Monthly Archives: July 2011

Yes, Virginia, There is a Debt Ceiling

Well, today is Thursday, and I’m not feeling particularly insecure about anything at the moment.  What, you ask, is the correlation between Thursday and my self-esteem?  That’s a good question…I can see where you might be confused.  Thursday is B-Day.  Blog Day.  And I derive much of my creative inspiration from the state of my mental well-being.  Therefore, since I am feeling pretty good about myself today, it would follow that I would have nothing to talk about.

Unless I wanted to talk about the ever-expanding debacle going on in Washington, D.C. (and I do), which, as common sense would dictate, is just the result of the U.S. Government blowing itself up.  And, I figure I’m to blame for it.  Well, not me, per se, but my apathy.  My indifference.  My inability to get past the notion that one person can’t make a dent in someone else’s stupidity.

Silly me.

Raising the debt limit is really a no-brainer.  We’ve spent the money.  It’s gone.  Poof.  We’ve written checks we can’t cash.  Now, we have to make good on our promises and we can’t do that unless we raise the debt ceiling.  Refusing is like closing the proverbial barn door.  It’s like standing in the middle of a temporal causality loop where the consequences of our actions occur before we act, and when we do act, said consequences remain unchanged because they’ve already manifested themselves.  Get it?

In a nutshell, we gave our word and we have no choice but to honor it.  I just don’t understand why we felt so free to spend money we didn’t have in the first place.

Now, I have never been a Congress-person or a Senator, which in some circles disqualifies me from expressing an opinion, and I’m the first person to admit I don’t know squat about Economics and Government and how the two go together (if at all…which may be the problem).  But, I figure if it weren’t for me, and people like me (I’m not unique, regardless of what you’ve heard), the U.S. Government wouldn’t be in the shape it’s in.

I, and gullible people like me, assumed these folks knew what they were doing.  What I should have done is not left the children unsupervised.  When my son was about three years old, he took a can of gasoline out of the garage, walked out to the front yard dressed in only his diaper, and proceeded to water my bushes with it.  The consequences of my sloppy supervision led to my boxwoods dying a gruesome death—and it could have been so much worse.  Same situation here… I should have had the sense, taken the time, sacrificed the brain matter, to educate myself on whatever issues I needed to educate myself on in order to comprehend exactly what kind of trouble they were getting themselves into. Then, I should have called them, or wrote to them, or sent them a text, or dispatched via owl my wishes as to how they should proceed.  I should have looked over their shoulders, questioned every dollar they spent, and suspected every action behind every vote.  Which would have been totally impossible, I know.  But, I should have paid attention.

To give myself (and other gullible people like me) some credit, though, I don’t think I went too far out on a limb by assuming they knew how to keep (and balance!) a checkbook.  Instead, I think we elected a bunch of kindergartners who can’t count (my grandson is only four and he can count to eleven).

Outside of my own laissez faire attitude, I have no answers…I just barely have the questions to this very complicated problem.  But, it’s obvious that the cat has played with the ball of yarn for so long there doesn’t seem to be any hope of untangling enough of it to knit so much as a pot holder.   The only thing left to do is cut off the offending snarls and start all over.

Term limits, anyone?

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Mourning Harry

When I hit the blue “publish” button here, I will become one of a multitude of bloggers who are writing about the end of Harry Potter, the defeat of You-Know-Who, and last installment of the Harry Potter franchise, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows (speaking of which, am I the only human being on this earth who doesn’t know what “Hallows” means?).  For me, writing about it is therapy…I am officially in mourning.  Losing Harry is like being separated from my favorite blanket, or being evicted from the house I grew up in. For years, if there wasn’t a new Harry Potter book to look forward to, there was always the next movie. Now, there will be no more Hogwarts.  No more Quidditch, invisibility cloaks, or nearly-headless ghosts.  No more spells, moving staircases, or secret rooms.

Bummer.

My step-son bought me the first two books for my birthday a few years ago. What made him do that, I have no idea. I’m not representative of the ideal target market for books like that, what with my being over thirteen years old and all, but I had seen every Harry Potter movie to date, so I guess he thought I’d enjoy them. And, I did.  I steamrolled through the first two books, then had to surreptitiously sneak into the children’s section of the local Barnes & Noble like a teenager after curfew to get the next two.  I was mortified that someone might recognize me for the closet Potter fanatic that I was, so I’d spend the time walking to the cash register silently repeating to myself that I was buying them for my grandchildren.  By the time I got there, my cover story was firmly implanted into my psyche, making it impossible for the clerk checking me out to discern the truth.

“No,” my condescending countenance would say, “these are not for me…I’m far too intellectual and emotionally mature for this type of twaddle.  They’re for my grandchildren.”  

Admitting I was hooked on wizardry, witches, and Severus Snape (not to mention words I could pronounce without sounding them out) was just a bit more than I cared to contemplate.

Which perfectly illustrates the main difference between a pragmatist like me, and a creative genius like J. K. Rowling (who comes up with words like “Hallows.”)  I don’t dare to contemplate, and she does.  I am handicapped by literal-cy and she’s not.  People like her have the courage to give their imagination free rein and allow it to peer into dark corners normally deemed off-limits by social or religious convention.  Creative types ask, “why not?” and then proceed to craft a world from scratch, based on a whole bunch of “what ifs.”  I can do that, too, but my “what ifs” are more like, “what if I took this laptop and threw it through a plate glass window?”

Rowling created a truly believable and exciting world, right down to the last werewolf and death-eater.  Gene Roddenberry did the same thing with Star Trek, crafting a credible version of the future that was almost prophetic.  And, one of these days, I’d like to attempt to do the same thing.  And I will.

Just as soon as I get my laptop back from the Doberman next door.

Go-To Thursdays

Today is Thursday, and I’m double-booked.  I don’t know what happened…one minute I had time–lots of it–and the next minute, I didn’t.  Just like that.

I did not realize how much stuff gets scheduled for Thursdays.  I’ve always looked down on Thursday, being convinced it was the most boring, least important, most overrated day of the week.  Even the name “Thursday” is boring.  So, I don’t know if people decided it was time to give Thursday its due, or if they just felt sorry for it, but all of a sudden, it’s become the go-to day.  Even I went to it when I started blogging.  I thought, Thursday is so disdainful, so boring, and since I won’t have anything else going on that day because it’s a Thursday, I’ll start writing a blog, and I’ll post something every Thursday, since there’s a pretty good chance that nothing more important will come up that will keep me from doing it on a regular basis, unless one wants to count writer’s block, and that’s virtually impossible to keep on a regular schedule.

So, I took my chances.  When a friend of mine called me up and asked me to attend an evening Bible study at her church for the next five Thursdays, I didn’t hesitate, and said, yes, I would.  (I should have consulted my day-planner, but I don’t have one.)  My thought-processes were sound, I think, because I don’t think anything of note has ever intentionally happened on a Thursday (except maybe Grey’s Anatomy, and I record that anyway).

Aha!  you say.  Thanksgiving’s on a Thursday!

Well, actually, Thanksgiving is somewhat of an anomaly…it wasn’t supposed to be on a Thursday.  The Pilgrims, with their own day-planners in hand, went to the Indians to see how their schedules looked for Saturday, since Saturdays have always been fun, let-your-hair-down days.  But, the Indians couldn’t do Saturday because they had a fort up-river they had to attack, and the Pilgrims reminded the Indians that there weren’t any forts yet, and the Indians said okay, but then suddenly remembered that there was a hunting party scheduled for that day anyway, and it was too late to cancel the caterer.  So, the Pilgrims said how about Friday?  And the Indians said that Friday’s no good, because they’d be terrible company after having had such a hectic week, but that they could do Thursday, because nothing ever happens on Thursday and they felt sorry for it.  So the Pilgrims agreed to have Thanksgiving on Thursday.

Apparently, a whole lot of other people have re-thought Thursdays, too, because a week after I said yes to the Bible study, I remembered that I had three other commitments on Thursdays falling within the same five-week time frame as this Bible study.  That’s when I realized just how disorganized and out of control my life is.

Turns out it’s a good thing I signed up for that Bible study…it’s on time management.

What’re the odds?

The Role of Ambivalence in the Decision-Making Process

I’ve got a decision to make.  It’s one of those decisions that no matter which way I go—left or right, yes or no—chances are excellent I’ll regret it.  I’d like to totally ignore it (as I do everything else I don’t want to deal with, under the impression that whatever it is will just disappear into irrelevancy), but I’d probably regret that, too.  It’s a lose-lose-lose proposition in my mind, which means I just can’t win.  And, if I can’t win, I may as well surrender – it’s just a matter of choosing the option I’m willing to regret the least for the rest of my days.

The life changing, do-or-die question is this:  Should I, or should I not, attend my high school reunion?

Yeah, I know…that’s a toughy.

On the plus side, I wouldn’t have that far to go; it’s a relatively short drive from here compared to, say, Canada. But I wonder if five hours and the cost of a hotel room are worth subjecting myself to the possibility of ridicule, censure and/or total anonymity.  What if the only three people who knew my name don’t show up, or worse yet, don’t remember me?  What if it was all a nightmare and I just think I graduated…in the bottom half of my class?  What if I’m the only person there who’s been divorced?  Or failed to finished college?  Or doesn’t own an island in the Pacific? What could I possibly have in common with these people, besides an English teacher?

The mature, pragmatic side of me says a lot of people there will be feeling the same way.  It tells me that we’re all adults now, with spouses, children, and grandchildren.  We’ve all had our tragedies, triumphs, successes and failures.  We all look ugly naked.  But, the insecure, childish side (really, the more discerning of the two) knows that the moment I hit the door I’ll magically morph into the introverted, socially gawky teenager I used to be, which will not be an attractive sight – I’ll be a 59-year-old girl with big hands, big feet, and acne.  I’ll be intimidated all over again by the popular kids, the cheerleaders, the football jocks.  I’ll feel left out because I never joined the drill team.  Or ran for student council.  Or got A’s.

So, I guess it’s just a matter of time, waiting to see which side of my ambivalent personality comes out on top.  Of course, if I’m lucky, I’ll still be arguing with myself until it’s too late, which, come to think of it, is the one choice I could live with.

Which smells just like (dare I say it?) a win for both of me!

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