Saturday, August 29, 2015

A Lifetime Ago

Saturday 9: Viva la Vida (2008)
Unfamiliar with this week's tune? Hear it here.

1) The song refers to the singing of choirs. Have you ever been in a choir or a vocal group?

A. I played guitar and sang in a Top 40 band when I was in high school. That was a lifetime ago.

2) Chris Martin sings of when he "ruled the world." If you were in charge and had infinite power, what would you change right away?

A. I would end all wars and violence and be sure everyone was fed, clothed, and housed.

3) Chris used to be married to actress Gwyneth Paltrow. USA Today, The Washington Post and The Daily Telegraph have all run articles about how Gwyneth seems to annoy so very many people. What celebrity gets on your nerves?

A. Donald Trump.

4) Coldplay's first big hit was, "Yellow." What color are you wearing right now?

A. Blue and purple.

5) Sam remembers when she used to hear this song everywhere and can't believe that was 7 years ago! When is the last time you had a similar "my, how time flies!" moment?

A. Yesterday when my husband was trying to remember when he did a major project on the farm. He thought it was last year until I reminded him that last year he spent the summer recovering from an accident.

6) In 2008, when "Viva la Vida" was popular, John Grisham's latest legal thriller, The Appeal, was jumping off bookshelves. What have you read this summer?

A. I just finished listening to a Nora Roberts book, Black Hills.

7) Thinking of books: Let's say a biographer has taken the task of writing your biography. What would you title your life story?

A. To Hell and Back 

8) 2008 is also the year Paul Newman died of cancer. Name a Newman movie.

A. Um. Something about walking in the rain? Or something about making drinks? Cocktails? Was he in that? I'm not sure and it's cheating to look it up.

 9) Random question: Do you like garlic?

A. I eat it on some things but not as rule. I don't add it to salads or things like that. I should eat more of it because it is supposed to be good for you but it is hard on my stomach.


I encourage you to visit other participants in Saturday 9 posts and leave a comment. Because there are no rules, it is your choice. Saturday 9 players hate rules. We love memes, however.

Thursday, August 27, 2015

Thursday Thirteen #410

I'm going to be honest - I'm having a tough time with Thursday Thirteen today. Yesterday my community was violated when two young journalists were gunned down on live TV. I have been in the news business for 30 years, so while I'm not a TV reporter, I have been part of the media. I always considered these folks colleagues. I had met the young cameraman and spoken with him at a local meeting some time ago. He was personable and I remember he stepped out of my way so I could take a photo (cameramen often don't do that). I remember thinking then that he was a nice guy.

I could do thirteen reasons why we should have tighter gun regulations. I will only say if you think the background checks we have in place are sufficient, you're an idiot. I have bought guns and the background checks, at least here in Virginia, are a joke. I'm not saying don't buy your gun. I'm just saying that there needs to be better checks on the people who buy and own guns. You have to have a license to drive a car. You should at least have to pass some kind of test to own a gun. And I really don't care what you think the Second Amendment says. This isn't 1776 and we don't use muskets now.

Or I could do something completely different - 13 butterfly types, perhaps. But my heart really isn't in it this morning. I tried yesterday to write a blog post about how I was feeling and gave up after a couple of sentences.

I had no words.

Ironically, last week for Thursday Thirteen I listed various stages of depression and how you could help a friend. The information is out there - are we paying attention?

I still don't know what to say. So I think today I will list all of the emotions that I and many other folks felt yesterday, though maybe the feelings were not in this order.

1. Confusion. When the incident happened, live on the air, it was hard to believe what you were seeing. Was it real? Were those really gunshots?

2. Shock. As it became clear to all that something awful had happened, shock crept in. How could this happen? How could this happen here? Who could do this?

3. Fear. There was, in the parlance of the day, a "live shooter" loose in the area. Who was safe now? Were the children at the schools alright? Would he go back to the newsroom to finish the job? Who else would this person kill?

4. Concern. We watched these folks on TV every day. Media people become a part of your day and your routine. You see their faces over and over, you hear emotions in their voices. You may not have personally met them but you think you know them. You're comfortable with them. Now you're worried about them, and their colleagues.

5. Heightened Awareness. Social media and the internet gives such things an immediacy that has never been experienced by humanity prior to the last 20 years. Suddenly we are interacting with the folks in the newsroom who are trying to understand what happened. It's like watching a car wreck. Everyone slows down to gawk. We can't help it, even though we know we should move along.

6. Denial. You can't believe this happened. Not here. Not in our little community. Not at the place where folks go to fish and eat and have a nice outing. Not during a story about tourism, for heaven's sake. They weren't covering a riot. They were in Moneta at the lake.

7. Anger. How dare he! How dare this man invade our lives and our community. How dare he take the lives of two young people, people who had done nothing wrong. People who were just out doing their jobs.

8. Hope. The hope comes with the chase. The police has to catch this guy. This is where hope happens in such a situation. We want this man captured and justice wrought.

9. Despair. We learn that the young people have died. We despair. We rage at the sins of the world, the evil, the things we cannot control.

10.  Bargaining. Please God, bring this man to justice. Please God, give comfort to the family and friends of the ones who were killed. Please God, step in and make this better. Heal us and make us whole.

11. Sadness. Two young lives taken. People crying on TV. How can we not cry with them?

12. Violation. We also all felt violated. This man took something from us, the viewers, the other media, and the community. Even though I know from my work and from my husband's work as a first responder how much violation actually goes on here, day in and day out, this felt much more personal. We could not remove ourselves from this because we were watching it play out live on TV, and then it played out even more on social media.

13. Acceptance. At some point, we will move on. Roanoke will move forward. WDBJ will regroup and hire new people and the news will continue. Unfortunately, I think in today's world we are forced to reach this emotion much too soon - to accept the loss and get on with job of worshipping the dollar bills as quickly as possible. We are all walking around wounded, each and every one of us, simply from living our lives, and we do not allow ourselves the time it takes to heal.

Emotions are tough and tricky things. Sometimes we go through them in rapid succession - they move so quickly through us that we don't even realize that in the space of five minutes we've felt 13 different things. We're not very good at analyzing ourselves, I think. We're not taught to, we're taught to shrug it off and stride on through. Sometimes though, you need to reflect. And then perhaps you need to act.

Thursday Thirteen is played by lots of people; there is a list here if you want to read other Thursday Thirteens and/or play along. I've been playing for a while and this is my 410th time to do a list of 13 on a Thursday.

Tuesday, August 25, 2015

Body Flex 3-in-1 workout trainer for sale

I have a Body Flex 3-in-1 workout trainer for sale. It acts as a recumbent bike, an upright bike, and an elliptical trainer. They currently sell at Sears for $399.00. This has been barely used because I've been sick and my ankle can't handle the elliptical. I'll let it go for $150.00 if anyone is interested.

Getting Rid of Stuff

We have lived in our home since 1987. Having not moved in 28 years, we have had no cause to go through drawers, closets, nooks and crannies.

While we are not hoarders (yet), we have a lot of stuff. Much of it is stuff we've been given over the years - items from deceased great aunts or grandparents, gifts we've received for birthdays and Christmas.

Some items I received when we married 32 years ago are still in use, and greatly appreciated. But other things are hidden in the dark recesses of forgotten areas of our small house.

And I don't how to get rid of it.

The easiest way would be to give it to Goodwill, but I have a bit of a moral problem with Goodwill. It does provide job opportunities for folks some consider unemployable, but its CEO makes a fortune, and there are rumors that it does not properly pay its employees. This article in Huffington Post calls it "a charity racket." I don't know if it is true.

Living in a rural area means yard sales are not the way to go. No one drives up my very long driveway to see what is available. That means if I want to sell items, I have to pack them up and haul them someplace to do that. For that I need my husband's help, and he seems to have an aversion to helping me with that task. The last time I tried that was in July of 2009 or thereabouts, and I nearly had heat stroke from the sun.

We have a few consignment stores but I don't know anything about them. I know one of them takes a 50 percent cut of whatever it sells - is that normal? I don't know. It seems like a lot but then again, they are helping me to rid myself of unwanted goods.

Books I donate to the library. I still have too many.

There are a few other charities in the area, but they all require more effort to get to than I can manage in my present state. Plus, I'll be honest, there is a part of me that wants the $5 for the old whatsit or the $3 for the thingamajig.

Some days I want to rent a dumpster and just haul load after load into the trash. But that seems a waste when someone else can use it. Plus I'm a bit of an environmentalist and don't want to muck up the landfill.

So how do you get rid of your stuff? What's your secret to decluttering and throwing away a lifetime?

Monday, August 24, 2015

The Maleness of Mother Nature

Sometimes you just can't help but see it.

Sunday, August 23, 2015

Not Swayed By Pretty Packages (or Chirping Birds)

From Sunday Stealing

Birds Are Chirping Meme

1. Name a product you buy mostly because it has a cool package.

A. I can't think of anything. Sorry. I'm generally not swayed by pretty packages.
2. What flavor cake do you like for your birthday?

A. White inside with white icing.
3. Have you ever been in love with someone much older or younger than you?

A. My husband is four years older than I. I doubt that counts as "much."
4. Have you ever had a job you loved?

A. Yes. When I was freelancing and doing it well, paying the bills with it and everything, I was very happy. Then the economy crashed, and every out-of-work journalist became a freelancer, and I went back to school to obtain my masters degree. Then I had surgery and now I just blog. I don't make any money blogging, but then again, I am not trying to, either.

5.  Have you ever been in a building that was on fire?

A. Yes. My parents house was struck by lightning and it caught on fire. I went into it while it was smoldering. I also took pictures of a controlled structure burn for the newspaper once and went inside.
6. Are you in an argument with anyone right now?

A. No.
7. Would you change your hair color to something outrageous if you would get paid to?

A. It would depend on the amount of money, I suppose. A million dollars? Bring me the bleach. $10? No thanks.
8. Have you ever written a poem for someone?

A. Yes.
9. What is a place you’ve vacationed at and would like to go back to?

A. Colonial Williamsburg in Virginia.
10. Do you eat samples at the grocery store?

A. Generally, no. I think they are germy.
11. What do you absolutely have to have to make your birthday feel special?

A. It is special is someone remembers it. I don't need anything but good wishes. Well, a piece of cake is nice but not a necessity.
12. What’s the last tourist area you visited?

A. Myrtle Beach, SC
13. Where do you go out to eat for a special occasion?

A. We generally go to Coach and Four, a locally owned restaurant that has been here for longer than we've been married. It is where my husband proposed and I can still show the booth we were sitting in when he pulled out the ring.

14. When was the last time you went to a post office?

A. Just last week.

15. Is there an item you are saving up to buy right now?

A. I'm saving up to pay off my car loan. Does that count?
16. Are you psychic in any way?

A. I knew you were going to ask that question. Of course I am. Everyone is. They're just not tuned into it.
17. Do you prefer a laptop or desktop? Which are you on now?

A. Desktop, and that is what I am using now.
18. Have you ever received a gift and truly did not know what it was?

A. I seem to remember receiving some kind of hair-curling hickey-doo from my grandparents in California when I was about 8 years old that left me clueless.
19. What’s your homepage?

A. This blog.

20. Is there a thing you enjoy doing, but quit because you are not good at it?

A. I like to draw, but I am not good at it, so I don't do it. I took a couple of courses in it in college but I've forgotten everything except for "negative space."


I encourage you to visit other participants in Sunday Stealing posts and leave a comment. Cheers to all us thieves who love memes, however we come by them.