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Sunday, March 12, 2017

I HAVE BECOME MY MOTHER


                I am worried about today’s generation.  As I write these words I am shrieking inside – OMG!!  I HAVE BECOME MY MOTHER!!  When I was a teenager, my Mom would tell me she was worried about the future of our Country with the teenagers of the day soon taking their place in the world.  Being that it was the late 60s and drugs had started to have an impact, the Vietnam “Conflict” had started, and there were riots at some major universities, perhaps she had reason.  She was convinced the music of the times was enough in itself to send us all straight to Hell.

                My worries of today’s generation are a little different.  I don’t see the passion to change things for the better in many of the youth of today.  I see young people who are jaded, feeling a lot of anger, even hate, toward their parents, siblings, teachers, fellow students, and total strangers.  Our generation would march and protest against the Vietnam Conflict, the sending of our young men and women across the world to a place that didn’t want them and away from places that did.  We did not, however, have instances where one of our classmates would come into our school and start shooting their fellow students, or go into a local grade school and kill first and second grade children, or open fire in a crowded theatre. 

                Columbine was a huge wake up call for me and many others.  I read the book about what happened at Columbine to try to understand it, to try to figure out how two young men could be that angry.  They were so angry they could not come up with any other action but to kill and maim as many of their fellow students and teachers as possible before killing themselves.  And no one saw it coming!  How does that happen?  How does a person get so angry that instead of taking their anger out in some way where people don’t die, they try to kill anyone and everyone they encounter?  What causes that much anger and hate in someone so young?  And again, how did no one see this coming?  And these questions apply to every one of the many school shootings that have happened since Columbine.

                I would advocate for more effort be spent working with our children, and their parents, to keep an open relationship with them so if/when these feelings of anger, frustration, and desperation start to manifest itself in them, someone will notice it and step up and do whatever needs to be done to get them help.  It has been said it takes a village to raise a child, and that has been proven over and over again. How can a parent (or two parents) who are bitterly unhappy raise a happy, healthy, well-adjusted child on their own?  These efforts will cost money for more counselors, more education for parents, teachers and the children themselves.   Money for social programs is always a hard sell, but we can either increase the budget for these programs or we can keep increasing the cost for prisons, and continue to bear the costs of the devastation they create and bury those who could have been great leaders of our country.


First drafted in 2003; even more true in 2017.

Saturday, January 30, 2016

Today My World Changed

  
Today my world changed. What seemed impossible yesterday now feels not only possible but probable. Dean Spanos did what I never thought he would – he reached out to the San Diego Chargers fans. Disdain and disregard has been the Pablum fed to SD fans over the past year. Spanos was taking his team to LA, one way or another, whether they wanted him to or not; San Diego was history. 

He refused to negotiate with the City of San Diego regarding a new stadium any longer. To his credit, he had been trying for 13 years. As I understand it, the City refused to ante up the bucks Spanos wanted to build a new stadium; they couldn’t even agree on where it should be built. The City residents were conflicted about whether or not they wanted to have their taxes raised to pay for a new state-of-the-art stadium for a team that couldn’t make the first round playoffs for years at a time. There was no doubt in my mind a new stadium would have been approved and built in short order had the team been able to get at least a 10-6 season on a semi-regular basis. Had they made the Super Bowl, the fans would have insisted on a new stadium – immediately! But, instead, we saw a 14-2 Coach get canned because he wouldn’t kiss Spanos’ ring, and watched as Pro Bowl player after Pro Bowl player go to other teams to help them win Super Bowls. My husband and I would watch the playoffs and say “he was a Charger”; “he was a Charger.” 

What caused me to move Spanos to my feces list was his proposal that the Chargers and Raiders share a stadium. WTH? There is a hard and fast rule among most Charger fans; we don't lose to the Raiders; it is not acceptable. They are the underbelly of the NFL. Most SD season ticket holders I know gave their tickets away to the Raiders games because it was not even safe to be in the stadium with them and their fans. And now Spanos basically wants to get in bed with them and wanted us to watch? At that point I sadly decided I would offer to help them pack for wherever they were going; I was done. Spanos had broken my heart.

We have heard many rumors, read many opinions from sportscasters, season ticket holders, and the general public. Spanos, however, remained silent, leaving us all believing SD was a distant memory and he was anxious to breathe LA smog. Until yesterday. Shortly after hearing the news Spanos had reached an agreement with the LA Rams, he sent out a press release saying that although he had reached an agreement, his heart was still in San Diego and he wanted to stay here not just this year, but for years to come. 

I honestly didn’t think he had it in him. It could be a ploy, as some think, but I want to believe him. I want to believe he wants to be here as much as the Charger fans (and most of the players) want them to be here. So, I woke up to sunshine and am ready to buy season tickets for the 2016 season, and encourage residents of San Diego County to do likewise. Today my world changed.

Sunday, September 6, 2015

All Men Are Assholes

                “All men are assholes.”  I think those were the first words I ever spoke.  Most babies start with “Mamma” or “Dadda,” but not me.  After all, babies repeat what they hear, right?  Well, that’s what I did – repeated what I heard – a lot. 
                Now, before you judge too harshly, my Mom had reasons why she believed that. Her father was a tyrant who never wanted her; her first  husband, never met a woman he didn’t try to have sex with and put a loaded gun to her head one day while she was sitting on a toilet; her second husband (my father (aka “Sperm Donor”)) wanted her to give up her three children by her first husband after I was born.  She declined and he was gone before my first birthday.  Are you still wondering why “all men are assholes” were my first words?
                There was one positive male influence upon my Mother – her brother.  He was her hero. But she didn’t see him as a man; he was her bother so he didn’t fall into the “all men …” category.  As she went through life she found a select few other men who didn’t fall into that group either.  They were uncles or cousins or an occasional friend of the family.  But as far as I ever knew, there were no males she met professionally or personally who escaped the “asshole” label.
                Did it have an impact on me and my siblings?   Oh yes. My sisters and I didn’t want to make a liar out of our Mom so we managed to find a few of our own along the way to add to her list.  Then we too could say  “all men are assholes.”  And we did.
                But one day when I thinking about my childhood I wondered what the frequent use of that phrase had done to my brother’s psyche.   During his teen years, he heard  that phrase frequently.  And it had to hurt him – a lot.  I don’t think our Mother ever consciously thought her son was an asshole.  However, she lived with such constant  bitterness and hurt I don’t think she ever really considered the impact of those words on her son or his sisters.
                After I graduated from high school at age 17 and moved half-way across the country to start my “adult life,” I had the opportunity to get to know my brother.  He came to visit me for a few days before the Navy shipped him off to Japan and he promised to write.  And he did!  Through our letters I learned something really amazing; my brother was a good guy!
Once I assimilated that fact, I realized something more amazing.  If my brother, who is a male, is not an asshole, then it was not possible that “all men are assholes.”  Maybe there were other men out there who were good guys; maybe they were not all that bad.  It was an astounding revelation!
I had already learned on my own there were some males who fit very easily into my Mom’s group.  I had even learned there were some females who fit easily into the female group.  But certainly not all, not even most.

My brother has come to that realization too.  It may have taken him a little longer, but that’s understandable.  While I don’t believe for a second Mom was directing them at her son, he still felt the sting of the arrows.  Even now, on occasion, when he doesn’t want to do something I would like him to do, he will say, “Well, as Mom always said, ‘All Men are Assholes.”

Monday, April 27, 2015

Kids These Days

I am worried about today’s generation. As I write these words I am shrieking inside – OMG!! I HAVE BECOME MY MOTHER!! When I was a teenager, my Mom would tell me she was worried about the future of our Country with the teenagers of the day soon taking their place in the world. Being that it was the late 60s and drugs had started to have an impact, the Vietnam “Conflict” had started, and there were riots at some of the colleges, perhaps she had reason. She was convinced the music of the times was enough in itself to send us all to Hell.

 My worries for today’s generation are a little different. I don’t see the passion to change things for the better in many of the youth of today. I see young people who are jaded, feeling a lot of anger, even hate, toward their parents, siblings, teachers, fellow students and perfect strangers. Our generation would march and protest against the Vietnam Conflict, the sending of our young men and women across the world to a place that didn’t want them and away from places that did. We did not, however, have instances where one of our classmates would come into our school and start shooting their fellow students, or go into a local grade school and kill first and second grade children, or open fire in a crowded theater.

Columbine was a huge wake up call for me and many others. I read the book about what happened at Columbine to try to understand it, to try to figure out how two young men could be that angry. They were so angry they could not come up with any other action but to kill and maim as many of their fellow students and teachers as possible before killing themselves. And no one saw it coming! How does that happen? How does a person get so angry that instead of taking their anger out in some way where people don’t die, they try to kill anyone and everyone they encounter? What causes that much anger and hate in someone so young? And again, how did no one see this coming? And these questions apply to every school shooting that has happened since Columbine, including the school shooting that just happened today.

I would advocate for more effort be spent working with our children to keep an open relationship with them so that if/when these feelings of anger, frustration, and desperation start to manifest in them, someone can step up and do whatever needs to be done to get that child help. These efforts will cost money for more counselors, more education for parents, teachers and the children themselves. Money for social programs is always a hard sell, but my view is we can either increase the budget for these programs or we can keep increasing the cost for prisons, and bury what could have been leaders of our country.

Sunday, April 19, 2015

FAMILY


 I hope something happened this week to make you laugh outright and a task  that made you stretch, even a little, to reach a little higher and gave you a sense of pride and accomplishment.  And, that you took even a little time for yourself, to dream, to think and to grow (or to take a nap).

This week I did something wonderful.  My family and I scheduled our semi-annual get together. Now, some of you may think, well, that’s not so wonderful!  I assure you it is.   Like many families, after graduation we each went our separate ways: one married and moved away, another joined the Navy and went to sea, and I moved half-way across the country to see what life was like away from home.  My middle sister stayed home with Mom.

A year or so after I moved away, I remember my Mom telling me she was convinced my brother, sisters, and I would never see each other again after she left this Earth. We were not only geographically apart, we seemed to be emotionally far apart as well.   I imagine some of you reading this can relate.  Many high school graduates have one goal after graduating – getting as far away from home as possible.

Our family was one of the lucky ones.  After we moved out on our own, our mother decreed we would all get together every couple of years and none of us really wanted to tell her “no.”  We weren’t sure what would happen if we did, but no one wanted to find out.  And, as we got together over the years, infrequently though it was, we began to see each other as people and not just as a child we had to deal with.

We began to develop our own relationships with each other. Each one of us is our own person, with very different ideas of how things should be, and even how things were when we were growing up.  But time has softened the edges and we have learned a little more about what is, and is not, so important.  Now our get togethers are a time of laughter and joy and remembering how we got to where we are.

If this doesn’t happen in your family, is it something you can change?  For those of us who are lucky enough to have siblings, they are a big part of who we are.  They know we have issues and they know how we got them.  They may have given them to us!  (My brother is still trying to convince me I was adopted.)  But they are also the ones who can help us deal with the issues.

Think, just for a minute, how you would feel if you got a phone call from someone telling you any one of your siblings passed away.  Live in that moment for a few minutes.  If there is anything left unsaid or undone, make that call or do what needs to be done now.   Please don’t let it wait.  Once they are gone it is too late.  You will always be connected with your siblings, whether you think so or not.   Do your best to make that connection a strong, healthy one. 

During the coming week I hope at least once each day you will look in the mirror and say, “Well, hello, Gorgeous!”

'Til next time,

Carole

Sunday, April 12, 2015

Writing a Blog



This seemed like a really good idea when my brother suggested It a week ago.  We were having a nice conversation about my interest in writing.  I have been interested in writing for many years, even started a book or two.  The starting was easy, the finishing was …..

Out of the blue, he says, why don’t you write a blog?  He has had one for several years and has a number of followers.  I didn’t know much about writing a blog but my brother’s excitement was contagious so before I realized what was happening, I had a blog!  Then the work started. 

What to write about that was interesting to write and interesting to a reader?  I won’t list all the ideas that came to me during the night, in the middle of meetings, while commuting to work.  However, my life so far can certainly produce at least a few enjoyable blogs on some of life’s funnier moments – my husband, siblings, siblings-in-law, pets, moving from San Francisco to Duck Lake, Montana which consisted of 32 Blackfeet Indians and 2 Canadian radio stations.   The 4-year degree on the 20-year plan will probably come up at some point.  Sometimes I might need to rant.  After all, I do work with attorneys, and they provide a lot of rant-worthy material. 

So I hope you will grab a glass of wine or cup of coffee and join me whenever you have a chance.  If you feel like responding, I welcome your feedback.


Just once today, look in your mirror and say “Well, Hello Gorgeous!”  

Carole