Thursday, November 3, 2011

Sparking Patriotism

Last week, while out for a drink at a trendy, local martini bar, I was drawn into a conversation with two men sitting near me. The icebreaker was a comment about my drink - I had asked the bartender for something special, to celebrate the Halloween weekend. He made me a drink in a large martini glass, starting with Kahlua, floating Bailey's on top and then floating Goldschlager on top of that. He then set the Goldschlager on fire, and threw a pinch of cinnamon into the flame, which made sparks! Very impressive!

So, after the two men on nearby stools (I will call them Mr. A and Mr. B), made a pleasant remark about my exciting drink, we all began to talk. I know, there are two subjects you are supposed to avoid when there is alcohol involved - religion and politics! Well, somehow we got into both. When Mr. A heard that I do not believe in organized religion, because I think history shows that much of the world's violence has been committed in the "name of God" by many religious groups, he said that I am not a good American! I was highly insulted by that statement, and advised him that my religious beliefs have no relation to my patriotism to the USA. He insisted that it does.....but that was when Mr. B told me that Mr. A was a natural- born Canadian!

I asked Mr. A why he had come to America (he has been a naturalized citizen of the US for 30 years) and he answered "to make money." "Oh," I said, "you abandoned your country of birth for personal financial gain and you dare to question my loyalty to my country? I have never left the United States and pledged my allegiance to another country. Why didn't you remain in your country and work to make it a better place?" He floundered and defensively stated that he goes back to visit regularly.

I find it commendable that Mr. A put out the effort to become a citizen of his chosen country, and defends its honor, but his religious zealousness is a big part of the problems here in the U. S. and around the world. Everyone seems to feel that their religion and their "God" is the best, and anyone who does not share their beliefs is wrong, bad, evil...damned! I always thought that people came to the "New World" (of existing North America) for religious freedom...because they did not fit in with the popular majority in their respective countries. But now, hundreds of years later, we are imposing our beliefs on one is celebrating and appreciating each other's differences anymore. Why does a politician's religion matter? Why do we even know what their religion is?

Religion should be a personal and private matter. If you can't discuss it out of curiosity and interest, to broaden your knowledge of life and the world, and can only discuss it as criticism and disdain, then please, do keep it to yourself and your God!

Thursday, September 8, 2011


Tonight, before she had even heard the speech, while talking with Greta Van Susteren, on Fox News, Michele Bachmann slammed President Obama and his proposed bill, which Bachmann would later find out is called the "American Jobs Act." She did not even have the courtesy to hear the speech in person, claiming she was late due to "flooding." She did manage to attend the press conference afterwards, that she herself had called, outside of the approval of the official Republican party and then called Obama's presentation a "political speech" "containing nothing new." As a matter of fact, she seemed very disturbed that the President had had the nerve to call back 535 people "under the veil of one of the most sacred, deliberative forms - a joint session of Congress." I'm sorry, Ms. Bachmann, but isn't it your JOB to attend sessions of Congress...being a Congresswoman and all? She beseeched Congress to reject all that Obama had to offer, stating "What hasn't been tried and failed before?"

Has Ms. Bachmann ever played on a team?

After the President's speech, I was watching "Project Runway" on Bravo. Tonight's challenge had the 10 contestants form two groups of five, and each group had to design a fabric and create five outfits, with at least three of the looks incorporating the group's fabric design. My mother was also watching the show, and she remarked that she did not like when the Project Runway challenges involve working in a team....she said it made things harder, and each person should be able to work on their own. Well, I wouldn't vote my mother into Congress, any more than I would vote for Michele Bachmann.

My mother has been married for 54 years, and Michele Bachmann for around 30 years, I believe. How have they managed to maintain such long term partnerships without teamwork?

I am not new to teamwork....I was on the cheerleading squad in high school (and usually at the bottom of the pyramid due to my strength, a position I accepted for the sake of our performances). I played lacrosse in college for three years, and accepted the fact that I was best suited for defense, in positions that never carried personal glory, but did contribute to overall team pride.

When I was a police officer, we did not have partners - our town was divided into six sectors, and we each patrolled a sector in our own police car. But when a call came in that required two officers, you could not choose who would be responding with you; you approached the situation with whichever officer was dispatched, and had to trust that would defend your life as you would defend theirs. Even if you did not personally like the other officer, you had to swallow your differences and work together to handle the situation in the appropriate manner, to reach our ultimate purpose and goal - public safety!

Congress, of which Bachmann is a prime example, seems to have forgotten (if this group ever even knew) how to work as a team - their mantra has turned into "Everyman (rep) for him/herself." Just as the unemployed of America, Bachmann and her cohorts are just trying to survive and maintain their "careers." Congress needs to stop stabbing each other in the back, regroup and point their spears in the same direction. Reaching across the aisle, while crossing your fingers behind your back is no longer going to hold up in this country. Congress has to remember: You work for US - the people! You need to start acting like workers, and not like the boss. Your joint goal is to serve the American people, so, get back to work, and do the jobs we elected you to do...we don't owe you a "lifestyle", you owe US a team that makes us proud!

What Goes Around...Comes Around!

Today, while waiting on line to pick up prescriptions for my parents, I overheard the woman in front of me tell the counter clerk that she was $2.00 short for her prescriptions, so she would take only the high blood pressure one and would come back some other time, when she had more money. I had a bunch of singles in my purse, so I stepped up and handed the woman $3.00. She was surprised and at first turned me down, but I told her that I would rather give the money to someone who truly needed it, than to a panhandler in the subway. (Either way, the money was going towards drugs! hahaha.) I told her that I know how important medications can be, and that in the past people had helped me. So, she graciously accepted my dollars and wanted my phone number so she could arrange to pay me back. I told her that in the future, she could give the money to another person in know, in the spirit of the "Pay it Forward" thing. I shook her hand and left quickly.

Someone did help me in the recent past. On Christmas Eve, two years ago, I was driving to Philadelphia, to visit my daughter in the hospital. The roads were extremely icy, but I was determined to see my daughter. While going downhill, my old mini-van slid off the road into a snowbank. My other daughter and I got out of the van to survey the damage. There was no damage to the van, but we were deeply stuck into the snow. Within five minutes, a station wagon stopped. A lone woman got out and asked if we needed help. She said she had a shovel. She got the shovel out of the back of her car, and proceeded to dig out my van. I tried to wrest the shovel from her to do it myself...she appeared to be older than me...but she insisted on doing the deed herself. When she was finished, I tried to give her $20.00 (that was all that I could spare at the time.) But she refused the money, wished us a "Merry Christmas" and drove off. It was as if an angel had appeared and helped us in our "time of need". (I know, quite the cliche'....and who believes in angels, anyway?)

So, I am still $17.00 ahead.....after giving that woman $3.00 today. If each of us would just help someone else, once in a while, the world would be a much better place!

Tuesday, September 6, 2011


On the season opening today of "The View" (the 15th season), Joy Behar announced that over the hiatus, she got married! She had previously stated that she was not interested in ever marrying again...she and her partner of 29 years, Steve, did not need to be married. so, when pressed on the show today to explain herself, she said that the passing of the "Gay Marriage" bill in New York, showed her the importance of marriage as a legal tool. She said it is not just all about love and romance, per se, but it is a legal contract that enables each of the married pair to have the case of medical care and estate taxes, etc. She is now wearing a ring, as is Steve, but she said that the marriage will not change their daily lives at all. I guess her fear of marriage has dissipated as she grew older....she is in her late 60s, I believe. Once you are older, the fear of being cheated on (more like the reality of being cheated on) disappears...not that I know that fidelity was the biggest issue for her.....but it is an issue for many of us. When you are older, it is harder to imagine shaking up your life....comfort and stability have become your life and fear of losing the "known" is greater than the excitement of the "new" and "unknown." Good for you Joy! Congratulations!

Sunday, September 4, 2011

Bachmann and Weather Messages from God

Michele Bachmann was on "Face the Nation" this morning. Bob Schieffer had excellent questions for her.....including if she thinks God sends messages through the weather. She refused to directly answer the question, she danced around it by just saying that she "believes in God, etc." Schieffer showed her "infamous" clip where she states that God sent a earthquake and a hurricane to Washington in the same week to say "are you going to start listening to me?.....rein in spending..." Many people were offended by that speech, and in response, Bachmann had said that her statements were a "joke." But to Bob Schieffer, this morning, she said that her statements were a "metaphor"...and that she knew that and that the people knew that. Wow! SHE knew her statement was a metaphor! But a metaphor for what? Oh, and she is going to get gas prices back to $2/ God in on that? The only thing that would make me a believer would be the water into wine trick....if she could do that....she would have my vote!

Sunday, August 28, 2011

Back to School

It is almost September, and although I consider that the school year begins the Wednesday after Labor Day, I am going to set my aim at September 1, 2011. Somewhere, probably in a movie, I heard someone (male) say that the beginning of school makes them want to give the other person (female) a bouquet of freshly-sharpened pencils! Ah, a man after my own heart! When invited to a Christmas party a year or two ago, for my writing group, I brought the hostess a bunch of small red carnations, inside of a "vase" made of an olive jar, with pencils glued all around the circumference...all lined up like toy soldiers...with a red ribbon encircling them. I did the gluing while sitting in the came out rather well, I may say so myself. I asked her to e-mail me a photo of it...but alas, she never did. I will have to make another! The past two weeks, I have been taking a class at UCB in honor of my devotion to school, I indulged myself and bought a purse, that looks as close to a schoolgirl's bookbag as someone my age can get away with...kind of a messenger-style bag...but it does have flowers! Also, last week I bought myself a fountain is inexpensive, but will serve its purpose...all the classic diarists wrote with fountain pens....(okay, some used quills, but I am not THAT ambitious!) I may even start journaling in script writing has really gone down the tubes in recent years...all I do is print! Well, my September promise to myself is to write something each it's my job....either in here, or my journal....or, hopefully, BOTH! So, this has been today's contribution. Time to go polish an apple!

Saturday, August 20, 2011

Michele Bachmann and her "gaffes"

How many "gaffes" should one candidate be allowed? It seems that Bachmann has one every time that she speaks! If jobs and the economy are truly what she is focused on, then she should stop trying to make pop culture remarks about John Wayne and Elvis, etc. (she wished Elvis a "Happy Birthday" on the day that was the anniversary of his death!) I even saw a video on "YouTube" where she admits that she says the "wrong" things!! So, stop it then! (Sorry about the overuse of quote marks....don't worry, I do not do the air ones in person!) One of Bachmann's quotes that I particularly like is about how the founding fathers were against "Taxation without representation." She wants to know how they would feel about "Taxation WITH representation." Wasn't that the point?? What does she want, "Representation WITHOUT taxation?" How would she receive her congressional paycheck? Does this mean she wants to work for FREE? Yay! But how will she manage to pay back her federally-backed mortgage on her new 5200 sq ft house?? Oh, I guess it will be with the federal medical payments her husband, Marcus, receives for his special counseling - Pray away the Gay!