Keeping current in wellness, in and out of the water
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June 2018 began with Jon Stewart returning to stand-up (with Dave Chappelle). It ended with a takeover of The Late Show with Stephen Colbert, where the former Daily Show host addressed Donald Trump directly: “We will prevail.” For nearly six minutes in Thursday night’s episode, Stewart gave an unbroken monologue, touching on everything from the…
If we were having coffee this weekend I would offer you iced tea and some succotash I just made. I have been listening to a wonderful audio course about this culinary and cultural history of humanity. I heard the part about American colonists adopting crops from natives very quickly because many crops they brought from England did not grow over here. Succotash (a word borrowed from a native language) is a stew of corn, beans, onions, peppers, and tomatoes. It can be made with only corn and beans if need be. I realized I had those groceries on hand in the fridge so I whipped up a batch. It is a heavenly, and truly American dish. Help yourself. I am working on reminding myself of all the noble and beautiful parts of having been born in the US. Succotash is one of those.
If we were having coffee I know many of you live in other countries and are wondering what in the world is happening to the government in Washington, DC. As taxpaying citizens, believe me, we wonder even more than you do. Some people choose to stay away from news of current events, and honestly I am happy to be working with millennials who virtually never discuss anything current or political. I don’t think it is because they lack sympathy, but they really lack all the information. I am loathe to bring up any news at work because it is all so shockingly bad. Who am I to bum them out by letting them in on current events? I really like my colleagues at work. Maybe ignoring current events is the secret of their charm.
I wrote this week, but was still a little lame about production. I did a poem for Sue Vincent’s #writephoto on Thursday. I wrote a factual biography of my great-grandfather who fought for the Confederacy in the Civil War. I also have ancestors who fought for the Union and even worked on the underground railroad. I am not in any way attracted to these “historic monuments” causing all this dispute. I don’t think they were such a good idea in the first place, since Americans tend to be fairly ignorant of our own history. We just don’t need images to glorify people and events nobody even understands. I know this is not true for all of us, but I am frequently appalled at the total lack of knowledge about geography and history I encounter in Americans.
The one category in which we are still held in some esteem is comedy. SNL is the world leader that demonstrates that we do still live in a free country. Some of our freedom is being used to endanger and incarcerate part of the population. Thank God we still have Weekend Update. For any of you who have not seen #sheetcaking by Tina Fey, please enjoy this peek at our still thriving sense of humor. If we don’t laugh we will cry.
Please join us for the Weekend Coffee Share every week. Our hostess Diana brings us together from New Orleans her blog PartTimeMonster to share our feelings, our progress, and our digital beverages. Thanks for reading, writing, or commenting this week.
We must follow the money and follow the lies
The twists and turns of political intrigue
Burrow deeply into the system to hide from the wise
The secrecy and dishonesty of the big league
The veils must be lifted, the truth must be told
Our leaders deceive us, the facts they withhold
Our nation’s future hangs in the balance between
Those false facades, their mendacity, and coming clean
This month follow the poets at the #NaPoWriMo site to find new poetry, prompts, and contests. Try your hand a busting a rhyme.
What happened to our capacity to judge complete dreck from veracity?
How low will we need to go before we recognize the well disguised foe?
Supporting wolves in sheep’s’ clothing will replace our peace with loathing
Pull the wool from over your eyes, look directly at the reasons they lie.
Please join poets from around the world to ride the poetry train in April. Read, write, recite, or compete in one of the many contests. Check out the action here.
Welcome to a rainy cool afternoon in Tucson. Please take a seat by the wood stove and let me know if you want tea or coffee today. I have expanded my tea collection to fully enjoy and celebrate National Hot Tea Month (January) by rotating white, rioboos, green, oolong, herbal, and chai in various flavors to warm the winter mood. The chocolate chai is very stimulating for those in a spicy mood. Help yourself to some blue cornbread in the skillet, and spread one of the many jams and jellies I have set out for our tasting pleasure. Relax, take a breather with your feet up on the ottoman and your warm drink at hand. Tell me about your week and your adventures. I look forward to hearing about your news and your writing projects.
If we were having coffee today I would tell you I am pleased to have written another short piece of fiction this week. I used a photo prompt rather than one of my ancestors as the subject. I had a good time with it, and plan to continue to write at least one piece of fiction each week this year. I think eventually I might be good at either mystery stories or fantasy style fiction. To keep me going I started a bullet journal to log ideas and find new subjects for my factual posts. I enjoy this too, but have not been very prolific at posting in it. My first journal is general purpose and small enough to carry all the time. I think the size is not ideal for weekly and monthly goals and planning, so I have pulled out a new notebook to begin a larger version tomorrow to go with my portable idea notebook. The large format will help me track my writing goals and develop story lines for fictional work.
I guess our story this week is our birthday month. Both my partner and I have January birthdays. His is in Capricorn and mine at the end of the month in Aquarius. We are downsizing our possessions, so no gift giving is in order for either of us. We like to go out for fine dining when we have an occasion to fête. Bob chose Feast, one of our favorite restaurants, for his lunch party yesterday. It was perfect. I tried to coax him into trying a new place, but he is the Capricorn, and was not into change at this time (or any time, for that matter). He pointed out that I can choose a place new to us for my birthday dining experience. I have a couple of weeks to decide between a few trendy places I have wanted to try.
There is a small gremlin attacking various working parts of my life. The filtered water spout the kitchen sink broke off and needs to be replaced, as does the filter itself. My vacuum cleaner dumped all the dirt on the floor when I started to empty it. The latch is broken, so when I take the canister out I must now always hold the bottom so it will not leak all over the floor I just cleaned. My Triberr feed has lost its mind and forgot to tweet for a couple of days. This digital tragedy is now being averted by manual tweeting of my tribe members posts. I hope this will be resolved quickly because the manual stuff is taking a load of time. Last, but not at all least, my car started saying service engine soon on the dash when we drove to lunch yesterday. It may have an electronic glitch, or a real need to be serviced. Sadly, this is not something I can jerry rig or do myself. The car has not been to the mechanic since last February, so I just hope it is not suffering from some major (expensive) ailment. My mechanic is located very near my home, so I pack my bike and drive home when I drop it off for service. I have my pressing business and shopping done, so I can live without the car for a few days if I must. I consider myself lucky, but still have my fingers crossed that this will be a minor repair, and the little demon who breaks stuff will leave my life of his own accord.
I have reached several conclusions about our national politics and my mission in life. I can contribute to and support change and justice best by doing it in my immediate vicinity. The inauguration ceremony may offer the perfect time to go out to a restaurant to enjoy off peak dining. I don’t plan to watch it, but will probably live tweet it for the comedy involved. The future will be a mixed, highly unpredictable bag. My place as a citizen and tax payer is not to jump to any conclusions, but to pay close attention to what happens now. At the conclusion of Trump’s presidency we can analyze how history is altered. Now we can only guess. We need to tune in and not tune out. Discernment has never been so important.
Stop by Diana’s blog to take part in the coffee share this week. Share your thoughts, your personal stories, with writers from across the globe who enjoy a digital hot beverage. Thanks for visiting with us today, gentle reader.
Selfish ignorant politicians are the product of a selfish ignorant population. Have we considered how co-dependent it is to re-elect the congress we love to hate? The United States is a highly dysfunctional family with generational beliefs about a common enemy that may not exist. We make the sovereign powers of the world pay attention to us while we display our lack of mature thinking. I did vote this year, and always have, but I appreciate this joke by the late, great George Carlin. Our attachment to politics is a very negative and fruitless folly. The video includes graphic language and gestures that may not be appropriate for everyone. When I think about how long this video has been in existence it makes it all the more poignant to me. Pardon me, gentle reader, if this is not your kind of joke. This joke is on all of us.
If we were having coffee today I would tell you that I am dedicated to simple pleasures like coffee with you right now. I have some spiced cider, a selection of teas, and we still have lots of nuts to go around. Please help yourself and take the load of your feet for a few minutes. As I told you last weekend this friendly digital drink downing party between writers is a welcome safe space to hang without exposure to crazy political hoo ha. This rare and exotic privilege to hang out and share personal thoughts is very valuable to me. The trauma of the political season has exhausted everyone. This is a time for healing by sincerely listening to others.
We have been subjected to far too much hate speech and faulty logic. The big November surprise of the election of Donald Trump has twisted history. We will now change the narrative of our story along with the costuming, the moral values, and the judicial system. After I considered the facts, although I did not vote for him, I do share the frustration about dysfunctional government that his supporters claim to be able to remedy. I despise the wasted days and wasted nights we spend supporting the Congress while they bicker our money down the drain. My solution to this problem would be different, but we agree that there is a giant problem. I do fear and loathe what has happened, but I also have been upset about the government’s dysfunction for my entire adult life. As soon as I started paying taxes, before I could vote, I started freaking out. I have voted in every election since I turned 21, but feel that many of my choices have sucked. My taxes have not been spent in my best interests. I am not sure whose interests were served, but I can tell mine were not. My level of approval has not changed much over time. It hovers around 2%. There is no love lost.
Some people think he will not be able to deliver on any of the bombastic promises. Others think he will do wonders for the economy. He seems determined to roll back civil rights and health care legislation, but he has no experience in making laws. This is a volatile experiment being felt around the globe. It is explosive and pernicious. Nobody knows what will happen.
My focus is where is usually is, at home. My well-being begins and ends at my house. I have limited control over the way the larger cookie crumbles. Here in midtown Tucson I have purchased some perfect comice pears, some brie cheese, and some tangerines. I am shifting the menu to holiday specials without turning to sugar to create them. We are setting out on a gourmet journey into fabulous fall flavors. Eating delicious food at home can make up for a lot of terrible things out in the world. I have tiny solar lights all a twinkle outside. In a few weeks I will start to plant my fake poinsettias in the front yard. I bring them out a few at a time. The week before Christmas it goes into full coverage. I am amazed how long these fake flowers have held up, since they spend a month each year outside in the yard. I plan to pursue my own festive plans without taking on a burden of worry. Actions are of the utmost importance now. Just as we can’t be bullied by foreign terrorists, we can’t give up our own peace and quiet to worry about the government. I plan to keep a warm place for you by the wood stove all winter. Thanks very much for visiting today. Take a ripe comice pear with you for the ride home.
Do check out all the coffee sharing action here. Visit the contributors, leave comments or write your own weekend post to let us know what you’re thinking and doing.
The practice of trash talking with personal insults rather than appeal to reason has dominated our political season. This kind of logic is known as argumentum ad hominem, or ad hominem for short. The personal attack is intended to discredit any statement made by the opponent. It is a logical red herring designed to distract from the business at hand. It is the full time occupation of the Congress of the United States.
Ad hominem tu quoque is to use the “I know you are but what am I?” line of reasoning. It translates to “You do that too.” There is a big difference between a persuasive argument and a statement of fact. In order to reach valid conclusions it is important to distinguish guilt by association or circumstance from cold, hard, empirical facts. All’s fair in marketing and politics. The emotional ad hominem is used freely and frequently to convince people to vote or buy something. We are all being manipulated, like it or not. In order to be an independent thinker one must consider empirical facts at face value, without prejudice. Conversely, if it is our goal to hoodwink or control our audience it appears that trash talking works very well. Next time you find yourself in an argument notice how long it takes for this tactic to be used. It is a very common weapon, gentle reader. Don’t be fooled by association fallacies. They are enormously popular.
…to know which way the wind blows. Bob Dylan, Subterranean Homesick Blues.
Think about how perfect these lyrics are for America right now, 2016. Suddenly everyone is surprised about the conditions that prevail. We are swinging to the other end of the pendulum, my gentle readers. It is time for the equal and opposite reaction of those who are disenchanted with government. Initially these words were used to call out an oppressive secretive regime. Today the vandals who took all the handles are the political parties themselves. If we ever had a real revolution (doubtful, fellow boomers) now comes the obvious counter revolution. We said we believed in the winds of change. Here they are. They will huff and puff and blow this house down because we built it out of sticks. If you are feeling homesick in your country, take responsibility for the future. Take democracy seriously or it will vanish before our very eyes. I can’t give you any specific advise except to say this did not happen overnight and was not done by one person, one party, or even one country. We have all been partners in this crime. Wake up and smell the danger.
I am not making a prediction on the outcome of the election. Projection in this instance refers to the defense mechanism of projecting our own faults onto others. This is one of the common ways we control our environment and defend our self image. They include denial, intellectualization, repression, regression, displacement, compensation, and projection, also sometimes called transference. I took a quiz the other day that has disturbed me. Here it is. It may disturb you too. I scored a few points in regression and intellectualization and my highest score was in projection. I understand that his quiz is not a shrink and there is nothing conclusive about how I defend my position. I instantly became angry at the idea that I project blame on others because that is what I dislike about others….well, there it is….. some crazy downward cycle of blame operating in my very own psyche. I am contributing to our mutual distrust and blame my own self. This is known as the shadow…the hidden secrets we hide even from ourselves. Kooky stuff. This political season has damaged us all with the nasty rhetoric and new levels of dirty tricks.
It is very easy in this political environment to slip into a simplistic view about how “the other” is ruining everything. As a nation we will go even more haywire than we are now if we can’t see this blame game as the destructive habit it is. Language about reaching across the aisle will fall on deaf ears if we don’t take a close look into our own hearts and minds. We have met the enemy and he is us. We all have some work to do. Mother Nature is watching.