2018

Some More . . .

Nota Bene: As I was contemplating my subject for this blog, I decided to continue amusing Jill, and all my other wonderful friends by writing some more diary pages just for entertainment! It might also serve the additional purpose of having my son make a comment like: No fire and brimstone rant this morning, Mum? I know he will say something sassy like that, and I am already thinking: Shit! Maybe I’m losing my mojo? Mellowing? Me? It must be the hamster effect!

Saturday, March 31: Startling news from the Gaza borders today as peaceful protesting Palestinians are slaughtered and many hurt by the criminal Israeli military and the deplorable government that supports them. Amongst the Palestinian people: Indignation, Frustration, Anger and Grief. Until bloody when? The Israelis are saying that the Palestinians used projectiles and, therefore, they deserved to die, which evokes a saying by Joseph Conrad: “Words, as is well known, are the great foes of reality.” Yes, they are, because they can be skewed any way that serves wicked purposes. It is happening here in our own US where there is nothing left “un-skewed,” and has been happening in Israel since the criminal idea of occupying and colonizing inhabited Palestine was germinated. Those famous tablets that Moses brought down? The Universal Declaration of Human Rights? Nah! What for? Words! Only Words! Painful!

Family and friends coming over tomorrow to celebrate Easter. I have a bit of preparing to do; finishing up tomorrow: Rice hashwe to go with my daughter’s fantastic leg of lamb (which I taught her, but on which she now outdoes me by far), pasta bechamel because all the kiddos love it, green beans salad with plenty of lemon, garlic and olive oil dressing, my mother’s very special shrimp salad, a must at every holiday meal, and my son’s Middle Eastern barbequed chicken with garlic and lemon juice the way his Dad used to make them. Nice!

In the evening, my son-in-law, daughter, my two grandchildren and I drive to the Reston Community Center to see a sold-out performance by the incredible Maysoon Zayid! The woman is amazing! Not only is she hilarious, but she also boldly tackles social and political issues (she spoke of the current ongoing slaughter in Gaza); taunts the probably present CIA and FBI Agents in the crowd (a must appearance at every Arab gathering); makes fun of her parents and herself and the fact that she has many issues – Palestinian, Woman, Muslim, growing up in New Jersey – all of which are much more (facetiously) encumbering than the fact that she has Cerebral Palsy! Terrific woman! It was a great evening!

Getting into my bed, I tossed and turned for a long time trying to reconcile my emotions: the grief of Gaza and all Palestinians; the tragic bloodshed in the region; the anticipation of sharing the day with friends and family tomorrow; spending an evening of laughter with Maysoon! It takes a lot of fortitude to stay balanced and to compartmentalize, sift through and quickly change channels between one occurrence and another. Quite draining!

Woke up to use the loo around midnight and heard the hamster going on his wheel like a whirling dervish!

Sunday, April 1: Sixteen people: teenagers, middle-aged and old (me) gathered at our home chatting, drinking, feasting (the food was delicious!) and playing one of the newer party-games, Catchphrase. It’s a cute game, however, I managed to bungle up my part royally – I just couldn’t get it! – incurring laughter and teasing from all for my inadequacy! At the end of the day, my granddaughter and grandson were gently consoling me for blundering so badly: “It’s okay, Teta, don’t feel bad. There is a Generational Gap here. We have gotten used to doing things fast, thinking faster, pressing buttons on gizmos easily and you haven’t.” Sweethearts! My games were slower and involved Dice, Tokens and Tiles, not computers and gizmos!! Looks to me these days that this is just one aspect of the Generational Gap – and there are many! Nevertheless, it was a fun and joyful day.

Hamster gets a choice piece of Romaine lettuce to munch on. He loves that!

Monday, April 2: A quiet day, recouping from yesterday and putting the house and myself back together again. Enjoying my solitude after the noise of yesterday. It was chilly, and by evening I was ready to snuggle into my warm bed and continue reading: Britt-Marie Was Here by Frederik Backman, the delightful author who introduced me to Ove with whom I fell in love!

Russian Television (RT) has been taken off the air! I can still get it on my computer, though! It seems that we are now truly living in “1984,” “Brave New World,” “Animal Farm,” “The Circle,” and “The Handmaid’s Tale” The American people will get only one point of view on TV, and the brainwashing will continue apace since all the other channels babble practically the same hyped superficialities! Dark, very dark days ahead!

Tuesday, April 3: Gym and back home to prepare my lunch and catch up with my online readings. Now, hamsters are nocturnal animals. However, this cute thing, somehow knows that I will be making my salad sometime in mid-morning, so he stays up and waits on the top floor of his cage until I give him a piece of lettuce, a small slice of apple, or a teaspoon of scrambled egg after which he retires to his chambers!!! He caught on to the rhythm of the household. He’s so smart!

News Talk and Gibberish Today: Trump invited Putin to a meeting, and he said that getting along with Russia is a good thing and only “stupid” people don’t agree to that. I agree with him, actually! Very stupid! However, in the same breath, he then becomes belligerent. Nothing seems to be making sense anymore!

An Iranian woman went into the YouTube offices, shot at people and then killed herself. Every day, it seems, there is another shooting somewhere. Disgruntled people go on a shooting spree and end up killing innocent citizens, themselves, or being killed. Are we living in the Wild West? Gangster Land? How will all this end? Very disconcerting and dangerous!

Wednesday, April 4: No gym today. We have an early photo-shoot. My grandson, the professional videographer, is making a promotional clip for his mother’s business. I am to pose as a client. Fun! Anyway, the weather is dismal with Winter, though in its last gasps, holding on viciously as Spring cowers around the corner. Come on, Spring! Emerge already!

Martin Luther King, Jr.: 50 years after his assassination and resounding message, where are we? Blatant discrimination marches on. How tragic! How unfair!

Watched a pre-recorded “Roseanne” episode. I just needed to know what the fuss overtaking the airwaves was all about. I found that I still think it’s trashy.

. . . Hamster seems to be upset again! Moody fellow!

Thursday, April 5: Eye doctor appointment this morning. Blurry eyes for hours! At our make-up Book Club meeting earlier in the week we were discussing: We Need to Talk About Kevin, an unsettling, depressing read, but apt for today’s “shoot-em-up” world. Anyway, the subject of Emotions came up and whether today’s youth are more sensitive and drama-prone than our older generations. One member said: “Nobody asked us about our emotions, so we didn’t think of them and moved on.” Are we making too big a deal about the emotions, feelings, perceptions, awareness, dramas of today’s young? Are we walking on eggshells all the time? Is that better than it was for us? I don’t know the answer.

Friday, April 6: A promise of snow for Saturday and Monday from the Weather men and women who seem to think that they are super-stars and that their forecast should have tension, excitement and a cliff-hanger (we’ll tell you when we come back!) before they fucking tell me what I need to know! Jeez! Do they think that I’m going to plaster myself in front of the TV all morning until they’re done hyper-ventilating? Better check the phone from now on. Going grocery shopping with my daughter.

Saturday, April 7: More people were slaughtered in Gaza yesterday. Unbelievable! Hey, JC, it’s been 2000 years already! Orthodox Christians will be celebrating Your Rising tomorrow, which is the correct time, since the Jewish hierarchy of those days signed Your death sentence after celebrating Passover and because they did not want a Rebellious Rabble-rouser to threaten their coziness with the Roman Empire. So, maybe You can surprise us all and really come back to fix this mess we’re in? Can You give us a time-line at least so we can, perhaps, keep on hoping?

No snow. Phew!

Going to the Gym to work off my frustrations!

Hamster is doing great this morning!

Sunday, April 8: My heavy winter clothes are arranged in neat piles on my bed: Dry cleaners, Washing, Goodwill Store, Fold and put away for next year (if I’m still around). Brought out my demi-saison and summer clothes. I felt slightly disgusted with myself as I hung them up. “If you see me buy one measly five-dollar T-Shirt, just shoot me,” I told my daughter. Truly, most of us around here have way too much! In fact, many people don’t even use their garages for their cars anymore, but rather as storage rooms. Many others rent storage units – plentiful in my area – and pile them up with stuff! And all those people live in big – some huge – homes. We are all gluttons!

Postscript: On April 15 I will be celebrating five years of starting this blog and posting on the 15th. and 30th of every month. It’s been so much fun!

 

(Credits to Depicting Life Photography for helping with image assets)

 

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2018

Dear Diary . .

Wednesday, March 14: I woke up feeling quite happy having cleared my schedule of any To-Dos on my plate in order to be ready for a matinee theatre performance this afternoon. My daughter and I picked up my granddaughter from school and headed out to watch “Shen-Yun,” a Chinese-American production. On the way, my granddaughter informed us that she had joined her 17-Minutes-School-Walk-Out in memory of the 17 people massacred at Parkland School in Florida. Not all the kids participated, however, she had chosen to do so making me and her mother very proud. As for the play: the costumes and dancing were really lovely, the special effects and stage backdrops were beautiful, and the little skits sung and danced by the actors depicting aspects of Chinese culture were charming. However, I thought that inserting the Falun Gong version of Christianity and its not-so-subtle evangelizing message was unnecessary and overdone, specifically, because Chinese Christianity plays such an insignificant role in the overall Chinese culture. Hmm?!

Thursday, March 15: Gym! How refreshing! My hour of Zen! News of the poisoned ex-spy and his daughter in Salisbury, England overtook the air waves, with the Iron-Lady-Thatcher-Wanna-Be, Theresa May, getting her knickers all in a twist! Foul weather ahead! This, as news of US Tariff Wars and skyrocketing Debt, which are oftentimes precursors to a war somewhere, is another chilling omen! How is it that every time we wonder how much worse it can get, it does! Terrible!

Friday, March 16: Back from the Gym to find that my granddaughter’s hamster, who lives in a corner of my kitchen, has not been playing on his wheel as usual; not eating as much; he seems lethargic. We are all in a dither! Out I go to the pet store and buy him the best packet of natural hamster food pellets thinking they might make him feel better. Of course, he decides that he wants nothing to do with any organic stuff! Oh, dear! The world is going to hell, and here we are worried about a tiny hamster! It’s truly a schizophrenic life, isn’t it? Louise Slaughter, after serving 18 years in our Legislature passed away today at the age of 88. I had never heard of this woman before. I do not know anything about her. May she rest in peace. However, why are 88 year olds like herself and so many others in the Congress and Senate still clinging to their damn seats? They really should vacate them and retire, the sooner the better, and take away with them all of their corruption and self-serving laws! We need new and honest blood. Enough deceit!

Saturday, March 17: After an hour of Zen at the Gym, back to the inane news and McCabe’s firing, Trump’s Tweets and Russia!! Brouhaha 24/7 regarding all that! Anyway who can read the coffee cup of this President? I doubt that even the savviest of forecasters is able to discern his thinking. What unpredictable times! And is the heartbreaking exodus from Syria ever going to stop? How much more distressing can it get before the dirty politics is done? Dubya Bush said that he wanted to revert the Middle East back to the Stone Age. Between him and the arch-criminal Netanyahu they are succeeding! So very painful!

P.S. The hamster is still lethargic!

Sunday, March 18: It was busy at the Gym this morning! Nevertheless, I walked my two miles! Lovely! In the afternoon I watched a DVD: “Thank You for Your Service” about three friends who returned from their stint in the Iraq War, their personal traumas, experiences and lives after that war. It was a moving account of what a difficult journey it is for the young military men and women while on the battlefield, as well as upon re-entering into civilian life and seeing how dismally they are treated by the Department of Veterans Affairs and the government that sent them to a senseless war. How is it that we haven’t yet fixed the problems of that Department? Do any of our politicians realize the agony that they are causing to these individuals with many committing suicide daily and countless others living with nightmares and distress? This, plus the anguish that they are causing to all the civilians suffering in the Middle East? Tragic!

P.S. Hamster is still unhappy!

Monday, March 19: Back from the Gym to find that Facebook is in deep shit! The story about Cambridge Analytica and how Facebook facilitated their collection of information about all of us who use that platform broke out! Good Morning, America for just finding this out! Bottom line: all of us should be very careful about All social media platforms and how they can use our information for evil doings and to manipulate and brainwash the unwitting. Let’s face it, at one time or another, we all make the ignorant mistake of falling for their traps. Pretty disconcerting to feel so out of control. Must be extra diligent!!

P.S. The hamster is doing better! Phew!

Tuesday, March 20: Another school shooting greets me as soon as I switch the TV on! This time at Great Mills High School, MD. Again and again we prove our Exceptionalism as the only country in the Western World to sit on its corrupt ass while its children are being slaughtered! No Gym today! Too damn depressing!

Wednesday, March 21: A beautiful looking snow blankets our backyard, dressing the trees with a breathtaking scene! Dentist appointment, lunch date and book club meeting: all canceled! Looking forward to settling in with my favorite prerecorded shows this afternoon: Law & Order, SVU (to feed my paranoia); Criminal Minds (to spook my already spooked self even more); Judge Judy (for sheer amusement); Hardtalk with the civilized Stephen Sachur and Dateline London. And do our corrupt, shrieking television hosts even know how to conduct refined talk shows like these? Far from it! They are truly such low-class, unprincipled, biased, yelling show-offs! Pretty shameful! No Gym again!

Thursday, March 22: Quiet snow day. Staying in again! I heard more: Russia! Russia! And I thought of a recent talk show discussing how “unfair” Russia’s elections were. I gulped! Unfair, they dared say? Our 2016 US elections went even further than unfair and undemocratic. The Democrats trashed Bernie Sanders, cheated and lied in order to marginalize him. They refused to allow Jill Stein – who leads a legitimate, lawful party – to participate in Any debates, or get Any exposure. They wouldn’t allow Any Other Party in order to keep the election between Republicans and Democrats only: two peas in a pod, one and the same! The arrogance of our political class blinds them to their own unfairness and corruption while they point dishonest fingers at everyone else! Are we that dumb to believe them? The sad thing is that too many of us are! Disgusting!

The hamster is improving!

Friday, March 23: John Bolton? Really, Trump? Really? You need and want a war? This is a terrible choice! The despicable, war-mongering, Israeli-Government-supporting crowd have been back in force on the airwaves pushing, as they did during the preamble to the Iraq War, for strong measures to be taken against Russia, North Korea and Iran – specifically Iran in order to satisfy Israel – and, once again, knowingly and maliciously setting the stage for another military venture. This time, if they succeed, it will not be without even more dire consequences! Senseless! Tragic!

All this is occurring as we observe the date of the “Shock and Awe” blitzkrieg that heralded the start of the invasive, cruel and malicious war on Iraq. And the MSM are calling it “Anniversary?” In my mind Anniversaries are Happy Affairs, not Mournful Observances as the Iraq War is to almost all Arabs. The weather is cooperating as I am getting ready to go to lunch with some friends, where, of course, politics will be a subject. Looking forward to that!

Saturday, March 24: “March for Our Lives” to support the “Never Again” Millennial Movement across the nation. Watching it on C-Span! It seemed from the videos that the whole country is marching in support of our children. Rightfully so! This carnage has to stop! It is so very barbaric! I wonder, though, how many of those marching and protesting think of those other children that our US bombs, lethal weaponry and drones are annihilating on a daily basis? Perhaps they have been brainwashed so well that all “other” children are okay to slaughter? My heart feels heavy!

P.S. Keeping this diary reminded me of the ones I kept when I was a teenager! It was a great therapeutic tool then. Maybe I should take this up again in order to preserve my sanity as our world sinks even deeper into pure evil, corruption and opportunism.

The hamster is okay! At least this is good news!