“He’s Always Been Good to Me”

After Christine Blasey Ford’s testimony, all these people came out of the woodwork to say how nice Brett Kavanaugh had always been to them. I’m glad to hear it. But what has that got to do with her testimony?

It’s the same after someone becomes a spree killer. “He was always so quiet. He paid his rent on time. He used to hold the door open for me.”

Humans are complex, folks. The fact that Kavanaugh volunteered at a soup kitchen does not absolve him from any crimes he may also have committed. And it certainly does not mean that he couldn’t possibly have committed crimes. Character references only get you so far. Charles Manson got more fan mail than any other prisoner in American history. That doesn’t make him a Boy Scout.

I’m really glad that Brett Kavanaugh isn’t the devil incarnate. I hope he has many opportunities to help little old ladies cross the street. We need that in this world.

But do I believe that at least once in his life, his did a horrible, unforgivable, unacceptable thing, and because of that a woman’s life was changed for the worse? Yes. Yes, I do.

Until we make it crystal clear that such behavior is unacceptable, that all the soup kitchens on earth won’t make up for it, there will be no reducing the amount of sexual assault in this society.

Boys must be taught that no means no. It’s that simple. Even my dog understands it.

And just so we’re clear, a yes that changes into a no is also a no. And an intoxicated yes is a no. It’s about respect. Respect for others and respect for yourself. If you can’t follow those simple rules, you should expect consequences, no matter how nice you are most of the time. Sorry to disappoint you.

I’m reminded of something my late boyfriend used to say. “You can pour all the syrup on it that you want, but that don’t make it a pancake.”

Pancake

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What’s the Good Word?

With increasing frequency, I’m compelled to avoid the news altogether. It all seems so bleak, so dire, so incomprehensible, so stressful. I can only take so much. I’m sometimes forced to give myself the day off just to maintain my own sanity.

Eventually, I have to stick my head back into that toxic waterfall, though. It’s not a good idea to be uninformed in this day and age. Much better to know when it’s time to duck and cover, or whip out one’s passport.

But the whole journalistic philosophy of “If it bleeds, it leads!” Means that the good news (which is also legitimate news, lest we forget), often gets buried. It’s easy to overlook that there’s decency in the world if you rely only on the major news outlets.

That’s why I’m really happy that a friend of mine turned me on to the Good News Network. It’s a tonic. It reminds me that not everything is death, destruction, corruption and crime.

And guess what. It isn’t all stories of puppies and kittens. (Well, yeah, there is a fair amount of that, but there’s other content, too.) On the day of this writing, some of the headlines were:

  • World’s Second Largest Coral Reef Has Just Been Removed From Endangered List

  • Bank Restores Stolen Funds to Oldest Living US Veteran After Identity Theft

  • Turkey Announces They Are Setting Aside a Ton of Money to Make Cancer Treatments Free

  • Sweden to Reach Its 2030 Renewable Energy Goal This Year!

  • Scientists Capture First Ever Confirmed Image of a Planet Being Born

  • Fishermen Save Starving Fox That Was Stranded on an Iceberg at Sea

  • When Pizza Driver Gets into Accident, Firefighters Deliver the Hot Pizza Themselves

Don’t you feel better already? I know I do. Maybe if more of us visit this website, the mainstream media will get the hint that we need a little more balance on this emotional rollercoaster of ours. So check it out.

GoodNewsNetwork

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Let Reality Be Beautiful

Things are good. Almost too good. So good, in fact, that sometimes I panic. That annoying little voice in my head whispers, “This is too good to be true. It can’t be real. You’re overlooking something. Or all the great people around you will finally see you for the inherently flawed individual that you are and disappear. Or a meteor is about to crush you dead. Or something. Because you can’t have the good things.”

If a pep talk like that doesn’t send me into a panic attack, surely it will cause me to dive headlong into a pint of Häagen-Dazs. Neither outcome is optimal to my health. But if I get to choose (“You never get to choose.”) (“Shut up, annoying little voice!”) I’ll take the ice cream.

I was talking about this to my dear friend Anju, whose blog I highly recommend. Of everyone I know, Anju is one of the ones I’d be most likely to consider an authority on this subject, because from what I can tell, she leads an amazing life. She takes risks. She sits down at the world’s table and she feasts of life like a fat kid in an ice cream parlor. No apologies. No prisoners. Her life isn’t always a bed of roses, but it is uniquely and undoubtedly hers. I admire her. I’d love to be her.

After listening to me grouse, she simply said, “Let reality be beautiful.”

Wow. If that doesn’t strike a chord in you, then you are tone deaf.

And you know, why the hell not? If things are good, then I should enjoy them. I need to live in the now, because the now, right now, is awesome!

I may not have any control over the meteors heading my way, but I certainly don’t have to poop all over my own party. I deserve as much beautiful reality as the next person. And so do you, dear reader.

Thanks Anju!

1474639153_Haagen-Dazs_Ice_Cream_Photo11

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Dance, Dance, Dance

Okay, I confess. One of my guilty pleasures is the show Dancing with the Stars. I just love watching people do something well that I can’t do at all. (Oh, I can boogie with the best of ‘em, but formally dance? Not me. I can’t even walk in heels.)

There’s just something so wonderful about being able to express your emotions with your body. It’s as if dancers project their joy from the very tips of their fingers and toes. It’s beautiful to see.

At the end of this most recent season, I impulse-bought myself a ticket to their live tour, something I’ve wanted to do for years, so several days ago I got to experience that joy firsthand. I was rather star struck, because I feel like I’ve gotten to know all these people, and now here I was, breathing the same air! It made me feel like I was back in junior high school or something.

I was really glad that I brought binoculars, though, because I was in the nosebleed seats, and half the time I wouldn’t have known who was dancing without their help. But once I was able to suss out who was who, I could put the binoculars down and just enjoy the big picture. I left there feeling so content.

It’s magical to bear witness to such glorious artistry. We all have so much potential. There’s just so much opportunity for magnificence. I don’t know about you, but that makes me feel like good really is capable of triumph.

Here are some of my blurry photos from the tour. What with all the light and motion, my camera wasn’t exactly up to the task, but you get the idea.

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Who Gave Me This Gift?

Here lately, I’ve been having quite a few frustration dreams. You know the kind. I’m lost and no matter how hard I try, I can’t find my way out. Or I keep cleaning, cleaning, cleaning, but the place is still a mess. Or I’m running in slow motion. Or I’m trying to say something really important, but no one is listening.

Just the other day, I was thinking about these dreams as I fell asleep. I was trying to figure out the source of my frustration. I was feeling… well… frustrated that I couldn’t reach any conclusions. And those thoughts, as I drifted off, triggered an even stranger dream.

In this one, I had been given the gift of a tank top. I do like tank tops, but it’s the dead of winter, so I was a little befuddled by this. I decided to try on the tank top anyway. It fit well, but I felt some strange lumps in the shoulder straps. I reached up and pulled out a wrench. And then a screw driver. And then a hammer. And then a saw… and so on. It was like the hardware equivalent of a clown car.

And then a voice said, “You have all the tools you need.”

That woke me up out of a sound sleep. Because… who was that?

The current thinking in terms of dream interpretation is that every actor in your dream is a manifestation of yourself. But that wasn’t me. I know it in the very marrow of my bones. My Id is not that confident. My Superego couldn’t be bothered. It wasn’t any part of me. Who, then?

A friend of mine theorizes that it was God. Her spiritual beliefs and mine aren’t very similar. I don’t anthropomorphize my higher power. And even if I did, in the Trump era, it’s safe to assume he or she has much bigger fish to fry.

Could it have been my mother, speaking to me from beyond the grave? Or my late boyfriend? My father? My sister?

I don’t know. I just know it wasn’t me. It was a good message, though. If it had been a sinister message I’d be worried. But it was a positive message. “You have all the tools you need.” The minute it was said, I believed it. So I’ll just focus on that.

Sometimes you just need to take the gifts that are given to you, and say thank you.

Voice of God

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Good in the Aggregate

Life is pretty darned good. I have a job I love, and a house I love, and a dog I love, and a lot of people in my life whom I love. I eat regularly, I have indoor plumbing, a car that works, and I feel relatively safe. Statistically speaking, I probably have more than a year or two left in me.

I get to goof off a good bit of the time. No one but me has to cohabitate with my dust bunnies, and I seem to have reached a nice compromise with them. If they keep to themselves, I leave them alone. If they start being show-offs, it’s time to go.

There are also some not-so-good elements to my life. Tensions that I can’t seem to resolve. Financial stress. Donald Trump and everything he represents. Minor aches and pains. Loneliness. Grief.

But you know, anyone who claims that the smooth peanut butter of his or her life doesn’t occasionally get interrupted by crunchy bits is delusional. And really, smooth is boring. I like a little crunch now and then. (Within reason.)

To maintain your sanity, you really have to look at your life in the aggregate. Yes, there are a few lumps in the ol’ mashed potatoes, but generally speaking, I find mine to be quite edible. Pass the sour cream and butter.

Don’t focus on the crunches and the lumps. Look at the big picture. If your life isn’t 100 percent smooth, that doesn’t mean you’re a failure. It means you’re living.

Wishing you a life that is good in the aggregate, dear reader.

peanut butter

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Okay, You Win.

I’ve always been one to fight the good fight. I believe in standing up for what’s good and just. I’ll stick my neck out when others won’t. Someone has to tell the emperor he has no clothes, right? Integrity is one of the qualities I’m most proud of.

But somewhere along the line a piece was left out of this puzzle for me. Yes, I’ve heard the expression, “You can’t win them all,” but oddly enough, I never seemed to realize that that means that I can’t win them all, either.

This disconnect in my brain has caused me no end of frustration. When my mother used to tell me that life wasn’t fair, even as a small child I’d be outraged by this news. What’s the point if life isn’t fair, or can’t be made fair?

Somewhere along the line I didn’t learn the adult lesson that sometimes you just have to suck it up and deal with the bitter, awful realities of life. Sometimes justice just isn’t going to prevail. Sometimes the bad guys win.

I don’t like this lesson. I don’t want to learn it. But if I don’t, I’ll lose my mind. Sometimes you just have to surrender and say, “Okay, you win.” That’s the only way you’ll live to fight another day.

Submission

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