Tag Archives: politics

Little Blue Bear [socs]

Beanie Baby America

I have a little blue bear on my desk at work. He’s a Ty beanie baby named America and I bought him when he came out after 9/11, which was shortly after I began working here (I’m writing this Friday lunchtime and will schedule it to post Saturday morning). On the left side of his tag it says that 100% of the profits from the purchase of the bear will go to Red Cross Disaster Relief. On the right side it says: “In memory of those who lost their lives in the national catastrophe that took place on September 11, 2001. We mourn for them and express our deepest sympathy to their families. God Bless America.”

A lot has changed in 18 years. My parents have both passed on. I’m divorced. My two daughters both graduated college and have gotten married. One of them has a baby, which magically makes me a grandma. I’ve moved five times. I had a relationship with a married man for two and a half years. If you believe in “bad karma,” then this gave me mine and I’ve been unable to have a happy/successful romance since. I also had a couple minor car accidents, which were horribly upsetting at the time, but in the grand scheme of things, not so bad really.

In these 18 years, I’ve been a flame warrior on Usenet, made enemies and turned them into Facebook “friends,” and since I quit FB most of them have forgotten my existence again. Perhaps that’s a good thing. I’ve been on Friendster and Twitter and Snapchat and G+ and other “social sites” too dark and dirty to mention here. I’ve experimented with different lifestyles to see if they were for me (no), and they’ve greatly enriched my fiction and poetry writing.

I’ve written a lot during these years. So so much. Poetry, novels, short stories. Zillions of blog posts and tweets. Loads of emails and texts. Have had interesting text chats with many men that I thought might “go somewhere,” but they didn’t and here I am alone, which isn’t a bad thing after all. I’m not sure anyone could really put up with me now… and vice versa.

I find that as I trudge toward my seventh decade I’m more or less the same person I was at age 14. I like to read romance novels and write poetry. I love games and puzzles, kittens and puppies, cookies and pizza. I’m not a sophisticated adult type person with advanced tastes in wine and music. Give me rock & roll and mac & cheese, woo! I’m a homebody and enjoy simple comforts. A hot shower is bliss. As I age, I’ve learned that I get more easily stressed out by other people, so I have to limit my interactions with them.

But through all this, I’ve had a good job, where I’ve been treated well. And every work day, little blue bear has been there to greet me, no matter what else is going on. I am grateful/thankful for my job and for my side work too… and for my book sales even though I wish there were more. (I’ll keep writing regardless.) When I began this post, I assumed at some point I’d say something political, but really there’s no need.❤️🧁💙

~*~

©️2019 Paula Light and Light Motifs II. No unauthorized use permitted. Please check out Paula’s books for sale on Amazon.

My MBA from Blogger U

Mystery Blogger Award

Big thanks goes out to Rory @ A Guy Called Bloke for gifting me the MBA. Very much appreciated! Rory has a fantastic blog, and he’s made a lot of cool changes to its look and navigation recently, so it’s much easier to find all his neato stuffs. Personally, I’m partial to his 4-Question Challenges and 321 Quote Me’s. This year’s Valentine’s Challenge inspired me to write some fun series stories, which people seemed to enjoy. I also look forward to reading Rory’s clever poetry and his adventures with Suze and Scrappy.

So, if you haven’t visited Rory in a while, I suggest you run, hop, roll, fly, scooter, or use whatever means available to you in order to have a look around the place. Except please do avoid crossing rivers on the backs of crocodiles ~ I hear that’s not a great idea.

Crocodile with butterfly

Now, onto the T’s & C’s. You know what a stickler I am for da rules. 😂

After thanking my giftee giver (done) and linking back (ditto), I’m supposed to now mention this dude what began the whole mystery jamboree: Okoto Enigma.

Alrighty then. What next?

Oh, I’m supposed to mention three things about myself. One, I’m wearing blue nail polish. Two, I exercised before work today, go me! Three, I love pluots (plum/apricot hybrids).

Next, I’m to answer the five questions Rory posed for his giftees.

1. Are we losing the art of listening in comparison to simply hearing?

People have always tuned others out, whether by hiding behind a newspaper or turning up the TV or whatever. What’s new is that it’s now become socially acceptable to be rude in one specific way: by sticking our faces in our phones.

Forex, I go to social gatherings pretty often, sometimes at restaurants and sometimes at people’s homes. Generally, we eat and then play board games. While it would be weird and obnoxious for someone to bring a book and start reading at dinner or in the middle of a game, it’s perfectly fine for people to constantly check their phones and even to engage in lengthy texting while with the group. I’ve been guilty of this behavior myself on occasion, but I try to avoid it because I notice how annoying it is when others do it. I’ll have a quick text exchange with a daughter and that’s it. In fact, one of my girls commented late last Saturday night how strange it was I hadn’t replied to them within my usual 5-second timeframe.

Of course, you can’t pay proper attention to the people around you and listen to what they’re saying when you’re buried in a text chat or game on your phone. It’s obviously obvious and I’m working on it myself. I’ve been trying to be more present for people. It takes an effort, like anything else.

2. How often do you openly discuss with friends or here in WP with your readership topics that make you feel uncomfortable or may be taboo or stigma laden?

There are topics I avoid, such as politics, because I find the inevitable conflicts unnecessary. Sometimes I’ll comment on other people’s blogs about an issue, but even then I’m careful. I used to discuss politics on Facebook and it got so hostile and boring. Same arguments over and over. What’s the point?

Shrug

3. Do you think that these discussions should be freely discussed and written about more?

I think we are inundated with politics and most of it is utter trash. We would all be better off with much less of it occupying our attention. Take the Alabama Sharpie ridiculousness ~ it should never have been newsworthy, and it’s everyone’s fault. No one can let something go. Every minute scrap of idiocy must be banged on about to the fucking death for the clicks and lulz. Nastiest comment wins!

4. Did you have a nickname as a child and if so, what was [or what is it now]?

No. People mostly ignored me, same as now. Occasionally, they were mean, such as when a boy in 4th Grade told me my glasses made me look like Ben Franklin. But no one began calling me Ben; they just resumed ignoring me.

Ben Franklin


5. Why is there still ‘stuff’ we simply just don’t understand despite our progressive world?

Why is there stuff? Welp, it’s only recently in the grand scheme of things that we’ve begun to understand anything really. Sure, maybe the ancients had some clues about this or that, but the masses of folks…

Oh, what am I saying? The masses of folks are still hopelessly anti-science and would let the entire planet choke and die for some woozy goozy gibberish about a sky fairy swooping down to save a few and whisking them off to some candy cloud castle or whatever.

Progressive? Bah.

Crabby

For the grand finale, I’m supposed to give the award to 3 more bloggers and create 5 more questions yada… however! This blog is an Answer-Only blog. Yep. I have the official certificate here somewhere… hang on please…

Gold star to answer questions only

That’s the Mystery Award done and dusted!

~*~

© 2019 Paula Light and Light Motifs II. No unauthorized use permitted. Please check out Paula’s books for sale on Amazon.

FPQ37: Agree to Disagree?

Fandango provocatively asks…

Is it possible anymore to disagree without being disagreeable?

He is mainly referring to the topics of politics and religion. I’m going to answer from my own personal experience, not what I perceive to be “out there,” which sometimes is fake fighting, designed to generate flames for views/clicks.

I used to be a more intolerant atheist and have mellowed as I’ve aged. I see the value in many Jewish customs ~ my family is Jewish. When I do have an issue with a particular practice (such as turning off the phone on Saturday), I find it much easier to agree to disagree than I did years ago. I find that life’s experiences have made me more open-minded to different ways of doing things.

As far as friends/bloggers, I’m not seeing any big arguments over religion. Maybe I’m not looking for them, in which case… great! I realize that people are still murdering each other over religion, or allowing the powerful to manipulate them into it, but that’s nothing new.

Now, let’s move onto politics. It appears that everything is horrible everywhere. But I don’t think this is something new. It seems more intense and in our faces all the time because of the internet and because the news channels have to produce content 24/7, but we could shut it off. I know. But we could. Pretend you’re Jewish and every day is Saturday.

People (was gonna say men, but Prof L may be reading) have been screaming about politics for centuries. They’ve been dueling over politics. Slandering and libeling each other. When were people civil? We had a scorched earth war in the US because we couldn’t work out our differences. Maybe we’ll end up in another one.

Can I personally disagree about politics without being disagreeable the way I can about religion? It’s much more difficult. I don’t really care if someone believes in an afterlife ~ this doesn’t impact me. I don’t believe it, and this doesn’t affect them. We can still be friends. It’s harder to be friends with someone who believes that the US is only for white people. In fact, I’d rather not be around someone like that at all, and vice versa, I’m sure.

~*~

© 2019 Paula Light and Light Motifs II. No unauthorized use permitted. Please check out Paula’s books for sale on Amazon.

Laura’s Music Challenge 27

Piano music notes

Yay, it’s time to have some fun with another one of Laura’s song challenges! Join in and have a musical Monday. 😀🎶🎉

1. Post a video of a song that’s perfect when you’re feeling overwhelmed.

2. Post a video of a song you’d find humorous if it came on while making whoopie.

3. Post a video of a protest song.

~*~

© 2019 Paula Light and Light Motifs II. No unauthorized use permitted. Please check out Paula’s books for sale on Amazon

Mental Health ~ Social Media

Thinking

Beckie has been providing a great series of prompts about various topics related to mental health. I haven’t been chiming in, but I made some time for this one. [My bad, I originally credited it to Ashley, and I’ll leave her link below, since it’s where I found the post to use.]

This week’s topic is social media.

Prompt #1 Questions: 

1. Does social media affect your overall mental health?  If so, please describe how it does affect you? 

– Yes, blogging affects my mental health in a positive way because I have control over my blog and can vet the comments (when necessary). Twitter can go both ways. I read good poetry there, which is inspiring; but sometimes I end up reading too much of the political garbage, which is a downer.

2. How does it make you feel when you see family/friends posting pictures of them living their life happily?  

– This is mostly irrelevant to me because I am not on Facebook or Instagram. When I see bloggers posting happy photos, I smile with them.

3. Do the following people make you feel inadequate in any way due to your mental health?    

– Is the question about envy? Am I sad when I see people in couples? No. I know what it would take for me to be in a relationship and am not willing to make those sacrifices (again). As far as family photos, I have lots of those myself, but I don’t post many out of respect for their privacy.

4. What has been your overall experience with social media?  And, what sites do you follow?  

– As I said, blogging has been a wonderful and positive experience. The writing community here on WP is full of kind and supportive people. Twitter is somewhat positive. Facebook was a net negative and I let it go. Instagram too.

5. Have you considered not being on social media?  

– Sometimes, when I feel time-pressured and discouraged by zero book sales. Like, why am I bothering? I could just read and watch TV. But it’s fun regardless.

6. If you have quit social media sites, has it improved your mental health and stability?  

– Quitting Facebook was one of the best decisions I’ve made. Not only did it suck me into the most pointless arguments about the SOS, but it gave me the false impression I had all these “friends,” which of course was bullshit. Most of them couldn’t even be bothered to visit me here after there was no link in their facefeed. Bookmark? Huh?

7. Has social media ever triggered you in a negative way?  Explain how?  

– Yes. There is a problem with some of the sites in that they are relentless in showing you people (“suggestions”) you would rather never see again. Forex, I can’t log on to LinkedIn without them suggesting I connect with the man who broke my heart. There’s no way to block him or whatever. It’s been long enough now, and my heart has been smashed up worse, for his face not to matter to me any longer. But there were a few years I could not touch the site.

*

Prompt #2  We are all familiar with “Selfies”  Describe for us, what is the first thing you think of when you see your family/friends keep sending and/or posting selfies?

– This is no longer an issue for me, since I’m off FB. I love seeing any/all pics of my family, and my friends aren’t into selfies. I’ve never perfected the art of the selfie. Back on FB, there were some women who took a lot of selfies and it always appeared like a desperate attention-seeking ploy.

Then again, aren’t we all on social media to get attention of one kind or another?

~*~

© 2019 Paula Light and Light Motifs II. No unauthorized use permitted. Please check out Paula’s books for sale on Amazon.

FPQ35: Standards

Fandango provocatively asks…

“Do you believe public figures (e.g., politicians, celebrities, athletes, authors) — or anyone, actually — should be judged by today’s standards for their words or actions from decades earlier? Why or why not?”

Yes, I do. The thing is real standards ~ well, mine anyway, and those are what we’re talking about here, amirite? ~ have not shifted with the tides. Fandango gives a few examples.

One example is the recently unearthed Reagan monkey comment. That absolutely should be judged by “today’s” standards. But in my view, not calling an entire ethnic group monkeys was always the standard, whether in the 1970’s or now. Maybe I had a weird upbringing, but my parents never used ethnic slurs and neither do I.

Now, I happen not to be a Reagan fan in general, so it doesn’t bother me to say eh that was bad. I don’t need to twist and squirm to defend my “hero,” since imo he isn’t one. There are a lot worse things he did than this! But if you are a Reagan fan, so what? No reason why you can’t admit your dude was flawed. Everyone is.

Another example Fandango gives is Biden on the Anita Hill hearings. I absolutely judge Biden for being a weak doofus back then who didn’t stand up for what was right and now we’ve been stuck with the godawful Thomas on the bench ever since. It’s not a matter of “today’s” standards ~ doing the right thing is evergreen.

However. That’s politics. We need to judge these people on their words and actions so we can make decisions about their future behavior and how it might impact our lives and our finances, the environment, etc. There are other milieus, such as film, music, literature, art, and everything else. Do I care what some musician said about blacks or women or whatever the fuck? Eh probably not so much. I just can’t get so worked up about entertainment types. They’re always saying stupid things. It’s not that I don’t care at all. I may get outraged for a minute.

That’s not to say if an entertainer makes a career out of being deliberately disgusting and offensive I’ll enjoy that. No. I’m not down with the Joan Rivers nasty school of humor. Sorry to use such an old example, but I saw her live once and she was so mean and gross; I don’t know of anyone currently comparable. I don’t seek it out.

If an artist I like makes a stray offensive comment… whatever. It’s pretty arbitrary though, I admit. I will get more tuned in to some things, like racism and antisemitism than rando sexist jokes/lyrics (such as the song in Fandango’s example). Sexism from a politician is important though; it clues me into actions they may or may not take that will actually affect people.

Bottom line: I do hold supposedly educated leaders and wannabes to higher standards. Not today’s standards. Just standards.

~*~

© 2019 Paula Light and Light Motifs II. No unauthorized use permitted. Please check out Paula’s books for sale on Amazon.

FPQ34: Priorities

Fandango provocatively asks…

“What are the three biggest challenges your country (or, if you prefer, the world) is facing right now?”

People are people, and, newsflash, we all live on the same planet. Americans, Russians, Indians, tigers, whales, apples, wheat, bees, etc. Everything that affects one of us eventually affects us all, no matter how much money you have.

There was a scene in Game of Thrones where a lord (Ramsay) had a slave (Theon) so mind-controlled that the lord gave the slave a razor to shave the lord’s face and neck with. That’s where we are now. The powerful in the US are so convinced they have nothing to fear from the poor that they’re happy to have them armed to the teeth. We’ll see…

1. Poverty. It is unnecessary. We could help everyone do better. Don’t freak out ~ I’m not talking about “freebies.” The horror! But people want to do meaningful things. They want to work and live productive lives; it’s human nature. Why shouldn’t everyone who wants to work have a job and a decent place to live? I mean, duh. Not talking about kids, the disabled, and the elderly ~ they get a pass. The otherwise lazy should be killed, of course. 😂

2. The environment. Stop destroying it before every place is uninhabitable. I note the hypocrisy of celeb types who fly off in private jets to have confabs about this topic and generate mountains of waste in the process. Can’t they have a teleconference? We need to quit ruining our oceans! Idk what is wrong with people who don’t care about this. Just greedy, I guess. “I’m gonna own the libs by using plastic straws, ha ha.” Good job, idiots. You’ve just owned future generations out of sea life. The current libs you despise will all be dead, along with you. 🙄

3. Health care. What a freaking mess, at least in the US. It’s just ridiculous that we can’t take care of people. But it is important to control waste and corruption, and I don’t know how you do that, when all systems rely wholly on doctors to be ethical. I just remember when my frail 82 year old dad was scheduled for a totally unnecessary colonoscopy until I stopped them. But normally you have to depend on a doctor, on the spot; it’s not like you have time to scout around as if you were redoing your kitchen. Oh, hang on there, triple bypass surgeon guy, I need to get a couple more estimates… 😨

Okay, so these are my opinions. If you disagree, that’s fine, but be cordial about it. If you have intense, complex arguments to make against mine, then do your own post for this question. Don’t forget to link back to Fandango! 😀

Laura’s Music Challenge 24

Yayyy it’s time for Laura’s super de duper fun tunes challenge again! This time there’s only one rule:

1. Post three videos that describe your weekend.

Pretty exciting stuff, huh? In reality, I bought some cherries to take to a friend’s house yesterday. Today I picked up my migraine meds and did laundry.

But how about that Don Henley song and video from 1985?!? Here’s a bit of history on it. Even though Don’s no angel (a 16 year old girl? geez, these guys!), I still say the song is a brilliant indictment of the news industry, and way back then too. The video is full of typewriters and landline phones, but the point remains, and things are even worse now.

Where’s the Cheese?

So, here’s the news. I’m up in Northern California visiting my family. Tomorrow we are celebrating the marriage of my eldest daughter Diane to her awesome guy Sam. Cheers! 😂 I’m even giving a teensy speech, which I typed up, printed out, and have squashed in the bottom of my purse. It’s a bit cheesy, but I don’t know the audience and decided not to subject them to my edgy Southern California jokes.

Last night we went out for Mexican food here on Alameda. Diane and I split an enormous plate of nachos with extra guac. They put shrimp on the nachos! This was odd and yet delicious. But… where was the cheese? At first I was having so much fun eating the shrimp I forgot to notice. Diane had a gigantic cocktail so she was a little oblivious too. But then she said hey where’s the cheese? We poked around in case it had melted into invisibility, but no. No cheese.

Bizarre.

Anyway, it’s tons of fun staying at the kids’ new place with their doggie and kitty and my younger daughter, her hubby, and my sweet little granddaughter too. That was just for one day/night though. Today we’re leaving for the hotel, which is out in Marin or something, for more family fun times. I’m not sure exactly what’s going on, but I will just show up, smile, and do what I’m told. I’ve heard there will be Italian food, which, one assumes, will contain lots of yummy yummy cheese. 😍

But it is Northern California, a strange land where they have just outlawed manholes in Berkeley, so one never knows.

FPQ32: The Evil that Men Do

Fandango provocatively sez…

For this week’s provocative question, I am going to do something I haven’t before done in my provocative question prompt. I’m going to post something a fellow blogger wrote. In this case, the blogger is Judy Dykstra-Brown, and in one of her recent posts she wrote,

“I do believe that more evil has been done in this world by those absolutely sure of the rightness of their faith and their beliefs.”

So my question is this: do you agree with what Judy wrote? Why or why not?

Yes, I agree with this. I do think that mass evil is committed in the name of “righteousness,” not due to men knowing they’re wrong and believing they can get away with it. Some random crimes happen from the latter, but for coordinated grand scale evil to occur, not only do people need to believe they are right, but they must convince a certain portion of others also, enough to fight for them anyway. Not everyone needs to believe, but enough do, enough to intimidate the rest.

Sometimes, as it turns out, half the people don’t even need much persuasion to go along with horrible shit. It was already lurking there in their minds all along and they were just waiting for a nasty hateful unprincipled man with no boundaries to say what they were thinking.