You know those days where all you really want to do is change into your pajamas and curl up on the couch while you decide which comfort food would make the best meal?
Yeah, I think I’m going to go ahead and do that.
You know those days where all you really want to do is change into your pajamas and curl up on the couch while you decide which comfort food would make the best meal?
Yeah, I think I’m going to go ahead and do that.
First, unrelated particularly to weight loss, just dates in general—this year is flying by! I can’t believe it’s almost September already.
Anyway, still up about half a pound from where I was before our weekend away, so a little slower coming back off than I would like, but it’s still moving forward, and that’s the important thing.
45 minutes treadmill; 2.97 miles
46 minutes treadmill; 3.08 miles
As you might imagine from someone who has a weekly blog spot called Tube Day Tuesday, the Emmy Awards program is pretty much standard viewing around here. But as I grow older, I find that I do not enjoy the show nearly as much as I did in the past. I think maybe I’m just not keeping up with the changing ways of television.
Year after year, I find that network television is being pushed more and more to the side while the latest and greatest from cable takes home all the awards. Heck, these days, most network shows don’t even get nominated. It’s sort of sad to me.
Not that cable shows aren’t great. (Though, honestly, most of the big winners this year I haven’t even seen.) But, I do think there’s a certain conceit to the choices, where people think it’s just not trendy enough these days to admit they enjoy network television.
But, for this year, it’s all in the history books now, so I guess that sometime between now and next year I’ll either have to start watching the edgy fan favorites on cable, or resign myself to growing more and more distant from the awards I grew up loving.
On a completely different note, I’m not ashamed to say I cried like a baby when Billy Crystal did his tribute to Robin Williams. If I still can’t believe Williams is gone, I can’t even imagine how his closest friends are coping. But Crystal held up well, and delivered a beautiful, thoughtful, real tribute to his friend. If you missed it, you really ought to watch it now. But make sure you’ve got some tissues handy.
And here’s another thing about Facebook: There’s just too much drama.
Maybe it’s the people I know. (Years of working in a call center has definitely brought some dramatic folks into my life!) But, I just don’t get why you’d want to be airing some of that dirty laundry on a public timeline. Broken hearts, crappy bosses, family squabbles—is Facebook really the place?
I mean, sure, tell me about your life-changing event. If you had a rough break-up, some commiseration from your friends could be helpful, absolutely. And even if you and I aren’t all that close, that sort of pain touches a common nerve, so I’ll try and leave some sort of encouragement. But I don’t need all the vindictive anger that comes out after a breakup. I don’t even really need your play-by-play of your grief and pain, but I’m a little more tolerant of that. Just not the anger and calling people out all over social media.
And the groups? Oh my goodness. These people don’t even know each other, so how can it possibly create such feelings of animosity? Sometimes I just want to take them all into a timeout corner and tell them to sit quietly until they can learn to play nicely.
By now I’m sure you’re wondering if griping about people’s social media habits on my blog is really much different than the behavior I’m griping about, and I suppose that’s a fair question. I will only try and clarify that it’s not the occasional rant that I have a problem with, but the constant, unnecessary bitchiness that just makes me scratch my head and wonder why.
On Person of Interest one time, social media in general was referred to as “a swamp of indiscretion”, and I’m reminded of that phrase almost daily. There’s a ton of over-sharing, of course, but it’s the angry over-sharing that always bothers me the most. Seriously, can we not all just get along?
I know it’s not Friday, but let’s chat for just a moment about something making the rounds of Facebook. Apparently there’s a belief that in a couple of days—August 27—Mars will be close enough to the earth that it will rise in the night sky and appear as a second moon.
Given the distance and relative size of Mars, this struck me as questionable, so I thought I’d run it through a quick Google search. Sadly, it turns out to be untrue. As cool as it might be to witness such a thing, it is not to be.
Apparently this misrepresentation of astronomical happenings has been going on every summer since 2003, though I don’t really remember seeing it before. And, I have to say, every time I run across one of these strange viral hoaxes, I’m glad that the tradition of passing such things along via email seems to have gone by the wayside, at least for my friends. I’d much rather be able to scroll mindlessly past a Facebook post than have such things show up in my inbox.
Anyway, if you’d like to know more about why this story apparently began, or why it’s patently false, you can read more about it here. In the meantime, consider this your PSA: you don’t need to worry about catching a once in a lifetime viewing of the uber rare double full moon, because it isn’t going to happen.
There’s so much craziness going on in the world. Wars. Racial and religious tensions. Crime of just about every imaginable flavor. It’s overwhelming sometimes.
But, when it all seems hopeless, it’s refreshing to know that we’ve got a leader we can turn to for a needed dose of wisdom and inspiration.
Sadly, I don’t typically turn to elected officials for that much-needed boost, but I can always count on Kid President. Making the rounds this week is his back to school message, and I was glad to see it, because the world definitely needs to show a little more awesome.
If you’re not familiar with Kid President, you really should check him out. I’d vote for him (and his staffers) for real, but I wouldn’t want to ruin them!
Like the rest of the civilized world, I am horrified by the murder of James Foley. Not that kidnapping innocent people and holding them for years is a minor thing, but to just outright murder someone, especially in such a terrifying manner, goes beyond what the mind can imagine.
But in this particular case, the mind doesn’t really have to imagine, because the barbaric act—or at least the result of the act—is preserved on film. I guess it’s not particularly surprising to me that any group that would be so inhuman as to behead a prisoner would want to continue the terror by showing their gruesome act to as many people as possible. But it does sort of surprise me that anyone would want to watch such a thing.
Though the video has apparently been removed from most of the internet (though “removed from the internet” is just about impossible), I heard some talking heads today saying that it should be available in the interest of avoiding censorship. I guess I can almost understand that argument, though mostly I think that at some point, the overall standards of society have to come into play. And, in this case, I’m pretty sure that societal standards have not yet sunk so low that the majority of people would think it’s perfectly okay to show a man losing his life, or even the aftermath.
And what about Foley’s family? With every copy of that video that exists, there is a greater likelihood that his family might be inadvertently exposed to it, and surely no one would wish that. In school one time, we talked about a case where a police officer responding to a fatality accident (also a decapitation) took a photo of the victim, turned it into a particularly gruesome Halloween card, and forwarded it out to a few of his closest friends. Through the power of the great www, the card quickly circulated far beyond the officer’s initial friends, only to end up in the inbox of the victim’s unsuspecting father, who clicked a link expecting some sort of internet frivolity, not a graphic representation of the worst event of his life. Protecting the Foley family from that sort of terrible possibility should trump the interests of anyone who just wants to argue the rights of random citizens who have a right to be protected from censorship.
As a rule, I can’t imagine it’s more than a kind of sick curiosity that would drive someone to want to watch the video, anyway. But I hope in this case, basic decency wins out, and that horrible video is banished from existence everywhere except in the offices of whatever officials might need it to bring the ruthless murderers to justice.
Sad to say, it’s my first backward week in a while, but only by just over a pound. A weekend full of three big meals—even dessert several times—and swapping the gym for hours in a car definitely took its toll. But I’m not too worried about it, even though I haven’t really gotten back into the swing of things just yet. I still know where my goals are, and I’ve still got my plexus to help me out when I stray, so it’s all good.
It can’t be a surprise to anyone at this point that my love for television is a life-long affair. Obviously, I can’t remember the very first program I ever watched as a child, or maybe even the first one I loved. But I can remember the first one that really spoke to me and stayed with me long after the final credits rolled.
There was a time in my life before Star Trek, but not much time, and once the show took hold of my heart, it never let go. And I have Gene Roddenberry to thank for that.
Like most people, Roddenberry had weaknesses, and parts of his life that shouldn’t be celebrated, but none of that can change the fact that he created a part of our culture that moved beyond mere entertainment and actually managed to change the world.
There are scientists practicing today because they were inspired by Star Trek. Artists who followed their passion to write, direct, or design graphics because they hoped to work on something as lasting as Star Trek. And there are everyday people—like me—who believe that the future that awaits us is a good one, because our world view has been formed in a very foundational way by Star Trek and the way it can be.
Today (well, as so often, I’m writing past the midnight hour, so technically yesterday), Gene Roddenberry would have been 93 years old. In his early Trek days, he had picked up the nickname of “Great Bird of the Galaxy”. According to the Trek mythology, the coming of the Great Bird was a wonderful event, signifying great prosperity and blessings for the planet he chose. I’m pretty sure Roddenberry actually brought that kind of blessing to this planet, but I’m certain that, at the very least, he and his vision were blessings to me.
Just a couple of random thoughts tonight . . .
The first thing on my mind is that sometimes it’s hard to know if all the extra time both before and after a day(s) off is worth it. So far, I’m still saying yes, but it’s only Monday!
Secondly, to revisit Robin Williams for a moment, I’ve seen a lot of video tributes this past week (as has anyone who has not been living in some sort of electronic black-out zone), but this one is so simple and sweet, it seems it should be shared.
Lastly, with every passing day, I wish more and more that I was not tied to a 9-5 office job. I really need to win the lottery!
The makings of a good birthday? (Or a good any day, really.) Good times with the one you love, and surrounded by the beauty of nature. Couldn’t ask for more.
As I’ve said before, August 16 is always a melancholy day for me. As the anniversary of my mom’s passing, I always have a lot of things on my mind, and on my heart. The past couple of years, I’ve tried to busy myself with fun times and then only have the date to deal with after the fact. And it was working pretty well today . . .until it wasn’t.
Brian and I spent a couple of days in Eureka Springs, AR this weekend, and one of the things on my “visit” list was Thorncrown Chapel. It looked really pretty in the pictures, and I wanted to see for myself.
Turns out, it is really pretty. And more than that, it’s one of those places that I think Mama would’ve really enjoyed. Those are the kind of fleeting thoughts that come to me more days than not—“Mama would like that”, or “I wish Mama could see this”.
Like me, my mother was more spiritual than truly religious, but I know she would’ve appreciated the artistry of a church that would allow you to commune with nature while worshipping. But in that place, it seemed I was hit with that idea more strongly than usual, and it was almost like I could feel her there with me. Of course, when the moment passed, I missed her all over again, but I wouldn’t trade that moment of connection. And, besides, I know she’s always here with me, no matter where I am.
You know what this Friday’s feel good is all about? I started my three day weekend! It’s such a simple thing, you would not think that would bring me such a feeling of euphoria, but it really, really does.
So, Brian and I made a short road trip, had a nice dinner, and then strolled around a quaint little town. Perfect way to spend a day. Tomorrow we’ll explore a little more and see what there is to see. I have to say, I do not miss work at all!
There’s something about death, especially tragic, unexpected death. People always want to find, if not a reason, then some sort of lesson. We don’t want to let someone go without feeling that they contributed one last thing to this world.
In the wake of Robin Williams’ death, you can see this played out over and over in social media. Depression. Anxiety. Addiction. And now, I suppose, we will add Parkinson’s. The cries are out there: Don’t let his death be in vain. And perhaps an awareness of some of these diseases will come, and that will be a good thing. Will it prevent his death from being in vain? I don’t know. If lives are saved because conversations have begun this week that will slowly illuminate the dark secrets of depression, will that somehow make his death meaningful? I don’t know how you determine that it was acceptable for one person to die so that others may live.
What I do know is that depression scares me. I’ve seen those stories—some are saying that as many as 25% of people in the world could suffer from depression in some form or another. That’s a lot of people. Personally, I’ve had a couple of bouts of situational depression, and I can remember how absolutely terrifying those days were. I can’t imagine living with that sort of anguish day in and day out for my entire life.
But the real reason depression scares me is not some concern that I might be dragged back into an abyss at some point, but because one of the most important people in the world to me suffers from it, and refuses to get help. I think maybe that’s why Williams’ death has hit me so hard, because it’s all too easy to extrapolate the horrific possibilities. I mean, if this wildly talented, hugely successful man—someone who arguably “had it all”—could not overcome his demons and saw no solution but death, then what does that say about the chances of the average guy fighting this battle? It seems bleak.
And I’ve seen the arguments back and forth about whether depression should really be blamed as the “cause” of suicide, with one side saying that it’s a dangerous argument to make, because it sends the message to the deeply depressed that they have no say in the matter, that one day they are just doomed to lose the ultimate battle to their disease. And I can see the logic of that argument, and it just sends another twinge of fear down my spine. But the truth is, I land in the opposite camp. I do think depression is to blame. That while Williams technically had a choice, the state of his mind on that final day was such that he believed the little voice that whispered about hopelessness. In that moment, I don’t know if he believed there was no other choice, but he obviously believed there was no better choice, and it’s one of those situations where the very action proves that something was wrong in the deepest parts of his mind. And if your mind is betraying you, are you really making a choice at all?
I don’t know the answers. Like so many, I’m still reeling from losing this amazing talent in this most tragic of circumstances. And it might be that it hits harder because we all knew about his long-time fight with his various demons, and as much as we admired him for his talent, we admired him even more for his honesty and resiliency.
And of all the terrifying parts of depression, maybe that’s the most terrifying part of all: that regardless of your strength, sometimes the demons still win.
Still very slow; another half a pound down this week, but inches held steady. Overall I’m satisfied, though, so just gotta keep doing what I’m doing—except maybe a few more steps. Going to be out of town this weekend, so the challenge will be not only to get in some activity, but also to keep from groing food crazy, which is one of the hardest things about traveling.
27 minute treadmill; 2.4 miles
48 minutes treadmill, 3.4 miles
The passing of Robin Williams is weighing heavily on my heart. I feel the need to write about what I’m feeling, but the truth is, I haven’t entirely sorted it out yet. Strange, I know, to be so strongly impacted by the death of someone I’ve never met; maybe someday I’ll be able to sort that out, too.
In the meantime, because he is on my mind, and because he leaves behind a body of work that will entertain us for years to come, I’ll share a post from a couple of years ago:
“Comedy is acting out optimism.”~ Robin Williams
One of the few downsides of summertime is that most television programs are in their off-season with no new episodes airing. For a TV-aholic like myself, that can be kind of a downer. But because I am a die-hard TV-aholic, I’m certainly not opposed to watching re-runs, even if I’ve seen them many times before.
So it was that tonight I was scanning through the channels and found a couple of episodes of Mork & Mindy airing. Brian wasn’t too thrilled with the choice, but watching that old goofiness is how we spent an hour of our evening. When Mork & Mindy was in first run, you couldn’t keep me away, even in the final season or two when it became a pale imitation of what it had been originally. And, sadly, the episodes tonight were some of their later shows. (Yet one more example of the pitfalls of putting the two main characters together romantically.) I watched anyway.
And besides being mildly amused by the show—and very amused by the 80s fashions—I was once again struck by my admiration for Robin Williams. Truly, the man is a comic genius—a wonder to behold. I know a lot of folks will say that he’s just a drugged-up comedian, and no doubt some of his hilarity was drug-induced along the way. I’m glad he’s gotten himself free of those addictions, and still find him to be as talented as before.
So, I thought I’d share some moments from Mr. Williams with all of you, so that you may also be reminded of his talent, or maybe even witness some of it for the first time. Pick one and see what you think. Better yet, watch them all and see some of the many facets of his talent. Enjoy.
(In the intervening years, it seems that many of the original links have been shut down due to copyright claims. I hope that this was done long ago, and not studio executives now hoping to cash in on Mr. Williams’ untimely passing, but there are still representative samples available.)
Some may not remember, but Mork’s original appearance was in an episode of Happy Days.
Mork & Mindy—how it began
The movie as a whole—and certainly this scene—is more drama than comedy. But I think Patch Adams is some of Williams’ finest work.
I’ve been watching Disney movies all my life, and Aladdin is still my favorite.
Inside the Actor’s Studio is often interesting to me, but with Robin Williams, it’s more performance than interview.
In honor of the man who made so many laugh, I wish I could say something witty.
In recognition of the pain the man suffered, I wish I could say something healing.
In tribute to the man’s great talent, I wish I could say something profound.
But I can say none of that, for my heart aches.
Having suffered through several years of hanging on to a job once the joy and satisfaction had gone, I know what it feels like when it’s time to start considering a change. And I know that it begins with the small feelings of dread that settle into the pit of your stomach on Sunday evenings. The part that’s not as clear is how to balance out the fact that there are still good parts to a bad situation, and how to know precisely when it’s time to stop considering a change and start making a change. And, of course, history is not in my favor, since I stuck it out too long last time, leading to a really bad ending. Only time will tell if I have learned anything from my past mistakes.
You know, I think we’re a long way from the rise of the machines or anything as drastic as that, but there’s certainly no denying that technology holds us in its spell.
My recent issues: on Easter weekend, my fancy-schmancy induction cooktop went out; earlier this week, it was finally replaced. Even I, a barely domesticated type, was lost without a way to cook up the most basic of things. My husband kept suggesting we could probably accomplish much of what I wanted to do on our grill, but I always declined. Realistically, though, I know the grill would likely have worked; heck, it’s much more advanced than the direct flame people cooked over for generations past.
Just about daily, I curse my DSL connection for moving so slowly. And I curse my ISP for not providing the latest and greatest type of connectivity to my address. I spend an awful lot of time online, and it’s horrendously annoying that I can literally watch a page load.
And, just today, I upgraded my cell phone. Due largely to the aforementioned slow internet service, I have spent most of the day just trying to get everything re-installed that I want to carry over from my old phone; I have literally been messing around with this stinkin’ phone for approximately six hours, and I still have apps that are not yet reinstalled. And ringers and other basic customization? Haven’t even started. But I know at least my C25K app and my music have to be working by tomorrow morning, because I need to use it at the gym. Last week at the gym, I broke my earbuds, so I know how critical it is to be able to have my music in order to get through the workout.
That these sorts of issues consume my energy and cause me such chagrin is not something to really brag about, but it demonstrates a state of affairs, at least within my life. And I’m pretty sure I’m not alone in being held hostage in such a manner by the technology that is supposed to add such convenience to our lives. Now that I think about it, it’s possible that the machines will never have to actually rise up against us in order to take over, all they’ll have to do is just go on strike, and life as we know it will slowly grind to a halt.
I am convinced that eventually people will come to recognize that we’re all more alike than different, and that everyone should be judged individually on their actions not on which segment of society they fit in to. But though I firmly believe this will come to pass, I often despair that it will happen so slowly that I will not get to witness even the earliest waves of enlightenment.
Because of this, I love to read a story about a place called Latta, South Carolina, a tiny little town full of old fashioned conservative values in a state that seems to have little respect for the rights of its gay citizens. But that’s not what makes it a good story. No, what makes it a good story is that even with all their “traditional values”, Latta was still able to come together and fight for a member of their community when their police chief was fired for having the audacity to be gay.
Now, we all know that people’s belief systems don’t do a complete 180 overnight, so I think we can safely assume that there are a lot of folks in Latta who still believe that romantic couples ought to be made up of a man and a woman, so their show of solidarity in standing up for the police chief because of who she is rather than any group she belongs to is outstanding.
It’s those sorts of actions that will ultimately lead to that happy future I was talking about it earlier, and I think that definitely qualifies for Feel Good Friday. Congratulations, Latta, on finding a way to get your chief back.
If you’d like to read more details about a town doing the right thing, you can find the story here.
I might’ve mentioned that Brian and I decided to put ourselves on a five year retirement plan. That sounds like it’s sort of right around the corner—maybe even worryingly so. But then I decided to put that date into a countdown generator, and discovered that it’s 1921 days away. Sounds like a long time away when you look at it like that, but maybe that will give us enough time to actually have things under control.
Not that I’ve ever been much on living within a budget, and that’s the real worry, because we don’t just have to get to retirement—which includes paying off the house as the major stumbling block—but we also have to survive in retirement, without salaries. Frankly, the idea is a little bit terrifying.
But, we’re committed to the plan. We have the memory of two sets of parents always in the back of our minds—mine, who both died far too young and never had a chance to retire, and his, who retired (and retired in pretty good financial shape) but then still always worried about money rather than simply enjoying their remaining years. We don’t want to go down either path. And while we obviously can’t control the date of our passing, we can try to plan so that we can quit working before we are too old, and we can also try to plan so that we have the wherewithal to live the way we want once we leave the 9-5 life behind.
So, without completely abandoning a style of life currently, we are now in the mode of actively planning for a lifestyle in the future. But, one of the other things that entails is that some of the larger household expenditures we’ve been putting off need to be contemplated while there still is an income. It’s counter-intuitive, to think that while we’re trying to maximize the old nest egg we might also have to be spending a few larger chunks of cash, but it’s all a balancing act at this point.
So, maybe there’ll be some minor household changes to talk about on these pages over the coming months, or maybe what I’ll be talking about is the re-evaluation of what sort of improvements actually need to be made, or maybe I’ll just be stressing out loud about trying to plan for a major step in our lives, because the truth is, 1921 days really isn’t that long at all.
So, I’m supposed to be taking part in a Facebook challenge designed to get participants to 30 minutes of brisk activity six days a week. Unfortunately, pretty much my only real activity comes from my gym time, and that’s pretty much gotten down to only a weekend thing. I’m not exactly sure what I’m going to do about that, since my job wears me down enough that I am rarely in the mood for a workout once I get out of the office. All I can do for now is make sure that at least on the two days a week that time is really my own, I continue to get my workout in.
Still, I’m down another half a pound this week, along with another inch and a half. I’ll take it, and I’ll keep on working on it, even as slow as it goes.
38 minute treadmill; 2.66 miles
40 minutes treadmill, 2.94 miles
Is it weird that I have favorite television networks? Now that I say that out loud (or, as out loud as you can get in writing), I think maybe it is. But it doesn’t change the fact that I do, and always have.
When I was a youngster, I was all about ABC. There was a short period that NBC was at the top of my list, and for quite a while now, CBS has held the top spot of the broadcast networks. But for several years, the cable network that has had my heart is USA. Their original programming has been pretty consistently entertaining for a long while, and they have a pretty decent selection of syndicated programs, too. When I want to browse the cable channels, my starting point is always USA. When I’m at the gym and want to put something on the television to help distract me from treadmill monotony, USA is there. It’s a habit that’s been built from many years of always finding something decent to occupy my time.
But lately, I’ve begun to worry. It’s bad enough that programming that I’ve depended on for years has been slowly coming to an end—Burn Notice and Psych are already gone, and my beloved White Collar will be winding down soon (or as soon as they give them a time slot for the final six episodes). And even some of the new-ish shows that I enjoyed got the ax: Necessary Roughness, Fairly Legal, Common Law. But, hey, things happen. You can’t love TV as much as I do without a heartbreak or two along the way.
But the real problem with all these shows leaving the air is some of the things that are coming on to replace them. But I will stop right here and tell you—in the interest of total transparency—that I haven’t seen the programming I’m about to gripe about. And you know what else? In most cases, that’s never going to change. Chrisley Knows Best? Playing House? Sirens? Thank you, but no. Not the kind of shows I care for, and not what I’ve come to expect from USA.
Even Graceland, which is probably the newest USA show that I do watch, is edgier than the others, darker. That’s not necessarily a bad thing, it’s just not really what I tune in to USA to see. I want drama with a touch of humor; I want smart, fun characters; I want protagonists who are friends and who make me feel they could be my friends; I want the “blue skies” the network has promised us for so long; and I truly want characters to be welcome, even though it’s been a while since USA has used that particular catchphrase.
Oh, we’ve still got Royal Pains, Suits, and Covert Affairs, so that’s good, though neither Suits nor Covert Affairs seems to be as much fun this year as they’ve been in season’s past. I’m a bit behind on my viewing, but that’s the impression I have from what I’ve seen. And I suppose most of those shows I listed earlier that I don’t watch probably fit in with the “blue skies” theme, and they seem to offer quirky characters (I’m basing this on commercials), but they don’t seem as intelligent as the network I know and love. So, I guess it boils down to smart fun, that’s how I see USA and it’s what I love about their shows. And, it seems like that’s what we’re losing. I miss it already.
It’s a bad sign, I think, when the best thing about work is counting down to a long weekend. Still, bad or not, that’s where I am today. It was literally all I could do to make myself go into the office today, and I’m thrilled with the idea of looking forward to a three day weekend to celebrate my birthday.
Don’t get me wrong, there are many good things about my job, but it’s a job, so there are also many not so good things. I just try to remember that everything—every single thing—is a learning opportunity. Sometimes it’s about learning how I don’t want to do something, but it still helps me to grow. And, if (I mean when) I finally hit the lottery and decide to open my own business, I’ll know just how I want to be as an owner.
Anyway, back, to the good part—an extra day away. My birthday falls on a Sunday this year, so I’m treating myself to a present of the vacation. Sure, it’s just one extra day, but I feel like it can make all the difference in the world.
Let me say right up front that I have not really been following the Eric Garner situation too closely. I mean, I know the basics: a man died when the NYPD used an illegal chokehold on him, the entire incident was caught on tape, and the death has subsequently been ruled a homicide. But I don’t know enough about it to form an opinion on whether the death was caused by a tragic set of circumstances or a blatant abuse of power. Sadly, I’m becoming cynical enough to think that the latter is probably more likely.
Honestly, I don’t want to be that cynical. I’d much rather believe that even if the officer involved used illegal methods of restraint, he did it in a moment of panic for his own safety, or because Mr. Garner was putting up superhuman efforts at resistance, something to make it not really the officer’s fault, though that seems unlikely.
Then, today I hear that the man who filmed the altercation has been arrested for an unrelated gun charge. Hmm. Like I said, I’d much rather be confident that everything is on the up and up, but that kind of certainty seems to be a thing of the past. It will be interesting to see what comes of all of this.
Saw this on my feed last night and just had to share. Makes me want to change banks, even though my bank is really fine; apparently there’s still room for improvement.
At the end of typically long and draining weeks, I’m always glad to have something funny and relaxing to come home to. Hope it helps you, too.
A while back, my brother-in-law posted on Facebook about a fun way to waste a few hours (like anyone needs help finding that online, right?) Anyway, he shared a site called The Nostalgia Machine, which really will suck you right into some kind of time warp. It’s a nice collection of popular music, organized by year, so you can take a trip back to your childhood, or street cruising days, or just last year to the song that kept you bopping during your morning commute.
The site isn’t anything fancy, just a bunch of links to YouTube music, but that’s okay, because it’s still fun to just hop around and relive the sounds. Though, I think it’s just one more indication of my advancing age that I know more of the songs the further back the years go.
Which brings us to today’s selection—a song from the year of my birth. I’ve always liked this song, though it certainly has a bit of melancholy to go along with its mildly peppy chorus. (And, if the rumors are true, and it’s really a disguised drug anthem, well, I was far too young to recognize the possibility when I first grew to love the song, and now I just refuse to accept it.)
Enjoy this song, then pop on over to the site, and enjoy a whole bunch more. Go on; it’s fun.
Wasn’t a very active week, as you can tell by the numbers. My planking has gotten haphazard, and even on the nights I do it, I’m struggling to hold it for longer than 45 seconds. Clearly two minutes will not happen by the end of this month, but perhaps by the end of August.
But I am still shrinking, though slowly. .3 pound lost this past week and down a total of 3.4 inches. I’ll take (or give, however you want to look at it) slow, as long as it keeps on keeping on, because that’s what I’m doing.
Off to bed now so that I can break this nasty habit of sleeping the first few hours on my couch!
30 minute treadmill
36 minutes treadmill
You know how I can tell when I need a television break? It’s when nothing holds my attention, even the shows that are really good and that I really enjoy. And do you know how I can tell I’ve reached it today? I’m watching America’s Got Talent. Nothing specifically against that show in particular, I’m just not a fan of those types of shows in general. But Brian’s been watching it this season, and I’ll admit there are a few acts I feel connected with that I’d really like to see advance, so when I found myself sort of dazed this evening, and unfocused on anything, turning on the show seemed the easiest thing to do.
But, though I’m not really a fan of the show, I will say that Howie Mandel is generally a pretty entertaining guy, and—amazingly—even Howard Stern makes a decent judge. So, all in all, it can be a harmless way to pass a couple of hours when you don’t want to put a lot of effort into your television viewing, and I suppose that’s not the worst thing you can say about a program.
Maybe we’re finally getting closer to having a national law allowing medical marijuana. Thank goodness.
Not that I’m a pothead or anything, you know, just that I think our society has a whole bunch more important things to focus on than prosecuting—and persecuting—folks self-medicating with a little weed. And, honestly, I’d be okay with recreational legalization, too, because I just haven’t yet found anything that convinces me that marijuana is significantly worse than the country’s drug of choice, alcohol.
But let’s take the recreational aspect out of it for a minute. Seriously, what can be the harm of medicinal access? Our pharmacies shell out far more dangerous substances every hour of every day under the banner of “medicine”, so surely there can’t really be that much of a health risk. And gateway drugs and all? Honestly, I’m not sure I entirely buy it. But with legalization will also come more regulation, and undoubtedly more availability of help for anyone who finds themselves addicted to any drug, which means eventually, we might actually reduce the numbers of users. Maybe.
But really, I think all you have to do is think about all the people who actually stand to benefit from this change. Who are we—any of us—to tell the sick and/or dying that they aren’t allowed access to a treatment that could end their suffering? Can we really be so wrapped up in the terrible things that might happen that we ignore the great things that we know will happen? An end to even one person’s suffering has to be worth the risks in legalizing. That’s what I’d think if it was my mom, or grandmother, or son who needed access to this treatment, and it’s still what I think if it’s your loved one. This is an easy choice; I’m hoping we’re ready to make the right one.
I know I mentioned a week or so ago that I’ve become an independent ambassador for Plexus products, and that I did that so that I could save some money on my monthly product purchase. I really had no intention of trying to sell the product, for a variety of reasons. But in the past few days, I find myself wondering if maybe that’s the wrong decision.
Like a good many people, I have an inherent skepticism when it comes to any sort of network marketing plan, even when I personally believe in the product. But, I’ve seen so many people—people I actually know, not random strangers—who have benefitted both physically and financially from Plexus, and I find myself wondering if I should just take a deep breath and jump in.
On the other hand, MLM concerns aside, I also know that I’ve been dissatisfied at work lately, and have been hoping and praying for an alternative. Sure, this could be an answer to a prayer, or it could just be me desperately grasping at straws. I have never been a fan of running away from something rather than running to something; it just seems to me that is simply asking for trouble. Of course, I wouldn’t be looking to just up and abandon an actual paycheck to chase potential income, but if I could generate a little extra cash every month, I think that might take a lot of stress out of the actual job situation, if I didn’t feel like leaving was absolutely out of the question.
It’s just a lot to consider, especially when we’re seriously looking at a five year retirement plan, so this is not a spectacular time to be making a lot of changes in our financial situation. So I know it won’t be a decision to be entered into easily, whether I pursue the opportunity or leave it behind. I only hope that I won’t regret whichever choice I make.
The jury may still be out on my writing abilities—I rate the merits higher or lower depending upon the day. However, one look at this, and you’ll see there’s no doubt that painting is not my forte.
But, we had a good time, and raised a little money for a good cause. And regardless of the reason, or the end result, a girls’ afternoon is always a reason to celebrate.
At the end of a very long and stressful week, I know I need just a minute of feel good. If you do, too, take a minute to watch this video.
Not only do I love the message, but I especially love that it’s trying to get kids to spread the message. I’ve reached the point in my life that I’ve begun to believe that it may be too late for many of the “adult” generation to learn the simple truth that we are all—every single creature on this planet—dependent upon each other for survival, and we should be coming together to find ways to share this world and celebrate the differences that make the world exciting. Instead, we focus on those differences as a bad thing, and we’re slowly tearing our world apart, through both hatred and a scramble to be the first to claim and control some of the limited natural resources we have at our disposal.
And if it’s too late for the adults to recognize these things and try to do something positive in the world, then I worry about who’s going to teach the next generation how wrong this approach is, and I despair that we’ll find ourselves on a never-ending downward path. So, when there’s an initiative that wants to use children to share a positive message about the inter-connectedness of the planet, I’m all for it.
By the way, if you want to get your own young people—whether they’re your kids, students, church group, whatever—drop by the We Are All Connected site, and learn how to make your own video. Who knows, maybe even some of the not-so-young people will prove that it’s not too late, and want to get involved, too. Let’s follow the lead of the kids.
Oops. I hate when I open up my computer and find last night’s post never published. I’d say the change in me is that I’m getting old and forgetful, but I’m pretty sure I’ve been forgetful for longer than I’ve been old! Oh, well, better late than never, right?
I visited the imagination prompt again today, and it suggested I write about how I’ve changed recently, so I’m giving that some thought.
First, as I’ve discussed, I’ve got some physiological changes going on that have also reached out to create some changes mentally and emotionally, but I’m not sure that’s what the prompt was talking about. And, I’m hoping those changes are temporary!
And, while I think I’ve gained some wisdom and compassion over the years, I like to believe that’s mostly been an increase in characteristics I already possessed.
But one thing I do notice has changed as I’ve gotten older—and not for the better—is my patience level. I find that with each passing year, I become more easily aggravated with any number of things. So far, my behavior hasn’t changed much in relation to my increased aggravation/impatience, so I find that that I’m a little more stressed from having that increased aggravation inside, which is kind of a bummer.
Anyway, I know that I don’t want to become some sort of cranky old woman as the years go by, so I guess I’m going to have to really start paying attention to this now, and trying to figure out how to regain some of my earlier abilities to simply let things slide.
Well, the scale and the tape measure are still moving in the right direction. Down about a pound and a half and another inch. Not to be too totally gross (and TMI), but pretty soon I’ll have lost a full belly roll!
I’ve fallen a little behind on my planking, at least from the standpoint of staying daily, but I’m still on track for duration. Right on schedule with a minute, 15 seconds yesterday, so I’m hoping I can tack on the extra five seconds tonight. The goal is to be able to hold a two minute plank by the end of the month, but that is only one week away, and I have to say that it’s still feeling way out of reach. But I’ll never know if I don’t try, so try I will.
I also need to put a big focus on the whole emotional eating problem. My work has been a huge stressor lately—to the point that I think it’s about time to dust off the resume—but that’s been sending me home the last couple of nights heading straight to the fridge. I really have got to do something about that, and more quickly than finding a new job.
60 second plank
62 second plank
36 minutes treadmill
44 minutes treadmill, 30 second plank
45 second plank
75 second plank
This past weekend, the acting community lost another great one.
James Garner played a variety of roles during his career—moving easily from television to film and back again as time rolled along—but this picture shows him in my favorite role, that of Jim Rockford. That cheeky grin and his sardonic attitude entertained me for a long time.
At some point during my childhood, spurred on by my enjoyment of the Rockford Files, I started watching Maverick reruns, and found yet another reason to enjoy Garner’s work.
Like many people, I was drawn in by Garner’s easy charm. He wasn’t your typical leading man, smooth and polished, but he definitely still had rugged good looks and that elusive “star quality”. For myself, it probably didn’t hurt that I always thought he looked a lot like my daddy. I mean, not “looked like” in the sense that people confused my dad for Garner or anything, just that they shared a similar stature and had that same sort of outdoorsy, man’s man type of a persona.
And, to top it all off, he’s from my home town. Garner hailed from my very own Norman, OK, and like most people, I really enjoy seeing a hometown boy make good, even if that good got made long before I was alive. It’s like sharing a little something with a stranger you’ll never meet, and it’s kind of cool. A few years ago, the town put up a statue honoring Garner and his iconic Maverick character; since his passing, its turned into something of a shrine.
It’s a nice tribute to the man, a way of showing that his hometown still loves him, that we’re grateful for what he gave us, and that his talent will be missed.
Forty-five years ago, almost to this very minute, Neil Armstrong was taking a step that would leave its footprint in history.
I was five years old at the time, and to this day, I don’t know if I have any actual memories of the moon walk, or only those that I have acquired in the intervening years and claimed as my own. Not that it really matters. Sure, I’d love to be able to answer a “where were you when” question about this spectacular moment, but it’s enough to even have those hazy feelings of wonder and pride that float around in my brain.
And even those fuzzy memories aren’t necessary for me to still be in awe of the idea that there have actually been men on the moon. Men from Earth, on the moon. What’s not awesome about that?
And it’s still awesome, forty-five years later, to contemplate what is possible when people work together toward a common goal. I think that’s important, maybe now more than ever. When you think about what we achieved decades ago, with information and technology that’s practically ancient compared to today, it’s exciting to think what we could accomplish now, if only we would pull together just a little bit, and take a few more steps.
You know, you’d think, that after living half a century, I’d feel more grown up and ready to take on the world. But today, my husband (who’s older still) and I were discussing the challenges of changing jobs—leaving behind the comfort zone of a place where you know exactly how things work, trying to figure out the interpersonal relationship puzzle in a new office, etc. It’s the sort of situation that makes a person feel completely out of control. Not very “grown up” at all.
Another case in point: as we really start to focus on a retirement plan that gets us out of the rat race in another five years, I realize that I’m woefully lacking in a solid understanding of financial matters. When you work and pay bills for a few decades, it’s easy to think you understand money, but the truth is, I am easily overwhelmed by stocks, bonds, 401K plans, insurance, and all the other tools that go into managing a life-long portfolio.
And, retirement in general is just a little bit terrifying—even with planning, how do you know it’s really the right time to give up steady employment that’s sustained you for your entire life? Honestly, I don’t know, but here’s hoping that I grow up quickly enough to figure it out.
Just yesterday, I was despairing the state of the world.
Today, the local child who was the subject of the amber alert last night has already been found safely, and, a friend on Facebook shred the most amazing video. Faith in humanity: restored.