Wednesday, August 16, 2017

Losing hope

This is a depressing post, and for that I'm sorry.

To begin with, my mother has been in and out of the hospital for the last week and a half.  She had a blood clot in the same leg where she's had problems before.  The whole situation has been very stressful on all the people involved.

I've been concerned about North Korea.  But I also think that the little dictator there has a serious case of short-man complex that he compensates for by saber-rattling.

And then came Charlottesville.

I have not been sitting in front of the TV camped out with either CNN or Fox.  But it's impossible to avoid the news of the last few days.

I am fed up, and I have lost hope for this country.

We are so angry.  We are so much at each others' throats.  We've lost common ground.  I'm just waiting for someone to throw the Molotov cocktail that will launch us into World War III.

And at the risk of making people even angrier, I do agree with our President to an extent:  there is hatred on both sides.  I wish he had called out the Nazis and the alt-right immediately.  When you walk around wearing white hoods and carrying a swastika flag, what in the world do you expect is going to happen??  When you identify with the people who perpetrated one of the greatest crimes against humanity in history, you DESERVE to be called out and condemned, pronto!

On the other hand, it seems that the sins of the right are always magnified, while the sins of the left are ignored or minimized.

I truly feel like throwing up my hands and screaming, "Forget it!" along with a lot of other nasty words.  Because it seems like nothing I can do or say is going to do one bit of good.

Just my .04, adjusted for inflation.

Sunday, July 23, 2017

Nursery Duty

Today I served in our church nursery.  Between three volunteers, we had one baby, and I ended up hogging her the entire time.

She rewarded me by slobbering all over my left shoulder.

Even though I was wearing a smock, the left sleeve of my blouse ended up getting wet.

I loved it.

Just my .04, adjusted for inflation.

Sunday, July 9, 2017

I remember they lied

In 5th grade, my teacher one day told all the boys that our girls' PE teacher was sick and that the boys needed to leave the room so she could talk to the girls about it.

Once all the boys left, she passed out permission slips to the girls to see a movie about menstruation.

To this day, the thing that I remember about that whole event is that my fifth grade teacher lied to get the boys out of the room.

This was either 1973 or 1974.  I was ten years old.  We weren't that far removed from a time when sex just wasn't discussed publicly, and where certain subjects such as menstruation just weren't talked about unless it was in secret, or in very veiled terms.  My teacher was an older woman; I remember that she had gray hair and she may have been just a little bit older than I am now.  (Which means that she probably wasn't that old. :-) )  I understand that she came from a different generation, a different way of thinking, and she may not have known any other way to get those permission slips passed out. 

But the one question I still have is, "Did she have to lie?"  I mean, surely she could have said, "I need to talk to the girls alone for a minute; you boys need to leave the room."  She didn't have to tell them why she needed to talk to the girls alone.

I thought about this episode while reading about a very tragic event that happened last week in my county.

Five members of the same family, a father and four children, were all stabbed to death in Loganville, Georgia.  The mother was arrested and charged with murder.

Today, I read a story about the neighborhood the family lived in and the reaction to the neighbors to the murder.  A five-year-old girl who lived in the neighborhood was close to one of the children that died. The article quoted a family member that said that they'd decided not to tell the little girl that her friend had died.

Instead, they chose to tell her that her friend had moved.

When I read that, I immediately thought of how adults, in order to shield children from the death of a relative, would often say that the person "went away" or "went off on a long trip," rather than saying, "they died".  But here's the problem with that explanation:  What happens when the person doesn't come back?

And what happens when the child learns the truth?  That the person died?

I believe this family means well.  They're trying to cope with a horrific reality.  

But some day, this little girl is going to learn about what happened to her friend.  She's going to learn that this little girl didn't move.  Instead, she's going to learn that her friend died . . . and she's going to learn that her family lied to her.  

Yes, the neighborhood is going through shock, horror, and every other emotion in the aftermath of this murder.  How in the world do you explain to a five-year-old that your friend has died?  No, it's not necessary to tell this kid all the horrific details.  She doesn't need to know the entire story.

But although I can understand wanting to shield the kid, why lie to her and say she's moved?  

Because eventually, she's going to find out what happened.  Maybe she'll understand why her parents told her that story.  But I also wonder if she'll think, "Why did you lie to me?  And if you lied about this, what else did you lie about?"

In the case of my fifth grade teacher, I'm old enough now to understand some of the nuances that I couldn't understand when I was ten.  Menstruation is a difficult subject to talk about; it's awkward and messy, and finding the correct words to discuss the subject is not easy.  

It's the same with murder.  Murder is much harder to talk about when it's happened in your neighborhood and when you know the people that it happened to.  

The little girl in this story that lost her friend--when she's old enough to understand the entire story, will she remember what I remember about my fifth grade teacher?

Because, even when all is said and done, even when I take into account the subject and the context of the times, what I still remember is that my teacher lied to me.

Just my .04, adjusted for inflation.

Friday, July 7, 2017

Final bike ride . . .

We know her sister got a good night's sleep the previous evening. *

But did she?

She'd been busy for most of the afternoon, and maybe she did collapse in bed that night.  The next morning, she was going on a bike ride.  Her riding partner was due to be there very early in the morning, and she needed to be ready to go the minute her partner arrived.

We don't know what was going on in her mind.  Did she sleep?  Or did she lie awake thinking about that next day's bike ride?

Did she envy her sister's sound sleep in the next bed?

Did she hear the beginning of the rain that night?  Or did she wake up and, only then, find out it was raining?

The rain wasn't going to matter, because she was going on that bike ride no matter what.

Next morning, the ring of the doorbell or the knock at the door may have made her jump, but she was there with her bike at the appointed hour.  Immediately, after telling her parents good-bye, she mounted, gripped the handlebars, set her feet on the pedals, and pushed.

Perhaps the last thing her parents said to her was, "Be careful," as millions of parents all over the world say to their children before they start off on a bike ride, or a car trip, or before doing something risky or downright dangerous.

Telling her not to go, in spite of the rain, was out of the question.

She probably wore a raincoat over her clothes that day.  Her bike tires splashed through puddles and her feet may have slipped a few times on her pedals as she followed her bike partner on their chosen route for that day.  She wore glasses, and if she wore them while she rode her bike, they were spotted with the raindrops, and she would have had to stop and wipe them occasionally so she could see.

Her body was used to her bike seat, and she knew how to maneuver her way through the streets.

This ride, though, held more than its usual share of apprehension.

Were there people looking at her as she pushed her pedals, steered her handlebars, braked as she needed to?  Everyone that met her eyes, did they know who she was and wonder where she was going?

She was missing a mandatory meeting in order to take this bike ride.  Was her name being called at this very moment?  Did anyone know yet that she wasn't there?  How long would it take before her absence was noted, and how long would it be before people started looking for her?

Her heart pounded harder than usual as she rode, and today, it wasn't because she was getting her exercise.

Nearly an hour later, she and her riding partner, soaked from the rain and weary from negotiating the streets, finally slowed, braked, and stopped.  They hurried inside, out of the rain at last.

When the bike rider, fleeing from a Gestapo summons, stepped through the office door at 263 Prinsengratch in Amsterdam, on July 6, 1942, she would not emerge until August 4, 1944.

We know that Anne Frank got a good night's sleep the previous evening.

But did Margot?

Just my .04, adjusted for inflation.

* ("I was exhausted, and even though I knew it'd be my last night in my own bed, I fell asleep right away and didn't wake up until Mother called me at five-thirty the next morning." -- Frank, Anne; The Diary of a Young Girl : the Definitive Edition.  New York: Doubleday, 1991, p. 21.)

Tuesday, July 4, 2017

Why we celebrate

In Congress, July 4, 1776

The unanimous declaration of the thirteen United States of America

When, in the course of human events, it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bonds which have connected them with another, and to assume among the powers of the earth, the separate and equal station to which the laws of nature and of nature's God entitle them, a decent respect to the opinions of mankind requires that they should declare the causes which impel them to the separation.

We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights, that among these are life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. That to secure these rights, governments are instituted among men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed. 

That whenever any form of government becomes destructive to these ends, it is the right of the people to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their safety and happiness. Prudence, indeed, will dictate that governments long established should not be changed for light and transient causes; and accordingly all experience hath shown that mankind are more disposed to suffer, while evils are sufferable, than to right themselves by abolishing the forms to which they are accustomed. But when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same object evinces a design to reduce them under absolute despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such government, and to provide new guards for their future security. --

Such has been the patient sufferance of these colonies; and such is now the necessity which constrains them to alter their former systems of government. The history of the present King of Great Britain is a history of repeated injuries and usurpations, all having in direct object the establishment of an absolute tyranny over these states. To prove this, let facts be submitted to a candid world.

He has refused his assent to laws, the most wholesome and necessary for the public good.
He has forbidden his governors to pass laws of immediate and pressing importance, unless suspended in their operation till his assent should be obtained; and when so suspended, he has utterly neglected to attend to them.
He has refused to pass other laws for the accommodation of large districts of people, unless those people would relinquish the right of representation in the legislature, a right inestimable to them and formidable to tyrants only.
He has called together legislative bodies at places unusual, uncomfortable, and distant from the depository of their public records, for the sole purpose of fatiguing them into compliance with his measures.
He has dissolved representative houses repeatedly, for opposing with manly firmness his invasions on the rights of the people.
He has refused for a long time, after such dissolutions, to cause others to be elected; whereby the legislative powers, incapable of annihilation, have returned to the people at large for their exercise; the state remaining in the meantime exposed to all the dangers of invasion from without, and convulsions within.
He has endeavored to prevent the population of these states; for that purpose obstructing the laws for naturalization of foreigners; refusing to pass others to encourage their migration hither, and raising the conditions of new appropriations of lands.
He has obstructed the administration of justice, by refusing his assent to laws for establishing judiciary powers.
He has made judges dependent on his will alone, for the tenure of their offices, and the amount and payment of their salaries.
He has erected a multitude of new offices, and sent hither swarms of officers to harass our people, and eat out their substance.
He has kept among us, in times of peace, standing armies without the consent of our legislature.
He has affected to render the military independent of and superior to civil power.
He has combined with others to subject us to a jurisdiction foreign to our constitution, and unacknowledged by our laws; giving his assent to their acts of pretended legislation:
  • For quartering large bodies of armed troops among us:
  • For protecting them, by mock trial, from punishment for any murders which they should commit on the inhabitants of these states:
  • For cutting off our trade with all parts of the world:
  • For imposing taxes on us without our consent:
  • For depriving us in many cases, of the benefits of trial by jury:
  • For transporting us beyond seas to be tried for pretended offenses:
  • For abolishing the free system of English laws in a neighboring province, establishing therein an arbitrary government, and enlarging its boundaries so as to render it at once an example and fit instrument for introducing the same absolute rule in these colonies:
  • For taking away our charters, abolishing our most valuable laws, and altering fundamentally the forms of our governments:
  • For suspending our own legislatures, and declaring themselves invested with power to legislate for us in all cases whatsoever.
He has abdicated government here, by declaring us out of his protection and waging war against us.
He has plundered our seas, ravaged our coasts, burned our towns, and destroyed the lives of our people.
He is at this time transporting large armies of foreign mercenaries to complete the works of death, desolation and tyranny, already begun with circumstances of cruelty and perfidy scarcely paralleled in the most barbarous ages, and totally unworthy the head of a civilized nation.
He has constrained our fellow citizens taken captive on the high seas to bear arms against their country, to become the executioners of their friends and brethren, or to fall themselves by their hands.
He has excited domestic insurrections amongst us, and has endeavored to bring on the inhabitants of our frontiers, the merciless Indian savages, whose known rule of warfare, is undistinguished destruction of all ages, sexes and conditions.

In every stage of these oppressions we have petitioned for redress in the most humble terms: our repeated petitions have been answered only by repeated injury. A prince, whose character is thus marked by every act which may define a tyrant, is unfit to be the ruler of a free people.

Nor have we been wanting in attention to our British brethren. We have warned them from time to time of attempts by their legislature to extend an unwarrantable jurisdiction over us. We have reminded them of the circumstances of our emigration and settlement here. We have appealed to their native justice and magnanimity, and we have conjured them by the ties of our common kindred to disavow these usurpations, which, would inevitably interrupt our connections and correspondence. We must, therefore, acquiesce in the necessity, which denounces our separation, and hold them, as we hold the rest of mankind, enemies in war, in peace friends.

We, therefore, the representatives of the United States of America, in General Congress, assembled, appealing to the Supreme Judge of the world for the rectitude of our intentions, do, in the name, and by the authority of the good people of these colonies, solemnly publish and declare, that these united colonies are, and of right ought to be free and independent states; that they are absolved from all allegiance to the British Crown, and that all political connection between them and the state of Great Britain, is and ought to be totally dissolved; and that as free and independent states, they have full power to levy war, conclude peace, contract alliances, establish commerce, and to do all other acts and things which independent states may of right do. And for the support of this declaration, with a firm reliance on the protection of Divine Providence, we mutually pledge to each other our lives, our fortunes and our sacred honor.

1,322 words that say it all.

Just my .04, adjusted for inflation.

Monday, July 3, 2017

Looking for revival?

"Anybody here looking for revival?"

This is the question that starts off the title song of Third Day's new album, "Revival".

I heard this song for the first time the other day while playing the radio in my car.  It's catchy, and it's a throwback to good-old Southern rock gospel.  

Anybody here looking for revival
In our own hearts and across the land?
Anybody looking for a revival
Lift up your voice and say Amen
Lift up your voice and say Amen

If I were at a Third Day concert and heard that song, I'd be clapping along, tapping my feet, and at the end of the verse, I'd be lifting up my voice and saying, "Amen!" along with the rest of the crowd.  I mean, I'm a Christian.  What Christian doesn't want "revival", especially in this day and age, where it seems like wrong has become right and right has become wrong?
But then Mac Powell's voice continues to sing out:

Ain't gonna find it in a politician
Not from the government or any law
Can't get it going by your own religion
Only by the Spirit and the Word of God
Only by the Spirit and the Word of God
Come with me
Come on with me, yeah!

I think we are all guilty of looking for a human "savior".  We want rescue, and we'd prefer someone to do the rescuing.  And there are times we need rescuing.  I needed rescue from sin.

Since the 2008 election, I think we've been guilty of looking for "revival" in a politician. People voted for Barack Obama because they wanted hope and change and thought he'd give it to them.  Only history will show whether or not he was a great, average, or poor president.

In 2016, the pendulum flipped, and people put their hopes for "revival" on the shoulders of Donald Trump.  To borrow Dr. Phil's catchphrase, "How's that working for you?"

Government and politics will NOT give us revival.  A "Christian nation" is not going to give us revival.  We can have all the prayer in school we want, we can put up the Ten Commandments on every courthouse lawn/wall in the nation, but this is NOT going to give us revival.

You can work all you want but you might not see it
Give all you got but it can't be bought
Try everything but you best believe it's
Only by the Spirit and the Word of God
Only by the Spirit and the Word of God
Come with me

Come on with me, yeah!

Church programs, as good as they are, are not going to give us revival.  Simply having more people darkening the doors of a church isn't going to give us revival.  And I hate to disappoint my Church of Christ brethren and sisteren, but a strict adherence to a cobbled-together "pattern of worship" isn't going to give us revival, either.  Neither will adding an instrumental service. :-) 

So, Tina, what's going to bring revival?

Notice the refrain?

Only by the Spirit and the Word of God.

I think we can look for and pray for revival.  But God's going to move when God's going to move, and we cannot force his hand or manipulate him.  I think there's a difference between saying to God, I want revival, and doing things so that we can say to God, "Hey! Look what we're doing!  Now are you going to send us a revival?"

Where does revival start?

If we want Christian revival, if we want a "move of God" across the land, if we really want people to know God, confess their sins, receive the Holy Spirit, and follow God . . . what do we do?

Well, I think it starts with me.

I'm not called to be a minster or preacher in the pulpit.  I'm a writer and proofreader, mother and wife. :-)  But I am called to love God with all of my heart, soul, mind and strength, and I can only do that through the Spirit of God.  I can't conjure up "revival".  I can only ask God for the help I need desperately. 

Anybody here looking for revival?
I am.  And it starts with me.

Just my .04, adjusted for inflation.

Monday, June 12, 2017

Liar! Li-errr!!!

I've been doing a lot of lying to myself lately.

Mainly, about how "no one likes me and no one tells the truth."

I dealt with a lot of bullying growing up, and even now, it's very easy for me to project onto people what I think they're thinking about me.  It is so easy for me to think that "no one likes me" when the truth is, plenty of people like me and the vast majority of the world's population doesn't even know or care that I exist. 😊  It is true that there are probably people who don't like me.  In saying that, I'm just stating a fact:  there's no one in this world who is liked by everyone.  Even Jesus was hated by a lot of people.  He still is.

It's also not true that everyone lies.  I do think it's more difficult in this day and age of "fake news" and information overload to determine exactly what truth is.  And while I don't want to be paranoid, I do think that a healthy skepticism is called for.

I asked the question "Am I wrong?" in this last blog entry.  There's things I don't think I'm wrong about.  I believe there is a God, and I believe the Bible reveals Him.  And I do believe Jesus when he says, "I am the way, the truth, and the life; no man comes to the Father except through me."  (Just a few verses later, Pilate asked, "What is truth?"  He didn't realize truth was standing in front of him.)

In 2 Timothy 2:15, Paul calls on Timothy to, among other things, "correctly handle" the word of truth.  I grew up with the King James Version, which translated this verse as "rightly dividing the word of truth".  Much of my frustration with "who's right?" revolves around whether or not the Bible is "correctly handled".  This is what I mean when I talk about everyone being able to "prove" they are right by Scripture, but coming out with diametrically opposed conclusions.

In Acts 17, a group of people in Berea were called "noble" because they examined the Scriptures to see if a fellow named Paul was handling them accurately.  It's possible, since we are different people, to come to differing opinions on matters.  Even Paul, in the books of Romans and I Corinthians, addressed matters such as whether or not to marry and eating meat offered to idols, acknowledging that different believers would believe different things on such matters, and that believers should respect the opinions of others.

He did, however, hold firm to certain bedrock truths:  that Jesus was the Son of God, that salvation was not by works of the law but through faith, that Christ had indeed been raised from the dead.  And plenty of people hated him, too.

I am such a people-pleaser at times that it's not even funny.  I care a great deal about "what people think of me" and too many times, that just leads me to a lot of turmoil.  I don't want to use "not being a people-pleaser" as an excuse to be rude, arrogant, and uncaring.  But I don't want to be so wound up in "what people think" that I have no convictions about anything.

Right now, I think the best course of action is to recognize where I've been lying to myself and ask God to steer me towards the truth.

In the meantime, here's a funny note to end on, from The Princess Bride:

Just my .04, adjusted for inflation.

Thursday, June 8, 2017

Am I wrong?

It's probably no secret to the small handful of readers of this blog that I'm dealing with a crisis.

So I'll just make it public:

I'm dealing with a crisis.

I'm not doing too well in this "brave new world" of sexual fluidity, fake news, alternative facts, and other things.  In this blog entry, and in this blog entry, I've shared plenty of my frustrations, especially about religion.

I am just officially stuck.  I think it would be bad enough if I were only dealing with faith issues, or if I were only dealing with current events, or if I were only dealing with past bullying issues, or if I were only dealing with a young adult with autism, or if I were only dealing with my mother's health.  (And she lives in another state, in assisted living, and it's my sister that does the hands-on stuff with her.  I just sit and worry.  My sister has much more on her plate concerning our mother than I do.)

But I am dealing with them all at once.

For the well-meaning people that advise me to "stop listening to the news":  I don't sit in front of the TV and binge out on Fox or CNN or our local news stations.  I DO check headlines, and I DO listen to "three things to know to get your day started" from Kevin & Taylor of 104.7 The Fish.  I DO get news updates from news apps, which consist of two local TV stations, one local radio station, CNN, Associated Press, and BBC.  I read the comics and glance at the headlines from the Atlanta Journal-Constitution.  I keep the local news mainly for traffic (and in Atlanta, knowing the traffic at any given moment is an absolute necessity.)  I think it's very naive to totally ignore the news.

The frustration I have is when news is discussed.  I have a filter on Facebook, FB Purity, which filters out certain words I tell it to filter.  And even that doesn't catch everything.

I've just about given up pointing out false or satirical links on Facebook that people think are true, because people usually don't listen.  They WANT their fake news to be true, whether it be Obama being born in Kenya or FEMA building camps to put dissenters into.

As much as I would like to support this current President, I worry that he doesn't know what he's doing.  On the other hand, I also believe there are some in the media that WANT him to fail.  They WANT him to resign.  Then they will want President Pence to resign.  They will not stop until they get the people THEY want in the White House and in Congress, and they do not care if it hurts people.

I'm white.  I'm mostly conservative.  I'm female.  I'm Christian.  I'm straight.  And I feel like a criminal.  No matter what opinions I may hold on a particular subject, if someone disagrees with me, I feel as if I am the one who has to change.  I am the one that has to listen and understand, but I don't often feel as if I get the same courtesy.

With the Bible, it seems that everyone can "prove" through Scripture that they are right.  And when conclusions from the Bible are diametrically opposed to each other, they cannot all be right.

So am I wrong?  Am I wrong about what I believe?

I did believe, as a child, that one could "pray the prayer" and ask Jesus to come into my heart.  I even did that when I was about seven or eight years old.  Then I ran into people who showed me Scripture about the necessity of baptism.  I'd been baptized when I was about eight, but "according to Scripture" I hadn't done it for the right reasons.  So I did it again.

I understand that baptism is by immersion for the forgiveness of sins.

Am I wrong?

I understood the definition of "sexual immorality" as being "you do not have sex with anyone until the minister pronounces you man and wife.  Then, you only have sex with the person you are married to."

Am I wrong?

I understood that having sex with anyone of the same sex is a sin, and that marriage is only between one man and one woman.

Am I wrong?

I'm starting to think that people who believe women can preach may have a valid point.

Am I wrong?

I thought that there was such a thing as the rapture (see the Left Behind series).  Then I learned that that particular doctrine may not necessarily be true, that while there will be a Second Coming and a judgment, the belief of a seven-year tribulation may not be true.  Then, I heard of people who believe, and can "prove" from Scripture, that the Second Coming happened in 70 AD with the destruction of the Jewish temple.

Am I wrong?

I have been told to "forget what the Bible says and just look at the teachings of Jesus."  These days, though, that's often code for "Jesus didn't say anything about homosexuality, so he must be okay with it or at least not really care about it."

Am I wrong?

I was under the impression that the news media was supposed to report the facts and let people make up their own minds about the story they are reporting, and if they are offering their opinion, it was supposed to be clearly labeled "opinion".

Am I wrong?

I truly and honestly do not know what I believe anymore.

Or what I am supposed to believe.

Just my .04, adjusted for inflation.

Tuesday, May 30, 2017

June 20th can't come soon enough!

One of my FB friends recently posted that he was not going to listen to 104.7 The Fish, one of our local Christian radio stations, until after June 20th because, contrary to its slogan, it was running ads that were not "safe for the whole family."

The ads?

Political ads.

Right now, Georgia's 6th Congressional district is holding a special runoff election.  Their previous Congressional representative, Tom Price, was appointed Secretary of Health and Human Services. When he accepted the offer, he vacated the Congressional seat, thus requiring a special election.

Already, we in Atlanta have been inundated--make that, saturated--with political ads that rival the nastiness shown during the Presidential election.  On April 18th, voters in the 6th Congressional District went to the polls to choose between 18 candidates of various political persuasions.  None of them gained over 50% of the vote, so now, we have to go through a runoff election between the top two candidates.  Jon Ossoff represents the Democrats; Karen Handel, the Republicans.  The runoff election is June 20th.

I don't live in the 6th Congressional District, therefore, I don't have to worry about who I'm going to vote for.  However, because I live in the Atlanta area, and because the 6th District is in Atlanta, I have to put up with the daily barrage of political ads accusing Jon Ossoff of being a liberal who will "rubber-stamp Nancy Pelosi's liberal agenda" and Karen Handel of being more than willing to spend taxpayer's money.  As of the beginning of May, this election stands as the most expensive Congressional election in history.

The FB friend who complained about the ads on The Fish said that his three-year-old behaved better than the people who made the ads.  I'd say that most three-year-olds behaved better than the ad makers!

I do listen to The Fish in the mornings, mainly because I enjoy their morning show.  This morning, the following (paraphrased by me) statement caught my attention:  "The following is a political ad that we are required by law to run.  The views expressed by these ads are not necessarily those of the management of this station or its owner.  Trust us, June 20th can't come soon enough!"

I did a little bit of research, and found out that the law does require stations to run all Federal political ads.  I'm assuming that the current Congressional race falls under Federal politics.  So The Fish doesn't have a choice.  Even though the people making political ads are behaving at the level of three-year-olds (which is rather insulting to your average three-year-old), if it deals with Federal elections, it has to go on the air.

If you don't like the ads, your only two alternatives are to stop listening to The Fish, which is what my FB friend did; or ignore the ads by turning down the volume or removing your earbuds or headphones, which is what I did this morning.

We both agree with The Fish, and probably with the entire metro Atlanta area:

June 20th can't come soon enough!

Just my .04, adjusted for inflation.

Thursday, May 25, 2017

No tears, but plenty of pride

Last night I didn't cry.

I even brought Kleenex just to make sure I'd have some if I did cry.

But I didn't cry.

Instead, I felt a tremendous amount of pride.

Somewhere between 9 and 9:45 p.m. last night, my son became a high school graduate.

He officially received a "certificate of achievement." He will not receive a diploma until he finishes the STRIVE program, which he'll begin in August.

He marched into the stadium along with about 600 other graduates of Parkview High School.  They came in wearing their blue-and-white robes and caps with tassels in the Parkview colors of orange, blue, and white, while a recorded loop of "Pomp and Circumstance" played over the PA system.

He sat and listened to several speeches by adults and teenagers encouraging them as they left Parkview and went forth into the world.  One young man talked about windshields and rear view mirrors--how windshields allowed you to look forward and rear view mirrors let you look back, but that it wasn't healthy to spend all your time looking in the rear view mirror.  A young lady spoke of her desire to become a Marine Corps officer.  And another young man sang Neil Young's "Forever Young" as his graduation speech.

It took probably about a half hour, maybe a little more, for all the names to be called and for each student to walk across the stage, shake the hands of the people there, and get their picture taken (and which I will probably receive the chance to order in the next few weeks.)

I took some crocheting with me and I worked on a crochet basket.  That was my antidote against being bored while waiting for the ceremony to begin and while listening to the speeches.

Inevitably, I drew comparisons between my own high school graduation in 1981 and my son's in 2017.

Mine was held indoors at the Mahaffey Theater at the old Bayfront Center in St. Petersburg, and I think mine was in the morning.  I remember walking down the aisle rather quickly instead of at a processional pace.  We all sat on stage behind our speakers.  The valedictorian of our class is a Facebook friend; I told him that the only thing I remembered about his speech was the phrase, "Remember 12th period?" He was referring to the days when our school was on double sessions with the freshmen/sophomores going to school in the afternoon and the juniors/seniors going to school in the morning.  Because of the sound system and the acoustics, I couldn't hear his speech.

Our chorus sang, "I Sing the Body Electric" from the movie "Fame", which was appropriate because it was the song the characters sang at their graduation.

As a member of National Honor Society, I got to wear a set of yellow honor cords, which I still have. In my graduation program, my name is marked as a NHS member and also as graduating in the top ten percent of my class.  (I was #4 and I was either the top-ranked or second-ranked girl.)

At Matthew's graduation, there were other honor cords:  science, languages, and others I can't remember, and NHS members wore sashes.   The class officers, valedictorian, and salutatorian got to graduate first.

In the graduation program, I saw a list of names that reflected the diversity that my graduating class didn't have:  Nguyen, Patel, Tran, Li, and a number of Hispanic names.  That's a reflection of the ethnic diversity that characterizes my area of Gwinnett County, Georgia.  (There was one year where my son was the only white child in his class.  Autism does not discriminate on the basis of ethnicity.)

And the crowd received the order that no graduation crowd ever follows:  "Please hold your applause until everyone has graduated."  You could tell where each graduate's family was sitting because you could hear the cheers from that section as their graduate's name was called.

My graduating didn't throw our hats or turn our tassels.  Matthew's class did, although Matthew was advised not to, because he might lose his tassel.

When the ceremony was over and the parents rushed the field, I was concerned that I wasn't going to be able to find Matthew.  And then I saw him, standing alone, looking around, and I yelled at him, "Don't move!"

And when I got down on the field, I gave him a very big mother-hug.

We took his picture, and then went to the cafeteria, where he got his certificate.

Just like that, it was over.  Fifteen years of classes and school buildings and teachers.

IEP meetings are not yet over.  I still have them as part of Matthew's participation in the STRIVE program.

But here was the thing that touched me the most, both at the graduation rehearsal yesterday and graduation last night:

The non-special ed students that told Matthew congratulations and hugged him.

Matthew, in addition to being in an autism class, also took drama and worked in the Java Jungle, the coffee shop in the cafeteria.  So there were plenty of students who knew him and liked him.

In 1981, the year I graduated from high school, I don't recall the special ed students being integrated into the life of the school.  In fact, I didn't know anyone with special needs.  The federal mainstreaming law had just been passed in the mid-1970's and I'm sure that its effects were still working its way into our school system.

Yesterday, when I went to Matthew's graduation rehearsal, I saw at least one student using a cane.  And who knows how many other students were dealing with disabilities that I couldn't see.

And after that rehearsal, Matthew spoke to several students; just as he did when we were leaving Parkview after the ceremony.

He was part of the life of his high school, not just shoved into a back classroom and ignored.

I am pleased.

And I am proud.

Just my .04, adjusted for inflation.

Friday, May 19, 2017

Believe WHAT?

I no longer know who and what I believe anymore.

Everyone lies, and there is no way anymore to figure out what the truth is.

We live in a world of fake news, alternative facts, sexual fluidity, and on and on and on.

I'm a conservative, morally, politically, and fiscally, but conservatives have not had a decent victory since Ronald Reagan.  The liberals control the media and they know how to scream.  They always win.  When they're in power, they win.  When they're not in power, they make conservatives cave. And conservatives are not helping their cause by spreading around the rumors, half-truths, and outright lies of the Alex Joneses and the Breitbarts.

The people who get listened to are the ones who scream the loudest.  If you're pretty, popular, and have media control, you WILL get listened to.  If you dare to challenge the opinion leaders, you are screamed at, mocked, and ridiculed.  If you talk back, they talk louder.  They ALWAYS get in the last word.

I'm a Christian who's supposed to read the Bible to find out what I believe.  But the Bible is too often used as a weapon to club people.  I have to rely on an English translation which may or may not be accurate because I can't read Hebrew, Aramaic or Attic Greek, which are the original Biblical languages.

And if I just sit down and read the Bible?

"Well, you have to consider the context/consider the original language/consider who it was written to/consider the culture."  I'm to the point where the idea of doing such study is more daunting than anything else.

Everyone has a verse.

Everyone believes they are right and can prove it.

And while God does not lie, men can and do use His name to lie.

I've also been told to "ignore what the Bible says and just look at the words of Jesus."  Unfortunately, that's often code for, "Jesus didn't say anything about . . . so he must have been okay with it."  (Jesus never said anything about rape, pedophilia, or incest; was he okay with those behaviors?)

I often feel like the Boy Rangers in Mr. Smith Goes To Washington, who were attacked and brutalized when they tried to buck the system that was controlled by a political machine.

Vote?  Why vote?  Nothing changes?

Run away?  There's no place to run to.

Get a Bible study book?  Sounds good, but I often wonder if the Bible teachers out there are really interested in giving you Bible study tools or if they're just trying to guide you towards a predetermined conclusion.  How do I know who does/does not have a hidden agenda?

I spouted off at my poor BFF earlier today.  She's fortunately a very understanding person.

If the current President is impeached and removed from office, there will then be a movement to impeach the next President and remove him from office.

It no longer matters if the candidate is a good candidate.  It's more important that the candidate be a part of a particular ethnic/gender group.

I was told I had to vote for Trump because, the Supreme Court.  I was also told that, "he's a Cyrus/he's an outside/he'll 'Make America Great Again'".  Because people were so terrified of a Clinton presidency, they chose to put the White House in the hands of an incompetent President and his equally incompetent staff.  Not that Hillary would have been much better.  That's why I wrote in Snoopy.  In the past, I would have held my nose and voted for the less evil candidate.  This time, I just couldn't do it.

I'm an active member of a church, I participate in a Bible study, I sing on a praise team, I take my son to activities . . . and here I am, saying that I don't know what I believe.  I've been stuck on the question of "who's right when everyone can 'prove' they are right?" for over two decades, and I still have not figured out the answers.

I'm afraid of getting it wrong and going to hell.  There.  I've said it.  I am afraid of going before God on Judgment Day and only then finding out that I was wrong on some supposedly important "salvation issue", and by then, it'll be too late to do anything about it.

There was a time as a child that I thought I had things right as far as the Bible was concerned.  Then I got involved with a group that said, no, we are the only ones who have the truth.

I ended up leaving that group and getting involved with a group that went to the other extreme--as long as you believe in God and believe in Jesus, it doesn't matter what else you believe.

And while the place I'm at now isn't as extreme as either of the previous places . . . I'm still dealing with the issues that I was left with when I left both groups.

If you're left with the impression that I am angry and frustrated . . . well, you're right.

I'm very angry.

And I'm very frustrated.

And I have no idea what I believe.

Just my .04, adjusted for inflation.

Tuesday, May 16, 2017

Giving them my peace of mind . . .

I just read this story on Facebook and it's perfect for a blog post.

Someone posted a comment about a woman who was teaching herself English.  She got angry at someone and later reported that she gave the person her "peace of mind".

It looks and sounds funny, the way it's written above, because obviously, she meant to say "give them a piece of my mind".

But I wonder, how many people have I ever given my "peace of mind" to?

I'm a people-pleaser.  I despise having anybody unhappy with me, and if I even have a hint that someone's not happy with what I've done or say, I have a visceral, physical reaction.  In a sense, that's giving that person my "peace of mind".

This is probably another way of saying "you're letting them live rent-free in your head."  I'm not so sure if they're living there rent-free.  The people living in your head are the rent collectors, and the rent they are collecting is your peace of mind!

At the moment, I don't have solutions for not giving away your peace of mind.  But today's story does give me pause and may just help me be aware of who gets my "peace of mind"!

Just my .04, adjusted for inflation.

Monday, May 15, 2017

From one commander to another . . .

I don’t know where my son got the idea to do this, but his nickname for our church’s youth minister is “commander”. I guess he thinks that’s appropriate since our youth minister is the one “in charge.”

Last night, during our church’s Senior Honors Night, each graduating high school senior was presented with a Bible and their own Bible verse. (No, none of the kids got “Jesus wept” as their own personal verse. :-) )

When Matthew’s turn came, I was curious as to what his verse would be. 

As it turned out, it was quite appropriate. 

It was Isaiah 55:4: “See, I have made him a witness to the peoples, a ruler and commander of the peoples.” (New International Version)

Before reading this verse, our youth minister told the story of Matthew's nickname for him. And then, after reading the verse, he said that my son was a witness. 

I agree.  He is a witness to the power of inclusion and the result of the power of God’s love. 

It’s an appropriate gift from one “commander” to another.

Just my .04, adjusted for inflation.

Sunday, May 14, 2017

The oil of gladness

He wanted to quit.

Losing two students within five months--one to a car accident, the other to suicide--is enough to take the wind out of anyone's sails.

Especially when you're a youth minister, and your job is to teach, comfort, and encourage your students, and attempt to answer questions of "why?" when you don't even know the answers yourself.

Who could blame him for wanting to quit?

Sometimes, though, you have to grit your teeth and gut it out where your faith is concerned.

So he took a deep breath, gritted his teeth, and chose to gut it out.

The next class of sixth graders was coming into the youth ministry, and he needed to get ready for them.

He was especially concerned about one of them.  This student had special needs, and the minister wasn't quite sure if the kid was going to fit.  It was challenging enough to deal with kids without special needs.  How was he going to handle a child with those special needs?

Youth ministry is a job, and a calling.  Surely this child deserved his efforts as well as the other sixth graders who were about to be part of the youth group.

So he decided that he was going to do everything he could to make sure that that child--that child with special needs--would be able to participate in the youth group to the best extent possible.

Tonight I sat in our church's Family Enrichment Center and watched as seventeen high school seniors participated in our annual Senior Honors Night.  I watched as their youth minister spoke of how proud he was of this group of seniors and how much they'd meant to him.

Each student, and their parents, came up to the stage, where they received a personalized Bible.  Each student had a special verse that was underlined in their Bible.  (One student, ill with a 102 temperature, attended the event via FaceTime.)

But before that, our youth minister had a few words to say about this class as a whole.

This group of students came into our youth ministry in August of 2010.  The previous year, from June to November of 2009, saw five deaths in our congregation.

Two of those deaths were of teenagers from our youth ministry.

One of those teenagers, along with his mother, died in a car crash.  The other teenager committed suicide.

Our youth minister admitted that it had been a dark time for him.  And he didn't want to do it anymore.

He wanted to quit.

But then he said that this was the class--this class of seniors that we honored tonight--that brought back the oil of gladness to his ministry.

Isaiah 61:1-4 is a prophecy about the coming Messiah, but I'd like to think that it could also apply to this class of graduating seniors:

"The Spirit of the Lord GOD is upon me,
because the LORD has anointed me
to bring good news to the poor;
he has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted,
to proclaim liberty to the captives,
and the opening of the prison to those who are bound;
to proclaim the year of the LORD’s favor,
and the day of vengeance of our God;
to comfort all who mourn;
to grant to those who mourn in Zion—
to give them a beautiful headdress instead of ashes,
the oil of gladness instead of mourning,
the garment of praise instead of a faint spirit;
that they may be called oaks of righteousness,
the planting of the LORD, that he may be glorified.
They shall build up the ancient ruins;
they shall raise up the former devastations;
they shall repair the ruined cities, 

the devastations of many generations."  (English Standard Version)

These seniors brought the joy back that a minister desperately needed.  They were ones who brought good news to the poor, comforted those that mourned, and brought the oil of gladness rather than of mourning.  They served.  They loved others.  And in doing so, they were the ones that restored joy. 

Oh, I should mention something about our youth minister's opening remarks.

He said that he had lost a Matthew, but gained a Matthew in return.

The young man that died in 2009 was named Matthew.

So was a sixth-grader that came into the youth ministry in 2010.  

He was the same sixth-grader with special needs, a sixth-grader who our youth minister wasn't sure would fit.  But our youth minister, instead of giving into the darkness of grief, chose to do what he could to help this kid fit in to the best extent possible.  

Tonight, my son Matthew received his Bible from his youth minister.  

Tonight, my son learned that he had helped to restore the oil of gladness to a ministry that needed it.  

Mourning has been turned into dancing.

Sorrow has been turned into joy.  

Thank you, class of 2017.

Just my .04, adjusted for inflation.

Friday, May 12, 2017

Battle fatigue

I think I have battle fatigue.

Between dealing with Matthew, dealing with my own issues, and hearing about current events, I'm hitting a wall.  (I'm not even watching the news, but I can't get away from discussion of it; and I think that being totally ignorant of what's going on isn't helpful.)

I just texted my sister to tell my mother that her Mother's Day gift will be late.

I have a messy house and laundry to put away.

And I have not been sleeping well.

At least one study back in 2009 said that mothers of kids with autism had stress similar to that of combat soldiers.  I believe it.

It's a fight to get services for a child, and it's a daily fight to deal with behaviors, appointments, echolalia, etc. etc. etc.  We're also facing high school graduation and Matthew's transition into a new program (job skills training).

I have my own mental fighting that I do with past issues, such as bullying and spiritual abuse and everything that flows from that.  And I also have physical conditions that my body fights daily.

And I think I'm just exhausted from all of the fighting I have done in my life.

This weekend, Frank, Matthew, and I are going on a retreat with the high school seniors in Matthew's youth group.  I am hoping it will be a chance to get away from at least a little bit of stress.

This battle-fatigued warrior needs it.

Just my .04, adjusted for inflation.

Wednesday, May 10, 2017

"But this isn't next week!"

In a skit on the old Bugs Bunny/Road Runner show, Daffy Duck complains to Bugs, "Wait a minute!  Last week you said that I was going to entertain next week!"

Bugs' reply:  "But this isn't next week."

I had good reason to remember that skit today.

This morning I got two proofing requests from the court reporting firm I work for.  One was to proof a rush job due by 5 p.m. today.  The other was a longer one due tomorrow.

I had an appointment with the chiropractor today, so I figured I could do them both when I got back.

I live in Gwinnett County, which is northeast of the city of Atlanta.  To get to the chiropractor's, I needed to take I-285 over to Cobb County, which is northwest of the city of Atlanta.  It's usually a little over a half hour to get there.  Well, remember that, since I-85 is still being repaired, we are driving under abnormal conditions.  So it took me about an hour, and that was with my Waze app giving me alternate routes around traffic backups.
My chiro's office is very efficient, and I was in and out within about a half hour.  
It took me over an hour to get home, not only because of abnormal traffic on 285, but because of an accident which put 285 in gridlock.  Waze once again performed admirably and gave me a route around that accident.

Along with several hundred other drivers.

After negotiating 285, I-85 north of the Perimeter, picking up a library book and a prescription, I got home, had lunch, and then turned on my computer.

Mayhem ensued.

I could not get to my email box.  My email servers have been having consistent problems for several weeks. After several frustrating minutes, I finally decided to restart my computer.

Which gave me the screen with the dreaded words, "Getting Windows ready.  Do not turn off your computer."

I waited, waited, waited, then decided to throw a load of wash in the washer.  Came back to my computer, it's still telling me not to turn it off.

And finally, I said, the heck with it, disobeyed the command of the almighty Windows, and turned off the computer.

Fortunately, when I turned it back on, lightning did not strike.
While waiting for the computer to reconnect to the Internet, I tried getting the files I needed through my iPad.  I can play an mp3 file on my iPad, and I can also read Word files on my iPad.  When I proof, I listen to an audio recording to see if the transcript matches up with the audio recording.  (I proof legal depositions.)  I have yet to figure out if I can listen to a recording and edit on the iPad at the same time, and what was even worse, I couldn't figure out how to turn off the recording in the iPad.  
Finally, I was able to download the files I needed from the people I work for.  But while trying to open up the audio files, I accidentally turned on iTunes instead of the transcription program I use.  And no matter how many times I clicked, iTunes would not turn off.  And, the dreaded blue spinning circle that Windows users are familiar with just kept spinning around and around and around.

So, I turned the computer back off.  
Then back on.
After nearly an hour, I finally got files downloaded and the rush file proofed and sent off to my boss.

Between finishing the rush file and beginning the non-rush file, I sent off an email to my BFF, detailing my tale of woe so far that day.  In addition to having another file to proof, I:
  • still had dinner to make
  • had church tonight
  • had praise team practice after church (praise team is the small singing group that performs each Sunday; the same people do not sing every week, different people are placed on the schedule each month)
  • a retreat this weekend with my son's youth group
  • an appointment tomorrow
  • Weight Watchers on Friday
  • Laundry to do
  • Senior Honors Night this coming Sunday, where our youth group's graduating seniors are honored (and my son is included this year)
  • And I had to sing on the praise team this Sunday.

So what does all of this have to do with it not being next week?

When my husband came home from work, I told him everything that I'd done that day.  

And then, I looked at the calendar on the wall in the kitchen.  


Then got my iPad and compared my Google calendar with the wall calendar.

You know the praise team practice I put down?

That practice I had to attend because I was going to sing on Sunday?

That practice wasn't this week.

That practice was NEXT week.

Which also means I don't sing this Sunday.

We sing NEXT Sunday.

On my husband's recommendation, I skipped church tonight and finished proofing my pages (which were due tomorrow morning.)  My pages were emailed just a few minutes ago.

The moral of this story?  

If there is one?

Always check your schedule before you complain about everything you have to do.

Because it could very easily be that the stuff you have to do this week . . . you don't have to do until next week!

Just my .04, adjusted for inflation.

Monday, May 8, 2017

Because of a staple, the tire was lost . . .

Yesterday and today have been like the poem, "For want of a nail, the shoe was lost . . ."

My husband and I came out to the car after church to discover that one of our tires was flat.  My husband changed the tire and put on the spare.  When he went to find a place to get the tire fixed, he could not find one.  Either the shop was closed on Sunday or the shop was open but unable to fix the tire right away.

Since we're a one-car family, that one event set off the domino effect:

  • We couldn't go to our church small group last night.
  • My husband took the day off work to take the tire to get fixed (he offered and I accepted the offer)
  • I ended up changing a doctor's appointment I had scheduled for today.
When my husband came back from getting the tire fixed, he told me that the reason we got the flat tire was due to a . . . large staple we'd run over.  

I don't know where we picked up that staple, but because of that staple, a tire was lost, because the tire was lost, meeting with small group was lost, a doctor's appointment was lost, and a small amount of money was lost.  

And all because of a staple.

I'm sure there's a larger moral to this story somewhere.

Just my .04, adjusted for inflation.

Saturday, May 6, 2017

Proud aunt brag

She's probably the first person I loved before they were even born.  Now my niece is 21 and today, she graduates with her degree in behavioral sciences.  

She looks like her mom (which means she's beautiful).

For her first four years, she was mostly raised by her mom and her Nana (my mother).  She also spent a lot of time with her great-grandmother.  

When she was four, her mom--my sister--got married again.  And I think it's a tribute to her stepfather that my niece asked him, could you adopt me?  It's also a tribute to him that he did. 

She's been enjoying her college years with her friends, loves her Gamma Phi Beta sisters, and has decided to pursue a career in psychology.  For right now, she'll be doing graduate studies to thoroughly prepare for her profession.

Enjoy your day today.  Your present is in the mail. 

Just my .04, adjusted for inflation.


Friday, May 5, 2017

Current events fatigue

I had a bad day yesterday.  I had a fatigue spell brought on by a poor night's sleep and I spent the day resting, in front of the computer, and also in front of the TV.

Although I don't watch a great deal of news these days, I see it discussed on social media and there's no way I can really get away from it.  Yesterday the big discussion was of the health care bill passed by the GOP.

From the reaction on social media, I almost thought that I should be planning my funeral, since the bill apparently guarantees the death of all Americans due to lack of health care. (sarcasm mode on.)

I've hit the wall where it comes to things that I "should" care about.  A friend of mine said yesterday that when everything is life or death, nothing is life or death.  Being bombarded with everything that I "should" care about is leaving me apathetic and caring about nothing.

I need to be selective about the things I care about, and if that means that I don't care about things that people think I "should" care about, well . . . so be it!

Just my .04, adjusted for inflation.

Thursday, May 4, 2017

Oh, those fandoms!

(Note:  This piece does contain spoilers for Chicago Med, Chicago PD, This Is Us, and Scorpion.  Read at your own risk.)

I'm trying to count how many "fandoms" I'm part of.  For the uninitiated, a "fandom" is a grouping of fans of a particular TV show, movie, book series, etc.

"Fan" can also stand for "fanatic", and in the case of certain fandoms, "fanatic" is appropriate.

I'm a Whovian, a fan of the show Doctor Who.  When a new doctor arrives or a new companion is announced, inevitably, there are the shrieks of, "This show is ruined forever!!"

When Peter Capaldi was announced as the new doctor, cries of outrage sounded around the fandom.  "Him?  He's too old!  Doctor Who is ruined forever!"

But Capaldi, in my opinion, has turned out to be a good doctor, and several of the episodes of his run do make you think.

And the companions . . . oh, don't get the fandom started.

"Rose!  I loved her!" "Hated her!" "Clara was wonderful!""She was a disaster!"

The latest companion, Bill, is a pleasant surprise.  She's been called a "refreshing change" from recent companions.

I'm also a "sestra", the name of the Orphan Black fandom.  This BBC series follows a group of women who discover that they are clones of each other.  All of them are played by Tatiana Maslany, and she does it so well that you forget it's the same actress playing each person.

"I love Sarah!" "No, Cosima!" "Don't forget Helena!"

My best friend is a member of the Bones fandom.  I don't follow Bones very much, although I did turn in for the last episode, which showed Bones and Booth walking off into the night together.  During the series, when Booth was involved with another woman, that "other woman" was universally hated by Bones fans--to the point of several fanfics killing off that character!

My son turned me on to the Chicago franchise (Chicago Fire, Chicago PD, Chicago Med.) When #Linstead--Erin Lindsey and Jay Halstead--finally got together, the fandom cheered . . . and then, recently, suffered heartbreak when Jay discovered he was still legally married to someone he thought he was divorced from.  Now, #Linstead is separated.

And, over on Chicago Med, another Halstead--Dr. Will, Jay's brother--has an interest in Dr. Natalie Manning (#Manstead) . . . and when he's finally expressed himself, she just says they're good friends . . . and Jay Halstead has been hanging around the hospital lately . . . and in a recent episode, he and Natalie went to a hockey game together . . . so, #manstead may happen, but it will be at the risk of alienating a large segment of fans!

After three seasons, fans of Scorpion finally have #Waige (Walter and Paige) together . . . just in time for the plane they're on to crash, with the entire Scorpion team aboard.

And probably, the biggest howls from the fandoms I follow came from fans of the show This Is Us.  Over the first season, the story of the Pearson family has been slowly unfolding.  We've learned of the past of the "Big Three" (the Pearson triplets), have followed them into their present relationships, and we've wondered how, when Rebecca and Jack had such a wonderful love story, why did she marry his best friend after he died?

And THE biggest question, which led to THE biggest howl of the TV season:

"Why didn't the season finale tell us how Jack died???"

Never, in the history of TV or of fandoms, has there been such disappointment over a character NOT dying.

Each member of each fandom has their own opinion about how a show should go down, and woe be unto the creators, writers, and producers if any member is crossed!

The season finales of several shows are coming up.  I strongly suggest that you get earplugs and HAZMAT outfits to protect yourselves from the howls and the mudslinging of the various fandoms when season finales do not go the way each fandom member thinks they should.

Just my .04, adjusted for inflation.

Wednesday, May 3, 2017

It's not fair!

It's not fair that I have a child with autism!
"It's not fair that your child with autism is high-functioning and rather independent."

It's not fair that we don't have two cars!
"It's not fair that we don't have a car at all."

It's not fair that my husband has to take the bus to get to work!
"It's not fair that you live close enough to walk to a bus stop."

It's not fair that this place gets so hot in summer!
"It's not fair that you have air conditioning to keep you cool."

It's not fair that we argue so much over politics!
"It's not fair that you can vote for your leaders and that your president can only stay in power for eight years."

It's not fair that I have so many physical problems!
"It's not fair that you can get to the doctor within 24-48 hours in most cases."

It's not fair?

I guess "fairness" depends on your perspective.

Just my .04, adjusted for inflation.

Tuesday, May 2, 2017

Posting-a-day for May . . .

Today is May 2.  I am in the second day of a "post-a-day" challenge.

Shaunta Grimes, a writer and Facebook friend of mine, is passionate about encouraging other writers to write.  She blogs here and offers material to help other writers learn to write well.

Her challenge this month to her "ninja writers", as she calls us, is to write a post a month and post it at Medium, a free blogging platform.

I've fallen down on my own writing lately, partly because of a busy schedule, partly because of allowing myself to be paralyzed by perfectionism.  I'm in the process of revising a novel, and I'm finding myself freezing up because I'm worried that it won't be "good enough".

Sometimes, my writing just plain sucks.  If that's your opinion about your own writing, or whatever it is you think you suck at, Shaunta's latest blog post should encourage you.  It's entitled, "You Don't Suck.  You Just Haven't Practiced Enough." She reminds us, "It's ridiculous to judge how good you are at something without taking into consideration the amount of practice you have doing it."

So this month, I am going to put some of Shaunta's tools to work for me, put butt in chair, fingers on keyboard, and WRITE.

Just my .04, adjusted for inflation.