. . . it's a morbid thought. Some might just not want to cope with it. Others can't approach it unless they involve some religious or spiritual application. But it can't be avoided. Like the old saw says, the only certain things in life are death and taxes. And by now you've surely deduced that I ain't talkin' bout taxes.
Ah mortality. The concept revisits me each time I lose a friend or family member, or someone else connected to me or my loved ones. It revisits me with a much more definitive presence these days. I'm not preoccupied, mind you. I'm simply coping with life's challenges as they confront me. But the reality of the concept is much clearer to me now that I've past the half-century mark.
So I'll get through this weekend's two funerals. Comfort will be taken from friends and family. Monday, I'll move on. . . a changed person nonetheless. At least a little changed. Life goes on.
"The U.N. Security Council was due to meet Friday to consider actions against Libyan leader Moammar Gadhafi as his regime said it was more than doubling some public sector workers' wages and promised $400 for every family. Libyan state television said the government was raising wages, increasing food subsidies and ordering special allowances for all families, in its first practical attempt to enroll the support of citizens since the uprising began. . ."(MSNBC)
Taking his cue from King Abdullah.
"Money can't buy everything. You've heard it time again. No, money can't buy happiness. When will you learn that fact of life my friend?" (Ray Jozwiak)
. . . of the Obama administration's change in stance on the Defense of Marriage Act was most certainly Good News.
Why jettison DOMA to the proverbial sharks? Because. . . "DOMA has been used by federal officials to justify excluding gay couples from a wide range of benefits that are available to heterosexual couples. These include federal health, Social Security, pension and tax benefits, even to gay couples who were legally married in the handful of states that recognize same-sex unions. The Government Accountability Office has estimated that there are more than 1,000 provisions of federal law "in which benefits, rights, and privileges are contingent on marital status or in which marital status is a factor." Widows have been forced to pay estate taxes, where a survivor in a heterosexual marriage would have no tax bill from an inheritance. Federal employees may not enroll their same-sex spouse in federal health plans or take family and medical leave to care for their partner. Same-sex couples cannot file joint income tax returns or benefit from state retiree health insurance plans that are controlled by federal tax law. DOMA even has been used to prevent a gay couple from filing a joint petition for bankruptcy."
Eric Holder said, the section of the law defining marriage as between a man and a woman is unconstitutional, in the administration's view. Importantly for judicial review, Holder says courts also should apply a heightened level of scrutiny that makes it more difficult for laws to be upheld.
"Warm-blooded creatures, like mammals and birds, try to keep the inside of their bodies at a constant temperature. They do this by generating their own heat when they are in a cooler environment, and by cooling themselves when they are in a hotter environment. To generate heat, warm-blooded animals convert the food that they eat into energy. They have to eat a lot of food, compared with cold-blooded animals, to maintain a constant body temperature. Only a small amount of the food that a warm-blooded animal eats is converted into body mass. The rest is used to fuel a constant body temperature.
Cold-blooded creatures take on the temperature of their surroundings. They are hot when their environment is hot and cold when their environment is cold. In hot environments, cold-blooded animals can have blood that is much warmer than warm-blooded animals. Cold-blooded animals are much more active in warm environments and are very sluggish in cold environments. This is because their muscle activity depends on chemical reactions which run quickly when it is hot and slowly when it is cold. A cold-blooded animal can convert much more of its food into body mass compared with a warm-blooded animal."
My 'cold-blooded'-ness is not in relation to my attitude to others. The operative words here are "sluggish in cold environments." Nuff said.
Will and Kate, Will and Kate, Will and Kate. I thought their show was cancelled??
Shouldn't they be tending to all those kids they have? Sure they've had their problems. I think they're even divorced. Well, what the heck? People better than them have reconciled and gone on to be even better persons. Your mistakes should be viewed as learning experiences. They can help to build your character.
So maybe she didn't do so well on that dancing TV show. So what? Does that have to be held against her?
So he had a few girl friends. Don't lots of guys do that?. . .
what?. . . huh?. . . It's who? Jon? Not Will? Royal what??
a weekend that awakens a sleeping giant in me. I am taller, stronger, better rested, happier, healthier and possibly, even wiser. Don't know why. It just happens.
And there's something about spring, although it's not technically spring yet, that brings my 'bear' out of hibernation ready for another 'year' of scrounging for pic-a-nic baskets throughout the campgrounds.
When I see that look upon your face I know that I've been dealt an ace of hearts. Something starts. Pulse is pounding like a conga drum. The blood goes rushing to and from my head; turns my face to red. So ante-up and hit me once then hit me twice. The stakes are high you know I've got to keep as cool as ice. This game we're in together could end as quickly as it starts. But I'll just take my chances. I'll just take my chances 'cause you know that I'm with you and you're my ace of hearts. You know that I'm with you and you're my ace of hearts.
Deal me in. I'm staying for the course. And if I lose there's no remorse for me. You will always be in my very breath and in my soul. When chips are down, you take control and then bring me back again. So ante-up and hit me once then hit me twice. The stakes are high you know I've got to keep as cool as ice. This game we're in together could end as quickly as it starts. But I'll just take my chances. I'll just take my chances 'cause you know that I'm with you and you're my ace of hearts. You know that I'm with you and you're my ace of hearts.
Wouldn't life be grand if we could all agree that we need to:
**Improve our educational system for our children and grandchildren **Take responsibility for or improve the environment **Recognize the great value of the arts to a society and their therapeutic application to the human condition **Accept the fact that what we do to each other HERE and NOW does matter!
I heard the tail-end of a conservative radio talk show the other day which both frightened and comforted me at the same time. The topic of discussion was repeal of the Healthcare bill, a bill that conservatives and dittoheads like to call 'Obamacare'. (Clever, aren't they? No partisanship there.)
FRIGHTENING ---------- Anyway, a caller was voicing a 'constitutional' opinion which would have done any government employee worth his salt proud. He said that the cost of healthcare is rising because emergency rooms treat illegal aliens free of charge. He continued that if someone enters a hospital emergency room seeking treatment but has no insurance and no cash for which to pay for services, he should be turned away. TURNED AWAY! JUST LIKE THAT! No qualms, no conscience, no compassion. Simply turned out into the street. And this he said, is based upon the Constitution of the United States of America. Government should not be involved. (Human decency be hanged.)
COMFORTING ---------- To his credit, the conservative talk show host questioned, clarified and gave the guy every opportunity to concede some iota of compassion or consideration. But alas, all for nought. Finally, the host said something to the effect of, 'I hear you' and then proceeded to say that the caller was 'really hardcore' and hung up.
So when I decided to start this thing, I thought, I'll write a new blog every day. Yeah. That's what I'll do. Every day a new blog. Because, thats what you're supposed to do. Just talk like your talking to a bunch of your friends, well, hopefully you are or will be my friends too. But like you have always talked to your 'pre-blog' friends. Yeah. That's what I'll do.
Then after the first one, sent about 5:30 AM (yes, I do get up early), I was driving to work and I thought, "Maybe I should just write a new blog every week." After all, I don't want to annoy anyone. I don't want to overstay my welcome. I don't want my 'friends' to get tired of me, or worse yet, BORED with me. Maybe I'll just blog weekly. That way, I'll never be pressed for amusing material. That's plenty of time to weed out the mundane and only use the best stuff. Yeah. That's what I'll do. I'll blog weekly.
Then next morning, around 5:30AM, sitting in bed with my laptop and sending another blog, I thought, "Might be best if I blogged everyday. Just to keep up my 'presence'. Stay familiar. Not get lost. Yeah. That's what I'll do. I'll blog everyday.
And so it was decided. (RIght???) I will blog everyday.
Which I did for four days straight. Then came the weekend. AND I FORGOT TO BLOG!!!! Can you believe it!!!???? I FORGOT to blog!!! I can't believe it.
Maybe I should just blog weekly. Yeah. That's it. I'll blog weekly. Well, for better or worse, this is today's blog.
Most middle-agers like me can well remember the huge, "boss, hit-bound single" Colour My World. In fact, it was a single for Chicago twice. Colour My World, in spite of its success, is only a small part of the Ballet for Girl in Buchanan, the suite which brought us the other top 40 hit Make Me Smile. (Great Stuff!!!)
Well I've been listening to the first four Chicago studio albums (Transit Authority, II, III and V) again, as I periodically do. And they never fail to move me. (I used to be able to play most of the music, solo on the accordion - an aural experience, I can certainly tell you, to behold.) And with each successive listen, I notice more and more of the profound musical influence Chicago's music has had on my playing. Even today, since so much of this music is ingrained in me, small snippets sneak out in the middle of my improvisation and writing.
Well, enough reminiscing. But, if you are inclined to look into some pop music history, check out early Chicago and concentrate on the first four studio albums. (the fourth Chicago album release was a live concert at Carnegie Hall, which is a treat in itself, but consists of live versions of the material on the other four.
This was going to be my next post, although I knew that something could happen at any moment. . . and IT DID!!!!
"Shouldn't the citizens of a nation have a say in their government? Have we not evolved enough to appreciate the simple truth in such a prospect?
What part of this does Mubarak (and his cronies, and the 'analysts', and other Arab leaders) not understand? Does the Egyptian population have to paint him a picture?
Michael Scheuer (author and former CIA employee) says we (the U.S.) have intervened in the Middle East over the past 50 years consistently to support tyranny because it supported our interest. Supported tyranny and fascism. The best thing we can do is 'keep our mouth shut.'
After surfing here a bit, I found something in which I participated awhile back and of which I am actually quite proud.
I should say, I really am on the internet for the music. Not to hear it. Not to buy it. Yes, I do those things and they are so easily wonderful to do on the web. But I am here (my 'strictly commercial' commercialism shines through now) to exploit my music. Prolly never make any money on it, but this is such a wonderful tool to 'spread' the music around to many good folk with very little effort.
So back to the "find". Speaking of the wonders of the internet, there is a website called indabamusic.com, which for creative musicians is a godsend. In short, you join, you surf the site to find 'projects' (or start your own), ask to join (or ask others to join yours), post files (tracks) and have everyone contribute to, in essence, build a song (or a recording) performed by multiple musicians from virtually around the globe. Cool. . . you ask? Yes, I say!
So a little while back, a person named MINIME C. (very cryptic about identity and personal information) posted this funky, groovy kind of thing and ended up with various and sundry contributors contributing contributions to it. The title of the 'piece' is HO-HUM. I contributed digital piano, organ and trumpet. A solid funky bassist named Mark Brabson did a great bass part and VOILA! You can hear it by following this hyperlink.
Anyway, I loved it then and I love it now. I stumble upon it every now and then since it still hangs there in cyberspace.
By Theresa Masterson NBC Philadelphia.com updated 2/8/2011 3:36:54 PM ET "A British tourist recently died after she allegedl flew to Philadelphia to get silicone injections into her buttocks at a Hampton Inn, sources say. Police are executing a search warrant at the Hampton Inn on Bartram Avenue Tuesday afternoon with suspicions that someone is renting rooms in which he or she performs butt implant procedures, sources say. Suspicions of these hotel-room medical procedures came about after a woman visiting from England allegedly died after a butt enhancement procedures and was taken to a local hospital, according to court documents. Several women from England recently traveled to Philadelphia to receive butt- implant procedures in hotel rooms, court documents say. The Delaware County medical examiner's autopsy is not yet complete."
There comes a time when certain facts must be faced. One fact, from which there is no hiding, is that I am getting old. Who isn't. Technically, one begins aging immediately after conception.
After a 'funerial' weekend, one can't help but ponder such concepts to some extent.
With regard to aging though, truth be told, it has advantages. I have finally reached a point where I have a lot more confidence than I had twenty years ago (boy, sure wish I HAD such confidence twenty years ago) and I actually like where I am. And I like being around young people, something that I didn't think too much about when I was a young person. I like the enthusiasm of younger people. And I don't necessarily feel a need to add my verbal two cents (unless I'm asked) while they are expressing their views with sincere, unwaivering conviction. I have even found that if I shut up and listen well, I can also learn something in the process.
Oh yeah, while writing this and checking email simultaneously, I received a message that says, "Attractive Senior single online looking for You!"
I've always been curious about blogging and wary of tweeting. I mean, who really wants to know every fleeting thought that crosses my warped little mind? And I base this curiosity and wariness on my own tastes. In all honesty, I have little to no interest in the fleeting thoughts of too many people. If I think about it hard enough, I may be able to conjure up two or three names. But pop 'icons', actors/actresses (or other 'entertainers'), media 'celebrities', 'news' commentators, talk show hosts and politicians for the most part, have difficulty enough formulating a coherent sentence let alone expressing any thought, sentiment or observation about a topic that would be of even the most remote interest to ME.
So having said THAT, I begin my first blog. Yes, the thoughts, sentiments, observations, incoherent (and hopefully a few coherent) sentences and fleeting thoughts of MINE for all to see!