Friday, January 30, 2015

The Sacred and Profane

"Sacred and Profane" painting by Titian circa 1513-1514 Tiziano - Amor Sacro y Amor Profano (Galería Borghese, Roma, 1514)

I have got to load photos on Wikimedia Common since I borrow from them.

This is a beautiful painting from the early Renaissance. My first view of the painting was a website in which  a black X was placed over Ero's nipples. I wish I could remember the website.

Anyway, something I saw prompted me to look up the definition to profane. Yea, I knew what it meant. I just wanted to be sure and I came across this photo. Putting the Xs on Eros nipples seemed profane.

It is crazy, we watch the Academy Awards, Grammys, and gasp at some of the outfits. But we gotta put an X on a 15th Century painting.

Same problem today as then, current mores take precedence over common sense. My favorite piece of trivia is that during Victorian times is that people would point at the piece of chicken they wanted. It was obscene to say breast.

During fashion week in Paris, American designer, Rick Owen had male models walking the catwalk with penis exposed dresses. Of course they were dresses for men, not frilly women's stuff. The pictures are of course not suitable for work. This is a link to a Guardian article with pictures so it would not be suitable for work..

Point of view, point of view, Ce La Vie.

Monday, January 26, 2015

Candid article on the net

Once a month, I plan to do a blogroll. They do give me something to write about. I also enjoy reading the other blogs which are usually mommy blogs. It takes too much time though. Puts me behind in playing my computer games. Did you know the biggest block of gamers are women my age. Single women my age also participate heavily in dog agility contests.

I have a hard time not reverting into an advice driven teacher. Arrgh, how do I stop. It comes unbidden. I would feel worse about it but I think women give advice too easily. I plan to return to water aerobics in which my unmarried status along with how much do I weigh or how much have I lost drives me nuts as the topic du jour of a few nosy women.

Today's post is to share an article I read.

Very candid article

It is unusual in the honesty of the politics of having a number one book or movie. One thing I noticed about actors is that those who managed their money well, were able to create opportunities for themselves to continue their career.

The article came home in that we all have worked in situations where connections propelled people to the top. Some are very competent, some very incompetent, with a wide range in between.

My advice-o-meter comes on in cautioning young people about the world. It is not just the Arts but business, education and other fields too. My dad always said be a good worker. They have to keep a few for everything to function. My dad said he had a civil servant's personality. Whether he liked you are not was immaterial.

People do achieve outrageously well and come from nothing, its just that a boost helps anyone. I worked with a women who had the principal brag about how she did student notebooks. She was doing the same thing many teachers were doing. I clapped. I liked her and her students benefited. But what ran through my mind was how she was glowing. It was like she was the only one.

The craziest for me are awards created to promote an organization. People will get just as excited about made-up awards. I used to joke that I was going to write a book titled, "I've never been teacher of the year but I've been called on the carpet a few times."

Anyway this is for a plea that I think accidentally showed on my FaceBook feed. What do you do when all seems futile in the news? You turn off the news and live a life. Ride a bike, watch a movie, go to work, start a hobby, clean your house, read a book, spend time with your family, visit folks in a nursing home. You have control over how you react, not what happens.

Saturday, January 24, 2015

Fears and Truths

My Staffordshire terrier, more commonly known as a pitbull, is looking particularly scruffy. She is the new boss dog. She has the part of holding Loretta down but she doesn't bite other dogs. So Loretta bites the heck out of her. I come home to break up a strange fight. Loretta is screaming and Louise has her held down.

Loretta looks perfect. However an old dog is stiff getting up. Louise is flustered. Like I thought you would never get home. Loretta is neurotic is hell. I only leave the cats loose with Loretta. One time when we left, I came back in to get something and my tom cat was grooming Loretta, trying to make her feel better.

Anyway, Louise is my beloved pet and muse. I identify with her. She is judged by her appearances yet has a heart of gold. Of course, whether I have a heart of gold is up to others to consider.

I worked with a young co-worker who said my kind, Southern Baptist, did not like her because she was a Northerner and Catholic. The two women I worked with, prissy Methodist knew my nominal hold on religion.

Having been plenty "young and dumb". At a late age, I may add. I buttered her up. She was a sweet girl; our prejudices are in our fears.

I had a strong opinion about pit bulls until I owned one. I don't believe in breeding any dog. I did not see anything wrong with backyard breeding until I learned of so many purebreds needing homes. It breaks their minds to a degree dependent on their age and how long they have been abandoned.

Matilda was a stray that I adopted. My house is off the road and she had strayed up and down the road for months. Her nickname was Mona because she constantly pled her fealty to us which was annoying. The moaning never really ended totally. It was just cool that she would pick low hanging fruit from the pear and apple trees to eat. Peel a banana and you made her day.

Matilda was a constant and patient companion to Partner who had some serious issues. You could not touch Partner, she had been abused so badly by someone. When I moved her, she healed so much. She would lick the back of my legs when I walked the dogs. All the dogs knew she was daft.

Matilda disappeared one day. About two months later, Partner came home with a funny wound and died. It was a gunshot wound.

I know who is probably responsible for both animals and two others. I have no proof.

I know someone knows the truth.

I lost four pets within a four month period, But I haven't lost any more. It will be two years in February.

I know this is why they hate me. They know I know the truth.

Louise gets in bed with me. She likes to lay her head on a pillow and be covered up. You can dress a mule up like a horse.

Thursday, January 22, 2015

Vampires, love and sex

Got your attention didn't I? I understand if you have a vampire in a love story, the reader is expecting sex within a page or two. No coyness needed.

Dystopian societies is all you can picture for the future. I feel that I live in a dying country in that both political parties are so enamored with power. Its not a matter that they agree to disagree. They disagree with whatever the other wants.

It sounds grim but it is a wonder the United States separated from England and united. James Madison felt like the country was bound to split because we had such disparate cultures to form. Southerners big gripe with Yankees is their endless ability to tell you how things are done. It just so happens this was true from the beginning. The Puritans and their descendants were very idealistic and this is their legacy they passed to us today.

The first year I taught school, the school children asked me if I was a Yankee. I did not have the strong melodic accent of the rural area. I gave them a snappy answer, "Thems fightin words."

Then I stood up and looked at my cheering class stamping their feet, pounding the desk with Southern pride. The class was comprised of African American students. Relief swept over me, I did not want to offend my students. I did not know until then that the desire for equal rights had nothing to do with wanting to change their regional pride.

I am a reluctant Southerner. I grew up in the South and have long roots in the region. I still feel irked when someone whose ancestors came to this country well after the civil war want to put their two cents in. After all, they really don't know how their ancestors stood because they weren't there.

What I don't identify with is the Southern mythology. I know I write Southern literature. There are just glaring faults with Southern society that hurt poorer whites and blacks. What many do not realize is there were very powerful, wealthy black people as there are today.

When Joni Ernst talked about wearing bread bags and being poor, I knew she had never lived on todays $7.25 an hour. If you have had that experience, it is a sight worse than wearing bread bags. It is being hungry, cold and without on a regular basis. A small setback is a huge blow to a family on that income. What ran through my mind is I hoped she never had to experience it.

There are people who have a hard view of people who make little money because they once did. Some of them are making up a bogus story to make people admire them. Others have anger at people they remember or the experience. I felt that anger at one time. In time I understood what my dad meant when he said "Except for the grace of God, there goes I."

So the country may seem like it is going to hell in a hand basket; but it is not. It may even change. Fortunes may change. Joni Ernst is as dependent on the health of world commerce as I am. With so much social media, we are on a troll mixed with idealism binge which should shuffle itself out.

But dystopia, the world has always been a dystopia. We live East of Eden.

Frankly, I think Miley Cyrus could have given us a more informed rebuttal to the State of The Union address. Of course all that long tongue wagging would be strong competition for that sickening sweet tone of "this is all so easy". I would love to see a Saturday Night Live sketch with a Miley Cyrus type character doing a Joni Ernst impersonation.




When

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Some Spam is Funny without Snide Comments

FROM THE DESK OF:
MR.BRIAN T. MOYNIHAN.
TELEX DEPARTMENT BANK OF AMERICA
NEW YORK BRANCH OFFICE, USA.
EMAIL:mr.briant_m@yahoo.com  Who knew Bank of America used yahoo email!

INTERNATIONAL MONETARY FUND (IMF) IN AFFILIATION WITH THE BANK OF
AMERICA.
5TH AND 6TH AVENUE 25 WEST 51ST STREET, NEW YORK, NY 10019

You have a Transfer worth $12 M USD with us in the bank of America. Right, A bank would tell me about money I had no clue I had.  We
are here to inform you that your fund has been deposited here for a
long time.

In regards to that, we the officials of the bank of America have
concluded that as soon as the beneficiary obtained the fund origin
certificate It turns out there is something called a fund origin certificate. However they are supposed to be free and they show the origin and path of the money. I learned this from an internet search. http://www.answers.com/Q/What_is_fund_origin_certificate, we shall proceed with the transfer immediately.

All you have to do is to re-confirm your information with the correct
mailing address and make a payment of $199.00 USD (That's a lot of money for something that should be free. If I were the scammer, I would say "finder's fee".) only for obtaining
the fund origin certificate. For your information you are required to
re-confirm your full information to enable us proceed with your
payment immediately.
Please Re-confirm your details:

(1.)YOUR FULL NAME  Big Doofus Tricked
(2.)SHIPPING ADDRESS Yeah right, they going to ship that money to your doorstep.
(3.)TELEPHONE NUMBER (CELL PHONE IF ANY)
(4.)AGE AND MARITAL STATUS How better to commit identity theft.
(5.)OCCUPATION

Finally, make sure that you fill this form and return it back and also
make sure you obtain the fund origin certificate which will cost you
$199.00 only and update me so that I will provide you with the name of
our receiver's agent that will receive the money.  I'm surprised you don't use bitcoin to hide your thievery.

Contact me immediately:mr.briant_m@yahoo.com

YOURS FAITHFULLY, The sad part is someone is deceived.
BRIAN T. MOYNIHAN.
TELEX DEPARTMENT BANK OF AMERICA
NEW YORK BRANCH OFFICE

Monday, January 19, 2015

Everyday is a Gift


January of 2010, I was still working for a non-profit and had tendered my resignation. I had been asked to not share the news with anyone and to work through the end of April. I agreed.

I quit the job for many reasons.
1. I had to fundraise my own salary and it was low for the 40 to 60 hour week I worked.
2. It was just hard to make doctor appointments with my mom, brother and myself.
3. I was tired of the demands of people. The services were offered at a nominal fee for the counties and as a result people did not respect the service.
4. I was tired of the demands of people. The school programs were in demand and I just could not make all the schools and do all the programs.
5. One of the board members wanted to micromanage and it was going to be impossible to match their view of what was needed at schools and what schools wanted.
6. I could not take a sick day or day off.
7. One of the board members wanted me to pay a helper to do evening programs which created at least five or more hours work to prepare and repair afterwards. On top of everything, she wanted me to pay this person $250 out of the budget and I was making less than $100 a day.
8. One of the board members wanted me to hire a secretary with money that did not exist. I mean, I would have liked to have been paid too.
9. I had a serious health scare.

If I had not been stretched so thin, I could have easily negotiated with the board member. The lack of funding and demands of the schools was not easily solved. I enjoyed the job, the people and the board member who wanted to micromanage. It had a humdinger of a title even though it paid little. In addition, people were under the impression I knew a bunch of "bigshots".

What I did next is the biggest surprise. I thought that I would have a cushy retirement. Write a few science activity books. Possibly become a science education consultant. Little did I know that my biggest problem was not the job.

Well we went on a family vacation to Hawaii and learned my demanding brother was a control freak. I had a huge conflict with my family after coming home. My mother threatened to move with my two handicapped siblings. More surprisingly, I told them I wasn't running a prison. Move if they want to. I reached a total meltdown. They blamed it on menopause and menopause was rough.

It was just that my life slowed down enough for me to realize it was totally out of control. Originally I gave my family and myself two years. I would eventually move each of them to a more appropriate living situation and I would be able to enjoy a few years before I got too old.

By January of 2011, I started writing. It's funny. I am a good writer or so I thought. Progressively, I knew I needed to learn more if I wanted to be good. I would feel dumb but most people new to a field have a learning curve.

The dumb things I did

1. Assume that I would start out great.

2. Assume that my writing style would not need to be honed. Writing grammatically correct is much different than enjoyable writing.

3. Assume that money was the goal of my writing.

I am still a work in progress. I've leaped a huge hurdle in being able to take what I want to say and filter it to only write what people want to read. My next accomplishment is having confidence in my opinion. It is not knowing what I should think but giving myself the opportunity to act on how I feel.

1. Even though I am on a eat healthy diet and exercise plan; I don't give a rip about others think about my weight and hang ups I may have because of it. After all, I got my own teeth.

2. The knowledge that life isn't always what you want. I have always heard when everything is going wrong, then maybe there is another direction available. It's hard to see this when you have experienced events that have no redeeming quality.

3. I choose to take care of my mom and two handicapped siblings. I used to think if I sold this house, I would get them a house so my complaining siblings can do as they wish. I now know it would be what they do now which is nothing. These people still need help. They go with me wherever I go. I know that they could live in nursing homes. It is a contentment I feel as my sister takes care of her little dog and fusses over her.

So it is January 2015, I have my writing projects and goals.

My mother is in good shape but no longer can drive. She is a good driver but she gets too tired to handle it. We've got one day to ten more years together and I hope I can remember to appreciate these days.

My sister and I get along better. In my family, I am the family member all my siblings complain about. The only one who never has is my mentally handicapped brother. I went to college and they didn't. 

I had a great father. He had a fault which was control. He never wanted anyone to make any decisions but him. I got out of the house and left. I did feel anger over this until I learned that the children of alcoholics are big controllers. My dad was the son of an alcoholic.

Things are better with my other three siblings.

I'll be 59 1/2 this year and will empty an annuity that I thought I would never use to buy a minivan and make my house handicap assessable for my mom.

I know why so many housewives say they do not know how they did what they did and worked for so long. Caregiving is demanding.

I've faced the fact that my life is also finite. I have been getting my things in order. I don't expect to be kicking the bucket anytime soon. I just know that everyday is a gift.

This blog post is the result of the following prompt form Writer's Circle of Mama Kat's Blog 


Mama’s Losin’ It

If you could have given yourself a snapshot five years ago of what your life is like now, what would the picture be of and how do you think you would have felt about it?

Sunday, January 18, 2015

Thinkin about droppin my pants

Thinkin' about droppin' my pants and riding the Marta train. The young hipsters are did it with various boxers. My blousy briefs should make a statement. I'll of course wear a new pair.

It was pantless Monday in various train stations around the world on January 13th. The internet keeps this old chick up with what is going on.  I guess I missed pantless Subway Monday or everyone missed my blousy bloomers.

I remember streaking. It was incredibly famous in 1973 and disappeared by the fall of 1974 when I went to college. I would not have done it. I had led such a sheltered life I would have never been able to run naked even with 6000 other kids.

Here is a recent video by Ray Stevens of his famous song THE STREAK


The news needs more levity. I have been following political pundits. They have two problems, they are replying and commenting too much which results in limited vision. I follow the liberal pundits because I lean in that direction. I follow conservative pundits because Facebook friends feel compelled to post them. What I can tell you is that they all write to people who want to have that opinion and truth is immaterial.

That being said, we will all be here tomorrow. Well hopefully, I'm getting older. Once you get in your fifties, it dawns on you that you are lucky to be alive. I have a bad neighbor. I wanted to move because it is so oppressive. Then I came back to Earth and knew it would be hard on my mother and well me to do that. I hope to live as long as my mother but you never know.

Caretaking takes years from your life. It is startling to know you need to keep a specific amount in your checking account in case you kick the bucket and bills can be paid for awhile. In other words, I am prepaying for my funeral and thinking about updating my will.

So I continue to write. I am writing a funny play similar in spirit to Greater Tuna. It is titled The Great Canadian Swamp of Florida. I might get arrested if I drop my pants.

Take care, Ann

Sunday, January 11, 2015

Race Issues

Schools were first integrated in 1968 with the "Freedom of Choice" plan. It was sixth grade and we had a black teacher named Mrs. Rutledge. The principal came to each homeroom and spoke to us about being polite and respectful to Mrs. Rutledge. Then he worriedly said he hoped the students in her homeroom were behaving and our teacher agreed.

By eighth grade, integration was in earnest. They closed the black school. It turns out that the black community did not want to leave and go to the now formerly white schools. In Houston County, the designated schools for the Air Force Base were already integrated. I remember the black students walking to class the first day. They had an orientation for them and then they were released to class.

Not much happened, there were a few kids who fought a few of the black kids. More bravado than anything else, most of us only heard the gossip. Anyway in 1970, we integrated. Mrs. Rutledge passed away from liver cancer during our sixth grade year. We loved her and I can still hear her saying to our class when we misbehaved, "You are very rude."  The statement stretched and raised in intensity as she stated it.

One observation I had in college is you could tell attitudes of us who had attended school after integration was different than those who had not. Later, I taught school and saw a more subtle difference.

There is always a big gap in preparation for school that some students have and other students who can pick up easily where you are at. When I began teaching, there were more African-American students with that gap than there was when I retired. You always have a certain amount of students who need extra help. There is no shame in that, what is a shame is having classrooms so big you cannot help them.

I worked with the teacher who replaced Mrs. Rutledge. It was interesting to hear the blow by blow uproars of integration. I remember school being canceled many times in eighth grade which with the malaise an eighth grader can have, it was wonderful. More days to loafer and talk incessantly with my friends. As a kid I did not know the behind the scenes turmoil.

What changed in me over the years is that I saw African Americans have more hassles than whites. Growing up as a poor white, I had to struggle for what I had. I remember the attitudes toward black people. I hear those attitudes today.

The attitudes that don't change are those that don't comprehend the obstacles African Americans have to face. I worked with a African American teacher who did have problems dealing with children. She was too mean. However, she could never see it because she had dealt with racism for so long.

The criticism was just racism in her opinion. I can see why she felt that way. She also was not a racist. One time I said something in conversation that could have been considered offensive. I catch myself, she just shakes her head. She knew I wasn't saying something racist. That ever meter of discretion worked in her too.

A big obstacle in race relations is that my generation needs to die out which I am not in a hurry happening. We carry baggage which can be discussed ad nausea with no relief. The saddest part is that a new us versus them will replace it.

I commented on a native American thread on Facebook. I would say my support of African Americans comes from my native American ancestry but it doesn't. It comes from my parents and the fact that they passed on compassion for other people to me.

I watched a cute teenage girl allow my mom to slowly wash her hands and a public restroom before she approached the sink. I have watched people push mom out of the way and make her stand. This young lady stood and looked at her phone. I have seen people pretend to read posters on walls to give my mom time and space to enter stores. I have always done the same so I recognize it quickly.

If you want to aggravate some native Americans, tell them you have Indian ancestry. It aggravates them. For me, I was a "kickback" and definitely had the look. This made one woman disturbed that I said I had the high cheekbones. Oh brother, I should have said I was lucky and did not get the nose. However, I would have liked the teeth that my mother had.

I also don't think the native Americans have the opinion of that thread of conversation. Social media has not matured and people can be pretty obnoxious and holier than thou with comments.

The only time I got positive feedback was in South Dakota at a pottery shop. I think the women were just kind. They smiled and seemed genuinely happy to hear of my ancestry. Even my blond blue eyed sister got to bask in the brag session. I know some people are wanting casino money but most just want to brag. And many have only heard family stories which may or may not be true.

I was born with an advantage. I get a glimpse into attitudes. Some people who feel it is better to be white and like me tell me I look white and only white. I worked at a school with many black teachers and custodians. After my blond sister dropped by, one teacher and a custodian told me about a white friend they had. Sometimes I have slipped in the racial divide.

When Billy Graham was asked which sin he would remove from the world if he had the power and he said racism.

Yes my ancestry  is primarily that of the British Isles. Many of my ancestors came over in the early 16 hundreds. I'm descended from Puritans, Quakers, Slave Owners, Unionists, Confederates, Union Sympathizers, good people and hopefully not too many bad people.

My grandfather Bennett was actually a Benet. He was born in 1867 in Germany. He served in the Spanish American War and World War I. My maternal grandmother's family had to be registered during World War II because of their German surname.  A name that arrived long before the American Revolution.

I don't consider myself white. I am an American. I know that this is a piece of fluff against the problems we have in society. But like my eighth grade self, I have been sheltered from the worst. If I were a Native American, I may bristle at folks claiming native ancestry. If I were black, I might consider some of the criticism as racism. We are a product of our environment.

I have a Facebook friend who laments how bad schools are. In her area, they are bad. If your child has good social skills and strong academics, they will do ok. If your child is like most children, they will have problems. Weighing those problems against the problems of home schooling figure into the equation.

I don't like home schooling for two big reasons. Kids do not get the social skills they need in dealing with people who think differently from themselves. Some kids need an escape from well meaning parents who have social problems themselves or have poor academic skills.

With that said, sometimes home schooling is the answer for some. I had a student who was behind and would resist your help. Grandmother wanted us to do more for him but without his cooperation we could not achieve much. If grandmother did a year or two of home schooling, she could use the discipline needed to get him caught up.

In the end, we all got a story. How we conclude is always based on what we feel and where we stand. There aren't easy answers because it is not just one problem. I read an article about racism in the South. It was so simplistic because it dealt with the powerful wealthy whites and blacks that worked for them. It did not discuss the poor whites and blacks that left the rural areas for urban areas for jobs. With the mechanization of farming, they were obsolete and went where work was.

Thursday, January 8, 2015

The Road Not Taken by Robert Frost

Travel is my raison d'etre. Of course I don't get to go that many places. I could pack it up and live in a camper traveling North America and then venture into South America via Central America. Hop on a ferry and make it to Europe. Put a rudder on back and venture across the Bering Strait to Asia.

Me and my dogs and a few good books with a camera with oodles of storage cards and a computer that can store it all my videos and photos without breaking down. You can't travel without dogs, you would never feel at home. My cats would stay at my house.

I did have a traveling cat in my younger days but these old mates of mine are firmly rooted in my bedroom sleeping on my bed most of the day. Both cats do not approve of the humans who live with me. They implore me to drop them off at the people pound or on Highway 96 like so many humans do with dogs.

Little do these cats know that these humans are the reason I have not succumbed to becoming a human vagabond.

Irony - The Law of Unintended Consequences - Yin and Yang - Bittersweet - The Road Not Taken

My favorite poet is Carl Sandburg. Just take me there quickly please is my innate inertia to hear something new or change.

Another favorite poet is Robert Frost.

Below is his poem "The Road Not Taken"

Two roads diverged in a yellow wood,
And sorry I could not travel both
And be one traveler, long I stood
And looked down one as far as I could
To where it bent in the undergrowth;


Then took the other, as just as fair,
And having perhaps the better claim,
Because it was grassy and wanted wear;
Though as for that the passing there
Had worn them really about the same,


And both that morning equally lay
In leaves no step had trodden black.
Oh, I kept the first for another day!
Yet knowing how way leads on to way,
I doubted if I should ever come back.


I shall be telling this with a sigh
Somewhere ages and ages hence:
Two roads diverged in a wood, and I—
I took the one less traveled by,
And that has made all the difference.

Sunday, January 4, 2015

How I quit smoking.

It was a late Thursday night before the last weekend of January 1999. I had the thought that I would be an gross old woman with yellow fingernails and yellowed white hair buying a case of coke, several cartons of cigarettes and a large sack of cat food every week..

The next day I had the beginnings of a cold and an oppressive school dance to coordinate. Thankfully, the principal canceled the dance. There was a lot of politics in which I was a bystander that I hoped to escape unscathed without having to take sides.

The cold became a full blown upper respiratory illness. It lasted a week and I could not smoke. Afterwards, I stayed busy and tried to not think about smoking. My hardest moments was sitting with friends at a restaurant who were smoking. It was all I could think about was buying a pack on the way home and smoke just a few.

I have uneasy dreams today where I have smoked a few. It fills me with such regret. I knew back then if I smoked one, I would start back.

I had started teaching night school in addition to day school. Work was not going that well and I wanted an out if possible. I made it for two months, and then spring break with free time came. No longer was my day ruled with day school, walking my dogs, taking a nap, taking a quick shower and working at the night school.

My fluid, throaty persistent cough had stopped. Every time I though of smoking I would remember that cough. It haunted me and rose anytime I got hot, stressed or on the spot. The cough was so aggravating I was able to dismiss the yearning.

With time the urge was less. I really did not think about smoking.

After my dad passed which was December 18th, 2000, I was late driving from my home in Sharpsburg to some place in central Georgia that I needed to be. I began to dig in my purse for no reason as I drove South on the Interstate highway. The hunt for cigarettes that I no longer smoked or possessed had been bidden by my subconscious.

Now, I don't care for cigarette smoking. Mostly that lingering smell on everything is what bothers me. I spent the night at my brother's house and the smell was more than I could handle. After unsuccessfully trying to sleep in the backseat of my Toyota Corolla, the discomfort and the frequency of traffic of the road in front of his house drove me back into his house.

Why did I start smoking?

At first I was just experimenting. A little reckless behavior to take the edge off the fact that I was incredibly naïve, sheltered. Later I smoked on occasion because I was the youngest person where I worked and all the others who were old, i.e. 26, 27 even 31, smoked. It helped me not be so nervous.

The problem was that I no longer could lay them down for months at a time. I still called myself a "chipper". Later, I knew I was a smoker and it was an addiction. I would quit occasionally. I understand why people need help quitting.

I was lucky in that subconsciously I had begun to loathe the habit. I think this is why I was able to go cold turkey. I think this is what happens to most all who go my route.

In the end, I think cold turkey is the easiest. I cheated or took advantage of the fact that I had a chest cold in giving myself a head start. If I had lived with a smoker, I don't think I would have been successful.

The best way to quit smoking is to never start. I was so cavalier about smoking in my late teens and early twenties.

I never drank much due to witnessing alcoholism in family members. It's never very pretty  Later I realized that if alcoholism had been in my make-up, the first drink would not have been my last.

Drugs, go figure, I am poor white and female. Society has no respect for your screwing up. I wasn't the sharpest knife in the drawer but even my 18 year old self knew that going to "the barn" and drinking and drugging with a bunch of guys was not smart. Heeding the warnings of drug abuse and knowing that I was lucky to get to go to college, I was saved a lot of misery. I know some folks experiment with no long term harm. The visuals of people I grew up with that lost the battle to drug use out shadow them.

Anyway, it is January 4th and I am making some changes. I'm not saying I am quitting my candy crush and farm king addiction. I am just not playing much anymore. I will read a book or heavens forbid, organize my papers.

Real change never happens in a vacuum.

Saturday, January 3, 2015

Surrupticious Cat Videos

I look at my stats in the morning. I always wonder who is reading my blog. I also wonder if I should get a serious purpose to this thingamabopper.

Anyway I have more readers from the Ukraine, Poland, Russia and China than the United States many nights. I guess they are on the look out for any surreptitious cat videos the NSA may have accessed without their knowing.

I lost about 30,000 words to a novel through involuntary copying and pasting to nano word counter and obviously must have done a cut and paste. I wonder if the NSA could help me recover it.

Anyway, I am mystified why anyone in China would read my blog. Even more surprised that their firewall would allow anyone to look at an American's blog. Last of all, the google translation should be incredible. Some languages translate better than others.

When google began, I translated a French document on a computer at work. The system shut down and gave me a stern warning about accessing pornography. I did not go tell on myself and never heard anything from anyone.

Such is the luxury of working for a school system. They knew we would all make innocent mistakes. I had a monitor attached to my computer. One time out of habit, I turned off the monitor and the kids groaned. Afterall I was googling a picture of a rock. Well there it came, a large sample with an unshapely naked woman standing beside it. I did not share with them they were wrong, half the class would have run to my desk.

In the early 90's when they introduced internet and computers in the library, a librarian at an elementary school suggested the child put www dot hurricane in the news dot com in the web address window. Pornographic images loaded immediately. She thought quickly and exited the page. The page had code that allowed it to upload pop-up pictures.

They started to evacuate the library before anyone calmed down enough to unplug the computer. Sounds like an intro to a unit on alien invaders. Like have you ever seen that many people posing like that with a body these gals have. Silicon gel breasts that don't sag. I don't guess aliens wear clothes. Maybe a few should be shown in silver bodysuits. Where are the male aliens?