I’ve never been a fan of Tony Goldwyn, the actor.  It’s Carl Bruner’s fault. If he wasn’t such a schmuck….

One of the things I love about my summers is the time I have to indulge in lots of reading and watching Netflix, or IMTV, or Amazon, and scarfing popcorn like a starving ogre in a dark movie theater. This summer I’ve been watching Scandal.


I don’t know why, except maybe because I watched all of the latest season of House of Cards in two days. That’s probably why. In any case, I started watching it, realized Mr. Goldwyn was portraying the president, felt nauseous, and looked around for something else to watch.  I didn’t find anything satisfying, and trudged back to Scandal. I like Huck and Quinn. I determined to watch just the first season. And then it happened. There was a moment in that first season where Mr. Goldwyn communed with me. The slimy bastard, he caught me.


This isn’t the look that brought me to my knees.

For those of you who haven’t partaken. Scandal details the presidency of this guy and his affair with the pretty girl up there by the name. Yeah, he’s married and has a family. Yeah, she’s single, her brain not turned to mush by children, her time to straighten her hair on a daily basis, her own. Basically, the show follows the ups and downs of two people who love each other, but can never be together.

Normally, I wouldn’t survive her stridency, her non-stop self aggrandizing, her ridiculous perfection, but normally Mr. Goldwyn wouldn’t be standing strong and silent in the background breaking my heart. Normally I’d think he was getting what he deserved, slimy bastard.

But this time, my heart stuttered when it remembered how that feeling brought me to my knees, the one that just pulled his features into heartbreak for that split second, I remember how that felt. And then he did it again, and again, and again, until I cried uncle. And he’s continued to wring my heart in his hand for four seasons with his longing. His desperation for the company of one who doesn’t speak at him, need him, want a bit of his power, but the one who communes with him in utter and complete silence. The one who sees magnificence in his commonality, his boxers and bare feet on a Saturday morning. The one who tapes the apneic snore when he falls asleep on his back, for proof. The one that loves his scar because it’s real.

I live that look. I plot my days to survive that very hunger.


I was reminded of a line from an old John Wayne western, I think it was Big Jake, mmm, nope it was Rio Lobo. A terrifically young Jennifer O’Neill bunks down by John Wayne in the middle of the night. The next morning when Wayne demands to know why she didn’t cuddle with the younger,  hotter Captain Pierre Cordona she defends herself telling him “You’re comfortable!”.

This post reminded me never to underestimate the appeal, or importance of a little comfort.



“By the time you are Real, most of your hair has been loved off, and your eyes drop out and you get loose in the joints and very shabby. But these things don’t matter at all, because once you are Real you can’t be ugly, except to people who don’t understand.” – The Velveteen Rabbit […]

via The Broken Ones — The Ochre Muse

Thermopolis, Wyoming


It was a rather quick trip, made so by my chauffeur’s driving antics the previous week. The deer is fine. The girlfriend is fine. The boy is fine. The car is sort of drive-able but required $$$ repairs. His next two or three paychecks will be coming to me instead of going into his project car. Not quite how he imagined his summer. Me either. It scared him, losing control on a gravel road. I’m glad. It was a good, injury free, wallet painful, way to learn. It’s also the first time his actions have had an unpleasant effect on the rest of the people who live with him. That was good for him too.


I spent most of my three days in Thermopolis, Wyoming, people watching. It’s the other grandparents, the other aunts and uncles, and I was able to sit and listen. My little family is geographically remote from any relatives. The closest living twelve hours away. In fact, this is the closest we’ve lived to relatives since the boy was five. As we all gather from here and there at the local motel, it takes less than an hour for me to remember why I love the remote, drama-free prairies of North Dakota.


I’ve given lots of thought to the politics in big families. I’ve read about birth order, about emotionally stunted parents, about abuse and neglect. I’ve taken into consideration that adoption seriously colors my vision. I’m old enough to know that interpersonal is all kinds of complicated, especially in a family with ten children. This is what I don’t understand–

Parents who believe they can always be fair.

Parents who consistently side/choose the in-law over their own children.

The one or two siblings to whom on-time has no meaning.

That one kid who can never do what everyone else does. Can’t stay at the same hotel, can’t swim at the hot spring, can’t be bothered to watch his/her own children.

Kids who cannot care any less about how much time or money their parents put in to plan this. Kids who don’t stop to think, this odd little place is a hidden treasure to mom and dad. Kids who never think to say thank you.

Adult siblings who have to be assigned separate housing because they can’t be together for five minutes without screaming fights.

Siblings, adult siblings, who think after twenty plus years, they can shock you with their newly discovered hobbies, atheism, politics, sex play.

The battle for mom and dad’s attention. Really? Still?

The lack of manners that becomes suddenly acceptable because we’re all family here


It seems to me, that if I only get to see you once every year or two, I might be able to hold my tongue and my temper. I might smile instead of smirk, I might be a little more tolerant, laugh at the jokes, let the kids stay up late and don’t take personally every comment made.

I might except, well, we’re all family here.