We don’t have to agree, but we do need to talk

I had begun a blog this week on a fabulous Geico TV commercial featuring the rarely-acknowledged triangle soloist.

And it would have been good, but my heart wasn’t in it.

The commercial features a concert with a triangle soloist putting his heart and soul into his moment in the spotlight.

Granted, it’s a commercial selling insurance, but in my humble opinion, triangle guy should be nominated for an Emmy for his acting, a Grammy for the musical performance and whatever award exists for the comedic value – it’s the trifecta that made for one of the best commercials I may ever see in my life.

Then Las Vegas happened. Another mass shooting in our country, and I could not concentrate any longer on triangle guy.

As a nation, we can and must do better. It is well past time to talk about it and find solutions.

Call me naive, but I’m sure an answer exists that will be suitable to most everyone, and more importantly, save lives.

I alone don’t have those answers, and neither do you. But together … it’s possible.

I want to be very clear: I have been a gun owner since I was 18 years old. I am, I humbly offer, a really good shot. Further, I have had two members of my family murdered with guns. I get both sides of the issue better than most.

But fundamental human rights will always win with me.

My grandson is two years and four months old. In his short life, the United States has seen 19 mass shootings with the first one of his life happening in his home state of South Carolina. four days after he was born.

Killed in these mass shootings have been 194 of our neighbors, with several hundred more injured.

I recognize I’m not in a good geographical location for this conversation, but a conversation needs to be had. This isn’t about politics, it is about human lives, the safety of which should be our utmost priority.

Like everyone else, I don’t have the answers, but I have ideas.

Some things I think are worth looking at include requiring liability insurance for gun owners; requiring the buyer’s medical information bureau file before selling a gun; banning the sale of an apparatus that can turn a semi-automatic weapon into a fully-automatic one. Those are just a few.

There are those who would say these things infringe upon their constitutional rights, but I can’t think of a greater infringment of my rights than laying on the ground with a bullet in me.

I’ve heard great ideas from many people who are looking for solutions, and who are not bolted into their way of thinking no matter what. It’s going to take a lot of compromise to get this done, but now is the time to start.

To fix this, everyone is going to have to give up something, but it is doable.

I’m sure discussions about how to prevent this from happening again have been had all over the United States this week, just like in our office.

We don’t necessarily agree on all of the solutions, but each of us brought some good ones to the table. It was a starting point, and if we can do it in our office, it can be done on a national scale.

More than 10 years ago, one person – ONE – tried to get on a plane with a bomb in their shoe. Thankfully, they were unsuccessful. Because of that, today we all have to take our shoes off to get on a plane.

Nobody says that is an infringement on our civil rights because it worked.

Do not let the bad guys win. Do good because it’s good. Act out of love, not fear. Be kind.

We all want the same thing, really, and as my favorite poet Maya Angelou said, “We are more alike, my friend, than we are unalike.”

Show up at the table with that in mind. Show up on Facebook and Twitter with that in mind.

So do your good because you know it’s good. Don’t grab the bait on social media that encourages hatefulness and discourse among the people you live among. It’s not worth it.

I want to find answers because I think life shouldn’t look like this for my grandson. So, do it for your grandchild, your grandparents or your third cousin, twice-removed. But, please, let’s talk and stop this madness.

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My future may not have hair, but it has hope

Between the general foul moods of my countrymen and discovering recently that female pattern baldness is a thing, I needed a break. I needed unicorns and rainbows; and cotton candy and kittens.

Disappearing hair notwithstanding, national and global news seems to have everyone on edge this  week.

With no unicorns, rainbows, cotton candy or kittens handy, my relief came in a phone call about a little girl whose actions remind me that good always bats last.

The feature picture on  the front page of this week’s issue of the Iowa Park Leader is a result of the phone call that pulled me out of that funk.

Little McKyla turned seven years old last week and the only gifts she wanted for her birthday were those that could feed people who are hungry.

This week, she gathered up all the canned goods and non-perishable items she received for her big day and took them to the Iowa Park Food Pantry for distribution in emergency food boxes.

McKyla gets it.

Her mother tells us she has been volunteering her time to help distribute commodities to local families. She is a little girl with a big heart as it says in the photo caption on page 1.

And I pray she represents the future of our community and nation.

Only seven years into her stint of being human, she understands that other people sometimes need a hand up; and that other kids might not have the abundance of food in their home that she enjoys.

A little girl after my own heart, McKyla reminds me that good remains in the world and the best part is it is coming from her young generation.

It reminded me of last year when a young man named Tanner asked for money for his 10th birthday. While that’s not uncommon, what Tanner wanted to do with the money was.

Tanner took his birthday money to church and gave it as an offering so “other people learn more about Jesus.”

We need to learn how to act again, folks. These innocent, generous minds haven’t been taught to only take care of their own; or to judge the why of someone’s circumstance.

They each understood a need and filled it in the purist way they know. By giving, by sharing.

There is a book out there by Robert Fulghum titled All I Really Need to Know I Learned in Kindergarten. The first thing on the list is to share everything. The last thing on the list is to be aware of wonder, which is what I’m doing here because it is indeed a wonder to see that degree of selflessness.

We all need to read that book, twice.

If we took the book seriously, Facebook and Twitter would look different; our country would look different; and if we took the lessons to heart, we would look different.

I hear a lot of people griping about the millennials these days, and to be quite honest, the millennials are the people raising these children who are so generous in spirit. They must be doing a lot of somethings right.

If this is the case, we should all just act like children again, because these kids seem to have their act together, and they also still have their hair.

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Anger expressed in haiku

I’ve missed you guys the past two weeks.

To be honest, I’ve missed myself and everything else I deal with when I am conscious.

It wasn’t bad enough that I had my first-ever bout with the flu, combined with my umpteenth time to have strep throat.

Oh, it was bad, but more havoc would be wreaked when something resembling a stomach virus entered stage left about day three of the original crisis.

It was the only time I cried. I was mostly a brave girl.

But my fingers hurt, and my eyes didn’t work and my legs shook like a newborn baby foal when I walked. It was pathetic for a couple days, and what I call “the trifecta of suckage.”

It was so bad, I have already booked my flu shot for next year.

Then, as a final blow, the universe gave me the proverbial finger Sunday with Daylight Savings Time (DST).

I have found precisely two Facebook friends who think it’s the most amazing thing since Nutella – or maybe it’s the other way around, I’m still sleepy. Other than that, most everyone agrees with me that stealing an hour of valuable sleep time should be a prosecutable offense.

That’s truly how I feel. And, for the first week after DST, I remind everyone who mentions it what the time would be if it were on Saturday, instead of after 2 a.m. on Sunday.

And, if you’re honest, you or someone around you as late as yesterday said a variation of “I am still messed up with this time change.”

I’ve heard it several times, a couple of them from someone other than me.

I feel so strongly about this that I wrote a poem Monday morning – I do this sometimes as a way to cope with my sleepy emotions – about my thoughts on DST and posted it on Facebook with a picture of my cup of coffee. I’m artsy like that.

The poem was:

Coffee.

Yay.

And I meant it.

One of my longest time friends, Kent, pointed out to me that my poem was an odd haiku, with only three syllables instead of the customary 17.

I told him three syllables was all I had and  more would be forthcoming as soon as I located the stolen hour.*

Later that day, Kent wrote me a haiku that was amazing, and posted it on my Facebook wall.

It went like this:

Unsettled by the

Delayed dawn, Kari reached for

Coffee, which helped, some

After that, several of my friends joined in for a “Haiku slam” party about DST, and much finger snapping and laughter ensued.

These are the kinds of friends I have: smart, funny and great with words. So I leave you with their thoughts on Daylight Savings Time, because it’s time for my nap.

Coffee. Beverage?

Nay. In truth, a life force

Only fools abstain.

                                    -Alisa in California

Daylight savings time

Sucks,sucks,sucks,sucks,sucks,sucks,sucks

Need I say more? No.

                                – also Alisa

Like a silent thief

My hour is stolen from me

Never to return

                               – Kelly in Texas

I take mine with,

Lots of creamer,

Makes me sweeter, never meaner

                               -Darla in Texas

Dawn creeps slowly, she

Feels lowly and bereft, ‘till

Coffee, coffee, more coffee

                            -Kent from Arkansas, again

And, although she later corrected herself to say she believed it was Shakespeare and not a haiku, Darla also offered this winner:

Til a hot flash comes a lurkin’,

Seems my own percolator is Perkin’.

Laughter, and friends, are the best medicine. And, haikus are pretty nice, too.

*The stolen hour has yet to be located.

Send me your best haiku about Daylight Savings Time, and I’ll update this post and give you credit……

**** NEW STUFF! March 16, 2017 2:13 p.m.

More haikus are being added daily until morale improves. Thank you to you guys for your beautiful and thoughtful support!

Clocks spring forward.
Means I rise earlier.
But Coffee comes sooner.                            

                       -Michael in Colorado

cat claw plucks
my scalp to be fed ~
lost time sucks

                    – Amy in Illinois

Took an hour away,
It will take months to recover,
Then the hour returns.

               – Carol

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Namaste and all that stuff

After being in a bad mood for about a week, a great friend and I deduced it was due to the negativity that began the minute Facebook was opened on my computer.

And, it didn’t end when I logged off, it just lingered like the rancid smell of burnt toast slathered in blue cheese-infused acid.

So, I went on a Facebook Fast last weekend, and have been a freaking ray of sunshine ever since, depending on who you ask.

What I discovered is that I spend an inordinate amount of time on social media, and didn’t even know what to do with all this time that I regained.

In the past five days, in addition to rewiring the house, writing two chapters for a book I’m working on, working at the newspaper and reading War & Peace – twice, I began to try and learn yoga again.

I tried yoga a couple years ago, and thought an older woman had died on her mat during the class, because during the downward facing dog she was just laying on her back with her eyes closed. I reached for my cell phone to speed dial 9-1-1 when the instructor – sensing my concern – told me she was napping and this was groovy in yoga.

And, no joke, this weekend, I learned there is an actual “corpse pose” that was exactly what that lady was doing, and I was excited to learn that napping during exercise is legal.

Anyway, that was the same lady who ended the class by saying “My Nasty” instead of the customary “Namaste,” and it made me giggle.

Namaste, roughly translated, means “the divine in me bows to the divine in you.” While My Nasty can mean a lot of things including “I’ll see you on Facebook.”

So, when I was looking for something to fill the vast slots of time previously occupied by Facebook, I decided I really wanted a hobby where spontaneous napping is totally acceptable and mispronounced key words can make grown adults giggle.

I began yoga again, this time at home.

I opened my iPad and began my journey into peace, quiet and unexpected difficulty.

“Flexibility,” I told myself as I moved into the downward facing dog, “will keep me young and my tailbone unbroken in Petco’s parking lot.”

I then moved flawlessly into the cobra pose, my breath and I as one, which interested my dog, Erma,  way too much – who thought I was slowly and dramatically dying.

My warrior and pigeon  poses found Erma alternately trying to hump my leg and give me the kiss of life. I had to lock her out of the room and continue my journey of peace and the calmest sweat my pores have ever expressed.

Until …

At some point during my home workout, it became apparent they were working me up to a back bend, which is called a “wheel” in yoga-speak … kind of like napping is called the “corpse pose.”

I was a gymnast 40 short years ago, so I wasn’t near as worried as I should have been.

It looked easy on the screen of the ipad – put your hands on each side of your head while you’re lying there like a corpse and push up, raising your belly to the sky, is how I interpreted it.

My elbows quivered and my back cleared an inch off the mat before I collapsed in a pool of decidedly unpeaceful sweat.

Still I managed to master the child pose and the mountain pose, both of which require little to no exertion or muscle memory from when I was 12.

Then I spent the next two hours perfecting the corpse pose.

It worked, I was in a better mood.

So Namaste. Or My Nasty, or whatever. I’m on the road to recovery.

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Bread wins again, but love bats last

It was Thanksgiving Eve and I was in my fourth hour of a Sherlock Holmes bender – the good series, the ones with Benedict Cumberbatch – when it all went down.

The Hamilton Family Thanksgiving was in danger of crashing in on itself due to a lack of hot rolls.

It was 7:30 p.m. when I got the text message that my family was in crisis mode due to an unfortunate incident regarding the responsibility of securing the hot rolls for Thanksgiving dinner.                                                       

At Hamilton Family Thanksgivings, we take breaking bread pretty literally, eating a little bread with our butter. And we eat a lot of butter, so this was going to be a problem.

hotrolls

So good. So small. So necessary.

In one of the few socially-beneficial reasons to have Facebook, my family uses it like a freaking party line in times of crisis such as this, and we had three people in my family – three courageous souls with whom I share DNA – offer to brave the stores the night before Thanksgiving in search of rolls to feed our family’s legal addiction.

It’s times like this we find out how tight our family unit really is.

I mean, if it had been a Facebook message asking for help moving an ancient piano or selling elementary school fundraising cards, it might have been hours and possibly days before anyone answered.

It took seven seconds to get a response team to spring into action and save our family from the Great Hot Roll Famine of 2016.

Let that soak in.

Seven seconds before somebody in my family was willing to place themselves in harm’s way on Thanksgiving eve to make sure we had bread. That is love.

Love of bread.

Looking back, when I was little and my family played the game “Operation,” every single member of my family was proficient at removing the breadbasket without the tweezers touching the sides and making the red nose light up and buzz.  That’s the Hamilton family “no man left behind” mascot right there.

Don’t get me wrong, we love each other even more than we love bread but we use bread to dull the pain caused by family who cannot make it back home to Iowa Park. We stuff our feelings with bread. A lot of bread, with even more butter. Stuff, stuff, stuff those feelings.

And, even if everyone is present and accounted for, we still manage to find some feelings to stuff. I think most people can relate.

During this crisis and online negotiation toward a solution, I never said one word about it to my husband.

Why, you ask? Glad you asked, I say back.

The exact words out of his mouth would have been “You Hamiltons and your bread.”  And he would have been right.

Insatiable is a word I’ve heard thrown around in Olive Garden when we dine there together.

Never send my family to a restaurant where the words “Unlimited” and “Bread” appear on the same menu item, because my family will break your oven, and wear out three Parmesan cheese graters. And that’s in the first 5 minutes.

When I got to my Mom’s Thanksgiving day, I found out they panicked because they only had 30 rolls, and they knew that wouldn’t be enough for the 25 people  planning to attend. They were right.

But we didn’t run out of the gluten that holds our family together. Thanksgiving and the future of Weight Watchers was saved.

On Thanksgiving day, we gathered as a family and remembered all of our family members who couldn’t be with us because of geographical, but never heart, distance. And, we were genuinely thankful for our daily bread that almost wasn’t.

Bread wins again, but love bats last.

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Cat memes don’t lie. Much.

Election day is five days away, which means we have precisely enough time to vote, pray and then  hush about it.

There is a movement that is sweeping the nation, and by “nation” I mean five or six of my Facebook friends, and I started it.  As in, all by myself. I even hashtagged that hot mess.

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#acatmemadaykeepspoliticsaway #doingmyparttosavehumanity

It’s called cat memes, y’all, and it is healing the nation, or at least distracting a few of my friends away from posting anything thing that is headlined “BREAKING NEWS!” that comes from a partisan website or blogger.

Turns out cat memes is the only thing I can count on to offset political hate on Facebook. You cannot unfollow enough people who cannot help themselves during a political season as auspicious as this one. They still pop up, and almost always right when I’m starting to feel good about life again.

I get it, but these folks have way more enthusiasm about the candidates than I do. So I post cat memes on Facebook and will every day through next Tuesday, at which point the cat memes will retire. At that point, they will be replaced by something that will soothe the nerves of all the people whose candidate did not win.

This could go on forever and ever, amen.

I hashtagged my cat memes #acatmemeadaykeepspoliticsaway and #doingmyparttosavehumanity. For those who don’t speak hashtag, they read “a cat meme a day keeps politics away” and “doing my part to save humanity.”

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Perhaps one of my favorites. 

It won’t win me a Pulitzer, but it will win some giggles and warm fuzzy feelings, even if for a few minutes.

My reasoning for this silliness is you can’t hate on a cute little kitty trying to squeeze it’s way through your door to talk to you about Jesus; or a meme of a kitten walking all gangster with the words “Haters gonna hate” above his precious little head; or a picture of a cat walking around the house with a knife in it’s mouth.

Or, maybe you could hate on that, but then you might not have a soul, or at the very least a sense of humor.

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Regardless, if you lined up all the cat memes that have been posted on Facebook in a valiant effort to battle politics of hate, end to end they would reach about a mile and a half, which is just far enough to get to Rafter J’s BBQ, plop down at the bar and order six of their world famous Rafter Rita’s, which is a catchy way of saying six tasty ways to forget the ugly this election has brought out in all of us.

Don’t you worry, I will have a designated driver.

Vote, and vote your heart. Or, don’t vote – you have that right, too. Then order a Rafter Rita and stop calling people idiots because they don’t agree with you. Pretty please, with a precious cat meme on top?

This may come as a huge surprise, but nobody is listening to your pleas on Facebook. Undecided voters are generally going to go to trusted news sites to figure out which candidate’s values most closely align with the their own, as well as what the Kardashians have been up to this week

The only people reading your political posts are the people who already agree with you, or the people who are looking for ways to belittle you with their own equally impassioned arguments.

Thus, cat memes.  If for no other reason, I have never seen anyone question another’s Christianity or moral fiber based on a picture of a cat in a pirate’s hat holding a sword.

But there’s still time.

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I ain’t superstitious about the Hawks

I don’t have many superstitions, but of the few I do have, most involve football.

And with that, they only apply to the two teams I follow – the Iowa Park Hawks and Texas Tech Red Raiders.

I have specific rules for game day when Texas Tech plays, the most important being not posting anything on game day about said team because one time I did and they got the living crap beat out of them.

Of course, that was a long time ago and they have  been beaten more than once since then, but it was clearly not my fault since I put nothing on Facebook.

I haven’t had many superstitions involving the Iowa Park Hawks because I usually watch them in person and post them from the game while I am there,  but I wasn’t able to Friday night when they met up with Krum for their first district matchup.

[sam id=”1″ codes=”true”]

Since I wasn’t able to go to the game, I listened to it on the radio right up until the game tied in the fourth quarter.

After I accidentally kicked the dog out of spastic excitement, I decided to turn off the radio and monitor the rest of the game on Facebook.

For two solid hours I stared into the screen of my iPad watching Donna Williams’ generous and incredibly exciting updates on the game that went into triple overtime.

I heard a rumor that her iPhone exploded or something at the end of the game, but that is unconfirmed.

I almost posted a comment – something like “thank you for keeping us posted” or “GO HAWKS!”– under her post as I kept up, but the ghost of the Red Raiders crept into the room and told me I best not. So I just sat and argued with myself on whether or not hitting  the like button on every update was tantamount to ruining everything.

The game, as you will read in Kevin’s column and in the sports section,  ended in a 56-54 loss for our Hawks. And after I got my heart back into acceptable rhythm,  it didn’t really feel like a loss, but more a battle of worthy opponents.

Of course, it should be noted I was facing the battle with my cowardly face buried in an iPad because neither my heart nor my dog could take my involuntary reactions to football-induced excitement.

Still, I came out with this: Iowa Park has established itself as a force to be reckoned with and displayed heart –  and it wasn’t dependent upon any sort of luck, or anything to do with Facebook.

They are the real deal.

My new superstition is to go to as many games as I am able, including this Friday’s match-up in Vernon.

I will see you there….I’ll be the one in my lucky socks.

green sneakers

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Homecoming time in Texas

It’s homecoming time in Texas, the time of year where you should be wearing a sweater and drinking pumpkin spice lattes, but instead it’s so hot you have to wear fanny shorts and suck on frozen pickle juice to avoid a heat stroke.

It’s the time of year for class reunions where there will be a certain awkwardness because Facebook has outed all the liberals and serious Candy Crush addicts, and everyone there will know who you are.

It’s the time of year when navigating your way around Hawk Stadium requires an absolute lack of personal boundaries or aversion to the sound of bells, specifically those attached to homecoming mums. It’s so crowded at the homecoming games that I understand it’s possible for children to be conceived with less physical contact than you will accidentally receive on your way to the fried corn on the cob wagon.

But even more noteworthy, it is a time of tradition; and rekindling of friendships; and of understanding change and reliving memories that shaped our lives.

You might notice the fact that the school you walked a mile to get to each day – uphill and in blizzard conditions – has changed.

Yes, the kids have it good these days, with a beautiful updated campus and a brand-new auditorium, gym, stadiums and more. They now carry their schoolbooks inside of a freakin’ iPad and enjoy stadium seating on the home side at basketball and volleyball games.

That mile is getting longer and the snow deeper, isn’t it?

But before you start shaking your fist like the old codger you swore to never become, think about this:

When the lever is thrown Friday night to turn on the lights at Hawk Stadium, you will be home.

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You will hear the familiar voice of Robert Wilcox, who has announced Hawk football games more than 65 years. You will hear your fight song and your school song; and you will not remember way too many names of people who have fond memories with you, but you will nod and smile like you do remember.

You may see turf in the place of the real grass you remember from your glory days, but there is a player on the field with the same drive and love for the game you had when you played.

Like me, you may remember sitting in those stands as a student . . . then a parent of a player, cheerleader or band member, and now as a nice return to all the goodness about small towns, including the fried corn on the cob the FFA sells at the home games. Mostly because it is home, but also because it gives us a human contact social media will never replace, and shouldn’t.

I fully expect it to be scientifically proven someday that the only cure for Facebook will be Texas homecoming games, which will give us a rather cool tourist industry. Mums would make great souvenirs and hot canned cheese poured over nacho chips from Sam’s  and sprinkled with  jalapeño slices grown in hell will be a destination favorite for people who still actually want to talk to other people face-to-face.

And that’s not all. There will be the annual bonfire Thursday night, Homecoming parade Friday afternoon; and Saturday promises a Whoop-T-Do, alumni activities and reunions. Add to that the many great restaurants and shops in town, and I smell the perfect weekend.

We will all be at the largest community gathering of the year where politics, religion and Candy Crush don’t matter. What matters is tradition and respect, and it’s already here.

Welcome home

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Iowa Park’s defacto community center

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I vote for peace and quiet

As I sit here writing on a Tuesday night, I am reminded that many people are currently longing for the good ol’ days. In light of recent events, I am tempted to join them.

With the current state of (forgive me for a moment) politics, it seems escape from our current reality is futile. But I am going to try.

Sometimes I would certainly like to go back to the days of black and white TV. A time when it didn’t take three jobs to raise two children; when the media (and perhaps our very government) was not owned by corporations with interest in who our political leaders were; and when there were three channels on TV and no Facebook and people actually connected in real and honest ways.

Then I remembered that the good ol’ days really weren’t that good in a lot of ways. Women couldn’t vote or own property; and certain heinous crimes weren’t taken seriously, or even reported.

Or,  if you were a person who wasn’t white, well, you were gonna ride in the back of the bus and that was probably the nicest thing that might happen to you that day; and for God’s sake, takeout food was non-existent.

I don’t want to go back to that, do you? As much as I hate the increasingly divisive and disrespectful conversations that all this freedom of speech has afforded us, it is our own fault for not handling the right like it is of tremendous value.

I would ask that particularly during this election cycle (one I pray to the baby Jesus I will wake up from and it’s all been just a dream) we talk about anything but politics while on social media.

OK, that and anything Kardashian-related – I’m looking at you, Kanye. Please?

I know how way too many people feel about the state of our country and how it can magically be fixed with either guns or birth control, but no one can agree on why. Also, I’ve been on social media eight years and have yet to see anyone see the light as shone by an opponent politically.

So in words I actually told my children were curse words, I say  “shut up about it.”

It’s hard enough to stay away from the actual circus the daily news has become, but when you add in rage, contempt and disrespect, there ain’t nobody listening anyway except to respond. We don’t seem to be thinking as much as responding and it is killing us as a united nation, and that is only my humble opinion.

I’m not judging because I’ve seen myself do it. These days,  I only talk about politics with a very few people, and my true friends don’t give a rat’s arse about my politics, nor I theirs. Our friendship isn’t based on that, it is based on laughter. And dammit,  there is no laughter in politics, so it all makes sense.

cocktailparty

Who’s with me?

I do love a good cause, though. Good causes, by their very nature, should have nothing to do with politics, so please tell me about the whales you want to save, and the people you want to feed and how you want to stop bullying. Just don’t politicize it … humanize it.

Anyway, I would much rather watch videos of a cat with a brain freeze from licking a Popsicle, or a grandma telling a dirty joke; a kid who overcomes all odds by making a basketball shot involving eight impossible ricochets and he wins like a year’s worth of Dr. Pepper; or Bruce Springsteen singing the acoustic rendition of Thunder Road.

(Disclaimer: If I die this week, you will find an extraordinary number of Led Zeppelin videos as well as the better part of Beyonce’s Lemonade video series in my browser history,. This is no mistake and what I actually have spent most of my spare time doing.)

So, I’m asking my friends and enemies to  make Facebook “Politics-Free” for one week. Just one week.

Put up pictures of your kids or  grandkids. Show me a picture of your ingrown toenail. Show me a picture of your half-eaten dinner, for God’s sake. Just don’t show me a picture of anyone who is running for president. I swear you will feel better at the end of the day.

I know I will.

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My dog is a paper towel mule

I had an unusual moment of reflection Tuesday night, and in it realized my dog is not who I thought she was.

Actually, I ended up reflecting for a moment plus two hours because after The Voice ended at 8 p.m., and there was nothing I wanted to watch on TV.

I turned into  an armchair philosopher which is only dangerous when I share it. Being a risky individual, that’s what I’m going to do.

In much the same way I have considered that I could have been a professional singer if only I had a better singing voice, I first decided that my dog, Erma, would have made a great drug dog if only drugs smelled like paper towels.

These are the things I think about when I have too much time on my hands while also trying to control my Facebook addiction.

It’s not like I was sitting there and it just crossed my mind that if drugs were paper towels my dog would be like the Superman of drug dogs – I’m not crazy.

I was sitting there and Erma came into the room and went into what appeared to be prey overdrive and began cramming her face under pillows until she found what she was looking for, just like a drug dog might do.

And I watched her thinking, “Wow, there might be hope for her after all.”

Then she proudly pulled out a paper towel and ran with it like it was the Holy Grail, while trying to swallow the Holy Grail the same way a drug mule would before boarding a plane.

After I chased her to her invisible force field that humans call ‘underneath the coffee table’ and digging a paper towel out of her throat, it dawned on me that she is not drug dog material at all, but the kind of dog that drug dogs probably look down on.

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Erma the paper towel mule

It made me sad.

I only know what this looks like since I was involved in training a drug dog several years ago.The similarities were eerie, with the lone exception that the dog I previously trained never tried to swallow the drugs whole.

That would be the difference between a drug dog and a paper towel mule, I suppose. That, and the fact that my other dog never ate a couch, credits cards, a beach towel or other things I’ve found recycled by a digestive tract in my back yard.

I should probably get back on Facebook.

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