Power of Choice

In the early 1300s, Scotland was at war. Each man was defending his right to be King. Swords in the air, blood on the soil, raw power. You can read about Robert the Bruce here. It’s the strength of the fighting man. Right?

It makes me wonder, what is power? Am I a person of means? Rich people appear dominant, and so do those who have a higher status. These are traits we usually have to acquire or inherit. So how does someone ordinary get power? Or are we stuck?

Power is making decisions, and whatever course you are charting, I choose you, my husband.

It’s time to understand where we are. The crossroads. These are days you want to tell your grandchildren about. I do hope someone takes notes. Why? There is a drama of contrasts playing on the stage for the world to see.

We have politicians in mock battle pretending to be warriors. They’ve puffed their chests and beat their drums while marching through the streets on their way to nowhere. It’s all talk. Loud sounds. Build up the beat. Build up the beat. And yes this strategy works.

Charisma, you’re a pretty tune. But can you feed the people? All of this drama has taken our attention from real needs. How do we rebuild our school systems and prepare our children for the future? Can we make our cities better for families?

My power is my choice. I don’t pay attention to their mock battles. The shadow boxing is a distraction. It’s only keeping us from doing real work.

There are many examples we can follow. To their actions, we should pay attention. Women who decided civil disobedience was a good thing, who created their power by the Women’s Suffrage movement. The Doctors Without Borders who chose to go into areas of crisis, putting their lives at risk. They do this by choice. This is their power. And they give this power to their patients in the form of health.

Elizabeth de Burgh: [to Robert the Bruce]
Power is making decisions. Power is not allowing yourself to be buffeted on the tides of history. Instead, it is choosing a boat, climbing aboard, and hoisting the sail. I choose you. And whatever course you are charting, I choose you, my husband.

Read more: script from outlaw king

I choose to find out the truth. To look past the lies. Ignore the arguments. I remember why I am here, my power, my love, my reason for being. Do you know yours?

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Lost Sheep

It’s not the Bible you cherish. Or the goodness of Jesus. Love, joy, peace. Seriously? I was naive. It was never those things. I kept referring back to those traits saying, ‘You’re missing the path.’

And now I genuinely am bewildered. What makes you follow the radicals? How can the redeemed follow a rapist? An adulterer? And what is the siren’s call?

I am not questioning as a judge. Honestly, it baffles me, but human behavior always confuses me. I was taught to be pure, strong, wise, and hard working.

My parents taught me how to learn. If I needed information, I gathered books or knowledge. But what I’m seeing from their actions and the actions of their peers is equivalent to a herd of buffalo stampeding. All learning be damned.

I see Christianity equaling power. Voting power. And powerful men that are growing up in the Republican Party are using the evangelical Christians as their sword. I am saddened by this because there was a day when Christians were known for love and love was a power. They stood proud of their accomplishments. Today is a sad day for Christians, for they have lost their truth.

Find An Ally

My mom has been trying to schedule an appointment for surgery for months, but she’s been waiting for the doctor to call her. Dad, during the first round of doctor’s visits, said to wait. This is how it always worked. The old insurance operated this way. They’re still waiting.

My parent’s previous coverage dropped because the insurance decided to lower cost. It was terminated according to where you lived. Insurance companies do this to ’shake off the excess,’ and they’ll open to the area again at a later time. It’s a mind fuck.

There are clunky systems in our world and maybe there have been for a very long time. If you’re not paying attention, then you’ll still see squabbling and politics. It is that. But there is an underlying feeling of contrived chaos. Unnecessary red tape.

Why is healthcare so difficult? Expensive? Protocol. A ridiculous amount of hoops to jump through for doctors and hospitals. With each year, restrictions are added for the sake of saving costs. My job is to work through those requirements so the insurance will pay, helping patients in the long term.

We need a better way and I don’t necessarily mean universal healthcare. Our system is inside-out. I am concerned even alarmed. I worry for the people who can’t keep up with the speed of change. I also worry what will happen when I am my parents age? If it’s this bad now, if nothing improves, will I be able to navigate such a Maze?

I work for a company, but who is working for the people anymore? We’ve forgotten to love our people.

Who is watching the Watchers?

Dare To Be Great

One of the tendencies I find most troubling in contemporary culture is that of mistaking cynicism for critical thinking. – brainpickings.org

It takes effort to be strong. Conscious thought and awareness are needed to bring out the good in others, but if you can do it some of the time, most of the time, try. Because not trying, not even bothering to show up, is inexcusable. And turning bitter is usually the result.

Anger, resentment, sadness, grief are the leftovers of loves unfulfilled. Unplayable songs, words we held inside a moment too long.

It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs, who comes short again and again, because there is no effort without error and shortcoming; but who does actually strive to do the deeds; who knows great enthusiasms, the great devotions; who spends himself in a worthy cause; who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement, and who at the worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who neither know victory nor defeat… Roosevelt’s Writings

Trump’s Dirty Red Pill

It’s May 2016, and we say hello to Red Pill politics. You might not be familiar with this version of the Red Pill. Red vs. Blue has been splashed across the media in The Matrix, in the policy with the Republicans and the Democrats, and then there is the one I’m talking about, the angry men. I mentioned it in a post from 2014 – The Thing You Didn’t Say.

Be the man

Is your wife too loud-mouthed? Here take this pill and read this book we can fix your marriage because it’s your god given right to be in charge.  I’m idealistic, and it shows like an episode of the Brady Bunch. Because I believe families can be a unit, caring for each other. And if dad is in charge, he is there to protect his family. Well, I know that’s just bat-shit crazy.

The Red Pill movement contains more than just one aspect. There are get-rich-quick schemes, pick-up artists sneaky tricks, and even how to keep your dates at arms length while still having all the boys-will-be-boys fun. There’s too much to include in this blog, but check out some of the links below.

Redpillers define themselves as opponents to progressives. They seek to roll back the achievements of “cultural Marxists”, “Social Justice Warriors”, “political correctness” and “radical feminists”, justifying ruthless tactics as a necessary response to these perceived excesses. –  Boing Boing  JAY ALLEN / 11 AM WED, JAN 28 2015

Strategic Play – Put the woman in her place

So Trump has accused Hillary Clinton of using the Woman card? I’ll use it. Men have been using their cards for centuries. They’ve used it to start wars, claim land rights, even dictating women’s clothing. Didn’t women just battle over the right to vote? Was that a woman card or a man card? And then there’s education, reproductive choices,  where to live, who we can marry, and I could continue. You think this has ended in our modern times? Nope. I listened to a story on This American Life, by Ira Glass. A young woman spoke about how when she was seven she lost the right to choose how her body functioned sexually. Yes, it was all about religion, but it doesn’t matter. I won’t go into the entire story because it’s sensitive and revealing, but you’re free to listen to it here  586: Who Do We Think We Are?  or below. You can’t play the woman card when you’re seven.

Sugar and Spice

Donald Trump wants to shame women. Sit down and be pretty. He wants women to keep their mouths closed and their opinions to themselves. It’s not going to happen. I will not be ashamed. I will not sit down. I’m a Bernie Sanders supporter, but I’m a woman also. My first choice is Bernie, but I won’t stay home on election day. You shouldn’t either.

They need to know that desire is a mess, and that everyone suffers from its mess. –

The Red Pill: ‘I saw feral boys wandering the digital ruins of exploded masculinity’.
The Red Pill: ‘I saw feral boys wandering the digital ruins of exploded masculinity’. Illustration: Antony Hare for the Guardian

Profiling Me

 

I have a profile.

I’m a type. What the heck?

Hang on you say, people aren’t that easy to label. I agree, but we do label. Sometimes it comes out in our favor.

A few years ago I was in Texas with a friend and we walked across the border into Mexico. As we maneuvered through the narrow streets, we were greeted by shouting street vendors calling out, Hey Blondies! Wanna buy? Just five dollar. It overwhelmed her. I was used to the whole Blondie bit. That’s been my life. Her, not so much. She’d only recently become a blonde. I wonder how that felt.

We escaped into a small bistro and ate nachos topped with real cheddar cheese and downed glasses of freshly squeezed lemonade. I can still taste that juicy lemonade. The best cold drink I’ve ever had. The quiet conversation was a relief also.

OOPS!

When we finished and had our arms full of shopping stuff, we started back across the border. It was then that I realized I’d forgotten my birth certificate. It was only a block away from Texas, but I still panicked a bit. I explained my situation to the guard, he looked at me and smiled with a wink, No problem. You’re American.

I’ve been told more than a few times that I look like an all-American girl and I was never sure what that meant. I see females from Ireland or France that have the same coloring as mine, so what’s the deal? I’m certain there’s an attitude or a mannerism that I’m not aware of. Whatever others see, apparently it’s enough for someone to call it a profile.

Type ME

What about you? Are you a type? Something quirky? Witchy? Maybe you can be pegged as afraid of spiders or a cat lover. Foodie anyone? Nerdy?

Here’s one that I ran across on a podcast this week. This American Life-Vocal Fry. I hadn’t heard of this voice nuance before until it was mentioned. Then I realized I’ve noticed it but never named it. They say it’s common in college-age girls, sometimes in boys also. It’s an inflection of the voice that squeaks or grates a little towards the end of a sentence. Interesting, but it doesn’t seem as annoying to me as it did to their audience.

Let me know what you think! What’s your type?

We Survive, But What Will It Look Like?

I realized after the listening to several French citizens’ response shortly after the tragic concert bombing in November that what I felt some of us are missing here in the states. Love. One of the girls that came out of the concert stated it so clearly, not that she loved those that bombed them. No, but she felt love for those that she was with at the time and she was glad to have been with people she loved enjoying an evening of freedom. And her heart was filled with love even while she was searching for her boyfriend and friends. She wasn’t the only one that I heard say statements like that.
Their response to terror wasn’t to build a wall or blast the shit out of those evil bastards. It was, we are put on this earth to enjoy life. We will live. They want us to be afraid. The terrorist want us to fear because they hate our freedom, but we won’t let them take it away.

caught-the-happy-virus-last-night-hafiz

We become what we fear or we become what we love. We in the United States of America should not forget this. I want to live, not hide or pretend to be Rambo.

 

 

The Cost of Fish

Almost everyone has a fish story and it’s usually not about the fish that got away. No, the tale they bemoan is the about the fish they caught or the one they stayed with and they probably should have thrown back. Relationships, jobs, towns they stayed at because they were familiar and they’ve always lived there. These are my thoughts today. Should we follow a whim? Take a chance? And what if it doesn’t work out? And like me, have you forgotten how to have fun?

In most towns, there’s a carnival our kids drag us to. We spend a ton of money to gorge on fried snickers, cotton candy, funnel cakes, popcorn, and we often end up carrying around a couple of half dead goldfish in a clear plastic bag. Junior won them. Way to go little tyke! So here we are in line at the superstore, the cashier’s ringing up your purchases. The tank, food, gravel, and water purifier are all yours for a grand total of $50.00. Charlie, fish number one might live through the first day. You’ve got a decision to make. Buy another fish to replace Charlie or let the whole episode die of natural causes?

Whimsical

Most of us, including me, are not good at taking off on a whim. Quick changes. If I have a hankering for ice cream in the middle of the night, I’ll usually ignore it and go back to sleep. But there are some people I know that would go to the extreme, beyond even the ice cream in the middle of the night. I know a person who if they felt the urge to go skiing, and if there were ski slopes available, would drive across country, just on the whim. They could ski just one day, and be good to go back to work when they came home. And here I can barely get myself out of the house to take out the garbage.

I’m really not talking about goldfish. Life is expensive. Someone once told me, having a car costs. One way or another you’re going to pay for having the luxury of driving. Whether you repair it if it’s used or if you buy it new and pay for its newness. Truthfully all of life is that way. That $50.00 will be spent somewhere, whether you spend it on the goldfish or on pizza. The choice is where do you want to spend it.

My question is, what is this costing me? Every day that I sit and not act on an urge and every time that I suppress a desire to play and I choose to work instead, what is this costing me? Sometimes when you’re just putting up with stuff, you’re only taking the easy way out. If something is continually chafing you in a situation, it’s a good sign that it’s time to change. It might be time to cut our losses and get out.

How much does it cost?
  • Health
  • Happiness
  • Memory
  • Friendships
  • Self esteem

Thanks to Christi for the goldfish inspiration – if you’re reading, you know who you are!

I Have X-rays, But Not X-ray Vision

I’m looking through 18 pages of X-ray films from my MRI on Thursday. I’m to hand deliver them to my doctor, when I have my follow-up. The brain films make no sense to me it all. The one that starts from the back of my head and progresses through to the front of my face is either funny or slightly scary. I look like the angel of death in the last frame. A specter. But I still see nothing that makes sense. I almost didn’t do the MRI. My insurance has a deductible and on top of that is the 30% for diagnostic tests. So hello payments. Saint Francis and I will have a nice arrangement.

We grow

Through all of this ordeal, I thought I knew who I was. Some of that is a topic for another blog, like the fact that I’ve denied my chronic pain for years. My health issues have been completely overlooked in my mind. It’s surprising the things we don’t see of ourselves.

I’ve found surprisingly also that I’m more than that person. I’ve taken this in stride better than I expected I would. I haven’t panicked. I’m not afraid of some dire diagnosis. Really I just need a direction. Because I know it wasn’t what I had believed it had been for so long, migraines. Yes, I have migraines. And have had them since I was young. Sometime in my 30’s a different headache started. I felt similar, but different from the migraine, so I had no idea how to explain it. And when it recently didn’t go away, even after treating it for 3 months, I thought I might go psycho.

When I was in the MRI machine, the tech had asked me if I’d been in a wreck and twice he asked me if I had any pain running down my arm. This caught my attention. When I went through the neck scans I had an idea what I was looking for. And I think I’ve found it. I’m no doctor and I haven’t been in to have it confirmed, but the tech highlighted an area. There’s a narrowing in the spinal canal that looks like it’s the source of my problem. So BINGO. On a bad day, a long day, there’s tightness, swelling, and pain. Lots of pain. Make my head pop off, pain. Next step – follow-up with the doctor.

Not official

My unofficial self diagnosis is Cervical Spinal Stenosis. Let’s see how close I get. Oh, and one of the symptoms of this is clumsiness. Well anyone that knows me, knows that I stumble over ants. When I tried to put the X-ray’s away they all fell on the floor. They’re crazy to read and slippery to sort.  I’m glad they’re numbered or I’d feel I was in a Lucille Ball episode trying to put them in order again. Embarrassing. Hello Nurse. 

A Book is a Book is a Book, Even if it’s an Audible

6e047afdfec3681a15d360ae355918b7I find myself in this same position a lot. It’s the one I found myself in when I was in religion. I dislike it when people take words and interpretations so literal. I think they do it just to win their argument, not so much that they feel they are right. But even so, it builds the fire under my already overused soapbox.

For instance, when has a book been read? When my eyes have skimmed across the page, word by word, page after page, until I’ve finished the entire copy? Seems obvious. I counted up the books I read last year and totaled out at around 54 or so, including audible books. There lies the contention. Some would say that audible books don’t count as books that are “read.” Some, but not me. As I told a coworker that has a small child, there’s no rule that says how the words should be assimilated into consciousness, just that they get there. If I were blind, I would be using my fingers and braille script to read. Would that be cheating? I’m certainly not using my eyes.

And while we’re on the subject of twisting our sensory perceptions, there’s a guy who is colorblind and sees only in gray scale. His name is Neil Harbisson and he did something very unique about his disability.

Artist Neil Harbisson was born completely color blind, but these days a device attached to his head turns color into audible frequencies. Instead of seeing a world in grayscale, Harbisson can hear a symphony of color — and yes, even listen to faces and paintings.

go to site: Ted.com/Neil_Habisson

Science has now learned that the smell of coffee is what gives us it’s flavor. It’s really not our tongues after all. The whole theory of the taste buds, you know the ones, sweet, salty, sour, bitter, etc, that theory has been debunked. The Tongue Map. And the tasting of wine? The Trouble With Tasting Wine They believe that the flavors come from all the accumulated flavors you have built up. Of course they may learn something new later on, but that’s what I heard recently. Another source: Tasty: The Art and Science of What We Eat. It’s also available on Audible.

Another Soap box jump

When I hear people like former Mayor Giuliani saying stuff about “He doesn’t love you. And he doesn’t love me. He wasn’t brought up the way you were brought up and I was brought up through love of this country,” I want to slap someone. Firstly, because I know that Mayor Giuliani wasn’t raised anything like I was, so I can’t even begin to relate to him. Secondly, Everyone expresses love for people and country differently, not to mention that I don’t need the President’s love. How should one express love for country? Is there a protocol for such expression. Three god bless America’s and Five baseball game ticket stubs? Maybe I don’t love my country enough? Show me how. I drink iced tea in the summer and hot coffee in the winter. The vodka on Friday night does look a bit suspicious though. Maybe I should be more careful. It’s a point to ponder, but I’m still counting my audible books as being “read.”