Archive for the ‘My Unpopular Opinions’ Category
At the risk of being stoned, I feel the need to voice my opinion. I hope I don’t regret it. I’m writing this not to stir up controversy but to show another way of looking at things. My view comes from the side of common sense and rationality. I am against Hate Crimes. Not just them happening but that they are called that. My intentions are not to downplay the acts labeled as such. But instead to give them perspective. According to Wikipedia, the definition of a hate crime is: “a bias-motivated crime where a perpetrator targets a victim because of his or her membership in a certain social group. Including but not limited to: race, religion, sexual orientation, ethnicity or gender identity.”
All the vicious crimes I’ve read about or seen on tv are all horrific. It doesn’t matter WHO they are done to. To me, it doesn’t make them worse because of the reason behind them. To do something truly evil to someone is hateful, no matter the motivation behind it. Like setting someone on fire. Sure, doing that to someone of color or someone that is gay is unconscionable. But why isn’t it equally as bad to do it to ANYONE? Young or old? Single or married? Fat or thin? Black or white? Gay or straight? The outcome is still the same. Whether someone plans it out in advance or just gets it in their head to do, the person is still dead or burned beyond recognition.
In my opinion, all crimes are hate crimes. To do something against a fellow human being, without regard to their feelings is unjust and uncalled for. Domestic violence is a hate crime. Supposedly, the spouse loves their mate but beating them up repeatedly or stabbing them 47 times is hate incarnate.
Instead of singling out people that crimes are committed against, we should treat everyone as equals. Teach children to respect themselves, each other and everyone they come in contact with from that day forward. Not necessarily respect as in the type you earn over time but as the type implied in the Golden Rule. “Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.”
Let people know early and often that every living human being’s life is worth as much as the next. Killing a homeless person that has no living family is just as bad as killing a politician with a huge family. Maybe no one will miss the homeless person but it is disrespectful to think that this person has no value. We don’t all start out with the same advantages or disadvantages in life and not everyone can “make something of themselves”. That doesn’t mean that the world shouldn’t mourn the loss of potential or the soul that was never able to contribute to society. Others may be missed much more but are their lives worth more? In the eyes of the law they seem to be.
That’s another thing I’ve always had a problem with. Laws varying from state to state. I guess originally the idea of state’s being able to set their own laws was good but now it’s to the point where if you kill someone in one state, you get the death penalty. If it’s only a few miles away over the border in another state, it’s life in prison or maybe even less severe punishment. It shouldn’t matter WHERE in the USA a crime is committed. Punishment should be the same across the board. Same goes for other crimes like rape, burglary, driving while intoxicated, fraud, etc. The UNITED States should be united in penalties for crimes. I’m the only person I’ve ever heard express this opinion. Everyone else seems fine with the status quo.
I wrote this blog post almost 2 years ago and had it sitting in my email. I had forgotten about it and found it 6 months ago but didn’t do anything with it. I’m not sure yet that it’s the right time to voice my opinion on this subject or if it ever will be.
On the news when someone dies tragically, in an accident or is murdered, a fund is started to pay the funeral expenses and help support the family. At the very least they are trying to get full college tuition money for any surviving children. Not to sound cold hearted (which I probably do) but doesn’t anyone plan for anything anymore? No one seems to have any life insurance (even through their job) or any savings. Or is the real root of all this that no one feels they are responsible for paying for their own things anymore?
The youngest generation of adults don’t realize that some things are optional. I spent a few minutes looking through GoFundMe to see what people are trying to get money for. There’s a ton of people trying to obtain money for medical expenses. I thought after Obama Care, everyone’s supposed to have insurance? There are still copays of course but apparently people think if they can get someone else to foot the bill for those too, all the better. I can see how someone can fall on hard times. Over 10 years ago, hubby had to be hospitalized suddenly with a bad ulcer and we had no insurance. We had temporary insurance that wouldn’t pay anything. We racked up $20,000 in medical bills. We had to put it on our credit cards and have had to pay for it many times over with the interest. My feelings on the subject of asking for handouts isn’t soured by our experience. Even if GoFundMe was around then, we wouldn’t have felt right asking for others to pay our way. There’s an entirely different type of mentality in the world today where no one feels that they need to pay their way or earn their own money.
Many people are trying to drum up money for a trip they want to take. Whether it’s a school band trip, a foreign exchange adventure or an expensive vacation. Obviously, all the donations are voluntary so no one is having a gun put to their head to contribute. And it’s a great thing that there are so many magnanimous people wanting to help others in all these endeavors. Plus the fact that so many people actually have excess cash TO donate astounds me. But whatever happened to working for the money? To go on a band trip, they used to have a car wash or sell these overpriced candy bars that people bought out of obligation more than anything. Now they don’t even want to schlep those around. They just take 5 minutes, set up a page and watch the money roll in. Like on “Breaking Bad” when Walter White’s son starts a donation page to get money for his dad’s cancer. Meanwhile, Walter White is making meth and storing millions of dollars in illegal funds. Which brings me to the latest phenomenon of people faking they have cancer or other horrific diseases just to get sympathy and large sums of cash. Sometimes the person is mentally ill, most of the time they are just evil. Believe me, I feel for anyone who has or had cancer. The physical, emotional and financial pain is devastating. But when bad things happen to people, does that mean they shouldn’t have to shoulder the financial burden? There have to be several thousand people who have fought cancer without asking for donations. I’m not saying it’s wrong but why doesn’t EVERYONE deserve help? Sometimes the people too proud to ask need it the most. It just feels like some people think they are more special than others.
Which brings me to the entitlement issue. You knew I’d be bringing that up. Browsing through the pages and pages of people all over the country, I was shocked to see what people were trying to get others to pay for. It was everything from editing equipment for their YouTube channel to a pair of prescription eyeglasses. Lots were asking for money to go to the Prom. Since when is that a necessity? One woman was trying to raise money for a new tattoo. I’m not even kidding. People no longer want to make their dreams come true. Now they want YOU to make their dreams come true! Nobody is guaranteed anything in life and no one owes you a level playing field. If you’ve never been to Disneyland and want to go, just see if others will pay your way. If you can’t afford an ipad, why should you do without when everyone else has one? Just tell everyone to help you out so you don’t have to be deprived.
My husband calls this ONLINE BEGGING. Someone who wouldn’t be caught dead standing on a street corner with a tin cup, sees nothing wrong with throwing a page up to see if anyone will come to their rescue. Even a street musician plays music for donations. The current group of people wanting your money doesn’t have to “do” anything to get it. Maybe give a convincing story. I was raised that you have to work for or earn everything you get. If you get something at a discount or gift, it’s a bonus. You don’t have to have everything in life. You shouldn’t. It just breeds spoiled people who expect everything their way 100% of the time. I would have less of a problem with it if people had to “take a class in manners” and they’d be given $20-50 by someone. “Clean up litter along the freeway” and get $50-100. You get the idea. People would equate that the money came to them FOR something, not just for existing.
A few weeks ago, I was thinking about how cool it would be to buy an old church or warehouse and renovate it into a home and antique museum. It was after going to that artist’s warehouse in Chicago for the estate sale. I would love having all that room to display everything properly and no worry about running out of space. Obviously, renovating costs money as does buying the property. I joked about using crowdfunding to get the money. I said it sounded like a worthy cause that people could probably get behind. Basically, it’s one of many dreams I have. I’ve also come to realize that not EVERY dream should come true. Some should remain dreams. Also does a dream mean as much if others fulfill it for you? Instead of making it happen on your own, the dream is given to you. Maybe what bothers me the most is that no one else seems to have a problem with this but me.
This must be the first time in his almost 62 years that he’s had pink eye because he obviously has no idea what he’s doing. Let me explain. It’s not that I’m a know it all or even an expert. I don’t have advice that maybe anyone else would recommend but it has worked for me spendidly. I just can’t sit by idly and watch this guy suffer for days on end. Obviously, I no longer have to watch him since he’s bowed out of commentating the Olympics since it spread to his other eye. But in the interest of getting Matt Lauer out of my line of sight, I’m going to give Bob a hand. A figurative hand. Albeit well washed.
In my youth, when I worked at the Post Office in Milwaukee, I was an LSM (letter sorting machine) operator. We had to sit at machines and type in carrier codes from memory as we read addresses on letters going by at 50 per minute. If I must brag (and believe me, I must), I had the best accuracy on our crew. This was a job I loved and it came naturally to me. The person “keying” would sit at a line of 12 consoles for a half hour or 45 minutes straight (depending on the rotatiion) and then get relieved by someone. The person keying would then go in back for a 15 minute interval to pull already sorted mail as it was separated into bins. Before the bins would get full (the machine would stop if it got too full and there was hell to pay), they would get emptied into marked trays for the carriers.
What has this got to do with pink eye? More than you’d think. Not only was I handling mail that was already handled by machines but countless human hands along the way. Filthy human hands. So there was that factor of touching mail. But the main thing that came into play was that this was basically a factory environment. This wasn’t your tiny corner Post Office. It was a huge block-long building that ran 3 shifts around the clock. From the second I entered the building, I was touching things that thousands of others had touched. Like the door handles, the elevator buttons, lunch tables, chair backs, mail carts, hampers, etc. The list goes on. The biggest culprit for germs had to be the letter sorting machines. With keys like a piano numbered 0-9, you could key any combination. People would sit there and for all I know, they were never cleaned. Handwashing has always been important but you know how many people don’t do it, right? I remember noticing when I went in the bathroom, how many women went in a stall, came out and just left without washing. EW.
Ok, I’ve just about lost you. You’re thinking, “Bob Costas doesn’t work for the PO or use a letter sorting machine. Where is she going with this?!” I am segueing into a story about my first pink eye. Aww, “Baby’s First Pink Eye”, how sweet. It was while I was working there. Like in my mid to late 20’s. All of a sudden, I woke up one day with no warning and my eye was glued shut. I’m going to leave out the gory details but when I pried it open, it was bright red inside on the white part. Yes, that’s the technical term: the white part. I honestly can’t remember if I called in sick. I might have. It was really frowned upon to go into a huge establishment like that with something contagious. Trust me, I found out later when I showed up with chicken pox. 😦
I went to the eye doctor who couldn’t give me what he said would “cure” it because I’m allergic to sulfur (sulfa). He gave me some other drops and sent me on my way. I’ve read a lot about it and it’s supposed to run its’ course on its own. Just ask Bob Costas how well that’s working for him. Over the years many people would show up at work with blood red eyes. Much worse than what I had. It looked so painful, I would cringe just looking at them.
Now back to Bob Costas. My “quick” cure for getting rid of the real Pink Eye is a 2 pronged approach. I use a shot glass filled with warm water. I lean over the sink with the full shot glass and open my eye into it. I might tip it a little back (and end up with it all over myself) but I get the eye open in the warm water. I flush it a few times. As warm as I can stand. It does sting to do this. Then I take a cloth washcloth and get it wet. I might lightly wring it but there’s still a lot of water in it. I fold it in 4 so it’s a square, put it on a clean paper plate and put it in the microwave. Heat it up for awhile. I can’t remember how long but until it is so hot you can’t touch it. Maybe a minute. Take it out of the microwave and as soon as you can handle it with your hands, place it over the infected eye. It is going to hurt or burn because it feels too hot. It also feels good because it feels like you are killing the infection. If you can only do a few seconds, take it away. Keep doing this until you can hold it on there. When it cools off, fold the washcloth the opposite way and put it back in the microwave. It won’t do any good to put a warm or cool washcloth on your infected eye, it has to be HOT. You can do this up to 4 times with the same washcloth without it being contaminated (folding differently every time). As hot as I have it, I figure it is killing all the germs in the washcloth. Do this several times throughout the first day. By the 2nd day, it is so much better you can resume normal activities. If it seems like it’s getting worse, go back to the flushing shot glass and hot washcloth.
Supposedly Bob Costas is being treated by Russian doctors. I’m not going to rip on them but think that maybe they aren’t telling him things because they think EVERYBODY knows this stuff. But I’m starting to wonder if they do. There is no reason on God’s green earth that it should have passed to his other eye if he was doing the right things! Besides not touching your infected eye at all, you stop touching EITHER eye. No good can come from touching your eyes. When you wake up with pink eye, the first thing you need to do is strip your bed and get your sheets washed. Plus any towels you might’ve used. You had your infected eye on that pillow and now you’re going to sleep on it? With the other eye? This is the biggest thing. Just because you can’t see any evidence of it, doesn’t mean it’s not there. I imagine poor Bob C. in a hotel room in Sochi where they don’t clean his sheets every day and if they do, he’s not watching them and they only change the sheets, not the pillow cases. I feel kind of bad for Bob to have his misfortune turn into humor for the viewers but Americans will laugh at anything. That’s why it’s America. We don’t have taste, we just think everything is funny and a big joke.
Today’s gem of the day was Mom yelling out, “There’s a fire in the basement!” Without considering the source, panic set in. She was sitting at the dining room table eating her cereal and I was in the sunroom with my SAD light on. Then she made that exclamation and I jumped up LIKE THE HOUSE WAS ON FIRE. Heh. We’ve never had a fire (knock on wood) but I know it’s nothing to fool with. I don’t want to be the person whose house burns down at Christmastime OR EVER. We see it on the news so often this time of year but really all year round. I ran to my mom and said, “What are you talking about?” and she pulled back the curtain on the window to reveal “smoke” coming from under the window. Again she said, “The basement’s on fire!” Before my mom was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s, she was the most trusted authority on if something wasn’t right. She used to have the best “smeller” and could smell anything that most others couldn’t. I inheired this super smeller but I’m sure mine isn’t what it used to be either. So at one time if she said there was a fire, I would’ve believed her and gone down to investigate. This time I knew exactly what the “smoke” was from. Our forced air gas furnace vents out the side of the house. OMG. I could never forget that since over 10 years ago the next door neighbor kids were playing between the houses and stuffed both pipes (intake and outtake) with snow! The furnace quit entirely and we were freezing to death. Hubby cleaned it out and when he told the next door neighbor what her boys had done, of course she denied it. “They wouldn’t do that.” She also said the same thing when confronted with her boys poking our previous dogs with sticks through the fence! Anyway, I told Mom that’s what it was and that there was more than usual of the exhaust coming out because it was extra cold today. Temps overnight were around zero with windchills of 15 below zero. She seemed to be satisfied with my explanation but it made me do a double take. Luckily, it really didn’t upset me. I’m trying to find the humor in the situation since I’ve been far too serious most of my life. Now that I’m faced with her gravely serious diagnosis of Alzheimer’s, I need to laugh more than ever before. So I try to find humor in everything I can. That’s why one of my favorite sayings is “We’d get along like a house on fire.” I’m ablaze for you. 😉
Back on Sept. 11, 2001 when Mom still had most of her faculties, she was the one who came into our bedroom while we were still in bed (sleeping) that “They’re flying planes into buildings!” She used to lie in bed in the mornings if she woke up before us and listen to radio. She had heard a news report and got scared. We thought she was out of her mind. Another incident around that time had her coming to us saying there had been a “pterodactyl” on the deck. That it was 4 feet high and just huge. That it was taking fish out of our koi pond. We had NO idea what she was talking about. Shortly after that, I saw with my own eyes the pterodactyl! It was a heron. I could understand her thinking it was something prehistoric because it was enormous and not something I’d seen up close before.
Last night I wrote an email that no one else would ever write. That’s how much I hate miscommunication. That I’d rather come off as brash, tacky or crass than wonder for the rest of my life where things stand. I have always hated being in limbo or not knowing something. It’s one thing to wait if you know you’ll eventually get an answer. It’s a whole thing to know if you don’t make the first move, no one else will and you’ll just be left second guessing yourself to eternity.
I also hate vague blog posts so for your sake, I’ll go into more detail. This particular instance involves a wedding from a month ago. When we went to WI for the homecoming football game on Sept. 27th, we saw a whole bunch of my husband’s family. They all asked asked us if we were going to the wedding the following day. We didn’t even know whose wedding it was! We found out it was a cousin’s daughter. This cousin was probably closer with my hubby than with his siblings. It was hard to believe we weren’t invited since we’d been invited to her other children’s weddings. The point isn’t that we should have been invited or even that we wanted to go. We just had no way of knowing if she had sent us an invitation and we hadn’t gotten it or if we had intentionally been left off the guest list. We understand that they can’t invite everybody and since we live in another state (IL), maybe they just decided to draw the line there. More likely an invitation was sent but never delivered to us. We have terrible mail service and know for a fact we don’t get all of our mail. We also get lots of mail to wrong addresses which verifies the PO’s incompetence. Anywyay, I was worried that she’d think we’d snubbed her by not RSVPing or anything. I didn’t want to wonder or have her wonder about this indefinitely. I felt like things would be awkward the next time we see them and I didn’t want that. It’s too hard to bring this up in person at a funeral or something so figured I’d just handle it.
Most people would just let it go and not think of it again. Instead, I’ve always been the type to dwell on stuff like this. I like to be on good terms with everyone and do whatever I can to straighten things out. Actually, in the past I would’ve just fretted about this endlessly and agonized over what to say about it and when. Now I’ve reached the point in life where life is too short to let things go on. I prefer to be straighforward about things and not pussyfoot around. On the ride back from the football game, I told hubby to call his cousin the morning of the wedding and wish her, her daughter (the bride) and the whole family well. Hubby felt funny about it. So did I. So he didn’t do it. I told him I wanted to email her and just tell her where we stood. He said it was fine with him if I did.
This cousin and I send email forwards back and forth. I had sent her one a week or so ago and she emailed back to thank me. It was pictures of fall foliage so she said it was pretty and hoped we were doing well… That just made me think there was no time like the present to address my concerns. I hit “send” and felt liberated. This quality of standing up for myself and confronting issues to resolve them has always been inside me. When I was younger, I was too afraid to look bad and was embarrassed to voice my thoughts.
I just wish I’d learned this lesson sooner. I know it’s not for everyone to deal with things head on. Most avoid “getting into it” with someone and sweep everything under the rug. I just can’t do it anymore. All my life when I would stand back and not speak up to make things right, I was the one to suffer. I would be the one to lose out. It seemed to only bother me. An incident on the school bus in 7th grade still haunts me. At the start of 7th grade, a new girl from another part of WI moved to town and lived down the street from me. Since she was new, I sat by her right away and started talking. We were fast friends and I was so happy. I can always use more friends. Someone else who had never liked me since grade school, one day took this new girl aside and said I had spread nasty rumors about her. I hadn’t but she believed this other person and never spoke to me again. Or explained why she stopped talking to me. I heard through someone else that that’s what happened. I was too afraid to confront the new girl and tell her that this other girl was jealous of our being friends and intentionally broke up our friendship. Instead, I sat by everyday on the school bus, watching the new girl get on and off the bus. Feeling bad every single time. We were never friends and I felt like all through jr. high and high school, she always thought badly of me. This new girl went on to be very popular, a cheerleader in high school and on the Homecoming court. I feel like if things had played out as they had meant to, without interference, my life might’ve been significantly different. I might’ve been part of the popular crowd. I don’t know if my life would’ve necessarily been better but it would’ve been different, for sure. I know this type of thing is common during the school years. I just wish I’d had the courage to rectify it instead of wishing it was different. This is only one incident that has happened to me. There are probably hundreds where I wanted to ask someone why I never heard from them again but let it go. I don’t want to be in the dark anymore. I want to know. I want to be in the light.