What if

interview

What if Sony releases the movie The Interview, and theatres are bombed?

What if people are killed, maimed, injured?

What if we knew in advance there was a threat to the Boston Marathon?

What if we knew in advance there was a threat to the Colorado theatre?

What if we knew in advance that planes were going to take down the Twin Towers?

What if we knew ISIS was going to behead journalists?

What if we negotiated with terrorists?

What if the Rules of Engagement were changed and Lone Survivor could have been Multiple Survivors?

A lot of “what ifs”.  In the business world, what if scenarios are used all the time, to see the end result of changing certain parameters.  It gives management a tool to choose what path they want to go.

The United States has a very strict policy of not negotiating with terrorists.

“In a speech today (sic Nov 17, 2014) defending the U.S. war against the Islamic State, Secretary of State John Kerry warned that paying ransoms could endanger more Americans.

“And as for kidnapping, the United States has set a heart-rending but absolutely necessary example by refusing to pay ransom for captured Americans. Last year the U.N. Security Council and the G8 firmly endorsed an identical policy, and all of the evidence shows that where and if a country is paid a ransom, there are many more people who are taken hostage,” Kerry said.”

I was surprised today to hear that George Clooney has taken a hard stand against North Korea, and all that it foretells.  He attempted to have high level executive sign a petition to stand behind Sony and release the picture.  Not one person would sign it.  Clooney was upset by that, and stated “I don’t know what the answer is, but what happened here is part of a much larger deal,” Clooney said. “A huge deal. And people are still talking about dumb emails.  Understand what is going on right now, because the world just changed on your watch, and you weren’t even paying attention.”  The actor added, “We cannot be told we can’t see something by Kim Jong-un, of all f—king people.”

I have to say that personally, when I saw the trailers for The Interview, and watched Rogen and Franco on the talk shows, my first thought was “wow, that’s really going to piss off North Korea.”  But I never thought they would take it this far.

So.  What would YOU do, if you knew in advance a set of circumstances?  Would you change the policies of the country?  Would you just hide in your homes?  Would you try to effect change?

Or would you watch Homeland on Showtime and wonder if all this kind of shit happens EVERY STINKING DAY in this world.  And be afraid.  Be very afraid.

I would love to hear your opinions on this.  This is a big deal, in my book.

Be nice. Just be nice.

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Ok, I’m not going to get all sappy here about it being the holiday season and all that stuff and how we should all be better people blah blah blah.

But.  We should all learn to nice.  Nicer.  Treat people better.

I’m trying really hard to be nicer, and “let it go”.  Don’t let little things get to you.  Look at the big picture.  Be happy for what you have, don’t be sad for what you don’t have.

Sometimes, we are nicer to strangers than our own family.  It’s weird that way.  It’s like we have to put our best face forward and be nice and polite so people will like us, but then we treat our spouse/sister/brother/best friend like shit or take them for granted.  We drop the façade of good manners.

I think it is important to still be nice.  Especially to the people who are most important to us.  I notice myself I start to be more critical of people I love the best.  I tell myself it is because I want them to be the best people they can be.  But I should just let them be the people they want to be.

This holiday season, this CHRISTMAS season, I am going to be nice.  It is so much easier to be happy and nice, and then grumpy and persnickety.  Don’t be a Grinch.

I must be feeling better.  Yes, as a matter of fact, I am.  It makes be feel better to be a happy person, and to make others happy.

Here’s why John Lennon was not my favorite Beatle…

lennon1Everybody loved the Beatles.  Everybody had their favorite Beatle, usually John or Paul, it seems.

Today is the anniversary of John’s death, and for that I am very sorry.  However, he was NOT my favorite Beatle, and I don’t think he was a very good person either.

The truth is…..John Lennon was a violent abuser of women, a drug addict, a cheater, a horrid father to Julian, and the main reason why the Beatles broke up.

Yes.  All this is true.  He admitted to it freely numerous times, and some of his songs are about it.  He was forced to marry his first wife Cynthia because she was pregnant, and was mostly absent or too drugged up to care about his son Julian.  The Beatles had just gotten on fire, and he was supposed to hide his marriage so he would more appealing to the hordes of fans that screamed his name.

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I never did like the later Beatle’s music.  I didn’t get it.  Too psychedelic for my tastes.  I guess a lot of it had to do with John’s LSD and heroin addictions, although I never knew about it at the time.  Did you?

Then after the Beatles broke up, John got too weird for me with all the Yoko Ono stuff and their music, and I dropped him off my radar for good.  Until he was murdered.

lennon2I was not a fan of Yoko at all, and never will be.

I know there are a lot of John Lennon fans out there, and even though I will think kindly of him today, due to the fact that he life was snuffed out too early, I did not like him.

Many of you will not believe that John was not just the icon of his age, and that these things are not really true about him.  I grew up thinking the Beatles were the greatest thing ever.  And they were, for their turn in history.

But in this day and age of information overload and high technology, there are no more dirty little secrets and lies that you can hide.  I heard something the other week about Lennon when watching something about Bill Cosby and his alleged drugging and raping victims, and started digging around about John Lennon.  If you don’t believe it, just google John Lennon abused women or something like that, and your screen will be filled with all sorts of goodies.

But, with all that being said, a man’s life was cut short on this day in 1980, and who knows what other wonderful things he could have done with his life.   Here’s hoping you are enjoying your afterlife, whatever it may be.

 

Lucky Lady

gaga1In case you can’t tell, that is Lady Gaga.  One of her more tame looks, I might add.

I have always been a Gaga fan.  Now, even more.  She has some powerful pipes, and now she is singing with the great Tony Bennett, and they are making the old jazz standards new again.

gaga6They are certainly not a combo you would think of putting together off the top of your head.  But her voice is totally suited for singing jazz, and she admires Tony so much, and he her.  They play off each other so well.

gaga3I am seeing more and more of these types of collaboration, and I for one am happy for it.  Lady Gaga wears many hats (and wigs and costumes and meat, lol) and I think I like this hat the best.  I have known for a long time that underneath all the exterior fluff is a real live normal person.  I have seen and heard many interviews with her where she comes off as a girl you would love to be besties with.  Oh, and don’t forget her hot boyfriend, who she met as her love interest on a video shoot:

gaga4Yeah.  Pretty hot, right?  In fact, he is now her REAL boyfriend, and has been for over 3 years.  Just a normal guy, with a normal girl.

gaga5That’s right.  Severide from Chicago Fire.  Taylor Kelly.  Whew, blow the flames out!

Lucky lady indeed.

 

Unbroken

unbroken1Unbroken is the story of Louis Zamperini, who started life out as a young troublemaker, and ended up as a war hero.

The book, which I just finished, and the movie, which I can’t wait to see, is a story of Survival, Resilience and Redemption according to the author, Laura Hillenbrand.  It is non-fiction.  A true story.  One that will make you laugh, cry and renew your American pride and spirit.

It is amazing.  A page burner.  I ate up every word, and was never full.  I always wanted more.  I fell asleep to this book every night for the past week, as it is almost 500 pages long, and not a word skipper, as some easier reads are.

He was an Olympic athlete, a long distance runner.  If it hadn’t been for the war, he probably would have broken the 4 minute mile.

unbroken2Just one more thing the war took from him.  But his training probably kept him alive.  That and luck.

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While in his POW camps, he was brutually beaten, in both body and mind, by a sadistic man, who I think caused him more pain after the war than during it.

unbroken4 bird

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I could go on and on about the book, and Louis Zamperini, but the biggest thing I got out of this book was a new appreciation for all that our soldiers have gone through for us.  World War II was a brutal war.  About half way through the book, I started thinking of my father, and almost replaced Louis with my dad in my mind.

My dad was not a POW, but he was on a ship, the U.S.S. Boston.  He never spoke to us kids about his war experience, and now I know why.  Even though he was not a POW, being in WW II was no picnic.  He did talk a bit about his experience during Typhoon Cobra to my older cousins.  It sounded very frightening, and he said he was lucky enough to have the top bunk (6 high) so he didn’t get vomited on.  There is a book about the U.S.S. Boston called Baked Beans that I might get that details many of the ship’s experiences.  I do know my dad talked about being anchored in Tokyo Harbor after the atomic bombs for the signing of the Japanese surrender.  In fact my grandma always said his lung cancer was caused by the radiation he was most likely exposed to.  A marine commander and his men from the ship were on the ground hours after the bombs were dropped.

So I did feel there was an affinity between the two men, who were in the same war, in the same area of the world, at the same time.  They were both in typhoons, and both witnessed the end of the war.

Louis Zamperini had many demons to deal with after the war.  I’m sure my dad did too, in his own way . I wish I could talk to my dad now, after understanding a bit more about the atrocities of war.

Tonight I’ll have to star gaze, and find his.

 

 

No Thanks

I went to Wal-mart today to get a few items.  I was in line behind an older woman.  She was trying to stretch over the cart to reach things, so I stepped up to help her.

I smiled at her and said, “Boy it’s really hard to reach this stuff sometimes!”  She gave me an ice cold smile back and said “Thanks, I’ll get it myself”.  I was in the process of handing her some stuff, and when I looked up after hearing that, and saw her ice cold eyes, I immediately dropped the item back in her cart, and walked back to my own cart.  She never looked back at me once.  The cashier gave me a quick look like geez, what’s up with that?

I was just trying to help her.  I help people at the Wal-mart all the time.  Heck, I even loaded up all my ex in-laws groceries for them one time.  Even though I have problems with my hip myself, as long as I can walk, I will help people.  If I see an elderly person emptying their cart into their trunk, I help.  I take their cart back.  I try to smile at the store clerks working there, many of whom are elderly people just trying to make it with their minimum wage job.  Heck, we’re all in this together, right?

I don’t know why that lady didn’t want me to help her.  For a minute I thought maybe she had something embarrassing in her cart, but she didn’t.  She didn’t look like a mean old lady.  Maybe she just doesn’t like people touching her stuff.  But wow, did she have a look!

Next time I guess I will ask first!

Awww I wanna pet a baby lion cub!

cub1Sorry for the alignment of the photo, can’t seem to fix it.  But no matter.

What DOES matter is something SICKENING I saw on 60 minutes last night.  See that cute little baby tiger cub I am feeding?  Well, guess what happens to these cubs when they get too big to “pet”.

Thanks to “60 Minutes” last night, I found out.  Most of all petting cubs are sold to canned hunt clubs when they mature.  So that cute baby tiger you petted?  Most likely shot and killed.  They put these lions/tiger in an area where rich assholes can drive in, wait for the animal to approach them, because they have no fear of humans, and then they shoot and kill them.  Sometimes they need to shoot them multiple times, because they aren’t good shooters that take an animal down humanely with one kill shot.  The footage I saw on 60 Minutes last night will give me nightmares for the rest of my life.

The picture above was taken some years ago, when they had tents set up in a Wal-Mart parking lot.  It was Great Cats of the World, sponsored by Bridgeport Nature Center.  You paid $10 to sit with a cub for about 30 seconds and get your picture taken.  They tell you that your donation fed a tiger today!  What they don’t tell you is what happens behind the scenes.  Adult lions eat a lot of meat.  They are expensive.  So they sell them to these hunt clubs, who then charge the rich assholes to come in and basically slaughter them and take them home as trophies.

I tried to go on the website to get more information.  The website is now down, the business in no longer in operation.  I saw several lawsuits against the company on Google.  Lawsuits regarding animal bites, abuse etc.  Thank God they shut them down.  But how many more are out there?  Lots and lots.

Next time I see an exhibit like that, I’m going to do my best to shut it down.  I had no idea stuff like this was going on.  Now I do.  I swear, I cannot watch TV anymore or even my Facebook feed and not see some kind of animal abuse that sickens me.  I am MAD and I am SAD.

Sometimes I am ashamed to be part of the human race, and this is one of those times.

Lessons from Ferguson

Listen.  I’m not going to get into a political debate, or race debate, or right or wrong debate.  I think enough time has now passed to post this blog, which I started as soon as I heard the decision, which started a whole shit storm reaction.

But let me just say this.  If a cop tells me to do something, I’m going to do it.  If he tells me to jump, I’ll say how high.  If he tell me to put my hands up, they are going up.  If he tells me to get down, I’m getting down.  In fact I might do that all that, without even being told.

YOU DO NOT PUT YOURSELF IN AN ADVESARIAL POSITION WITH A PERSON IN AUTHORITY.

I don’t care if you are white, black, purple, red or yellow.  You respect the badge.  In fact, you should fear the badge.  I am a white woman who has never been arrested.  Yet I would never jeopardize myself in ways that disrespect others.

A cop (or a soldier, for that matter) has only an instant in time to decide whether you are a good guy or a bad guy.  If you make ANY KIND OF DUMB ASS MOVE, it’s your own damn fault if you pay for it with your life.  If you chose to play around with a toy gun, that has its safety marking removed, you will pay for that mistake too.  If you start shooting off your mouth, or make threatening moves, once again, you are responsible for your mistake, and may pay for it with your life.

A cop leaves for work every day wondering if it will be his last.  A routine traffic stop.  A defiant kid.  A car chase.  Any kind of altercation, can end in tragedy.

Is it the cop’s fault?  Unless you can put yourself into his shoes, at that exact moment, you will never know.  Hesitate, and it might be your last moment on earth.  You face life and death every day.  That’s why they go through extensive training.

Yes, there are cases of abuse from cops.  It is caught on the dash cams frequently enough.  Not every cop is posing for holy pictures.  But who knows what that cop has seen, what he has been through.  That’s why I say, don’t give anyone reason to harm you.  Don’t talk back, keep your mouth shut, let it get sorted out.

Every white cop that shoots a black kid is going to be under scrutiny.  Unfortunately, many cops are white, and in many criminals areas, the perps/criminals/unsubs/ are black.  It’s a fact of life people.

Truthfully, I have no idea why anybody would want to be a cop anymore, especially in racially tense areas.  Sometimes, no matter they do, it is wrong.  If they shoot someone, they are wrong.  If they don’t and they get shot, they are dead.  So tell me the truth right now….would YOU want to be a cop in Ferguson right now?  Or any myriad of cities around the country?

Policeman, firemen, soldiers.  All put their lives on the line, for their city, for their state, for their country.  They have very dangerous occupations.  They are there to help make our lives safer.

When you have to send in police wearing military gear to quell riots, you are putting everyone at risk.  Violence begets violence.  The cycle has to be broken.  I don’t know how.  I don’t have the answers.  But I do know that the way to respect a dead child is NOT to loot stores and come home with new electronics, and then burn your neighborhood down!  Many of the stores were owned by local black people who worked all their lives to have something of their own, and now it is gone.

Everybody has an opinion.  Everybody is entitled to one.  But sort the facts out first.  Don’t jump to conclusions.  Examine your own motives.  Search your own soul.  If we all did that, maybe another Ferguson won’t happen.

 

I want to be a man on the holidays!

Another holiday is upon us, Happy Thanksgiving!  Which reminds me, I have a bone to pick with half the population.

Men.

In this day and age of sexual equality, and two-income households, how come the MEN aren’t expected to go to work, clean the house, prepare the feast, and then do all the clean-up?

Hell no they don’t, they eat, drink beer, and then lay on the couch and watch football.

couch1

And how come single woman are expected to do all of the above, but single men just show up somewhere empty-handed?  Ok maybe they bring a 12 pack of their favorite beer.

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This just frosts my ass.  But women perpetuate it, by letting men get away with it.

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I used to go ballistic inside at company Christmas parties, where the woman all were expected to bring in all kinds of food, and the men brought nothing, or were assigned to buy paper plates.  Talk about unfair.

Now, before you get your undies in a bunch and cry foul, not ALL men are like this.  I have seen a few that do cook, and chip in with prep and clean-up.  They are worth their weight in gold.  Although, beware of the man who cooks and then leaves the kitchen looking like a nightmare!

kitchen2

Also, since when are children exempt from helping out?  When I was growing up, my sister and I did most of the cleaning, the dishes etc.  But it seems our generation didn’t want to treat their kids the same (like slaves, lol), and so they continue to do it all themselves, and don’t ask their kids to do much at all.  Maybe take the garbage out.  And before you get your undies in a bunch again, I’m not talking about little kids, I’m talking about maybe 10 and up.  Old enough to help out.

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Even the dang animals are lazy!

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So I guess I have a bone to pick with MORE than half the population.  Men and children, lol.  And cats.  Now, I’m not trying to be picky and bitching on Thanksgiving.  I just want EVERYONE to help out, and give your women folk a break!

But if you look like THIS….forget everything I just said!

couch4

Happy Thanksgiving everyone!

P.S.  Please take this blog in the irreverent spirit in which it was intended!

It’s all about that work, no turkey!

turkey

I was pondering about Thanksgivings past.  I am SO grateful they are gone, and I can enjoy the holiday tomorrow ALL DAY AND NIGHT!

Back in the day when I worked for a very large pharmaceutical company which shall remain nameless, I worked a lot of hours.  I mean, a LOT, especially around year-end closing time, as I worked in Accounting.  We had 52 international affiliates to close at the end of November, and then the Parent Company at the end of December.  We started doing prep work in October, and finally would finish up with everything end of January.  During that time, we would work 80-90 hours a week.  Seriously.  I hear that company has changed their ways since then, but back in the cave men day when I worked there, we used a stone tablet to mark our numbers down.  I remember the day we upgraded to an abacus, how exciting!  Then we were granted ONE computer, to do all 52 affiliates.  Can you kids just imagine?  I kid you not.  We did a lot of manual calculating, on calculators with tapes, so we could double check our numbers when things didn’t add up.

Anyway, moving on.  I was newly married and moved into our home.  My father had just died, and my mom didn’t feel too festive.  So I was happy to take over the Thanksgiving holiday, and invite ALL the relatives!

What was I thinking?  I barely had time to sleep, and here I was hosting a holiday that was VERY labor intensive.  My husband at the time traveled a lot, so he was no help.

I remember that first year.  What a nightmare.  I worked until 9 pm the Wednesday before Thanksgiving, and then hit the grocery store on the way home.  All the turkeys were frozen!  When I got home I put the turkey in the sink with cold water like they said to defrost it.  I had bought the biggest turkey they had.  I didn’t realize how long it would take to thaw out.  So I started cleaning the house, polishing the silver, ironing tablecloths, setting the big table, setting up extra tables.

I was up all night.  When you work 90 hours a week, your housekeeping goes to shit.  I put the turkey in the oven in the morning.  Everybody came over, we were having a good time, until it was time to take the turkey out of the oven.  My mom was going to do the gravy, so she was helping me take the stuffing out of the bird.  I said, for such a big turkey I couldn’t fit much stuffing in!  My mom then gasped in horror and pulled out the bag of guts, or giblets or whatever you call them.  I had no idea I was supposed to remove it, it was my first turkey rodeo, lol.  Anyway, she said, shhhhh, don’t tell anyone, it’s ok.  And we served a delicious feast!  Everyone stayed really late, eating and drinking.

Unfortunately, I had to be back at work at 6 a.m. the next morning, and we worked until 2 a.m., which was usual.  And yes, Saturdays and Sundays too.

Now, you would think I’d get smart and tell people that while it was fun, I just couldn’t do Thanksgiving anymore.  Or Christmas, because it was even busier then.  Or New Years.  And by the time Easter rolled around, I was half dead.  Oh, and then I enrolled in grad school.  2 classes a semester, which meant 8 hours a week of class time, plus about 10 hours of week of group meetings, plus homework.

However, I was a gluten for punishment, and continued to host Thanksgiving every year.  But I finally got smart and prepared way ahead of time, and did my Christmas shopping etc. in the summer.  When I finally graduated, and got a different job internally that didn’t require as many hours, I wondered what to do with my time!  I think I work better under pressure.  If I have nothing to do, I get lazy.  No more nightmares of holidays past.

But this year?  I am glad to be a lazy slug.  I think I deserve it, after all the health issues I have had the past couple of years.  I make the desserts now, and go across the street to my sister’s house for dinner, with other neighbor families.  And at Christmas I go to my brother’s house, next door, and bring appetizers or veggies or something.  My SIL is a great cook and baker, so we eat like kings and queens.

One more reason to be grateful this holiday season!