Saturday, May 31, 2014

Money Over Everything

Some of our politicians should be listed as members of this gang. To be elected in some conservative districts in Georgia you have to say you are in favor of abolishing state revenue taxes and property taxes. I have been curious what the sales tax would be if this happens. It would not be one or two percent. More like ten or fifteen percent in addition to the current sales tax.

What I do know is that is no real intent to change the system. The intent is to be re-elected which requires pandering to whatever is popular. People can criticize politicians but a straight shooter has little chance of being elected. I hear people say what they would do if they were elected. All I hear is naivete that anyone would take a freshman lawmaker that serious. The truth would be what the powerful would make that new person do.

I am frustrated in Georgia in that we have a very destructive governor and there are no checks and balances. I listened to an woman my age talk with a hairdresser as I waited to get my hair cut. They were talking about they can't believe Obama hasn't been arrested for all the illegal things he does, they did not believe he was born in this country and how the Affordable Health Care Act was terrible.

No I did not agree with the women. Its just that ignorance is allowing politicians to behave irresponsibly.

I'm a conservative person. I have made my own living. I have been blessed in never having to use welfare, foodstamps, unemployment. To keep a job I have had to take crap and smile many times. Fortunately, I have never had to do anything illegal. It is illegal in Georgia for state employees to discuss how to access the benefits of the Affordable Care Act.

I get that people should earn what they get. I worked and paid for my college education. I resented people getting college aid and belonging to expensive sororities and fraternities. I always felt that someone should not pay dues to these organizations and accept loans and grants for college for their own good. Debt is not good.

Plus, I had more than a few snubs from these folks in college. I remember the fraternity guys who asked me how I could work in a trashy job as a server in the cafeteria. Easy it paid my bills. The guys that said that to me probably did come from wealthy families and were not receiving grants. But, in the back of my mind they planted the seed of this belief. You shouldn't assume that if you were born with more money, looks, talent or ability that you are more valuable. Besides, what sort of people are supposed to serve food in a cafeteria.

The world is a complicated place. My frustration with conservative politics is that it is my own ethnic group and many people I love have these politics. I keep my mouth shut because I want these friends and I recognize that my shouting in the wind means nothing.

Governor Nathan Deal and his handlers the Koch brothers practice Money over Everything. Governor Deal personally stopped 650,000 Georgians from receiving Medicaid benefits and is using this as an accusation against Jason Carter how Obamacare has stopped people from getting help.

Sort of like those guys in the cafeteria line. The reason what they said never hurt me was that I knew they had no use for me. To the two women at the hair salon, you'll vote for Nathan Deal. He has no use for you.

I shutter at how bad things are going to get in Georgia during Nathan Deal's second term. It will not affect me. I have mine. It will affect those two women. One thing that was true about both of them. Healthcare is delivered by your means to pay. Many doctors will accept patients without insurance. There are many without insurance in Georgia.

Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Time to think



Jacob Miller sat on a swing and watched walkers parading to and from a paved walkway. Some were solitary. A large group of women walked by. As if by agreement they were all quiet and
the woman third from Jacob said good morning.

A trio of old men sat on a bench opposite the trail. He felt like the only unemployed jerk in the world. Looking at his smartphone, he checked his email for the umpteenth time. He knew the interviewers yesterday were not impressed but who knows who else they interviewed.

One woman sat in her car smoking. Not illegal, Jacob had smoked in college. The image changed him in time and place to his college dorm room. Playing albums over and over. The things he thought he knew then and what he knew now.

This slim blonde woman was slowly jogging. Hot pink shirt shirred to show nonexistent tattoos. Black shorts a little too small, you could see the cheeks of her firm butt. She looked good. She walks up to a man stretching.

Jacob knew he should get up and walk. He checked his phone and email. The young blond woman sat in the swing beside him. He gave her a faint smile of acknowledgment. Why did she have to interrupt his solitude? Then she started talking.

“That is my ex-boyfriend Zach.”

“Uh huh”

“He comes here every day to run. I'm hoping we get back together.”

“You do.”

“I've got tickets for a band in Macon.”

Silence ensued.

“He has met this gross girl in one of his classes. They studied together. I don't know what he sees in her. I mean, she is so stupid. Well not stupid. She makes good grades. But a real social menace to society. Eats with her mouth open, doesn't wear make-up. Here he's got this cool car, great bod and needs a babe like me to match.”

“Uh huh.”

“You think I look good?”

“I'm married.”

“You are too old.”

“Well that's true too. I was just wanting to make sure where the conversation was going.”

Silence ensued. Jacob looked at the woman. His daughter was about her age. How would he like her spilling her guts to some stranger on a swing? Sakes alive, for all that girl knows, he could be an ax murderer.

“You know, there are some things in life you have to learn.” He paused thinking for the right words and came out with, “For one thing, you should talk about these things with your dad.”

“What would my dad know about love?”

“More than some stranger on a swing.”

She rolled her eyes and shifted away. He thought about his son and daughter.

One good thing about being unemployed, he had more time with the kids. His son had complained about the tuna wiggle casserole he made last night. It was bad. Angie said anything she didn't have to cook tasted good. The dog ate the leftovers and carefully spat out the English peas.

This morning he made a souse meat sandwich for his breakfast. He asked each of his family members how many souse sandwiches they wanted for lunch. Everyone declined. His son tells his mom, I thought you liked everything you didn't have to cook. It felt good to listen to everyone laugh.

The girl said, “You're a weird old man smiling to yourself like that.”

“My son told a good joke this morning. Good memories, I promise you I am very safe. But good observation, I could be some wack job. Seriously, talk to your dad.”

“What would my dad know about love?”

“Good question? Are your parents married to each other?”

“Yes”

“Lucky girl.”

“I get what you're saying but I'm twenty. I'm grown.”

“Did you tell Zach about the tickets?”

“Yes”

“What did he say?”

“Nothing, said he was spending that Saturday with Alice.”

“Well here he comes. You need to make up your mind fast. Waste your time with someone interested in someone else or give him a wave, invite a friend to the concert. You'll meet someone else.”

The sadness in her eyes melted Jacob's heart.


She stood, waved. She never looked back, she just kept walking.

Monday, May 26, 2014

Handle your treasures with care.




Jacob was down to the original he had just completed. With one minute left to the scavenger hunt, he gave the original to two gorgeous women. Walking home, he saw the original wadded in the trash beside three of his signed prints.

Sunday, May 25, 2014

Comfort Prompt

This is a 25 word response to the prompt "comfort" for the Chaotically Yours Challenge.

Link to Challenge:  Chaotically Yours

Slipping between cool sheets with heavy covers on a cold night in the back bedroom. Whistling winds, house creaks, sound sleep in my childhood home.

Home at St. Joseph's Catholic Church in Macon Georgia United States

Thursday, May 22, 2014

Watching my big mouth.

I walk my dog on a nature path through an older neighborhood in Warner Robins. There was an unusual man yesterday. What bothered me is that he was clean shaven and neat but hiding his face from view. He also had a backpack. 

This is why I don't make comments. An older couple I barely knew walked past. I said, I wonder if he is up to no good. The older man said he had seen him before. I said, well maybe the backpack is carrying a water bottle.

OK, I need more than a wet noodle for my lashes. Today I saw the same man walking about six feet behind his mother. Then it clicked. He is developmentally delayed. 

All the signs were there' exceptionally new clothes, very clean and neat, nice looking man, he wore a backpack because he had one along with the cool safari hat someone had probably given him. My brother has all the western wear get-up. 

There is always more to what we see. He was out of step with everyone which is what I picked up on.  He is like my brother, he looks like everyone else. People carefully give my brother detailed instructions. I listen quietly. 

When I see the couple again, I will make a point to tell the man he is right. What I will not do is not tell him what I realized today. Live and learn and keep your opinions to yourself.

Tuesday, May 20, 2014

Where are the instructions for a ten foot pole?

I've had an adjustment to getting older. I am not old, old. But women are put out to pasture earlier. The fact that we are not taken seriously unless we are hot is a fact in the matter.

There are whole groups of people who do not get respect. One is the Vietnam veteran.

My older brother is slowly getting his house together to sell and move closer to the rest of us. He's in a state of flux. His wife left him in November. He still pays her bills. Its hard to keep a marriage going. I'm using my trustee ten foot pole as my guide in commenting. My instinct is, my brother is right and she is wrong.

My older brother has always had a talent with languages. Like many GIs, he learned some Vietnamese. This gets to my problem.

At the nail salon, there is one worker who is noisy and nasty. I will call her Talkstoodamnmuch. Instead of using common sense, I continue to chat with her. She wanted to suggest my brother had illegitimate children left in Vietnam.

Our government let the Amerasian kids down by not issuing condoms, educating GIs about birth control and moving these kids back to the United States. So many had the problem of extended families who would have traveled with them. My sympathy is with them.

I had mixed feelings about the mothers and extended families. True love is like lightning in a bottle with someone 19. Was it love, was it economic opportunity, having children without a helpmate's commitment is a problem in the relative prosperity we live in the United States today.

As sensitive as my brother is about children, I know he would have moved heaven and earth to get his kid back home. Heck no, I am not asking him. I am encouraging him to write his memoir about his tour of Vietnam.

Talkstoodamnmuch then talked about history and the liberation of Vietnam in 1975. I sat quiet because the woman doing my pedicure had family that went to re-education camps before the big liberation or fall of South Vietnam to North Vietnam.

I just had my fill. On the Ellen Degeneres show, there was a shrimp recipe which the nail technician pointed out to me.

After I paid and tipped, I stopped and told Talkstoodamnmuch that many American soldiers who would have been my age died in Vietnam. The war was not a good thing for them either.

Anyway, I think back. Why didn't I tell Talkstoodamnmuch that she didn't speak English well, I sure as heck didn't speak Vietnamese, I don't talk politics with folks I grew up with. Let's talk about the weather. I don't have much better sense than her.

I don't need to rack up these sort of incidents. Just get along with everyone. My antenna doesn't work lately. I'm waxing my trustee ten foot pole soon.


Monday, May 19, 2014

Visiting mother


Until the day I die, I will never forget those glassy, unblinking eyes lying on my plate. I had ordered fried fish deep in the German countryside. I had never ate anything with a face that remotely resembled being of beast.

I remember my mother told me you never cut fish with a knife. It was an insult to the cook. I ate the perennial pomme frites and saw my German cousin smiling at me after exchanging a knowing look from her mother Elsa, my mother's younger sister.

My mother was a war bride. She married an American soldier and left Germany. I was born on American soil, Fort Benning, Georgia. I vaguely remember my dad. He left. My mom worked as a custodian for the education building at a nearby college.

For a long time,she put off walking away from her German citizenship. Germany offered its citizens so much. The month I turned 18, my dad's child support check had Paid In Full scrawled on the memo line. I got an athletic scholarship playing softball. It was a small two bedroom apartment we lived in. Mom said we might move to a smaller place. With a wave of her hand, she said we would need to get rid of things.

That spring, she received a letter from her family in Germany. My mother remembered her older sister burying one of her children on the side of the road towards the end of World War II. She would say that it was a time of war, terrible things happened. She always made that watery cabbage soup shortly after. Anyway, the older sister had died.

My whole life was a preparation for our German homecoming. We discussed the big trip to Germany we would take when I was old enough to appreciate it. I could speak German, We spoke German. I could play the piano and the flute. My grades were good. My mom asked me what I wanted when I graduated from college. I wanted to sing, Germany. But that was too expensive. She gave me $500 for my start in life. I knew her salary was $533 a month.

I was hired to work the reception desk at a model home for a developer. The homes were so beautiful and my glowing admiration of the homes helped sales. I stopped teaching school and sold houses full-time. Anyway, life was so good and I wanted to help my mom. She wouldn't let me buy her a house. I said, lets go to Germany over Christmas. She got quiet and waved her hand. I didn't leave anything there I need to go back to get.

She was content. I knew she was working for her American citizenship. Then like a thief, she was diagnosed with breast cancer. In the early 1970's, you died of cancer. Here I was alone. I knew who my father was and where he lived. Mom never cashed the check paid in full. She burned it. I was lucky I had met my future husband.

I returned to Germany to try to find my mother. My husband looked at the fish and took a piece of the flesh with his fork. Very good he said. I had told him not to embarrass me with our loud American ways. I wanted my mother to be proud of me and him. I wanted to shout out, I couldn't eat no fish with a big eyeball looking at me. I continued to eat the potatoes.

I had given up speaking German, my cousin insisted it was poor and she would just speak English for us. The large dining room had several prints by Albrecht Durer. I was not familiar with any of them but I recognized the praying hands. My husband pointed the familiar picture from my childhood home. My aunt looked incredibly broken for no reason. She spoke German and did the same wave my mother would do to my cousin. It was then I knew my mother was the older sister. It was my mother who lost the child. I ate the fish.
File:Albrecht Dürer Betende Hände.jpg
Praying Hands by Albrecht Durer
Taken from Wikimedia Commons
http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File%3AAlbrecht_D%C3%BCrer_Betende_H%C3%A4nde.jpg


Sunday, May 18, 2014

Election Boos




Clap, clap, stamp, stump, Ernie Jakes mounts the podium. Eleanor Sink and her supporters boo.

“I don't know Harvey, I'm voting for Ernie”.

“Janis? He said there wasn't enough money for the new animal shelter. “

“Boos say more.”

Saturday, May 17, 2014

Time passing

My  contribution to Chaotically Yours Saturday Short. Write a 100 word story beginning with "The corpse sat across from me."

Link  Chaotically Yours - Saturday Short 5

The corpse sat across from me. Beverly's family made polite conversation.

I told them how the older brother, James had helped my brother. James' grandchild stepped away in disgust. A man older than myself said Robert was a fine man.

Beverly lay in repose. Bruises from intravenous needles were not covered . I thought goodbye.


Leaving the funeral, the memory of Beverly and I running on a sunny day and my pining love for the older brother James who just smiled at me drinking water from the hose before spraying his sister skipped ahead of me in the afternoon sun.

Thursday, May 15, 2014

I stop and smell the roses once a blue moon.

You can have valuable parts of your life that you don't always treasure. My big treasure is my developmentally delayed brother.

Yesterday I went to the yearly meeting to discuss his goals at the workshop he attends. He has acquired a problem of cursing and using derogatory terms. Where did he get this? Probably the other clients. Why are they focusing on this? I have told them to not tolerate it.

My brother goes with me everywhere. I am not happy with the fact that I have no personal life. I am happy that these folks that live with me are happy. You just can't have your cake and eat it too.

When the issue was discussed, he teared up. He likes to be a good person.

I've seen him and other clients of the workshop in the bravado of the moment. Some clients carry a clipboard without knowing what to write or how to write; one client has long towels he tucks in his back pockets; many clients like to instruct and inform. They understand they are slow and they want you to know they are not stupid. My favorite is the client who leans forward giving advice and information to an imaginary person. He will always stop and give me a cheery smile.

My brother is a good person. He is not developmentally where he should be to understand why you should not use bad language. I take my brother to plays, out to eat, or wherever I go. We live in a sexist society. I can't tell you how many people carefully explain everything to him. You can't look at him and see there is a disability. He's a good looking man if I do say so myself.

In addition, so many people do not understand what being slow is about. I hate the performance "geegaws" they do with him. It's great they accept him but he's not an idiot. You can talk to him like an adult. You can also talk to me. People will give me a brief lesson on how I can work with him to help him.

I'm strict with my brother and that standard is not always there for all the clients for a specific reason. They go home to a group home. Their social occasions are with other clients. The facility my brother attends has a good program. However, their language skills, etc decline.

Dementia affects many as they get older and an emotional bond with so many is not developed to help in their care. People have to go to work and deserve to live a life. Circumstances prevent them from visiting or spending time with a handicapped person. Nursing homes have patients that never get visitors.

I can't fix the world but if anyone reads this and can slow down to visit at a nursing home or volunteer to be a friend to someone like my brother. It will be a chore. The conversation will be boring. You've got better things to do. But on a blue moon, you will know what real roses smell like.

Wednesday, May 14, 2014

Go figure

Male pine cones
It takes awhile to get a feel for what your blog will be especially if it is the start of a writer's platform. You get alot of do this do that,etc.

The one thing I do know is write what I want that I feel comfortable sharing. I'm not exciting enough for the cocktail party set. So no hot gossip of the wild party. Of course at 58, the talk of the wild party would be me at my age.

I don't discuss politics. I know I edge into it. Part of my desire to write is to vent my thoughts. What is a bigger curiosity is that I often discover parts to what I think that I really never thought of before. The real reason I don't discuss politics is you can turn off a whole set of people for something you just hope might be right. Its not a lack of confidence in my convictions. Its knowing there is what should be versus what will be.

Duke walking in the woods
I've been making videos of plants and birds. Sooner or latter I will edit them and produce some small videos that will not bore any students to death.

When they say, write what you know. It is the truth. I have another blog, http://scienceladybug.blogspot.com  which only has 19 posts and has far more views than this blog with 270 counting this post.

The posts on this blog that get the most attention are:
1. chesty friends
2. bogus spam email
3. how to make a blog button

A blog does more for a writer. You know what people are interested in. Lots of comments on a piece of fiction means a stronger emotional response. Non-fiction is a greater draw. Your writing improves.




Monday, May 12, 2014

Crawling on me

  42 word fiction response to Gargleblaster's weekly question, "Is something crawling on me?



“Old man Henry, Get out of here.”

spanish moss hanging from a tree
by the Altamaha River Georgia
“You can't throw me out CL, you know we're like family. “

“I get so tired of your talk.”

“I'll grow on you boy.”

“More like crawl under my skin.”

Friday, May 9, 2014

Review of Tyler Perry's "Hell Hath No Fury Like A Woman Scorned"

I went to see a Tyler Perry play called Hell Hath No Fury Like a Woman Scorned. It was great!
Altamaha River, Georgia, United States

It had a great many musical numbers and they were incredible in spite of the venue. It was in the Centreplex in Macon which is a place for large audiences. Large audiences that like the idea that they are going to a concert and their being there is more important than any music they hear. They talk and drink beer, go to the restroom and sing loudly with the band.

Incredibly obnoxious behavior from someone like me who likes a symphony hall atmosphere. The audience was mostly women and they were a symphony audience to boot. All that beautiful music to enjoy. I wish Macon had something like the Springer theater in Columbus which can seat a large audience with better acoustics.

I know the Tyler Perry production is a money maker and they are going to use a large venue to make hay while the sun shines. Plus, I imagine the set would not fit on many stages. However, I would love to hear the songs and the singers in a better venue.

One big hit in the show was Mother Hattie. The audience was more familiar with the physical comedy than I was. It wasn't until after one scene when the police officer caught the spirit from Mother Hattie's catching the spirit did I realize what I saw. Catching the spirit is a charismatic response in some Christian churches.

When I wasn't lost in the show which was most of the time, I was lost in the audience reaction. Such a consensus of opinions, from a collective moan when the main character Anita decides to marry a man she has not known long to the amens when the pastor reminds Anita that you don't blame God for your own bad decisions.

The audience was primarily African-American women from 35 to 65. The men who came were around 50. They were also a minority, perhaps 50 to 100 among 1000 women. I know the number is going up. It probably was about 1200 to 1500 people there. So why were so many of these ladies wearing heels, including myself?

Tyler Perry does something I really like in an artist. He produces a product that lifts people up. Something country music used to do.

Having a Southern Baptist background, the thoughts and reasoning resonated with me. Tyler Perry does understand and love women to create this play. Everyone looked happy as they left.

Now the parking lot was a mess. You had the kamikaze driver who invents a lane and cuts in front of you when you leave a space for a trapped person. I regretted not pulling a magazine or book I keep in my car and just reading for ten minutes and let the bedlam out. I had taken off my tennis shoes and had slick soled dress shoes on. I was so fearful my foot would slip off the brake.

Note to myself that I will not remember. Note to myself that I will remember, I will go again given the chance.




Tuesday, May 6, 2014

Motivation



Fiction response to two prompts: First line must be "Tell me if you're game and reference to photo.  .
Excavator





Tell me, if you're game? This fat chick who looks slightly disheveled with big blonde hair will say every time she walks by my boiled peanut booth.

The first time she did it. I started to answer, “Game for ...” No need to keep talking, she was walking into a crowd ahead.

Every Friday morning, she walked by with the question. Every Friday, it was loud enough for me to respond but she looked straight ahead. I began to think of retorts as I lit the burners and began to boil peanuts.

She was an irregular customer. She would always inquire about the different sizes and prices. Carefully counting her money, looking at the bags, and then choosing the small $2 bag each time.

It should have blended with all the mental flotsam that swirls through anyone's head at any given time. For example, there is a huge orange earth mover at the corner of the road I live on and the freeway it connects with. I never paid it any mind until it disappeared.

Yesterday, she walked by and did not ask the question. Simply quiet on the subject. She had the same clothes on but looked better. I watched as she moved within the crowd which was thinner than usual. I watched her start a slow run and disappear onto an unpaved path.

Sunday, May 4, 2014

Why do birds suddenly appear?

In response to Gargleblaster Week 160's question which must be answered in 42 words to be a true Gargleblaster of course.
               








        Why do birds suddenly appear?

Sometimes you wake up and feel too good to go to work. The petunia blooms smell so good.

Listening to the boss's lecture about sick leave, all I can really hear is the siren call of the birds singing in my backyard.

Carolina Jessamine growing on a fence post


Shadows

Shadow

The Shadow Knows

Cast a Long Shadow

A Shadow-less night

When the mind is pure, joy follows like a shadow that never leaves.  Buddha

Life without love is a shadow of things that might be.

Where there is much light, the shadow is deep.   Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

Fear has a large shadow, but he himself is small.  Ruth Gendler

Poetry is an echo, asking a shadow to dance.    Carl Sandburg

Everything that we see is a shadow cast by that which we do not see. Martin Luther King Jr.

When the light is crooked, the shadow is crooked. Yiddish proverb

Character is like a tree and reputation is like a shadow. The shadow is what we think of it, the tree is the real thing.    Abraham Lincoln

Men are the dreams of shadow. Pindar

A shadow and a false friend only attends when the sun shines.  Benjamin Franklin

I got these many of these quotes from ThinkExist.com

What got me on the subject was two homeless women hiding beside support in front of a big box store. Since I retired my mind does not race the same race I did everyday when I worked a forty plus hour a week.

Nonetheless I drive twice a day on weekdays through my hometown, I have noticed an area frequented by homeless. This store borders a wooded area that looked like people used. I parked beside the wooded area for shade, to roll my window down a bit for Louise my dog's comfort and run in the store early one morning.

After loading my purchase in my trunk, I saw the women. One had her bedroll. They looked a little dirty. Louise made a small noise which meant she had met them. I was glad I locked the car doors. Its not the trash in the car, it is Louise's safety. I do love her.

The women made me think of shadows as they walked across the long parking lot. I always feel humble when I see people in this predicament.





Saturday, May 3, 2014

Beauty in imperfection

There is a lot of beauty in imperfection. Sometimes I feel like I get a grasp of the divine. It happens quickly, I feel illuminated and then it disappears somewhat.
Buttons has fixed her dog bed.

I say somewhat in that I know I had that brief moment. The rational part of me feels this is poppycock. So I know what some of you feel.

You have to be careful relating to the divine. It can be skewed so many ways. I don't recommend the show 19 and counting about the Duggar family but I have read their rationale for having so many children. If they said they wanted lots of children I could buy it. It's the message from God I don't buy. The Duggars feel that a miscarriage was a message from God that they should not practice birth control..

Lots of people don't like the idea of having so many children. I am hardly alone in my thoughts. My beef is that supporting that many children in this day and age is an incredible financial burden which the average person could not afford. I mean, I know college graduates who never held a great paying job. There are not enough to go around.

Nineteen children who have the potential to marry and have 19 themselves which would create 380 grandchildren and 7600 great grandchildren for the Duggars. They have been lucky to not have more miscarriages. Their 19 children will experience miscarriages, developmental disabilities, rebellion, etc from the 380 grands and 7600 great-grands.

No one escapes what happens naturally to human beings. One of the Duggar clan will experience something worse than the sadness of losing a child to miscarriage. If they don't make enough money, they will experience the grief of not being able to provide for their child the basics. The television show may keep mom and pop afloat with nineteen. It will probably take foodstamps, welfare, charity to carry all of them through their life.

Anyway, this is how I temper my relationship with the divine. It may be real but what I have to live and face is what I feel the divine wants from me. Try as you might, the divine is hard to separate from the ego. It's 19 kids too late for the Duggars and I do believe they love their children.

Cool breeze on a Hot Summer Day

How can I resist a 33 word short story about a haunting on a link-up by Chaotically Yours
Chaotically Yours


The Story -

Bede's strawberry blonde hair is swept up as she drifts through a house that burned thirty years ago. Sitting on sun heated stones, Tyrone shivers as a sudden cold breeze swishes over him.