Tuesday, January 19, 2021

Caught In the Middle

My word for 2021 is this:

Moderate.

As in, moderation in all things. Eating, drinking, talking, watching TV, playing video games, whatever.

Moderate.

As in, not a Republican (I'm too far left for them), and not a Democrat (I am too far right for them).

I'm a moderate.

Stuck in the middle. My former editor once told me I was what the Republicans used to be, back in the early 1970s.

What are the things I value, then, if I don't fit into any nice square box?

Authenticity
Balance
Compassion
Citizenship (that means different things to people, but to me it means pay my taxes, vote, serve on a public committee or in a non-profit, volunteer to help. I've done all of those things.)
Contributing
Creativity
Fairness
Honesty
Justice (not revenge)
Kindness
Knowledge
Learning
Love
Peace
Respect
Responsibility
Spirituality
Stability
Wisdom

Some people might look at that list and say, Oh my, those are all liberal values. Somebody else might look at it and say, those are conservative values. Somebody else might look at it and say, shouldn't everybody value that stuff? I don't know. There are other things I value too, like peace of mind and feeling secure.

Why am I too far to the right for the left? 

  • I agree with gun control (everybody does, if you ask the appropriate question. If you ask nearly anybody if someone who has proven to be mentally ill and dangerous to society should have a gun, the answer is no. That's gun control.) but not to the point of taking away guns. I have no problems with requiring training, insurance, purchase limits, background checks, or what kind of weapon you own (those are already in place, I can't go out and legally buy a rocket launcher). We live on a farm. We have varmints. Sometimes one must shoot a varmint.

  • I also don't agree with total student loan forgiveness. The program needs to be revamped and modified. The loans should have flexible interest rates, not the high percentages currently on a lot of them. People should be able to refinance them like they would a house loan, say. But not forgiven. There are many ways to get a college education if you want one, and since we don't have free universities here in our little capitalistic love-land, then people need to find ways to pay for it. For example, I took eight years to get my bachelors (10 if you count the time I was at community college), and it was completely paid for when I graduated. I did not use student loans; we took out a home equity loan to pay for my last year so I could push things along and finish before I turned 30.

Why am I too far left for the right?

  • Social safety nets are necessary (so that knocks me off the side of the right) but we need larger government oversight so that the participants meet criteria (that is not the neoliberal way, either). That means we need more social workers or client engagers or whatever you want to call them, instead of having 3,000 people looked after by one single person. It should be like 100 to one or whatever a person could adequately handle in a 40-hour workweek without being stressed. This includes programs like SNAP, unemployment, TANF, etc. I'd throw Medicare, Medicaid, and disabilities into this, too. With appropriate oversight, then the people who really need the money would get it, and the ones who do not need the money, or are receiving the funds when they shouldn't be, (like a dead granny's Social Security check) would be weeded out.

  • Of course, to ensure a single mother can do a job, we need to provide childcare, which we do not do well in this country. I would be amenable to government-provided childcare for those who need it. (I don't know of any party is offering this up.)

  • Some people simply can't do what is required of them in a job, for whatever reasons. Human beings are not robots, and they're not all alike. Some people have health problems, some people are mentally deficient, some people can't deal with stress. These people can contribute in some way, but there again, oversight or a program to help these folks along is necessary, and that requires bigger government. Not the starved beast we're currently watching thrash about in the throes of death in the moat. A government whose focus is on the welfare of its people, as it states in the U.S. Constitution.

  • I am pro-life and pro-abortion. (Yes, you can be both.)

  • I don't care if you have an alternative lifestyle, because I believe what other people do only becomes my business when it affects me as well. As in, wear a mask because you might have covid and if you gave it to me, I would die, but I don't care who you sleep with so long as it isn't me.

  • I believe in climate change, but I don't care what is causing it because I think making the air and water cleaner is a good idea even if it doesn't affect the climate. Who wants to breathe in all that toxic crap spewing out of these industries? Not me. I'm all for regulating that.

Those are some of the hot button topics. Generally speaking, we all want the same things. The disagreement is over how to go about it.

Time we find some common ground.

MODERATE is a good word for 2021.


Monday, January 18, 2021

Once Upon A Time in La La Land

Recently we watched two movies, La La Land, and Once Upon a Time . . . in Hollywood.

I heard rave reviews about both.

I disliked both movies. My husband didn't like them either. There was nothing of substance in either one.  We kept looking at each other and then asking, "What are we missing?"

Sometimes the question was, "Do you have any idea what is going on in this movie?"

Movies are not of great interest to me, so I do not consider myself a movie critic. But honestly, shouldn't there be a plot? Character development? A message? Something to make me not want back the 2.75 hours I spent watching the show?

Sometimes I see a bad movie or read a bad book, and wonder what on earth were they thinking?

Beats me.

If you liked these movies and care to explain why, have at it. I'm always up for learning something.




Sunday, January 17, 2021

Sunday Stealing

Sunday Stealing

A - Annoyance: "This is your second call about your vehicle warranty."

B - Bestest Friend[s]: My husband, my brother, and I have three women friends with whom I am close.

C - Car: I have always liked the looks of a Toyota Avalon.

D - Day or night: Day, now. When I was younger, night.

E- Easiest person to talk to?: My friend Mama T.

F - Favorite Month: June.

G - Gummy Bears or Worms: I don't eat gummy anything.

H - Hair Color: Brown with lots of soft white grey in it. That's my hair color, if that's what this is asking.

I - Ice Cream: I don't eat ice cream.

J - Jewelry: My wedding band.

K - Kindergarten: All I remember about it was that the boys always hogged the truck toys.

L - Longest Car Ride: In 1976, my parents drove my brother and me, along with my grandmother and my two youngest uncles, from Virginia to California and back.

M - Most missed person: My grandmother.

N - Number of Siblings: One. I have a fabulously wonderful brother whom I love dearly.

O - One regret: Not taking better care of my health.

P- Part of your appearance you like least?: My feet.

Q- Quote: Love is never wrong. - Melissa Etheridge.

R - Reality TV Show: Deadliest Catch

S - Shoe: Sneakers.

T - Time you woke up: about 7:15 a.m.

U - Unpredictable?: Sometimes.

V - Vegetable you hate: I don't like coconut, but I don't know if it is a vegetable. Siri says it is a vegetable.

W- Worst Habits: Overthinking and overeating.

X - X-Rays: I've had plenty.

Y - Year you were born: Long time ago.

Z - Zoom: I have never zoomed. I used Facetime at Christmas. Does that count?


Saturday, January 16, 2021

Saturday 9: Thank U, Next

Saturday 9: Thank U, Next (2018)

Unfamiliar with this week's tune? Hear it here.

1) In this song, Ariana Grande thanks her former boyfriends for what they taught her about love, life, patience and pain. Do you believe you have learned more from your successes, or your mistakes?

A. Probably my successes. I'm one of those people who doesn't do things I don't do well. That's not a good thing, by the way. It is limiting. However, I cannot handle stress and when I don't do something well, it stresses me. So I try something. It seems ok. The result is promising. Then I see if I can make it better, because the bottom wasn't bad. (This is why I don't knit. I tried it. I made a couple of scarves. Even I could see that I am not good at that sort of thing.)
 
2) One of the young men mentioned in the song is Pete Davidson, a cast member of Saturday Night Live. SNL has been on for more than 45 years now. Who is your all-time favorite cast member?

A. I seldom watched Saturday Night Live. Wasn't there a Mr. Bill on there? I'll go with Mr. Bill. Alec Baldwin did a great #45 in the past four years in the clips I watched on youtube, but I don't think he is a cast member.
 
3) Thinking of funny people . . . As you can see from the video, Ariana performed "Thank U, Next" on Ellen DeGeneres' talk show. Ellen makes people laugh every afternoon. Who in your life can you always count on to make you laugh or smile?

A. My husband can usually coax a smile out of me.
 
4) It looks like Ariana Grande's personal romantic saga will have a happy ending because at Christmastime, she announced her engagement. Do you know anyone who is getting married in 2021?

A. I know two people who are getting married but I don't know the dates of their weddings. So I am not sure. I just know "she said yes."

5) Ariana loves Harry Potter and named her dogs Snape, Lily and Sirius Black after characters in the J.K. Rowling books. Are you a Harry Potter fan?

A. Yes. I have read all of the books. I liked the movies, too.

6) She loves board games, especially Monopoly. Sam isn't crazy about Monopoly because it takes so long. How about you? Are you a Monopoly fan?

A. I haven't played Monopoly in a long time. It is okay.
 
7) In 2018, the year this song was released, Toys R Us closed all its stores and went out of business. Who received the last toy you purchased? What was it?

A. My great-niece received a purple cow for Christmas.

8) Also in 2018, Aretha Franklin died. What's your favorite Aretha song?

A. R E S P E C T

9) Random question: Are you more likely to shed a tear at a wedding or during a movie?

A. I cry over the ending of The Lord of the Rings trilogy every time I see it (which is at least 20+ times), but I have been to weddings and not cried. So I guess I am more likely to cry during a movie.

______________

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.

Friday, January 15, 2021

Unnamed Song

 


This is a song I wrote. I've been working on the guitar part for a bit; the words came this past week after January 6.

I am not happy with it, but I thought it might be interesting to somebody to see the work in progress. I suspect I will have to put it aside awhile and rethink it, when I am not so stressed. I do not consider this to be finished, or even good.

Here are the words because my singing is not the best in this recording. The chords for the words are on top; the guitar part is much more complicated than two chords, that is just to keep me on track. "Guitar Bridge" means that little bit of guitar part I play in between the verses.

Unnamed Song - by Anita Firebaugh

Am
You tell me that you need war
D
I don't know what you want it for.
Am
You tell me that you see red
D
All I see are thousands dead.
Guitar Bridge
Am
You crossed a line that you can't see
D
You're taking away my right to breathe
Am
You believe you have the might
D
I know that it don't make right.
Guitar Bridge
Am
We all know there's a great divide
D
How many tears must the victims cry?
Am
You have all the things you need
D
And now you're stealing liberty
Guitar Bridge
Am                  G
And there are no words . . .  (repeat)
Am
To stop this now