Cash Grab

In the interest of psychological self-preservation, I’ve steered clear of reading too much Twitter or watching too much political news today. ๐Ÿคจ That’s probably something I should consider doing permanently… instead of trying to always stay up to date on the latest breaking news, maybe I should take a couple days’ break between absorbing all of the awfulness. ๐Ÿค” I’m sure I’d end up hearing about it if anything urgent actually happened, but the rest of it should be easy enough to consume in summary form for the previous couple of days. ๐Ÿค“ Meh… it’s a thought anyway…

I was blessed to receive a “catch up” sleep last night. I think I ended up crashing around 5:00am, and didn’t wake up until 3:00pm… so despite my schedule getting a little screwed up due to the sleep schedule adjustment, waking up feeling rested and without much pain was a godsend. – so I can overlook the inconvenience it’ll probably cause.

I got another small surprise in the mail today. While I’m normally not a fan of bands/artists re-releasing their albums with “bonus tracks” after everyone has already bought the original… because I liked nearly every single track on Skillet’s album Unleashed, I went ahead and gritted my teefs and clicked the “buy” button when they announced that they were releasing Unleashed Beyond – which has five brand new tracks and two remixes of songs already on the original disc. ๐Ÿ˜ƒ๐Ÿค˜๐Ÿป I haven’t listened to it yet, but I’m 90% sure that I’m gonna like the new stuff.

So yeah… honestly even though it’s the early evening, I really feel like my day is only just getting started – and right now my mind is clear, I’ve not set any obligations for myself, so hopefully it’ll just be a mix of lazy, doing a little of this and that, and trying to keep it from ending up crappy for whatever reason. I felt a twinge of maybe wanting to take some photos again, so maybe I’ll look about and see what types of new features and photo slideshow software packages are out there these days.

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At Ease

I’m doing my best to make the remainder of my evening peaceful. โ˜บ I’ve straightened up the living room a bit, I’ve got my new spiral bound journal/notepads and extra-fine tipped Pilot Precise V5 rolling ball pens sitting nearby (Mmm… office supplies… ๐Ÿคค) just in case I feel like writing, and I just ordered the latest Pirates of The Caribbean movie on PPV so I have something to distract me from the “real” and transport me somewhere else.

See, when all I have to worry about is myself, I’m quite capable of not being a mess. ๐Ÿ˜ But things like earlier today, where I was simply asked to a family gathering… something that I do appreciate still even being invited to… that messed me up for the better part of the day, feeling bad because I couldn’t make myself go – and knowing that I was letting people down again.

That’s definitely the “mom” in me – how it really does a number on me when something (even unintentionally) makes me feel like a disappointment. ๐Ÿ˜ž I just gotta remind myself, especially when I’m already struggling, that I can’t live my life to please others – and as long as it isn’t being done maliciously, there’s nothing wrong with that.

So once again I’ll finish this evening by hoping that the feeling continues into the next day, and that maybe my Sunday will truly feel like a day off – where nobody is counting on me for anything, so I can start the day with a clean slate when it comes to what I want to accomplish, if anything. I just really wanna start turning things around, and it doesn’t even matter where it starts. ๐Ÿ™‡โ€โ™‚๏ธ I’m not giving up just yet.

7th and Broadway

Just got back from a couple of nights away down in Cincinnati. The Jack keeps throwing free room offers at me like a kid on a paper route, so I figured I’d take one little “last hurrah” trip down there before the weather starts getting cold and crappy. Even at 3am it was still warm enough that we could stroll the sidewalks around the hotel and sit on the curb and watch the city going to sleep. And we couldn’t help but keep glancing up at the apartments of Seven at Broadway and wonder what kind of job a person would have to have where they could justify spending $1500 to $2500 a month on rent.

Other than being “somewhere else” we really didn’t make any plans for what we wanted to do, and were content just being potatoes in the room, swimming in the pool that was apparently reserved just for us, and making a couple of trips over to The Jack to grub on free buffets and spend my comps (and a little bit more) to make it feel like a real vacation. ๐Ÿ˜Ž Although I think the thing that gave us that “vacation” feeling the most was springing for room service for breakfast. ๐Ÿ˜‹ It was only $10 for the typical eggs, sausage/bacon, home fries, toast, etc… hard to pass up feeling special at that price.

Coming back home sure was a shitty feeling though. Neither one of us messed with our phones much during those three days, so we had this force field of self-imposed isolation around us for most of the trip – and I think it made us both wonder what it would feel like to completely abandon our current lives and just transplant ourselves (not together… heh) into some completely new location with all new people and all new experiences. ๐Ÿค” Meh… but then I guess those are the types of things that vacation is supposed to make you wonder about.

I intended to keep my mind clear for the rest of the night after getting back yesterday, but unfortunately the closer I got to home, the more that “home stuff” started creeping into my brain. ๐Ÿ˜’ I had already been thinking about this at the hotel actually… how I have to make a trip to Logan soon to personally stop in at my estate attorney’s office, since nobody there can be bothered to return my damn phone calls for some reason. ๐Ÿ˜  It feels like a personal slight, plus it’s keeping both Dad and me waiting around like tools, so it only makes sense that I began dwelling on it first.

But yeah, even though it’s only about 100 miles away, there were moments when it felt like 1000 – and it was just what we both needed. โ˜บ Kitties prohibit our trips from being any longer than two nights, but we were both wishing we could have added a couple more nights to this trip. And yeah, there are probably some underlying issues when a getaway feels this important, but we won’t talk about that right now… ย ๐Ÿ˜…

Because We Have To

I like to think of myself as a thoughtful, logical, reasonable person. And because of that, all of the noise surrounding the events in Charlottesville over the past several days really has my brain spinning. So many people are saying “what they’re supposed to say” or what they believe that others think they should say. And hardly anyone allows themselves to see the hypocrisy that’s permeating the news coverage and social media.

We all start out on the same page. The first amendment. The right to assemble. The right to free speech. And when that idea suits someone’s agenda, they’re certainly all for it. But the gathering of white nationalists and other racist white groups in Emancipation Park… because it’s widely accepted (and in my opinion, correct) that being white and racist against African Americans and jews is a very bad thing, that group that wanted to exercise their right to speech and assembly didn’t stand a chance.

They knew that their gathering would be triggering to many people, and perhaps they even wanted to disrupt the calm on purpose… and they came in helmets, carrying sticks, shields, pepper spray, etc. And as you would expect, there was a large group of protesters of the event on the other side, and many of them even came with things that could be used as weapons. It was a powder keg, and things played out in the way that you’d expect such a passionate gathering of opposing forces would do.

What’s bothering me is that nearly all the news outlets, as well as the views on social media, seem to be relieving the protesters of the event of any responsibility or blame for the way things went down. That’s difficult for me because we’ve all seen the videos… people from the white nationalist group attacking protesters, protesters attacking the white nationalists. This was something that most definitely went both ways, despite news personalities like Joy Reid saying “there certainly was not” violence coming from the protesters.

Because their views are understandably unpopular, the people who organized and attended the event are the ones that are getting all the blame. Photos and videos of them getting attacked are celebrated. People are doing everything they can to identify them, post their personal information online, and even get them fired from their jobs or expelled from their schools. Statues of Confederate “heroes” are being torn down, spit on, kicked, etc… and again, all of it to the cheers of the humans.

If you are a guest on a news program, even if you lead with condemning the racist views and actions, if you dare to point out that protesters also participated in the violence as well you will be shamed or shouted down. If you assert anyone’s right to assemble and speak, you’re going to be labeled a Nazi sympathizer or worse. If people really looked at this, it should scare them… mob mentality, justifying violence if someone’s views are different than yours, cheering vandalism, turning a blind eye to illegal actions if they are done by someone who is confronting a politically incorrect symbol, idea, or view.

I have friends who also share this view. The white nationalists, just like anyone, had a right to assemble and assert their right to free speech. They should have known that it had the potential of blowing up, which it did, but that shouldn’t preclude them from doing it. For those that went there and got into fights, on either side, it’s obviously wrong. You don’t have to like what someone is saying, but that shouldn’t give you permission to physically attack them (again, on either side) and it certainly shouldn’t result in the cheers and praise of the mob.

Nobody seems to be doing the “if the shoe was on the other foot” thing. If an extremist black group were to gather and speak, would the media be as quick to essentially praise anyone that attacked them, simply because such incendiary speech “shouldn’t be tolerated” or whatever? Would that group be treated with the “they should have known better” mindset like the people who gathered in VA? And would people (in general) tolerate taking photos of all of the black people, blasting their information all over social media, and doing everything that can be done to destroy their lives? I really don’t think so.

I’ll be honest… of those that gathered, I don’t have any idea what they were speaking about. I’m pretty sure it was awful, difficult to listen to, and probably meant to get people fired up like it did – and yeah, everything that happened because of the event is horrible – so I don’t know what can be done to prevent such things from happening. The idea of “hate speech” vs “free speech” is obviously a tricky one… but if you take away the political correctness, if you take away the passionate views, it comes down to one group interacting with another group, with each side having a portion of violent actors within it, and anyone that participated in physical violence is just as bad as the next one, regardless of their reason for doing it.