by thea marie
What's on my mind....
|It's just me, Marie, trying it again in 2009|
|Why do people make promises they don't keep? Take oaths of office that they don't uphold? Don't they realize that those aren't just words uttered in a particular order? Words have meaning. Meaning is substance, something tangible. Or so I was lead to believe.
Why do people make vows in front of their God, their person of the cloth, and the assembled to keep myself only unto thee until death do I part, and then not follow through even though neither party died? Isn't a vow a promise, an oath of sorts?
I have been following the unfolding sexual and ethical, potentially criminal scandal involving the mayor of my former hometown, Detroit, and his chief of staff since it blew wide open yesterday. What a mess.
Kilpatrick came into office after we moved here to Georgia, but as all of my immediate family still lives in Michigan and the Detroit Metropolitan area, I continue to follow the news there. I have been watching this thing since the father of one of my former students, who was deputy police chief at the time, and two other officers were fired by the mayor in 2003 or thereabouts for conducting an investigation into improprieties that were sufacing way back then.
Since that time, Kilpatrick was reelected, and took the oath of office a second time. The aforementioned officers sued for unjust termination and won. I knew they would. I had a strong hunch that all that was being whispered about the mayor and the raggedy way he conducted his personal life was true. The whispers were too loud and coming from too may directions to not have some element of truth to them.
Well, it exploded sky high yesterday, revealing that there was indeed more than an element of truth to it. A slew of released text messages published in the paper told it all. It was revealed that the mayor and his mistress lied on the stand about their relationship, thus opening themselves up to charges of perjury, and they may have lied about other important things that had the potential to ruin the lives of others,
But more important than that to me is all the people who have been hurt, disallusioned, slandered, and betrayed just so that they could get their "swerve on".
I feel so sorry for their children. They are young kids, but old enough to understand the things that other children may say to them about their parents. They are old enough to understand that their parents are liars, that their father is married to their mother but had a girlfriend, and that their mother had a boyfriend who was married to someone else. I feel sorry for the mayor's wife. It's bad enough to have a philandering husband, but to have the whole world, via the internet and this text messages know about it, too....
I'm just asking, why do people make such shambles of their lives and the lives of the people they promised to love, and why do they betray the trust of the people they make an oath to lead?
Seems like that's becoming the norm and fidelity and honesty are the stranger events....
|Today was a workout day, so after I finished my last parent conference, I went over to the gym to get put through my paces. It's getting a lot easier to perform the exercises, although that's not to say that it doesn't still require considerable moaning and groaning on my part.
At the last workout ssession, we made plans to go out to dinner tonight once we were finished. We wanted to try out the new restaurant that the head secretary at our school and her husband just opened in Acworth.
It seems that owning a restaurant has been a long time dream of the secretary's husband. Although they are by no means a young couple, probably in their sixties or so, they decided to go for it.
It's a seafood restaurant, and they have a pretty nice menu. I had the low county boil, which is a dish I love. I wasn't disappointed. The restaurant itself, with its sort of nautical/dockside theme is attractive, cozy and inviting. The wait staff is attentive and friendly.
They had a decent-sized crowd tonight, couples and small groups. Seated next to us was our former principal and assistant principal, who left our building when a new school opened in the area a couple of years ago. On the other side was a former counselor from our school and her family, so it was like a small homecoming. Overall the experience was a very good one.
I'm glad that we went, not just to support our co-worker and friend and her husband, but because it was worth the visit. The secretary, despite the fact that she had put in a full day at work- she and I walked into the school building together at about 7:30 this morning- was playing hostess at 7:00 this evening. Her husband was going from table to table, talking and laughing with his guests, looking quite at ease and content. He has a condition that causes his hands to shake, but since he kept them in his pockets, if you didn't already know of it, you wouldn't have.
I think what I enjoyed most on a personal level was seeing those two people working their dream. They went for it and they achieved it. At their stage of life, it had to have been a scary undertaking. I'm sure they used money they had put away, and a restaurant is a huge gamble. But like it is with the lottery, you can't win if you ain't in.
I admire their courage, and I wish them the best in their endeavor.
|I knew that I was overweight. For some reason, I've always harbored the notion that I was too heavy, even back when I was wearing a size five, three decades or so ago. But when the scales registered a three-digit number that started with a 2 and had numbers other than zero following it, I knew that I had let things go way too far.
I noticed that I had begun to avoid situations that would put me with people that I hadn't seen in a long time. Friends from home would be in town and call wanting to visit, and I would make excuses not to see them. And then, it seemed that there were more things going wrong with my heath. Nothing major, just problems that I hadn't ever had experienced before. The elevated gluten and cholestoral level really got my attention.
At first, I was able to fool myself with the excuse that these heatlth things were happening because I was getting older. Everybody knows that as you get older, stuff starts happening. Not big deal; that's life. My lethargy I attibuted to just being tired, the irritability to boredom and frustration with my job, and my reduced productivity to whatever.
All of my life, I have been a sugar addict. As far back as I can remember, sugar has been my drug of choice. Candy, ice cream, pastry, if it was sweet, I had to have it. I even took up drinking coffee just so I could put sugar and cream in it. Along with sugar, I also have a thing for bread. White, wheat, French, Italian, donuts, danish, anything with yeast, which when I think about it, acts on sugar. It was one of those things that I knew all along what my problem was, but I didn't want to face it.
So I did what I normally do with most problematic situations that will allow me to put them off, I made excuses, ignored the real issue, and let it slide.
But I'm not as young as I used to be, and one of my greatest fears is being old and broken down. I do not want to be old and too feeble to take care of myself, having to rely on others to see to my well-being. For as long as I can, I want to be the best me I can be. So I took action.
I cut out all the deliberate sugar. It's hard to avoid completely as its in so many things. But for a person with my affinity for it, cutting back sugar like I have is the same as cutting it out. Breads also had to go. Since Dec. 27, I have probably only had the equivilant of two slices. I haven't really embraced any particular "diet", per se, but I have been a lot more mindful of what and how much I put into my mouth. Also, for the past few months I (with two of my girlfriends) have been working out for an hour right after work, twice a week, with a personal trainer. Two hours a week probably doesn't sound like a whole lot, but for a sedentary slug like me, that's running the Boston Marathon.
I feel so much better about myself. This morning, I found that I could fit into an outfit that I haven't been able to wear in two years. I thought about all those things I've given to the Goodwill in the past couple of years with the idea that I'd never, ever be able to get into them again. But that's okay. I can deal wth clothes that are too big or having to purchase some new things. Before I took the steps to change, I was on my way to having to buy new things because Iwas too big.
I still have a way to go, but I feel so much better because I took control and made a bad situation into something positive. I don't know what the future holds for me. Maybe something else will turn me into a feeble, sickly old lady that someone will have to take care of down the line, but I'm going to keep doing my part to work against that possibility.
|There was a story in the paper yesterday about a young girl who got killed in a drive-by shooting. It happened in a major city, at an intersection in an area of said city where that sort of thing is, sadly, more the norm than an anomaly.
As I read on, however, I found out that the young lady was 15, and the incident happened at approximately 2:30 in the morning on a Monday. At this time of the year, it is bitterly cold in this city, especially at that time of the day.
The girl had been at home with two of her friends. According to one of the surviving girls, the three decide to go and spend the night with another of their friends, so they leave the house in the dark. On the way to the friend’s house, they stop at a gas station for chips and pop (soda).
While there, a 34 year old man and his 16 year old brother pull up and ask the girls if they want to go for a ride and have some fun. The girls get into this stranger's car and take off.
One of the girls told the police that they were "riding and having a good time" when another car pulls up out of no where and opens fire on the one they were in, shooting her friend in the head, killing her. One of the other girls was shot in the shoulder, the boy was shot in his hand, and the other of the other girls had her coat grazed by a bullet. The 34 year old man drove them all to the hospital where the one girl was pronounced dead..
As I was reading, I found the girls’ story about leaving the house to go spend the night with another girl a little shady. Who goes to another person's house at 2:00 in the morning to spend the night when you're already at home with friends? And then, what 15 year old girl is just going to up and leave her warm home, without permission; there was no mention of them sneaking out, to go out into the bitter cold to hang out if that was all they were doing?
Why would 15 year old girls get into a car with a grown man and his brother, who they don't know, at that time of the morning, just to ride and have fun? There is more to this story, I'm sure. The girls seemed mighty used to just coming and going as they pleased, when they pleased. They didn't seem to have any fear about walking the streets in the dark and getting into the car with strange men. And I am not in the least surprised at what happened to them.
But I am saddened by how so many of our children are being neglected, abused, corrupted, let down, and/or killed by unscrupulous, narcissistic, irresponsible adults. With all the contraceptive strategies and products available today, why are people still having kids that they have neither the skills nor the willingness to raise? Where were the adults in these girls lives? Why was it so easy for them to leave the house at that time of the morning when they should have been in their pajamas and in the bed asleep? One of the first lessons a child is taught-a girl is taught- is to not go off with strangers, yet these three girls got right into a car with two unknown men, and they were okay with all of it.
Where are the brakes that should be holding children in a safe place? Why are do so many children these days seem so reckless , so lacking in commons sense, self-respect, so lacking in a fear of those things they should fear? Because none of it has been instilled in them. Nobody has taken the time to teach them boundaries, respect, and to respect themselves.
In the article, the older sister (18) of the dead girl took offense at a TV reporter saying on the news that the girls were working as prostitutes. The sister’s comment was along the lines of, “This is absolutely not true. They were not prostitutes. They were just kids out having fun.”
What kind of nonsense Is that?
It sounded as if she thought what her sister and her friends were doing was normal. Either she is suffering from a serious case of denial, she has something to hide, or she doesn’t have a clue herself.
The dead girl lived with her grandmother, who said she was asleep at the time the girls left. There was the older sister, and an uncle was mentioned. Where was the mother? Where was the father? Who, if anyone was really raising her?
Why are so many children being allowed to grow up like weeds?
Unattended, uncultivated, they just come up because growing up is what they are meant to do. Nobody tends to them really. People see them, but they don’t really do anything about them. Wild and feral, they are allowed to go their own way until by the time they reach maturation, they are tough, wiry, and out of control, either contaminating the garden they are in with their seeds, overtaking the other plants, or they end up getting plucked out of the ground because they are worthless and nobody will miss them. Troublesome and unwanted, they become a scourge to society that often get contained or removed completely.
Just like weeds.
Sleep well, little girl. I hate how you got there, but I think you’re in a much better place.
|... describes my state of mind at the moment. I have been like that all day.
Long weekends, while enjoyable and relaxing, don't do me a whole lot of good. Although I have noble intentions with what I plan to do with my time, I end up trying to do too much, getting overwhelmed, and then not accomplishing very much at all.
I really wanted to finish a section of a story that I've been writing for a while. That didn't happen. On Friday I brought home four sets of papers that I needed to check over to have ready for my students on Monday. I got through two, didn't touch one, and the most time-consuming stack got started, but didn't get completed.
I only read maybe five more pages of the book for this month. Each night I waited until late to start reading, and I'd wind up falling asleep. It's a very good book. I just need to start earlier, and maybe not be in bed when I do.
I managed to finish the laundry I said I was going to do, but not one piece that I thought I'd iron ahead of time got touched. I did get an outfit put together and laid out to step into tomorrow morning. I hate looking for something to wear in the morning. It slows me up, and I don't need that on the first day of the work week.
I read a few things on this site today, spending the promised thirty minutes and then some, but nothing spoke to me. I didn't review or rate anything today even though I came in to look around several times.
I still have a journal entry to complete for today. I didn't get anything else new written today that wasn't related to my ongoing project. I didn't finish proofing a section that I began proofing on Friday. I did get my own website updated, so that is one thing I accomplished that needed doing. I did that last night. Today, when I pulled up the site, I noticed some things that needed fixing, so I went in and made the necessary adjustments.
It's getting late, and I'm still all over the place, feeling antsy and agitated. Right now I've got the laptop on my lap, some pens on the night table, the journal next to me along with a book I'm trying to read along with the one I've committed to reading. The Blackberry is buzzing. Once I look at it, I'll know if I need to pick up or not.
I really think I just need to say, "Good night, Gracie" and go to bed.
|It's cold outside.
The pane clouds as my warm breath meets the cold glass, making me glad that I am on this side of the window. So cold that even though the sun is shining, the snow from yesterday has yet to melt. I always think the sun shining on a cold day makes it even more so.
The neighbor jogs by in sweats, sunglasses, and a hoodie pulled up on his head. I can see his breath, and almost feel the beat of his heart working overtime to keep up with him and to keep him warm. I admire his dedication, but don't feel the least bit guilty about being inside, playing the slug.
Even though today was Sunday, I cooked chili. Seemed like a fitting choice for such a day. Plus my son, his first day home on leave from the Air Force, on his way to Korea for a year when he leaves here, had put in the request. He can have whatever he wants. Chili on a cold day was right up my alley: easy, filling, and hot.
Hot coffee or cocoa. Old, baggy, broken-in sweater and some slip-on houseshoes. Pair of baggy, elastic waist sweatpants, a good book, and no where to go. The perfect way for me to spend a cold, cold day.
|Slow and easy today, just the way I like it. It snowed finally, and it stuck. The grass, the pine tress and the limbs of the hardwoods. shrubs, and cars are all covered in white, but it won't be that way long. It's not cold enough for long enough. By morning, things will be back as they were.
I am sitting here in the window, looking out at it all. This is the best place for me on days like this. For me, the beauty of snow is in the visual. I don't need to be up close and personal with it.
I remember growing up in Michigan where winters can be unpredictable, and at times brutal, but always frigid.
...praying for snow days
...watching from the living room window as the snow fell. Even back then, it was mostly only good to look at.
...the sound of metal scraping against concrete as walkways and sidewalks were shoveled
...rock salt, gray and gritty under my feet
...people working together after a particularly heavy snowstorm to make our narrow street passable
...snowbrushes and scrapers being a staple inside the car
...snowpants, how bulky they were
...being a girl, having to wear a uniform skirt, and walking to school in the snow when I didn't want to wear snow pants
...pull-on rubber boots, the kind you wore your shoes inside
...the snow getting inside your pull-on boots, caking up, and freezing your feet
...the new shoe boots I got for Christmas, the ones with the fur inside where I didn't wear shoes with them, but the snow got in just the same
...the shoe boot that split at the sole and the wet would seep in soaking my sock on the way to school
...the requisite shoe bag to carry my shoes while I wore the shoe boots, all the girls had them. You were nobody without one.
...walking to school and arriving frozen to the bone, but being expected to get right to work anyway, stiff fingers, frozen ears and nose and all
...building snowmen that never looked as grand and perfect as the ones on television or in books
...not having carrots to use for the snowman's nose or a top hat for his head like the books and TV said he should have
...Sitting and reading near the forced air vent at my grandmother's house
...wishing I had a horse and sled like Heidi's grandfather
...wishing I had a grandfather who was a regular in my life like Heidi's was and who didn't live all the way "down south" like mine
...how quiet and still everything outside seems to get when it snows
...playing until the mittens or gloves weren't doing any good and going in the house because it was too cold for even a kid to be outside
...the smell of stiff gloves and damp scarf cooking on the hot radiator
stinging ears and fingertips and running water over same
...sticking a towel or a scatter rug under the back door to keep the cold air from seeping in
...Daddy down in the basement with the furnace because it was acting up
...snow ice cream
...car exhaust- blackened ice and slush
...sliding on ice covered sidewalks
...slipping and falling on ice covered sidewalks and not worrying about breaking a hip in the process
...ice-skating on the pond at Belle Isle
...ice-skating in the kid next door's backyard after his father flooded it to make a rink for us
...sledding in the street
...the boys playing ice hockey in the street and the day Kenny got whacked in the mouth with one of the sticks and lost a tooth
...the Thanksgiving Day parade on Woodward Avenue in downtown
...the Ice Capades
...the Auto show at Cobo Hall
...Christmases on Ironwood and Quincy; they weren't so good on Pasadena because we were older by then and we knew too much
...the sound of splashing as I rode in the back seat of Daddy's car to pick Mom up from work
...Being cold, cold, cold inside and out....
Life is about experiences, and I wouldn't trade mine for anything, but snow, ice, slush, cold- been there, done that. I'll take a Georgia winter any time.
| All week long the weathercasters have been predicting a monster storm here in Georgia. That should have been a sign. Nothing gets the weather people here more worked up than the threat of some snow and ice. In grand dramatic fashion, they showed us over and over the awesome mass of precipitation slowly rolling our way as if the Blob (from the horror movie) was coming to roll over us and swallow us all up.
At school, people were gingerly talking, whispering really that maybe, perhaps, we might. we could possibly get a snow day. You see, it's bad luck to just come out and say that you want one. You have to sneak up on it, dance around it, not let it know that you suspect it may be on its way. The kids were excitedly making plans for what they were going to do on their day off: sleep, talk on the phone, play video games all day, etc.
I, however, remained skeptical. It's happened too many times that the weatherman got us all geeked up, the school system sent out electronic dispatches detailing to us the prodcedure for "Inclement weather", we all tiptoed around it, whispering our hopes for an unscheduled day off, only to have our hopes dashed. The storm would fizzle out either before it could get to us, come too early in the day for its effects to last into the next morning and keep us home, or it showed up and about halfway through, just went impotent and left us high and dry.
Same story, different day- that was yesterday.
It rarely snows here in Georgia, but on my way home from work, it was as if someone was having this giant pillow fight in the sky, split the pillows in the process, and had the feathers going everywhere. Great big feathery crystals, landing on the cars, the streets, the sidewalks, but instantly disappearing because the ground was too warm.
By the time I made it home and went to get the mail the snow was beginning to accumulate on the top of the box. I noticed that it had gotten noticeably colder in the forty-five minutes or so that it took me to leave school, stop by the grocery store for a few just-in-case items, and make it home.
By six yesterday evenning, I could hear ice crystals pelting the bay window panes in the bedroom as I lie reading a book, and for just a short while, I had a flicker of hope that things might work out. Snow would be good, but an ice storm would be an even better in terms of persuading the school system to do the responsible thing and shut schools down for the day.
Alas, after a couple of hours, the pelting of ice gave way to the rhythmic pounding of rain. As we've been operating under drought conditions here, the rain was most welcome, but it melted the snow, and I knew the air wasn't cold enought to turn it into ice.
Watching the news before I went to bed, I followed the scrolling names at the bottom of the screen: school systems that had decided to shut down for today in anticipation of poor traveling conditions. Each time, the alphabet would jump past the name of mine.... Cherokee County Schools...Dalton School System.... I work for Cobb.
This morning, I got up when the clock went off. Holding out one last hope that my initial hunch had been wrong, and that something nasty had developed overnight, I turned on the news and again watched the names scroll by.
Then I put on my clothes and went to work.
Curses, foiled again.
|It's snowing here in Georgia. A rarity.
All week there have been predictions of a storm coming through on Wednesday afternoon/ Thursday, but we get those warnings all the time. You get your hopes up, fill the fridge and the cabinets, and nothing happens. Consequently, I wasn't putting too much into those weather reports.
But on my way home from work this evening, like feathers from down pillows split during a fight, huge snowflakes fluttered from on high. By the time I pulled into the driveway and went for the mail, they were accumulating on top of the mailbox. Still, I remained skeptical.
But now, I can hear ice crystals pelting the panels in the bay window as I am typing this. Is that the wind I hear beginning to howl? I certainly hope so. I hope it continues right on into the night and that the roads are too slick for the school buses to run in the morning. The satellite signal just went out.
Dare I hope for a snow day?????