Sunday, January 07, 2018

Sunday Stealing

End of Year Questions

1. What did you do last year that you had not done before? I went through a friend being widowed. The enormity of it was humbling.

2. Did you keep your New Year's Resolutions/goals for the year and will you make/set more for next year?  What are they? What are your new ones? Last year, I vowed to FOCUS. That was a bit too ambitious/ambiguous, so this year I have narrowed my OneWord to NOW.

3. Did anyone you know give birth? Or become pregnant?  Or adopt? My faraway niece had a baby in November. I don't really know her at all because of distance and because her mother is, well ... "psycho bitch" is unkind so let's just say my older sister is "difficult." Still, my niece has tried to have a relationship with me and I honor that so I sent her a pink infant's t-shirt emblazoned with a Cub logo. It was, literally, the least I could do. I mean, I bought it because I was at the park and I wanted a 2016 World Champions gift bag for myself and had to buy something to get the bag. Anyway, the baby now fits into the shirt and my niece proudly posted a pic of her in her present from me. Gulp. That was humbling, too.

4. Did anyone you know die? Or have a serious illness/injury? See #1.

5. What places have you visited? Grand Haven, Michigan. Las Vegas, Nevada. Key West, Florida.

6. Any new pets? Lost a pet? No. These two are just fine -- and much loved.

7. What would you like to have next year that you lacked this year (doesn't have to be a physical thing i.e. love, job security, peace of mind...)? Love, job security and peace of mind would all be nice.

8. What date from last year will remain etched in your memory and why? November 22. I woke up on my birthday in Vegas.

9. What was your biggest achievement last year? I'm healthier than I was last year. I had a rather detailed life insurance physical and a colonoscopy that bear this out.

10. Did you get sick or injured? No. YEA!

11. What was the best thing you bought? Almost exactly a year ago, I bought a commemorative magazine about Barack Obama for my friend Kathy. Here in Chicagoland, we're naturally all very proud of him, but Kathy loooooves Barack Obama. I also bought her lunch at the restaurant of her choice and made a contribution to Organizing for Action in her honor and called it an early birthday celebration. The joy this brought her made me happy and taught me something: The old saying is true and it IS the thought that counts.

12. Where did most of your disposable income go (money leftover after you pay for food, medical care, basic clothing, transportation and shelter)? I haven't actually checked this, but I bet it's dining out. I dine out way too much.

13. What song will always remind you of last year?  Doesn't have to be a song released last year. Nothing springs to mind.

14. What do you wish you would have done more of? Worked out.

15. What do you wish you would have done less of? Worried.

16. What was your favorite new TV program? Movie? Album/Songs? Or if you didn't pick up any new ones, what are you still watching/listening to? Any recommendations? I loved This Is Us. I appreciated -- and was frightened by -- IT. Of movies that are playing now, I really liked All the Money in the World.

17. What was the best book you read this year?  How many did you read? I read 14 books this year. The best was Rosemary: The Hidden Kennedy Daughter. It was educational and very, very moving. And important. Since Rosemary and her mental disability had such a big impact on her siblings, her life had an impact on America.

18. What did you do on your birthday and how old were you? Did you feel differently? I turned 60 in Las Vegas. I can't believe I'm this old. But still, I had fun. We went to Madame Tussaud's Celebrity Wax Experience (it's more than "a wax museum," because everything in Vegas is more) and then we saw The Beatles' Love. It was fun. Celebrating in Vegas is fun.
19. What political or social issue stirred you the most? Oh, God. I suppose the indictment and guilty plea of General Michael ("Lock Her Up") Flynn. I fear we're on our way to impeachment. Fortunately, I remember Watergate and believe the center will hold. I have faith in our Constitution and our institutions.

20. Who was the most interesting new person you met? Caleb, Napoleon's "dad." He helped me learn important things about the plight of the homeless.

21. Describe how a relationship changed. Nothing comes to mind. Sorry.

22. Do you think you are still the same person that you were at the beginning of the year?  How so? Yes. Nothing life-altering happened this year.

23. Summarize the year in three words or less. Bonus points for doing it in one word. Explain.  Nothing life altering.

24. How have people around you changed? Barb lost her husband. Kathleen changed jobs. Mindy's husband faced health issues. Joanna faced money trouble.

25. What have you learned throughout the year? (Other than crafts) See #20. Caleb has given me a window into the lives of the homeless and I'm peering in. I know the difference between shelters. I know where they can get free legal help.

26. Did you learn any new crafts or techniques? What was your favorite thing you made? I don't have anything to point to here. Sorry.

27. What changed about your physical appearance? (Hair? Wrinkles? New makeup style? Etc) I noticed my varicose veins are more pronounced.

28. What are your hopes and dreams for the new year?  (Some suggestions-family, travel, work, lifestyle, hobbies, pets, appearance) To stay in the present. To enjoy the present. To not let my worry about money or job stability rob me of the here and now.

He is a crafty one

I wasn't going to go to church today. It's cold. I didn't feel like putting on nice clothes (you know, ones that require a bra). Yet somehow, for some reason, I found myself getting dressed and going out the door.

As usual, our minister today preached first to the children in our congregation, reading them a story before they went down to their Sunday School classes. I loved today's story. It was about noticing things. She reminded them that just because they don't pass pyramids, like in Egypt, or lonely bears fighting to survive, like on the North Pole, every life has interesting and important things to notice. (Like your neighbor, who named her dog Shirley and dresses Shirley in sweaters for walks when it's cold.) While good for the children, it's also important for me. To stay in the here and now. To stay aware and enjoy the world around me.

Then our closing hymn seemed directly at me. #350: "The Ceaseless Flow of Time." The final verse goes, "The past and future ever meet in the eternal now/to make each day a thing complete should be our New Year vow."

I'm surprised anew by the ways God reaches out to me. He is supporting my intention for 2018, my OneWord.

Live by the sword ...

So President Trump doesn't want us to read this book because it's filled with untruths. President Trump feels the libel laws in this country are too weak. President Trump hates it when people say things about him that aren't true.

Let's suppose, for a moment, that everything President Trump says about this book is true. He's still full of shit.

We are, after all, talking about a man who -- for years! -- spread completely unfounded rumors about President Barack Obama.

•  Barack Obama was born in Kenya. Trump's "private investigators" went down to Hawaii to dig up dirt. At least that's what he told The Today Show and Meredith Viera in 2011. He's since said Obama was indeed born here and somehow all his birther-ing was Hillary Clinton's fault.

•  Barack Obama didn't really go to Harvard.

•  Barack Obama was a "terrible student" and didn't deserve to get into Harvard. Also in 2011, Trump made this claim to the AP. Of course, if Obama didn't really go, this is irrelevant. We knew more than six years ago this man spewed inconsistencies. Why would we doubt Mr. Wolff for saying it again now?

• Barack Obama had Trump's phones "wires tapped" in Trump Tower and is "bad (or sick.)" The kindest thing to be said about our current President's paranoid rant against his predecessor is that he's been unable to provide proof.

And this is just Barack Obama. Shall we discuss how Trump denied ever being rejected for a Florida casino gambling license during Jeb Bush's administration? Or spread the rumor that Ted Cruz' dad was involved int he JFK assassination?

If Donald Trump's kids haven't turned out to be exemplary citizens, I don't know that we can blame them when they had this sterling role model.

With all due respect, Mr. President, you need to get over yourself. And take a good, long look in the mirror before you throw stones at Michael Wolff.