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Of Politics, Sports and Sex

OK, so there won't be a LOT on here about sex, but tell the truth, that's most of the reason you entered this site, right? So, I'll slip some things in from time to time just to keep you coming...back.

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Thursday, October 12, 2017

A sense of where I am

They tell us that as we get older, our sight diminishes. Then why do I feel like I see so many more things than I did when I was a boy? The colors, the shadows, the souls of those I love and particularly those I don't.

They tell us that as we get older, our sense of smell diminishes. Then why do I feel like I seem to enjoy the smells of so many more things than I did when I was a boy? The flowers, the honeysuckle and Cheryl's amazing meals cooking on the stove?

They tell us that as we get older, our sense of taste diminishes. Then why do I feel like I seem to enjoy the taste of so many more things than I did when I was a boy? Tastes dramatic and slight, foods exotic and familiar.

They tell us that as we get older, our hearing diminishes. Then why do I feel like I seem to enjoy the sounds of so many more things than I did when I was a boy? The giggling of children, the cutting of a skate blade on ice, the wind blowing through the trees and their leaves gently settling down on the ground.

They tell us that as we get older our senses erode. But I feel like I have a better sense of the glory of all that surrounds me, of how wonderfully lucky I am, the value of the incredible people in my life - friends and family, than I ever have. I value the sounds of silence as much as I do the joy in the voices around me; the sight of a beautiful woman as much as I do the changing colors of the leaves this month; the taste of a good cheesesteak and the subtle seasoning of a pile of truffle fries; and even the touch of or by a fellow human, whether in the throes of passion or a gentle touch on the arm.

Ain't life grand?

Tuesday, October 3, 2017

Thoughts of Pain and Joy

Somehow, given what happened in Las Vegas Sunday night, it just doesn't seem right to post anything here that doesn't in some way speak to it. Events like that usually take a while to hit me fully. At first when I heard what happened, I had the usual thoughts of "Oh no, not again." And I watched maybe 10 minutes of coverage to get the overall sense of what happened, but then found myself annoyed that my favorite morning show - Morning Joe - had been taken over with this story.

But then, as yesterday wore on, I found myself getting sadder and sadder, just past melancholy (sounds somewhat appropriately like a country music song title).

It's been a bad month or so lately:

- multiple massive hurricanes
- an equally devastating earthquake
- the sudden death of Ted, our good friend of 45ish years, his memorial service/celebration the day before the Las Vegas shooting
- my seeming to too often upset people I love without my always understanding how or why or certainly, intention
- and also sometimes being upset by people in my life, mostly just because I'm too damn sensitive

And now this awful shooting spree. It's hard to know whether to try to look past these things and focus on the many good and positives things in my life and in the world, or whether to stop and feel the pain of those impacted, honoring and validating their losses. And try to do what we can to either help alleviate their pain, or to do what we can to keep them from happening again.

I guess I'll just try to do my best to do all of the above. 

When I got home last night, I had planned to have a drink with Cheryl down by the pool to process all sorts of thoughts about these and many things. But instead I was surprised almost immediately by my awesome niece, Becca and her dad Richard who were here for our friend's life celebration and who I thought had already left.

And so, we all spent the evening in each others' company - Cheryl, me, Becca, Richard, Laurie, our recently deceased friend Ted's son Beau and his girlfriend and a variety of others.

And I am reminded of the value and importance and primacy of the need to surround ourselves with those we love as frequently as possible. And feel the pain, and laugh and revel in our joys, and try to do better every single day.

Friday, September 29, 2017

Here's some advice: Don't take advice

I was talking with a young friend and co-worker today, let's call her Monica, because, well, you know, about us middle-aged guys giving advice to younger people. I was telling her that I've often thought about starting a website called (Hey - still available for just $3495!), which would consist entirely of, well, aphorisms, gathered from anyone who wanted to submit a lesson learned or advice on various subjects that always seems to fit certain situations. Or maybe I should call it That one seems available for nuthin!

And in reply to my idea, Monica said, "But do you ever really learn from taking advice? Isn't it better to learn something on your own than to just take someone's advice?"

I loved her observation so much, I told her I would make sure to add it to the website.

(Dang - now I can't get the Magilla Gorilla theme song out of my head.)

Thursday, September 28, 2017

Maybe not every boys' dream, but mine dammit

Hugh Hefner died yesterday. I see where he was quoted in 1967 in Time magazine as saying: 

‘I’m living a grown-up version of a boy’s dream, turning life into a celebration.’

Me too, Hugh, me too.  In his case, he had everything to do with that. In my life, Cheryl and all our amazing kids and my friends and extended family are totally responsible. 

And even though one can argue that he had way more than I ever did or will, I had the more important thing - a life filled with love and easy trust of the people around me.

Tuesday, September 26, 2017

Of course there are times Cheryl and I are alone together when I'd prefer they maybe weren't with us just then

A few weeks back, a 90+ year-old friend, let's call him Gerry, since that's his name, rose to speak in (Quaker) Meeting to say that he had read an obituary recently where it said that the deceased had gone to be with the Lord, leading Gerry to wonder why the Lord hadn't been with the fellow before he died too.

I told Gerry that of all his messages I'd heard him share in Meeting over the past 60 years, that was my favorite.

I have a similar question. Why, when someone dies, do we say that the person " no longer with us?" In some ways, my Mom and Dad are with me more now than they were when they were alive.

And I suppose by some measure they are still alive too, if only in my heart.

Thursday, September 21, 2017

Wednesday, September 20, 2017

Alternative alternatives

I guess I first realized I was out of touch with the country's mainstream views back in the late 1960's when I was 12 years old and I realized that people who watched Hee Haw actually laughed at the show while I laughed at anyone who did.

As time goes by, I think I am getting even further out of the mainstream. For instance, on these topics, I don't think my view is the same as either the left or the right:

Confederate statues - If I were a Southerner, I wouldn't be leading the fights to keep them up, I'd want to have them taken down from the embarrassment of what they mean. As a Northerner, I can see an argument for wanting them to stay up to show people exactly the kind of racist, subhuman mindset that thought owning other human beings for your own economic benefit was just or moral by any definition or rationalization. And maybe selfishly, I might want them to stay up to remind those knuckleheads that we won, dammit, and that Good won over Evil.

Colin Kaepernick - When I see him protesting during the anthem, if I were a military member, I would take pride that the causes I put my life on the line to protect were there in all their glory, like the right to free speech, including protesting one's government, which would get people killed or thrown in jail in much of the world.

Sports teams named after Native American Indians - Given the way Indians have been treated since the day we Euros arrived on these lands, we have treated them even worse than African Americans in many regards. To name the groups many of us most revere - our sports teams - after Indians could be seen as a high honor, keeping the memory of their history alive, when most people choose to ignore them. That said, words do have meanings and a name like "Redskin" needs to be changed.

Monday, September 18, 2017

Maybe older, but still mahvelous

At a certain, age, losing weight makes one feel younger and look older.

It's worth it, no matter what Fernando Lamas thinks.

Thursday, September 14, 2017

Of Emma Watson's boobs (semi-clickbait if there weren't enough Emma Watson and boob references in the post already)

A facebook friend of mine, and a former high school big-time crush, let's called her Selden...since that's her name...recently posted this column on her page from Huffington Post...

(Inserting gratuitous Emma Watson Vanity Fair pic here. Hey it's in the HuffPo story too!)

...and asked the question on FB: "Would love to hear thoughts from my women friends, young and old, on this article. Is baring your boobs consistent with feminism?"

...and the first response to her q was this:

This is a really interesting question - I think I have sort of noticed two completely different strains of feminism: for simplicity's sake I'll call them American and European. European feminism is about women owning themselves completely, including their sexuality and the power that their sexuality, and other peoples' response to it, gives them. There was an excellent essay by a Swedish model who came to the United States - I'll try to find it and share it. On the other hand, the American version of feminism seems to be primarily about asserting women's absolute equality - almost to the point of non-differentiation - with men, and which looks severely askance on women who use their "feminine charms" as an asset, if you will, to shape the world around them. What do you think?

And Selden responded:

I think I always bought into the American version, believing in absolute equality, and also feeling that if you didn't want to be objectified by men, you shouldn't dress in a way that flaunts your sexuality. But I find this article to be intriguing and leads me to re-think things a bit. The idea that women should have freedom to be whoever they want to be, whether it's being a sexual being, or something else, makes some sense.

And this is what I soon added, even though I didn't qualify to answer, not being of the societally-defined feminine variety:

This is a topic I've thought a lot about, actually, and not JUST in terms of Emma Watson's underboobs. And it fascinates me. I think women just have about a 10% idea of just how much power they have and how superior they are to men in every way except physical strength. I know that isn't the point here, but it is part of it. There is nothing wrong with femininity! Well, except how hard it is to spell. It can be a tool of power...or not. It bugs me that people still see it in any negative way. Or that only women can embrace it. I showed someone that just for fun once with my wife, we painted my toenails a pretty bold red and the person said "You are obviously so secure in your masculinity" to which I said "Wouldn't it be cool if one could say that I was secure in or proud of my femininity?" And isn't a shame that until I wrote this just now, I was embarrassed to let anyone else know that we'd done that? I kept my toes covered for weeks, not wanting to remove the polish, until I finally took the time to take it off. Thanks for asking, Selden, and I loved your input too, Deirdre. Very interesting.

(Not mine unfortunately)

My fear is that by saying that "...femininity as a tool of power...seems manipulative and dishonest" is seeing femininity as a weakness of some kind. If one dives deep, I see it as saying that there is something wrong with using all of one's gifts, whether they be intelligence or sense of humor...or physical attractiveness. I see nothing negative in using one's physical gifts as readily as using any other gift. Male privilege certainly draws from size. Taller people certainly have an advantage over short people. Studies show that kindergarten teachers give more attention to their best looking students. Not saying those things are right, but it will never change, so when women don't generally have the advantage of being as physically imposing as a man, isn't it fair to use their own God-given attributes?

I am semi-obviously a big fan/defender/supporter of femininity and I'll be sad if any trend toward total androgyny continues to grow. And I also wonder if women are embarrassed or unaware or ashamed of this power they have...which only keeps them from achieving the power and equality they incredibly still don't have on a par with we inferior quasi-masculine-types. 

But in general, as my sister Judy once said about men and women, though I'll expand it to masculinity and femininity:

Vive le difference! 

Wednesday, September 13, 2017

Why do we care if there is a God? 

The more I think about a possible answer, the less I care if there is one.

Tuesday, September 12, 2017

Or maybe they are the ones who listen and tell us what a dumb story it was

I wonder how often we tell stories that are more fun to tell than they are to listen to?

Our best friends are the ones who listen and laugh anyway. 

Monday, September 11, 2017

On the other hand, they might see a marketing opportunity for increased business from Trump voters

Somehow, an incredible 64,600 read my last post of 2016. (Yet in this blog's entire history, only 157,800 people have ever viewed any page of the entire blog.) I'm not sure why it was read 64,600 times, and I'm even less sure how it was that that many came across it, but seizing on such momentum in order to maximize my distinct and oh-so-valuable literary contributions to the world, I have made exactly one post in the 10 months since then, a post read by exactly 35 people.

So back at it this week then, with what I hope will be a series of posts coming from notes I've taken, often after a beer or three that I've memo-ed to myself into my phone, usually while down on our pool patio late into the evening while amongst friends, that will hopefully still make sense when I read them again fully sober. If not, I'll post them anyway, in case anyone chooses to read them after they've had enough beverages that maybe makes them more understandable. More understandable that is, than those last few sentences.

So my first post-worthy observation is simply this:

I wonder if the PTBs (powers that be) at the company Big Lots have mandated that every store manager, as his or her very first priority every morning when they come into work, check to make sure that the letter L hasn't fallen off their store sign during the night:

Thursday, June 1, 2017

And maybe this thought is God's way of getting me to stop posting anything else

News Item:

"God Will ‘Take Care Of’ Climate Change If It Exists.”

Republican candidate Rep. Tim Walberg told a constituent last week that God can solve the problem of climate change if the global phenomenon truly exists:

"As a Christian, I believe that there is a creator in God who is much bigger than us. And I’m confident that, if there’s a real problem, he can take care of it.”
Makes me wonder if there are any religious fundamentalists who think that the increased visibility and acceptance of homosexuality is God's way of addressing world population overcrowding concerns.

OK, maybe not worthy of my first post in 6 months, but I had to post something to break the logjam.