It is easy for me to exercise during the week — I do it first thing when I wake up, since I already have to be awake and to work early anyway, plus I walk to and from the bus stop. But the weekends take more discipline since I don’t have to be awake and around, and what I really want to do is lay on my butt. So the fact I walked 14 miles in and around town this weekend makes me feel happy. Probably 5 miles of that was exercise, the rest was walking to errands.
Am reading the NYT article about how Donald Trump countered a speech by Mr. Khan (whose Muslim son died for the US in 2004) and Trump seems unmoved. With all sincerity, what a strange world it must be to live in Donald Trump’s head, where the specific purpose in life seems to be getting attention with no other consequence or purpose whatsoever. He seems completely impervious to public opinion, and when told he is wrong there is nothing that will convince him he is not right. Honestly, I can’t imagine what that is like, or what runs through his head, and I don’t mean that as a criticism but as a genuine question. The world must look very different to Donald Trump than it does to me, just as it looks different to spiders and dogs and sharks and birds and serial killers than it does to me. It is fascinating, but honestly I wouldn’t want to spend one minute inside his head, just like I wouldn’t want to spend a minute in a fish’s head.
We — the 99% of the word’s population — are allowing too many of the stubborn and self-centered 1% make decisions that imperil the 99% for the benefit of the 1%. But such is true of most of human history.
Last night, there must have been a dozen sirens that passed by over a 15 minute period, and at one point I heard a helicopter. I always wonder what is happening in the few times a year I hear so many sirens at night, but it seems like it is maybe 1 in 20 times that it ever makes the news. One time perhaps 15 years ago, there were like 20 sirens that pulled up 5 blocks away and a helicopter circled overhead, then two. A few of us neighbors wandered out – what was happening? Should we be locking our doors? None of us knew. We searched the internet, the TV, etc. – nothing. After a little bit, the helicopters went away and everything was over. We never heard anything about it again. Crazy. Thinking about this pulls up two other memories:
I love It’s A Disaster, where all the self-absorbed couples are completely oblivious to the million sirens outside their door. I thought that was a funny movie, although Wife M and Daughter L didn’t think it was as funny as I did.
And I remember my classmate was severely burned by a housefire. When my grandma heard the news of his accident she mentioned hearing all the sirens in the night. Sometimes when I hear more than a few sirens at night, I remember that, and I think of my classmate, who died few weeks later from his injuries. And at those moments, I hope that everyone is okay.
In my dream last night, for some reason I went down to see our neighbor M or perhaps I just bumped into her while outside. She had family and friends with her, and I tried to make chitchat, but felt like I was saying the wrong things (unintentionally) that were potentially offensive, basically like those times when you say something and it comes out all wrong. I was with them for a little awhile, and suspected I was supposed to know who some of her family was, but didn’t remember and had to fake it. I finally left, and fretted about it to wife M, who was busy prepping for something and briefly indicated I was probably just being paranoid.
The dream moved around, until I ended up at a theme park that I think was once a golf course. It was a simple park, not unlike Knotts Berry Farm, which I remember as being slightly more spartan than say a Disneyland… We were taking a final ride for the day, and there were a line of people waiting, and I was worried that some people were cutting (like when people are waiting for the bus and it always seems like it is the last people to arrive who simply walk by everyone to get on the but first as he bus arrives). But it turned out that the train was half empty. I was with wife M and the kids but the kids were younger (school age), but then some moments my parents were also there. I ended up sitting down next to a man who I thought was my dad but turned out to be a stranger, so I rose and moved over to sit next next to my dad and son. I asked dad where wife M and daughter L were, and my dad said not to worry, they decided to go a little farther back on the train, and I felt a little offended that M hadn’t worked harder to sit next to me but at the same time I ralized it wasn’t that big of a deal.
The dreams weren’t quite as of a dark lighting as I’ve had – the light was more murky and muted, like on an overcast day, as opposed to the twilight I usually have.
December 14, 2011 my pulmonologist was almost beaming with the news – my lungs were improving. “It was 50-50 you’d improve,” he said. There were some very difficult times in the months ahead – the post-prednisone exhaustion, post illness shock, medical bills, the realization I also had autoimmund disease, and the adjusting to the new less energetic me, but I am sooooo grateful, and I remember that every day. Yesterday, walking in the warm sunny morning to work, I was really struck — for the millionth time — by how lucky I feel, and broke out into a happy silly grin while all about me people wondered if they were passing a mad man 🙂
Got a mani and pedi today with Wife M and Daughter L today, and the first thing I’m doing when I get home is taking my shoes and socks off and revel in my clean feet. My male friends have teased me at times about my mani/pedis, but I honestly don’t care what they think – I am comfortable enough in my masculinity and sexuality (and attractiveness) that I don’t need to explain myself to any men whatsoever, especially when it comes to pedicures 🙂 I truly love getting manis and pedis on several levels: it is nice to have clean nails, it feels great to walk around with scrubbed feet, it looks nice, my wife appreciates it and it is almost as relaxing as a massage. I plop myself in a big leather chair, they give me a warm pillow and a cup of tea, I turn on the back massager, and they massage my shoulders and legs when they are done. Pretty damn awesome. It too my wife a few years to convince me to get a mani/pedi, and since my first one (Memorial Day weekend 2007) I’ve never looked back – to me, getting a mani and pedi is like a haircut, it’s something that you do every few weeks as part of staying groomed and looking nice.
Even the fictional world of Sesame Street is untouched by the ruthless hands of Corporate America! According to The New Yorker, some of the origional actors of Sesame Street have been cut from the show. My grandpa worked for the same company his entire life, and was taken care of by that company after he retired in his 60s with benefits and a pension that didn’t make him rich, but covered his bills. Now, the founders of Sesame street are whacked. Loyalty in a Nuetron Jack Welch America is a one way street. To be honest, I don’t know the full story, but to me this isn’t about Sesame Street, it is about the continued trend of cutting human beings from the payroll after using up their best years.
Our dog was able to sneak out the other day when workers were installing panels on our roof. The people who found him were super kind to call us, but also were clearly annoyed that we allowed our dog to get out. The reality is, a lab is a crafty breed of dog who wants to get out and roam. And when you live in a house with 3 teens and chaos, the dog is going to get out once in awhile, and once a lab gets out ,they are heading for miles! But for most dogs in our area, where most people live in high rise condos with elevators, it would take an act of Houdini for a dog to escape. First, most dogs around us live with 20-somethings who live by themselves or with a partner, which means there is less chaos to create a diversion (our dog’s favorite way to escape is when a teen or worker leaves the door open :)). Second, most condos are above the top floor, which means even if they get out the door, they have to learn how to open and operate an elevator. Let’s see by some chance that dog pushes the right buttons with his nose, and escapes to the main floor, even then he is still within a secure building and would have to sneak out yet another open door. Only then is he free. So for many of the dogs around us, living in condos, any hopes of escaping are futile at best. Condos are in some ways the penitentiaries of the dog world… (NOTE: This is in now way a negative comment towards dogs living in condos, just that it was funny to be judged by a person who has no concept of how much easier to keep the dog penned in when you live in a condo with one roommate 🙂 ).
The first time I realized that the US’s dometic freedom was not guaranteed was during the Iran Contra hearings in the 1980s when the Bush/Reagan stoolie Oliver North talked about proposals to suspend the constitution in times of crises (it is amazing that Richard Nixon was hung to dry for Watergate but that Reagan and Bush skirted through the Iran Contra situation with barely a mark — that is true and corruptible power). But somehow I still beieved our elections were mostly honest.
But watching the George Bush and Al Gore election battle in Florida in 2000, the governor election in the state of Washington a few years later where mysterious votes were found and votes were mysteriously rled ineligible and three different election counts produced different results, and the all the reports of election fraud in Hilary Clinton’s march towards the White House has taught me that what I thought was an honest and free election/process (with flaws, of course) is as corrupt and maleable as some of very Third World Countries we claim are rife with election fraud. When it comes to power and the access to power, there are a certain percentage of human beings who are actually wired to stop at nothing to get it, including corrupting the process of the most powerful country in the world. Uncle Sam is as vulnerable as any of them, I’m afraid 😦 It is up to us Commonors to stand up against those in power, to protect the common good.
I have known for awhile that Henry VII was the last English king to win his throne on the battlefield, and that he defeated RIchard III, who was buried in an unmarked grave in a church that eventually became a parking lot. I knew that it is suspected Richard III poisoned his two nephews in The Tower of London to protect his throne, and that Henry Tudor used these and other situations to renew a claim on the throne and march against RIchard. But I didn’t know that all this was part of The War of the Roses, which was a long series of wars over the throne of England.
Henry VII sailed from France with a small contingent of men, raised a small army along the way on this march towards London, and was encountered by Richard. It is likely that 100s of men were killed in the ensuing battle, including Richard himself. To think that some poor bastards gave their lives, and Henry VIII would end up being born into the throne they helped die for, is a waste of a life in my mind.
What a period these past 1000 years have been, when people in power in major countires rarely have to go to war themselves to win that power, which would be fine except how many commoners have died along the way to gain or protect the ruler’s power? I honestly can’t see a situation ever where I will personally put my life on the line for the specific purpose of putting another human being in power unlesss that person is fighting right beside me 🙂 I honestly think I would only fight for a true democracy, not this crazy Republic or monarch stuff where corruption can rule the day…