Rants

Brain Dump

Ever since the Covid-19 pandemic hit I have vacillated between so much rolling around in my head I can’t settle on anything and not enough complete thoughts to bind together something coherent.  Today is no exception but for a different reason.

I’m sad. I’m angry.  I feel despair. I feel helpless. I’m scared about health issues. I’m concerned about the world my kids continue to grow up in. I’m concerned about our immediate future and the years down the road future.  The one thought that keeps coming back to me is these cries for equality started going down over 50 years ago in the 1960s, why isn’t this shit fixed yet.  And, don’t even get me started on the various pundits and politicians.  Don’t give me your pretty words.  If you really cared you would have done something about it already or when you were in office. Stop worrying about your position or if you will be reelected or if you are snitching on a fellow officer and do the right thing.  Why is it so damn hard for some to just treat others as you would treat yourself or your own loved one.

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Musing

Space Cowboy

architecture dark dawn duskI have a vivid memory of waking up early to sit on my grandmother’s pea soup green Naugahyde couch so I could watch the first shuttle launch in April of 1981. I was six years old. My Grandmother believed if God had intended for man to fly he’d give us wings. I knew better. I knew he’d give us the brains to get there and I wanted to go. When I was 6 years old I still believed I could be anything I wanted to be when I grew up. I didn’t yet know I absolutely sucked at math or that I’d fail algebra twice and just get through geometry by the skin of my teeth. I genuinely believed if I wanted it bad enough I could be an astronaut too one day.

A few years later, in January 1986, I happened to be home on a snow day. Of course, I was watching the first teacher in space take off on the ill-fated Challenger. It broke my heart when it exploded a few seconds into its flight. I remember not only feeling sad for the loss of life but fearful the program would be over. When the program did get scrapped in 2011 I was sad but not surprised. The Space program costs a lot of money. And, like most government entities it was full of pork and ridiculousness. My brother in law, an honest to goodness rocket scientist, worked for a Nasa contractor when it all went down. The stories he used to tell of the way Nasa was run, the inflexibility of the program, etc. why it’s no wonder the program ended.  It’s hard to make history and be innovative if you aren’t willing to take risks and think outside the box. 

Today, Space X in collaboration with NASA is launching a manned rocket into space again. It’s groundbreaking because NASA made a deal with weird AF Elon Musk and purchased passage from a private space exploration company instead of building their own rocket. I’ve been watching the preparations off and on since about noon today. In fact, I had live coverage blaring in the background as I was writing this today. And, I just heard the flight is being rescheduled due to weather. It will not take place this Saturday, May 30.  I know what I’ll be doing on Saturday. I just wish I could be in Florida to watch.

Photo Credit: Space X free on Pexels. 

 

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Musing

ADHD

white and blue crew neck t shirt

At least once or twice a year I come across some article written by some person with a host of letters behind their name claiming ADD/ADHD is made up, not real and just another way for drug manufacturers to bilk us of money.  To say these articles piss me off would be a gross understatement.  Imagine Hugh Jackman as Wolverine when he busts his claws out.  Yeah, now you’re getting how I feel about those articles. But, before I get myself all worked up, let me talk more about why it gets me worked up.

Almost everyone who knows me, knows I have ADHD. I have never made it a secret and I often poke fun at myself for my disorder.  I have had it since childhood although I wasn’t officially diagnosed until I was an adult. As a kid, I was the wild, impulsive, talkative, smart but bad kid. I was super disruptive and a little combative. I had cute on my side but that only took me so far.  Most of the time it ended with me being grounded (rarely) or with a spanking (typical).  As I got older,  I developed some coping mechanisms and I naturally possess some personality traits that enable me to help cope better than others but my symptoms were always the elephant in the room.  Even though the condition ADD and ADHD has been used since the early 1900s – yes you read that right the early 1900s. It didn’t get a lot of attention until the 1980s and then it was generally your completely over the top out of control cases and almost 100% of the cases were boys.  For the longest time experts thought only boys could have ADD or ADHD.

Fast forward to the 2000s and everyone you know is on some kind of medicine for their brains.  Everyone knows someone who takes medicine or has a diagnosis of anxiety, depression, bipolar, ocd, autism spectrum, etc.  For some reason, no one blinks when all those other issues are treated with medicine but the minute you mention medicine for ADHD half the people in the room will break out their armchair quarterback medical license. So yeah, I get a little Wolverine about it. Imagine if you will that your brain is constantly saying the following when someone is speaking to you.

Ah, yes cool topic. Okay, okay I’m following you. Oh that reminds me of something. Wait your turn, wait your turn, focus, listen, don’t interrupt, wait your turn, focus, don’t interup, wait what were they saying I stopped listening to think about something else, oh my gosh what are they talking about now, I must have zoned out.

Yeah, that’s my brain nearly every time someone speaks to me. It’s frustrating for both the speaker and me.

People are really hating being away from others right now.  I can’t say it’s bothering me that much. My brain doesn’t have to deal with as many people in my head.  Incidentally, I wonder if I start doing what that lady in the picture is doing if people would stop talking until I get my thoughts in order.

P.S.  I kinda took the lazy route this week. I’ve had the bones of this entry for a while. I have something else brewing but I’m finding a hard time organizing my thoughts.  Pretty hilarious sense this is all about my brain working differently.

Photo Credit: Atul Choudhary on Pexels.com.  

 

 

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Rants

Censorship

man in black crew neck t shirt covering his mouth with masking tape

I don’t often get political as I truly believe that’s one of those subjects where you can’t really sway people – either a person is going to agree with you or they don’t. Having said that, something came up last week that just chapped me, and yeah it’s kinda political.

Towards the end of last week, my social media and text messages started blowing up with two video links.  The first video link contained two guys in scrubs calling for an end to the quarantine. Supposedly, they were doctors The other and most controversial link was a documentary style video call Plandemic.  Almost before I could watch either video I noticed something weird. The links/videos kept disappearing. I’d watch half of the video, stop to do something, try to go back to it and the link wouldn’t exist anymore.  Then, I found out why.  All of the social media sites were taking it down. The sites said the videos violated their community guidelines and were fear mongering.  Do you mean to tell me you’ll allow a video of Steve-O from Jackass stapling his scrotum to his leg but you won’t allow a supposed scientist or medical personnel to spout controversial content about infectious disease? What happened to free will and due diligence?  Do the Youtube gods believe I can’t research a topic on my own? Why are these videos being censored? Well, most of what Judy Mikovits said was debunked as exaggeration or outright lies. Again, I can’t research this stuff on my own? I can’t watch some other scientist debunk claims and make up my own mind? If we the public accept the censorship of people saying stupid things and/or things we don’t agree with what is to stop social media platforms from censoring things like religion, sexual orientation, or specific groups. What’s to stop any media organization from censoring anything that doesn’t fit their narrative or agenda? It sets a bad precedent to take down these videos no matter how misguided they may be.

I admit I eventually half-assed watched both videos. No, I have not gone off to the dark side nor am currently wearing a tinfoil hat. I like to keep an open mind and see things from multiple points of view.  I will say Judy Mikovits makes some fair points but then again even a blind squirrel gets a nut sometimes. The government and big pharma don’t give a damn about the public they say they are trying to help. What is the old saying – power corrupts, and absolute power corrupts absolutely. It looks like we can lump social media platforms into the absolute power corruption heap along with government and big pharma.

Photo Credit: Photo by Wallace Chuck on Pixels

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Motherhood/Parenting

How much is too much

img_1235The title of today’s blog , how much is too much, is a question I’ve been wrestling with for years when it comes to my children.  How much intervention from me do they need, how many experiences should I be providing, and I providing too many opportunities and not enough struggles.  You get the idea.  To answer some of those questions, I recently read the book, How to Raise an Adult by Julie Lythcott-Haims.

Not to give too much away, I wish I had found the book when my kids were about 6 and 8 instead of 13 and 15.  Most of it is common sense advice but it’s also things I/ we immediately cringe at because it goes against everything we hear these days.  Advice like let your child struggle, let your child help around the house even if it’s not to your standard, let your kid fail, let your kid wander around the neighbohood alone, and don’t have your kid scheduled within an inch of their life with an endless list af extra curriculars.

The one thing this book that sticks in my craw is all the college talk.  About 1/3 of the book talks about how we are stressing kids out and going over board about getting our kids into top tier and ivy league schools. Lythcott- Haims keeps reitterating that all kids need to go to college.  I reject that notion.  Not every child is destined to be in a four year college situation just like every job doesn’t require a college degree. Then she turns around and goes on to say a child has to make their own way but to her that means going to a lesser known college instead of going the trade school or military route. It seems a little ridiculous.

Because of all the top tier college talk I feel like the book is geared toward a specific demographic, the very upper middle class/lowest their wealthy – basically the country club set. I have no problem with that demographic. I’m not in it but I know people who are and yes they seem hell bent on getting their kid into a “good” college (i.e. top tier). I suppose for them that part of the book is something they need to hear.

But, she’s not wrong when she points out that the weather the family is the more sheltered and saved from struggle the child is. Between servants and parents wanting the child to do well in school and not be stressed about getting a job or not having the opportunity to play sports or volunteer work or whatever will look good on a transcript, these kids are spoiled rotten. We aren’t fabulously wealthy and more than once I have let my kids shirk household responsibilities so they could finish homework.  If we were a family where the adults were both working two jobs to make ends meet,I wouldn’t be able coddle my kids like that.

In the end, I have started making more of hands off parenting adjustments.  It seems easier to let the kids do whatever now that we are in the throes of the apocalypse. Every day there seems to be fewer and fewer rules and normals and with fewer cars on the road I don’t mind my kids biking three miles to the grocery for a soda.  Welcome back to 1985.

Photo Credit: Me, myself and I.  This is a screenshot of the book cover. I did book on audio free from my library but you do you.

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Musing

Changes

autumn autumn colours autumn leaves blurI’ve been thinking a lot about changes. In nearly the blink of an eye, our lives have completely changed. We are working and schooling at home.  We are cooking, cleaning and doing our own yard work instead of hiring it out.  We have resorted to cutting our own hair.  Frivolous spending has drastically dropped off.  We are faced with shortages at stores either due to demand or due to genuine shortages in the food delivery systems.  Up until March, the only people you saw taking a walk in the middle of the day were fitness nuts and old people. It all happened so quickly yet right now things aren’t too different from the life of our grandparents and great grandparents lived.

Less than 100 years ago no one used to work out. We got our workouts from walking places instead of driving. Our work consisted of more manual/physical labor and less sitting around.  Our food availability was not as streamlined and interconnect as it is now – much to our detriment in this pandemic.  People were skinnier.  If your garden or farm didn’t grow, you didn’t eat. If you were out of a job you didn’t eat. There was no government welfare system. There were soup kitchens and poor houses but no one was getting three square meals a day.  It was just enough to keep you from starving.  We didn’t see a therapist or talk about our feelings.  We didn’t have as many diagnoses.  People just died.  We didn’t have less cancer or less autism we just didn’t diagnose. Well, John just up and died yesterday he’d been looking bad for 3 months oh well.  Pets lived outside and ate scraps. Now there are people on the internet asking about daycare and enrichment programs for their pets. True story, I saw a lady asking about enrichment programs for her corgi on our neighborhood Facebook group right before this pandemic hit.  Are you freakin’ kidding me?  There are still children out there with crack head mommas that can’t bother to feed them and yet some bougie ass lady is worried about her dog.

Now that we’ve pretty much been stripped of everything non-essential and for God only knows how long, I wonder what we will keep and what we will let fade away when this pandemic is but a horrible memory.  Will more schools be held online? What about work? We’ve proven that so much can be done at home. What about the people everyone used to ignore – the grocery store and warehouse workers – the ones keeping the wheels turning right now. Will they get paid more and be shown a little more appreciation?  Now that folks see that life does exist outside of being busy all the time will they slow down? Or, will we be forced to slow down because of economic restrictions?  With so many people laid off will life change because no one can afford to do anything? It will be interesting to see how it all plays out.

Personally, I wish I had a crystal ball. All of the uncertainty is making me anxious. I’ve realized it’s not the change that bothers me. It’s the fear of the unknown. Will the change be a good change? A tolerable change? Or, will the change be something we have to grit our teeth and slug through to get to the good outcome?

Photo Credit: Free from Pixbay on Pixels. 

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Irony

So Much Information

imagesI keep hearing these folks talk about reading books and learning a new skill during this quarantine and all I can think of is who has the time for that. I don’t know about you but I’m drowning in information. I’m reading about how this is a thinly veiled attempt to screw up the election in November or a way to take away American’s rights in the name of the greater good.  I’ve read about the President and governors clashing over states’ rights, which feels an awful lot like the arguments states made for slavery right before the Civil War.  I’ve read about Dr. Fauci and Dr. Shiva and how both think we should be fighting this virus. I’ve read about how we need to take this opportunity to figure out what’s important to us and when the world gets back to normal we all need to work like hell to make it happen. I’ve read other things that say the political and media machine is going to do their best to get us to forget how broken everything is and try to get us back into our normal patterns of spending to get our economy back on track. And, this is just a small slice of what I’ve been reading and hearing.

There is so much information out there – some of which builds on another while others not so much. It’s hard to know what to believe or what to take to heart – to separate what has merit and what is just pissing in the wind. If you’re anything like me you vacillate between wondering if this is the apocalypse or a giant world event, sort of like World War II. You know, I always thought the thing that would bring us together and at the same time rip us apart would be a war, not a virus. For many years I thought there would another be an all about civil war of sorts here in America but never for one moment did I think a virus might kick it off.  Illegal immigration, inequality, race relations, politics – those are the things I thought would start a war from within.

All I know is most days I wake up with a nagging worry that things won’t ever go back to “normal”.

On a completely unrelated and happier note, Phyllis and George are back. I think she’s looking to nest again, that is if ducks nest more than once a season. If not, then they are just having a jolly old time in my backyard eating, pooping and screwing.

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