Adieu, Katarina

I shall veer from my normal genre to pay my respects to Elizabeth Taylor.    Granted, I normally am not a celebrity hound and the last time I remember wanting to cry when someone famous died was Princess Di.

But I cried and I shall miss Elizabeth Taylor.

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Though I enjoyed so many of her works, I shall always think of her first as Katarina in The Taming of the Shrew.  I also think her and Richard made a grand couple – I can watch that movie over and over and always delight in it.

(Therefore, Clint Eastwood and Shirley MacLaine should be together, because Two Mules for Sister Sara is also one of my all time favorites…)

I think Elizabeth would have been a whoppin’ good Scarlett O’Hara, too.  And coming from me, there’s hardly any higher praise you could give.

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I don’t watch the news.  So if I hadn’t been at the store and happened to see the newspaper,  I wouldn’t even have known and my heart wouldn’t be grieving so now.

But the cashier understood.  She liked Liz too.   And we shared what our favorites were and agreed;

Some folks are just larger than life – brighter than the sun.  And when they are gone, the world seems dimmer and darker for lack of their presence.

Liz was one of those folks.

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I’m such a non-fan-buff, I don’t even know if she minded being called Liz.   I don’t know if I had typed “Ms. Taylor”, if she would have minded.

All I do know, is for awhile, watching  her, I felt Katarina’s passion and frustration – I know she is a good person, on the inside where it counts, even while she screeches and throws things.  I feel her integrity, honesty and loyalty, even while she is viewed by all to be a demon.

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And I never got over the fact that ole’ Will Shakespeare made the spirited brunette the object of worth  – rather than the angelic-faced blonde.

Good Job Will.  Nothing against blondes, but despite the intelligence jokes, you ARE considered more fun – the brunnettes and red heads are stuck cleaning house, keeping the accounting books straight and starting/finishing fights…..

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Liz, where ever you next roam – Break a Leg and thank you for the gifts you shared.

Nasty, Brutish and Short

When I was 19, I was a disc jockey at a small radio station on the eastern plains of Colorado.  I loved it.  And I loved my boss.  Not in the sleep-your-way-to-the-top kind of way; rather a you’re-welcome-to-spend-Christmas-with-my-family-since-you’re-a-1,000-miles-from-home-and-divorced-from-wife -#5″ way.

I’m a sucker for Christmas and all it’s supposed to mean.

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Joe (his real name and  I could also tell you his last name was Smith.   If you can figure out which Joseph Smith in the USA I’m talking about, go ahead and call him and tell him to sue me.   I swear, why should I waste time changing his name to protect his identity?  What would I pick?  Rudolv Peterinapokevich? – Joe is easier to type….)…where was I?

Oh, yes…Joe informed me marriage was an institution created when our ancestors were lucky to see 32 years of age.  “Just think, Tamrah, if you got married when you were 15, at most, you only had to spend 17 years with someone.”

Remember I was 19?  I still believed in true love, love conquers all and soul mates.   I figured Joe probably fell into the same category all my men friends did.  “You are so much fun and so cool.   Great friend, but there is No Way In Hell I’d put up with you as a boyfriend…you male chauvenistic pig.”

There’s a lot you can forgive your fishin’, target shootin’ and beer drinkin’ buddies that will not be forgiven for one moment when said individual is your true love.

This fact is probably why men complain about women.

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Fast Forward 10 years.   I’ve been married to my “true love” for 2 years.   A couple we both know, who have persevered through serious health problems, etc decide to get divorced 2 years after the last transplant.

I work with these people.  I like them both.  I come home in tears.  (Mind you – other folks marital business usually doesn’t affect me that much.)

Hubby wants to know why I’m so upset about the news.   “Because!” I hiccup and sob, “The only thing either of them could say was, “We woke up one morning and there was a stranger sitting across from me at the table.   I didn’t know what to do with them.”

I was scared.   How could someone stay by someone through multiple transplants, life and death weeks (not moments), devastating financial responsibilities – just to quit 2 years after said problems were over and everything was looking good?   How could you stick by each other in the valley of the shadow of death and splitsville when you finally had Spring Break in Florida in your sights?

But most of all, I wanted to know:  What if that happens to us?   And how do I stop it?

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I may never truly understand their situation; but I think I do get it now.   I suspect things may not have been that grand before the major troubles hit, but no one was willing to ‘give up’ during a crisis.

For the most part, as a species, we’re just not that cruel.

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After the death of my oldest son, I learned that 87% of couples divorce after the death of a child.   I held onto that 13% like a lifeline.   I was even proud of it.   But I didn’t admit what I should have.

That loss meant my life and purpose was reborn.  I’m different now.  What I think is important and what I want out of life have radically changed.

Much, as I suspect, someone who is told the operation may not work and they make wake up dead changes their mind on what they really want when they get a second chance.

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I read a study once that said each cell in our body completely renews within 7 years.  So every 7 years, there is not one cell in my body that existed when I and my true love met.

I am, in fact, a completely new person every 7 years.  And studies show, living with a new person every 7 years results in a 50% divorce rate.   Perhaps this is the basis for the 7 year itch theory…

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I’m starting to think our ancestors didn’t really have it, “nasty, brutish and short.”   I’m convinced our greatest boons and greatest sorrows come from the same source:

Our capacity to connect and bond with each other.

Just think – if our ancestors only lived, on average, to 32, then the 7 year itch syndrome could only break their heart twice in one lifetime.

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Maybe Joe was right.   And maybe, just maybe – someday we’ll recognize marriage as a financial contract for the purpose of combining resources to properly provide for any offspring and start celebrating the growth and changes in individuals that necessitates a re-negotiation of terms every 7 years or so.

After all, we need the “new people” to sign the contract….

Confessions of a Smoker, Continuing Saga…

I first ordered my E-cig supplies in January – I faithfully reported through February – – now for the update.

March – still purchasing regular cigs (when batteries don’t charge, liquid doesn’t arrive, etc.)

Still prefer the E-cig, but collapse into analogs when I’m under stress and can’t get my nicotine fix from E-cigs.   This month to date, I’ve purchased 3 packs of regular cigs – – on the plus side, I only did so because my batteries weren’t holding their charge (batteries are supposed to last between 2-3 months, I’m on month 3) and there were a few times I found myself faced with huge stressors and no e-cig pacifier to calm myself with.  (Lest you think me melodramatic, since I posted last, I’m getting divorced, (NOT related to me quitting smoking, I must tell you), moving, starting back to work full-time and trying to reorganize my world view so I help people instead of scaring them….Does that qualify as stressors?  Or is that just normal life?   Cuz if it is, I’m convinced I’ll be a nicotine addict for life…)  I somehow manage to keep some wits about me when my little microcosm is saturated in nicotine…

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One of my local haunts started carrying the E-cigs, then pulled them from the shelves.   According to the store manager, they were pulled because there were “unidentified health risks”.  According to one of the clerks, they were pulled because they weren’t selling. (No surprise there – the local options are 5x or more the cost of online options AND cost more than regular cigs, to boot.)   My cynical heart tends to think the clerk’s story is more accurate than the manager’s.   Except for my little peppermint oil substitution fiasco, I can definitely report my health benefits since moving to predominate E-cig consumption for my nicotine fix are many.

Although I’m bummed that I still get my “lack of nicotine space-cadet and irritable wench” episodes, they are less severe and fewer and farther between.   I can now go 8 hours without any form of nicotine and easily resist the urge to grab an Uzi and climb the nearest water tower for great target options.    You think I’m joking?

On the down side, while I know I’m using less E-juice and buying fewer regular cigarettes, I still recognize one fact: I’m still a nicotine addict.   If my current purchase of e-juice lasts till June (I love bulk buying) and I do not purchase more than 5 packs of cigarettes per month (on par or below there), then I have cut my nicotine intake in half.  Progress has been made –  just not as fast as I would like.   Still, I’m not currently willing to endure the singular hell nicotine-free life offers me right now.  Que Sera, Sera.

Another link for those of you interested:  For batteries, refillable cartridges, etc, I now order from: LiteCig USA.  Still ordering e-liquid from Innovapor

Not sorry I made the switch – happy with return on investment and VERY HAPPY with my health results. That’s the update for now.

Dear Mr. Ron Paul

Dear Mr. Ron Paul,

A month ago I replied to your call for support by signing the Pledge of Support and in lieu of contributing gazillions of dollars via your PayPal button, I sent  what I could; a heart felt email, (less than 500 words, so your busy schedule could accommodate reading it) with my support for your candidacy, how disappointed my 17 year old son and I were when you didn’t make the primary last time around (oh, and mentioned the fact that my 17 year old is dead now…) and offered my content writing, website building and envelope stuffing skills to your campaign, Free of Charge.  Gave you what I had to give.

Next day, I get an email from you stating “I haven’t heard from you”.

Apparently, your website guru (who managed to put up your 4 page (content poor) Liberty website, sans working links (other than the button for money contributions) also failed to run a query based on those who signed your damned pledge and offered your campaign free labor – Funny – In 24 hours or less, I could have put up a much more convincing, content rich site for you, but …….

Since you are obviously only interested in getting money, I also assume you think you need at least $5 million or so, in order to run for president and “Fix this country”. (I’m naive, I actually think $5 million can make huge differences – probably because I don’t have “private jet, personal body guard or penthouse suite” expense lines on my proposed budget….)

Given this request, I find it interesting that those currently in power need just a little more money from me to be able to save our economy by saving inefficient corporations from bankruptcy and by giving CEO’s million dollar bonus checks – because if we keep corporations afloat, they can maximize costs by laying off 18,000 workers whose tax dollars saved their ass.   Those same tax dollars aided one or more billionaires in laying off 20,000 workers and hiring 5 or so additional house-helpers at minimum wage for their beach house.  Thank God you all are saving this country from the top down.  I was worried for a moment.

So my question is,

“What makes you any different from those already in power and why should I trade them for you?”

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You all make me sick.   The only true wealth is in the natural resources our country (which includes manhours and the ingenuity of the 90% of us who work to keep the 10% of you ruling and spiritual class afloat).

Oh, by the way – after trying to unsubscribe from your email list these past 3 weeks, I’m still getting emails from you.

So, I told Yahoo mail server that anything from you is Spam.

I have unsubscribed twice a week for the past month – You are now also in violation of legislation passed to punish those who ignore internet protocol.

I believe the fine per incident is $10,000.  Which means you owe me $80,000 – because I’ve been told I have “Successfully Unsubscribed” eight times, but I still get your BS in my inbox…

I won’t provide you with my address, but you could make the check out to “American Working Class, Tax Paying Peasant Who Supports those who Think They Are Too Good For Working but are okay with Ruling”

I don’t count on ever seeing that money….

That’s okay – I understand,

There’s one law for you and a different one for me and other working class Americans.

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Do Not Expect My Vote for Any of You “grass roots, we’re going to change things if only we have a $30 million campaign budget”!   Push me much further and you can expect me to organize a peaceful rally – – I see you’ve really cut Military Pay AND the rest of us are so broke, we can’t make up through discounts, freebies, donations, what you should have paid the military for going and doing your dirty work for you….

I’m thinking my own National Guardsmen may not be too enthusiastic to follow orders when you ask them to shoot the people who have been trying to make up for what their government failed to do…

And if not, Death is starting to look a lot better than paying any more taxes to you vultures.

Oh, and apparently, you aren’t well-versed in history –

If you truly want to succeed, please read what happened to Roman emperors who didn’t pay their armies and what happened to the aristocracy in Europe when Black Death paid a visit .  A good review of the era of the Crusades and recent events in Egypt may also help you.  If you take the time to learn the events from December 31, 1928 through December 31, 1929, you will see why the meltdown of 2008 happened and why stealing tax payer dollars to save Wall Street will, AGAIN, not work in the long term.   (Well, granted, it works to make gazillionaires out of a few and sticks the other 99.8% of us and our offspring for 3 generations with the bill….)  Sooner or later, though, you will learn:

If all the Peasants die, there is nothing for you to eat, oversee, commandeer or tax.   In other words, without US there is no YOU.

You Will Lose  if you continue in your present course – – it’s only a matter of time.

Cuz there are more of us working stiffs than there are of you arrogant ruling wannabes.

Please take 2 or more weeks out of your campaign to learn some history.   I, in my own arrogance, expect a sincere, personal apology from you and others of your ilk to the entire working class of America –

Again, I don’t expect it… but the comforting thing for you to know is, given the chance, I will do my best to see you lose – but I would never let your children go hungry, even if it meant giving them my share….

The ethics and compassion of the working class are richer than anything you will ever gain from donations – which is why, in the long run, we will survive and you won’t.

 

 

Isn’t It Legal To….?

Imagine a zone, a Twilight Zone, where you think you heard…

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Today, after a grueling month’s schedule, I met a friend for coffee and intellectual discourse (I could have done without the coffee, but can’t go long without intelligent conversations…)

Imagine my shock, while waiting for said friend to arrive, of a conversation overheard from the nearby patrons:

Guy 1: So how much does a polar bear tag cost?

Guy 2: Mumble, Mumble

(sorry folks, I’m deaf enough in my old age, but not deaf or old enough to warrant a hearing aide…)

Guy 1: So, you’re saying, I can get a tag, shoot it, but I can’t bring it back down with me?   What kind of scam is that?

Guy 2: Mumble, Mumble

Guy 1: But there are tags for ’em, right?  I mean, if I get a tag, I can hunt polar bear,  Legally, right?

Guy 2: Hell yeah! You just have to mumble, mumble, mumble

Guy 1:  Is that just in place because Americans are so crazy about endangered species?  Cuz if it’s legal, who cares?   I mean, why can’t I mumble, mumble… I ship it somewhere up there and then collect it and then drive over the border?

Guy 2: Well, yeah – – I had a friend in 2004 that mumble, mumble…

Guy 1: Well, as long as it’s legal, I’d like to get a tag..

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Okay.  I admit, I thought surely I’m hearing wrong.  I’m old, I’m crochety, I’m lookin’ for a fight….surely that SOB didn’t just make his decision based on if something is legal or not, did he?

Sadly, I think he probably did.

And there’s the problem.

As all great philosophers will tell you, it’s not so much the answer you need to consider; rather, whether you are asking the right question or not.

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I ponder upon why this 20 something (or maybe 30 something – I admit, the older you get, the younger everyone else looks….) is financially fit enough to be able to AND why he would want to hunt polar bear.   I’m guessing it’s not to put meat in his fridge for the winter, because he’s considering doing this even if he can’t bring the body back.

I also imagine it’s not to have a stuffed polar bear in his house – because if that’s what he wants, he can just wait til the after Christmas sales and get a life size stuffed polar bear for less than his tag and airfare are going to be for this venture….

Nope, in my infinite wisdom and experience, I’m sure there’s one reason and one reason only he is doing this….

He needs to prove he is smarter than a polar bear.

He already lost the contest, if you ask me.

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When will we quit asking if something is “Legal” and start asking if something is “Just” or “Right”?   When will we learn that just because the collective powers that be have said, “Do such and such and the law will not stop you” it does not guarantee that certain motivations and decisions are justified and in tune with the greater good?

I’ve immersed myself in social, political, spiritual and economic history of the time span from 300 B.C.E. to 1698 A.D for the past 6 months – (go ahead you history PhD’ers, laugh at my 6 month immersion program)

History reconstructed through a variety of sources and taught by a variety of individuals from a milieu of perspectives tells me what I already suspected…

We never learn.

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On the plus side, I’m starting to think our insane striving for immortality might be on target.   If a large portion of the population could manage to live in peak condition for 300 years or so, perhaps our civilizations would evolve more quickly and we could quit making the same stupid and insane mistakes every 30 years or so.

But I’m not betting on it…