Math

You know what I hate?  Hate more than the one exercise I can’t do in my exercise video because my belly roll gets in the way? Hate more than the x-ray technician saying “I need to do the left breast one more time because I missed some tissue?”  Hate more than paying for car insurance for 2 teenage boy drivers (which is slightly less than the GNP of Madagascar)?

I hate math. More specifically, high school math.  Gimme back potty training, gimme back teaching to tie shoes, gimme back up every 3 hours to breast feed a screaming baby.  I’ll take it all to not have to suffer through my son struggling with his math class. I can’t do it for him, even if I wanted to. Not that he needs to “conquer this battle without Mommy’s help.”  I literally CAN’T help him. I can’t do the math. Sometime in the mid 90s, in grad school, I probably had a fighting chance to give him an educated guess, but not so much anymore. Starting around 7th grade, math has been his nemesis. His Voldemort. His kryptonite.  His Ivan Drago. He’s a pretty average kid all around, some things come easy, some things he has to work for, but in math he just feels like he is totally defective.

He has inherited (or been bullied into) our sarcastic sense of humor, he can be even more of a neat freak than me some times (yay!), he’s fun to be around, makes great popcorn, and loves our cats with a passion. I love him with all the love a Mom can possess. But nothing can bring down the party like an algebra homework assignment. We can be having a laugh filled family dinner, planning our summer vacation, talking about sunshine and unicorns, and then the dreaded question rears its ugly head:  “do you have any homework?” We go from smiling to miserable faster than 45 can tweet #alternatefacts to a CNN story.

My husband wonders why I like watching “My 600 LB Life” and “Hoarders”…I think I know why, at least 1 reason. Other than being what I would consider REAL reality shows, where else do you get to see such transformations, such progress, such success in under 60 minutes?  You go from shitty life to way less shitty life uber fast. It’s a pretty little success package with a bow on top. I love it. Algebra is not subject to such pleasures. It’s a nightmare, wrapped up in a bag of shit, delivered to your dining room table on a tray of rotting hamburger meat with maggots. Nothing is solved in 60 minutes. It’s everyday. Every fucking day. I hate what it does to him. I hate how it makes him feel.  And subsequently, how it makes us feel. It makes us all unhappy, frustrated, crying piles of math hating people.

Brendan is a trooper though. I honestly don’t know where we’d be without him. He sits with him, day after day, hour after hour, trying to help him understand.  He uses props, folks.  But he’s reached his breaking point several times.Then there is cursing. Because here’s the issue. If we are working harder than he is to help him succeed in math, then something is wrong.  And it’s the same conversation day after day, month after month, year after year. When you are bad at something, the only way to get better is to work at it.  Not just a little, but a LOT. Everyday. You have to do more work than the kid who breezes through math. Or even the kid who gets a B or C. Or D. The lectures, my God. It’s a CD on endless replay. He’s in 11th grade, there is no more time, there is only white knuckling til mid-June when school is done. And guess who doesn’t want to do the work to be successful?  And then guess who gets pissed that the other one doesn’t want to do the work?  And then guess who feels just sad and defeated and wants to make it all better with hugs and warm milk? Circle of hell.

He hates that he struggles and others don’t.  His internal dialogue is “I can’t do it. Studying won’t help. My teacher can’t help. I’m lost. I’ll fail no matter what.” And now on top of all that is college looming in the not so distant future.  You can eliminate all math careers from the mix easily enough, but it’s still another pressure to pile on top. For those who have kids where academics come easy, be so so so relieved, because this side of the aisle sucks. How do you convince your kid that they have worth even though they fail? Will a bad math grade keep him from success in life?  Probably not. But that doesn’t mean you get a free pass. You still have to push them to do better, do more, work harder.  I tell him that we do it out of love. Other kids get crappy grades and their parents don’t care. We are on your side, we want you to be successful, be happy. We will always be your biggest cheerleaders. Brendan’s favorite line:  We’ll work with you, but we won’t work without you. You HAVE to do the work. You can’t avoid it. It’s not going away. It’s mentally exhausting for everyone.

He does every assignment, he does some math everyday, but it’s still not enough. I tell him everyone struggles in something. Or many things. It all seems to fall on deaf ears though. His next bad test grade is a self-fulfilling prophecy. I failed because I told you I can’t do it. For those of you who haven’t had school-aged kids in the recent past, you can now get almost up to the minute grades online. It’s a blessing and a curse. If you are familiar with this and are on Team Math Sucks with me, you will know the feeling in your gut, as you log in, click on assignments and hold your breath, waiting to see the latest test grade. Hoping, fingers crossed, praying to the math gods that it’s not a failing grade. And then there’s the disappointment. It’s heart wrenching because you know what’s coming next. Another lecture, more tears, solidifying the mantra “I can’t do it.”

Sorry to say, I have no happy ending here. There’s no magic math pill. We are engaged parents, given him every leg up possible, love, support, encouragement. In the final analysis, is he just plain ol’ bad at math? If that’s true, I’m totally ok with that. I truly am. I’m not particularly good at it myself and I love him just the way he is. But the greater lesson here is that he has to try. God helps those who help themselves. Help me help you. Seriously, like The Little Engine That Could. Change the narrative in your head. Persevere. Hammer away. Make math your bitch. And if at the end of the the day, it’s a C, I’ll be the first to congratulate you because I will know you tried. Now I’m going to take my parenting pity party and have a glass of wine. Anyone have some math to do?

The Noise

I am sad. I am angry. I am tired. But I have no right to be. I am just a little white girl from suburban no where, with no danger of being deported, or beaten for being gay, or registered in a database because I’m Muslim. I woke up Wednesday in shock, but my world kept spinning the same as it had on Tuesday. But the more I hear and study and learn, it mentally exhausts me. Should I be worried? Fearful? Hopeful? I have to say, my gut is telling me to go off the social media and regular news grid. The rhetoric is deafening. Nearly as bad as it was in the months leading up to the election. I can’t change who our next President is going to be.  I’m not going to protest or riot, you won’t find me lobbying in the state capital.  Just one of the huddled masses trying to be positive (and failing often), praying for our President-Elect to be a stand up guy and not fuck everything up.

I know we have our problems here in the good ol’ U S of A.  I don’t know whose fault it is. My best estimation is that it’s a collection of everyone in Washington over the past 100 years or so. I’m watching House of Cards currently, and if even a smidgen of what they portray is true? Holy. Shit. Politicians are crooked. Every single one of them. Backroom deals on top of back room deals, don’t know how they keep track of all their lies. Business men are crooked. Not every single one of them, but just tally up the white collar crime that has taken place over the last decade with banks. My guess is higher than 10, and somewhere just south of a million. What we know about is probably just the tip of the iceberg. And who do we place our trust in to regulate them?  The crooked politicians.  It’s a circle of hell, much like school drop off lines.

So a while back I stopped listening to the news. I read my news.  Who has time to sit in front of the TV anyway?  But every time I read something, whether it’s from a supposedly reputable and unbiased news source or trumpsucks.com or hillaryisaliar.com, the next article I read says it’s all bullshit lies.  Everyone, and I mean EVERY FUCKING ONE has a source to debunk everyone else’s sources.  So what are we left with?  A big ol’ pile of nonsense with nothing and no one to believe.  And this is why I’m tired. I’m tired of BEING angry and confused. I’m tired of BEING right and wrong in the same sentence. I’m tired of caring and not having a damn thing I can do about it. I voted, I lost. Sore loser syndrome?  A little bit. But also disappointed in the American people, shamed that he was the best we had to offer.  Also disappointed that she didn’t do better to beat him.

I want to quiet the bullshit in my head.  I want to shut off FB, I want to stop reading, stop listening and just go about my day praying to God he doesn’t do anything that turns my world upside down. But I have this luxury, don’t I?  Most of the people in my little world do. I have a job, I have insurance, I’m not a minority.  I don’t have to worry that our VP elect is going to try and “cure me” of my homosexuality. My outrage is small, comparatively speaking. My worries are trivial. Am I wrong? Does this make me a hypocrite, to be mad but silent? To bury my head in the sand and go on like this nightmare never happened?  I’m still weighing the options afforded to me. I guess I don’t want my silence to be tacit approval of what’s going on in this country, but the noise.  The noise is killing my spirit.

I do know one thing. I will stand up and fight for discrimination that happens in my little world. My son told me a kid in his class at the high school wrote a quote on the board “Homosexuality is a sin,” referencing a book from the Bible.  My son told him “Hey, you can’t do that, this is 2016,” while another kid came up and just erased it, saying to this boy “what are you doing?”  This made me proud. In my house, I want my kids to stand up to bullies. Maybe this can be my contribution. My teeny, tiny contribution, to raise 3 boys that aren’t assholes. I can hope our President elect chooses to become someone they can admire and look up to.  In the meantime, I will urge them to reserve judgement and continue to tear down those that would tear down the progress, slim as it may be, that has been made in this country.

My better half said that “you know who” is an extreme person with some extreme views, ones we aren’t used to hearing. What that leaves us with are extreme reactions.  Guilty. Right, wrong or otherwise, I need to stop. For my own sake. Emotions are high, I hope they settle down for the sake of everyone else.

I want to end this on a high note, on a positive note, wrap it up with a nice little bow. But I can’t. We are just at the very beginning of 4 years of “not sure what tomorrow is going to bring.” My husband keeps saying that maybe different is going to be better, God I hope he’s right.

22 Days

22 days. Last month it was 25. The month before, a standard 28. These last 2 months may just be a fluke. Or it could be the beginning. I’m 43, can I really be perimenopausal? Is that really a word? Ok, so it is, I googled it. “The time when a woman’s body naturally makes the transition to infertility.” Well, my friends, the stories I’ve heard about menopause around town makes it seem anything BUT natural. Supernatural, maybe, but definitely not natural. What it sounds like is what would happen if I stuck my finger in a light socket and then hopped in the bathtub. Cruel and unusual is my best estimate.

The symptoms of perimenopause sound like one of those new drug commercials: side effects may or may not include dizziness, shorter/longer periods, heavier/lighter periods, hot flashes, cold toes, tired but unable to sleep, severe cramping, clotting, death, leprosy, dermatitis, narcolepsy, blindness, paralysis, general emotional unrest, moodiness, flat out bitch-mode and/or psychopathic tendencies. Natural? I think not. So my body begins the process of stopping to produce eggs and apparently everything inside me goes haywire. And my friends, this process can take YEARS. Hell, I can produce another human being in 9 months flat. I’ve got 3 of them as proof. I’m calling bullshit. At least with your period you know what to expect every 4 weeks or so.  Menopause apparently brings you an erratic, maddening, painful, and turbulent experience.  Sign. Me. Up.

My Mom started menopause early, around 40 if memory serves. But my sister who is 45 is going along just like normal. So it wouldn’t surprise me if I drew the short straw here and got involuntarily signed up for the 120-month payoff program. Not that I wish for the need for surgical removal of one’s woman parts, but every time I bring up periods and menopause, my friends and family who no longer experience the exhileration of a monthly visitor, belly laugh, throw their heads back and point at me. It’s kind of an evil laugh, too. Not ashamed to admit that I’ve considered more than once, faking some pretty serious medical symptoms and kinda, sorta, make some off-handed remarks about a hysterectomy to my gynecologist. It could totally work.

The flip side of this of course is the fact that I won’t be able to have another baby. What’s that you say????  Can’t get pregnant?!?! Oh, you mean there’s a sunny side to this horror show? To some, the realization that you can’t reproduce any longer is some sort of loss. As if you are less of a woman now that you can’t make babies. (Don’t get me wrong, I am only speaking of those women who go thru the process as they age out of fertility, not those who prematurely lose the ability to have children.) I knew when my third child was born that I didn’t want any more children, buuuuuuuuut, I didn’t know it enough to have my tubes tied after numero 3. I wasn’t ready to make it permanent. But now that that decision may be taken out of my hands 13 years later, I’m totally ok with it.  I know I’m ok with it because I see other women around my age who are pregnant and I feel bad for them. Like reeeeeeally bad. I think about going thru the child rearing stages again and I swear, it’s enough to make me want to cry. Yes, I love my children, and I’m not saying I wouldn’t love other children that I could have, but it’s not wrong to say I don’t WANT any more children. I am done with that stage of my life, no more diapers, no more 2am feedings, no more shoe-tying, no more elementary school, no more babysitters, no more tantrums, and the list goes on and on. My family is complete and I am totally at peace with that.

But I digress…I had 2 IUD’s after my 3rd child, and they were fantastic!  Birth control I didn’t have to think about and the big bonus? Almost non-existent periods. I was living the dream for 10 years. When I had the 2nd one removed, my gynecologist told me some women’s bodies take up to a year to go back to regular periods. 3 weeks. That lying bitch. Been every 28 days for a while now. Until it wasn’t. So now I fear I am going to have to pay the piper with this menopausal roulette wheel. I had it too good for too long. The unpredictability of it all has me nervous. I’m a planner, and word on the street is, you don’t plan menopause, it just kind of owns you.

So now what? Sit around and wait for my randomized periods? I’m really at a loss here. And that doesn’t happen to me very often. Stuck between a rock and a hot flash. Guess I may be on this roller coaster ride whether I want to be or not. But maybe 22 days was just a fluke and I’ll be waiting in line for another 15 years instead.  Whatever it turns out to be, I see a whole lot of complaining in my future.  Shocker, I know.

 

Pissed Off or Pissed On?

Do you ever have a bad mood day, that you just are ok with? You decide, I am taking this crappy mood and nurturing it. I’ll pet it and feed it and make it part of my every move. I’ll own this bitch, make it my middle name. I will purposefully have thin skin and let every little thing get to me. I will write less than super friendly emails, eavesdrop on conversations that just make me want to strangle someone. Things that don’t affect me, I’ll still get up in arms about them, think that person was out to get me, just me. Be annoyed at happy pictures and statuses on FB, be irritated with people that want something from me, temporarily forget what empathy is and replace it with apathy. Things and people that don’t normally get to me, will make me want to spit nails. Envy and slothfulness and wrath will be my mantra.  10 commandments?  Forget that, I’m all about the 7 deadly sins.

Just as we can choose to be happy, can we choose to be mad? Is it ok to let those negative emotions flow, just for a day? Is it like one of those juice cleanses? Better on the other side of a good old fashioned shit fit? What about acting happy when you’re not, can’t that cause some sort of health problems?  An aneurysm or eye twitch, or some such physical manifestation from holding in my bad mood. So many times we just let things slide and go on about our day, not expressing typically negative opinions and thoughts because 1) what’s the point, you can’t change stupid 2) none of your business anyway 3) my Mom always taught me if you don’t have anything nice to say, don’t say anything.   But what about the people that are mean to me? Attack me for something that isn’t under my control?  Why are some people the punching bag and others get to be Mike Tyson?  Today I want to be like Mike.

It’s not anyone or anything in particular. It’s everyone. And everything. Work, home, family, friends, no one is exempt today. It’s what you’re wearing, what you’re saying, your whining and complaining, you’re doing it wrong, you won, you lost.  I don’t care. You’re forgetting, you need me to clean up your mess, it’s broken, it’s ugly, you’re making bad choices.  It’s all like fingernails on a chalkboard to me today.  Is this what serial killers feel like? Coffee, food, exercise, sleep, wine, nothing will make it better today. Ok, maybe wine.  But I doubt it. I’m right, you’re wrong.  You’re too slow, too lazy, a slacker, wimpy, and I don’t want to deal with you today.  I can’t pretend today.

Today I’m not doing your job. Today I’m not putting up with your stupid requests. Today I’m not feeling sorry for you. Today I don’t care if you feel sick. Today I’m not feeling guilty for ignoring you or snapping at you. I just can’t. It’s not you, it’s me. Today I’m just gonna put my head down, do my duty and go to bed. Bad attitude you say? Damn straight. And then tomorrow, I’ll probably wake up just fine.  I’ll go back to smiling, playing nice, being excited for you, helping you, going out of my way to make it better for you, laughing, being compassionate. And I’ll be happy to do it. Back to my normal, fun loving, helpful and funny self. But right now, I’m taking my toys and going home.

 

Light at the End of the Tunnel

I need to buy new lamps.  Anyone that knows me knows I am REALLY insanely bad at making choices, especially when given a lot of options.  My standard line at the McDonald’s drive thru is “what do they have?” Cause you never know, maybe they came up with a new McGreenBean sandwich, and I don’t want to miss it.  So with the internet and a flexible budget, I am completely overwhelmed with the amount of choices in lamps.

I do have some “husband guidelines” to keep in mind.  He hates a dark room, and although we have a fan light and he is planning on installing recessed lighting, I need white shades and a lamp that takes up to a 600 watt bulb.  None of this energy saving crap where you get 2 watts that lights up a 3 inch space around your left ear, but you save $.40 over the 10 year span of the lightbulb.  Other than that, he usually stifles his opinion on whatever style I choose. He dislikes most of, well, everything, so it’s hard not to buy something that he doesn’t loathe.  21 years ago, I made a promise to him:  I will never buy us flower bedding.  And I haven’t.  All other home decor is open season though.

And then I have my own personal guidelines to consider and reconsider.  I’d love a glass base lamp.  But I don’t live in a museum.  I live in a house where everything is used, no show rooms, no fancy rooms where we only sit 2 times a year.  I live in a house with 2 rambunctious cats, 4 permanent male residents and anywhere from 2-5 extra male drifters of the high school variety on weekends that all play soccer, enjoy wrestling and breaking shit.  I need a glass lamp like a I need a white cashmere sweater. (As long as I have kids in my house, no white clothing will stay white while on my body for longer than 4 seconds. It’s just a fact.)  Not to mention that the fact that the reason I need new lamps is because the floor lamp finally took it’s last spill onto my wood floor and was unrepairable, and the matching table lamp has fallen more times than I can remember.  So buying a glass lamp would fall under the “what the fuck was I thinking” category.  And that makes me sad.  But I will overcome.

Secondly, do I HAVE to buy matching lamps?  Am I bold enough to buy a floor lamp that does not come in a set with the table lamp?   Have I watched the prerequisite number of HGTV hours to make such a decision? I’m very nervous  that it will look bad and my friends will lie to me and say “oh it’s very pretty!” when behind my back they are saying, “who does she think she is, Kitty Bartholomew?”  I can’t take that kind of rejection.  I get very tense thinking about whether colors, styles, fabrics, etc. match enough.  It looks so good on TV, but then I try and replicate it and it looks like I just raided the garbage bin at the Goodwill store.  I have some confidence in myself, but buying mismatched lamps would push me to the edge of that confidence.  I’m sweating just thinking about it.

Lastly, I’ve bought stuff online before and been so pleased with the item. But then I’ve also purchased things sight unseen and been horrifically disappointed and shamed that I fell for such an obvious case of consumer fraud. I’ve only learned that it doesn’t matter the cost of the item, very cheap things can be great and very expensive things can be awful.  So do I buy a lamp online?  Or drive my ass all over metro Detroit, being indecisive at $2.00 a gallon? AND potentially wasting my precious time without actually finding a lamp I love, then ending up buying one online ANYWAY??  Oh the agony.

Will I throw caution to the wind and buy a glass lamp?  Buy mismatched lamps? Buy online? Or just give up and go buy one at Meijer next grocery shopping day, that I will instantly regret the second I set the lamp up and throw the box out. Only time will tell. In the meantime, we will sit very unhappily in our poorly lit living room, waiting for me to make a decision that will likely never come.  Although in the epic words of Canadian rock band Rush, in their classic anthem Freewill, “if you choose not to decide, you still have made a choice.” Didn’t think I could make this meaningful, did ya?

 

 

 

End of an Era

Later this month I will watch my oldest son’s last soccer game of his career.  From a “career” standpoint, it wasn’t all that long, wasn’t all that glorious, wasn’t noteworthy to anyone but some family and friends, and that day will likely come and go with little fanfare. But this Mom will be one sad lady. If I were to brood about it too much right now, the tears would come.

We didn’t set out to have soccer be Riley’s “thing.” It was just a sport to do, a reason to get out of the house and get him involved with something.  The first time we took him to the city league at age 4, he cried on the field.  We went home.  The following spring we finally wised up and found out the details of the soccer that was going on across the street from our house. Cabrini Recreational Soccer. Cue the Star Wars theme music. When we first started, it was free–and we got a t-shirt, bonus! It wasn’t long before Riley was 7 and we knew we had a Cristiano Ronaldo on our hands.  It just wasn’t fair that he was playing on the 7/8 year old team, making the other kids look silly. He ended up playing on the 9/10 team and eventually he started travel soccer at age 9. He was athletic, had speed, and handled the soccer ball much better than almost every other kid on the the field.  At the time, we were sharpening our pencils, we knew the contracts for FIFA would be rolling in from every European powerhouse team 🙂  Ah, the dream of every young, mildly skilled, adolescent kid’s parents.

Fast forward 10 years to my 17 year old, high school senior, Varsity team soccer player.  We’ve spent hundreds of hours on the soccer field watching him play, even more in the car driving to training, games, and tournaments. The monetary total?  Off the top of my head estimate would be $25k.  Nearly 10 years of travel soccer costs, futsal, camps, technical training, uniforms, hotel stays, gas, beer (at the tournaments…let’s be real people), eating out, and Slurpees (at least $1k right there, you’re welcome 7-11).  And don’t get me started on the cleats.  2 pair of cleats a year, plus indoor shoes, plus turf shoes.  We can put shoes on three whole 11v11 teams with the number of pairs of soccer footwear we have bought for Riley. Didn’t seem so bad in monthly installments, but when you total it up…whew, that’s a lot of money.  We are blessed to have been able to do all this for him.

Riley is a good, solid, soccer player. Fantastic? No. Better than some? Yes. Fun to watch?  For sure. Mom-colored opinion of his play? Amazing, astonishing and simply unparalleled in skill 😉 He struggled with always being smaller than his similar aged teammates.  Not hitting puberty and the ensuing growth spurt until 16 made it difficult for him to compete physically. But he did his best (usually). And even on his worst days, I still love watching him play. If you’ve ever participated in a kid vs. parent athletic contest, you’ve experienced what I will term “Complete and Utter Incapability of Keeping up with your Child in a Sporting Endeavor that Requires Running.” Soccer is hard (regardless of what you football naysayers will spout).  Although if you’ve ever attended a soccer game, you will very clearly hear numerous parents yelling from the stands various ways their child/the team could be doing better. Because everything looks easier from the bleachers. Well, Mom and Dad, put some cleats on and you come out here and show me just how easy it is. I include myself in this category. In a roundabout way of getting to my point, Riley may not be Ronaldo, but he’s talented in a way I’ve grown to truly appreciate. And my goodness, I will truly miss it when he’s done.

He’s made friends, I’ve made friends, I’ve made friends with his friends. I’ve laughed and cried and smiled on the sidelines, I’ve frozen my butt off and been sunburned more than once.  Brendan managed his travel teams over the years, and I took the helm on managing his high school team, while Brendan announces home games in the booth.  It sometimes feels we’ve put in more time than he has. But that’s what parents do. And not because we love soccer. But because we love Riley. That’s what parents do. I wouldn’t trade a second.  But I am SOOOO happy he quit t-ball after 1 season.

Today’s Top Stories

Sorry for my absence, for those of you who care.  End of the year school activities had me unable to form complete sentences.

A lot of very touchy subjects are in the news spotlight right now.  It’s enough to make me want to swear off Facebook and media in general.  Everyone is pissed about something.  Many are about pissed about everything.  Some are pissed about nothing, but I don’t know any of those people.  As I’ve constructed my opinion on these matters, whether just in my head or verbalized to my friends who I know will agree with me, the conclusion I’ve come to is that I’m pretty laid back about everything.  Or just too lazy to be really passionate about any one of these topics.  I have opinions, and I like to express them, but they aren’t always based on years of research, or some staunchly held religious belief.  I just think them because I do.  I have some rationales, but not always.  I generally don’t try to persuade people to my side of the fence, so I think it’s ok to just have an opinion. In any case…

#1-Gay Marriage-or as you’ve heard some call it, “Marriage”  Truth is I can’t say anything smart that you haven’t already heard in the past week since SCOTUS made their ruling.  I think it’s just fine and dandy if homosexuals want to get married.  It doesn’t bother me one bit.  Not in a religious sense, not in a political sense, not in a sexual sense, not in any sense.  Some will say I have no sense.  And I’m ok with that.  My religion does think being homosexual is a sin, although we don’t exactly talk about it much.  It was a 5 paragraph article on the 4th page of the quarterly national newsletter. The equivalent of “Cat Show Spectacular in Tuscaloosa” news coverage.  I don’t agree.  Plain and simple.  I think God made homosexuals just they way they are and they deserve the legal benefits of a binding marriage contract.

#2-Sub-text of #1 Gay Marriage opinion-I also think homosexual couples should be allowed to adopt children.  The homosexuals couples I know that are raising children are doing a bang up job.  Whereas on the other hand, I’ve witnessed some seriously fucked up heterosexuals doing their best, yet pathetic, version of a sideshow act of parenting I’ve ever seen.  I’m not saying sterilization should be legal…but I have a really long list of those who should be first in line should it ever come to that.  Lots of unwanted children out there, give them a loving parent, gay or straight, and they have a fighting chance in this world.

#3 Confederate Flag nonsense-Stop flying it over government buildings like a badge of honor.  Otherwise, leave it be.  We can’t rewrite or make disappear all the shitty history we’d rather forget.  We don’t have to worship former symbols of hatred, but rather teach what was and learn to be better.  And Dukes of Hazard rules!

#4 Gun Violence- We own a handgun and several WWII display rifles.  I hate all the gun violence that rips families apart on a daily basis across our country (not just Detroit, folks…).  It shames me that our country’s price for our right to bear arms is such tragedy. Like the war on drugs, I’m fairly certain there is not an answer to this question that will EVER work.  Law abiding citizens will never give up their right to lawfully own guns while criminals will abuse that right and kill innocent people. It just makes me sad.

#5 Kim Kardashian’s pregnancy-refer to previous statement about sterilization.

#6 Rob Stark being killed off on Game of Thrones-The red headed witch lady better bring him back to life next season or someone is gonna be in a world of hurt.

#7 USA Women’s Soccer Team-They won the World Cup in glorious fashion!  Being a soccer household, of course we were watching, but I know plenty of non-soccer freaks that also were engrossed.  Win for the sport, win for the ladies, win for USA!

So here is where I leave you today. There will be friends and family who disagree with my opinions, and that’s perfectly ok with me. They of course are entitled to their opinions as much as I am.  My opinions are not up for debate any more than theirs are. What these hotly discussed issues have brought to the forefront of my mind is that I need to be as respectful of those who I feel are on the “wrong” side of the fence, as I expect them to be of me.  And in that vein, what I’ve found that works is seriously just to stop reading.  I get sucked into the comments on a Facebook post, full of “racist bastards, sodomites, faggots, gun toting rednecks” and verbiage that makes me seethe with anger.

The vehemence and name calling and attacks and fury and outrage is just exhausting.  I have trouble enough getting my Keurig power button not to stick, this shit is too much for me. I hate the fact that I lay in bed last night unable to sleep due to swirling thoughts of the widespread, ongoing and irrational reactions to these issues.  So I step away. And the truth is, I can’t change them, and arguing with them sure isn’t going to get me anywhere.  So respect.  Or at least blissful ignorance. Can’t we all just get along?

“I believe in God, but not as one thing, not as an old man in the sky. I believe that what people call God is something in all of us. I believe that what Jesus and Mohammed and Buddha and all the rest said was right. It’s just that the translations have gone wrong.”  –John Lennon