Monday, January 26, 2015

Death or not





We're studying the death penalty in my class about proposed amendments to the constitution.  I'm sure most of the members in my class are against it. We probably wouldn't put it this way, but I bet we think that the death penalty is one of those things that happen in "bad" states.  The ones where we don't want to live.

Whenever I think about the death penalty, I remember that debate between Michael Dukakis and George Bush.  "What would you do if your wife were raped and murdered?"  It was so unfair to spring that on Dukakis,  And yet, even though I am against the death penalty, I don't know how I would have phrased an answer on the spot.

Revenge is a mighty temptress. 

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Down and out down under



Once a year the fact that I'm an early riser carries a little bonus.  Before dawn, I'm able to catch the end of the Australian Open matches while they are still live from Melbourne.

This morning, Rafael Nadal gasped his way to a victory over an unknown.  Only his championship experience and his great heart got him through.  His body is failing him, so who knows how long he will last.  

I'm tired of Serena. Roger Federer may have a little left.  Novak and Murray are still healthy.  Those are the names I still recognize. The rest are strangers or also-rans who I never got invested in caring about.

So, I'll have to get acquainted with some new players.  Too bad tennis is at such a low ebb here.  It seems to be as foreign as soccer.

It's sunny and hot in Australia, so that's a good way to start a grey day in Chicago.




Monday, January 19, 2015

Not too Young




Someone once suggested to me that when approaching a subject I knew very little about, I might start with a text meant for a high school student.  Neil deGrasse Tyson was recently asked the big question "What is the meaning of life?"  The question came from a six year old.

He answered this way.  "I think people ask that question on the assumption that meaning is something you can look for and "Oh, I found it!"  " . . . maybe meaning in life is something you create, that you manufacture for yourself and others."  "Have I learned something today that I didn't know yesterday?"

I hope that answer helped the first grader.  It was certainly good enough for me.


Friday, January 16, 2015

Rent vs. Own



I once dated a man who made a point that "from now on, I only want to rent, not own."  I guess I would have been less disappointed when he dropped me if I had though of it as my lease expiring.

I see my friend Carol is  going to have an easy time moving because she rents her furniture.  She always impressed me as having a keen sense of mobility (new men, new country) so I shouldn't have been surprised.

On the other hand, another friend who was moving, was agonizing about what to do with her sister's diploma.  That impressed me as too much holding on.

I don't have much stuff and what I have I use.  I sell my books after I read them and make at least one or two trips to the Salvation Army each year.  Too much detachment?  I wonder.

The one thing I want most to hold on to are my friendships.  Please stay.


Sunday, January 11, 2015

The Biggest Loser




Jeb Bush and Mitt Romney are vying with each other to see who can nail down the big money for the 2016 run.  This should leave Chris Christie pretty furious.  Here he went schlepping around the country last year raising money for all the other elephants, and now these two are muscling in on his territory.

I'll be curious to see what moves he makes to help the upstarts "sleep with the fishes."  Before he had the bypass surgery, he might have just made a meal out of them.

And Dallas lost.

Tuesday, January 6, 2015

Is It Just Me?



I'm getting dizzy as earth seems to be spinning faster and faster.   Here is my morning. First, an urgent email from the Citizens Utility Board warning me that AT&T is trying to eliminate land line phones. Can you believe this?  Next, I tried to take advantage of an offer from a bank to open a savings account.  Found out the deal was only for people who have smartphones.  

Of course, these messages came via my computer which apparently is going to be slowed down when Congress scraps net neutrality.  And, the warnings about hackers, spam and fraud flood my inbox daily.

My newspaper was so thin, it felt like a supermarket flyer. (Remember those?)  How long will the person who delivers it a 6 a.m. have a job?

A few years ago I moved my money to North Community Bank.  I liked the name because of the idea of "Community."  Just got a message that they're changing their name to Byline Bank.  What kind of name is that for a bank?

Oh well, I'm sure tomorrow will be more inviting.  I'm going to my class on how we should change our Constitution.  As if.









Saturday, December 27, 2014

For Those Who Choose to Go



I saw the movie Wild with Reese Witherspoon.  If given a choice of how to face life's blows, I'd much rather do it as Tracy Flick or Legally Blonde.  Cheryl Strayed, whose memoir inspired Witherspoon to make the film, chose another path:  hiking The Pacific Crest Trail.

A woman alone in the woods is a rape waiting to happen.  And, Cheryl's drug-infused sexual past doesn't protect her (or us) from being afraid.

Some of my friends called the film Eat, Pray, Hike, an obvious dig at the chick lit franchise.  Not me.  I thought it was an edgy depiction of all of us on our journey through life: lack of preparation, disappointment, surprise, wonder, and profound satisfaction with accomplishment.