It’s Sunday night. The night before school. The night before work. Many will not sleep well tonight because of this.
I truly used to hate Sunday nights. It signaled the end of the weekend, and the start of the work week. For me, that sometimes meant grueling work weeks of 12+ hour days in addition to going to grad school at night. That meant having my shit together for the upcoming week. Little things like clean clothes, meals prepped, house cleaned, massive amounts of homework done.
Also, in the initial years of my working life, my husband traveled a lot, and so I went it solo. Then I was diagnosed with a pretty serious incurable disease, which still causes me grief and requires bi-monthly infusions whether I want to or not. Took a lot of joy away from my life, took a lot of my hair.
So. Sometimes the weekends WEREN’T so fun after all. But there were also many years of lake life fun, boating and grilling and drinking etc. with family and friends. Which sometimes made Mondays harder, lol.
There were many times when I looked forward to work. An interesting project awaiting perhaps. Friends to catch up with. Walks at lunch time. TEAM WORK, mostly. I loved how we all came together to get the job done, no matter what the time of day or night was. Or going to school to substitute teach, especially Special Ed. Loved it so much!
There were many times where I dreaded work. Having an asshole boss. Having asshole co-workers. Negative attitudes. Hostile work environments. Having to take antidepressants, just to get through the days. Crying all night. Having to get up and go to work again with swollen shut eyes.
Then, along come the elder years, complete with Osteoarthritis and Fibromyalgia (which I would never wish on my worst enemy. Ok maybe one or two).
But, there is always light at the end of the tunnel. RETIREMENT! I moved to a wonderful place, have made wonderful friends, and now have a wonderful life. People say I am reverse aging and I must agree. In fact, I enjoy Sunday nights now. It is peaceful here in The Glade. No rush hour to worry about if you want to go shopping in the morning. If your Fibro is flaring, just stay in bed. No need to make it worse by having to get up and go at the crack of dawn. Just life going on, in the best way possible way.
Enjoy your Sunday nights. They can be wonderful.
Wow. I remember it so clearly, like it happened yesterday. Probably because it was during one of the worst times of my life.
My husband had up and left me for another woman without any warning right beforehand. So every year I get to remember, revisit, redream. It sucks. But at least I will never forget.
On Sept. 11th I was at work, crying in my office, as I had done for the past few weeks. My internet alerted a flashing news story, and I watched the pictures of the first plane’s aftermath online. I had a real bad feeling. So bad that I stopped crying.
When the second plane hit, I knew it for what it was. Everybody crowded around in front of computers, watching the story unfold. One of the girls brought in a small TV to watch it on. I was starting to get scared, and wondering if I should talk to the bosses about sending people home. It seemed like everyone in Chicago had gone home. But the big boss came out of his office, and told us to shut off the TV and for everybody to get back to work. What a patriot, huh? Asshole.
I went home alone, to an empty house, scared. I was so scared I didn’t want to watch it on TV anymore. I went and sat in the back yard with the dogs, and rocked back and forth in my chair. I saw my ex drive by down the road with his new girlfriend in the car, and I had the uncharitable thought that I wished it was him in the WTC instead of some other decent person. Then the Catholic school girl guilt kicked in and I felt bad. So instead I wished it was me. That’s what the Catholic school did to me. Ha.
Anyway, I got through it. We all did. We all bucked up and became stronger for it. I got divorced a couple of weeks later, and got used to taking off my shoes in an airport. It was a sad time for us all.
By the time the one year anniversary rolled around, I was no longer sad, but mad. Mad about both things. So I wrote a poem about it. I published it on the one year anniversary, and have posted it in some form or fashion every year since. It helps remind me of where I was in that heartbreaking moment. Here it is again:
It was a beautiful day in June about 3 years ago. I was on the train heading home from a great weekend visiting with a friend in Chicago and taking in the sights. My cell phone rang, and it was my neighbor. She asked me when I would be home, as 2 FBI agents were looking for me.
My stress level went through the roof! I went over and over again in my mind what they could possible want. I was a good, law abiding citizen! With some trepidation, I called the number on the card they left when I got home.
Shortly thereafter 2 agents in suits appeared at my door. I did not let them in. First I asked them for identification. I told them their FBI ID cards could be bought on the internet. I told the same thing about their badges. Finally they gave me a card for their Chicago FBI office and the name of their supervisor. I called the number. They answered FBI offices of Chicago. I asked for the supervisor. Said he was out. Then I asked for one of the agents at my door. They said he was out. I said out doing what. They would not tell me, obviously. I said I was going to call the police as I didn’t believe these guys were agents. In the next minute or so, the supervisor called me back. These guys were legit.
Now that I vetted them, it was time to get down to business. The lead agent said he was sorry to inform me that I was on the ISIS Civilian Kill List. What?
They explained to me that in order to become a member of ISIS, you must kill an Infidel to get your jihad. An Infidel is a Christian, like me. So they published a Civilian Kill List for the United States lone wolf who wants to become a member of this illustrious group.
By this time I am envisioning running down my street with a crazed kid after me with a butcher knife so he could behead me in public. Yikes!
Why was I on this list? They could not say why, but that Quantico was analyzing the data, and they would let me know if they found anything. My name and address was on the list, along with about a hundred other people. They needed to find a common thread.
After I asked about a million questions, they told me I should: get an alarm system, get a dog, get a gun, tell my family and friends and neighbors etc. Be aware of my surroundings at all times.
Was I really in danger? Is someone going come and kill me, in Antioch IL? They didn’t know. It was their responsibility to inform me of the situation. They had already informed the Lake County Sheriff about the situation, and they were going to add patrols to my neighborhood. Crikey!
After they left, I sat in shock for awhile. Then I got in my car and drove to Red Dot Arms. When I explained the situation to them, they really got excited. They live for this kind of stuff! They are all armed to the teeth. Anyway, they spent a lot of time with me picking out a hand gun for me and showing me the basics. They let me shoot it, and I wasn’t a fan. But I bought the gun. They literally wanted me to buy tear gas and shotguns and all kinds of rigmarole. Geez! I thought they were going to move in with me so they could get the chance to shoot a real bad guy! (Trust me, I thought about it!)
Then I went and told my family, all of who live in my neighborhood. They did not believe a word I said. They said I was making up this story, for attention. Like, what would they want with an old lady from Antioch? Exactly.
It was Red Dot Arms that broke the case open. They were called by several other people, who were also on my list! These other people had gone on a church trip to Israel. They had a Palestine guide, who apparently sold their church list to ISIS. ISIS then filled out the list with random members of other Christian churches.
I called the FBI to let them know. They were on the case too, and had come up with the same conclusion. They came back out to talk to me, to calm me down.
So. I got a deadbolt and started locking my door. I told my Ozzy cat he was now the official guard dog. I told my friends and other neighbors etc. I started looking over my shoulder.
It was not the best summer after that. I would practice how fast I could get my gun out of my safe, slap the cartridge in, and be ready to fire. It took 6 seconds. I would be dead by then, but was scared to keep my gun loaded and under my pillow or something.
I was scared of my gun, so I took a CCL class. Didn’t help me overcome my fear. My arthritis prevents me from firing the gun like a pro. I have not used my gun since that class, three years ago.
Time has passed. Nobody has shown up yet. I am thinking they won’t. ISIS is so last year. At least I hope so.
I am no longer afraid of ISIS. Now I am afraid of a mass shooter showing up at my school, or Wal-mart or church. A domestic terrorist, home grown right here in the good old USA. The chances of that happening to me are much better.
Kinda sad, huh? Oh and if you dont believe my story either, here is a post from 2016 about civilian kill lists.
I grew up in a middle class family. In high school I knew I wanted to go to college and be a teacher. I worked really hard to save up money, and I ended up here, at Colby Hall at Illinois State University. I was assigned the BEST roommate ever, more on that later!
We had the best time freshman year in Colby Hall with our floormates. Made lots of friends, had lots of fun, even while living in a tiny room with a bathroom way down the hall.
This is a sample of the room that I shared with my roommate, Kathy, aka Fonsie. We did not have curtains, or a TV. Just plain simple basic room. But when we pulled our beds out for the night, we would lay there talking, talking, talking, and Fonsie would teach me to sing.
Together with our friends across the hall, we became Little Sisters to the Lamba Chi Alpha fraternity, which introduced us to Greek life. They were a pretty hard core frat, with lots of brothers that had just come back from Vietnam, and smoked pot pretty much all the time. This was all very new to me, as I grew up in a bubble, lol. They introduced me to beer, and I became a huge fan.
Not a very impressive house, lol, but we had lots of fun there. They were invited to leave campus for quite awhile, but I hear they are making a comeback this year.
We met a lot of new friends in the Greek life, and decided to “rush”. We only had local houses back then, not national sororities, due to a clause with an Illinois State University donor. So we became members of Alpha Lambda Kappa. It was a small house, and we all crowded in there, and became very close sisters!
Then the clause time was up, and all the National sororities and frats descended upon campus! We finally chose to become Alpha Delta Pi, which is the oldest sorority, started in Macon Georgia. Our symbol is the Diamond, and colors are blue and white. Unfortunately I don’t have a picture of our original house, but here is where the ADPi girls live today.
Aren’t they just beautiful girls! How I wish I was back in college! Seriously the best years of my life. Even though I didn’t have much, and had to work while going to school, I had the love of my sisters and a feeling of family that I never had experienced before. My roomie and I were inseparable, and we shared most everything!
So time passes. I got married pretty much right out of college, and lost track of sisters over the years. I always wondered about them, but this was way before the age of social media! And life just gets in the way.
But about a year and a half ago, I was on Linked In, and saw my roomies brother listed. I emailed him and asked him for Fonsie’s email. She answered me! I found her! And she had kept in contact with others! I was so excited! We planned to meet up, it was about this time of year, one year ago. We met for lunch and talked for hours and hours! I was ESTASTIC! So happy!
Kathy is the one of the far right. I think we all held up pretty good! So we all have stayed in touch, and reached out to ever more sisters we found. And lo and behold, we had an even BIGGER reunion this past summer!
Aren’t we a bunch of hotties? We had the best time, again talking for hours and catching up. Now, since we went to a teacher’s college, most of my sisters were teachers. I never became one because I changed my major to business due to a student teacher assignment that my parents did not approve of. BUT. After talking to all them, and a retired teacher friend of mine from the pool, I decided to try and become a Substitute Teacher this past summer.
It took me months and lots of time and effort and money and testing and assessments and a whole lot of other stuff, but in September, I finally achieved my dream from so long ago and became a teacher! Luckily, where I sub, they actually let you teach. I love it so much. It invigorates this old lady! I actually cried when I came home from my first teaching day!
AND. Today. I will see the Fab Four again! We are meeting for lunch, just like we did last year at Christmas time! I’m so excited. I love these girls so much. Stay tuned for a new picture shortly!
I am a huge animal lover. I will pet any animal. Dogs, cats, horses, bunnies. But wild animals? Everywhere I look nowadays, people are posting pictures of wild animals either as pets or petting them. Squirrels. Lots of baby squirrels that fell out of tree and people rescue them and take them home and raise them. Some stay and never leave. And they LOVE their people! They LOVE to be petted! They LOVE blankets! So cute!
But wait a minute. There is nothing like this in the wild. The momma squirrel is not covering them with blankies and giving them binkies. Owls aren’t closing their eyes and kissing each other. Otters aren’t floating on their backs in bathtubs posing for pictures.
Just look on Facebook. Every other post is a wild animal being petted or better. Are there really all these people out there thinking, gee, I think I will bring home an owl and pet it? Where are they coming from? How is this happening? Don’t these wild animals bite or have diseases? The pictures make them look so cute and cuddly.
I really thought I wanted a baby otter. I mean, look at face! But then I read that although they are very cuddly and loving, they are very smelly. They like spreading their, um, feces, around. Ok, that’s a deal breaker! But in the wild, floating around with their babies on their bellies? Too cute.
Most wild animals ARE smelly. They purposely spread their scent around, in a variey of ways, which are not conducive to homes, to mark their territories. Think of a house cat, which even though domesticated, still marks. And walking your dog, having to stop at every tree and bush. This is remnants of their wild side.
So, bottom line, I love the pictures and videos. I pet my cats more now because of it. And Izzy loves watching the videos with me. It is entertaining and beneficial for all of us, lol.
But I still wonder where they get all these animals/birds/reptiles…. and how do they know they will be friendly? Don’t forget about Grizzly Man, who thought the bears loved him, until they ate him and his girlfriend. And those videos of the lions running at the man, and they hugging him? I’m not sure until the last second what their intention is.
So go hug a pet today. Wild or otherwise.
Happy Birthday to my most favorite QB! Most entertaining QB ever, famous for his sunglasses and headbands! Made Chicago and people all over the country love the Bears again! Jim, I hope you have a great birthday, I know you are suffering from Dementia and CTE. He has been diagnosed with early onset dementia and still struggles with memory loss, severe headaches and depression.
What do I mean by that? Well, Jim played in an era where the bigger the hit, the better! he was a tough guy, and played injured all the time. He suffered many concussions. And thanks to Bennet Omalu, who was the first to discover CTE and bring it to awareness, things are getting better in the league. (See the movie Concussion. Seriously).
I mean, the Bears have a reputation for a fierce defense. Many Hall of Fame players from that discipline. And the Bears have also been known for weak offensive lines, leaving their QB exposed to sacks etc. Better be a good scrambler!
I saw a documentary on TV a few years back about how Jim is doing post football. It was very depressing.
But, as luck would have it, he has improved as of late.
Per the Chicago Tribune, “In ESPN’s forthcoming “30 for 30” documentary, “The ’85 Bears” — which was shown at a private advance screening Wednesday night at AMC River East with McMahon in attendance — McMahon’s union with Atlas Orthogonal chiropractor Scott Rosa is chronicled as he continues to deal with the probability of significant brain damage.
In the film, Rosa reveals his diagnosis of McMahon, which showed that some of the former quarterback’s pain and head problems stemmed from neck misalignment that was restricting the flow of spinal fluid and causing toxic proteins to pool in his brain.
McMahon subsequently has received treatment that adjusts his spinal cord and regulates the flow of spinal fluid. In the film, McMahon said the first time he had the procedure, “it was like the toilet flushed. I could feel this stuff actually leaving my brain.”
Suddenly, his vision and speech improved.”
I am so happy to hear this. Nobody deserves to live the way he was, after dedicating his life to football. Unfortunately, the Bears are known for the most players with CTE, with some ending their lives because of it. As a result, we have learned a lot about CTE and the effects of concussions while playing. Hopefully things will be better for players now.
I will always remember Jimbo, and especially the ’85 Bears. I think this says it all…..
We are the Bears Shufflin’ Crew
Shufflin’ on down, doin’ it for you
We’re so bad, we know we’re good
Blowin’ your mind like we knew we would
You know we’re just struttin’ for fun
Struttin’ our stuff for everyone
We’re not here to start no trouble
We’re just here to do the Super Bowl Shuffle
I’m the punky QB, known as McMahon
When I hit the turf, I’ve got no plan
I just throw my body all over the field
I can’t dance, but I can throw the pill
I motivate the cats, I like to tease
I play so cool, I aim to please
That’s why you all got here on the double
To catch me doin’ the Super Bowl Shuffle
News headlines of late have focused on the Catholic sexual abuse scandal that erupted in Pennsylvania. Unfortunately, this scandal has dodged the Church for a long time.
Back in 2015, the movie Spotlight, an award winning docudrama, gives a detailed account of the Boston Globe’s Pulitzer Prize-winning investigation into the widespread pedophilia scandals and subsequent cover-ups within the Catholic Church. As per Justin Chang’s review from Variety, Spotlight was “a superbly controlled and engrossingly detailed account of the Boston Globe’s Pulitzer Prize-winning investigation into the widespread pedophilia scandals and subsequent cover-ups within the Catholic Church. This measured and meticulous ensemble drama sifts through a daunting pile of evidence to expose not just the Church’s horrific cycles of abuse and concealment, but also its uniquely privileged position in a society that failed its victims at myriad personal, spiritual and institutional levels.
Where the film proves extraordinarily perceptive is in its sense of how inextricably the Church has woven itself into the very fabric of Boston life, and how it concealed its corruption for so long by exerting pressure and influence on the city’s legal, political and journalistic institutions. Given the blurrier-than-usual separation of church and state, and the fact that the newspaper’s own readership includes a high percentage of Irish Catholics, it’s no surprise that it falls to an outsider like Baron — a Florida native and the first Jewish editor to take the helm at the Globe — to play hardball with the Archdiocese.”
But that was just one city’s problem with Catholic priests. Recently, new revelations have come to light in Pennsylvania, which I fear is just the tip of the iceberg. Even the Pope is cracking down now in public, instead of sweeping it under the rug and moving predator priests around to different parishes like chess pieces.
And like the tip of the iceberg that took down the Titanic, even something that is considered bullet proof really isn’t. In fact, that attitude makes it even more vulnerable when the cracks start to split open. The major players start to scatter like rats from a sinking ship. We have had many examples of this behavior throughout history, and not just with the church. But I digress.
I think the Catholic church archaic rules of priests/nuns not marrying has landed themselves into attracting a certain kind of person who finds his pleasure elsewhere. Sometimes at the expense of innocent victims. Most other Christian religions allow marriage. Perhaps this would help.
As a Catholic, this issue of sexual abuse by priests has bothered me for a long long time, primarily because of all the payoffs and coverups. Now it seems to be coming to a head, with the revelations coming to light, at least monetarily. For years now many Catholics have been financially boycotting the church. The Catholic church is the 3RD LARGEST LANDOWNER IN THE WORLD. Financially it is one the wealthiest organizations in the world, Number 1 for religious organizations with 200+BILLION, and on the world stage puts it on par with oil companies and Walmart.
To sum it up, this all is a sad commentary on the world’s largest religion, with nearly a third of the population of the world, with Islam coming in a very close second and poised to take over the number 1 spot in the foreseeable future. And lets be honest, Islam/Muslims scare many Americans, don’t they, since 911, which changed how we perceive Muslim-Americans. The majority of Islam are very peace loving, but as with anything, a few radicals spoil the whole pot.
So what do we do to clean the Catholic house? Keeping in mind it is a VERY BIG HOUSE. It is as corrupt as any large corporation. Or government. In my honest opinion. What is yours?
It’s the holiday season once again! A joyous occasion!
As I get older, I am more aware of the fragility of many people, both physically and mentally. So many people have lost their partner/child, or never had one, and are facing the holidays alone, and yes, lonely.
What does lonely mean? Google suggests the following:
Very different than alone. Google suggests the following:
I recently watched the Law & Order Menendez Brothers treatment on TV. This is a case that has fascinated me for years. Two well-to-do brothers kill their parents in cold blood. I’m really conflicted about it.
Are they murderers? Were they abused? Did they really fear for their lives? A picture perfect family. Right?
Unfortunately, there is no good answer. I think, like OJ, there has been too much publicity about all this. Too many movies made, too much conjecture.
Unlike OJ, they did confess. I almost wonder at what in the world they were thinking, after the murders, the way they acted and spent money on lavish lifestyles. Did they think they were above the law? Or smarter than the law? Or did they just not think?
Everyone always looks to Erik as the weak one, the one that broke, that one that confessed. I can’t imagine how hard it must have been for him. Lyle seemed to be made of sterner stuff. But regardless, however much you hate your parents, can you picture yourself waltzing into the den with shotguns and murdering your parents? It seems maybe there SHOULD have been another answer. Someone that could have helped them, protected them.
As a frame of reference, I think back to OJ, I personally never doubted his guilt. Never gave him an ounce of sympathy. He was violent, he was abuser. He murdered out of jealousy and rage. I’m just glad he did end up going to jail eventually, albeit not for murder.
The Menendez brothers? I think it was a rash decision, that went very wrong. They were still fairly young, perhaps not mature enough to understand the full ramifications of their actions.
So. The brothers go to jail for life. OJ is a free man today. The brothers killed out of fear. OJ killed out of rage. Maybe.