Not that anyone wants another middle-aged white guy’s opinion on the way a person of color decides to protest oppression, but here it goes anyway:
First, and most important is that the best thing about this country is freedom. We have freedom of speech and freedom of expression right there in the Constitution. If you truly believe in these freedoms, you will believe that he has a right to express himself in this way. We have the right to not stand up for the national anthem, not say the pledge of allegiance and to even burn the flag if we choose. It’s part of what makes this country great. On the other hand, you have the right to think he is an asshole and say that as much as you want. I have the right to write a rambling, most likely wishy-washy, blog post about the situation. It’s what makes this country great. Everyone has the right to voice their opinions no matter how it makes someone else feel.
Now, on to the decision not to stand during the national anthem. I am someone who gets annoyed at the games when people around me chat during the anthem, so not standing during the anthem is not something I, personally, would do. I will say, however, if given the choice between someone not standing to make a statement as a person of color about oppression or standing, but chatting asshole white guys who talk and guzzle beer during the anthem(something I see at every game) I will choose the person making the statement I’m sure the beer guzzling chatterers think they have the high road here because they are standing. I disagree. I will take Kaep every time over these guys. I will also take him over the people saying he should leave the country if he doesn’t think it’s so great while wearing “Make America Great Again” hats. So you also don’t think America is currently great? Are you leaving soon? Please say yes.
So, how do I personally feel? I think it’s good that he feels strongly about something and wants to make a statement to try to change things. I think his statement was heard because everyone is talking about it. I think I would never choose to sit out the national anthem(though I think it’s odd to now be expected to also stand during Lee Greenwood’s God Bless the USA), but I also realize that I do not have the same personal feelings he doe about the country. I believe that not standing leaves him open to more people thinking he’s an asshole than respecting his stance and I wonder if that is an effective strategy. I think that if you think this is bad then you better not be the person chatting, eating and downing a beer during the same song at the games. I’ve never really liked him and now I dislike him a little more than before.
Burkini Bans: The news broke today that the French court ruled that mayors could not ban burkinis on their public beaches. I was happy to see this news. It’s ridiculous that burkinis were banned in the first place, especially in France where their beaches are generally known for an anything goes attitude when it comes to swimsuits or the lack thereof. This was just another stupid “all Muslims are bad” reaction to terrorism. Somehow, we are supposed to assume a woman in a burkini wants to kill us all and not just simply enjoy the beach while wearing what makes her comfortable. We feel comfortable assuming all Muslims are bad because of terrorist acts of a radical extreme, but we would never assume every white guy with a gun wants to shoot up a movie theater or church. We can’t judge and discriminate against someone else for the actions of another. I’m glad to see the French courts agree.
Birthing Babies: Yesterday the news was posted on sports sites and twitter feeds that AJ Green would miss a game for the birth of his child. This was broken like it was big news. I don’t get why it’s such big news. I missed work when my kids were born. I think most people who have the ability to be there for the birth of their child are there for the event. I know Green makes a lot more money than me, but should that mean that he should go to work instead of being there for the birth? This isn’t news. It’s a father doing the right thing.
Books: I am reading a book that features a deaf character in parts. I like the books, but I think it’s weird that all other dialogue is in regular print, but the dialogue in sign language is in italics. Is this normal for books with deaf characters? Do they really think we need an indication that this dialogue is in sign language? Can’t we just assume that if the deaf character is speaking, this is likely the case? Can’t the dialogue just be in regular print like the rest? I don’t know why it annoys me so much. It just does.
Last night my wife responded to my suggestion that we watch Stranger Things with “I don’t like Winona Ryder.” This is not quite as bad as the fact that she doesn’t like The Breakfast Club, but for me, it’s close. Heathers is one of my favorite movies ever. I also love Beetlejuice and Edward Scissorhands. It’s likely I would like those movies just was much with someone else in the role, but my love for those movies cemented my love for Winona Ryder long ago. I shouldn’t be surprised. I should be past the point of being surprised that she doesn’t share my pop culture loves. She likes action movies and cares more about explosions and car chases than plot and dialogue. I’m fine with action movies, but I prefer movies that have a plot and a good script. Or comedy. I also love a good, dumb comedy. She hates most comedies. I’m not sure how she can live with a guy that is full of dumb jokes.
When it comes to TV, she likes formulaic procedurals. NCIS, Hawaii 5-0, Chicago Fire, etc. I like a good sitcom, superhero shows, medical dramas and HBO/Showtime stuff like Shameless, Game of Thrones, etc. I will admit to getting sucked in to Chicago Fire episodes when she watched them. We do share a love for The Walking Dead, though it took her a long time to admit that she liked it. She also shares my love of medical dramas and will watch Code Black with me, but refuses to watch Grey’s Anatomy. The one area where I guess I’m the weird one is binge watching. She binge watches and I like variety in my viewing.
Musically, we both like 80’s music like most people who are 80’s kids. The difference is, I will seek out new music and have found bands like Bowling For Soup. The Dollyrots, Patent Pending and Ryan Hamilton and the Traitors that I love(some claim I like them because they are 80’s like). I will also listen to The Hits station on Sirius to stay aware of what new music is out there and will pick up some new stuff that I like. She sticks to the 80’s music and has little interest in finding new stuff.
Books – I love to read and read over 100 books a year. I read a lot of different genres written for both teens and adults. She reads 1 or 2 books a year and really only wants to read medical mysteries. If there is no new Robin Cook or Michael Palmer book out, she struggles to find something to read on vacation. I think she actually prefers to just read work papers than a book for enjoyment. That is even weirder than not liking Winona Ryder.
I guess it really is true that opposites attract.
So, this whole first seven jobs thing has been floating around and I’ve considered doing it, but never got around to it. I was just going to post a list, but a friend just posted hers on Facebook with narrative, so I decided to that as well here. So, here they are:
- Ohio County Board of Education – I’m not sure what the actual job title was. It was part of the summer youth jobs program. I was placed here two summers in a row. We took delivery of textbooks, stamped them with their number for tracking, counted out the proper number for each school and then delivered them to the schools. Not a bad summer job. All I remember from this job is remembering that I was still weird and awkward around adults.
- Commons Grill at UK – Not sure if that was the real name of the place. It was on campus near or in the Blanding/Kirwin complex. I was the guy who retrieved the food when it was ready. I didn’t cook anything or work the register. I occasionally scooped ice cream as well. I had issues with management because they didn’t think school obligations were more important than work. I was in a theater class at the time and had to attend plays as part of the class. They would schedule me during those times, my coworkers wouldn’t trade shifts, so I didn’t show up. Not the best way to be as an employee, but I cared about school more than the job. I would post my written reprimands on my wall in the dorm. Needless to say, I did not return the following semester.
- Houseboy at a Sorority – I can’t remember the name of the sorority. I served dinner and washed dishes after. I only have vague memories of this job and can’t say if I was a better employee there than I was at the grill. I do remember one night when I was the only one there and the person in charge was annoyed that I couldn’t do the work as fast alone as I could with help. I remember some of the girls from the house coming back to help me with dishes when they realized I was alone.
- Resident Janitor and the Baptist Student Center – I cleaned the building in exchange for a basement apartment. I enjoyed living where I already spent a lot of time, I enjoyed my friends always being around but I did not enjoy being a janitor. I also don’t think I was very good at it. I left after one school year.
- Circulation Department, King Library, UK – While working at the above job, I decided I also needed a job that paid actual money, so I applied for more campus jobs. I was afraid that I would not be hired because of my time at the grill, but it didn’t take long for the library to call me for an interview. The department that called was the periodicals department. I went up to periodicals and they asked me to go get my application and come back. Turns out the circulation department had also pulled my application, so I went there to pick it up. When I went in to get it, they told me that I really didn’t want to work in periodicals because I would be happier working for them. We talked, they gave me the schedule I wanted and hired me on the spot. I then had to to go tell the periodicals person that I would not be interviewing because I got another job while looking for my application for the interview there. This was the first job I had where I felt like I was actually good at what I was doing. I liked most of the other student workers, I liked the non-student staff and I enjoyed the work. They liked me as well and eventually I was the in-charge student on Sunday nights. They liked me so much that when they couldn’t give me full time hours in the summer due to budget cuts, they found me jobs in other departments to supplement my hours so I wouldn’t quit. So, I count my time in the campus mailroom and the distant learning department as part of this job. The only reason I left was because my wife graduated and got a real job in Cincinnati. It’s possible I would have stayed there forever had we stayed in Lexington.
- Page at Boone County Library – During my time at the above job, I realized I was not a good teacher and changed my major to communications with the goal of going to grad school to get an MLS. While doing that, I needed a job in the Cincy area. Boone County was the first to hire me. I didn’t get a lot of hours and didn’t make a lot of money, but I did get my first experience working in a public library. They later took me on as an intern in the reference department.
- Single Issue Sales/Cincinnati Post – I needed more money than I was making at the library, so I left and delivered newspapers for the Post. I delivered a morning and afternoon edition to street racks and stores in downtown Cincinnati. I actually really enjoyed this job and was in great shape due to my decision to park and walk the streets with my papers instead of driving rack to rack. I was actually pretty good at this as well and made decent money. I also had to work holidays and weekends and eventually looked for a regular 9-5 job. And then I got fat.
If you are my friend on Facebook you will know that our guinea pig Ally died yesterday. We had been feeding her the last couple of days via a syringe with critical care food because she had stopped eating. The hope was that the medicine and the forced feeding would improve her appetite and she would start eating again on her own. Unfortunately, after a brief moment Saturday when she seemed to be a bit improved, she took a turn for the worst and died as she was taken back for treatment at the animal hospital.
Ally was not really my pet. Ally was my daughter’s pet and my daughter and my wife were the ones who fed her, played with her, etc. She came to live with us, as has 4 of our 5 pets, while I was away. This time, I was in New Orleans at the Super Bowl when my son showed me the picture his sister had posted of her new pet. My rule has always been that if a pet comes in to the house without my input I have no responsibility toward their care unless I’m the only one home or I just decide to do it. It’s harder to ignore the cats as they roam the house, so the only care I refuse to do unless I’m alone is cleaning the litter box. It’s easier to ignore the guinea pig and rabbit because they are generally out of sight so they can be out of mind. This all changed this past week.
My wife went out of town on business and then we noticed Ally wasn’t eating. We took her to the vet and they diagnosed her with a respiratory infection and gave us the critical care food and a prescription for antibiotics. At that point, I really thought she would be OK. So, I go from “out of sight, out of mind” to spending a good portion of the day holding Ally while my daughter gets her to eat as much of the critical care food she could. She had to do the feeding part because Ally would not let me feed her. As I said above, we had a brief moment on Saturday when she walked around more and seemed to be considering her food. Then, we had a scary moment later that day when she seemed wobbly and unable to walk, but then recovered. Yesterday, we gave her her medicine, fed her and went to church. After church we bought some strawberries hoping they would spike her appetite. She ignored them and also refused to take any of the critical care food. She also was breathing hard and wanted to hide from us. We took her to an animal hospital that was 40 minutes from home because they were the only ones who answered and confirmed they could take us right in. Unfortunately, as they took her back, she crashed and did not recover.
I knew I would be sad if this happened, if not because of a connection to Ally, at least because I hate to see my kids sad. It was really hard watching my daughter cry over her lost pet. It’s still hard when I write about it now. What i didn’t expect was to still be sad just because of Ally. I guess those days of helping Jessica feed her made me feel a connection to her that I didn’t have before. I put the cage and the carrier in the basement so we wouldn’t see it and be reminded, but I had to carry some stuff down this morning. It was harder seeing the cage than I expected. I hope I have a while before we have to go through this again. It’s been a hard couple of days.
Once again I find myself thinking I should post write something for my blog and once again I can’t think of anything to write. I’m starting to think that maybe I really should focus the blog on one subject to make it easier to plan posts. The only problem with that is that I think it would be even more boring than it already is. If I focus on TV and/or entertainment in general I will be writing on a topic I know and love, but would people actually care? Would anyone bother to click on it again? I’m not so sure. I could focus on politics and news so it would be somewhat general, but that’s kind of what I’ve been doing and I still don’t really post. It would also mean there would be no place for my “What’s on TV Tonight” series I do in the fall. If I stop that, tens of people might be disappointed. I think about these things even though it’s obvious what the blog needs: discipline. The guy writing this thing just doesn’t have the discipline to sit and write every day. A post like this one takes minimal time. It’s not the best post in the world, but it is something. If I can make writing every morning a routine maybe I will eventually find it easy to do. Of course, I used to say this about running, but anyone who can see me in person can tell how that went(not good). Maybe I need to find another 30 day challenge. I was pretty consistent when I did the last one. We can all see how that worked in making me write more consistently. Thus ends the musings of a slacker blogger.
I just saw an article about the possibility of National Parks being sponsored by businesses. I don’t think naming rights are being discussed, but I took it upon myself to come up with some possible sponsored names of National Parks. Feel free to suggest some more in the comments.
Grand Canyon sponsored by Big Ass Fans becomes Big Ass Canyon
Yosemite National Park sponsored by Walmart becomes Yosemite Sam Walton National Park
Great Smokey Bones Bar and Grill Mountains
Woolite Mammoth Cave
French’s Yellowstone National Park
Ever Glade® National Park