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Saturday, August 12, 2017

UNTOUCHABLES

It was a movie-night kind of a night, and which did I pick to entertain Mom?

The Untouchables!

One of my favorite movies, and NOT just because Kevin Costner stars in it (although I can't seem to find a movie he is in I DON'T like!). When I looked it up online, I never imagined it was released 20 YEARS AGO!!!!

Dang....where does time go?

This classic has a cast that you KNOW the movie will be very cool. Sean Connery, De Niro,  Andy Garcia, plus great supporting actors grab you from the very beginning and don't let you want to leave the screen until the credits are rolling. Action, good stories, and many iconic lines make it not only memorable, but a film that becomes one of your favorites.

Yes I know, it's been out and a lot of folks have seen it. This is just a reminder that, if it was a GREAT movie in 1997, it is STILL a great one in 2017.

Thus endeth the lesson.....


Friday, August 11, 2017

GLEN CAMPBELL

With all the tributes for Glen Campbell coming forward since his passing, I went back and looked at what I wrote, after seeing the movie "I'll Be Me". 

If you don't know the film, it's the story of Glen Campbell's last concert tour. He was diagnosed with Alzheimer's before it started, but they decided to let the show go on and document the progression of his symptoms as a way to bring attention to this crippling and widespread affliction. 

What was expected to last 5 weeks went on for a year and a half! 

Yes, I have a reason to watch, since Mom is going through her own set of memory issues. It seems everyone afflicted has their own path to follow in dealing with brain-related disease. Some folks run down that path, and others have a slow stroll. 

I was interested in Glen's journey because I figure he had the best of the best care. He had a family that was involved, doctors that were motivated, and a subject that had unique abilities. I was even more interested in Mom's reaction to the ongoing challenges that everyone experienced. 

I was glad that Mom didn't see MY reaction, as the family told of their experiences leading up to the movie. It was heartbreaking hearing folks going through much the same things and more than I was. 


Unlike Glen, Mom doesn't have as much short-term memory issues, but hers is more Swiss-cheesed. She doesn't know my name but knows I am her son. She doesn't remember her husband's names, but she recalls the marriages. Her vocabulary is also being limited more and more, making conversation a struggle. She also isn't able to think things through, so if I ask her to get me a spoon, she might bring me the milk. 

For a while, I had hoped she would show improvement, but sadly, that has also been forgotten. The sadness of that reality is offset by the fact that, at least for now, she is the happiest she has ever been. I wish I could explain WHY, but I have no clue. 

So what was her reaction to the movie? 

She can't relate at all. 

She felt sorry for the man and what he had to deal with. No tears or deep feeling came out of her like came out of ME. This despite the similarities in her own symptoms. What differs in Mom is that there isn't much confusion. Maybe it's because I don't want her to deal with that struggle. There is no hostility, as she is a laughing, compassionate, and outgoing young lady. There is not many surprises as she likes the days to be very similar. A routine I think, helps folks in her condition maintain their sense of independence, in spite of the fact they have none. 

It would be nice to have my old Mom back. The one that I grew up with. The one that could have a real conversation. The one who had a tough life and overcame all the challenges. 

That would be greedy though, since she THESE are her good old days.... 






Monday, August 7, 2017

TUESDAY'S WITH MORRIE

This book came out in 1997 and many, many people (14,000,000 and counting!) have bought it for good reason. It's a great TRUE story. After 200 plus weeks on the New York Times best-sellers list, it certainly isn't a secret treasure I am sharing. And I HAVE shared! I can't count the number of copies I bought and gifted to someone I thought might benefit from it. It is, so far, my FAVORITE book and I decided to re-read it again. 

This is an easy page-turner, and can be done in one sitting. I can't guarantee you WON'T cry but.... 

There are so many good messages within the covers I won't list them all here. From marriage advice to death-advice, I am SURE anyone can find something to take from it and make a good life better or an unhappy life to turn around. 

My own opinion of what it offers? Taking responsibility for finding your happiness. It usually IS a choice. Taking bad luck and finding something positive to offset the crappy situation. It is also a great reminder that there are extraordinary people out there... maybe a few in YOUR life as well. 

If you look for them, you may be in for a pleasant surprise....







Sunday, August 6, 2017

SOLITAIRIALITY

Yes... I know I like to make up words.

This one fits the the mood lately though. Even with Mom around, my world seems so small and empty at times. I'm not complaining.

This time it IS a choice, unlike a couple I saw recently arguing in the car. He wanted out of the relationship, and she was begging him for more. She was all over him, trying to use her feminine ways to open up his mind to a different option... one that included her. I don't know how they ended up, but I can only remember how I reacted the last time someone didn't want to be bothered by my existence.

These are the kinds of moments in life that sometimes demand we withdraw and regroup. Moments like if someone goes away. If life is shattered by an event or person. If one's heart is broken by another's choices. There are MANY reasons, and for everyone dealing with the curves on the path of life, many GOOD reasons to step back and re-evaluate the current situation.

What that means to ME is that I won't reach out to people. It makes it easy to ease into the this temporary lifestyle because most of my interactions are initiated by ME. Without that push, the phone doesn't ring, the computer doesn't chirp, and the world gets very very quiet.

In my world at that moment, there is no re-evaluation, but a realization of the way things were.

I usually have enough sociality with folks that I don't feel lonely or isolated. A good conversation goes a  long way to making one feel a part of the human race. I have enough interests to ask questions of a stranger, but it gets harder when I would rather just walk alone on the moon.

For those that might think it sounds dull.... far from it!

When it's just you and your imagination, it may allow some of the best discussions to happen.

When you play a game, you are guaranteed to win.....and lose.

You can watch what you want on TV, listen to YOUR radio stations, and let your dishes pile up until you run out of plates.

I know myself by now that without reflection, I may make some rash and stupid choices. I need to make peace with how my world has changed (or NOT changed, like I wanted). I will eventually not feel like part of my soul was ripped out. I will eventually not get emotional thinking the "what-could-be's" have morphed into a "never be". I will eventually let the memories fade and be open to new ones that will replace them.

...it just won't be in a day.... or many days.

I hope that young lady accepted the situation and is dealing with it in a good, positive way. In the long run, he did her a HUGE favor by being honest and upfront. I hope she realizes it sooner rather than later. She will be able to look back and see what was right there but was blocked by her heart. There's something to be said for holding out hope of a good ending. It's what keeps us going through the hard times and puts a smile on our face at any moment it comes to mind.

Yet....

It's funny (not FUNNY!) to look back at all the times where, in the back of your mind, you just knew something wasn't quite right, but all you wanted to imagine was sunshine and daisies.. Most situations you can explain away in both positive and negative versions. When you are still hopeful of course you are going to think nothing but good thoughts. Hindsight allows you to throw away the version that was incorrect.

Hindsight also allows the healing to begin.

I don't know how to describe the feeling that, despite all the evidence to the contrary, one still thinks the situation will end happily ever after. I used to think back on the story of George Burns and Gracie Allen. It took George 3 years to convince Gracie that she should be with him and I guess he was right since it lasted 40 years. Unfortunately, that theory has never worked out for me! Haha

How can your heart still feel broken when it never really belonged or was wanted by the person you pined for?? Hindsight will allow us to see it clearly for what it was, not for what you wanted.

Luckily experience teaches you to react in different ways when you are older as opposed to when you were young and dumb. Hopefully it will be in a more positive way and not blaming anyone or anything for the awful conclusion.

There really isn't an explanation needed when someone decides you don't belong in their life. It's not going to help you feel any better. It's not going to make any more sense. It's not going to help you heal any faster. It's just an excuse for you to speak to them again and it just makes you look stupid. You aren't going to convince them otherwise. They already made the decision. Respect it and move on.

Most times, you will be able to look back years later and feel lucky you didn't get what you think you wanted. Not just because Garth wrote a song about it, but because it's true. There are reasons things do or don't happen, whether you want to hear them or see them doesn't matter... they still exist. A one-sided relationship will never work for both people as well as two people who deeply care for each other.

These are usually the facts -

All those times when you were thinking of that person, they probably weren't thinking of you at all.

All the images of the future that you had of the two of you together probably never entered the other person's mind ever.

The other person is probably ecstatic right now, while you wallow in misery.

The many excuses for not getting together were all the evidence you should have needed to make an adjustment in your feelings about that person.

Most people who care about you will find a reason to reach out or show up to see you. Those that don't care, will not.

"Bad timing" or "I'm just doing me" are code words for leave me alone. You are not the one. Move along.

It doesn't pay to get angry at someone because they don't care about you. If you find out about it soon enough it's actually a gift that you should appreciate and celebrate.

If you look back at past relationships, once the pain has gone away, you understand and agree, most of the time, with The Break-Up.

While it may seem hurtful, painful, and bleak at the time, I assure you this feeling won't continue once you look realistically at the way things were.

When you do finally find someone who feels similar to you as you feel for them, all these past hurts disappear. Memories fade and faces get erased.

It's okay to crawl in hole and disappear for a moment, so that you can have time to think and react to a new reality. What it shouldn't become is a lifestyle.

Contrary to regular guy theories, jumping back on that horse too soon will only expose your bad decision making processes while you are in the throes of healing. Once you can think clearly and without malice, it may be time to get back in the game.

Love is elusive when played alone.



Wednesday, August 2, 2017

JOB INTERVIEWS

I had the pleasure of taking a young man to a job interview the other day. He was dressed VERY well and was quiet, so I had to ask what's up. 

He was a finance guy and had experience. The only problem was, he was going to a place I KNEW would have MANY folks to choose from.How could he possibly stand out from the rest?

Being a hiring manager for years, and sitting through MANY interviews, I felt I could ask this eager and optimistic man  a few of the questions I KNEW would come his way - and give him an idea of how someone would react to his answers. 

I wanted to see how he exuded his confidence. Not everyone can or will. It doesn't mean THEY aren't, but if a less-than-observant interviewer doesn't pay attention, it could be lost. He gave the standard statements and in general, didn't stand out among a group of one. 

It's easy to forget that YOU are interviewing the COMPANY at the same time THEY are measuring YOU. Not EVERY company is a good fit. The atmosphere may or may not be one you can thrive in. If you are just looking for a paycheck, a few good questions can bring that out and end your discussion early. NO ONE wants a person around that just puts in the time. 

So why are you there? 

Have you checked out the Company? Had a conversation with anyone that works there? Know who is in charge and what kind of leader they are? Even if you have the answers, these are the kinds of questions to ask.

What can you do better than most? Did you improve anything at your past employment?  Why should they hire YOU instead of the other 100 applicants? What makes you move beyond a faceless name on a piece of paper to memorable and desirable? 

What future do you see for yourself? Is this job change a part of that? Now is the time to start in the direction of your dreams and desires. If you wait till tomorrow, it will ALWAYS be a day away. 

Are you ready for the standard industry questions that you KNOW will come your way? Do you have a GOOD, HONEST answer ready or will you say the same thing the last 10 people that sat in the chair said? 

The job market has ALWAYS been competitive. Knowing someone always helps, but if you don't, what can you do when computer scans have taken the place of flesh and blood human beings? Obviously you need a resume that includes all the buzzwords applicable to your business. 

Once you get facetime with someone, the odds CAN increase in your favor, if you make the effort to be memorable. I hope the young man I met did...


Monday, July 31, 2017

GOODBYE JULY

Another month goes by, but this time I felt reflective....

During the month I found myself -

withdrawing from social media. No reason to blame, just felt like my "isolation time" has begun again. With Mom around, I get very little, so I am not surprised I feel like I need some alone time. 

grumpy... and again, no good reason. My moods in the past would sometimes overwhelm my senses, but that hasn't happened in a long time. I can look back and realize what is happening and deal with it. Even my less-than-stellar outlook during the month I can recognize and make the needed adjustments so Mom doesn't have to be exposed to my blueseyness. 

able to keep Mom happy with less effort than in the recent past. Maybe it had to do with my unhappiness, and seeing how much joy Mom finds in the simple things. Maybe she just reminds me that life at the moment is more about HER than me. Maybe it helps that she doesn't remember my corny jokes and they are fresh every time. 

reading again and liking it. Like most things in my life, I have to have a certain mindset to do things.... like reading. I have a LOT of books yet to be read so no need to go shopping.... The one I am onto now -  a William Shatner autobiography. It's. Good. So. Far. 

working on the truck is still fun, despite the colorful words that were clearly needed to complete the job at hand. If you never hung around a bunch of guys that are working on something mechanical, be prepared to relearn the English language... or just imagine talking in real-life like most comedians talk at work. 

appreciating nature, and actually watching on purpose. More than once I took the time to pay attention and appreciate the sounds and sights of mother nature and her fantastic animal kingdom. From birds to polar bears (OK, I MIGHT not have actually SEEN polar bears, but I watched some videos!) I was smiling as I observed the world around me. 

still wishing the Powerball and MegaMillions people would FINALLY pick the RIGHT numbers... but also comfortable in the idea of NOT playing anymore... NEXT week. Is it greedy to want to win BOTH in the same week??? 

not wanting summer to end. No need to explain THAT one right??? 

Will August be much different??? Stay tuned and find out! 


Wednesday, July 19, 2017

MARCH 8

Tomorrow (as I write this on March 7th) is Mom's 74th birthday, but it will be one of the first ones she has no recollection about. No concept of celebrations, aging, or even time itself. It doesn't sound so bad after all right? 

I've been fighting myself for weeks now, sensing I am on edge a bit, slightly out of sorts, or just plain grumpy. There might be a lot of reasons for that. There has been some setbacks on the timeline I had with the travel plans for the coming spring/summer. There is still a void in my romantical department, which got downsized from a department to an empty folder hidden away in the closet. There has been a struggle in my mind with Mom because of her relentless slide towards nothingness. Communication has gotten to be a chore. Things she could do seemingly weeks ago are now lost. She has noticed a few times that I wore down my patience and she simply stated "You don't like me anymore"..... I can't imagine a worse feeling than knowing that I wasn't strong enough or smart enough to keep my emotions in check while she is right in front of me. I only see the "bad" son in the mirror at THOSE times...

Then I get a message from a friend like "My mom just turned 80 and seeing all the things you do for your mom touches my heart and makes me want to be a better son you are a inspiration to a lot of people . I share your story and journey with people at church your mom is blessed to have you as a son and i am blessed to call you friend"

I read this to Mom and had a hard time not getting choked up. I don't think because I wanted to HEAR it, but I aspire to be a good son and a good friend. I know I fall short too often on both counts, yet I hold out hope for a better me. She only sees me as "good", but then again, she calls EVERYBODY good! hahahaha

I had a dream the other night that was surreal. It was of a forgettable situation that was interrupted by a call out for help. I awoke instantly and listened closely. It was 2:30 in the morning and all was quiet. Was that Mom calling out? Was she ok? I had to check.....

Of course, she was asleep, but in checking on her, she opened her eyes and smiled. I knew right then it was just a dream and went back to bed, hoping to stop shaking, hoping to stop the thoughts of Mom needing the kind of help that no one can give her. It was an uneasy morning.


Like any challenging ordeal, there IS a bright side that I constantly remind myself, sometimes aloud. If Mom was her normal old self, we WOULDN'T be spending so much time together. I would be working and she would be doing something to use up the time I was away. She wouldn't need me to cook, do the laundry, or even wash her hair. While at times that sounds like my version of heaven, mostly I appreciate the closeness we continue to have. She may unknowingly stand in the way of a so-called normal life for me, but she ALSO allows me to do what many many kids can't do.... see the joy in a Mother's eyes at the smallest of things. Not just every now and then, but OFTEN.

And THAT is what gets me through.

I don't know what I will be writing a year from now. I've written a few times about her [here] and re-reading it brings me to tears. I try and not think about the day she will no longer be the light of my day. The day she may quit speaking at all. The day she doesn't know she has a son. The day she no longer takes a breath. It's the natural cycle of life yet I cannot accept it yet because I feel like her life is not yet balanced. She has so much happiness to catch up on it will take years.... and I will be right there to help with whatever she needs.

I just hope that I can bring a smile to her face, even if the words to explain it are gone.




Saturday, July 8, 2017

PERSPECTIVE

I was feeling a little bluesy lately. I couldn't blame any one thing or any one person, but I had very little enthusiasm for most things. I couldn't blame the rain, or Mom or anything. Then I got a message that put things in perspective - someone who I met while Ubering and tried to help had passed away.

Her name was Beatrice and she was one of the nice people you hear so little about. She worked more than one job for years. She had been undergoing chemotherapy and it wasn't easy for her. Her family wasn't close and she liked it that way. She had worked hard in her life and had just retired and was hoping to enjoy her free time to travel and do whatever she enjoyed.

Here is the type of lady she was. In our talks on the way to her treatments, we got to know a bit of each other's life. Once she heard about Mom (and met her a few times), she mentioned that once her illness had been dealt with, Mom could come and stay with her so I could have some time free to do as I wanted. She was THAT kind of lady.

 I offered many times to help with whatever she needed, if it was household chores or just an ear to listen, yet it took months before she mentioned anything at all. I was more than happy to help this compassionate woman any way I could. I felt humbled that this independent, strong, and proud woman would allow me the pleasure to assist in some small way. It is hard to imagine that she is gone so soon.

She had so much to look forward to and we all need a good soul to touch our lives. I hope she found the peace and freedom of pain she so deserved. I won't soon forget her....


I don't need reminders of how lucky I am or how I should always be happy about everything. The one thing I have learned about myself is that I see deeply. I think deeply. And my emotions run deeply as well. The downside is it takes a moment to spring back when the down-times occur. This time I give full credit to Beatrice for wanting to be happier, but the world would be a better place with her still in it.


Wednesday, July 5, 2017

KNOWING WHEN TO STOP

Yes I know.

The title flies in the face of every "never give up" meme ever created. While it's true that the wildly successful folks have a determination the rest of us envy, there comes a time when each of us is faced with a choice - continue to frustrate ourselves with effort that is not rewarded OR decide that more attention to the particular challenge that eludes us will NOT result in any change so you move on.

The seeds of this posting was planted months ago by a student that opened up about his girl problems. He had recently been dismissed by his now-ex, and was having trouble dealing with the lingering sadness. I asked plenty of questions, hoping that his answers would open his eyes to the new reality he is trying to avoid. That DIDN'T exactly happen so we talked some more about life and choices. I tried to give him a glimpse of what the current situation was from my perspective and also added some of my own experiences with being dumped on. He left with a weak smile and I hope his intelligence wins out over his emotions.

We all have had episodes where the person of our dreams wasn't seeing us in theirs. it's probably the most common tale of dating.... they don't feel like WE do. it's not sad, tragic, or even bad. Like I explained to the young man, it's a gift if we find out EARLY in a relationship and not after YEARS of pretending. The person (and pain!) will soon be forgotten and life continues on a path we couldn't have imagined when they were the object of our desires.

This idea of waving the white flag can be used in so many different situations as well. When we dream of money, or celebrity. When we wish for the "perfect" life. When we pray for things out of our grasp or capabilities. That's not to say we can't still HOPE, but if it affects your life in such a way that it prevents you from moving forward, beyond your realities, then it's time to get acquainted with the person looking back from the mirror.

There's MANY reasons for unhappiness, and many more that we have no power to change. Why waste time or energy reacting to those we can't influence? The hardest realization for me was admitting I WASN'T who I wanted to be. It is truly a sobering thought that sometimes we reach our limits and we can go no further. The happy souls might keep trying but with an outlook of positive thoughts and a sunny future, despite the failures.

I doubt that the "time to move on" is the same for everyone. The key is to NOT regret trying. Give all you can and if it doesn't work out, you did all you could and your heart will accept that. Trust me. No excuses will be needed if we must turn around and walk away. The decisions we make should also be done with this in mind. There should be NO REGRET in doing what we do. If you feel like what you are thinking of doing will be wrong or embarrassing, then don't do it! Our gut-feeling is there for a reason.

We can do a LOT to change our life. We ARE the masters of our universe. Until we make someone or something mean MORE to us than our own happiness. That will usually have predictable (BAD!) results, especially if we are blind during the journey to the end....

You are worthy of much more than that.










Wednesday, June 28, 2017

RAISE THE MINIMUM WAGE?

On a FB page today, the question was "Should PA raise the minimum wage to $12 an hour?" 

https://www.facebook.com/fox43news/posts/10155532309758331?comment_id=10155534501608331&notif_t=feed_comment_reply&notif_id=1498702407670997 

As usual, the comments were the most interesting part of it.... Some were positive but the majority had a less-then-compassionate tone. The reality is, Government has let the business world do what it wants and I think most would agree, the country is NOT better off than it was BEFORE this all started over 30 years ago.

People complain about the "kids" that are lazy or entitled. I hate to hear that. Especially since it was MY generation that has let them down. Imagine a world where you don't have the opportunities your parents (or Grandparents!) had at the same age. Imagine the older generation looking down at you with a resentful tone. Imagine if you want further education it will cost a FAR GREATER percentage of income to pay than ever before. This is a problem, that will continue to burden everyone until it's fixed.

The arguments AGAINST the adjustments make me laugh. Someone hears a line or two on the news or on the net and all of a sudden, its part of THEIR vocabulary. "those jobs weren't meant to raise a family on" is straight from a Republican's lips. I'm not a Democrat either, yet its obvious to me that we have an economic-disconnect in our country. Those that are comfortable don't accept that others are not and blame only the person struggling. There are MANY reasons folks aren't working better-paying careers. Its not a simple problem and definitely NOT a simple solution.

http://www.pennlive.com/politics/index.ssf/2016/11/it_pays_more_to_be_a_pa_state.html


The key words to ME was "annual pay raises" ..... If Congress feels the "need" to make an extra $1000 a year when they ALREADY don't earn the $90 plus thousand they are paid, then maybe we should tie THEIR pay to the min wage.....

 The only FACT most of us realize is that the 1% is winning the war against everyone else, despite the HUGE disparity in the number of them vs the 99%. Once we do something about THAT we can ALL start winning again...

 https://www.google.com/amp/s/mobile.nytimes.com/2017/06/26/business/economy/seattle-minimum-wage.amp.html 

 The best comment on THIS article to me was from a restaurant owner - no one she knows has STOPPED hiring because of the minimum wage increase. The takeaway I get from it is that FEW folks can find a measurable, definable, and indisputable bit of evidence either way.

Doesn't THAT speak volumes?


Monday, June 26, 2017

I'M A LUCKY GUY

There are some days when I have to be reminded that I am a very lucky guy. This one didn't start off all that bad. 

The weather report called for a perfect day. Few clouds, low humidity, and temps in the high 70's. It was nice enough that laundry was on the "must-do" list. Not only does it get the dirty clothes clean, it enables Mom to help in a way she still can. She hangs all the wet clothes out on the line. She doesn't do it as fast or as good as she used to, but she still can. I know it makes her feel better when she can genuinely pitch in. 

While she stayed busy after I made her breakfast, I did some Ubering. Mondays have not been a busy one lately but this was a good one. We reached our goal for the day before 3, but Mom felt a little left out. 

After I made her dinner I asked if she wanted to go for a ride. She got a big ole smile on her face and said "Let's Go!" It was then that the reminder kicked in. 

Although by all indications it was a good Monday, I WASN'T having one. Despite (or BECAUSE OF) the cool riders I had, my mind wanted to drift to the Blues. I've been bothered by the smallest things lately. Today was even worse. Contrary to popular belief, this lifestyle I'm leading is NOT my first choice. I make the best of it most days, but the past few have been rough. 

I couldn't put my finger on just one thing, but when the mood strikes, it doesn't matter if it makes sense or not. It makes a challenge of smiling through it. I had hoped for a few good things but it seemed none had come through. As I was feeling sorry for myself, the grouch in me wanted to take over. I can usually recognize this and do something about it, but not on this day. 

It was about that time when I saw Mom's extra-big smile because of the coming drive. All the "woe is me" melted away and a smile came to my own face as I knew what had just happened. The selfishness and foolishness that occupied my mind had been beaten down by a simple show of happiness on my Mother's face. 


We drove around the countryside and stopped for pictures in many places. We saw enough cows and horses to make her happy, then she tolerated my constant search for a good spot to pull over. What a fun way to spend an evening! 

Not everyone is able have a Mom around to do that for them.  Although she is not the same "Helga" that raised me, her joyous soul helps me to not fall in to the dark pit of despair. 

How did I ever deserve to be so lucky.... 



Friday, June 23, 2017

FRIDAY

Well.... it's Friday and we took off. Was there a really exciting or logical reason? No. The weather was a factor. Storms are called for. Yuk. We had a good week going and will not miss the couple of bucks we would earn today, soooooo... OFF we are!

Mom stayed busy doing the obsessive/compulsive thing and I got on the computer to do an update to my blog tracking (passed 35,000 visits this month) and to print off a bunch of the posts for my Aunt. She started to read the ones I had printed in the past, so I had to catch up the ones I haven't put on paper. I enjoy hearing what she has to say about what I had to say.

Although she is in a facility to better care for her medical challenges, I know life goes on for her and want to be a part of her entertainment. Of course it makes one think of the possibility of being in the same situation in the future, or at least remembering that this is what I am trying to avoid for Mom. Not that it is all bad. I think when my Aunt gets some of her health back, she will be a positive influence on many others there. That is just the kind of person she always has been. When Mom and I needed a friend in the family, she was always there. The kids that she and my Uncle raised have been some of the best people I have ever met. Good people that I am proud to be related to. I only wish they could say the same! hahaha

My mind has been swimming with so many different thoughts.

The Uber driving we do to save for the next vacation is a bit slow if we just stay around town, so we have expanded our area a bit. We still meet cool people and still can make enough to make it worthwhile, but I have to admit some of the fun has gone out of it. With Mom falling asleep at a moments notice in the car, I wonder just how much fun she is having. The whole point was for her to ENJOY the short trips.

I have renewed hopes for ending my single life. Not by jumping off a cliff or bathing with a toaster either! I believe if I make a real effort, I can change the "current situation" to one that is what me and a significant other will want. Time will tell, and maybe I will too... of course SHE will have a hand in deciding my fate as well. Wish me luck!

I have had good luck in finding the silver lining in just about everything (except that daggon squirrel in the garage!!!!!). When I just called the radio station for tickets to a show, I DIDN'T get a busy signal. I actually GOT THRU! I wasn't caller 6 but it was still a positive. I had to recently fix the truck right before a long trip. I felt VERY fortunate in being able to do it at home in my own garage and not sitting along a lonely stretch of highway. I passed a test that had me taking it 3 times to complete. At least I passed!

Life has been good enough to not to complain. Mom has had her moments but she gets over them pretty quickly. I have had children on my mind lately, as in MY OWN. While I don't have any at the moment, EVERYONE tells me it isn't too late (except a guy friend who thinks I am CRAZY for thinking that). I felt for a while that if it happens it will be fantastic, but if it doesn't life will STILL be fantastical, just in a different way. For some reason, I am re-reading my "children" topics [here] and specifically a post called "Babies" that recalled a particularly strong emotion and reaction to the thoughts I have now. Have I been trying to fool myself into thinking it wasn't something I wanted? I don't know but if I am in bliss with a special lady and she feels the same.... Hmmmmm....

I have been guilty of not posting here regularly. When I see the past years, I noticed many times I posted NOTHING in a month's time. I haven't missed any THIS year so I wanted to keep the streak alive. The pile of topics I have is deep but the enthusiasm to actually sit down and WRITE is a different story. I MUST try harder since I get so much out of it.

Anything else?

Nope. The real possibility of NOT driving to Cali is setting in. The dislike I have for political crap online is growing. The fact I made a Dr appt for myself is not only unusual but questionable.... but I'll leave that for another post.






Monday, May 1, 2017

LOVE AND LIFE

In a recent posting, I talked about things missing in my life. While accurate, I wonder about my life, my happiness, and the role anyone else could have in it.

Before I get to that, I MUST mention this new direction I have taken with writing.... not promoting it and not aspiring to be a great motivator for anyone other than ME.

This has caused great relief in that space most people have a brain residing. I won't actually admit to HAVING one of those but there's always hope of a transplant, right? By releasing the disappointment of being wildly UNsuccessful, I can refocus on what is REALLY cool for me... entertaining myself. When I read these postings at a later date, I sit there like a fool with a big smile on my face. Even if no one likes the end result, I am content in my value.

This will cause me to change a few priorities no doubt.

Publishing a book seems a bit silly now. Sharing my thoughts with a new stranger seems less important, although I will. Almost 40,000 views later, there MUST be some redeeming quality to my words. The pile of stories I want to write about seem less daunting, so I might start fleshing them out and putting them here, chapter by chapter. I also have flashes of NEW topics that I now can feel free to share with myself, so without further delay....

I was watching one of my FAVORITE movies (Belle as mentioned about [here] and the not-so-revolutionary concept of  "a life without love is horrific" posed a few new questions. As an untrained and unlicensed unclinical psychologist, I wanted to look deeper into that part of my life. I came to some conclusions....

Without the deeply personal relationship someone of the opposite sex brings, I probably try and compensate with love of OTHER parts of my reality. My truck, my movies, and my dreams. While on the most basic levels it DOES help somewhat, I can see the shortcomings. I equate it to a heroin addict replacing the strong drug with Red Bulls. It may work a few times. Eventually, it will be inadequate. I guess I am at the "inadequate" stage. What to do?

I certainly can't snap my fingers and have Jeannie appear to make things all better. Wait...... OK.... it DIDN'T work. Just making sure!

While some folks get a little looser with the requirements of companionship, I have gotten more extreme. Extreme as in disqualifying almost EVERY person I come across. It's prolly better for now. I am clearly NOT going to be a huge asset to most people, while my attention is fully on Mom and her happiness. We all know that it is better to be alone than with that UNspecial someone. It doesn't make the emptiness easier to deal with though.

Mom has a place in my heart OBVIOUSLY, but the affection towards HER is FAR different than that of a girlfriend. Much of the joy I have while with her is seeing HER smiling and enjoying the day. Nice, but short-lived and not very satisfying to my restless singledom.

Movies provide one outlet for the emotions to pour out. A good cry from a happy or sad story is a prescription for almost everyone. Expressing ANY emotion has a positive affect on your attitude. Living temporarily in someone else's life makes your own issues disappear, even if only for a few minutes. Unfortunately, this only lasts till the next day so I get to feel my underwhelming self too soon!

I have less tolerance for foolishness in EVERY area of life at the moment. From driving around among stupidos to reading about yet another human failing, I get to the place of losing faith in humanity as a whole. It's NOT a good place to be. I have less enthusiasm for ANYTHING and have a difficult time imagining a better reality. Sounds depressing doesn't it?

To counter that, I will write.... I will smile.... I will ask a lot of questions to strangers I meet and hope. Hope for Mom to have a great day. Hope to have love introduce itself to me once again. Hope that when it DOES, the OTHER person will feel the same. And hope every one of the souls that feel this overwhelming darkness and despair that can come over them, will realize it's just visiting..... it won't stay... it WILL go away.... Just maybe not today.....



Sunday, April 30, 2017

UPDATE ON MOM'S ONGOING CHALLENGES

As Mom's world shrinks around her, I am drawn into it as well. Her limitations keep growing, so I am having to do more as time moves on. When she first moved in, she couldn't cook but could be counted on to do things like make herself breakfast, know what the items were in the cupboards, and have an almost regular conversation. At THIS time, none of that is possible.

She has regressed enough to make me limit what I do away from her, even in the next room. She no longer understands most things, but continues to smile and stay happy. How can I complain about THAT???

It's been difficult to find her things to do. She has always been able to do the dishes, she still obsesses on the trash, and now that nice weather has come around, she hangs the laundry. I notice that it takes her three times longer than it did in the past, but I watch and make sure she isn't overdoing it. That's pretty much the list. She won't watch TV for a long period of time. She always wants to HELP but there is not much she can truly help with.

Some of the biggest challenges lately have been finding a way past the "upsetting" times. They don't happen often, but more frequently. The latest episode was the series of losing things. She would put them down or leave them in a pocket and then not know where to find them. Keys were the most common, since she has her own. She searched all over and got so upset tears started coming out. What could I do but let her know it was no big deal and help her look. I eventually found them after the FOURTH time they got misplaced over the weekend. I am debating what to do next with them. Should I just not tell her I found them and we move on without, or do I put a giant something on the key ring so she can't lose it so easily?? I'll think on it some more...

Since I have the opportunity to see her thought process daily, I realize she is a completely different person now, though one full of compassion, love, and appreciation for the simple things...and WALKER TEXAS RANGER. I miss the Mom that is only in my memories. I miss those times we would talk of the past. I miss those times she spoke of her family, and of her childhood. I miss so much, yet see a woman who continues to find joy in her life and with me.

How did I get so lucky?