Author: citizzen anna

About citizzen anna

Art has been part of my life since childhood, and I've been writing since my college days in the 60's, when I got my Bachelor's degree in Journalism at Boston University. The writing has taken many forms including long and short non-fiction essays, poetry, journaling, autobiography, fictionalized biography, and travelogues. My art has included photography; museum exhibit installations; water color, oil and acrylic painting; clay sculpture; cartooning and caricature; 3-D and paper constructions and card-making; paper and fabric doll-making. I've also been an avid traveler since childhood and have visited more than 23 countries and 33 States(or 34?). All these experiences combined with a Master's degree in Adolescent Psychology have contributed to my focus on the subjects which inspire me most: culture, social issues, travel, psychology, person-centered education, giftedness, and creativity. I've written two books: "Sophia Sees the World", which was self-published in 2000 and is for sale at Amazon Books, and a sequel "Sophia Sees the World - the Dao of the Doll", a hand-made book which has not (yet) been published. Two other writing projects have been in process for many years with the working titles: "An Errant Trajectory - travels in search of a life" and "Self-Emulation - illumination & awakening in an ordinary life". In this blog I'll focus on my short-form social and cultural commentaries, travel photography, and some artwork. Hope they'll all be thought-provoking and enjoyable for you! Anna

Back on my sad little horse (update)

Well, now it’s been even longer since I’ve posted anything new………………..

Still burnt out from the incessant insanity coming out of DC, and who hasn’t gotten deathly sick of listening to talking heads repeating the same on TV day after day, week after week, month after month, year after year?
er me gerd!

It’s amazing to me that every night (with some shining exceptions) so many of the anchors and “analysts” who appeared nightly on CNN and MSNBC for more than three years, endlessly mused about “why” Trump would do this or that, “why” his cronies would say this or that, or “what could possibly be the motive behind” their policies, positions, and actions.

A few are still doing that. Seriously people? Are you deaf, dumb, and blind? Why are you still looking for the logic in any of it, or the “strategy”? THERE IS NONE AND NEVER HAS BEEN. You have got to realize by now, in all truth, that Trump is a pathological, sociopathic narcissist, a con-man, grifter, and cheat. And he’s still surrounded by power-hungry, honor-free folk who will do literally anything to stay in their ill-gotten positions. Whatever is good and decent be damned if it gets in their way.
It is truly sickening.

But things are finally changing! Off the top of my head here are the names of a few shining guest speakers who forcefully speak the truth about what’s really going on (in alphabetical order):
Charles Blow
Michelle Goldberg
Chris Hayes
John Heilemann
Karine Jean-Pierre
Don Lemon
Lawrence O’Donnell
Joy Reid
Maya Wiley
Jill Wine-Banks

and last but absolutely not least these former “Repuglicans”:
Ana Navarro
Rick Wilson
Steve Schmidt
David Jolly
Rick Wilson

Now these outspoken Ex Military, CIA, NSA, FBI folks: Jeremy Bash, John Bolton, John Brennan, James Clapper, Michael Hayden, John Kelly, James Mattis, HR McMasters, Matthew Miller, Malcolm Nance, Paul J. Selva, Richard V. Spencer, former Sec of State Rex Tillerson and others, frequently appear on MSNBC and CNN in increasing numbers.

This August, 73 former national security officials and other GOP officials endorsed Joe Biden for president.
In Sept, 489 retired senior military officers, national security officials and diplomats also signed a letter endorsing Biden. These included 200 four-star generals and admirals; 22 four-star retired military officers; former Cabinet secretaries; 5 former defense secretaries; former secretary of state Madeleine Albright and former NASA administrator Charles Bolden.

All of this makes me feel better, but I’m still holding my breath. Can’t begin to imagine what living in this country will be like if Trump gets a second term…………..

Here’s a link to more:

a policy proposal by John F. Kelly

Maybe we’ll just send all future “invading” illegal “aliens” into space in an “empty barrel” provided by our new “Space Force”………

(On the other hand, then who’ll clean all our fancy homes and hotels, tend our gardens, pick and process our produce, slaughter the animals we eat then pack them so neatly that we don’t have to think twice about the nastiness of it all, work in our favorite fancy restaurant kitchens, watch our children, and clean our rear ends in ritzy, and not-so-ritzy, nursing homes?)

Hmmm, that is quite a conundrum…….

How to Get Happy & Peaceful w/out Changing Yourself !

(Try one or more of these every day for a few days. Then make them part of your life. )

– Stop what you are doing
– Breathe deeply
– Close your eyes and listen closely
– Choose any random sound
– Keep breathing deeply while focusing on that sound
– Don’t interpret or “wonder” about it, just let yourself feel the sound

(If you’re in a very noisy place let yourself/your attention move on from sound to sound w/out attachment or preference, feeling each as it catches your ear. If your phone rings don’t answer, just listen to the sound w/out worrying about who it might be. They can call back! Or if someone wants your attention, just smile at them and don’t respond in any other way.

– Now open your eyes
– Pick the first thing that catches your eye and really See it: its form, color, texture, anything unique about it. Don’t name it, identify it, evaluate it, or create a “story” in your mind about it. Just let it be.
– If your mind races from one thing to another, take deep breaths and find the still point within you. It is there! (Maybe you’ve just lost track of it.)
– Return to Seeing

– Feel your body as it is in this moment
– Whatever catches your attention is worthy of a moment’s focus: if it’s a pain or discomfort don’t resist it, rather move toward it, move into it. (You’ll be surprised that instead of getting “worse”, it will lessen or ease away completely!)
– Touch part of your body. Remember, no judgment, no “story”, just Feel it.
– Pick another part and do the same thing. Feel some parts you don’t like so much and try not to judge. Pretty amazing stuff we’re made of, huh?

– Touch something familiar (some fabric, fur on your pet, skin of a fruit, metal, glass, a leaf, wood, whatever is available.)
– Close your eyes and really feel it.
– Now touch something unfamiliar. Can you believe the diversity that exists, how much different “stuff” there is?

– Next time you eat, try to actually taste the food, feel its texture, temperature etc.
– Chew slowly, and pay attention to each different food, or the mixed flavors in something like a sandwich or soup.

– Next check out other people……..familiar and unfamiliar: around you, near you, close to you; in photos, videos, books. Rather than liking or disliking what you see, examine the myriad details that add up to this unique being, the elements that create this complete “individual”: hair color & texture, skin tone, eye color, body shape, nose and mouth shape.
– Think about what’s under their skin, and how all of us are made of the same stuff with slight variations under that paper-thin veneer.

– Pay attention – be aware of each precious moment because it will never be repeated.
– Appreciate what you have rather than focusing on what you don’t have; be grateful.
– Appreciate what’s “right”, rather than obsessing about what’s “wrong”.
– Remember that we exist against all odds on this tiny little planet, one of many, in this one solar system among billions, which is in one galaxy among billions, in a universe which may not have any boundaries at all, and which may also just be one of another billion universes – we just don’t know!

Oh, and don’t forget to remember all this……like I usually do (;-)


Briskly walking, I feel the needling wind prickling my skin, anesthetizing my ears, stinging my eyes.

My senses awaken.

As I run, freedom rises through my feet, rushes up my legs into my stomach, my lungs, my head.

I am lifting, rising, soaring, becoming one with the air and sky.

I glide and look down to see the world miniaturized.

I cannot see the craziness – I am above it, beyond it. Instead I see color, symmetry, pattern, texture.

Pleasure warms me, flowing through my veins, giving me energy to dip and dive, rise and fall with the currents.

My solitude is joy and peace instead of pain, and I soar into infinity.

Way to “Be Best” Melania

So, whatever modicum of empathy I’d held in reserve for Melania Trump (on the supposition that she could be a decent human being, held hostage by her monstrous husband) has now, of course, evaporated in the harsh heat of a Texas desert.

“Tone deaf” doesn’t remotely begin to describe what she did by wearing that jacket. It was a vile mockery of anyone who actually does care, has a heart, and basic decency. What exactly was the point of going to Texas anyway?

So it turns out these two deserve each other – and now it all makes sense: how she’s “tolerated” his cheating, lies, blind self-absorption, racism, unlimited and deliberate ignorance etc etc. Apparently she’s the same in many ways. (She once said he reminds her of her father, and I wondered what that meant. Now I know – she admires them both.)

And look at the children these two have spawned: Baron, a withdrawn and odd youngest child; and by the Donald with his other two wives: Don Jr, a bloodthirsty exterminator of innocent animals and the truth; Eric, the “loser” every one mocks (might he actually have escaped the destiny of being less of a horrible human being than his father wanted him to be?); Ivanka, the robotic, materialistic phony; and the other daughter (what’s her name again?) for years cast aside, likely because she was too loyal to her mother – the middle wife, Marla – what ever happened to her anyway?

I’ve always thought there was something a bit “witchy” (no offense all good witches out there) about Melania – something lurking under that fake smiling mask. She probably has a few million-dollar, gold-plated brooms hidden in her closets which are likely the size of small apartments (the closets, not the brooms). I just wish she’d hop on one and go back to where she came from. Because personally, I welcome far more warmly, the “illegal aliens invading” our country from “shithole” countries far more than I do people like her. (Oh, and don’t for the love of Pete, forget to take that jerk in the now orange-tainted White House with you!)

Guess it may be time to take the bodhi out of my email address. I’ve obviously been poisoned by their choleric (un-drained) swamp.

DJT monikers

Some great new monikers seen online for derTrumpinator:

Sentient Cheeto
Hair Twitler (my favorite)
His Lowness
Clodwork Orange
(from Murfster35 at Daily Kos):
Trumpelthinskin (another fav)
Glorious Bleater
Tiny Thumbs Diktator
Orange-whip topped Buffoon
The Cheeto Prophet
The Orange Tufted Poodle
The Orange Swami
Tangerine Tantrum Machine
Der Gropinfuror
as for his crew:

Blarah Flackabee Slanders
Mitch “Yertl the Turtle”
Trump’s Hole-in-the-ass gang
Insane Klown Possie
The SS Trumptanic
Rumdumb Rudy
America’s Funniest Home Attorney, Mikey “The Mope” Cohen
Donnie Redux/Dimwit Deux

This image is classic Drumphster (Looks like he’s thinking: “Hmm, his hands are bigger than mine, I don’t like it, don’t wanna shake it! Also he’s a foreigner, so probably has cooties arrghh!“)

Followed later by this brilliant contribution to international dopelomacy:

“PM Justin Trudeau of Canada acted so meek and mild during our @G7 meetings only to give a news conference after I left saying that, “US Tariffs were kind of insulting” and he ‘will not be pushed around.’ Very dishonest & weak,” Trump tweeted.

What’s this guy’s obsession with strength vs weakness about anyway? 

I suspect his father was a bully just like him, or more likely worse. And ever notice Trump NEVER mentions his mother? Hmmm- did he even have one?

And this is well worth a view:

The Atlantic:  Climate Change Is Going to Make Scott Pruitt Need So Much Moisturizer

So my DJT slogan of the day: Extreme venting – not to be confused with vetting


As I watched the March for our Lives coverage, I couldn’t stop crying………………
As a former adolescent mental health counselor and researcher/writer with a focus on youth, I was so deeply moved by the impressive courage, conviction, commitment and amazingly articulate expression of these young people, which filled me with desperately needed and renewed hope.

So today I spent a little time perusing the web for related content and came across this item. (Note that this poll was taken well before the Parkland murders.)

Pew survey 8/2016: “Opinion on Gun Control among Americans by Race”
• Asian: Control gun ownership 71%/protect gun ownership 17%
• Black: Control gun ownership 73%/protect gun ownership 25%
• Hispanic: Control gun ownership 69%/protect gun ownership28%
• White: Control gun ownership 42%/protect gun ownership 55%

Clearly these figures indicate the latter group is riddled with fear that their precious supremacy in this country is “endangered”. It also explains – yet again – why Trump “won” the presidency (though he really didn’t, by more than 3 million votes – just to remind) largely through fear-mongering. This being a common tactic of those who have little or nothing else to offer, and an audience already primed to buy into their message.

Humans all over the world obviously remain intensely tribal despite thousands of years of civilization. Fear of the “other” is still rooted in our primitive brains. Especially, it seems, in the brains of folk who have generally enjoyed some more privilege and advantage…..the idea of giving any of that up apparently triggers the altruistic part of the brain to shut down, and the lizard brain to fully activate.

BUT the diversity of the March yesterday, and the warm, embracing inclusion of people from communities quite different from Parkland, also give me hope that this too may change.

As much as I sometimes rail against the “evils” of social media, all of this is the undeniably positive side of its existence. This new generation is global, multi-racial, diverse in so many other ways and they are going to tear down any walls, whether physical or conjured. They are going to fearlessly demand justice and sane policies.

They are going to VOTE for those who represent these values.

So knock yourselves out Trump and the NRA, just try to build your stupid wall and sell a gun to every human being in this country who wants one. Then get ready to crawl back into your dens of darkness before the bright light of these young people blinds you!


Last night I had a dream and this is its story:

I lived on a stunning green and blue planet named Earth, one of eight (more or less) that spun around a great fiery star called the Sun; contained within a swirling great galaxy of many other suns and planets, floating in a vast and boundless universe. (Certainly this, so far, is a scene anyone can relate to – the setting of a dream based on things we know.)

But as my dream unfolded and its details emerged I became aware of things startlingly different from our familiar world. Endowed with the omnivision of a dream I was able to see many places at once. And one detail soon became obvious: each country’s capital was marked by a huge and very unusual construction. These were all quite similar in their dark colors and overall angular characteristics, but their sizes and exact shapes differed. The presence of these structures everywhere made it obvious there was something very important about them.

So, using another special talent bestowed to humans only in dreams, I swooped down like a bird for a closer look. I circumnavigated one, then another and another of these massive shapes, traveling supersonically from one country to the next, searching for an answer.

Initially it seemed these were just massive blackish blobs of metal, though in fact angular, rather than blobular. But I knew there must be a significance to them, so I searched for details that might provide some clues. Closer scrutiny of one, revealed surfaces that were not smooth but irregular and marked with a great variety of small protrusions and depressions. One such shape jumped out in relief at me, but it took several seconds to register what it was – a partially melted gun. Thus informed, I scanned the rest of the sculpture and identified many more parts of guns, rifles, automatic weapons, grenades, missiles, weapons of all kinds. In our own nation’s capitol the sculpture was, of course, quite massive – created from many thousands of guns.

Then, with the speed and ease of a character in an Ann Rice novel, I revisited the sites of the other constructions scattered in capitals all over the world. Armed with my new insight it was now easy to identify the same shapes of weapons melted together in these huge metal piles. Intrigued, in one location I asked passers-by about the significance of this. (Of course they all could understand me perfectly.) They explained that citizens in each country had somehow been persuaded to turn in all their weapons so they could be melted down to create these monuments symbolizing a world-wide commitment to non-violence.

Then I woke up to the real world of the USA.

Covered in blood

The NRA, in my opinion, is guilty of aiding domestic terrorism and wanton murder. Their gun-ridden hands are covered in blood. They and other such organizations should no longer be allowed to make political contributions – having horribly and persistently abused their right to “free speech”.

We are obviously such an immature country that we can’t manage to work out reasonable limits to such freedoms, especially the “right to bear arms” which is absurdly inappropriate for these times and extremely, dangerously, misinterpreted. It’s illegal to yell “fire” in a public gathering, drive without a license, not pay taxes (unless of course you are wealthy) etc. Seriously??

I do my best to support worthy causes, though I have not recently joined a march. However, the latest wanton slaughter and brave, out-spokenly honest mobilization of survivors from the high school in Florida, may just be what gets me to put on my best walking shoes (despite no shiny buckles). At any rate, I will at least be making a monetary contribution to their movement, despite doubts that it can make a lasting difference on the national scale. (Although quite impressively, they were able to move the sycophantic governor of Florida to enact some changes to their state gun laws.

If I’ve learned anything from the current political situation, it’s that our system of gov’t is not always the shining and effective model “we” have always claimed it to be. Our founders could never have imagined these irresponsible abuses of rights and power. They assumed persons elected to any highest office would (in general) be mature, responsible, thoughtful, logical, minimally corrupted, and actually capable of responding appropriately and readily to such crises. They also thought they had built in proper and effective safeguards for abuses of power that might occasionally arise. Oops……..

(Might also be time to cease claiming we’re “the best country in the world” – which is highly offensive to the rest of the world at any time, and downright embarrassing now.)