Saturday, November 28, 2015

Our Words Are Powerful.

University of Colorado Colorado Springs police officer Garrett Swasey, 44, was killed in Friday's attack.
Taken from http://www.npr.org/sections/thetwo-way/2015/11/28/457674369/planned-parenthood-shooting-police-name-suspect-procession-for-fallen-officer   photo courtesy of UCCS
This is why I don't like the unabashed criticism of law enforcement. This law enforcement officer worked for a college police force and he made the ultimate sacrifice when a gunman opened fire at a planned parenthood office.

We depend on law enforcement to protect the weak from the predator.

I agree that there are law enforcement officers who use poor judgement or commit egregious crimes. What I don't agree with is we blame all LEO for the actions of a few.

They need to be paid better and given respect.

We do need to share with our children how to behave when dealing with anyone under stress or in a dangerous job.

I was stopped for speeding when I was 22. I was late and going 85 mph. I lied to the state trooper and said I was going 75. I reached for the glove compartment to get proof of insurance and noticed he had stepped back quickly from the window.

I was a young and dumb but I knew what my quick motions had kicked in for this very nice man. I got out. He checked my tires which were all different sizes. My dad was a thrifty man. He cautioned me to go the speed limit and told me how fast I was driving, gave me a warning, locked my door before walking back to his patrol car.

There is a race problem and black lives do matter. There is not a law enforcement problem. It is a cultural problem which manifests itself into denying jobs to deserving people, exclusion from services, etc. A piece of me wants to say inappropriate speech should be blown off. The brain in me knows words are as powerful as weapons in demeaning people.

We do have to recognize that law enforcement is a difficult job and not throw the baby out with the bathwater.

Rest in Peace Garrett Swasey and the other four murdered victims at a Planned Parenthood. I'm sure they are going to find the perpetrator unstable. There are a lot of people guilty of delivering the information to this man to think he had a right to attack these people. This was not their intent but our words are more powerful than we think.

Friday, November 27, 2015

Making change

I drove through downtown Fort Valley. Under a streetlamp, a cat calmly groomed itself. Getting ready for a hot night on the town. The little downtown goes to sleep early and some of it rests during the days. People go to large shopping centers, malls and strip centers for much of what they need.

Perspective is what I have been stewing about.

Did you know that in China, to show the bottom of your feet is an insult. No biggie in that many of us will never go to China. If I ever get to China, I may be shuffling my feet due to age. You do slowly lose the spring in your step.

My Euripides moment was, this explains why my mother's doctor walks the way he does. He has obviously lived in the United States most of his life. His children are born here. I don't know his internal feelings nor would I ask him. But I have observed his walk. I wondered why some Asians walk that way and we don't.

One time a man who was of Asian descent with an Asian tour group wondered why I knew they were Americans. I paused. It wasn't the greatest answer but it was the truth. You're all sitting around slouchy like Americans. He laughed. It made sense. They weren't slouchy. It was the body language and interactions.

I had a great Thanksgiving and hope you had one too. I thought of posting my dressing recipe and writing something profound. For me, I am thankful for the life I have. Things can always be better but they certainly can be worse.

I have enjoyed the shows about the first English colony. We forget that the French and Spanish were already working on this continent. One topic discussed in the media is the genocide of Native American people. Disease killed many. Corruption and callousness killed many. It is hard to reconcile that with feeling wonderful you live in the land of opportunity.

But I do. Even though I am registered to vote and do try to have an open mind. I will vote Democrat. I have voted for a few Republicans. My vote counts for nothing in Georgia. There is going to be a rally for Donald Trump in Macon. I have thought about going for the experience. Of course I need a paper bag to wear over my head.

The South is called a racist, misogynist, backward place. I hate to add my face for a camera pan as Trump announces that the Syrian refugees can just eat cake like Marie Antoinette. The civil right's act of 1968 that has additional mandates for Southern states has really improved the economy and life in the South for everyone. Schools were integrated in the early seventies. I like to think of myself as a progressive Southerner.

One big problem we have has always been a problem with politics. It is the stretching the truth.
I have debated how I will register political ads. Will I try to catch as many as I can and make jokes?
Will I be sane and hit mute or fast forward through as many as I can? I will be sane.

I will not go to Trump's rally. I would boo sooner or later. You know they will not let me wear a paper bag over my head. I thought I could wear a hijab. At a Trump rally, that could probably get me killed quicker than a boo.

I can see Trump singling me out and asking me why I can't speak English. I would get nervous and the accent would get thicker. The audience would not know what to do with me. They understood every word. But I got the hijab on. Hell, that roll around my middle is probably a suicide vest. Yep, it would be pandemonium, and the odds would not be in my favor.

I could protest outside. I'm retired from teaching and can have an opinion now.  I would - BUT, I have people depending on me. Whatever heat gets dished on me will get dished on some fragile people. Plus, this is the world I live in. I'll save my fight for a battle that can be won.

The tide will turn. I've lived long enough to see it happen. I pray it will happen before the middle class disappears into the working poor.

I'm thankful for my comfortable life. There are so many things to be thankful for. During stressful times of my life, I would write down what was going well.

There are so many sad things in the world. In the 1800s, the English stopped eating sugar to protest slavery. The connection was made between sugar production and slavery. It is the small things we do that lead to big changes.

Tuesday, November 24, 2015

Sauerkraut is too sour for breakfast.

My nephdogs,
Other people's dogs are not as cute as mine. I look at pictures of people's dogs and think how much better looking my dogs are.

I was going to eat leftover sauerkraut for breakfast. Surprisingly, it was too sour. Apparently your tastebuds are sharpest in the morning.

So, I cooked bacon and made everyone a bacon sandwich. My mom had eaten earlier. But it is elder abuse to not share your bacon.

All my dogs wanted bacon and the old man cat wanted some too. I gave them all a small bite.

I've got a great Thanksgiving coming up. We're taking Thanksgiving off. We are going to the Huddle House for a late breakfast then catch a movie. I know the big meal is a tradition. But for who?

My favorite meal when I was growing up was fried fish. My mom and me would get in the kitchen and fry up a ten pound bag of potatoes, a pound of perch, a cup of oysters, a 40 ounce package of frozen, breaded shrimps and hushpuppies. It was a feast for all my siblings, my mom and dad and whatever extra kid landed up in our house that night. The irony is that I was underweight as a kid.

I can still hear the fan buzzing in the window over the stove. Piping out all the heat, oil and food smells as we cooked. One time, my parent's neighbor, "Cowboy", asked my dad what stunk. My dad said, "That's my supper". My mom was cooking company cabbage.

We had big Thanksgivings with Chicken and Dressing, turnip greens, cornbread, rolls, various vegetables and a cake. They were a lot of fun. But today, everyone eats light. We've gotten older. Some of us have special diets. Mine requires sauerkraut with the occasional bacon sandwich. 

Anyway, I'll turn off the cell phone during the flick. I would like to watch Star Wars. What the family will pick will be OK with me as long as it is not James Bond. I am a chick flick or comedy movie fan.

Everything is a matter of perspective. I've slid my kraut behind everything in the refrigerator. If you don't watch my mom, she'll eat your sauerkraut.

Below are cute dogs. I know, they are mine.

 
 




Later Baby.

Saturday, November 21, 2015

Making Comments

 
The Greek Proverb says when the Gods decide to destroy you, they make you angry.
Eiffel trocadero i
By J.M. Schomburg via Wikimedia Commons


Somehow time has passed quickly and I find myself on the cusp of 60. So much of my life unlived in that so many things have passed me by that I never experienced. I would grieve but experiences do have two sides.

A moment to respect the world situation in Paris, Beirut, Mali. One thing on the internet is how we react to terrorism in white countries and ignore that in countries of brown or black people.

It is a legitimate statement and true at times.

Why did American's have such a reaction to the Paris incident, it is 9/11. It could have been us in our multitude of ethnicities. You assume you can walk the streets with jewelry in the United States which you cannot in other places of the world. You assume you can go to a restaurant, concert or sporting event in the United States and Europe and not expect terrorism.

There is deep seated racism in the world. People of sub-Saharan African descent experience discrimination world wide. We even have African Americans who prefer light skin or dark skin.

More importantly, you have people who believe everyone regardless of creed or color have the basic right to the pursuit of happiness.

I've written about race on my blog more to gauge how people react. In my novels, you have black and white people. I live in a society of both races and it is my reality. My reality also knows you can get in deep doodoo real fast discussing race.

I stopped my chemistry students from talking race before class one day. They asked me why. I said, "You don't discuss politics and religion." The kids said, "We are just saying - I can't remember the conversation about race -". Race is politics I said to them. They were quiet a minute and then agreed.

Sometimes, someone says something out of line about race on social media. The attack is swift and without mercy. The endorphins of indignation rushes to the brains of so many. They forget the terrible things they have thought or said but fortunately there is no record.

The most recent was a Georgia Southern student commenting about the BLM movement at the University of Missouri. She is young and dumb. I remember when I thought things in Missouri were pretty much the same as it was in Georgia, California, Canada and Europe. Then I found out it was different in the next county. I was going to have to do a lot of adapting.

What I dislike the most is the white who always sides with a person of color as if they want everyone to know they are the "good white". You can only be a "good white" when your actions alleviate the cruelty and suffering of another. You can be sincere but untested. Words alone are shallow testimony.

I don't like racism. I abhor the KKK and related causes.

I also have patience with people putting their foot in their mouth. I've done it too many times to count. We should all think before we speak or more importantly put anything on social media.

Anyway, I commented on a very talented writer's blog. After commenting, I read her about section and realized she might not be a 15 year old but a small staff of writers. She could be a 15 year old savant because she has a literary agent. I took that damn comment off as quick as I could.

A link to the blog follows the comment. I read a lot of blogs and try to comment on all of them.

This is the comment below. I did not add my quiet thought that anger can destroy us all.

Blogger Ann Bennett said...

This is your teacher speaking here.

It is important if you want to publicize the tragedy in Kenya and Beirut by writing about them solely.

Unfortunately, there are people who prioritize according to race and social class. That does not mitigate the tragedy in Paris.

Of the three, the attack at the University in Kenya is the most painful to hear in that young people at the start of their lives were killed. I remember reading how the Somali extremist separated the Christian students from the Muslim students before killing 147 of them.

This goes back to what my father taught me a long time ago. Stay away from people who don't like a group of people. They don't really like anyone. I've edited his quote.

This is an incredible power struggle in the mid-east. Look at the people fleeing Syria. It is irrelevant whether ISIS is Muslim. ISIS is not all Muslims nor Allah. I know many Muslims. They are very nice people. They could also have been victims as well as you and I.

This post is a good discussion point to have with your parents in how one tragedy is not worse than another especially for the individual involved.

Write another one titled Don't Forget Beirut and Kenya University. I think this is your true message.

You are a very talented writer for a 15 year old. I don't think this talent was given to you to write just anything. There is a lot a passion you have at 15 that gets tempered with life experiences. Again, discuss your posts with your parents. You'll never have anyone that cares as much for you. We all need to be tempered by the opinions of others.

http://halfmonstergirls.blogspot.com/2015/11/im-not-changing-my-facebook-icon.html
 

Thursday, November 19, 2015

Glory Days!

Every once in awhile I succumb to looking at one of those websites featuring a slowly loading slideshow of celebrities that have aged badly. I just miss those AOL dial-up days when you would wait five minutes for a page of anything to load. I think that is why google is so popular. Not so much graphic, song and dance to load.

I digress.

The slideshow should be called, "Aged to less than perfection, but hey they feel pretty good." Those wrinkles, saggy jowls, paunches pale in comparison to the alternative. Dying young is not the panacea for eternal youth.

Ponce de Leon explored Florida for the fountain of youth. He and his men were chased off by the Calusa Indians. Ponce de Leon died from a poison arrow during his last attempt to create a settlement in Florida. The aboriginals were successful but disease from the old world was introduced. He didn't find a fountain of youth.

Further proof there was no fountain of youth, Florida is full of old folks..

Anyway, the one slideshow of "hasbeen" stars was unusual in that it was mostly men. And they looked pretty good to me.

Beauty is in the eye of the beholder.

Not that I would want one as a boyfriend. I could use a boyfriend. I miss the older man who carried groceries out at Publix. He was a very kind soul. That is the type of boyfriend I would like. The Publix dude was married. I want a boyfriend free and clear. I don't want a husband in more ways than one.

I don't want someone else's husband and I don't want one of my own. I know how much work those buggers are. Plus they are opinionated and usually conservative. I'm not opinionated. I just know how the world should be.

In other words, I keep my dang mouth shut. They'll be packing me up and shipping me to an old folks home in Florida called the Ponce. Where if you keep telling people what you think, they put something in your tea and you feel like you have died and gone to Jamaica.

To put it short, I am in my Glory Days. It is not those bitter Glory Days described by Bruce Springsteen that my 18 year old sister chided me about when I was the grand age of 28. She was so deep in her youth. I was so close to thirty; it made me mad. I'm so close to 60 now, the lyrics make me laugh.

Those aged rock stars and actors look good. I'd like to hang out with them. I sure as hell don't want to go home with them. Carpal tunnel is no fun. Viagra is not all what it is cracked up to be.

Anyway, have a glorious day. I am.

Saturday, November 14, 2015

Je suis Paris

127 dead, 80 critically injured, scores wounded.

Numbers will vary.

Hope is France detains every terrorist.

The bell cannot be unrung.

The death toll will climb.

Justice may happen in spurts and small stops.

Survivors drowned in shock.

Time and closure, one being certain.

Comments by political commentators,

Conspiracy theorist setting fires

That should never burn, but will.

Daesch hurts Muslims as well as Paris.

There is a piece of me

That is running and screaming into the terrorist with drawn gun

Annihilating him, breaking his weapon

It ends the same way

In a repetition of what I cannot do.

With only frustration, I give up.

Je suis Paris.






Friday, November 13, 2015

A mixed nut review is not as good as a fruitcake.

A premise for a horror or crime movie would be a woman marrying a celebrity they have a crush on. Then all hell breaks loose in a mystery, crime or horror novel. I got the idea from today's Dr. Phil.

A woman is essentially divorcing her husband to free herself to be available for country music star Kip Moore. Her marriage had to have problems. I remember waiting for my prince. It never entered my mind that the prince could disappoint. It is hard to feel sorry for someone being so impractical. She does have children. They may grow up before she does.

I recently read, "A Peculiar Tribe of People: Murder and Madness in Central Georgia" by Jay Hutto.

The book is wildly organized with a jillion distracting details. The topic is so engrossing, you slog away at all the background information. I found myself skipping to get to the meat of the story and then flipping back to read what I missed.

My mother did the same thing. When I finished the book, I thanked my mother for being regular people. It is really hard on some children growing up. As the twig is bent, the tree shall grow.

What amazed me the most was one of the descendants of the family. My brother had a friend named John Lee. I'm not including his last name. I would think he is an old hippie when my brother told me about some of the things John Lee did or said.

I am cool with someone being a hippie. It is just that I grew up working class, and I had to be serious about working and making a living. Philosophy is great after you have a house and a means of support. My hardest adjustment of adulthood was the hypocrisy of politics. We all got to do it whether we admit it to ourselves or others.

Anyway, one statement John Lee made was how his mother cheated him out of his inheritance. My middle class thought was the wife was supposed to inherit.

Then I read the book. He had an awful mother. The clash of personalities began when he was a toddler. She just did not like him. I can understand not enjoying 24 hour childcare. But not loving your own child. It is a wonder he did as well as he did as an adult.

A step deeper than the reality of living with your prince is that you just don't know what people have accomplished or survived when you speak to them.

A writer named Darrell Huckaby talks about learning he came from a deprived home life. He grew up in a mill village. His story was there were all sorts of deprivation but his childhood was not deprived. He had a home, food and a family that supported him. He was never deprived. Darrell Huckaby knows what he is talking about.


Wednesday, November 11, 2015

Grocery Shopping on Wednesday

We go grocery shopping on senior citizen discount day every Wednesday whether we need groceries or not. Except for milk, bread and the odd item, we could skip the weekly ritual.
We've had a lot of rain,
 and the dew laden spider webs are
 a sight to behold every morning.

It is not lost on me the mothers with their young daughters in tow. I wonder how many of the daughters will be taking mom on their weekly shopping visit. I see a few daughters like me and some older women with people hired to assist them.

 Our grocery shopping has gotten out of hand. We go to two grocery stores. Ironic in that as you get older you lose your appetite to eat that much. Last week we purchased 20 cans of chili because it was on sale at Kroger. My mom grew up during the Great Depression.

Unloading the groceries, I was tickled. There were a lot of items we did not need more of like potato chip dip. But the buy one get one free sauerkraut was not there. We overstocked that about a month ago. I know that I should be grateful that we have plenty. And dang, I didn't buy cat food. My elderly cats are cool with it. I have opened tins of tuna. They like the good stuff.

Amazing how pets get quickly accustomed to the better things. I got a pair of cockatiels who had been spoiled pets. Female owner got cancer, husband was overwhelmed. My brother collected the birds and brought them to my house. They were hungry. The male owner had just thrown them peanuts. Once they ate the expensive bird food, that was all they would touch.

It is easy to surmise that I am not a shopper. My method of saving money is to avoid purchasing items or to buy them on sale. My mother gets on a motorized grocery carts and sets sail. I have seen an older couple who I now realize must shop in Publix for about 4 to 6 hours on Wednesday. The man uses a motorized cart but the woman pushes a buggy. I am feeling my age in I get tired of slowly strolling as my mother attempts to examine every item for sale.

For my mother to have a sound mind, you would not think grocery shopping was that exciting. But her career as a mother and housewife involved a lot of wise grocery shopping and cooking. I see that in so many elderly women who shop. My mother has a friend who lives in a nice nursing home. She warns my mother how bad the food is. Losing your choices is bad no matter how old your are.

Today is a beautiful day. The sun is out with a high of about 70. My rose bushes are blooming their hearts out. I'm heading out to get some cat food.



Sunday, November 8, 2015

Honestly, I fell off the left side of the Earth.

Honestly, I fell off the left side of the Earth.

I thought there was only one edge and I lived beside it. But no there is a left side. Imagine a left side and right side, who knew. Then again is it my left side and your right?

My laptop screen cracked and I spent two months putting off getting it repaired. I used my kindle, iPhone and android tablet to cruise the net. The crazy autocorrect in addition to the small screen keyboard tried my patience. So I only made a few and sometimes wacky incoherent comments on a few blogs I follow.

A break is good. Maybe not so good if you are trying to make money. I have five posts which generate a great deal of traffic everyday. They are not phenomenal.

One post concerns a gang member who smiled for her booking photo when she was charged with participating in the killing of two men whose car had broken down. Subsequent booking photos are very solemn. The deep doo-doo she is in has become a reality. Eventually, I will take it down. I feel a sadness that I will probably outlive many gang members.

You must write or your ideas are lost. I had posts swimming in my head but I didn't catch any, because I did not write them down. I had this fantasy I would catch up with my housework.

There is a creepiness to the internet. I normally delete spam from one email account. However, some of them were clearly pornographic and I began to report them to spam@uce.gov . They eventually disappeared. However, I have an aggressive thief wanting to blackmail me with my Ashley Madison account.

A point to note is that I do not have an Ashley Madison account. So the sex tape and records of trysts would be unwanted but free porn. One wanted ten bitcoin which is about 2500 US dollars because supposedly I impregnated her. Hasn't she heard of court ordered child support? The case would be dismissed pretty fast in that I am a post menopausal woman.

How long I was getting the messages is a curiosity. I normally do not look at spam. However, they have changed to yahoo addresses. I have made some screenshots for a future series of blogposts. 

Meanwhile, I am writing a thriller in which a post menopausal woman hunts down the catfish threatening her. He dies a grisly death, hung by his penis from a tall tree. Would the woman be exonerated by a jury of her peers?

When I started this blog, I received some good advice. Do not use your regular email address. The original email posted on the blog received a great deal of spam and a few individuals who asked for money. It is important to have separate email addresses for separate parts of your life.

The blackmailer wants me to give them my paypal address. I am moving all my finances to one email account that is only used for that purpose. I had changed my paypal address several years ago from the email address I'm getting this spam from.

Meanwhile, do you have any suggestions of twists and turns with "The Short Life of the Ashley Madison Blackmailer"? Since it is fiction, terrible fates can befall the blackmailer.

I doubt real life is that great for the blackmailer.