Friday, February 1, 2008

A Day in the Life

I have been struggling with trying to find something to blog about. I've come to the inescapable conclusion that I just don't have anything to offer right now! I thought I might do a few meme's that I've been tagged with (some as far back as the first week in December!), but I'm coming up blank. In fact, Vee at A Haven for Vee tagged me way back on December 5th, I think, as did Lynne at Lynne's Little Corner. More recently, Jennifer at Dust Bunny Hostage tagged me for a "Give 7 Random Facts About Yourself" meme. Here's the problem, though. I blab so much on this blog that there's just nothing that I can tell you that you don't already know. Seven things is a lot! Really. I mean, I could mention that I watch MXC at night, but that might not mean much to some of you. And for those of you who know what MXC is, well heck...I'm hanging my head in shame that I've exposed that particular secret about myself (she said, blushing furiously). For you higher class folks who don't know what MXC is, let me just assure that it's nothing you should concern yourself about. In fact, forget I mentioned it, okie-doke? I could talk about the fact that I have 6 toes on my left foot, but why would I? First of all, that's just freaky and second of all, it's not even true. I only bring it up because I almost did put it on the list because I just couldn't come up with anything else. (Hey, desperate people can and will make things up and/or lie, you know!) The truth of the matter is, I'm in a boring phase of my life. I'm rather hoping it's just a phase anyway, and not an actual lifestyle. Take today, for example. What'd I do? I went shopping. First I met Randey for lunch. Okay, so I met him for lunch because I needed to switch cars with him...I had that stupid, loud Dakota truck that he loves so much. I hate driving that thing. He had those "Flowmaster" mufflers (or whatever you call them) put on it so now it sounds like something a 16 year old boy would drive. I swear, I get in it, start it up and people turn around to see what young, punk whippersnapper is polluting their air with all that noise and they see me...a rather robust figured, 40+ year old woman trying to scrunch way down in the seat so nobody will see who's actually driving the beast. Anywho, I called Randey and arranged to meet him for lunch (which, as it turns out, may have been a waste of time. I say that because this evening, when Randey went back for seconds after dinner and I said something about it, he said he was starving, having not eaten lunch that day. What the flip? He can't remember dining with his wonderful wife a mere 6 hours earlier? But that's another story. I'll not dwell on it at this time....). So...we switched vehicles and I was off to shop. Why? Because I just didn't have anything better to do. I went to Marshall's, bought Kara another outfit (that kid's going to have a fuller wardrobe than the Queen of England and she's three months away from birth still!). I also found Maddy Moose the most wonderful faux fur blanket. It's furry on one side and velvety on the other. And it's WHITE! (Don't panic, Jodie. I checked and it's machine washable. lol). I found a bunny for Easter to set around the house and a resin, shamrock embellished top-hat to use for a candy dish for St. Paddy's Day. I went to Kirkland's afterwards and then Bed, Bath & Beyond (a store that is sorely in need of a lesson in how to discount Christmas merchandise! Good grief, people - it's over a month since Christmas! Anything Christmas themed should be about 90% off, not 50%! Sheesh!). Then I tootled on over to the mall. Found some earrings at the Brighton store. Got a latte at Starbucks. Checked out the stuff the Disney store was offering. Cruised thru Hallmark, where I found a birthday card for my step-sister and a Batman ornament for Nick and Jodie. I also got a Jim Shore figure featuring Jiminy Cricket and the saying "Let your conscience be your guide", which I've always considered to be primo words to live by. Then I hit Macy's, where I found another loud shirt that almost begged me to buy it. However, at $60 (and that was the discounted price), I left the little darling hanging in the store. But man was it purty! Bright colors and sparkly thingys sewn into the was hard to resist. I was a rock, though. Okay. So my checkbook was a rock. I'd already spent enough to ....well. Let's just say I was fairly generous in my efforts to single-handedly jumpstart the Ft. Worth area economy and leave it at that, shall we? I did squeeze out enough to pay for 4 books at Half Price Books, however. Hey! Reading improves the mind, right? Of course it does! So anyway...that was my day. Mindlessly walking and shopping and spending and thinking. At one point, I was hit with the knowledge that I. am. lonely. I am as lonely a human as you're ever likely to find. It's my own doing, of course. (I feel I'd better say that so you know I'm not looking for sympathy here.) I can remember years ago, my kids teasing me because they said I only had one friend (Susan) and my response was that was because "friends are such high maintenance". I was only half-kidding. But I used to not feel that way. Really. I was out-going and happy and friendly and loved having friends. I look back now and wonder what changed, how did I get to be so self-contained in my real life? When did I stop making friends? I don't think there's any one incident that I can point to and say "Ah-ha!". It was a combination of things. When Randey and I got married, he was very jealous of any time I spent with people other than him. I put up with that for awhile, but actually that got real old, real quick. After much "discussion" between us, he got over that feeling. In fact, I'd say that Randey got waaaay over it and has now reached the point of feeling totally and completely secure in our relationship. Which is a good thing. was a tiresome battle and struggle to get him to that point and it took its toll. Then there was family. Whenever I'd go somewhere to visit family (in another state or town), I was always made to feel like I was doing something "wrong" if I wanted to take time out to visit with friends who lived in the area, too. There was always that "you need to be focusing on your family" thing. Family guilt can really twist you up inside, you know it? But, as a result, I tended to let friendships slide. It was easier, I'm ashamed to say. And then the worst thing in the world happened. My friend, my best friend at the time, committed suicide. Yeah. That rocked my whole world, as you can imagine. I'd failed my friend on some level, that much was obvious. Hell. I'd failed her on every level. I mean a part of me knew that I was not responsible for her death, but another part of me knew that I should have been a better friend to her. Maybe if I'd done something different, she wouldn't have felt whatever it is she was feeling that caused her to take her own life. I saw a therapist afterwards, to deal with the nightmare of it all. She told me that, as evidenced by the method my friend used, it was plain that she meant to die. She wasn't asking for help, she wasn't hoping to be "saved", she just wanted out of her life. How could I not know that? I had moved to another state, true, but I was only 3 hours away from her! How could I not know? Well, I never found an answer to that question, but I did find a way to not feel that sort of horror again. I quit making friends. Except for Susan. Susan and I just "clicked". There was no effort involved. And she's a rock. She's solid, she's smart, she's together. I couldn't have not been friends with her because she and I always seemed to understand one another. But that's pretty darn rare. Everybody else I met required that I actually work at the relationship if I wanted to be friends and, like I said, that's just too high maintenance for me. So the result? I often times find myself lonely. Again, it's my own fault. I know that. Susan lives 5 states away so our "time" together has been reduced to phone calls and maybe one visit a year. (Although, the beauty of a friendship as intense as the one Susan and I share is that we know how the other feels. Distance doesn't change that. That's a comfort.) However, other than Susan, I have no "real life" actual friends. I have a rocky relationship with most of my family...for reasons too numerous to mention here. I have great kids and a great husband, great neighbors, great bloggin buds...great everything! But I don't have anyone to just bum around with, you know what I mean? I read about some of you and your "circle of friends" and I feel envy. I wonder what that's like. And I wonder how you get that. I can't remember. My days of making up close and personal friends are gone. Sometimes I miss those days. But then sometimes, when I think of the pain of losing a friend, I'm grateful for my Rock, Susan (who I feel safe and confident in never losing because she knows my faults and loves me anyway! lol) and I feel content with the knowledge that, if I don't put myself in that position, then I can't let any other friends down. I guess it's a trade off. I just don't know anymore if I'm trading up...or trading not getting involved with other people. I know there's a lot to be said for being alone. But damn...there sure isn't a whole lot of good to be said about being lonely, is there?

Sunday, January 27, 2008

Politics and Celebrities...A Match Made in Never Never Land

I have touched on this subject before, but as the elections draw closer, I can't help but feel the need to speak on it again. Why, oh why, do actors and the like feel the need to tell us their political opinions as if we've actually asked for them? I don't know about you guys, but I like actors for their acting. I require nothing else from them. I don't think they are my friends, I don't expect them to ask me to dinner and I don't think that joining their fan club will make them like me more. I truly couldn't give a rat's behind whether or not any actor anywhere in any situation likes me. Why? Because they don't know me. Nor I them. The only relationship we have is whether or not they can convince me that they are who they are pretending to be in any given movie, tv show, commercial, etc. That's it. They are the performers. I am the viewer. Period. End of story. Extent of the relationship. And yet...I hear everyday how this actor or that actor has chosen to support this candidate or that candidate. Hey, that's great! It's wonderful to be involved. But I think that when someone who holds so much sway over people (hey, we can't all be independent minded free-thinkers, right?) comes out in support of a political candidate, they should be required to tell us why they support that candidate. Exactly what is it about that person that has convinced them he or she deserves their support? I'd like that piece of information because I'd like to know if this "celebrity" is seriously and thoughtfully advocating a particular candidate and not just jumping on the "flavor of the month" bandwagon. This may come as a shock to some people (can you hear the sarcasm???)...but I don't think all these celebrities are as smart as they'd like us to think. I think quite a few of them are perhaps good at some things, but are exceptionally great at one thing. That one thing being "self-promotion". Take George Clooney for example. I'll say it up front because it'll be abundantly plain before I'm done: I am not a fan of George. Not of his acting, his speeches, his political views and most certainly not of his almost single-handed slandering of the word "liberal". George wears his "liberalism" like a badge of honor. Problem is, his badge is self-made and contains more glitz than substance, at least in my opinion. And I'll tell you why I believe that. I'm sure you've all heard of George's recent efforts on behalf of ending the atrocities being committed in Darfur, right? I'm not disputing that what he says is going on there is because I think it's obvious that the situation there is horrific and in need of fixing. I'm firmly of the school of thought that those who have the ability to right a wrong also have a responsibility to do it. Remember that poem by Rev. Martin Niemoller:
In Germany, they came first for the Communists, And I didn’t speak up because I
wasn’t a Communist;
And then they came for the trade unionists, And I didn’t
speak up because I wasn’t a trade unionist;
And then they came for the Jews,
And I didn’t speak up because I wasn’t a Jew;
And then . . . they came for
me . . . And by that time there was no one left to speak up."
So yeah, just because it's happening halfway around the world and doesn't have any direct affect on our lives here in America, doesn't mean we shouldn't stand up when we see something wrong happening, like the situation in Darfur. George is bound and determined that the U.S. should become somewhat involved...hence all his time spent on capital hill discussing the issue. He even spoke, along with Senators Brownback and Obama, in Washington regarding it. Again, I don't disagree with George on this issue. What's happening in Darfur is evil and we, as a society, are honor bound to help. Period.
Lest you start to believe that I have changed my mind and become a follower of the Great Gray Pretender somewhere during this long, drawn out post, let me explain where I have an issue with George and his "I'll speak out for the weak and disenfranchised no matter what the cost to me, the benevolent and brave hearted liberal guy" attitude. George is all over this issue with Darfur. I mean he's speaking out to "generate lifesaving humanitarian assistance and protection for the vulnerable, marginalized, and displaced". This according to the "Not On Our Watch" organization George and some of his Hollywood buds have founded. Yay, George. Great work. Sounds very important and bold. But let me ask you something...why is the plight of these people so much more important than that of the Iraqi people when they were under the rule of Saddam Hussein? I mean here's a guy that was a known tyrant, a brutal butcher of men, women and children, a man many recognized as a genocidal rapist and a monster. Yet I don't remember hearing George getting all upset about that. I don't remember him lecturing politicians and citizens alike on our responsibility to help those who were suffering there. No, no, no. In fact, in an article posted in March 2006 on WorldNetDaily, George blasted Democrats who were reticent to criticize President Bush and question his reasons for invading Iraq in the early days of the operation saying:

"The fear of been criticized can be paralyzing. Just look at the way so many
Democrats caved in the run up to the war. In 2003, a lot of us were saying,
where is the link between Saddam and bin Laden? What does Iraq have to do with
9-11? We knew it was bulls---. Which is why it drives me crazy to hear all these
Democrats saying, 'We were misled.' It makes me want to shout, 'F--- you'; you
weren't misled. You were afraid of being called unpatriotic."

He was (and is) against the War in Iraq because it wasn't connected to 9/11. Ahhhh. I see. A horrible, evil man was randomly torturing innocent people for whatever reason his warped brain came up with on any given day and George Clooney didn't think that merited intervention by the United States of America, the only remaining so-called "Superpower" on earth. Okay, so we could have used sanctions against Saddam. Oh wait a minute...we did. They didn't work. We could have had the United Nations intercede. Oh hey...yeah, wait a tick....the United Nations was far too busy working that whole "Oil for Food" scandal and lining their own pockets. So that left what, exactly, Mr. Clooney? What should have been done to help those people? Or have you ever even thought of them? Did they never enter your mind because you couldn't see past your rabid "Republicans are Bad and George W. Bush is the Grand Pooh Bah of all Evil" way of thinking? You know, I'll tell you...I wish to heck and back that President Bush hadn't used the whole Weapons of Mass Destruction argument in an effort to convince the American people to invade Iraq. Or, better yet, I wish he'd have named the biggest, most damaging weapon that there was in that country at the time and that was Saddam Hussein himself. Hussein caused countless deaths and maimings, was responsible for ecological disasters that affect that region to this day, and blatantly refused to listen to the world's requests to stop the genocide he had created within Iraq's borders. But we shouldn't have stopped him because he wasn't involved in 9/11. Right. In October of 2003, according to WorldNetDaily, George reiterated his opposition to the Iraq War to a German magazine saying:
"I stand by that. It was the dumbest thing that my country could have done. As
an actor in the public eye, I have a responsibility. I see myself as a spokesman
for all those who have the same opinion," the report quotes him as saying.
That's just fabulous. George feels like he has a right to say our government did something stupid (and I'll fight to the death for him to keep that right!) and moreover, he feels he has a responsibility to speak out for "all those who have the same opinion". So how does that fit in with his quote of "My father raised me to--with the idea that you have to look out for people who can't look out for themselves. That's your job. If you don't do that, you fail." (See complete transcript here.) So tell me, George. While you're making the world a better place for the disenfranchised and the downtrodden, how did those Saddam Hussein era Iraqis fit into your plan? Did they matter to you? They sure mattered to me. And my husband. And my son. And the tens of thousands of their fellow airmen, soldiers and sailors who have gone over there and given their time, efforts and sometimes even their lives, to save and protect those people. Explain to me your standards of what human rights atrocities merit involvement from the U.S., the U.N. and everyone else in this world. Explain to me how you decide who matters, George. Because frankly, I'm having trouble understanding how your endorsement of a presidential candidate should matter. I'm having trouble understanding how any celebrity's endorsement should matter. And yet, according to the media, it does. And I just don't get it.

P.S. For those of you who disagree with me, GREAT! Let's talk about it. Where do you think I'm wrong? What am I not seeing clearly? Is there a way for us to come together and understand our different views and opinions? I'd love to hear what you think. My mind is open to hear your views.