Saturday, August 11, 2018

New blog page

I started a new blog, on Wordpress.  I will be posting on this site.  To view new posts, you can go to this link ...

Tuesday, July 4, 2017

Happy Birthday 'Murica!

Happy 4th of July, my fellow Americans! 

Or is it?  As I sit here having my morning coffee, I think about being an American and what that means. I think of the freedoms we enjoy.  The opportunities available to us.  The benefits we have of living in this country.

But then I think about the fact that all of this is under threat!

Since the start of the last election campaign year, we have all been hearing about how Trump wanted to “Make America Great Again”. At the time I asked myself, “Isn’t America already pretty great?”  Yeah, we have a ways to go when it comes to progress.  But we had been on the right path, and were getting better and better.

I don’t think the people who voted for him realized that when he said those words, he meant back to an era when there was more racism, xenophobia, inequality, etc.  Or maybe they did realize that. Maybe they are just racist assholes who want this country to go back to segregation, want women in the kitchen, want homosexuals to deny who they are, back to ruining our environment, destroying our education system, breaking down the international ties we worked so hard to build up and all those other “great” things that were the America of yesteryear (btw, for those who don’t know me by now … I am typing the word “great” while rolling my eyes!)

The one thing that Trump’s “Great” America does NOT have in common with the 1950’s is that back then, the President of this country would NEVER had been tied to the leader of Russia!!  

America came so far (with still much further to go) during the time that President Obama ran this country!  He showed dignity, grace, intelligence, class and truly had the best interest of ALL Americans in mind!  We became a nation that was stronger, more united, more respected.

Then something that is completely incomprehensible to me happened.  The bigots, racists and ignorant got out there and voted.  They elected their “leader”, who would bring this country back to a past of all the negatives!  And those who value the freedom, the equality, the true greatness of this country ... a great number of them just stayed home.  We lost more than just an election.  We lost our greatness!

Before, during and after the election, I heard people talking about how they just couldn’t vote for Clinton.  They would say that they wouldn’t vote at all, rather than vote for her.  That she robbed Bernie of the nomination.  That they would write in Bernie if they were going to vote.
Republicans, Libertarians, Independents, Tea Party and yes, even a number of the Democrats talk about how she is crooked and a liar.  What is so absolutely ridiculous and pathetic about this is that the person who is now in the White House is more blatant of a liar than anyone else in the entire free world!!  More of a crook than anyone else!!  Even when shown video evidence that he said or did something, he will deny it.  He lives in an alternate reality.

And he is running the Presidency of the United States of America like a damn reality TV show!  Complete with the drama, lies, deception, and immature junior high school antics!  A leader of a country (any country) should not be getting into Twitter wars.  He shouldn’t be “fighting back” because his “feelings were hurt”.  He, OR SHE, should be someone who is mature (not Trump) and intelligent (again, not Trump) and know that being in the spotlight (i.e., being the President of the United States of America) will require you to focus on the business of RUNNING A COUNTRY!!  Not on your social media apps!

Obama had plenty of haters!!  Yet not once did he waste his energies in online, social-media throw downs with them. He was focused on running our country and making it a better place for ALL people, every day!

But, as much as I can go on and on about Trump and how horrible he is for not only this country, but for the world and humanity in general, what I need to talk about is not him. I need to speak about the people of this country who are not standing up and doing something about this guy!

He’s already done enough evil to ruin this country.  And yet, very few are REALLY standing up and saying NO!!  Very few are actually contacting their representatives to voice their complaints.  And nobody (NOBODY) is making any plan to remove this guy from office!  We’re waiting for things to happen, and yet how long do we wait?

Martin Niemöller (the prominent Protestant pastor who spoke out against Hitler) said it most poetically with his quote:

First they came for the Socialists, and I did not speak out—
Because I was not a Socialist.
Then they came for the Trade Unionists, and I did not speak out—
Because I was not a Trade Unionist.
Then they came for the Jews, and I did not speak out—
Because I was not a Jew.
Then they came for me—and there was no one left to speak for me.

Hitler didn’t "overthrow" the government of Germany in a coup.  He was elected.  He assumed power with the support of the people.  And he slowly (at first) and methodically turned his country, a free republic, into a dictatorship.  Nobody stood up against him or spoke out against him until it was too late.  Until he had started a world war and killed over 11 MILLION people! 

People say it couldn’t happen again.  People wouldn’t let that happen again.  That people would never let someone do such atrocities again.

But it is happening again!  History is repeating itself!  Is Trump killing people?  Not yet.  But will he?  Did people think Hitler would do what he did when he first came to power?

Humans are a complicit species!  We sit by and let things unfold.  Is it that we are just hoping the next person will do something?  Are we afraid of being ostracized for speaking out?  Are we all just sheep?  Or are we all just lazy?

You may be reading this and asking … Ok, smarty pants, what is it that you would have me do?

Well, if you’re not an ignorant, racist jerk and you want to make sure that Trump does not get away with turning this once GREAT nation (a.k.a. the nation it was just this past early November) into his own dictatorship, you can get involved!  You can join your local political party.  You can go to marches and protests.  You can go to town hall type of meetings to listen, maybe even to speak up.  Don’t want to do that?  What about calling your representatives to voice your opinion, so they know which way the people they are supposed to represent want them to vote.  Don’t feel like picking up the phone?  Pick up a pen and write to your elected official.  Too much effort for you to do that? Don’t feel like buying a stamp or going to the post office or even the mailbox?  Then go online (Hey, look at that, you’re already online now!!) and google “who is the U.S. Representative for [your city/town]” and click into their website.  They will have a way to contact them and let your voice be heard!  Sign an online petition!  Post to your Facebook or Twitter page to get others to speak up.  Trump sure is doing that!  Why not do the same?

And when the mid-term elections come around, don’t sit home.  VOTE!!!  You don’t like the candidates?  Yeah, that happens.  But like it or not, these are your choices.  You can do several things when that happens …

You can vote for the one who is closest to your views (by researching their views, and not just going with the latest sound bite (i.e., the "wag the dog" way of getting informed))

You can get more involved yourself and either run for office or help someone that you do agree with run for office.

Or, you can just sit at home and let things happen.  Which, unfortunately seems to be the way that things usually turn out.  But by doing this, by "doing nothing", you are actually doing so much.  So  much damage, actually.  You’re not only hurting yourself, you’re hurting the entire country, the entire world!! 

GET OFF YOUR BUTT AND DO SOMETHING!!  Because sitting it out is just not acceptable!!  It should not be an option!!

To paraphrase Niemöller, if you won’t even speak up for yourself, who will?

Saturday, April 22, 2017

How full is your glass?

On my way in from walking the dog the other day, a neighbor asked how it was outside, weather-wise. I told her that it was really warm. So much so, that I didn't need my coat and I was going to switch to something lighter. Her response was to complain that all this up and down in the temperature was going to get everyone sick. 

Ok, let’s completely set aside science and ignore the facts … GERMS are what get people sick, not changes in the weather!  But what struck me the most about her statement was how she took something that should be seen as a positive ... having a day in early spring where it’s a lot warmer than it should be … and turned it into a negative. 

It got me thinking ... why do people do this? Why do they see the glass as half empty? 

I definitely think that some people are more positive, and as a result, happier than others. But is it innate?  Or is it something that is learned?  Is it human nature to look at things and see negatives? Maybe it’s a defense mechanism. Or is it possible that this negativity gets instilled in us over time, through experience?

Why do some people always see the negatives where others see positives?

We all know that one person, the Debby or Donnie Downer, who always has a complaint, no matter what they are talking about.  At first we feel bad for them, but over time, we come to realize that it’s just that they are only seeing the negatives, so they only attract the negatives!

Can these people be helped?  Can they stop this constant “glass half empty” way of thinking?  Norman Peale, the author of the best seller, The Power of Positive Thinking, thought that this was possible.  And so did the over 5 million people who bought his book, since it was published back in the early 1950s!  However, shortly after the book came out, many in the mental health industry lambasted Peale as a fraud, claiming that the book was hard to substantiate, his methods were questionable and that the quotes/testimonials were just made up. How funny is it that a book about being more positive elicits so many negatives!

Honestly, I’ve never read the book.  So I can’t comment on whether these critics are correct or not.  I just find it humorous that there’s such a diametric difference between the concept of the book and how professionals viewed it.

But I have to say that in my own experience, if I take any given situation, and I try to only look at the positive aspects of it, the situation usually will, at the very least, not get any worse.  Yes, I have gone to the negative side at times.  Like when my half hour commute takes over four times that long to actually get to where I’m going (yes, that happened yesterday, in fact).  It was frustrating, because I had a conference call and had to get off the train and take the call from the subway platform.  But I could look on the brighter side … I didn’t have to be outside in the rain … before and after the call I got to listen to more music and play more games on my phone than I normally would on my commute … I wasn’t the only one with this commuting issue … and at least I now have a job to commute to in the first place!

I truly believe that everyone, even your most sourpuss friend (or you, if you’re that sourpuss friend) can be more positive.  It just takes practice!  Every situation can be viewed from both sides of a coin.  You just have to look for the side that is positive. If this isn’t easy for you, sit down with a piece of paper, draw a line down the center, and write POSITIVES on one side and negatives on the other side at the top of the page. Yes, POSITIVES is in all caps, while negatives are all lowercase, because we want to focus on the POSITIVES!  Write down all the negatives first. Then put down all the POSITIVES.  Do it in this order so you are ending with POSITIVES!  If possible, come up with more POSITIVES than negatives.  Once you’re done, tear the paper in half.  Go ahead and rip, shred or burn (carefully, in a controlled way so as not to set everything on fire) the negative side.  Then re-read the POSITIVES once again!

Over time, you won’t have to do this physical exercise of writing things down.  You’ll automatically start thinking of the POSITIVES.  And I promise, you will be happier, and things in your life will be brighter and more positive in general!  This is my own “power of positive thinking” formula for you!  

Sunday, April 2, 2017

I'm so sick of being sick!!

So, for the 3rd time since 2017 started, I’m fighting an illness. 

In January, I had a very bad sinus infection.  Swollen, painful glands under my ear, and sinus pressure that made it difficult to do anything.  But with some home remedies, I was able to get over that one.  I drank a lot of water, which helped flush out the toxins, and I used heat compresses on my sinuses and glands. 

[Take some salt, put it inside a washcloth, heat for a minute in the microwave (always keeping an eye to make sure it doesn’t get too hot and catch on fire!!)  Then let it cool a tiny bit (because you don’t want to burn your skin) and hold the hot compress to your face, or ear, or neck.  Where-ever the pressure is building from congestion.  It opens up the passages a bit to help get rid of the congestion.] 

That sickness gone, I was feeling great … until …

Towards the end of February, I came down with the flu!  It was bad!  High fever, aches, chills, pain even in my eyeballs!  I went to the doctor this time, and got myself some Tamiflu.  Still, I lost a week of work, and was really knocked on my back for a while, even after I was “better”.  The flu will drain all the energy out of you!

Back to feeling better, but only for a few weeks. 

I recently came down with a bad cold!  It came with a VERY bad cough and a lot of congestion!  So bad, that I actually almost fainted at one point from coughing. 

Back to the doctor I went, because with my vacation coming up, I had to make sure this would be completely gone by the time I boarded the plane!  He said it was a virus, that it wasn’t in my lungs, just my upper respiratory system, and that it just had to work its way through me.  I took over-the-counter cough medicine to help it along and went back to lots of fluids!  But he did prescribe antibiotics, in case it did turn into a bacterial infection.

And guess what … it did.  Another sinus infection!

So now I’m on the Z-pack for a week, and hoping this will once and for all get rid of these microscopic bad guys that keep attacking my body!!  I’m really sick of being sick!!

One thing though … please do not tell me that it’s this crazy weather that’s causing these illnesses!  When people say that to me, it literally makes me cringe!  Germs make you sick.  Not the temperature changing from warm one day to cool the next! 

I honestly believe that my immune system got weaker because I worked from home for four months and wasn’t exposed to my daily dose of germs from all those on the subway who cannot seem to cover their nose or mouth when they cough or sneeze.

I actually yelled at one guy just last week, when he coughed without covering! I’m just so fed up with being sick, and it’s because of people like this guy that I keep getting these illnesses! The guy sitting next to him shot me a thankful look, since he was more exposed to this insensitive jerk than I was.  Why he didn’t just say something himself is what I asked myself.  But some people seem to feel that it’s “rude” to say something.  No, the rudeness is the person who exposes everyone else to their germs!

So, if you see someone coughing or sneezing, and not covering … say something!  It will help the rest of us stay (or in my case, get) healthy!

Sunday, March 19, 2017


I remember as a child, if I was reading a book and came across a word that I didn’t understand, I’d ask my Mom what the word meant.  She would respond with “Look it up”, while pointing towards our 17 pound, hard covered, Merriam-Webster dictionary.  Yes, my Mom knew the meaning of the word and could very easily have just told me the meaning.  But having me and my sister look up these words would not only make us remember the words, but this could lead to our knowing even more words.  Because there were quite a number of times (when I was a child) that looking up one word would make me have to look up another word.  Somewhat like setting off a grenade in a dynamite factory.  (by the way, for all those who may be Paralegals like me, this was also how I described shepardizing when I was studying litigation)

Since childhood, and probably as a result of my Mom making me look up words, I have had a fascination with words in general, and some in particular.  When I was a school-aged kid, I would even pick out one word randomly of my smaller paper-back dictionary every night to learn the meaning.  I’d close my eyes, open the dictionary to a random page, put my finger down and then open my eyes.  I don’t do that now, but do I often go to the thesaurus to find a better, more interesting word to use. 

My dictionary game that I played as a kid is how I learned one of my favorite words, which unfortunately I don’t get to use that often.  That word is verisimilitude.  The meaning of this word, you ask?  From Encarta Dictionary, the definitions for this word are:  1. “the appearance of being true or real” and 2. “something that only appears to be true or real, e.g. a statement that is not supported by evidence”.  With the current administration, it may be that I get to use my favorite word more often now!  Although, with the current administration, there isn’t even an “appearance” of truth most of the time.

But this blog post is not about how horrible the current administration is, nor about how embarrassed I am that the current President of my country is a complete buffoon, who doesn’t even have the wherewithal to know that you shouldn’t act like a petulant child when a leader of another allied country visits, and refuse to look at her or shake her hand. 

But I digress …

Recently, I started reading a new book.  One that I actually found on the subway platform on the way to work.  Some nice person had actually left 4 books, up on a ledge, leaning up against the wall, as if it were a lending library!  What a nice idea! 

Within the first chapter, I came across one particular word … pernicious … and I had to stop and just savor that word!  I know it seems strange to savor a word with such a negative meaning.  But that’s the thing.  Sometimes it’s not the meaning that makes me love a word.  It’s the way it sounds when I say it.  Some words just make me happy, regardless of their meaning.  I mean, even the word "nefarious" makes me smile.  Again, not the meaning, just the way it "sounds" and rolls off my tongue!

Other words can cause me to feel uncomfortable, disjointed, or just not quite right.  One of those being the word “quite”, which I just used.  Again, not the meaning of the word that’s causing the issue.  It’s more of the “feeling” of this word.  It’s too close to “quiet”, yet with a completely disconnected meaning to that word.  And it just makes me feel a bit “off”.  Putting those two words together, as in maybe … “It was quite quiet in the library” can really wreak havoc on me!  Ok, that’s a bit of an exaggeration. But you get my drift.

I had once read a book (fiction) about someone who had synesthesia.  This is a neurological phenomenon where words, colors, number, etc. can cause a person to experience a separate sensory reaction.  For example, a number … let’s say 3 … may make the person also think of the color red.  To better explain it, I’ll quote from a website dedicated to this phenomenon ( “Synesthesia is a perceptual condition of mixed sensations: a stimulus in one sensory modality (e.g., hearing) involuntarily elicits a sensation/experience in another modality (e.g. vision). Likewise, perception of a form (e.g., a letter) may induce an unusual perception in the same modality (e.g. a color).”  Ok, that may not have helped to explain it.  Maybe this will …

I don’t have synesthesia.  To be honest, I find that a bit disappointing. I think it would be a much more interesting and colorful life to have this!  I mean, how cool would it be if Tuesday was purple, and if hearing a dog bark would make you taste raspberries?  If listening to your favorite song (let’s imagine you have your eyes closed) would also provide you with a rainbow of colors floating past your eyelids … wouldn’t that be just wonderful?

In the meantime, I will continue to enjoy the fact that certain words (and numbers) will elicit an emotional reaction in me.  I will keep looking for words like jubilant (rather than just “happy”) or fatigued (rather than just “tired”).  And I will keep the Dictionary and the Thesaurus handy!  And maybe, I’ll start to play my dictionary game again!

Sunday, March 12, 2017

Cooking Healthy

Bonus vlog today!  Cooking healthy!  Check it out here ....

How to style your hair (requested video)

I have had a number of requests now to put up a video on how I style my hair.  It has taken a long time to get around to doing this, but it's finally done and posted.  So now, you don't have to go to the salon to get your hair to look like mine.  You just need to go to YouTube!  ;-)

Here's the link to the video.

There's an app for that!!

Don’t tell me you don’t know how to cook!  It’s not rocket science!!  Yes, I know how to cook.  I don’t find it that difficult.  And most of the time I make meals without following a recipe.  I just have a feel for what something will taste like if I add this or that ingredient.

But I know that for some cooking is a real issue.  They can’t even figure out the proper way to hard boil an egg (btw, there is definitely a proper way!)

People will go to cooking classes, watch YouTube videos (hmm, maybe a vlog post idea?!?!) and buy really expensive books.  And they still won’t be able to master the skill.

In the last several years, companies like Blue Apron and HelloFresh have popped up and are becoming very popular!  They send you all the ingredients you will need to cook a week’s worth of dinners, along with the instructions on how to prepare these meals.  You still have to do the actual cooking though.

A co-worker of mine had used one of these services.  She said it was good, but that she didn’t always like the choices that they sent.  And today, another co-worker was thinking of signing up, and he and I spoke about whether it is worth it or not.

For me, personally, they don’t seem like they’d be worth it.  Yes, the food is delivered right to your door.  Yes, the process of trying to figure out what to make has been taken care of by someone else.  But is that worth the cost, because these are very pricey services.

Also, for me it wouldn’t work, because I’m very particular about the produce I buy.  So for someone else to pick out my tomatoes or lettuce or apples … well, that wouldn’t work so well for me! Especially the apples!  I’m rather picky when it comes to that fruit in particular!  Don’t ask me why, because I haven’t a clue!  But if it doesn’t have the taste and texture I am looking for, I just can’t eat it!

I will say that trying to figure out what to cook can get a bit stressful.  Even for me!  And I usually end up going back to my old standards.  But that can get boring.

So I thought about whether I would recommend using this service to my co-worker.  And then it hit me … there has to be an app for that!!  So off to the Google Play Store I went and low and behold … tons of them!

The one I downloaded was for “healthy” meals.  I like to eat healthy, and since I have 7 weeks to get into bikini shape for my upcoming vacation, I wanted to make sure that I would be sticking to my diet/exercise goals.

After it downloaded, and I clicked in, I was given the choice of various types of menus, from low carb, to paleo to vegetarian, to what they call “classic – no holds barred”.  I chose low carb. 

I then could insert if I had any food allergies.  This is VERY important, because food allergies are usually deadly!  Thankfully I don’t have any food allergies (anymore), so that was easy for skip past. 

Then they provided me with a very extensive list of ingredients, and I could choose the ones I dislike.  They would then not include these ingredients in the menus that they pick for you.  I only put down tofu as a dislike.  I just don’t eat that stuff.

Once I had entered all my settings and hit “go”, I was presented with 4 different recipes to begin with. 

                Strip Steak & Bell Pepper Fajitas with Guacamole & Butter Lettuce

                Orange-Glazed Chicken Thighs with Roasted Parmesan Cauliflower

                Shrimp, Avocado & Grapefruit Salad

                Chicken Satay with Creamy Peanut Sauce & Thai Cucumber Salad

The app comes with a grocery list of all the ingredients you will need to complete the recipes.  And as you put these into your cart at the market, you can check them off the list!  If you have any items at home already, just check those off as well.

So, after work, I stopped at the market and did my shopping according to my list supplied by my new app. 

I decided to try the steak fajitas tonight!  The meal plan recipe provides a tab that lists the ingredients you will need, and a tab that lists the cookware you will need as well.  So I laid out all my ingredients and cookware and got to work. 

A half an hour later, I was eating the most yummy and healthy fajitas (instead of the carb heavy tortilla wraps, I was instructed to use a leaf of the butter lettuce (a.k.a. Boston lettuce) with homemade healthy guacamole!  It was delish!!!  Seriously, it was so tasty! And the recipe was for 2 servings, so I have lunch already ready for tomorrow! 

Tomorrow night I’m going to try the Chicken Satay!!

And guess what the best part of this is … the app was FREE!  Yes, there is a “pro” version that you can pay for, which will allow you to get nutritional information, exclusive recipes, view previous meal plans, etc.  But that costs $5.99 a month!!  Um, that’s ok.  I can figure out the nutritional value online!  And if I don’t see these “exclusive” recipes, I won’t know what I’m missing anyway!

So I did have to spend money at the supermarket, and I did have to carry it home (although my supermarket actually offers free delivery). But overall, I am thrilled to find this app!  I won’t need to search for meal ideas anymore.  And my cooking repertoire will grow by leaps and bounds!!

So, instead of jumping on the latest expensive trend, why not see if there’s an app for that?!

Happy eating!  

Sunday, March 5, 2017

Stop telling me to “Give Him A Chance”!!

Stop telling me to give SCROTUS a chance.  Stop telling me “We won, get over it!”  Let’s break it down why I won’t just “give him a chance” and why I can’t just “get over it”.

First off, let’s not keep saying that he “won”, since that is currently under investigation, if the investigation ever gets underway, that is (man, are they dragging their feet on this!)  But when the truth comes out that Russia did, in fact rig the U.S. election, then the FACT will be that SCROTUS did not “win” and we don’t need to just “get over it”.

Besides, let’s remember back to when President Obama won on 2008 and 2012.

Across this country, Anti-Obama protests happened, mainly because of the color of the man’s skin.  On the other hand, people are protesting SCROTUS for his discriminatory ideas against Muslims, minorities, women, LGBT, our environment, and the list goes on.

Secondly, if one more person tells me to “give him a chance”, I’m going to lose it!  He’s been in office for 55 days now.  And I cannot name ONE thing that he has done so far while in office that is in line with my way of thinking!  NOT ONE!  Can you?

I asked someone this question.  His answer was the pipeline.  WHAT?!?! I was floored by this response.  Really?  I guess because it’s not running through HIS backyard, it’s ok.  I guess because it’s not risking contaminating HIS drinking water, it’s no big deal. 

He rallied with how we need to stop being dependent on OPEC and the Middle East for oil.  That I agree with!  But in how we get there, this person and I see very differently.  He would risk ruining our environment, risk poisoning the drinking water supply, all for a limited natural resource that wouldn’t reduce our dependency on other countries anyway.  I, on the other hand, would like this country to finally embrace alternative forms of energy, like wind, solar, water.  Wouldn’t it be great if Americans who support SCROTUS and his “Alternative Fact” could support Alternative Energy?  I mean, one of these is a REAL solution!  The other is just a way to get away with LYING!!

I cannot give SCROTUS a chance, because so far he has:

1. Rolled  back gun control. (Yes, now it’s easier for someone who is mentally unstable to get a gun.  Guess SCROTUS wants to help his fellow mentally unstable friends.)

2.  He has endangered our environment by rolling back the protection of waterways from coal mining waste. (So, all those waterways that took years and years to clean up … guess it won’t take as long to get back to the “good old days”, huh?)

(that's coal runoff, btw)

3.  The SCROTUS eased U.S. fiscal regulations in the Dodd–Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act of 2010. (By the way, these were put in place to PROTECT the American people from the issues that caused the financial crash in 2008 … a parting gift from the Bush administration that President Obama had to clean up!)

4.  He ordered that the Labor Department review a rule from President Barack Obama that requires financial managers to act in their clients' best interests when handling retirement accounts. (What the hell??  What needs to be reviewed here?? Why would anyone think that this is not a good thing, or that it’s overreaching to require a financial manager to act in his/her client’s best interest?!?!)

5.  The SCROTUS signed an executive order that makes it a requirement that for every new federal regulation on small and large businesses, two existing regulations must be removed. (I get the concept of wanting to limit big government, but really?  Shouldn’t we be removing regulations that aren’t working?  Not just because we put something new in so we need to take 2 things out.  I mean, this may work with your closets, but this isn’t the way to randomly run a government!)

6.  He also signed executive orders that would make it possible to complete the Dakota Access and restart the process for the construction of the Keystone XL oil pipeline from Canada.  (see my objections previously stated above!)

And, if all that wasn’t enough … on his VERY FIRST DAY in office:

7.  Within hours of his inauguration, the SCROTUS signed an executive order which was his first step toward repealing the Affordable Care Act.  (So to all those Americans who didn’t have health care before President Obama put this Act in place … get ready to worry about your health again!  Because you may end up sick, with no coverage, again!)

8.  He also suspended a scheduled insurance rate cut for new homeowners, which had been set by President Obama's government. The cut would have reduced annual insurance premiums for new Federal Housing Administration loans by 25 basis points -- from 0.85 to 0.60.  (So much for helping out the little guy!)

I read a quote from a 2013 Forbes article, which states … “when people become angry enough or desperate enough, sometimes they’ll support crazies who would never attract a crowd in normal circumstances.”  Yes, this is definitely what happened this past election cycle.  What these supporters didn’t realize, though, was that this particular crazy is not someone who is going to help them out of their situation.  He’s a crazy who will RUIN this country if he is allowed to continue on the path he has started down.  By the way, the article was entitled “How Dictators Come to Power in a Democracy”.  And I’ll repeat, this was an article from 2013.  Long before SCROTUS even announced running for the Presidency.  I wonder, is Forbes now going to be considered fake news as well?

For those who aren’t scared enough yet, with all that he has done so far, here is just a little taste of what is already in the pipeline (no pun intended) of new rules being voted on in the House:

1.  Terminate the Environmental Protection Agency (sorry Environment … even though you support human life on this planet, we’re no longer gonna protect you!)

2.   Vouchers for Public Education (Wait, didn’t recently released studies prove that this actually hinders the education of our youth?)

3.  Terminate the Department of Education (The full text of that bill was …. "The Department of Education shall terminate on December 31, 2018."  Yep, that was the entire bill!  Nothing mentioned on who or what would take over, how there would be functions of oversight, who would be responsible for enforcing civil rights and student aid.  Just … terminate. Oh, and a date.)

4.  Repeal Rule Protecting Wildlife (According to what I found, at least 8 species of animals went extinct in 2016.  And that was WITH wildlife protection.  Guess that number will go up if this bill passes.  Guess Republicans don’t see how all things connect.)

5.  Repeal Affordable Care Act (So, what do those who were uninsured before this act do?  Guess you just risk death, like you did before … 20,000+ people died each year in the U.S. due to not having health care coverage before this act.)

6.  Defund Planned Parenthood (All those people who go to Planned Parenthood for something other than an abortion (which accounts for 3% of all services) will have to find some other affordable place to go. Oh wait, there won’t be Affordable Care anymore!!)

7.  National Right to Work (Of course the SCROTUS would like this anti-labor union bill, since Unions hurt his business interests)

8.  Criminalizing Abortion (“Prenatal Nondiscrimination Act”) (This bill supposedly prohibits abortions that are based on the race or gender of a fetus.  Um, I really don’t think that in this country people have been ending pregnancies because of these specific issues.  So no big deal, you say?  Well, not quite.  You see, the bill fosters racist steriotypes and could create a culture of racial profiling in abortion clinics, with people being denied the right to an abortion based on their race. Really sneaky of the ALL MALE panel that is trying to get this passed.)

9.  Concealed Carry Reciprocity Law (This law would force states that have stricter limits on carrying a concealed weapon to allow those who have a permit in another state to carry their concealed weapon in ANY state. Wait, what?!?!  Are you kidding me?!?!)

So, this was the first 55 days.  We still may have 1,416 days to go. Hopefully not. Hopefully the American people will wake up to the slow (or not so slow) transition into a dictatorship that is currently being attempted by the SCROTUS.  Hopefully people will realize that when SCROTUS says he will “Make America Great Again”, he means for him and his billionaire cronies, not for the average American. 

Hopefully you will get involved, get out there, rally, protest, contact your representatives, act, vote!!!  Because if you don’t, you will wake up one day and not recognize this country that you are living in.  It will seem like some sort of dystopian nightmare.  But it won’t be a nightmare that you can wake up from, it will be reality!

Sunday, February 26, 2017

This is not your living room!!

This is a public service announcement for those who ride public transportation.  The train, bus, ferry or whatever form of shared public transportation you take is not … I repeat … NOT YOUR LIVING ROOM!!

I cannot tell you how often I have been on the subway and rolled my eyes or shook my head at people acting like they are in the privacy of their own homes. 

How many times have I seen women putting on their makeup on the train?  Way too many times to count, and way too many times to be ignored!  Your elbow practically hitting me in the face as you try to swab on your mascara while sitting next to me is not my idea of a morning commute!!  The powder you’re dusting all over your face … guess what?  It’s also landing on my shoulder!  Seriously, it takes all of 10 minutes at most to put on your makeup at home.  So, come on now, wake up 10 minutes earlier and get ready in your own bathroom or at your own vanity mirror!!  Believe me, those extra ten minutes of sleep aren’t doing you enough good to annoy everyone around you on the subway!

Another thing to NOT do on public transportation … eating!  Having your morning coffee on the train is ok, I guess.  Although I’d prefer you do that either at home or when you get to work.  But, as long as you don’t have an over-filled cup that keeps splashing onto me, I’ll let it slide.  And that is also as long as you have a good grip on it!  Because if you drop it and it lands on me … you’re gonna be paying my dry cleaning costs! 

I’ll accept the occasional candy bar.  Not the type that crumbles, though.  More than that … not acceptable. 

That bag of greasy Micky-D McNuggets that you are pulling from … not only is the grease smell gross, but now all that grease is covering your fingers!  And seeing you wipe your hands on your jeans … well, no words… simply no words!!  And Oh My God… do not touch the pole with those grease-covered fingers!!

If you go the “healthy” route, thinking it’s going to be ok to eat that yummy, juicy apple … guess what?!  With every bite you take, apple juice sprays on to everyone around you!  And it’s just so not attractive to see it dripping down your chin, which you then clean away with your sleeve.  Plus, your smacking gums can sometimes be heard over the music coming through my headphones, as I try to drown out rude people like you.

The potato chips … I get the greasy crumbs in MY lap while you eat them sitting next to me.  Same goes for the “breakfast” bar crumbs. 

The other day I was sitting next to a woman who pulled out a container of oatmeal that she had brought from home.  She then proceeded to mush it, tap it, spoon some up, shake some of what she put on the spoon off, tap again, put more on the spoon, a little less, uh oh, too much less, a little more, just a touch less … eat.  This was with EVERY mouthful!!!   And she was doing all this mushing, tapping, on, off, on, off, tap, on, tap, off, etc. with the arm that was on my side, so she kept hitting into me with every move!  Thankfully it was just a small container of oatmeal and not a Swanson Hungry Man Dinner!!

Another thing that should be saved for when you are home … nail care!!  Do not clip, file or paint your nails while on the subway!  Ok, so you snagged your nail on something, and you pull out the file and QUICKLY (the important qualifier being QUICKLY) file it down so it doesn’t snag on anything else.  That one I’ll give you.  But just because you have the file out … the other 9 nails don’t need the same attention!  And clipping?!  Um, no!  Just NO NO NO NO NO!!!  Nail polish?  Again, a big fat NOOOOO!  That smells a million times worse to people than those McNuggets!!  It’s an enclosed space.  So, unless you ask EVERY SINGLE PERSON on the car (or who will enter the car for the next 10 minutes, since the smell lingers) if they are ok with you doing your nails … don’t!

Another thing that people do on public transportation as if it were their living room … spreading!  You paid for a ride.  ONE ride.  That payment entitles you to get on, maybe to even get a seat, if you’re lucky.  What it doesn’t entitle you to is to spread!  Unless you paid twice, your bag doesn’t get a seat! This no-spread rule also includes your legs … sorry guys, but NOBODY is THAT big down there!  And don’t roll your eyes and suck at your teeth when you’re asked to scootch over a bit to allow someone to have a full seat, while you had previously spread to take up one and a half.

And seriously … GET YOUR FEET OFF THE FURNITURE!!  That may be allowed in your home, because at home, you’re probably (hopefully) not putting your feet up on the couch while your shoes are still on!  And it’s not allowed on public transportation either, where others have to sit where you shoes … which have walked through who the heck knows what … have been!  And this goes for the little kids too!  Yeah, your kid wants to look out the window, yeah it’s going to keep him distracted and entertained.  So you let them stand on the seat to do that.  Guess what, your kid is also stepping in stuff I don’t want to be sitting on when I take that seat after you get off!

The only thing I will say that you definitely SHOULD do as if you were home … TAKE YOUR TRASH WITH YOU AND THROW IT IN A PROPER RECEPTICAL!!  The train, bus, ferry, subway platform, sidewalk, or any other public space is NOT your personal trash can!  If you throw things in the proper place at home, do the same when out in public.  If you don’t I’m just going to assume that your home is probably a disgusting garbage dump! 

Ok, I’m done.  Now go out and behave like civilized people!!