"Everything that is really great and inspiring is created by the individual who can labor in freedom" Albert Einstein

"A dame who knows the ropes isn't likely to get tied up." Mae West

Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Stuart Smalley wins.

By golly, people really do like him.

Al Franken finally was declared winner of the Minnesota Senate seat. His first proposed bill will require daily affirmations in every US household. Isn't it comforting to know the public keeps electing comedians/clowns to public office?

Animal House

It is very disconcerting waking up to find a strange cat perched in your kitchen window inside your house.

Apparently there was a cat sleep-over last night, and Cootie and Miss Kitty neglected to tell me. Most likely the orange tabby, who had made herself comfortable in the kitchen, had drunk too much beer and decided to spend the night rather than risk driving home.

Or perhaps she had sneaked into our house when the door was slightly ajar last night and she ultimately found herself trapped. She didn't seem to object to me picking her up this morning and stroking her fur as I carried her to the door. As I set her down outside, she thanked me for the luxurious accommodations including an abundance of food, water, and clean litter box, then scampered off to the house next door where she lives.

Her parents probably gave her the third degree when she showed up, demanding to know where she'd been all night. I'll offer an excuse for her later, because my cats aren't talking.

This is not the first time strange creatures have shown up in my house. There have been other cats and there have been bats. We do have one of these lurking around the rear of the yard. I just hope he doesn't show up inside the house some day.

Monday, June 29, 2009

Robbing Peter to pay Paul

Madoff gets 150 year sentence for his Ponzi scheme.

Who gets the 150 year sentence for the Social Security Administration's Ponzi scheme? Oh yes, the U. S. taxpayers.

Saturday, June 27, 2009

Jackson on Jackson

I was wondering how long it would take before Jesse Jackson showed up in the media this week.

Thursday, June 25, 2009

One isn't the loneliest number

What a commentary on civilization, when being alone is being suspect; when one has to apologize for it, make excuses, hide the fact that one practices it - like a secret vice. - Anne Morrow Lindbergh

This post originally was in defense Gov. Mark Sanford's escape from everyday life to hike in the Appalachians alone. 24 hours later, I'm not defending his real actions, but I do advocate running away alone sometimes.

I don't believe it's weird for a person to want some long solitary moments, away from the hub-bub of work and family. I love alone time. Occasionally I will just get in my car by myself and drive a hundred miles, spending an afternoon going nowhere and allowing my mind to roam as well. No music. No radio. The habit developed because it used to be the only way I could get away from ringing phones or people knocking on my door.

Living in a small town, one can't go to local parks, cemeteries or other quiet spots without meeting someone you know and having to strike up a conversation. You can't sit in your yard or even do yard work without neighbors interrupting your thoughts or passersby stopping by for a social chit-chat. The alternative is to shut one's self in the house or just drive away.

Now that one of my children has a farm, I'll sometimes escape there just to listen to the wildlife and the breeze softly playing the needles of the pine trees. If there were an ocean nearby, I'd be sitting on the dock of a bay, watching the tide roll away, not really wasting my time.

For some, an hour simply soaking in the bathtub is enough alone time. For others it's hiking, running, or fishing. Whatever your alone time is, take time to do it and shut off the MP3 player, the radio, the TV, and other distractions and take time to discover something about yourself.

Here are some other quotes about solitude:

Language... has created the word "loneliness" to express the pain of being alone. And it has created the word "solitude" to express the glory of being alone. - Paul Tillich

The monotony and solitude of a quiet life stimulates the creative mind. - Albert Einstein

The best thinking has been done in solitude. The worst has been done in turmoil. - Thomas A. Edison

We live in a very tense society. We are pulled apart... and we all need to learn how to pull ourselves together.... I think that at least part of the answer lies in solitude. - Helen Hayes

The great omission in American life is solitude; not loneliness, for this is an alienation that thrives most in the midst of crowds, but that zone of time and space, free from the outside pressures, which is the incubator of the spirit. - Marya Mannes

True silence is the rest of the mind, and is to the spirit what sleep is to the body, nourishment and refreshment. - William Penn

Solitude never hurt anyone. Emily Dickinson lived alone, and she wrote some of the most beautiful poetry the world has ever known... then went crazy as a loon. - Lisa Simpson

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Judgement Day

It is beauty pageant season and I have a relative participating in one. At 18, she is confident, smart, competitive, and beautiful, and it doesn't seem to bother her that people will be judging her. In fact, she volunteered to be in that position.

As a teen, I was always worried about people judging me - my appearance, my grades, my behavior, everything. I was absolutely certain I could never meet the standards that everyone expected.

When I walked into a room, I knew that people were whispering to each other about my overbite and that gap between my front teeth and my thunder thighs rubbing together with my every move as I headed to the wall or corner to hide.
At music and speech contest, no matter how perfect my performance was at home, once in front of the judges, my legs, fingers, and chin would shake uncontrollably. It was mere luck that I won any awards and I was certain it was only because of sympathy for the girl with the chattering buck-teeth.

I hated competition of any kind, but parental and teacher mandates forced me into those situations. Once, at the insistence of friends (?), I ran for class president. The class wasn't interested in a leader with rubber legs and facial ticks who didn't know a beer when she saw it, so the jokster, party-boy won. That did nothing to boost my self-esteem.

There were times friends and classmates chipped off little pieces of my confidence, the least of which was being the last picked for a team in gym class. My best friend, who was an a bad-ass, cigarette smoking, fall-asleep-in-class, teen of the world extrovert, would dump me on any given night in favor of someone of the male gender with liquor and a fast car. I had to be home at 10 pm anyway. Another classmate would taunt me with the word "Yna?" which puzzled me until I found out that it was any spelled backwards (as in "getting any?") which started when someone mentioned I didn't know what a french kiss was.
I don't think my relative had to experience any of that teen angst or she wouldn't be so confident enough to parade in a swimsuit in front of judges next month. And also fortunately for her, she probably won't grow up into a sociophobic, self-denigrating introvert like her aunt.

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Hair today, gone tomorrow

Since I missed the TV broadcast, I watched Farrah's Story this weekend on Hulu. I've liked Farrah Fawcett since I first saw her in the Noxema commercial with Joe Namath and I always felt a kinship with her since we had a common feature - we both had similar big thick hair in the 1970's.

I liked that she stepped out of the cover girl image and wasn't afraid to bare herself in roles like "The Burning Bed." It wasn't surprising that she would do so again in this latest film chronicling her battle with anal cancer.

I've always been fascinated with stories of people dealing with life and death situations, wondering how I would react if faced with the same circumstances - probably something everyone contemplates at one time or another. Watching this film and having shared experiences with family and friends dealing with similar issues, it always astonishes me how much pain and suffering people are willing to endure to stretch life just a bit longer, even while understanding that the final outcome will still be terminal .

It was hard not to wince with her as she cried out in pain when , similar to a B-movie of an alien abduction, 12-18 inch rods were placed between Farrah's ribs to adminster treatment directly to her tumors. This after numerous surgeries and chemo and radiation. Then came the vomiting, the lethargy, the hair loss and the emotional rollercoaster of news that the tumor is gone, sorry the tumor is back, no the tumors are shrunk, so sorry the tumors are back. I think that the emotional highs and lows are surely as worse than the physical pains.

When something like this strikes your own family, you get so caught up in your own victimization, one forgets how many others in the world are suffering the same thing. Films like this are important to bring to light the private battles that are fought on a daily basis.

I am not certain I would fight that battle to live with all my means and might like Farrah and others I know personally, but perhaps that would change when/if I ever have to look cancer directly in the eye myself.