, where they live, after a weekend at the casinos. Their home is okay. And I’m wiped.
Next time I’ll tell you about the conversation I had with my old roommate Jin, who lives in Seoul. She told me how different groups in South Korea feel about North Korea — which sounds much like the political divide we have here in the States. FOLLOW ME BELOW to be notified of that.
Meanwhile, talk to me in the comments. Bye!!