|There's nothing about Rihanna in this blog post I just like putting up pictures of her.|
There's this street I cross to go to downtown that has a traffic light. If you get to the corner while the light is red you push the button so when the light turns green for cars you'll also get the green hand signaling that it's okay to cross. But if the light turns green before you push the button there'll be a red hand indicating that pedestrians cannot cross. Here's my question: Why? Who the hell is that red hand telling not to cross the street. Presumably there's no one there as no one has pushed the button. So why the red hand? Also, why can't I cross? Cars are going my way, the cars headed in the opposite direction are stopped. There are no cars turning. So why the hell can't I cross (full disclosure, I cross anyway). There's absolutely no reason for that red hand. I'd like to know what genius thought it necessary to put that red hand there.
I belong to a very tiny minority groups that leaves me out of numerous conversations, conversations that make me feel isolated and like an outcast. I prefer rain over sun, clouds and fog over clear days and cold and cool over warm and hot. People will say: "it sure is a beautiful day!" When it's sunny and warm. Or on rainy days will moan about "the awful weather." If I offer my opinion on the weather people will often conclude that I'm kidding. People also get irritated verging on angry with me for not going along with the program. I'm sure they wonder why I have to be a spoilsport, "everybody" likes warm, sunny days, it's the safest thing to agree on. Regardless of political beliefs, sports affiliations, tastes in music, films, art, TV or food, everybody gets together on the weather. Except for independent thinkers like me. I will get concessions on the rain when in a drought (as is often the case in California, particularly recently) but even there are people who complain about rain. When we get our first rain in nearly five months last October a co-worker ranted, "why does it have to rain today?" Seriously. After more than a third of the year went by without a drop you're complaining about half a day of the wet stuff? A few years ago during the worst drought in California's history rain was finally in the forecast, I happily announced the fact and one person moaned. In the midst of a drought! This season we've had well over normal rainfall and the drought is over -- for now -- but I haven't had enough. At least now that I'm retired I'm spared co-workers blithely going on about "awesome weather" that I find abhorrent. I should conclude by adding that I have no objection to an occasional sunny day. Indeed I like variety in my weather. But endless days of sunshine are depressing in their sameness. Not a popular opinion, I know, but one I hold dear.
I've been of the opinion for a long time now that Mitch McConnell should be taken out and horse whipped. However I've come to conclude that this would be a terrible mistreatment of a perfectly innocent horse. It's hard to think of anyone who has done more to subvert the will of the people than the current senate majority leader. He is the living personification of the Republican who puts party before country every damn day of the week and twice on Sundays. He actually had the temerity to call the Democrats' idea of making Election Day a national holiday, "a power grab." I'm sure he'd love a return to the days when only property owners could vote and there was not direct election of senators and primaries were held in few if any states. During Obama's presidency, rather than serve the will of the people his entire political existence was based on opposing the president. Politicians should be about what they can do for all the people all the time not what they can do to stop, subvert and suppress their rivals. His blocking of Merrick Garland's nomination to the Supreme Court was proof enough of his disdain for democracy. It's been argued by more learned men than me that McConnell has done more damage to our political system than even Trump. According to the noted historian Christopher R. Browning as quoted in a NY Review of books article: "No politician has done more to weaken American democracy and undermine the nation’s most basic norms than McConnell. Nor is any politician more responsible for Trump’s rise to power. All of it has been in pursuit of the narrowest, most parochial goals. What separates McConnell from other destructive political actors, such as former House Speaker Newt Gingrich and his fellow congressional Republican revolutionaries, or President George W. Bush and his vice president, Dick Cheney, is that McConnell’s political actions are unmoored from ideology and policy. For McConnell, politics is fundamentally about accruing political power for the sole purpose of accruing more political power."
Indeed articles detailing his political degeneracy abound. If anyone has a horse guilty of terrible misdeeds let's put it to use on giving turtle head the whipping he so richly deserves.
I spent the last seven days with a cold/flu in which my glands were swollen, my throat was scratchy and I was lethargic. There was little I could do beyond watch movies and documentaries and take naps. I missed three trips to the gym. No one likes being sick (one assumes) but few hate illness with as much passion as I do. This is in large part due to the fact that I've suffered so little from physical ailments. I was at my last job for seven years, seven months and 17 days and didn't call in sick once. As a teacher for over three decades I suffered more than my fair share of colds but most were mere annoyances and did not keep me from working. Colds are an occupational hazard for teachers. But this recent business about being weak and tired all the time was frustrating. Actually a day or two is not bad, but when it stretches beyond that one gets stir crazy and I've got enough crazy in me without adding stir to it. I'm fine now and in fact just returned from a full workout. It's good to be alive and well.
I have a message for people who talk on their cell phones at the gym: shut the fuck up! You are annoying, rude and obnoxious. Are you telling me that in the days before cell phones, people didn't go to the gym because they were afraid of missing a phone call? I appreciate the convenience that a mobile phone provides -- I'm at the store can you check to see if we need eggs, my train will arrive in 20 minutes, can you pick me up? -- but we don't need to talk everywhere at all times, especially when other people are around. Today at the gym this woman was gabbing on the phone while on the treadmill. She finally ended her call and moved to the stair master where she placed her iPad and iPhone and was looking at and using both. Jesus wept.
I end on a happy note: I'm loving the hell out of retirement.