1. It was shockingly cold, given that we were firmly ensconced in the global-warming era, when each day brought more dire news about the melting polar ice caps and the death of coral reefs around the world, including the Great Barrier Reef in Australia. 2. The sky and the snow were both blue, but the sky was bluer than the snow. As much as I hated to admit it -- because I was freezing and angry -- the sky was perfectly blue. In a month, I thought, I would be taking pictures of yellow forsythias cascading down the cliffs, and this cold would be forgotten. In two months, I would be dreaming of the snow, such is the nature of human existence. 3. The heather were ambivalent about the cold and snow, however. "The cold weather and snow can take turns sucking my dick." -- the heather. 4. It was dispiriting to hear the heather use such words. Lately I had been annoyed by the ongoing and needless use of homophobic metaphors in "must-watch" television, including shows regularly "recapped" by the NYT. I understand the desire to use these metaphors, considering they reflect the "real world," but television dramas are inherently fictional, and can thus represent an idealized world that in no way reduces the "dramatic impact" of the show. For example, to pass the time between episodes of shows I care about -- like "Bates Motel" <3 -- I have recently been playing phone chess and half-watching a bad show on Showtime called "Billions" or "Billionaires" or something like that, which features a bunch of obnoxious hedge-fund bros (notably the British guy with the red hair from "Homeland" before it became unwatchable) and some federal prosecutors walking around telling each other to "shove it up your ass" or "suck my dick" and so forth, which I have no doubt is how language actually unfolds in these hyper-masculine circles. (Based on my experience watering plants in Manhattan offices where these guys -- and I use that term literally -- tend to work.) At the same time, however, the hedge-fund dude's favorite new analyst is a transgender person whom he respectfully refers to as "they" and several of the lead attorneys on both sides are persons of color, which I would say (with approval) is an idealized representation of the world that bears little resemblance to the actual one in which we live (unfortunately). Anyway, if you're a television writer (or any kind of writer, or just a person who writes or speaks) and you care about the impact of your words on your gay children (and don't want them to kill themselves at the age of 14), please refrain from using expressions like "he bent me over and fucked me in the ass" unless you are describing an actual sexual act in which you (the speaker) engaged in anal intercourse. The website "Gawker" (RIP) used to have a policy against using homophobic metaphors, but sadly they no longer exist to enrage/enlighten the cretins of our society. Still, the death of Gawker doesn't mean the death of the policy. There are so many alternatives; here are a few: "he slaughtered me"; "he beat the living hell out of me"; "he made me eat a Big Mac," and so on and so forth. Be creative, make the world a better place. You can do it. 5. Meanwhile, back in our garden, it seemed miraculous that the hellebore flowers, despite being continually "fucked up the ass" by a foot of snow for over a week, had managed to survive and were now emerging intact after their deep freeze. 6. In other news, Donald Trump and Paul Ryan and Co. were "severely pummeled into irrelevant shards of oblivion" by many different factions, all of whom were armed with "arguments about why the proposed legislation was insufficient." (Some of these arguments were admittedly cruel and farcical.) 7. Remember, gay sex is a beautiful thing. It's 2017. Don't sully it (and yourself) by using it to describe things that are painful and you don't like.