Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Sleep Well and Have a Better Tomorrow

What is great about a new year are the possibilities. Hope springs eternal.

So many sage quotes it is hard to coin a new one. I wanted to write a Christmas poem and all the starts I thought were taken. Rhymes so embedded in my thoughts it takes an effort I have not wanted to do to create a new one. Sort of like discovering an undiscovered ten digit prime number.

The Macon Telegraph had an article how Amazon had a new $9.99 a month service that would allow readers to read all they want from their collection. For 9.99, exactly how many books will that person read. I am a dedicated reader and I am lucky to finish four a month. My fits and starts at novels leave much to be desired.

My reading has been disrupted more by an ever changing Facebook feed with links I constantly click. Reading up on the upcoming divorce of two celebrities I've never heard of give me pause.

A friend of mine is excited, she can forgo the sorry freebie novels on Amazon and subscribe. The writers are not making as much money with the new service. One problem in the fictional world is that Amazon has about 3 million titles versus their start with 600,000. The world is glutted with stories. With a world population at 6 billion and growing, no wonder we got so many stories.

With one out of every five people in China and another one out of five in India, maybe writers need to think outside of the box. Perhaps have all stories translated into Chinese and published in China. English is the franca linguae in India. Just getting your work into the mass market in India may help. You just might have to adjust your characters norms to that of those in India.

I wonder if the Chinese will read almost anything. I mean you know the joke that they will eat almost anything. Our eating fried eggs is one of the grossest things to some foreign people. I have to warn you. Never read the ingredients of potted meat or hotdogs. It is not true that McDonald hamburgers contain ground eyeballs.

But back to the writers, were you going to make any money from this market? I know having a 99 cent eBook will draw readers to your more expensive books. One person I read is selling each chapter for 99 cents and each chapter is a short crime who done-it.

I have oodles of great books. Some I purchased at regular price but I browse the books of a thrift shop which has great titles. I skip the A-listers. Mid-list authors and classics are more varied and frankly more interesting. I don't know if it is my American yearning for the underdog. At the thrift store, many of the A-listers look as unread as so many others. I check out the dog-eared copies of any book. I think that is a good sign of quality.

I made my resolutions on an earlier post. I supposed if I thought hard, I could recollect them. But as my older brother says goodbye on the phone in the evening, "Sleep well and have a better tomorrow."

Have a good new year. I have heard it is full of promise and hope.

Later Gaters. I got some good video of redwing blackbirds wintering in a pecan grove. I will try to post it soon.

Saturday, December 27, 2014

For all the tea in China

How fast our focus from Christmas to New Years. At a Christmas dinner for people in Macon an elderly woman said with full bellies, heat and the children playing made Christmas day fun. Totaling your possession and family seem ridiculous in comparison,

New Years, the review of what happened the past year is mostly people who passed. It just goes to show that the people are what matters.

The eighties went by quickly for me. Each year paced by unrequited wishes of mine. In this part of my life each year shines brightly. 2013 was a good year in that I was born on the 13th. 2014  has flown by.

So I stand with 2015. I normally don't do resolutions because I don't do them. Unlike in the 80's when I did not want to see time fleeting before me, this year is going to matter.

So, I resolve to

1. Slow down. Look at what I am doing and not worry about what I haven't done. If you are in your twenties and thirties. Heck no, you can't do this. You'll never get what you need. You can slow down later.

2. Get my two books completed.

3. Resist clutter. Don't bring it in the house in the first place. Sleep late on Saturday so all the good stuff is sold at yard sales.

4. Appreciate the people in my life.

5. Talk about getting a stray pregnant cat and keeping it outside. But don't do it. Donate money to a cat shelter.

6. Walk daily.

7. Be patient.

8. Enjoy having lived this long.

9. Get back up when I fail and not look back.

Contentment cannot be bought with all the tea in China.

Saturday, December 20, 2014


Christmas is not the holiday it was for me as a child. The fact that the holidays lead some to depression is understandable.

When you look at the images of Christmas with cherubic children delighted by their toys and you are not a participant but a spectator to the holiday.

For some struggling financially, not being able to give their children or grandchildren a nice dinner much less gifts, Christmas turns it back.

For people involved in domestic turmoil due to no provocation, well some provocation, or the perpetrator, Christmas is not the season of love.

For those who lay dying or have a loved one dying, Christmas is lost in the business of life's ultimate destiny.

All the hassles of traveling or deciding with which family you celebrate when you really just want to stay home, or being alone once again at Christmas

Christian stories to the skeptic can make the holiday as difficult as the crass commercialism to the faithful.

As an adult some Christmas are better than others but you never know. Because Christmas is the combination of all Christmas pasts jumbled together. The memory of Christmas past can bring sadness or peace in the present.

The excesses of Christmas in the celebrations we all share. Buddhist and Jews merrily celebrating the secular aspects of the holiday.

I know the fact that I will put a Christmas outfit on an unlucky dog may seem sad to some. Not having children and their children is a disappointment for me. I don't know if I am disappointed for never marrying. A good husband would be wonderful but the obedience would have been difficult for me. I have a jerk neighbor and I do feel sympathy for his wife. He pointed a gun at me and I bet he has pointed one at her.

I am a cultural Christian. There is much to improve your life with the philosophies. My dad said the Bible was a book of wisdom more than a book of truth. Living in the bible belt where so many of my brethren believe a literal interpretation of Bible makes me feel alone.

A family I know had a daughter placed in hospice during November. They have had good times and solemn moments waiting for the end. The eleven year old got to return home with hospice care. It looks like she is going to get one more Christmas.

I enjoy each Christmas. It is not a milestone, counting material possessions, a feel good blessed time with family and friends for me, or a particularly religious moment. It is day of being glad for what I have, knowing that I have another day to appreciate, and thankfulness for the wonderful Christmases I have had.

You bet I'll go to a movie on Christmas. I hope you have an equally good Christmas.

Saturday, December 13, 2014

Wolf Hall by Hilary Mantel

I haven't read Hilary Mantel's book Wolf Hall which has been adapted by the BBC and spawned the following article in the Guardian.

The size of codpieces used in 15th century Europe will be modified for US audiences. With all the f words, cursing, violence and sex in movies, the fact our puritanical roots need to be considered is what can I say, unbelievable? useless? ironic?

With money a driving force in filmmaking, this is why there are so many save the world action thrillers. They are sold worldwide, hence the business in show business. And yes I stole the last phrase.  A thoughtful historical piece or comedy has a more limited audience,

In acknowledgement of the ridiculous sensitivities or political correctness. And my puritan forebears, never mind Nicki Minaj's booty,

Cod pieces of the 15th and 16th Centuries.

   . Pencz Portrait of a Seated Youth by George Pencz (1544)

Archdukerudolf Holy Roman Emperor Rudolf of Austria (Coello)

Henri2 Henry II of France (workshop of Clouet)Louvre

The Soldier and his Wife Soldier and his wife (Hopfer etching)

Giorgione 011 German origin, National Gallery, London by Holz

PhilipIIofSpain Phillip II of Spain

File:Sir Francis Drake The Noblest Knight.jpg

Sir Francis Drake taken from

Servant walking two boys Servant walking two boys by Jost Amman

Henry Howard Earl of Surrey 1546
Howard Earl of Surrey 1546 by William Scrotz

Thank to Wikimedia Commons for all of these pictures. I need to donate a few to give back.

Anyway, with what we see on movies, you got to be kidding. What matters most is a good story.

I agree with Hilary Mantel, don't dumb down history.

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Another bogus Email.

Below is another bogus email. I have received others. One gives the name and address of the United Nations. These scammers can be bold with their claims. Of course if you are fooled, you can be scammed more easily.

Always search these letters. This is a web address warning about the letter below. 

My writing is in color below.......

Greetings,(Oh Glorious Sacks of Money - Electronically transferred of course)
In appreciation (well I have no work ethic, being a con artist is my way of life) of your esteemed contact (your email address was found) received through a reliable source (another scammer like me) and the choice of your country(Super dumb Americans, dumber than dirt) I wish to introduce myself.My name is Alex Zunaga  (fake name of a thief) the SON of late Mr Anthony Zunaga (son of a dirtbag - how else do I know dirt is dumb.) of Zimbabwe (Nigeria 419 scamsite).

Our father late Mr Anthony Zunaga  (You mean slime; You mean you did not ooze from the nose of a parasitic worm) who was recently murdered in the land dispute in Zimbabwe alongside with my mother Carol Zunaga on their way to church on a Sunday morning (Sunday morning, such pious religious folks who walked several miles in the snow to give their last dime to keep their parish alive. Now how did folks like this give birth to a fraudster)  by some Government instigated assassins (You mean there were no underworld spies available). My Parents were among the few blacks Zimbabwe rich farmers murdered in cold blood by the agents of the ruling government of President Robert Mugabe for his alleged support and sympathy of the Zimbabwean opposition party controlled by the whites. (He works on my sympathy for the downtrodden.)
(Then attempts to infuse this with some truth. Of course how much of this is true? From what I read Robert Mugabe sympathized with his friends. As a result, large farms were owned by people who knew nothing of farming and the Gross National Product of Zimbadwe dropped dramatically which caused extreme poverty for the most downtrodden. The original people who were to benefit from land redistribution. This land problem arose when President Robert Mugabe introduce a new land act which wholly effects the rich white farmers and some blacks vehemently condemned the modus operadi adopted by the government that resulted to rampant killings and mob action by the war veterans and some political thugs, precisely more than sixty one (61) people have been killed. Heads of government from Western World especially Britain and United States of America have voice their condemnation of Mugabe's plans.

Please log on here to see for yourself,
I took his link out and replaced it with his. With spam, never hit links. They can load malicious software on your computer.

Before his death, he informed me of ($25 Million dollars) (Most farmers are dirt poor. They run huge farms but have very little cash on hand. ) he deposited with my name as the beneficiary with a private Security Company as if he foresaw the looming danger in Zimbabwe. The money was deposited as a consignment in a box (That is a heck of a box to hold that much cash. That much cash would probably need a huge cargo box.) to the security company to avoid seizure, and to avoid much demurrage from the security company. This money was meant for the purchase of new machinery farm tools and establishment of a new farm in Swaziland.

Since our life is in great danger, we fled to UK (LONDON) as asylum seekers it is against this background that my sister and I are ready to accept any considerable condition to however that can help us receive this money and invest it . I promise to abide by your instruction to retrieve the money our father deposited in the Security Company(Just send any cash you can get your hands on. You will never hear of me again.)
I will give you further details ( a load of baloney) you might like to know regarding this transaction (to convince you to risk your life savings) including some documents from the Security Company (my printer) as proof of deposit of the fund once I receive your approval (or appeal to our common sense of greed) to assist us.

I hope to hear from you soon.

Best Regards,
(Your loving Charlatan
Alex Zunaga(MR) (Probably a fake name)
Email: On Tuesday, December 9, 2014 10:57 AM, Alex Zunaga(MR)

If for some reason you use the following email address or phone number, use a disposable email address and phone number. You will be contacted by numerous scammers as  result.
<> wrote:
(+447 045 734 345). (phone number may be real)

Saturday, December 6, 2014

Catch a falling star.

Bad moods are contagious, bad news too. I have not watched the news tonight. I don't know the news about the man killed in the chokehold in New York. I'm hiding from reality as hard as I can. It is a relief to watch a funny move, pump gas, pull weeds and do anything but listen to the problems of the world.

On NPR, Boehner was threatening to shut the government down because President Obama is not going to be his lapdog. And of course there are the riots with clever agitators at every corner of social media.

One woman stated she could feel the frustration of one protestor that no change was going to happen. You have got to be kidding me, the world flips on a dime for people?

This is a good CHRIS ROCK INTERVIEW  What I like most about the interview is it shows some depth of thought. He talks of the problem of pushing the envelope with the creation of a comedy show. He would hate me. I would like his comedy much better if he dropped the curse words.

Change is happening; African Americans have been saying racism is a problem and it is registering that their statement is credible. The problem is the sophistication and wisdom of the hearer. Simply agreeing is not the answer. Changing your behavior is.

People learning to hate is not going to be the answer. You forgot about social class news media. This is the gist of the problem. Everyone has disadvantages and roadblocks.

The wisdom is recognizing that some roadblocks are more difficult to surmount.

Protests are not productive in the short-run. I don't like the damage in Ferguson. I do like that people have the right to protest. I do like that police procedures will be reviewed to reduce the danger to all of us in a misuse of power.

Volunteering or donating money to help those in need is my preference. I give money to people begging on the side of the road. At least you know it is going to someone who needs it. How they use it is another question.

Anyway, we all need to find anything we find funny or gives us joy. This bitterness is going to kill us all. There is no privilege from negativity. Chris Rock says that Woody Allen writes dramas with jokes. Isn't most comedy drawn from tragedy. I mean when times are tough, we all do better with some wry laughter.

Locally, people seem to be stopping to be friendlier and more courteous to one another.

Just a curiosity, do people seem more cooperative and friendly in parking lots with slanted spaces or those with squared rectangular parking spaces. On the big grocery shopping day which my mother loves, the grocery with the slanted design seem to have more patient people.

My mom wears one of her jangly necklaces to the grocery story. She says people tend to stop and talk to her more. I think many are just touched by a woman her age is shopping in a grocery store and not wasting in a nursing home. She reads labels and studies all the merchandise. We try many items because it is on sale and she has a great coupon.

Some of the biggest lessons I have learned came from a painful experience. Our country will learn from these problems.

And - new problems will emerge. Such is life. No one person or happening can define a person or society.

Here's a link to test your prejudices    PREJUDICE SURVEY

Monday, December 1, 2014

Praise God, no one is interested in some of the dumb things I have said.

Elizabeth Lauten, laudy, laudy girl.

I was offended by the meanness of the comments. The reference to being dressed to go to a bar and having lousy role models as parents was almost unbelievable from a Representative's social media director. 

Bored looks from a teenager, I would have had a hard time looking interested in the affair. If Sasha and Malia were boys, they would have to be bribed with a extra hours of video gaming or someone told them they would take them on a turkey hunt afterwards. I have thought the Presidents having girls worked in their favor.

Then the pictures of the Bush girls, doesn't some people realize that the President's children get to be human like everyone else. How is posting their college social activities equalizing.

I'm guessing Elisabeth Lauten is 31. She was charged with shoplifting in December 2000 when she was 17. 

I have stuck my foot in my mouth and feel some sympathy for the beating she is taking in press.

Stepping down from her job is appropriate.  Her reasoning that several hours of prayer did not cut it. She should have know as soon as she posted how catty it sounded. Cattiness is a lifestyle and she should have learned better to not let the public know it.

I can't wait for the Saturday Night Live Sketch, Elizabeth Lauten's line of clothes for the bar room.

I feel relief with all the nastiness of politics that the general reaction is Ugh.

God has forgiven me of my sins and he forgives us all. I will chuckle at the punch lines; but, I do think Elizabeth Lauten should be given another chance. I think she has learned a cruel lesson that we all get in real life.

I also think the Obamas rock. They are a beautiful family to be admired.

Friday, November 28, 2014

Friday ain't that black afterall.

All that rioting in Ferguson kept me awake the night of verdict. With two hours, I'm exaggerating, three hours of sleep, I did my Wednesday grocery shopping trip with my mother. The two grocery stores we visit were prepared with extra workers for a hard day before Thanksgiving.

The riots are such a waste. Think of the cost and how the money could have been spent better. It is one thing to protest but destruction is another thing.

It's Thanksgiving and most of the cloud of worry has dissipated with the reality of daylight. What is it about night to create ideas that seem so real that will not live through the next day..

1. I've got to get in gear and clean the worst of this filthy house before dinner. I am grateful for a house.

2. My mother is driving me nuts with her complaining and demands. She is determined to cook the meal and yet wants me to lift this, get this, fuss at my brother and tell him he is lazy. I am grateful my mother is still here and has the wits to cook.

3. My pets shed hair and sleep on my clean folded clothes which I will wash again to get the hair off. I am grateful for my pets love and friendship.

4. My sister brings a loaf of bread to make a dressing sandwich. She hasn't even eaten her meal. I've made rolls. Why can't the food we make be enough. I am grateful my sister cares enough to come and break bread with us.

As I finish getting the table set for dinner, my handicapped sister who lives with me stops to thank me for what I do for the family.

Thanksgiving evening, I surf the internet looking for something interesting to read. I sneer at the ones wanting to explain Ferguson. Some of them are just hate filled diatribes. It's funny how what we see reflects what we want to see. I have a friend who pontificates Martin Luther King quotes.

In time we will all get it. The tragedy is Michael Brown was not a monster and was so young with a future. Whether Darren Wilson callously murdered him will be debated. I think Darren Wilson did what he had to do. We might all be surprised how we would react in the same situation.

Is race relations a problem in Ferguson. Yes. Will it be answered easily? Probably not.

On NPR Wednesday, blacks and whites interaction and the affluence of the Atlanta area would probably produce a peaceful protest. In Macon, the sheriff came personally to make sure the protestors were OK.

One obstacle of race relations in this country is that it is assumed it is a Southern problem.

Another obstacle is not outward racism. It is internal prejudice that we may not be aware exists.

I thought the following article was the best of the matter.

I have white guilt. We had parallel societies develop in this country due to the exclusion of African-Americans. Then whites complain that African Americans think different.

I would say we owe reparations but that would be a mess with DNA analysis. It is ironic that most Southern whites assume they have black ancestry. I know I probably do.

Plus Southern whites and blacks are not that far in their fundamental views of life. Politics is another matter which is exploited and gerrymandered by corporations and politicians in an attempt to control. I say attempt to control because I believe in the law of unintended consequences.

I read the following article in the British newspaper, The Guardian.

Thank God my ancestors got on the boat and left England.

To recognize there is a problem is significant. Protest and grieve for Michael Brown. There will be more of all races with the common factor of being a member of a group of people with little political power.

5. I give thanks for living in a society that recognizes we need to be ever vigilant of our right to free speech and the importance of the common man.

As President Garfield said, "God loves the common man, he made so many of them."

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Beware yellow toenails

Yep, beware yellow toenails.

Aren't thick yellow toenails something that happens to old folks?

I know I had a yellow toenail. I used an antifungal liquid that I applied with a brush around the edges of my toenail. The toenail grew normal and the gross part fell off. Since then, fungi seems to be under control.

Now what does this have to do with the title. I read an article on how your foot can give your personality. Crooked fingers mean one thing and long fingers mean another. But the warning I liked best was yellow toenails of a smoker can mean lung cancer. I would post the website but simply repeating that last part gags me.

Since my fingers aren't part of the gag reflex. I share the baloney with you.

My favorite webview this week was a site that determined your IQ with 15 questions. My IQ was 193 which was pretty remarkable in that the IQ tests of my schooldays were considerably lower than this genius reading. Truthfully, I had downright average scores.

In other words, you can't believe much of what you read on the web.

I hope you laughed at that, in agreement of course.

Last night when I heard the verdict in Ferguson, I did say a prayer for all involved.  I just don't have sympathy for the protestors. What is tearing the city down good for. Organizing for better representation and helping one another is progress.

I taught school which is a close cousin to law enforcement. I remember a pretty girl frantically crying that a student of mine who I will call Lucia was going to beat her up when she walked home.

I got up and did what I needed to do. My work day had ended an hour before. I called Lucia's grandmother. She assured me her grandchild was in the house. I sent the other girl home. I called her house to make sure she got home safely.

Next day, that girl came in and told me that there was no problem with Lucia. I had created a problem. I told her I did not know her before yesterday. Don't come by my room afterschool no more.

Lucia came in that morning and looked at me balefully. Lucia and her grandmother didn't complain at all.

Would I have done it again? Yes, I would not allow children to fight when it can be prevented.

 I don't know what the purpose of the girl changing the story. I know Lucia got in trouble every once in awhile for fighting. However, she was not in trouble because of what the girl said. I had sent the situation to the guidance counselor. Plus Lucia was my student.  I had a bias in Lucia's favor.

Lucia told me she made the threats.

I often wonder if it worked in kids favor to encourage them to be truthful. The world is so damn crooked. All those conflicting and changing witnesses to the shooting make you question their motive.

It is a shame that so many are giving opinions and not respecting the rule of law. The law gets it wrong. The law gets it right.

I do have sympathy for the police officer. The disrespect I experienced from some students was outrageous. I had a principal to ask me what I did for a student to call me a bitch one time.

Ferguson has serious problems. They have a concentration of people who have a low income, are not represented in government and not on the police force. The anger that spills out has more to do with frustration than race. 

I don't think those who choose to throw bricks to break windows and set police cruisers on fire are doing anything to convince anyone that the police are the problem.  Ferguson will not have a problem in a year. Folks will need to move out of the burned out area to have a job, a store to shop or a safe home to lay their head.

On a gut level, people have felt terrible discrimination and that anger wells to the surface. People with good emotional intelligence can put their mind in the right place. Many just don't know how. .  I am white and I see this in the white community. Crazy justifications for indifference are rationalized. People who are deeply caring that can turn around and spout incredibly negative ideas.

The only person I understand is Michael Brown's mother. No one accepts a child's loss. 

But for everyone else, "The truth shall set you free." Of course, Diogenes still paces the world in search of an honest man or woman. To have feet of clay ...

Saturday, November 22, 2014

We have a lot to be thankful for.

Great Feel Good Article

There is a lot of good in the world. It can get lost in the moment, misery or tragedy. But it is there.

I am an American and have been buffered from the worse. I have faced my foes and obstacles but I have never been loaded up on a train to an extermination camp in Nazi controlled Germany or Poland. I've never been a religious minority chased up a mountain without food, water, or warm clothes to escape execution by ISIS. 

Cynicism and mistrust is a creature that I wear like a gold necklace around my neck. I may not see it and forget but it is there.

My sister has schizophrenia which is a terrible disease. When you live with someone who suffers, you see the disease aspect. My sister is currently avoiding me because she has done something at one time bothered me.

It no longer bothers me. It is not her fault it is the fault of people who are willing to meddle in her life but will leave and not even see the pieces that need to be picked up.

I dropped my sister off ten minutes early for her psychiatrist appointment. I gassed the car up and got us a breakfast sandwich because it is always a long wait. I get back to the community center where she talks remotely to her psychiatrist by computer screen. It is 10:04 when I get out of the truck.

They have her back there. I ask to join. The girl tells me I can't. I say I am her legal guardian. She says that my sister does not want me back there.

You may think why can't they speak alone with her. I have learned when people are going to take advantage of her or my mentally disabled brother, they talk to them alone. Get them agree to things and then that person can deny anything that can cause them a problem.

No I don't trust a doctor. Their feet are clay like mine.

Anyway, my main fear was they would arbitrarily change her medication.  Like many schizophrenics, my sister does not think she needs the medicine. The voices my sister hear can be horrendous. I have lived with her off her medication.

I get back there and he is finished. I am panicked about her medicine. The doctor gives me some "s---" about what her insurance covers and the medicine is not changed. He thinks I'm a idiot. I recognize he is going to talk about something related but not what I have said. So I shut up, her medicine is not changed.

Him thinking I'm an idiot can be used to my advantage. Unfortunately the mental healthcare system is not your friend. It is an adversary.

I will go to a lawyer to help me navigate my sister's healthcare. I would like to write a letter but it is a battle.  What an insurance company dictates is not what my sister's healthcare will be.

Later I found out what my sister was urgent to discuss without me present was my misappropriation of her money. When she told me her psychiatrist had told her many people with schizophrenia die from people misappropriating their money, I learned what the privacy was about.

She feels the $550 a month she gets from social security should be managed by her. I give her $250 for spending money. The other $300 I use in the monthly grocery and dining out fund that my mother manages. I put $300 of my own money in that fund. Any medical or dental bills I cover.

I walk away from any fight but if you want to know what a living hell is. Live with an untreated schizophrenic.

To say the system is broken is not correct. There is no system. So few doctors train for psychiatry and mental health services are so poorly funded, you are truly on a wing and a prayer.

Anyway, my family is doing well. We have what we need and many things we want. I hope you are so blessed.

Saturday, November 15, 2014

If you got it, Flaunt it and make money too!

Hit the following link and

Help Kim Kardashian get even richer and look at her big booty.

The argument has nothing to do with women, body image, men. It has to do with capitalizing on your assets presented in a fashion that has nothing to do with reality.

As woman of a certain age knows, you don't has a waist like that with a butt like that. Even if you do, your legs are big. They can be toned but you are planted squarely and pound the ground when you walk.

Some say it is a racial thing. Yeah right, I've seen as many white women as black women with big bums. What is racial is that African Americans are more tolerate of women having a few (or lets be honest, a lot) of extra pounds.

Which makes you think, Why are so many white folks fat?

Anyway, Kim needs a new $40,000 Gucci purse and Oprah is not going to share a few million to help her out. It might be Christmas for the Koch brothers with the Keystone pipeline being approved; but, Kim has got to do it on her own.

I agree the photo has been photoshopped but I am impressed. It is unusual for a woman to have a big butt and big boobs.

The only real criticism I have about the photo is that well -
       When did a photo become a story?
Afterall we all know Kim is the queen of Glam.

Next on my opinator compass is Kiera Knightly's untouched photo.

Link to Kiera Knightley's photo

All I can say, you can never be too thin. This is why American women like Kim better. She's got a little too much weight on her which is something most women have a problem with the older they get.

But then you have those Kiera Knightleys of this world. I am so jealous. I just want to point out it is not hard to have firm breast when they aren't that big.

And why should I be jealous?

I have always known men like a big butt. Why should I play favorites?

I'm not. I'm just another bystander.

The human body and face can be a great work of art in it's complexity of age or youth.

Neither of these photos are art. They are both commercial photos. One is to promote an unknown magazine with the shock of Kim's artificially large buttocks. I least I hope artificially, she will have some back problems one day and think of the cellulite. The other promotes the movie that may be mentioned when someone discusses Kiera Knightly.

I might be getting older, overweight, have a few lines and not magazine material. But,I look good in my clothes. I feel good too!

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Look both ways

No talking, I can't talk to you. This road is crazy every morning. People just pull out in front of you.

The radio station usually plays NPR unless it gets too intense about something in the world that is baffling and insolvable. Then I try the pop music station. Not a great choice, they play the same songs everyday and every hour. “Girls just want to have fun” by Cyndi Lauper and “Beat It” by Michael Jackson lose their luster. The play list is lost in the 1980s.

Last choice is the country music station. Not that I don't like country music. It's just sounds the same. Songs about drinking cold beer mixed with the right wing ideology spouted continuously by a radio host. Its not the opinion that bothers me, it is the lack of rebuttal. It spouting off about serious topics using spin versus what is at stake. It's taking my culture and telling the next generation who we are.

You learn a lot listening to radio. For example, Richard Nixon was the most liberal president of the twentieth century on NPR. I agree. It really hits me on Facebook when I see former hippies being the most adamant conservatives. One woman who is lucky to be alive wants welfare recipients drug tested. She has lived on disability most of her life and --- has had drug abuse problems.

Of course a lot of decent religious people I grew up with have similar opinions. They weren't hippies, they didn't smoke pot. Why I didn't acquire these same opinions? I don't know.

Anyway, I am a creature of habit. NPR moves to classical music after 9 am and frankly it doesn't have a lot of beat. I know, I know. Anyway, I stopped at a red light and the pop music station had just played a rousing repeat of “Billie Jean” by Michael Jackson. John Tesh was opining on his “Eat Your Vegetables and Walk Carefully On The Thin White Line of Life” rhetoric.

I looked up and the light was green. Dang, I need to not let my mind wander I thought. I released the brake and as my habit was I looked to the left to make sure the traffic had stopped. I stepped on the brake quickly. Barreling down the road with no sign of stopping was a log truck.

Traffic rarely comes from over the hill on the other side. Today, a sporty Trans Am came through the light and hit the log truck.

I took a right and thought I had no cell phone. Stopping to give any help I could, a sheriff car was already there. He must have been behind me. A pudgy 19 year old got out of the car unscathed. No damage to the log truck. I wasn't needed. The sheriff saw everything.

When I left, the log truck driver looked like a decent man. We were all lucky. However, I did feel for the truck driver. I've screwed up before. All in all, he dodged a bullet as well as I. The kid had angels cushioning him.

Tuesday, November 4, 2014

Get out and vote.

Things that exist sometimes slap you in the face before you see them. These scorched earth ads close to the election is to rally the faithful. If they can get enough of their diehards to the polls, they don't need the independent voter. Scorching hot anger or frustration to get folks to the polls.

I am a conservative, independent voter. I just don't believe that having the wealth and power concentrated to a few people is good for regular folks.  I'm also female. Entitlement programs that help women and children are good to me.

Well, I heard that the independent voter is fiction. Each of them have a party preference. They called my bluff. I tend to vote for the Democrat. I vote for the Republican when I feel they have better character or there is no other choice.

Frankly when I was young, I had no preference. 

I'm not a legacy Democrat. I just vote that way now.

Each party lacks leadership. The Democrats at one time seemed a fringe party. As a result the Republican party is now become complacent and increasingly a fringe party. Whatever happened to having opposing views within a party.

It's like we are voting between those who don't believe climate change is true, anti-gay marriage, no common core, anti-abortion, pro gun rights, tax breaks for the rich, pro death penalty versus the opposite. This is what I mean by fringe. Only a minority and Sarah Palin fit in those categories. 

More than half of us are for and against the same principal at times. Plus they aren't the only issues in government. Our political parties have proverbially painted themselves in a corner in which reason and logic seem inescapable. 

Pragmatism is the better part of a politician's logic. They will spout an opinion and privately live another. Getting elected is part of the game.

So vote your conscious. We are all dependent on a combination of luck and fate. 

If you look at the politics among the colonies during the American Revolution. The same scorched Earth scare tactics were prevalent. I guess the more things change. The more they stay the same. Those last two sentences are from a Jewish proverb.

Anyway, I pray the best person wins on election day.

Thursday, October 30, 2014

Bubbles and more bubbles

Its the bubbles over your head filled with what you don't need to say. Hiding behind your lying eyes, you smile even larger. The bubble grows exponentially.

My dad was told when he was a young man by an old man that the world was messed up when he came and it will be messed up when he leaves. Can I get an amen.

One consequence of getting older besides getting to live a longer life is you notice more. I read a Facebook dust-up which started innocently enough. One woman's mother had Alzheimers and as most folks know, “It gets uglier and uglier.” It also may be her mother's late life disappointments.

Anyway, I understood what she meant. She had found some letters of her mother's when her mother had a more positive view of the world and it meant a lot. She had posted a beautiful picture of her mom in her twenties. Her mom was beautiful.

Anyway, comments devolved into a few competing in a perverse competition for the meanest mother.

The original poster was stating a fact not a judgment.

Anyway, it just got me to thinking about people and their relationships with their relatives. The only people who are never disappointed really don't have any or know any relatives. My sister had a friend who talked about being descended from some really high class folks. Oddly enough, he had no immediate relatives.

On Facebook, it is ironic that people block friends and family and tell all sorts of personal details to absolute strangers. In complete understanding, blocking may be a good idea at times. Except that bubble still grows in cyberspace, just not over your head any more.

The same woman who made the original post about her mother can write some funny one-liners. One was the post to her real and imaginary friends. I chuckled because I am one of her imaginary friends. However I really like her. I guess that makes me her good imaginary friend.

One thing that affected my grandmother's generation more than today's generation is their forthright honesty. They said how they felt.

Politically, it is expedient to hold it back. Hence that big bubble filling with what you really think. But I wonder if we would all do a little better with a little more frank exchange. How do you improve if no one points out your flaws. Much like a competitive runner runs with a faster runner to increase their speed.

When I started teaching, I held back some of what I felt the parent should know. One year, I felt it was my last year and I started saying what I thought. I would hear other teacher's backing up their chairs. But the parents would agree. They recognized I was not criticizing their child. I was sharing what they needed to do to be more successful. I did have a few parents in later years I let that bubble fill to the bursting point. But most of the time, I just laid it on the line.

One student I had was a troubled soul. Mom had a difficult time handling her children and supporting her family on a waitress income. Long story short, mom was evasive of the child's problems and the assistant principal could not come down hard on the kid. Same story inevitable, the kid's behavior got worse and worse until he burst the bubble two grades later.

I don't blame the mom for disliking me for insisting on action. Its just that the kid was somewhere between being a future high school dropout and college graduate. He became a drop out. In my defense, I was the teacher who had him half the day. He had to have some self control or the other students in the classroom missed out.

Along with being more honest, there was a term called having float my dad would use. Your friend makes you mad. The boss chews you out over nothing. You get over it. Move on with the future.

All in all, the more emotionally attached I am to an idea or habit; the more I will get mad with you for criticizing. I understand parents perfectly well. They love their children. Its this love that would want to mold them to be the best they can be. The waitress mom really did not see a bigger future than the world she lived in which was surviving to make it through another day.

It is good I retired when I did. I was getting really pedantic. A teacher across the hall would brag about her past partying and pot smoking. I told her I would not be bragging about those exploits. She also bragged about being in the gifted program. I had worked at that school at that time she attended (around 1980). Essentially, white children who lived in nice brick homes qualified for gifted. Besides, I had been in a gifted program in high school. What does it really mean to be gifted. Plus my giftedness was being very well behaved.

Back to the bubble, I could have used the bubble a little more. But in a conservative field like education, you do not share how you sowed your wild oats. One paradox in my life is that I have always been attacked for my failings. I have worked with others that have suffered little consequence for doing the same thing. Or at least it looked that way.

Anyway, the world will be messed up when I leave and I hope to still be able to see that. I want to go out with an alert mind and a character with some float and that bubble stuffed tight.

May your bubble not pop.

Thursday, October 23, 2014

I read "Under and Alone" by William Queen

Under and Alone is a fascinating account by William Queen of his time spent as an undercover agent with the ATF. William Queen became a full-fledged member of a criminal motorcycle gang which few thugs were up to the challenge of joining.

I am one of those people who have several books open in my house and cars that I read simultaneously. William Queen's book went in my purse. I was not disappointed. Once I began reading, I finished that day.

The interesting part of this hold the book had was that I had heard many of the high points in a talk he made at the Writer's Police Academy. Being a novice writer, I had no business attending the academy with so many professionals present. It was an incredible eye opener to the world and police procedures.

As a retired teacher, I think the book should be read in high schools. I have taught the great unwashed over the years. We have a few bad students, parents and teachers. What so many people don't know is that so many people are really good people. Having an awareness of the criminal element would help many young people from getting entangled with more than they can handle.

I loved the part where people who so many would consider part of the dangerous motorcycle folks would caution William Queen to think hard about his new associates. Even his first contact into the club gave him full warning and a chance to leave before he became a prospect.

I know some students would acquire an attraction for this element. This was an interesting element of William Queen's story. He discusses the reason why men get into this life. He posits an opinion of the women who become the property, girlfriends and wives of these men. Being a feminist, I think hey, you mean they don't enlist women. Second I think, why would these women ever accept their degrading, passive roles.

What I liked about William Queen's narrative is his love for humanity of people. that bonding and acceptance of another person, the willful choice to know what side of the law he served.

He said he would not do it again with the price he had to pay. Going undercover for over two years and the subsequent relocation of his children; he has no relationship with his now adult children. What he did served law enforcement's knowledge of these organisations and brought to justice to some criminals.

I only wish when I listened to him speak that I did not thank him for his service. His energy was so strong. I understand why those outlaw motorcyclist where able to accept him.  I do believe that all our lives have a purpose. I know someone who has to work with some incredible jerks. I told her that sometimes I feel like the purpose of our life is to shine a light in a sea of darkness.

Anyway, if you want a thought provoking, engaging read, look the book up.

Fascinating book

Sunday, October 19, 2014

How I choose a book

I have stacks of books I plan to read. I guess when I die, they will need to stuff as many as they can in my casket. I shudder to think publishers pulp unsold books. It was years before I realized you could throw a book away. Then the custodian looked at me like I was doing something incredulous. He took the books out of the trash. I'm sure his wife appreciates me and those books.

Anyway, it is not a matter of I will read about two books this week. It's which books I will read.

There was a writing challenge for blogs addressed It was fun for me and other bloggers. There are other blogrolls but none have been as fun. One lets you post in their comments. Most are designed to bring traffic to their site which I understand.

What is hard to find is a blogroll that is for fun and others join in. I read most of the trifecta posts. The long challenge was only 333 words.  My favorite was the 33 word challenge. It is amazing what you can say in 33 words. I don't believe in long posts in a blog roll. A novel has 50,000 words. No one has the time to read the equivalent of one novel or novella when visiting a blogroll.

I am bound and determined to write something of merit. Of course the general public will determine that. What I have gotten out of my foray into the world of writing fiction, is an even snootier nose about what I read.

You read that right. I am a serious book critique and snob.

I don't read many of the top listers. Top listers write the bestsellers and are heavily marketed. I just don't like having what I like chosen for me. I know, I know, I am missing out on some good stuff. It's just that you can't read it all.

Where do I find good books?

1. Yard sales often have great esoteric books for a great price. Pre-selected so to speak.

2. Read those blog rolls. They may not be selling a book, but they will tell you about a great book.

3. NPR - Some of their author interviews are about books you cannot relate to. But some are interesting.

4. Writing conferences. I have a fondness for the indie author, Some indie authors are really good. Some break all the rules of writing and have a book in process published. I enjoy most of them or put them on the shelf with their author's signature. Indie authors have truly broadened my scope of what I read.

5. I love the classics.

I nominally do writing challenges. My work in progress is what I work on.

And work I must do. If you are writing and want a challenge, read this article from the Brooklyn Magazine. The excerpts are only a paragraph or a sentence or two. However, they are incredible.

Saturday, October 18, 2014

Sophisticated name calling

"I'm Too Sexy" by Right Said Fred is one of those songs I disliked but the tune and lyrics shout out of my brain to my consciousness way too easy. I'd provide a link, but I don't want to spread the problem. It became the number one song in the United States in 1991 and number 2 for six weeks in the UK.

It is written from a narcissistic fashion model's point of view.

I say, if you got it, flaunt it. Just be careful to stop flaunting it when you become a time capsule novelty. I remember women lost in the sixties with dark hair, bangs and eyeliner when I was worried about being fat as a teenager in the seventies. We all got to move with the times. Except I would love to weigh 125 pounds again.

Anyway, I got a pair of jeans I wear at least twice a week and they are cool. Now why I would like these dark blue beauties with a denim braid on the hem, I don't know. Today, they stood at attention beside my bed this morning just like the jeans I wore in college.

I went to college in the seventies. Living on as little as possible, I know why everyone was so crazy about jeans. You really had to have money to own the matching sweater and cardigans of the sixties. It was not a hippie thing even though we all dressed the part.

I had a couple of big thoughts yesterday, most of them settled on point of view. I have been contemplating the power of stories. I have concluded that we all need to handle our story choices with care.

We all have family stories, I would love to create a blog roll where people would post their favorite family story. The kind of story that was passed down through the generations. They can be outrageous but they are all a learning curve.

My favorite was a great-grandmother who was roughed up by my great grand-father when he came home after a few drinks. The next day when he was working in the field, she came out with an equalizer and beat him to a pulp. He never drank again. He said he couldn't handle liquor.

What I learned, don't be a victim. There are alternatives today to beating the crap out of your husband. However, you don't have take nonsense.

My grandmother had a quote "When you see dog shit, walk on by, don't stir it up.". Pretty much like "Choose your battles".  I like the literal interpretation of her version.

We all go vote this month. I have strong opinions which I have a hard time not writing up a storm about. I actually pray for the best person to win. There is a certain load of baloney by all political candidates. Quotes and tactics which will call their voters to the polls. Once elected, they follow an agenda that may or may not have to do with what we learn about in the news.

So choose your stories with care. Name calling can be on point or a cheap shot.

Arrrgh, I still want to say Vote For -------. Laugh out loud, Have a good day.

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Yoga and Me

Yoga looks so peaceful, serene, get in touch with your spirit.

I have a thirty minute yoga video which I have not taken off the shrinkwrap. I know I bought it over two years ago. It was such an urgent purchase, I paid regular price and didn't wait to find one in a bargain bin. The dogs have chewed the edges of the mat I purchased.

Honest to goodness, I'll start next Thursday.

The road to hell is paved with good intentions. What I learned is that there are other interpretations. Mine has always been in reference to procrastination. It can also be about Murphy's law or the substitution of good work for faith in your religion. I learned that on Wikipedia.

Bill Clinton wasn't joking when he said, "It depends on how you define, "be"."

I picked up a magazine called Yoga at the doctor's office. Only one female in the pictures looked older than 25. All that good living, I suppose.

Which made me think about my big physical fitness achievements at 58. I can touch my toes, I can tie my shoes, I can get on the floor and back up. I can write a check and sign up for a 5K. Upward and onward I shall go. God willing.

I am in better shape than I was three years ago. The first time I walked a 5K in 2012, I was incredibly sore afterwards. That was hard to swallow in that I had always been a huge walker.

Me and my dog Louise start training this week. I wish I could run, Louise needs more exercise. But, I can walk three miles without suffering later. I plan to walk two miles a day two or three days a week and one day walk four. Just build those muscles.

I have always dieted during Thanksgiving and Christmas. Imagine how big I would be if I had not. We all battle the bulge in my household. We do have family members who are slim. They are not anorexic, but they are light eaters by nature.

My great aunt Faye was a terrific cook and loved to feed everyone. She made the best kraut. She was also a good teacher. With a heart damaged by rhematic fever and three open heart surgeries under her belt, she ate primarily raw vegetables. She did eat some meat, etc

I am following her example. I don't know if it will extend my life; but it will make me feel better. I know when I fed my elderly pets their special food, they lasted longer. Hard to realize that I am getting there. Especially since I have always enjoyed eating.

Take care.

Thursday, October 9, 2014

Hester Prynne

My dad loved the Scarlet Letter by Nathaniel Hawthorne. He would sit at the dinner table smiling discussing the book with my older brother and me as the audience. I would dutifully tell him I liked the book. I had read enough to discuss rudiments of the story to please him. My 14 year old self hated the book.

My 22 year old self read the Scarlett Letter and liked it.

Isabella Rossellini stated her mother Ingrid Bergman would never return to the United States because it had a puritanical streak that could turn on you. At the time, I thought that she had led a life that was not above reproach and just did not want to accept the public indignation of the famous having their shameful secrets exposed. I was probably about 25 at that time.

I'm 58 now. I do understand that puritanical streak. The only difference in opinion I have from Ingrid Bergman is that I think it is universal. Each culture has its own gray line or crisp black line in some situations that it measures people. Media can sway where the gray line starts and ends.

What got me on this topic? John Rocker.

I don't personally know John Rocker. I know what got him publically shamed in the news. What got him voted off Survivor is he was honest with people. He could have lied by omission and gone farther in the game. The other players have felt free discussing his public disgrace and calling him a bigot.

I don't agree with the negative comments made by John Rocker that were published in Sports Illustrated. By no means am I saying it was OK what was said. Afterall, I belong to the great unwashed.

What I am saying is John Rocker was saying what others also felt. He did us all a favor in that many learned for the first time that opinion was not liked and offensive.

Prominent African-Americans in Georgia spoke up for John Rocker. John Rocker paid a huge price for his statements.

John Rocker is a modern day Hester Prynne. He has a Scarlet B for Bigot sewn into many people's mindset.

When I first heard about John Rocker's statements in Sports Illustrated, I thought, how stupid for him to share that with a news reporter, Jeff Pearlman. This made Jeff Pearlman's career.

The second thought was some of the news personalities reactions were incredibly outraged for folks that lived in gated or sheltered communities where someone could be pulled over for driving a rickety car or not having the right profile. Places that don't touch subway folks unless they are the help.

It is a shame that some people are deemed more important than others based on socioeconomics. Socioeconomics drives the other factors.

I know my first thought should have been that his statements were terrible. Its just that I know it was a common and pervasive opinion.  To be surprised would be disingenuous of me.

When the former Secretary of State, Andrew Young, the mayor of Atlanta and the mayor of Macon, C. Jack Ellis came to his defense, I saw what made him a target. He talked too much. He is a good looking man with an athletic talent. A Golden boy who did not experience that filter everyone of us knows well, Be careful what comes out of your mouth. That pass for being outrageously popular was biting him in the proverbial ass.

As an American, I root for the underdog. John Rocker is an underdog in that he has been made a pariah. Like Hester Prynne in the novel the Scarlet Letter, he has been branded for a sin. But is that his sum total. Shouldn't he be forgiven.

I watched a Dr. Phil show with the children of Doris Duke's heir. He was an alcoholic, drug abusing, child abuser. His children spoke of how they had a hard time trusting people because they were only after their money. I had the same thought for them as I have for John Rocker.

The only way they can escape the problems of people only liking them for their money is to do good work. In becoming philanthropists, they can have a more meaningful life.

John Rocker is a human being who is still trying to explain himself. He needs to realize this is where talk is cheap. He can never explain it away. He just needs to let his actions do the talking.

I think he is like many people who move up the ladder quickly in their youth. They don't know how high they have gotten and how hard they are going to fall when their ego gets the best of them. God has forgiven me for my sins and I can forgive John Rocker of his.

Below is the link for Jeff Pearlman's follow-up.

It was right to have reported what John Rocker said. It was inevitable that he would have been exposed.

Jeff Pearlman crosses the line when he insinuates that John Rocker is hopeless. I don't think John Rocker is hopeless or a bigot. John Rocker talks too damn much.

Jeff Pearlman was the messenger. He is not responsible for John Rocker's losses. Every year a few athletes, actors and newsmakers find themselves as players of a scandal.

I'm also flawed. Being a Baptist, oh boy, I know I have sinned.

For all have sinned and fell short of the glory of God. Romans 3:23

He who is without sin throw the first stone. John 8:7

Tuesday, October 7, 2014

I'm still here.

I had 248 views on my writer facebook page. Seeing as I have 12 likes and have posted nothing in almost two years, I couldn't be more curious about why so many visited. I would put something up real quick but that is about like closing the barn door after the cows got out.

You can't hurry love, time or anything else for that matter. When I first wanted to write, everything told me how to sell what I wrote. Then it dawned on me, that was the final step. So, I don't sign up or purchase anything that tells me how to sell my writing. I need to produce something I am proud of first. The facebook page is a reminder that building a platform could have been delayed until I was actually ready.

What can I say, I was overeager about something in my mid-fifties. Being consistent is what I need to be. More than a little frustrated at my slow pace. My book is now a series of morphs. I am in the process of ditching what I have written and starting fresh. The blank page looks enormous. So I find myself blogging.

Politics is sizzling in Georgia. The ads are little slicker this year on television in the senate race. The governorship is a series of he's a dirty rat ads we are used to. How someone cannot vote with all that passion drumming. Of course the devil in all the contenders is in the details. The fine print that no one notices until it explodes in a scandal.

Do I sound like a compromiser? Well I am. I swear I'm not a liberal. It just that in Georgia it doesn't take much to be a liberal. Gay marriage, I knew when they made laws banning it, these lawmakers were "wink, wink" at their gay brothers and sisters saying I'll deliver. Until the laws were on record, the courts had nothing to uphold or ban. I think Gays have a right to marry. I just think some of the conservative religious folks should have known what they were creating.

I vote independent. I like President Obama. I think he has done a good job considering how dirty politics has become.

Sunday night has eight big dramas which I have never watched. I am going to watch a few and tape a few. It will take me a few weeks of this to decide if I have been missing anything. My big television shows are SNL and Big Bang Theory. I record both because I am prone to falling asleep.

Anyway, I wonder if any the Sunday dramas will rival the political ads coming. We are three weeks from the election.

Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Searching for Grace

We all got failings. Failings are a theme in my novel. Everyone starts flawed and they end flawed. Its moments of grace that make our humanity worthwhile.

Negativity is such a force. It can take control and rule our lives if we let it.

I grew up where the generation above me knew horrid hard work and lived like beggars in spite of it. In rural Georgia, that is still true for many. Old highways are lined with abandoned homes, pecan groves and farms. Opportunity in Atlanta and other towns lured people away to never return.

My dad left that part of Georgia to fight in World War II. He did try to return but learned there was nothing there for him and moved to Macon.

Of course his mother wanted him to move back and farm as a side job. Like most people, he didn't follow a great piece of advice.

I grew up in Warner Robins. It was a mix of Lake Woebegon and a social climber's paradise. Many people grew up dirt poor but they wanted to deny their humble roots. My parent's looked at it indifferently. They just weren't ashamed that they had grown up poor. This did not keep me from getting on that ladder. The story gets long, complicated. But to sum it up, I got kicked off big time. You don't always recognize good luck when it happens.

We all got a story and there are no easy answers to what to do in life. I had a teacher friend who wanted me to quit teaching and get a job where I could meet a husband. She was right. She was wrong. I needed a job to support myself, not to find a man. A good husband would have made the slings and arrows of life easier to bear.

Today during my daily blog reading, I came across three posts that affected me.

One was TWKHickman's blog “Not Just Another Mother Blogger”.

She describes an attempt to create a cave much like her husband's man cave. The problem is a mama cave has baby bears with legos. I understand the frustration. I'm an introvert.

Introverts need alone time to recharge. I stay up late to have that precious time. Then I drag and feel like crap the next day. Earlier today, one of my mom's dogs came to fetch me. Mom loves company and her dog knows it.

Another blog was about autism. The parent was frustrated with people who wanted to blame parents of violent or self harming children. Unfortunately, there are no easy answers. Sometimes parents have got to do what they got to do.

I have a developmentally delayed brother. I said I would never yell at him like my dad did. Like the rest of the family, my brother is hard-headed. I have seen some creative solutions to problems. Some of these solutions are expensive. Like the time he took the engine off the new lawnmower and put it on the old lawnmower. New engine worked good. Bad blades and rusty mower mowed poorly. I didn't yell about this. But I sound like a banshee yelling at times.

I read Diana Knox Cooper's book, “Hated Without a Cause”, a sobering account of her emotional and sexual abuse as a child. Scars that have left her negotiating life with a broken heart which she details in the book.

We all got a story. That story is inherently biased because it is seen through lens of our own experiences. However, that story can only be understood by others through our sharing.

My dad said the bible was more a book of wisdom than a factual text. Diana's salvation has been her relationship with God. I understand a lack of belief in a higher being. I have been plagued by that doubt my entire life. It was truly a difficult period in my life that I started to believe again. I'll never adopt a rigid code of belief but I do feel an ease in this world with my faith.

Something I experienced throughout my life and have no easy answer for the problem is: “Why do we ruminate over what is bad to the point we can't see what is good?” When I taught school, a difficult student is all I could think about when so much of the day was really spectacular. Turning off bad memories is no easy task. A counselor would help us all and especially anyone who has had traumatic experiences.

What I do know is love is a more powerful force than negativity. I just got to remember to practice it more.

Saturday, September 27, 2014

Sometimes decisions are made for you.

I renewed the minutes on my pay as you go Verizon phone. Then I noticed something very important. The towers for Verizon are weak and the phone calls from my house break up easily. Thank goodness the clerk was so apathetic. I would have signed up for a two year contract.

I have been lucky like that before. I went to purchase a new refrigerator. The salesclerk couldn't wait on me because another couple browsing was looking at more expensive refrigerators. In the end, the couple had a friend they wanted to buy from. Suddenly, the clerk was looking at me hopefully. I had been waiting on another clerk to finish up.

I have to give the clerk credit, he did come to help me. Its just that he had told me he would be unable to help me earlier. I was irritated because the other people were only looking and I was there first ready to pay. I left without buying. My refrigerator worked.

The next week, I got a job offer closer to my hometown. Long story short, I sold the house and left the old fridge there.

I've had a lot of dumb luck in my life. People have given me credit I did not deserve. When I bought my house, I was listening to the realtor tell me I needed a good faith deposit of 2500. I just did not say anything because I thought she was still talking. She got nervous and dropped the deposit to 1500. It was immaterial to me. I knew I was buying the house.

I am not a maybe person and we needed a place to live. You would think it would be fun to buy a house when money is not the big hindrance. Well its not. It was hard to find a house that was suitable.

I went to a psychic once who described someone who looked like me who advised me "They made many decisions in life by what they needed to do." I think that is true for all of us.

Billy Queen said he went undercover as a gang member because he could blend. He might be detected at the Jet Propulsion Agency. We have some latitude with out interest. If you have a terrible singing voice, singing will be a hobby.

Friday, September 26, 2014

Random thoughts and a few lists

Riding into Carrollton, my mind was swimming with a blog post. It had to do with something so profound I have no clue what it was.

I write portions of my stories in my head. Very little gets on paper.

I'll mow grass tonight which helps. Water aerobics is also great to help you unpuzzle an idea to write.

I went to a voiceover class the other night. I was disappointed in that I paid $39 and it was a sales pitch for a 4500 dollar program. In fairness, it should have been free since it was a sales pitch. I did learn a lot.

The $4500 was not way out of line. It was expensive but all the lessons in the arts are expensive. What made it unreasonable in my opinion is the purchase of so much in advance. What if you couldn't finish? What if you didn't like the vocal coach? Meeting someone who casts voices for Disney is truly a tease.

I would not recommend paying that much to one entity. I would recommend studying anything you want to do. Just know you are a consumer and there are many fish in the sea to chose from.

These are the things I learned at the voiceover class:

1, They need all voices and regionalisms.
2. The Atlanta accent is like better than the New Orleans. Could that be due to the influx of people from all over the country to Atlanta?
3. Home recording is the standard and an overstuffed walk in closet often works as a great recording niche.
4. Voice overs need actor training.
5. Most voice overs are for narrations not commercials.
6. Members of SAG can make big money.

What I have learned about being an artist?

1. If they talk about how to sell or how much money you are going to make, you are not going to learn anything about the art.
2. As much money can be made from training and critiquing potential artists as being an artist.
3. It's important to sit down and attempt your art several times a week for a specified time. Practice makes perfect as well as produces a product you can refine. Talking creates nothing.
4. I may never become a household name or produce a money making product, but I have an incredibly interesting pursuit that engages my mind. My only regret is that I did not pursue the arts earlier. My life would have been fuller.
5. Blogs die after about three years because --- the purpose is often not there. My science education blog gets many more hits than this one and only has 19 posts. With this blog, I shudder at the times I have talked about the same thing. Its hard when you have promised to not write about your family. Then again, posting intimate details about your family to whoever pops in is not cool. Maybe facebook should post that for everyone to look at when they sign in.
6. You cannot make a living as an artist. I may walk by a sea of beautiful books by bestselling authors at the grocers; but, few writers get that opportunity. As good as the books look, I walk by. I deliberately buy and read the regular person's novel or memoir.

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Today, it wasn't me.

I went into the Warner Robins verizon store. I had been before but the wait was so long. Plus, the product is significantly higher than the competitors.

Now why would I go back? It was the reception where I live. T-mobile and ATT are weak here.

The greeter was nice. He asked me what I wanted. I said to establish service. There was an associate ready to help.

I thought drat, I don't have time to look at the phones. The help was vague so I told him I was considering the iphone.  Then it started. He was drifting away from me not paying attention basically looking for a better offer. Short answers to my questions.

He was not rude. I wondered if I smelt bad. I thought, I showered before I came. My clothes had come out of the dryer. Maybe my shoes smelt.

I came in for the phone. I need the phone. I am walking out with a phone. I told him, "This is what I want."

Then the lecture that I would need another credit check. I have a pay as you go phone with Verizon. I caught the bait. Maybe I could not afford the phone service. A teeny piece of me goes, I got good credit. The old calloused part of me spoke really loud, you have got to be kidding. Then the back of mind said quit thinking, you need a phone.

I looked at my bored and I don't know where his mind was sales clerk and thought, You don't deserve a commission. On reflex, I said, "I think I'll wait."

For the first time he got animated. He told me I could bring in my old Iphone and get a credit for it. I thanked him and left.

Walking out the store, I thought I still need a phone. Then the realization that my pay as you go was $15 a month cheaper anyway. I am also lucky to talk two hours a month on a phone. I was interested in a mobile hotspot with the Verizon.

Verizon does have wider coverage. Verizon also has a problem if this is their sales technique. I also don't have a phone. I think I'll go back to T-mobile. It is weak but Verizon was not that strong either. Between T-mobile and ATT, I should have some service. I hope these number twos work hard enough to catch up.

Sunday, September 21, 2014

The floor needs mopping

My diabetes has been rearing its head. As a caregiver, my day is dictated by the people I care for. They care about me but have their opinions which makes it hard.

My mother is difficult in that she likes to choose what we eat. If she says it doesn't affect my diabetes ------ Well you know the reality. Eating has been a difficult thing for me. I know some of you folks say I wouldn't stand for it. You might buckle quicker with a pouting, crying mother.

I can give this advice to anyone. Think a long time before you allow someone to move in with you. I have no regrets and mourn the loss of being just able to take a walk and read a book when I want to.

I will never regret the time I spend with my mother. I just regret not having some freedom.

My big defense against diabetes has been exercise. I quit the exercise facility I went to for two reasons. One was the cost. I spend money on maintaining this household that makes me pick my pension to the bone. I retired early because I could not handle the workload or mental stress of having so many bosses to answer to. The other reason is that I felt like the work I do should be enough exercise.

I've been discussing my will. It is complicated. I want my sister and brother cared for. I debate on my house being given to a specific charity with them having the right to live in it the rest of their lives. There are so many variables at play. For one, will either of them need more care and this choice limit future care for them. Damned if you do, damned if you don't. I'll go to the lawyer and see what he has to say.

A piece of me wants to sell the place and live it up one day. I have pinched pennies my whole life and it would be nice to not worry. The spending would end quickly. There is always something you need to pay for.

In addition, my home phone is stalked by the first scavengers of the elderly. Medical alert systems that a speaker intones I have ordered. It took me awhile to realize it was a recording, the man's voice seemed so real. Actually it was real. It was just recorded and repeated. I have a feeling those buzzards would know first I got some spending money.

I would have never started writing if I did not have my family relying on me. When I quit work, I had the opportunity to think for the first time in a long time. You run from one thing to another putting fires out. The biggest fire burning you never see which is what you want to do with your life.

I had big regrets about not pursuing my dreams earlier in life. You can get too old to pursue them which is why I am grateful I retired early. Perhaps I will churn a book out.

Starving artists have shown me with their penniless situation that I made a good choice in having a career. No I was not a hard nosed businesswoman. I was a teacher whose weakness was I did not like bossing people around. I had to acquire the attitude to keep my job.

I also love these people. As much as I resent not being able to travel, it warms my heart for my sister feeding her little dog her dindin and taking her outside. One dog who walks the house letting the other dogs know, she is above them. I like that my sister has a quality of life.

When I pick my developmentally delayed brother up at the workshop he works in, I'm glad he lives with me. Language ability deteriorates when many live in group homes. That brain muscle must be constantly worked no matter our ability level.

If there was a rewind button, would I have taken a path that benefited me more. I don't know.

The truth is I just want a break.

I also know when I am losing the battle with diabetes. I get a craving for a sugary treat. This makes it easier to resist. I have a choice. Work on dropping some weight and my diabetes to go in remission again. I resist medication because surprisingly, it is more pleasant to not eat than have to eat because your blood sugar is low.

That statement blows me away. Much like when I started writing, my opinions surprised me at times. Some of them in that I had an opinion.

Oh another health fact, I used ethyl alcohol hand sanitizer to get rid of my acne.

Thursday, September 18, 2014

Press the Schmooze button please

I heard the interview of Hillary Clinton by Terry Gross for NPR.

Hillary Clinton makes no bones about people speaking or interpreting her words. Terry Gross who leads an interview that is informative but comfortable was taken back. I sided with Clinton. She lives in a world where casual speech can lead to something very serious. I'm surprised it has not happened before to Terry Gross. We live in a world where a comment can cost a career.

Schmoozing - The grease of politics. I never brown nosed much because I wasn't any good at it. Believe me, I tried.

Of course being direct and honest is a good policy too. It makes you popular in an important way. Being credible has clout.

In Georgia, Michelle Nunn is running for senate. What sold her on me is her retort to the Republican candidate about Obamacare. She said to the effect, We are not getting on the tired topic. You are not toppling the Health Care Reform Act.

I like Purdue. I like that he is a moderate.

I just like someone that has the guts to say the Healthcare Reform Act is not a terrible idea.

The Democrats have a snowball's chance in hell in Georgia.

We have a governor that has tampered with the state ethics office to avoid an investigation of himself. People have sued and received large sums of money for being fired for not being his patsy. He has refused to expand medicaid to 650,000 Georgians. The irony is that so many of these people are his voter base.

Governor Deal is 72 years old. I don't know how he sleeps at night with all those people denied benefits because of his attempt to derail the Healthcare Reform Act.

But back to schmoozing, it can be fun. I would not have a career in politics. I am too humble in addition to not being smart enough with the quick answer.

Monday, September 15, 2014

Email address change

Paid my electric bill in the nick of time. I have been changing my primary email address to an oldie but goodies email address and discovered my electric bill was way overdue like I am surprised they haven't turned the juice off.  With everything so automated I had no idea where my electric bill was going. I just knew to check in every month and pay it.

 So much trouble with the current internet provider. Living in the country surrounded by pines, I don't have much choice in providers. Anyway, my preferred provider is not providing again. My next choice are hotspots, portable wifi's do not work well. So besides putting a repair request in, a satellite is next.

How is your day going? I can't complain having screwed up and not been penalized for it.

When I get a reliable internet that has a reasonable speed, I'll start posting pictures of mostly wildflowers and what it looks like in Georgia. However, I don't think the 75 Ukrainian visitors some days are really interested in my posts.

You can call my dogs spoiled because they like air conditioning, a chair and other comforts such as good food. However, I like the same things. My bulldog just got on the couch with a bottle of olive oil she retrieved from the counter beside the stove. Now this is where I draw the line.

I'm watching the view. I plan to listen to a rap by Kanye West. I understand people come to his concerts to hear him go on a rant. Makes me think of my early days teaching. Too much talking about stuff and the kids tuned out. Maybe I was born too early and should have been a rapper.

The world has changed so much in my lifetime. I remember thinking I would not bother with a computer. I would retire without using one and eventually never need to. I got my first computer in 1995 and on a lark signed up for the internet. When I purchased the machine it was to do a paper and the word processor would save me time. I never dreamed a email address would be such a big deal.

Saturday, September 13, 2014

Rest In Peace Aunt Sylvia

My aunt passed away this past Monday, September 7th. It was sudden and expected. She had fallen and broken both shoulders on September 3rd, placed in a nursing home to recoup, escaped the nursing home, on the 4th. So much so fast.

She had her faculties. The oxygen they gave her at the nursing home had too much water? No I don't really understand but I would want to leave too if I could not breathe. When you put your fate in other people's hands you don't always get treated well. I am biased in that if I could not breathe, I would escape too.

It is one of the sad and peaceful deaths. There is never enough time. My dad and maternal grandmother passed within days of each other. He was 75 and she was 87. People would ask their ages and some seemed satisfied. One person said, well they were old. I appreciated the comment. Instead of the sadness I felt when people reminded me of my loss, I just felt "Are you crazy?" for a brief moment and then the sadness.

At my grandmother's funeral, it wasn't until my uncle acknowledged my dad's passing that I felt enormous grief. For a long time, I felt my grandmother passed because she had been diagnosed with the beginning of senility and she was not going to live that way. The fact that my aunt had the gumption to take her wheelchair and leave did not come out of thin air.

I now know that when your organs are shutting down, so is your brain. Death is not for the faint of heart. It is hardest when the person is alert. More tragic when they are young and did not get the chance to live their life.

My cousin shouldered the load. I'm very proud of her. My cousin runs a few facebook pages and sells soap. Her thoughts were to the effect, "We need to appreciate each other, we never know when it will be over."

My cousin's webpage is

She is the bomb and a bag of chips.


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