Friday, October 23, 2009

Everything's Jake

My little cheap camera does not like taking snaps of physical photographs. It always blurs the image ... sorry about that. This was taken in San Francisco when Jake was quite young. He sneezed at the perfect second. Isn't it sweet?

I took a walk around Takoma Park yesterday. They call it "the Berkeley of the DC area". Oh yeah.

I saw a sign in the window of the pet store announcing that they sell products for "socially conscious pets." So - your dog and cat must be socially conscious? For heaven's sake.

At another shop, there were onesies for sale that said, "Stop the killing, stop the war - for me, please." That's an awful big burden to put on an infant, don't you think? My goodness, even newborns must advocate against war, before they can speak, before they can even crawl. Poor little things. Put a dollar in the therapy jar for those kids - because if it starts within weeks of their birth, you can only imagine the heavy responsibilities their parents will load onto their tiny shoulders by the time they're in kindergarten. Sheesh.

When I first came to the DC area I lived for two years in Takoma Park. I thought I would enjoy it since I am a serious lefty and felt I would be amongst like minds. Maybe I should say I am a lefty, but not so serious that I think my pet has to be socially conscious, that my baby has to save the world.

Do you think that sort of self-righteous indignation is a veneer that covers a pervasive species-wide self hatred? I wonder. I firmly believe we human beings are definitely the most self-critical species on earth.

On the right side of the political spectrum all the hatred aimed at gay people or non-Christians, for instance, is a different way of expressing our tendency to loathe homo sapiens. I'm a lone voice out there, it seems, always defending my species. We do the best we can and though we often make a mess of things, I don't believe we're any worse than, say, beavers or grasshoppers - except that we have opposable thumbs and overly developed frontal cortexes, which enables us to make the biggest messes you can imagine. But we're not trying to be awful. Well, maybe Dick Cheney tries, but most folks? We're just living our lives as best we can.

Live and let live, I say. That thought form rings true to me and shows me, in no uncertain terms, why I really disliked living in Takoma. Yuck!

As for the nostalgia, it began to fade yesterday when I realized what's actually going on is that I'm grieving the loss of Jake. I really miss him. I loved that dog so much!

Happy Friday and weekend y'all. I'm off to work. Hope you have a good one.

Here I am on a windy day in San Francisco. I think I'm squinting because of the sun and wind, but I do appear quite hauty, as if I could be a citizen of Takoma Park. I'm about 33 or 34. My t-shirt (loved that shirt) is a Roy Lichenstein print. The cartoon character woman is saying, "Nuclear war?? What about my career??" The man is saying, "You can get another job, darling."


NanU said...

You say things so perfectly sometimes. For me too, lefties, especially when they're well-to-do, easily slip into insufferability.
Socially conscious pets => socially holier than thou pet owners. The poor dogs just want a bone to chew and a ball to run after.
But who can argue with stopping war for the sake of children everywhere? That's where the super-left gets ya. Hard to say no, war's ok.
Therapy all around!

Rick said...

I know what you mean about cheap cameras and any kind of motion. It's still a nice shot.
I agree that pets and children shouldn't be turned into political billboards. Children, in particular, should be allowed to grow up and decide for themselves... with some guidance from the family dog, of course...
Nice t-shirt... ;-)

lakeviewer said...

Yes, some people rub your face into their politics and the smell is too much for everyone. Environmentalists are beginning to get to me; I want to be pro-active, but I still want to use paper towels when necessary, and all the conveniences that are necessary and hygienic. Some people go way too far for comfort and balance.

Steve said...

What great photos! It's especially great to see the one of you on a windy day. I always think looking at old photos of myself is like looking at an entirely different person -- and it is, I guess, in a way.

I actually like Takoma Park, but I agree people can be a bit insufferable in their self-righteousness.

I think you have a nobler view of humanity than I do, though, Reya. I don't think most people are doing the best they can. I think most of them are corrupted by greed and other delusions that they don't even try to struggle against. If they were trying that would be one thing, but many people are content to wallow, especially if they believe their delusions make them comfortable. (Which they rarely do.)

Mary said...

Thoughful as always - I am SOO laissez faire about people that sometimes I fear I lack committment.
Takoma would not be for me !!

Elizabeth said...

Cool picture of lovely Jake in his tarboosh (aka FEZ).
Yes, it is a bit much to force your political view on the young and defenceless.......
Some people won't give up, like a friend who is trying to save the world from under his bed in Queens
fires off about 10 e-mails a day but cannot risk coming into Manhattan...
why is it that some people irk one no end and others you just blow it off?
Happy weekend.

Lori ann said...

You are lovely and wise Reya. I'm sorry your missing Jake so much.
I wish selfcritisism was a word we could banish from language and minds.
Do you still have your teeshirt?

Expat From Hell said...

Great post, and good for me to be back here reading you again. Ah, the San Francisco days....I can just see the Grateful Dead out there in the distance, or another movie opening for, maybe, Fritz the Cat. Jake is loved and missed by many, thanks to you....

Peace and love....EFH

karen said...

I absolutely love the old photos of you and Jake. Particularly the beautiful one of you! It's still early days, really, I'm not at all surprised you are still missing him x

Whitney Lee said...

I love the picture of Jake. I have a great one in that vein where I caught my dog mid-nose lick.
I tended to put my daughter in onesies that said things like ''that smell is coming from daddy." Typically more honest and a bit less pressure!
I try to appreciate the time I run into the insufferably self righteous. I am afraid if left unchecked I could lean in that direction and it always does me good to have a reality check. Lord knows I don't want to be the pain in the ass that I think those folks are.
The photo of you in the wind is lovely.

Reya Mellicker said...

Of course I'm being as judgmental about Takoma Park people as I accuse them of being...dear dear.

And NO I am NOT in favor of war, but hey people, why don't YOU wear the T-shirt. Let the babies just be babies, my goodness.

Don't know why some irk and some don't Elizabeth. What a good question!

The t-shirt is long gone. It served its purpose, then went into the rag bag, and finally, into the trash. May it RIP. I loved that shirt.

Reya Mellicker said...

Steve - Greed is fear, it's about scarcity. When I first read the Norse myths, and thought about how hard it was to survive up there at that time in history, greed and hoarding suddenly made sense to me. I think most of the time, what I think of as greed looks (to the person I'm judging) like making sure they and their families/clans/tribes are safe.

I don't think humans are any more noble than elephants, for instance, but not any less either.

John Hayes said...

What great pix--Jake in a fez is adorable! I think I probably fall into Steve's way of thinking, tho you do have a good point about tribes/clans etc. Still, when you look at folks who seem pretty much bad to the core like Cheney, it seems that greed (both for money & power) has a lot to do with it.

Nancy said...

I can really feel how lonely you are for Jake. :-(

No, I don't think you would fit in Tacoma Park. You have a realistic view of the human condition. Not to mention a very kind heart.

Have you considered a rescue dog? There are some friendly little guys out there just waiting for the kindness of a stranger. We always have a dog. I think we always will.

Have a great weekend, dear Reya.

willow said...

I was imagining Jake in the fez sneezing. I'm glad you showed us the pic! Our youngest son was always dressing up our lab, Ralphy. Too cute.

Washington Cube said...

The guy in the photograph with you is Joe Spano from Hill Street Blues, for faithful Reya readers.

As for Takoma Park. For decades now they have been trying to ban gas powered lawn mowers and insisting that home owners use only hand push. They also, for decades have harbored illegal "aliens" read :immigrants, thus nullifying our country's immigration laws. They have also given said illegals the right to vote. They have laws where you have to get permission from the city Tree Arborist to prune a tree, let alone remove one on your own property. Years ago, their Mayor was a Communist, then one phase a lesbian. It's almost as if you have to solely wear garments made in a third world nation and Birkenstocks to exist there. I've always said they are so far to the Left that they have circled back around into the Right. Their brand of liberalism (and self-righteous about it) is not attractive (to wit: the baby onsie.)

I have boxes of old family photographs to go through. Every winter I say, "This is the year I tackle this problem. I'll say it again. This is the year I'll tackle this problem and finally get it behind me.

P.S. Pretty, pretty Reya inside and out.

Linda Sue said...

Oh dear, that sort of baby shirt brings out the devil in me- My t-shirt reads "nuke the baby"...Ahhh Jake, bless his little puppy soul...Love that shot of him and the one of you back in the day- Adorable!

Barry said...

A little humour, like your t-shirt suggests, never hurts and can only help.

Lindsay's a great dog but she has the social conscience of a gnat.

We love her still.

ellen abbott said...

Your t-shirt reminds me of a far side cartoon where tow guys were in a boat seeing a mushroom cloud in the distance. One guy is saying to the other...I'll tell you what that means, it means damn the limit!

Live and let live...wise words we should all strive to live by.

Bee said...

You look like Nicole Kidman in your picture . . . before the Botox and blown-out hair.

Your comments about our collective species love for self-righteous indignation reminded me, guiltily, of how much I LOVED TO COMPLAIN (and joke) about President Bush, but now I can't bear it when people don't treat President Obama with respect. Hmmm.

Tom said...

ha...a lefty maybe, but practical...let me know when you're about to chain yourself to a tree, i might want to tag along...have always wanted to see the redwoods!

and how did you ever get Jake to wear a hat! That's a good trick.

Reya Mellicker said...

Yes, Bee, EXACTLY. I've been thinking about how to become more tolerant and understanding, even with people I disagree with. That's probably why I got so riled up in Takoma Park.

And I don't think greed is a GOOD thing, not by any measure, but I believe it doesn't look like greed to those who with greedy behaviors.

As for the pic of me at 33 - you mean - I don't still look EXACTLY like this ???

Hahahahahahahah!! or should I say


k-brow said...

Jake as a Shriner?! Ahhh, Jake, who is at the heart of your heart, as well he should be, still. He is absolutely adorable in that pic, as are you in the one below.

I struggled living in Davis, in spite of my liberal views and rural sensibility; everything just seemed seemed so very falsely small-town liberal NIMBY. So thrilled to move out to Sacramento, a gritty, diverse, real city... probably a naively self-righteous attitude on my own part, but there you have it.

These are confusing times. As usual, your blogging leaves me pondering. Good stuff.

The Bug said...

What a cute picture of Jake! Great timing.

I spent the 80s trying to get hair that looked like yours - a perm or a body wave twice a year... I finally gave up & just live with my not-quite-stick-straight hair.

steven said...

reya yeah - you are i am we are who we are doing what we can with what we've got. i just wanna bring goodness in the time i'm given. the jakester's such a funky cool puppy . . . still resonating out there.
the past is a lovely place. you can go there any time. you can bring bits of it here. the past is always present. sweet dc dreams . . . steven

Kerry said...

Oh, sweet boy Jake. It's good to find those old pictures and look at them.

Reya Mellicker said...

Bug my hair was always a problem for me - until the 80's when suddenly rat's nest hair was really "in." I always wanted straight hair, always.

Merle Sneed said...

My gosh, Jake was a Shriner? did he have a little clown car too?

I should be enough for people to take principled stands without dragging in innocent hostages to the cause.

Mrsupole said...

I think that saying "If you cannot stand the heat, then get out of the fire." applies to people who made fun of the other guy and do not like it when someone makes fun of their guy.

I also love how people use the saying "Live and let live", but they want you to live the way they think you should, I agree that we all should strive to truly follow these words.

And I think that you were finally finding out that a person can feel liberal about some things, then conservative about others, while also having moderate views too. And one can have all of those views about something at the same time.

And if you think about it, we all must suffer some type of greed feelings or else we would own nothing and just live with the bare necessities. I like to look at it as the fact we are all just "nesting", which almost all creatures do that to some degree. We usually just say they are being territorial.

While some have better "nests", others might have less "nests", and some feel their "nests" are just right. We do seem to need some kind of nest.

I feel that the most important thing we should do is to just love. Love is the most important thing in the world. To love someone more than we love ourselves is probably the best feeling we can ever experience. I think that is one of the greatest things we posess. And because dogs have this ability on such a large scale, this is the reason humans place so much importance on their pets.

A dog will gladly give up their life for someone they love, while not all humans are willing to do this. It just shows you the purity of their love. Humans truly need to spend more time contemplating on this difference and learn something from it.

Although I do think that when most humans become a parent, most all of them subconsiously experience this same feeling. But sadly it usually only applies to their children. Dogs seem to have this feeling towards many humans. Although I wonder if firemen and policemen, who willingly give up their life to save another, have moved these feelings up to their conscious level.

When a human gives up their life to save another, it does seem to shock other humans. That is why we call them "Hero".

Okay, there I go again, doing the philosphy thing. Gonna stop right now, well until the next comment.

God bless.

PS...I love the pics of you and Jake. I too hate my curly hair. Straight hair rocks!!! Oh how I wish I had straight hair. And your hair is straight compared to mine. Mine curls up about 3 or 4 inches shorter. Ugh!!

Mrsupole said...

Sorry, I should have turned that into a post. I guess I am gonna have to go off my break pretty soon. Typing is getting a little better. Yea!!!