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Printed from https://www.writing.com/main/books/item_id/1836624-Observations-and-Ruminations
Rated: 13+ · Book · Other · #1836624
January 2016 (30 Day Blogging Challenge)
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January 30, 2016 at 5:26am
January 30, 2016 at 5:26am
If I had to create a popular new club that I would NOT want to be a participant, it would have to revolve around fantasy, sci-fi or RPG (role playing games). I am not a fan of any of it.

I have never been a huge fan of anything sci-fi that goes for books, movies or games. I tried reading scivfi but the only one I could actually get through was "Hitch Hikers Guide to the Galaxy" and that's probably more because of the metaphors. Could not get through anything Hobbit related.

As for movies, I have watched a few that I didn't hate (Exmachina most recently) but it is a struggle and I especially hated the Terminators and Lord of the Rings Tirlopgy. I am not even a Star Wars fan. Closest I can get to enjoying sci fi would be Moon or The Martian (if you can call that sci fi).

Do not like Video Games at all. Tried playing with my son but they make me dizzy. I know role playing games are popular, but I don't want the escapism to be a new person in a new world. I have enough to handle being myself in this reality.

I know it is a popular genre and many of you could tell me all the benefits and joys of it but it is just not my thing.
January 29, 2016 at 8:52am
January 29, 2016 at 8:52am
Have you ever, or would you consider, turning down an award of any sort because you insisted someone else was more deserving?

This is an interesting question. On first glance you may say yes of course - I should not accept something I am not worthy of receiving. You may feel that modesty and selflessness dominate. However, if a committee of your peers and/or experts in this award category deliberated and came to the conclusion that you were the best candidate to receive the award, are you demonstrate hubris thinking you are better qualified to make the call or are you demonstrating false modesty?

In the case of Garth, I think it was a publicity stunt. Frankly I am not a fan of his work or him as a person. I feel he is manipulating and calculating.

If one does feel unworthy to receive an award and needs to decline, one should consider the embarrassment that refusal would make. Usually when an award is granted the recipient is notified prior to the announcement (of course I am not speaking global and the big Movie/Music/TV/Theatre awards are surprises). It is at that point that the recipient should decline, giving the organization an opportunity to choose someone else and safe themselves form the embarrassment. If that is not an option, I say accept the honor and move on.
January 28, 2016 at 9:00am
January 28, 2016 at 9:00am
Describe the last time you were moved to tears by something beautiful.

It does not take much to get me to cry. Hate to admit it but I am fairly emotional and not afraid to show it (personally that is not professionally). It can be a sunset, a coffee commercial or even a little boy sleeping in a stroller in a grocery store. Don't even get me started with songs! The "Cat's in the Cradle" has me sobbing with the first few recognizable notes. It has become a joke in my family.

Now that you know my demeanor, let me describe the most recent tear fest. It is so ridiculous but I could not stop. it appears that I cry most easily when it comes to parent/child relationships and the human dynamics that define them. Probably because I am so obsessed with my son (who by the way provides me with the most happiness I have ever felt as well as the most sorrow). I am not a huge Facebook person but someone send me a link to a video that showed young adult children calling on their parents for advice on simple things like home repairs and cooking. The last scene is the son asking the father about being in love and getting married. I CRIED MY EYES OUT!

Such a sap I am...I am feeling teary just thinking about it!
January 27, 2016 at 8:26am
January 27, 2016 at 8:26am
Without a doubt I consider myself a realist, although I do secretly wish I were more of an optimist and often times demonstrate the words and actions of a pessimist. I like the mantra "prepare for the worst, but hope for the best". To me that is being realistic. A complete optimist is fooling himself and setting up for disappointment where a complete pessimist is miserable and difficult to be around. I do believe people have varying degrees of each philosophy but usually gravitate toward one.

It's odd how different people have different views of your attitude. For example, my aerial yoga instructor was over last night for a private lesson. She stated that she loved my enthusiasm and optimism and energy...that she thought I was so happy with a love of life. Conversely, I had a close friend tell me recently that he thought I was miserable - that I appear so unhappy about my life. It was a shock - I guess I spent too much time worried and complaining to him. It was a wake up call and I am working on watching what i say and why. It matters.
January 26, 2016 at 8:45am
January 26, 2016 at 8:45am
Pick three of your fellow challengers this month, and come up with a word, phrase, or saying you think they would wear on a t-shirt based on what you've read of theirs so far.

Well this is an interesting prompt. Can't seem to choose so I will take a stab at everyone.

Note that all these quotes were borrowed from better writers and not written by me..

Innerlight: Peace Begins with a Smile

Aisha: The world is a book and those who do not travel read only one page.”

Prosperous Snow (Neva): In this story I am the poet You're the poetry

PandaPaws: Poetry is the journal of a sea animal living on land, wanting to fly in the air

Apondia: People do fun and interesting things because they're fun and interesting.

Kate Writes ~ We Got This: Life itself is simple...it's just not easy.

Amyjo: It takes half your life before you discover life is a do it yourself project

BlueMoon: Creativity is piercing the mundane to find the marvelous.

Cinn & Charlie: Being different is a revolving door in your life where secure people enter and insecure exit

Fran - Master of Plans: Challenges make life interesting, however, overcoming them is what makes life meaningful.

Ann, Counselor, Lesbian and happy: Be free, and live life fully.
January 25, 2016 at 8:26am
January 25, 2016 at 8:26am
It has been so long since I went to a potluck dinner. When my son was in grade school we did a few but it was never a regular occurrence. I do entertain on a regular basis and have been known to make dishes that will feed about 20 (ie pulled pork. chili, taco bars, etc) but I think that is different than the traditional potluck. I much prefer to cook ethnic, gourmet, unusual food but that does not work for a potluck.

So let me see.. I guess I would make one of these but note I make up my own recipes so my directions are not exact:

- Italian Torte. Get you spring foam pan out. Take dough (pizza, crescent rolls, etc) and lay it into and over the spring foam pan. Add oil olive, crushed garlic in the bottom and up the sides. Then layer the following proscuitto, mozarella, red peppers, artichoke hearts, provolone, italian sausage (cooked), sun dried tomatoes, ricotta cheese, ham, parmesan cheese, black olives. Take the rest of the dough to cover the spring foam pan (almost like a pot pie). Bake at 350 for about 30 to 45 minutes.

- Meatloaf Layer Cake. This is an amusing dish. Make your favorite meatloaf but mold it into two round cake pans. After baking, remove from pans and "frost" with mashed potatoes. I have decorated with Ketchup "icing".

- Apple Dumplings. This is the easiest dessert recipe ever and can be found on the Pioneer Woman site. Take a glass rectangle cooking dish and butter it. Pre heat oven to 375. Open a tube of crescent rolls. Cut granny smith apples into quarters. Put one slice in a crescent roll and wrap it. LIne the glass pan. Mix 1 cup sugar, 1 cup butter, 1 tsp vanilla and pour over the "dumplings". Pour in a12 oz bottle of Mountain Dew (seriously). Bake for 20 minutes. So good but not at all good for you.

January 24, 2016 at 6:26am
January 24, 2016 at 6:26am
Climate Change Authorities

Scientific evidence for warming of the climate system is unequivocal.
- Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change

About a year or so ago, I was driving with a colleague back from our offices In Rochester and looking for conversation to establish a bit more rapport and to pass the time for this hour ride. He is a conservative republican, with a strong religious belief system, as well as being a gun enthusiast. He also mentioned that he was a creationist. It was a real struggle to find common ground. After carefully broaching several topics that went no where fast, I went to a topic I knew we could agree on - the state of our planet. I was shocked when he went on for 45 minutes in a state of complete disagreement. He told me that I was slated because I gained my information from the liberal media (apparently I did not read the conspiracy websites he claimed were more knowledgeable than mainstream news networks and scientific data), that there was no proof (photos of glacier disappearance were just natural occurrences), and that not ALL scientists agreed ( 97% is not nearly enough). This is an intelligent man with an MBA and 15 years of senior management experience. But he is not a scientist, he is not a geologist and apparently he is not living in reality.

There is no question that global warming is real and at this point I can't even get angry anymore. If you question it, I simply have to walk away, with a lessen opinion of you and a commitment to refuse further discussion on any topic that matters.

The point here is not global warming, it is the distressing epidemic that I like to call Ignorance Pontification. This is my term that I define as a state of close mindedness where a person chooses to ignore all facts and reality on a specific topic and then adamantly defend his/her view in utter confidence. Unfortunately we hear these people EVERYWHERE and sometimes we even engage in it ourselves.

Let's face it we cannot be experts on every topic all the time. Where we get our information, how we process that information, our previous experiences and our hopes (among other things) all influence our opinions on a topic. That is fine - that is great - it is what makes our human fabric so interesting. However, we need to understand as individual thinking beings, that any one can make an authoritative comment and that anyone (especially online) can claim to be an expert. If we choose to accept information from non-experts and assign credibility to those charlatans, we are working from flawed examples.

I just had to back down on a topic yesterday. My family was at my place celebrating my son's 20th birthday. My son was discussing a paper he wrote on fracking (he was for it). I freaked out claiming how horrible it was for the environment...that it polluted water levels, that if caused sink holes...I was on a role with my convictions. Then my brother (also a fracking fan) discussed two books he read by leading experts refuting the claims I was making. I thought about it and realized I had not done the research, I was gaining my information from a few news stories and my personal feelings. Maybe fracking is horrific or maybe not - the point is I did not have enough information to pursue the argument. I learned a great deal about it from my son and brother (at least their perspective from their research). If I am that interested, I will do my own research. In the meantime I will offer my opinions and listen to the opinions of others.

Take my favorite clown Donald Trump. Is he a successful businessman? Well the facts show a hotel empire, relatively popular reality tv show and financial excess so that tells me yes - he appears to have financial, marketing and business success. Does he have political experience? Does he make constant claims his exceptional knowledge health, abilities and just about everything? He makes erroneous statements (I am being nice - they are actually outright lies) but with such conviction that he makes his "followers" believe him. The sad part is that voters will accept his comments as expert and make there decisions based on that flawed reality.

For me the bottom line is that we all have opinions but we need to base those opinions on actual facts and those facts should come from reliable, expert sources. When 97% of experts agree that we are in a state of global warming, any one who disagrees sounds less than intelligent and not worth the time of the conversation.

January 23, 2016 at 10:48pm
January 23, 2016 at 10:48pm
If I had to choose between a sand castle and snow fort to live I would most definitely choose the sand castle. Mainly because I love the beach, warmth and the texture of sand. I would build it using a bulldozer and glass panels. It would be full of Windows and many floors with balanconies and terrific views of the ocean.

When I visited Morocco we stayed in Essoauria on the beach and walked to a formation half in the water...the myth stated it was once a significant castle and the basis for Jimmy Hendrix song Castles in the Sand. Beautiful although it would definitely give reason not to build on the beach. Also visited the ice bar in London which was so cold it made me realize I could never live in an igloo.
January 22, 2016 at 6:49am
January 22, 2016 at 6:49am
Asking me about the significant ways a personal computer has affected my life is like asking me the ways my arms have impacted my life. The pc has been that Essential. My initial career revolved around technology and the PC was forefront; my hobbies were enhanced; my life and household has been organized and made operational due to the personal computer. It is a tool that coupled with the Internet has made my life somehow more full and definitely more convenient.

However the pc I is simply the tool and that tool is being replaced with tablets phones and other smart devices. It is simply a vehicle. More importantly I am dependent on he Internet and the connectivity provided! Don't care the tool but need the communication.
January 21, 2016 at 6:11am
January 21, 2016 at 6:11am
Random Act of Kindness

I love this term and just having it as a prompt already makes me feel better. At my very core I believe that you feel better if you do something selfless. Although some psychologists believe there is no selfless act - that everything we do is based on the betterment of ourselves, however I do not necessarily subscribe to that thinking.

It seems to me that speaking of your random act is a bit self serving and goes against the point. However, this is a blog and I will share. Unfortunately I do not perform enough of these acts and probably a main reason is I just don't think about it. Sad.

Every morning on my way to work I drive through Tim Horton's to get a large cup of back coffee ($2.01). A few weeks ago I came to the window and was told that the car in front of me paid for my order. I never saw the person or recognized the car. What a TREAT! It changed my entire mood. So now (every so often) I pay for the order of the person behind me and then quickly drive away without looking back. I know it is a little thing but I sincerely hope that person feels the way I did when I received the surprise.

I would like to share a moment when I did not have a positive experience. There are several homeless people in my neighborhood. One has become a staple of the streets, being seen regularly and helped by the community. We call him Sylvester. He obviously has significant mental health issues. I was getting gas last year and it was extremely cold out. Sylvester walked over asking for money. Just so happened that all i had was a $20 and I worried about how cold he must be. I gave hime the $20 and wished him a good day. At that point he hugged me. I should have felt good making him feel good..instead I was horrified that he touched me. I was concerned that he hadn't washed and stupidly could only think about him as dirty and me as clean. It bothers me so much that I felt that way, that I am one of "those" people.

Yes, I am flawed and a work in progress.....

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