Showing posts from May, 2015

There Are No Bad Guys?

Every story at least 2 sides; and somewhere in between or around those sides is a semblance of truth. Each side's story is its own truth.  Rarely (at least as far as I can see), does either side see its story as wrong or bad. Certainly, neither side, in their mind, is lying.  The way I see it, no one views themselves as the bad guy. That's not to say that people don't do bad things.  It's definitely not to say that people don't do stupid things.  But generally (and I think you'll find that this post is filled with generalizations), I think that people do or think things not because they are bad.  Certainly the person cast in the "villain" role rarely sees him or herself as the bad guy.  Is there anyone out there who woke up one morning and thought/said, "Today I'm going to start being the bad guy?"  Or even on the flip side, did anyone ever wake up and think "I'm going to turn over a new leaf and be a completely good person?

The Pulitzer Project: 10 Books In

Back in January I challenged myself to read as many Pulitzer Prize winners for Fiction as I could.  I knew some would be difficult to find, especially as I planned to read them on my e-reader.  (In this case, that would be my iPod).  With the help of my husband (which means he did all of the work), many of the books were found and towards the end of January I started on my quest with the first book to win the Pulitzer Prize in 1918 (at that time it was in the novel category; later changed to fiction):   His Family.   As of yesterday, I've finished my 10th book,  The Grapes of Wrath,  the winner of the prize in 1939.  You can do the math, I was unable to find quite a few of the early winners (and no award was given in 1920 and Sinclair Lewis declined the prize for  Arrowsmith  in 1926) and I still have a long way to go. So here's what I've read thus far and my impressions:     His Family  by Ernest Poole:  I didn't know what to expect from this one.  Su

My Imperfect Home

This June will mark 20 years since I moved into my home.  (September will mark 20 years for my husband.   As an engaged couple at the time it was easier for me to move first; as I already lived in town, next door in fact and then we slowly moved his things over the following months so that by the time the moving men were schedule there really wasn't all that much to move.  Just the heavy pieces like a piano.)  Way back then, I came up with the 20 year plan; a list of things I wanted to accomplish to "improve" upon the house that had been in my family since 1924. I don't know if that list is still around.  I remember there were a dozen or so things on it.  And I'm pretty sure that only one of those things actually got accomplished.  (Replacing the kitchen floor; and that was only accomplished because I asked for funds to do it for my birthday one year.)  I don't remember much of what was on the list.  The only one I do remember was getting a pull down lad

I Don't Want To Work For You/You Don't Want To Hire Me

Being unemployed used to be a rare thing.  Even rarer was looking for work for more than a few months; let another a year or longer.  Out of work for over a year?  What was wrong with you? Sadly, that's not the case anymore.  Though the unemployment numbers don't look so bad, let's not forget the people who have fallen off the grid.  The people who no longer qualify for unemployment benefits, but are still looking for a job. Thankfully, I am employed and have been with the same company for over a year now.  Sadly, I know what it's like to be unemployed for long stretches of time.  I know that frantic feeling as days turn into weeks; weeks into months and then...It's enough to make the most chipper of people plunge into the depths of despair. Despite being employed, my resume is still out there in public.  I've got a LinkedIn profile, so plenty of people can see my experience.  It's no surprise that I occasionally get emails and phone calls from

The Power of Thank You

In my opinion the phase "Thank You" is not used enough.  It's simple enough to say and yet I hear it less and less.  Perhaps I am getting old.  (Ok, I know I am getting old.)  I was taught "old fashioned" manners by my parents (and I'm trying to teach my son the same).  It was drilled into me.  You say thank you.  You write (or now email) thank you notes.  It's polite and it's the right thing to do. Yesterday, as you know if you've been keeping up with this blog, was our town council election. While I made an informed decision on who I voted for, one of the reasons I voted for one of the candidates was simple; he thanked me.  It started off with a neighbor asking me to sign a petition to have this candidate put on the ballot.  At that time I knew a little about the candidate and putting my name on a petition didn't mean I was going to vote for him; it just meant that I thought he was worth being considered.  A few weeks later, I rece

Why You Should Vote

In my little town, elections will be held for town council tomorrow (May 12th).  It's a little election; it's not going to determine who is President of the US or who the state governor is.  But it is an important election.  In reality ALL elections are important. Just ask the candidate in town who lost by one vote during the last town council election.  Don't you think every vote mattered to him?  (He earned my utmost respect by conceding with grace and dignity.  He also gets my respect by running again in this election.  Obviously, he is passionate about his town.) Another candidate in this election also ran last time and did not win.  But he also must feel that he can make a difference in this town.  I admire them both for their tenacity and their dedication. My vote, matters a great deal to both of them.  My vote does make a difference.  And yours does too. Be it local or national.  (While it may be less likely for someone to lose by just one vote in a larger electi

Teacher & Nurse

From what I've been seeing on the net, this week is both Teacher AND Nurse Appreciation week.  Two incredibly difficult and (in my opinion) underrated professions that certainly do not get the appreciation that they deserve. Think about the teachers in your life for a minute.  Is there anyone out there who can't come up with at least one name of a teacher that made an impact on their life?  An unforgettable teacher that did something that made an indelible mark on you?  It doesn't matter if it was preschool, elementary school, high school, college...hasn't everyone has had at least one teacher that did or said something that made a difference in your life? To name a nurse might be a bit more difficult, but still I doubt if there is anyone out there who is grateful for one specific nurse that helped them in a time of need.  Nurses are the faces of a hospital; the ones who are there on the floor when you need them.  I will never forget the nurse who brought me ou

Cinco De Mayo: Celebrating the Underdog

It's NOT Mexican Independence Day.  But for some it may be an excuse to drink tequila and eat tacos. (Do you really need an excuse to drink tequila and eat tacos?  The "holiday" after all, this year falls on Tuesday which has managed to become "Taco Tuesday" for many households.)  There is reason to celebrate and remember Cinco de Mayo, even if you're not in Mexico. Cinco de Mayo actually signifies/celebrates the day of an unlikely win for the Mexican Army over a much larger and better trained French army in Puebla.  (Not include a bunch of ragtag colonial army fighting off the British.)  We can ignore the fact that the French eventually DID defeat the Mexican army and ruled from 1864-1867. When the "little guy" triumphs over the "big baddie" it's always worth celebrating.  After all, don't we all identify with the "little guy?"  Haven't we all, in one way or another been picked on by a "big baddie?"

May the 4th Be With You?

When did May the 4th become an "unofficial" holiday?   We all get the joke, right?  May the 4th be with you!  It's "Star Wars" day! I don't know when the joke/day started.  I know it's been around for several years.  Probably longer than I might have noticed.  I have no idea when it first hit and became a phenomenon (Wikipedia claims 1979 was when it was first used) but its here and it's not going anywhere. Many people probably cannot remember a time when Star Wars was not part of our culture.  I know I'm old because I remember when the movie first came out. (Way back in the dark ages when were used to go to a local theater to see a movie and there was only a single theater and it showed only one movie for a LONG time.) The movie came out in May of 1977.  It didn't hold much interest for me.  It was a "space" movie.  I wasn't into that.  But eventually I came around, though I don't think I saw the movie until la

Made It To May

If April Showers bring May Flowers, what do May Flowers bring?* We did have some damp weather during the month of April and it was definitely cooler than the average April.  We've finally made it to May and the flowers are finally starting to bloom. Has spring finally sprung? Yesterday I went for a walk in the park closest to my office.  I was a "regular" there until the cold weather kept me away.  (That and the whole lost key saga...I still would like to know where my keys got to and why no one turned them in!)  I had walked in the park early in April when the weather had been warmer and my schedule had permitted it.  Although it felt good to be out and about, on those previous walks, the park still looked sad and dreary.  The trees were still barren, the grass not yet green, but that dingy brown/gray. Yesterday, April 30th, I finally saw some signs of spring life.  There were a few flowers out.  The grass had started to grow and turn a healthy shade of gree