Sunday morning I discovered that we had no hot water. I went to the basement hoping it was something simple like the pilot was out on the water heater. Unfortunately, I discovered a flooded basement and a dead water heater. We spent hours that day moving all of the stuff out of the flooded part and vacuuming out water. There is a section of carpet that will likely need to be pulled up and thrown away. There’s also another section of the basement with a leak that gets damp when it rains, so there is more carpet that will need to go. Monday I payed a lot of money to a plumber to install a new water heater.
Last night, we went to watch a show on our DVR and the play back was choppy and kept freezing. I rebooted the box as they recommend and after a long time thinking it wouldn’t reboot, it finally did. The DVR worked for one show and was bad again. Verizon tells me the box is bad and I need a new one. Easy fix, but I lose hours of recorded television. I’m not sure Verizon understands why that irritates me so much. They think I should just be happy with my new box. This one is just a minor irritant, but following so closely on the water heater debacle, it was hard to take. Maybe this one will help me with my TV addiction.
I’m trying to think positive and think that maybe all of the bad stuff will just make the next good thing that happens that much sweeter, but the pessimist in me is holding his breath waiting for the next thing to go wrong. I’m thinking a car this time. Christmas vacation will come at the perfect time this year. I can’t wait to get away to Kentucky and not think about things for a while.
But the topic of this post is something that really bothers me and I decided not to keep quiet. I am appalled that the same people who are all over the internet loudly proclaiming that they are being persecuted because people are saying Happy Holidays are the same people who don’t understand why people are so worked up over police killing unarmed men and the US torturing people. I will loudly proclaim my Christianity and show how Christian I am by demanding that everyone recognize my personal religion by greeting me only with my personal preference during the holiday season. Human life and dignity? Meh. What’s the big deal? They probably deserved it and even if they didn’t, doesn’t mean anything to me personally. Why do I care if some criminal is dead? Someone wished me a Happy Hanukah! That’s what matters! Why do I care if some mooslim from another country was tortured? They probably hated America, so they get what they deserve. What really matters is that all the gift cards in the stores say Happy Holidays. I’m being persecuted! It’s about time we started talking about what’s important! Where’s the CNN expose on the use of generic holiday greetings? After all, isn’t Christianity all about that and not loving other people? Oh, wait…
Actually, it’s more likely that you don’t like me at all, but if you like me at all, you probably like the online me more. I’m much better in a non face to face interaction. I’m also much better inside my own head(it’s a scary place). This blog post sounded much better in my head than it will ever sound in print and will be much better in print than it would ever be in person. Unless I know you well, I will struggle to do something as simple as engage in small talk. I’m horrible at parties and will usually be found in a corner somewhere avoiding the potential small talk opportunities. Online I can talk to strangers, make jokes, engage in lively discussion about a variety of topics and be the type of person some people might actually like. In person, I still suffer from the same self-esteem driven shyness that I suffered from in high school. It’s a little better these days, but I still feel awkward in a lot of social situations. This also carries over to work related things as well. I go to conferences and then can’t bring myself to do the “networking” expected of conference attendees. I’m horrible in job interviews. I don’t like to speak in trainings and meetings unless I have to, even though I have a lot of valuable input(I am a genius after all). I know there is a lot to dislike about the Internet, but it has been a great thing for people like me. I’m much better when you can’t see me(and it’s better for your eyes).
The big news in schools locally is Montgomery County’s decision to remove all references to religious holidays from the school calendar. This move was promoted by the local Muslim community’s request to have one of their holy days off. It was a reasonable request. Most local school systems are closed for the major Christian and Jewish holidays, the precedent has been set. What can they do? Oh, I guess they can make a really stupid decision is response. I have two problems with this decision.
1. Do they think people are too dumb to know what they are doing? Do they think people are so stupid that next year when they are closed on Yom Kippur that people won’t realize why they aren’t open because Yom Kippur is not specifically stated on the calendar? A lot of systems already say winter holiday or winter break when they close at Christmas. I don’t think anyone is blind to the fact that they chose hat time frame because it’s Christmas just because they call it something else. Don’t insult your public’s intelligence. This only makes people mad and does not even address the request.
2. As a public institution you can not promote or endorse one religion over another. If you set the precedent that you will close on certain religions major holidays, you are setting yourself up for requests to close on other major religious holidays. If you say in, you are discriminating based on religion. You cant say that we won’t open or hold activities on x religion’s holy days, but then be business as usual on another’s. I’m not saying take away the religious holidays. I’m very happy that I get the day off on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day. I’d be perfectly OK with being off on Rosh Hashannah and Yom Kippur (apologies is spelled wrong. I’m too lazy to look it up). I’m just saying that once you start down that road as a public institution you can’t throw up a stop sign when another religion wants to join in.
Each year I set a reading goal. That reading goal has always been a quantity goal. Usually 100 books. I always meet that goal and this year I am ahead of my goal. I sometimes add in a page number goal. I’ve been thinking that I need to change the type of goal I set next year. I read a lot of books that I finish, but don’t love. They aren’t bad, but they are forgettable. I read a lot of authors out of habit even though they write the same book over and over again. I can read a Stuart a woods book in a day, but it’s not different than the last Stuart Woods book I read. I don’t discover new books anymore because I’m reading through my books from my reserve list instead of browsing the shelves. Many of those books are on my reserve list because they are written by authors I read regularly. Some of these authors are still consistently good their books might be in my top ten list for the year. Some of them are like the aforementioned Stuart Woods. They are consistent and boring and after I finish I wonder why I still read them. It is time for me to stop reading based on habit and start discovering new books and authors.
I do the same thing with TV. It’s really hard for me to give up on a former favorite show once it is not as good as it once was. Watch them becomes a chore. Something I’m doing out of habit not because I’m still enjoying it. I think in addition to habit, this also stems from my misguided belief that the show will return to its former level of entertainment. This never actually happens. If I can cut the cord on some of these shows, I will probably find time to read some of the new books mentioned above. I need to remember quality is better than quantity.
It was announced recently that Paul Feig will be making a new Ghostbusters movie and that the new Ghostbusters will be all women. From reading twitter it seems that a lot of people are really upset about this and will not watch a new Ghostbusters if it stars all women.
Personally, if there was going to be a new Ghostbusters, I wish it could have been done before Harold Ramis died and was an actual sequel with all of the originals. I’m not against reboots and remakes like a lot of people, but bringing back the original three would have been great. Obviously, with Ramis dead and Bill Murray not interested anyway, that will not happen. So, if there is to be a Ghostbusters, it will have to be a reboot. Here’s what I think about the reboot and the women issue:
I think the script is much more important than the gender make up of the cast. If you have a bad script, the gender of your cast won’t make a difference. Bad script equals bad movie. Of course, the cast is important and if you have a good script, you need the right cast to make it a good movie. Once again, this is not dependent on gender. I would much rather see a Ghostbusters with women like Amy Poehler, Tina Fey, Aubrey Plaza, Emma Stone, Melissa McCarthy, Kristen Wiig, Leslie Mann, Aisha Tyler etc. than a Ghostbusters with less talented male actors. The gender isn’t the issue for me. The talent is and all of those women, plus plenty more, are extremely talented and would make a good movie with the right script.
I assume the people out there who think I am wrong and that an all female Ghotbusters will automatically suck are the morons who believe women can’t be funny. I think Paul Feig is probably ok with them skipping the film.