Things did not go as I expected them to tonight. I heard there are massive solar winds that could be affecting digital things this weekend so maybe that’s what happened.
For the past 13 weeks I’ve planned my weekend entertainment around a new episode of RuPaul’s Drag Race Season 15. I briefly resented having to pay an extra $25 for it on Amazon Prime, but I’ve done the same for a couple of other seasons so I followed the same advice as I did before: If it gives you pleasure just go ahead and pay for it, you get to watch as often you want. I rarely watch a Drag Race episode more than once recently, because there are so many new ones available between the US and international shows.
So I bit the proverbial bullet and paid for Season 15 and have been enjoying settling in at the end of a work week on Saturday nights to relax and watch just one hour of consummate drag, practicing open mind-open heart all the while, expanding my horizons…
I tuned in tonight and it wasn’t there. I called Amazon support. They said it was ‘not yet available,’ with no date scheduled. I was incredulous. How could they not give me something I paid for? I thanked Lula for her time and good work, hung up, and pursued another option. Jumping through a few hoops I was able to watch the episode for free on MTV, with ads. So I extended my practice to watching what a large chunk of the populace digests every day but is alien to me by choice–the commercials made me so sad. What a world!
Before all the Amazon-MTV first world drama, I had tried to simply stream the PBS special celebrating Joni Mitchell’s finally getting the Gershwin Prize in a special concert filmed at Constitution Hall in Washington, D.C. The space was filled with music world glitterati, DC nobility, and a few startling political faces–what right do these people have to honor Joni Mitchell?! They deny basic human dignity to millions of Americans by promulgating cruel, narrow-minded, hypocritical legislation, and then think they deserve to be here? Who let them in?
My judgments ran rampant but under control for the first hour or so, generally eclipsed by the joy and beautiful music abundantly on display. No ads to make me sad, and Annie Lennox, Brandi Carlisle, Angelique Kidjo, James Taylor, Graham Nash and more to lift my spirits and celebrate an icon, a time, a world view suffused with love. But I gasped and grasped the remote to turn it off when that traitorous liar Kevin McCarthy was introduced to bestow the award on Mitchell. I wouldn’t watch it, couldn’t watch it, it was just too much to dignify that figurehead who represents the antithesis of all that Joni’s career has stood for. How could anyone there have applauded him?
Thus began the Amazon-MTV-Roku-iPhone-Bluetooth technodrama that unfolded over the next half hour before I finally got to stream three-quarters of the Drag Race episode. Some pearls of wisdom adorned the usual glam, glitter, and gossip, as when Sasha Colby said, “Just be a joy to be around, leave your ego at the door…” Suddenly the streaming froze–the solar winds won–after five techno challenges in a row I threw in the towel and turned off the outside world and went inside myself.
Here, I find Wayne Shorter crooning his saxophone, and images from the amazing early spring day I just lived through. Some I caught on my camera phone, and some live only in memory: a spotted towhee pecking through leaves under the lilacs, sandhill cranes calling overhead as I split kindling on a cloudless afternoon, mindful conversation with friends…
I’m grateful I spotted this harbinger of Spring, the Milbert’s Tortoiseshell. I texted the picture to a butterfly expert friend in Toronto who ID’d it and said, “They overwinter as adults in cracks and crevices and pop out when its warm enough. A favourite of mine. Don’t get to see one very often.” Me neither! This is my first. Very exciting! Highlight of the day! A little tattered… they only live 6-10 days in this adult form, and typically inhabit wet woodlands, moist marshes and pastures. One point for wet weather. And then, day softened into evening inside the kaleidoscope… I’m grateful for perspective.