July 29, 2015


Happy birthday to Punkinhead's favorite gentleman, Tim Gunn.
Gunn was born and raised in Washington, D.C. He is the son of Nancy (née Comfort) and George William Gunn, an FBI agent during the administration of FBI Director J. Edgar Hoover. Gunn was a champion swimmer throughout high school, and later attended the Corcoran College of Art and Design, receiving a BFA in sculpture.
Gunn, who is gay, was raised in an intensely homophobic household and viewed homosexuals as predators. According to a video Gunn created for the It Gets Better project, he attempted to commit suicide at the age of 17 by swallowing over 100 pills. He denied his sexual orientation until his early 20s, and did not share it with his family until he came out to his sister when he was 29.
Tim Gunn always makes Punkinhead smile a little bit brighter, so let's celebrate the 62nd birthday of the gay man my 20-something daughter wants to marry. (Anything's possible in America, right?)

July 28, 2015

New house

I think I found the MOST ADORABLE WAY to upgrade the sadly deteriorating playhouse in the back yard that LSH fondly refers to as the "mother-in-law suite." I am very impressed with this guy's work! If only she didn't need a bathroom...

July 27, 2015

New York Magazine's 35 Women

One of the biggest reasons the 35 women who have now publicly spoken out against Bill Cosby were marginalize and ignored for so long is that we have a predisposition in this country to assume that a "nobody" accusing a celebrity of something heinous is just out for herself. She wants money or fame or both and has made up a terrible story for attention.
So many people dismissed these women at first, not because of how much they like Cliff Huxtable (although that played a significant part) but because we attributed petty motives to these brave women. They had to know what the reaction to their accounts would be. Yet they persevered and did not waiver.
Now we see 35 women who all have similar stories spanning back over 45 years.

Now don't we all feel belittled for blaming the victim? We should.

July 23, 2015

July 22, 2015

Write an email

Make sure your representatives know that you support Planned Parenthood. 90% of what they do prevents abortions. Do not let one misleadingly-edited, questionable video determine the fate of the single largest source of preventative health care for low-income women and teens.
Even if you have never used it, the services PP provides are invaluable to mothers, sisters, wives, and daughters all over this country. And having healthy friends, coworkers, and neighbors benefits everyone. 

July 21, 2015

Clown #16

John Kasich announced his candidacy for President today. Most of the people I know in Ohio are hoping that this distracts him enough that he stops completely destroying our State.

July 20, 2015

Convieniently self-identifing racists

The wonderful (and awful) thing about Freedom of Speech, is that it allows us to identify the crazies. Anyone who can honestly argue that the confederate battle flag is not racist, is deliberately hiding his head in the sand. Maybe a few photos from the KKK rally might help. This one, in particular give you a good view of their faces so you know who the assholes are.

July 17, 2015

Friday Book Blogging

Whoo. I guess I took some time off there. Unintentionally and  inexcusably absent. I just haven't been musing much.
But I'm back with a bang and the first Friday Book Blog in forever (slight exaggeration).
This week I finally finished reading Dead Wake by Erik Larson. It is dauntingly large, but do not let that dissuade you. All of Larson's non-fiction is as spellbinding as the best fantasy novel, and his latest, a telling of the sinking of the Lusitania, is equally full of suspense despite knowing the outcome. And remember, the last 75 pages are notes, sources and index, so it's not as long as it looks.

July 7, 2015


While not newsworthy, nonetheless true:
Summer colds suck.

July 6, 2015

Happy post 4th of July

Due to the fact that my entire head decided to fill with mucous on Saturday, I missed the 4th of July festivities. Instead I went to bed at 5 o'clock and tried to sleep in between, nose-blowing, barking neighbors' dogs, and loud firecrackers. (For a state in which setting off fireworks is illegal, there sure were a lot of boom-boom-boom on Saturday in my neighborhood.)
I'm still not quite right in the head (right sinus and ear plugged 90% of the time), but I'm feeling on the mend.
One of the things I did do, was watch the hummingbird feeder outside my big front window. I have seen (and likely you have too) the videos where someone in a never-neverland of hummingbirds has about 80 birds hovering over feeders in her yard. This is an empirical impossibility based on my observations because these birds are ridiculously, fiercely territorial. I have witnessed hummingbird grudge matches that would put professional wrestlers to shame. There is a ton of nectar in my feeder and four feeding ports spaced a good two inches apart from each other, but these little critters will be damned if they have to eat with a partner.  Maybe they slurp?

Also, the next time a guy with a microphone and video camera walks up to you, please be able to tell him that on the 4th of July we celebrate our declaration of independence from England, ratified on July 4, 1776. 

July 1, 2015

Two things

Took a couple days off. Because.
Now I'm back. Two things:
1. Changing my avatar on Facebook to a rainbowed thing, is not an insult to LGBT people. Some hard-core activists are throwing shade at the rainbow avatars because they feel all the allies who are posting them aren't "invested" enough and don't deserve the right to rainbow. These whiners fail to understand that most of us are just celebrating the recognition that gay and lesbian people have *gasp* the same fundamental rights as every other American. As a hard-core feminist, I celebrate whenever human rights are validated. Yes, I am not gay. Yes, I have not ever filed an amicus brief with the court on behalf of LGBT rights. Yes, I recognize that we have a way to go. But for some to call the celebration "slacktivism" misses the whole point of the rainbows.
2. When the media spends nearly no time reporting on the arsons of historic black churches in the South, the point of whether there were 5 churches burned down by arsonists or 3 churches burned down by arsonists loses the thread. Outrage that there is ONE black church destroyed by arson is appropriate. Reporting that focuses on the two that were "likely" electrical or lightning, is just a palliative to our white guilt. We will cling to the two church fires that weren't arson, so we don't have to confront the truth of systemic racism and work to counter its effects.
That's it for now. Thanks.

June 25, 2015


The Supreme Court did well today. Let's hope the same goes for tomorrow.

update: IT DID! Equality wins.

June 24, 2015

Un reality

I'm feeling distinctly disillusioned with the real world of late, so here is a list of fictional characters I wish were real so I could hang out:
There are countless others who would be a hoot, but are not part of a series. The joy of characters who are in a series is that they come back and grow and become more real each new book. And the really well-created ones, get better with each book too.

June 23, 2015

Old hickory

We have a sick old hickory tree that, I believe has beetles and cannot survive. It is enormous and used to shade a large portion of the back yard. I wish I had thought to get a picture of it in autumn when the leaves are deep gold.

June 22, 2015

June 18, 2015


Rev. Clementa Pinckney, 41
Cynthia Hurd, 54
Sharonda Coleman-Singleton, 45
Tywanza Sanders, 26
Myra Thompson, 59
Susie Jackson, 87
Ethel Lee Lance, 70
Daniel L. Simmons, 74
Depayne Middleton Doctor, 49



Who would have believed that in this day and age, --50 years after civil rights legislation, 6 years into a black presidency, 150 years after the Civil War-- there are still Americans so full of hate.
Sad. Let's stop striving for "post-racial" and admit we see race. And once we admit that, maybe we can try to see the privileges and depredations. And once we see those, perhaps we can do something to bring about true equality.





June 16, 2015

Wait until next year

For all those of you who were rooting for the Cleveland Cavaliers, welcome to being Cleveland sports fan. Times 100.

Edit to add a link to this beautifully written Slate article expressing how Cleveland (or just me) feels about this season. 

June 15, 2015

It's not the heat; it's the humidity.

Currently the relative humidity is 91%. I has not been below 75% all day.
 (There's a lot of sciencey stuff here, but they break down the basic premise here: "For example, if the air temperature is 75 °F and the relative humidity is zero percent, then the air temperature feels like 69°F. If the relative humidity is 100 percent at the same air temperature, then it feels like 80 °F. In other words, if the air is 75 °F and contains saturated water vapor, then the human body cools itself at the same rate as it would if it were 80 °F and dry")


Everything feels damp.

June 11, 2015


Wikipedia says that Cavalier was originally coined as a pejorative term. Its root can be found in Shakespeare's cavaleros describing an "overbearing swashbuckler or swaggering gallant." During the English Civil War, Cromwell's Parlimentarians used the word as a derogatory term assigned to the Royalists.

However, for our purposes, we are using Edward Simmons description of a Cavalier:  "a Child of Honour, a Gentleman well borne and bred, that loves his king [James] for conscience sake, of a clearer countenance, and bolder look than other men, because of a more loyal Heart."

June 10, 2015


I took a couple of days off. We went to the zoo. I may have mentioned once or twice, how much I love the zoo. Even better: the Cleveland zoo has a carousel now. That's right. A merry-go-round/zoo combo is nearly a perfect summer pairing.
I had such a hard time deciding which animal to ride, I went twice. Really. The clown fish? The bald eagle? What about a classic like the tiger or lion? A fruit bat? A cuttlefish? Seriously, you can ride a cuttlefish--
both photos courtesy of the Cleveland Metroparks Zoo
In the end I chose the naked mole rat and the octopus. Because how many times can you say you've ridden a naked mole rat?