Random – Life In General
As this blog implies, I’m a Yankee living in the South. I watch as the largest flag – a confederate flag- I have ever seen flying high next to the highway almost everyday. Does it offend me? Absolutely not. And why would it? Nobody has done anything with this flag to personally offend me. Nobody has used it to make any aspect of my life difficult, make me feel inferior or prevent me from doing something. It seems futile to me that we’re having a Civil war all over again and the only thing at stake is whether we should continue to buy products that display the flag or if it should be allowed anywhere throughout the South.
The flag represents a time in our history. History is not always neat and pretty; it’s not always politically correct. It doesn’t always make us look good but it’s still our history. Hiding that flag doesn’t erase history; the only thing it does is make us ignorant of the lessons we should have learned from it. We wouldn’t exist as a country if it weren’t for Civil War and dissenting opinions.
With that said, the Confederate flag has no place flying on a government building. Government buildings should represent what our country currently stands for, not what a small group of people think it should have represented over a hundred years ago. The fact is, the South lost the war. You don’t get a consolation prize for that. Further, there were numerous official Confederate flags – so how do you even decide on the “correct” one. There is a difference between learning from the past and hanging on to it. Just ask Mets’ fans who are still hanging on to that 1986 World Series Championship like it was yesterday.
It isn’t a matter of politics. It isn’t a matter of agendas or making a name for yourself during the next election. This is not what our elected officials should be getting involved in beyond removing the flag from a government building. Our elected officials should be spending their time being innovative and acting together to move our country forward – they should be entrepreneurs for our country’s business.
As a country we are at a crossroads right now. We are facing a new Civil War every day. There is always going to be a “cool” new cause to support or a group of people that others feel they need to judge and put down. As a country we are failing at maintaining the reasons this country was founded, such as tolerance and freedom. We need to find a way to unite, focus on issues that positively impact society and learn to live together. Hey, I live next door to Patriots fans and we manage just fine. Seems pretty basic and simple to me.
Further, we need to remember that there are over 1000 channels on any given tv these days as well as numerous subscription apps. Yet, some network exec, from the generation that ate lead paint, needs to stick his two cents into the ridiculous argument by removing the Dukes of Hazard from the lineup because their car might offend someone? It hasn’t offended anyone in 30 years, now suddenly it’s an issue because someone decided to bring attention to it? This is the equivalent of a 2 year falling – he’s fine until a bunch of old ladies make a fuss about it. Suddenly the world is coming to an end, he’s in tears and needs a box of Band-Aids. If the network execs were truly worried about offending anyone they would have cancelled every sitcom on TV Land, Antenna TV, Pop, and all the other channels that air old tv shows. There is room for everyone – if you don’t like what’s on, change the channel.
que the music… “Boy the way Glenn Miller played. Songs that made the hit parade….. Those were the days!”
Today I had a flashback of a sunny day in 3rd grade; I remember running out of school and down the grassy hill next to the basketball courts towards my mom. The closer I got to her the more I started looking at her sideways. I knew it was her but something was wrong.
That morning she dropped me off as a brunette and this afternoon she was suddenly blonde and had the shortest hair I’d ever seen. This was not the mom I knew. This was not cool.
In the eyes of any child their mom’s appearance seems to always remain static. No matter how old she gets or what might ale her our memories always go back to the same look she had when we were 5 – young, smiling, and pretty but most importantly comfortable and predictable. So, the drastic change that overcame my mom on that day left me staring at a stranger. It was as if I had never met this woman before me. I mean, she’s my mom. She wasn’t supposed to be younger or prettier – she’s just supposed to look normal.
The entire ride home I remember staring at her in utter shock saying “what happened to your hair? It looks weird.” She just kept laughing.
Eventually, I got over it. For some reason though that moment has somehow always stayed with me. Along with the smile and laugh my mom displayed the entire time I was in a virtual stupor.
Today, I had a dejavu moment as I returned from the salon and picked up Bruce from school. I walked inside the building and he gasps “What did you do to your hair?” I asked if he liked the red and blonde color and he said “It’s weird. And it’s not red – it’s a weird exotic burgundy. I don’t like it.”
Then I picked up Fusspot, who looked at me sideways, obviously taking in the change. After asking “Why” I changed my hair she squealed “I want pink & purple hair too!”
I guess regardless of the generation some things never change.
Today I got to cross something off my bucket list – I learned how to shoot a weapon. Well, a gun. I can barely even say the word but for a long time I’ve wanted to learn how to use one. I have no intention of getting one. In fact, I have pretty strong feelings about the need for stronger gun control measures. Growing up, I never gave much thought to guns. No one took them to school; I don’t even think any of my friends had them at home, unless they were police officers. Even that water balloon game on the boardwalk makes me jump sky high. Gets me every time.
In NJ, the only people concerned with carrying guns are either in the mob or a gang. I never really understood the point of gangs. In Fl, however, it seems to be a normal way to grow up and kids gets shooting lessons before they hit double digits. This state is full of people crying about their 2nd Amendment rights to bear arms. It’s also home to many a trigger-happy gun owner but that’s besides the point.
My personal feelings about firearms aside, I kind of enjoyed it. I’m looking forward to doing it again. However, I learned a valuable lesson….
Low cut shirts are not recommended. Childbirth doesn’t hurt as much as a casing hitting you in the chest and falling down your shirt, while shooting a firearm. Next time it will be long sleeves and a high neckline.
My days are pretty full of observations – at work, on the playground, on the soccer field – even on the road. This week was no different. Here are s ome of them along with some helpful advise for those I’ve come across:
1. When having a serious conversation with someone, keep your hands out of your pants. Buy clothes that fit you instead of tucking and adjusting every 5 minutes.
2. It’s really frustrating when the very reason you like and respect someone is the exact same reason that person drives you nuts and frustrates you. It makes some days very long and meetings even longer.
3. The phrase “Hey guys, I need a jar of that blow stuff.” should never be the first words out of your mouth when you enter a room – in any context.
4. Some people can do amazing things with metal and a blow torch. I pass this amazing studio and yard full of art every day.
5. The Daytime Emmy Awards used to be an event. Now it is a cheezy sad excuse for an awards show on a second rate channel I never heard of. And they should probably change the name to the Young and the Restless awards.
Unemployment is like a natural disaster. It’s always something you read or hear about and think “I’m safe from that.” Nowadays you hear about it more than ever. Your heart goes out to those effected by it and you offer your help but then you go about your day and say “good thing I’m not in danger of that happening.”
But then one day, like a blizzard without warning – BAM! You get told you’re parting ways. At first you don’t hear right – your first thought is “what? it sounds like I’m getting fired.” Laid off, budget cuts, economic downturn – doesn’t matter what you call it, I still have nowhere to go tomorrow. I still have no idea what I’m going to do every day after I drop the kids off.
At first you might even believe something better is out there. Something will come along pretty soon. You try to stay positive. You even start to believe yourself when you tell people you’re fine.
But, then 3 weeks later after all the contacts in your network have been contacted, follow-ups have led nowhere, return calls are few and far between, and you’ve applied for every job possible it gets easier to justify sitting back and catching up with the Abbotts or life in Salem.
It gets easier to lose hope. Hope that there is something better out there. Hope that you might finally catch that break you’ve been hoping for.