Just let it go.

It has been a long time since I have blogged, and my few readers have long since melted away, so I feel I can say whatever I want, just to get it off my chest.

Can we all please STOP with the why’s and wherefore’s of Robin Williams’ suicide?

Can we STOP with the obscene innuendos, nasty speculations, and ghoulish delight about every sickening detail?

It makes me want to forgo Facebook forever.

Every mutant, jejune, nasty, ignoble, CLUELESS comment makes me want to spit nails.

If you don’t have any idea of what deep depression really means – and those of you who make the comments I am referring to manifestly do NOT – then please do the rest of us a favor and SHUT THE HELL UP.

But for those of us who are crying – for reasons we don’t understand – about the death of a person we did not know, but felt somehow that we did – those of us who feel diminished by his absence – I have something for you. This is NOT for the haters. This is for those of us who feel we have lost someone we may not have known, but who meant something to us in ways we probably can’t process. Maybe we don’t need to. Maybe we should just go with the grief, even if we can’t explain it.

I also can’t explain why everything that follows is in italics – with varying fonts – but I’m copying and pasting – and it’s not important anyway – so bear with.

This is a post from a blog called “Backwards In High Heels”. http://taniakindersley.blogspot.com/
It is beautifully put. I only know of it because Stephen Fry, himself no stranger to depression, posted it. It’s long, but worth the read. It is not just about Robin’s death – it goes right to the heart of the evil that we call “depression”:

“Tuesday, 12 August 2014

Never send to know.

It’s quite an odd thing, to cry for a stranger. One may feel sadness and melancholy and regret for so many deaths: the ones in the newspapers which run into horrifying statistics, almost beyond the ability of the brain to process, like the Yazidis or the Syrians or the Gazans, or those closer to home, the teenage car crashes or fire fatalities reported in the local press. John Donne’s lines live always with me:Any man’s death diminishes me,
Because I am involved in mankind,
And therefore never send to know for whom the bell tolls;
It tolls for thee.But still, to find oneself weeping blindly in an ordinary kitchen, making an ordinary cup of coffee, on an ordinary, rainy Scottish morning, because of the death of a famous person, as if that person were a best beloved – that is quite strange.

And yet, perhaps it is entirely explicable. Many other people seem to have had the same reaction to the shocking loss of Robin Williams. I sat with a friend in the field in the rain, as the red mare listened, and tried to work it all out. It was not just the straight sadness of a bright spirit snuffed out too soon. It was not only the thought of the family and friends left bereft. It was, we thought, the terrible poignancy of a man who gave so much joy, who lifted up so many hearts, being unable to stop himself from sinking.

We came back to the same line: if Robin Williams could not make it, who could?

Perhaps too there was the contemplation of the power of those demons, which robbed him of hope. If they could overcome such a dazzling, inventive mind, such a good heart, such a glittering talent, they must have been almost supernatural in their agency. The thought of the long fight he must have waged with them was one of unimaginable terror.

Depression is a bastard, and it is a thief. It is random and it does not discriminate. It takes the brilliant and the beautiful, the kind and the good, the funny and the clever. It does not give a shit how much you are adored or how much joy you give or how many prizes you win. It is no respecter of money or class or fame.

As the affection and grief roll round the internet, my friend and I say, as one: if only he knew how much he was loved. There is the silent, melancholy rider: it would have made no difference. Depression does not count blessings. Blessings, ironically, may make the sufferer feel even worse. How dare I be afflicted when I have all this?

Out in the open prairies of the web, where so often the craziness of crowds lives, comes the wisdom of crowds. People are shining lights into those dark corners where debilitation and shame live. It’s a condition, they are saying, as real and painful as a broken leg. You can’t fix a shattered limb by the power of thought or will; you can’t say to someone with a smashed femur, cheer up, butch up, man up. Don’t be afraid to ask, people are saying; stretch out your hand for help. There is help, there are people who love you, you are not alone.

Ordinary people, touched by this extraordinary man, are remembering Captain, my Captain, and wanting to stand on their desks and be remarkable.

I met Robin Williams once. I was a waitress in a tiny café  in a valley in Scotland, and I went over to a table and asked the new arrivals what they would like, and stared straight into that familiar, smiling, open face. I have an odd benchmark of character: I judge people very much on how they treat waiters. Williams was enchanting. He was gracious and polite and regular; he had no sense at all of the Big I Am. He was gentle and quiet, with no trace of that wild, manic, public persona. The other lovely thing, in that small highland village, was that everyone left him alone. Nobody pointed or stared or asked for his autograph. They gave him the courtesy of allowing him to be an ordinary man, just for one day.

I have a fantasy in my mind that he ordered the special lentil soup that I had made that morning. It was a long time ago. I think he probably did not have the soup. I think he just had a cup of coffee. I prided myself on my barista skills, newly learnt, and I made the hell out of that cup of coffee. I don’t expect you can really judge someone on one brief transactional meeting, but I was left with the impression of a very, very nice man. A gentle goodness shone out of him like starlight. Perhaps that is why so many people, from the humblest waitress to the most storied Hollywood star, are so sad.

He did not belong to us. I think of the heartbreaking moment in Out of Africa, where Meryl Streep looks down bleakly on a mound of dry earth and says: ‘Now take back the soul of Denys Finch-Hatton, whom you have shared with us. He brought us joy, and we loved him well. He was not ours, he was not mine.’

And yet, so many of my generation feel as if Robin Williams was stitched into the fabric of our lives, from Mork and Mindy in our youth, through Good Morning Vietnam and Dead Poets’ Society in our formative years, to the later, darker films of our middle age. He was so reliably present that perhaps many of us thought he would always be there.

There is something tragically democratic in his loss. Perhaps that too is what speaks to every bruised heart. He might have seemed to live up on that higher plane, where coruscating invention and wild talent and universal fame exist, in the troposphere where ordinary mortals may not go. Yet this kind, funny, haunted man was no more immune from the slings and arrows of outrageous fortune than the most workaday amongst us.

I very rarely use the universal we. I don’t like to speak for anyone else. But I’m not sure I have seen such an agreement on anything, in the rushing new age of the internet. There are no dissenting voices, no snide remarks, no cheap jokes. There is a collective sense of love and sadness, in their most authentic, unifying form.

In the end, there is not much point in trying to understand or dissect the extraordinary reaction to the death of one brilliant man. In the end, it is what it is. It is a shining light gone out, a brave soul lost, a fighting heart broken.

He gave us joy, and we loved him well.

Go free, now.

12 Aug 1

As I choose this picture, I think:

Tell someone you love how much you love them; take solace in the small things; be kind, because everyone you meet is fighting a hard battle; lift your eyes up to the hills. Those are my resolutions for today.”

As the author has so eloquently put it, “Go free, now.”
And let us all lift our eyes up to the hills.


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I’m back – sort of

Well, the powers-that-be over at GoDaddy decided to cancel all the free blogs that until now were part of their customers’ website packages, and I had until tomorrow to save it. Despite the fact that I have not blogged in several years, something inside me (ummmm, I think it’s called my giant EGO) would not let me allow them to trash all my deathless prose from lo those many years ago. So when I realized that I already had a wordpress blog (that I had never used, and only got so I could comment on another wordpress blog – once back in 2011), and when I further realized that GoDaddy had actually been helpful enough to post instructions as to how to transfer the whole thing over to WordPress, well…voila!

Anyone interested can now read all those posts I slaved over – and as most of them are not particularly topical, they are still as relevant as they ever were (which is not very…)

By the way, if any of you should decide to look at some of them, you will note that I refer to myself in the third person, as “Chatty”. This was because my website is http://www.chattycraftycook.com. I still have the website, but true to form, have done little with it. It was supposed to be a place where I would post about crafts and cooking and anything else of interest that floated through my transom. Instead of using the website, however, I just used the accompanying (but now dead) blog to do all of that. So this is the saved blog. Why Chatty? Because any of you who know me know that I definitely am. And for some reason, I occasionally enjoy referring to myself in the third person. Go figure.

I remember I stopped blogging because many of my fellow bloggers moved over to the semi-new and oh-so-fascinating Facebook. Yeah. And I got fascinated, too, heaven help me.

Now, of course, Facebook is pretty old hat, and I find myself on it less and less. Who knows? I may even decide to start blogging again – if the finger I use to hit the “like” button ever gets tired.

Meanwhile, it has been a hoot to look back and reread some of my old blogs. I’m glad I made the effort to save it.

Later, alligators.


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The Wiz is a published author!

    Attention all online surfers! The Wiz is riding the wave of the future. One of his books (he has written three) has been published online – and it is now available world-wide for downloading!

    The book is “Roadkill”, and the author is John Rasor – as you can plainly see from the book’s cover *BIG SMILE*:


    Now, if you want to do us a HUGE favor – and give The Wiz his best holiday present ever – please consider downloading his book from the publisher’s site
www.ireadiwrite.com – where you can read the first chapter for free in order to decide whether or not you like it.

    His book is also available through www.amazon.com in their “Kindle” section. Is this exciting, or WHAT???

    The difference is that if you download it from the publisher, The Wiz gets half the price of each download (which is $7.99); but if you download it from amazon or someplace else, The Wiz only gets half of what the publisher gets after amazon (or whoever) has taken their “cut”.

    Chatty could go on indefinitely about the excitement that this had generated in our house – but the proof of the pudding is in the eating.

    Chatty wants you to READ THIS BOOK! Because truly, even if the Wiz had not written it, she would still have read it. It is an excellent book – though not for the faint-hearted. It is a thriller – and it delivers!

    Please understand that this is not a “vanity press” type of thing – The Wiz paid nothing to get it published. But the publisher believes in him, and has found his book worthy of publication. If you want to read the article The Wiz wrote about this whole process, please check it out at http://hubpages.com/hub/My-New-E-Book

    www.ireadiwrite.com is a small publishing company in Canada, established about a year ago. The Wiz is their 40th published author. They believe that e-books are the future, and think that the market will probably grow exponentially in the next 24 months. However, they are also considering expanding to print publishing as well in the coming months.

    So, when you have a moment, give it a shot – at least go to the publisher’s site
www.ireadiwrite.com and read the first chapter. You can also leave a comment there, after you have read it. The Wiz would love to hear your comments!

    If you aren’t hooked after reading the first chapter – Chatty will be surprised.

    Once again – to  friends and family who read Chatty’s blog – downloading his book (and telling him that you did) would be the very best Christmas present you could give the Wiz. Chatty’s just sayin’…

    Later, alligators!


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Non-gender specific – Yay or Nay?

    Chatty was meandering her way home from the post office, having just posted four Christmas packages AFTER HOURS, using the special postage machine/box/miracle. Chatty *hearts* this marvelous machine.

    She was humming along to the 24/7 Christmas radio station, and was stopped at the light by her local community college. Having time to look around, she noticed the cool flashing traveling sign at the front entrance – one that notes upcoming events, when classes for the new semester begin, etc. It’s very eye-catching.

    So, Chatty was watching it flash, and saw: Congratulations to our Theater Department students and their production of ‘Twelve Angry Jurors’!

    Hmmmmm. Chatty is pretty sure that the name of that play is “Twelve Angry Men”, and she is also pretty sure that the playwright wouldn’t be too happy to see his title changed. She is also pretty sure that much of the drama results from there being twelve (all Caucasion) men on a jury deciding the fate of a Puerto Rican teenager. In fact, had there had been women on the jury, Chatty is pretty sure the whole play would have been a one-act, rather than a three-act – but that is neither here nor there, and just her opinion, anyway.

    But Chatty’s point – if indeed she has one – is this: What gives a school – or any other body producing a well-known play – the right to change the title of that play, and with it no doubt also the content and force of that play?
    Did they want to make it less gender-specific, and therefore somehow more palatable to audiences? If so, get a clue – it’s about TWELVE ANGRY MEN – palatable was never a priority to the playwright – in fact, just the opposite. Did they want to cast some females students as jurors? Again – NOT AN OPTION. Or shouldn’t be, anyway. Did they think they could just take a well-known, brilliant play and….um…PLAY with it? Again, NOT AN OPTION, at least in Chatty’s opinion.

    Chatty wonders what’s coming next…how about “The Merry Spousal Units of Windsor”? Or, “Two Gentlepersons from Verona”? Maybe “I, Claudia”. How about “Romeo and Julian”?

    We could enlarge on the theme, and add songs: “Here Comes Mrs. Santa Claus”…”The Person from Ipanema”… “Thank Heavens for Little Boys”.

    Now, any one of the above might make for some very interesting productions or songs – but they would NOT be the play – or song – as it was intended to be performed by their various authors. 

    And, don’t even get Chatty started on possible book title changes – although of course we DO have both “Little Women” and “Little Men” – which pretty much makes Chatty’s point – because they are TWO DIFFERENT BOOKS!

    Chatty has nothing against things like “It’s a Wonderful Life” being re-cast with a female playing the lead. If the story is not harmed by being non-gender-specific, why not? Besides, Chatty loves Marlo Thomas.

    But “Twelve Angry Jurors”?


    This is Chatty, over and out.

    OK – gotta come clean here. Chatty DOES know that there is an adaptation of the play, credited to Sherman Sergel – but that doesn’t make it RIGHT!

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Eat our shorts!

    The Arizona Cardinals just beat the Minnesota Vikings – one of the best teams in the NFL…and, we BEAT THEM LIKE A DRUM! 

    Chatty adores Brett Favre, but tonight – she wanted her sweet, darling, BRILLIANT Kurt Warner to slam the Vikings into the ground and leave them there. And, he DID! It goes without saying that he had HUGE help from his defense. But still – coming off of a concussion, and the crushing defeat at the last moment last week against Tennessee (because he was HONEST with the doctors, and admitted he was still not feeling well – and so was taken off the roster) – made it even sweeter.


    Because Chatty believes that it pays to be honest.


    Kurt Warner is a true gentleman.  He finds it hard to lie even when it would be easier to do so – which is why Chatty thinks he decided he could not lie when he responded honestly to the doctors, and was therefore judged not eligible to play last week. 

    And then, we lost.


    Kurt is getting a lot of flak for that – and Ben, the quarterback for the Steelers – has gotten a lot of the same flak – because he was in the same situation, and also refused to lie. Way to go, Mr. Hunt! Your apology is too little, and too late. Chatty’s opinion only, of course…

    Chatty is so proud of both Kurt and Ben for deciding that honesty is the best policy.


    Chatty LOVES football, and accepts that it is a violent game.


    However, she absolutely draws the line at players lying to their doctors so that they can play injured. This is a huge deal with the NFL right now, so Chatty has to applaud both Kurt and Ben for taking the very controversial stance that any player – no matter how much he has been paid, and no matter how much his presence is needed – must admit it when he knows that he should not play in any given game.

    These two men (and all the other players who quietly do the same) deserve our respect not only for their brilliance when playing football – but also for their courage OFF the field. 

    Chatty shall now step off of her soap box.


    And – GO CARDS!

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A New Necklace

    Chatty has finally finished one of the necklaces she is making for her sister-in-law – JUST in time to take it to LA and give to her next week.
    It took forever to bring this together to Chatty’s satisfaction, but she is finally pleased with the results. 

    The pendant is glass – hand-blown by her artist son – so Chatty used painted glass beads as accents, along with oblong carnelians, white quartz, and iridescent Japanese seed beads. It is double-strung on very fine wire, and has a copper clasp. 

    Chatty hopes she likes it!



    Chatty and The Wiz are heading to Los Angeles on Monday (by way of Lake Gregory and a flying visit with a dear friend there.) We will be cramming a lot of activities into our week – this is the first time we have been back to Los Angeles in three years, so we have many friend to see and lots of favorite haunts to visit.

    We will be back on October 6. Until then – later, alligators!

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