Monthly Archives: March 2017

Tennis Blues

I am on an over-40 USTA tennis league.  As someone who is considerably over 40, I am tempted to check the IDs of many of the women that we’ve been playing against, because they are suspiciously agile and speedy. I’m getting a little tired of those peppy 41 year olds dashing around the courts smacking the balls into unreachable corners at unreasonable rates of speed.

I would like to propose a league where there is both a minimum age, and a maximum foot speed.  This would be a more mindful, enjoy-the-moment, kinder brand of tennis; that permits the time to stop and appreciate a good shot, without having to hustle back into position for the return shot.

This year I volunteered to play singles on the over-40 league, since most prefer to play doubles.  I proceeded to lose three straight singles matches in third-set tie-breaks.  For those of you who are not familiar with tennis scoring –these are close matches that have gone into the tennis equivalent of overtime.  It’s really pissing me off.

It almost felt good to lose a fourth match without playing a tie-break.  The (allegedly) 40 year old opponent won because she is a stronger player;  not because I had a mental lapse and blew yet another match that I coulda/shoulda won.

I am sure it’s just coincidence, but I haven’t won a USTA match since Trump has taken office.

Ding Dong, The Bill is Dead!

(Sung to the tune of Ding, Dong! The witch is dead–from the Wizard of Oz)

Ding, Dong! The Bill is dead. Which old bill? The Trump Care Bill!
Ding, dong! The wicked bill is dead.

Wake up – sleepy head, rub your eyes, get out of bed.
Wake up, the Wicked Bill is dead. It’s gone where the Crap bills go,
Below – below – below. Yo-ho, let’s open up and sing and ring the bells out.
Ding Dong’ the merry-oh, sing it high, sing it low.
Let them know
The Wicked Bill is dead!

As a legally registered voter, in the country that we all love
I welcome this failure most regally.
But we’ve got to verify it legally, to see
To see?
If the GOP; Is morally, ethic’lly,
Spiritually, politically,
Positively, absolutely
Undeniably and dangerously Inept.

As a pundit, I must opine, I thoroughly examined them;
And the GOP’s not just inept, they are really most sincerely inept.

Then this is a day of celebration for all who Care.
Yes, let the joyous news be spread ; The wicked bad BILL for now is dead!

 

Cracks in the Orange Veneer

It has been a rough week for The D.  Despite having slept or tweeted through basic civics lessons and intelligence briefings he is learning the hard way that there really are three branches of government, and that his words and actions have consequences.

How disconcerting for The D to have his latest travel ban struck down, using his own words to interpret intent.   The D has been remarkably successful in avoiding any consequences associated with his outrageous statements and/or tweets.  However, this week, a ‘so-called’ judge from Hawaii referenced The D’s  own words to determine the intent of the travel ban as a way to prevent Muslims from entering the country.  (Yet another excellent reason to move to Hawaii.)

How troubling for The D to be criticized for his lack of evidence to support his tweets accusing Obama of wiretapping. The D does not feel it is necessary to validate any information he infers or gleans from cable news shows before tweeting misinformation to the world.  Prudence is not in The D’s vocabulary. He is the master of setting a ‘perception’ based on his own wishful thinking–perceptions which take hold in the minds of his faithful.  He never lets so-called ‘facts’ get in the way of his beliefs.  However, these tweets are being challenged on numerous fronts.

How upsetting for The D to have his name associated with the Alternative health care proposal put forth by Paul Ryan (a.k.a the Fourth Stooge).  This plan has been widely panned as Dead on Arrival and is opposed by hospitals, the AMA, Republicans and Democrats, AARP, and anyone who has in-depth knowledge of health care–including my  friend Jean.  (Who KNEW it could be so complicated??)

The Congressional Budget office (using a technique foreign to the current administration called ‘math’) determined that 14 million people would lose coverage in 2018 and 24 million people would lose coverage by 2020.

Certainly The D himself hasn’t demonstrated  enthusiasm for the plan; although on the campaign trail he promised a plan that would ‘cover everybody and be a fraction of the cost’.  Where is this magic pixie dust Donald?  I really want some!

How distressing for The D to be critized for his proposed budget and his outlandishly lavish spending at tax payer expense.  It is dismaying, but no real surprise that the proposed budget slashes popular programs such as Meals on Wheels, NPR, and the EPA.  Apparently, we cannot afford  meals for shut-ins, but we are shelling out millions for endless golf weekends at Mar-A-Lago (tax money that ends up going to The D himself, cause he owns the place), and $183 Million for Melania and Barron to continue to live in NYC.

Finally, The D closed the week by demonstrating a remarkable lack of class and grace by refusing to shake Angela Merkle’s hand.  What an ass.   It’s really embarrassing to be an American lately.

The good news is that some checks and balances are finally, belatedly, coming into focus.  Concerned Americans continue to speak up in vast numbers, Hard questions are being asked by the media, and investigations continue. Let’s hope the march towards some degree of sanity and accountability is just beginning–with more challenging weeks in the near  future for The D.

 

Insomnia and Blind Faith

It is the wee hours of the night.  My monkey-mind is keeping me awake, and I foolishly went to my FaceBook feed in an attempt to bore myself to sleep.  Bad move. I got sucked into a couple vicious political exchanges; which led to more pondering.

The D continues to have his faithful supporters.  They accuse his detractors of being overly critical.  One poster recently queried – what has he done that is so wrong?  Many replies articulately and calmly laid out an extensive inventory of  mis-steps, ridiculous tweets,  unconstitutional executive orders, lies, and more.  I will spare you the full run-down.

The defense provided by his supporters, including his appointed representatives as well as those on FB, are consistently a variation of this theme:  “Whatever… but the important thing is that The D is WAY better than    Obama — that guy was horrible! “. 

Somehow, this argument is used to justify anything and everything.  However, it is no argument at all–it is a transparent gas-lighting technique to avoid accountability by shifting the focus to another target or topic.  Any High School debator, worth their salt (or evidence cards) could see through that tactic.  And I speak from much nerdy debate experience.

The D is a master of this technique-never accepting any blame or acknowledging his mistakes by aggressively attacking and shifting blame to others. Obama is one of his favorite targets, along with most of the media, Nordstroms, immigrants, and Arnold Schwarzenegger.

Americans tend to be an emotional bunch–we make decisions and align our loyalties based on emotion. And, once we have made up our minds on something, no amount of factual information or ‘real news’ will sway us from our views.  Social media tailors our feeds to show us what we want to see–what we already agree with; while also giving us a false sense that we are keeping up with the ‘news’ .

We seem to turning into a post-fact society, where information is readily available, but facts are hard to discern. This is what keeps me up at night (as well as Stephen Colbert wicked monologues).   A charismatic candidate with a sound bite that resonates and lots of media exposure, can be elected without benefit of experience, credentials or actionable policies.  It does not bode well for our future.

And that is why an inexperienced, immature, vengeful and impulsive man has the nuclear codes.

It’s a wonder I sleep at all.

 

 

 

Single motherhood and empathy

Dan has been traveling for work for the last few weeks, which means I have been a single mom to our critters; a very independent and low-maintenance kitty and a ridiculously needy doggie.  My regular weekly schedule for working-out, working and playing tennis has been tough to sustain while tending to the needs of our attention hound.

The last few weeks have brought back memories of the years when I was a single working mother (to human children).  Then (as now) I was fortunate to have access to good day care and had family in the area to provide an occasional helping hand.  Even so– I remember the near-continuous sense of being pulled in multiple directions at once–there simply wasn’t enough of me to go around.

I recall the evening when son Ben announced at bed time that he needed 5 pounds of salt-clay for school…. tomorrow;  and mediating disputes by phone at work, because ‘Ben is such a butt-brain’. I honestly miss those days.

I recall the  married co-worker with one child, who had returned to work part-time.  She told me how hard it was to cope with all the demands on her time.  I stared at her in wonder and (it must be said) some jealousy, and retorted that if she subtracted the husband, added a child, and added another 24 or so hours to her work week, then she could commiserate with me.

In other words, I was a complete jerk.   Misery isn’t a contest… There is no prize for the person who has the most difficult life circumstances—-except for (maybe) a split-second of nasty smugness.  More importantly, we never truly know what a person is going through, even if we are familiar with their life circumstances.  Fast forward another 5 years and this same co-worker was a divorced, unemployed alcoholic.  Dang.

One of my personal mantras when I start feeling  sorry for myself is “You can visit Pity City, but you can’t live there”.  This mantra has served me well,  but for those suffering from debilitating mental illness, depression, addiction or other affliction, there is a deeper sense of despair that does not have a quick fix and cannot be remedied by a pep talk.

Guzzy’s eating disorder and recovery taught me a great deal about not judging others, being empathetic, and being grateful for small things.

Today – I am grateful that Dan is home for the weekend, and that no one needs any salt clay in the morning.