The music of a melancholy Monday

Yes, unlike my usual upbeat self, today, Monday, I am feeling blase, minimally motivated, and melancholy-ish. There’s no good reason for it I’m healthy, Hubs and I have a nice home to live in, the spawn are fully functional adults, busy with their own lives far away from here. Maybe that’s it.

September is a month I have always loved. And here I am, smack dab in the middle of it, and I just don’t have the same enthusiasm I used to at this time of year. I see all the pictures on Facebook of those friends and family of mine with their kids sporting their new duds on the front stoops of their family’s home for the first day of school. Some of those kids are smiling (not surprisingly, the younger they are, the bigger the smiles), some have that look on their faces that communicate they are cooperating with this photo shoot under great duress.

Weird thing is, it turns out as much as I was pining for the “empty nester” years whilst my spawn were spewing hateful insults at each other and gifting Hubs and I with gray hair, I do terribly miss those days. Funny how that is.

On those odd days in which I’m not feeling so perky, I rely on my music. Not only am I drawn to a great melody, solid drum beats and guitar riffs; I am a sucker for a great lyric. Some just stick with you. You know what I mean, right? They resonate with you at your core. They make you think of someone you love or have loved. They make you feel less alone in the world. They make you feel better.  Sometimes they even inspire you.

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This is the part of this post where I am going to do a little sharing.

Here’s just a few song lyrics that resonate with me right now, today. Monday.

“We can never know about the days to come, but we think of them anyway”-Anticipation by Carly Simon.

Honestly, I probably do this too much.

“Some people are just meant to be a memory, to be called upon to remind us how we’ve changed”-Coming Back to a Man by Dawes

Sad, but true. Relationships we have throughout our lives provide some good lessons. 

“We are the lucky ones, some people never get to do all we got to do”- Now and Forever by Carole King

How I feel about my marriage to Hubs. We most definitely are the lucky ones. 

“If it makes you happy, it can’t be that bad, if it makes you happy, why the hell are you so sad?”-If It Makes You Happy, by Sheryl Crow

Good question. The answer often alludes me.

“You can build a mansion, you just can’t live in it. You’re the fastest runner but you’re not allowed to win. Some break the rules, and let you cut the cost. The insecurity is the thing that won’t get lost”-No one is to Blame, by Howard Jones

My way of expressing the frustration I have with myself as a writer. 

“When the road gets dark and you can no longer see, Just let my love throw a spark and have a little faith in me”-Have a Little Faith in Me, by John Hiatt

My way of saying, stick with me people. I am part hot mess and part optimist. But my determination to be light in the darkness will never wane.

“Don’t stop thinking about tomorrow, don’t stop, it’ll soon be here. It’ll be here, better than before. Yesterday’s gone, yesterday’s gone”-Don’t Stop, by Fleetwood Mac.

I’d love to add the line “and don’t forget about today” but I’ve no clue where it would go. Guess I just think while it’s important to put some focus on tomorrow, the future that holds so much promise, not living in the present prevents you from finding peace in your soul. 

That said, I will leave you with this video. Because underneath the melancholy of today, I’m still an optimist.

Don’t Stop

 

 

Secret Confessions: 2 Truths and 1 Lie

I really dig party games. Ice breakers. Those little games played amongst a group of willing participants which often yields surprising revelations about each other. Some of you may recall a previous post I penned related to this.

Years ago, when Hubs and I would go on our annual camping trip with a group of about 12 friends, our beer-infused revelry often led to a rollicking game of “I never”. This is a simple game, which is a good thing when you are amidst friends from “back in the day” and alcohol is involved. Have you ever played this game? If not, it starts with one person proclaiming something that they have never ever done in their whole life. Then those who have done said thing are required to take a sip of whatever they are currently imbibing. 

Suffice it to say, within a very short period of time, things could get very silly. 

Today I’d like to present to you, my fun loving readers, with my version of a similarly simple yet playful game.

Responding in the comments with your very own 2 Truths and 1 lie or whatever sarcastic anecdote you wish to share is not mandatory but would make it so much more fun for us all, amiright?

Without any further ado, I present Two Truths and One Lie.

On Movies:

  • Being John Malkovich is one of my favorite movies.
  • I seriously loved the latest Mad Max movie.
  • Christmas vacation cracks me up every time I watch it.

On Careers:

  • I think I’d be an excellent music producer.
  • My ultimate goal is to write a fiction novel.
  • I would consider going to culinary school to become a chef.

I’m still married to Hubs because:

  • He knows his way around a grill.
  • He has the best one liners.
  • Unlike me, he’s not at all picky about what movies he will watch.

Random stuff I used to believe:

  • That New England was a state.
  • That I was going to become a high school English teacher.
  • That I would always live in Minnesota.

Wacky things I have done in my life:

  • I once won a radio contest where I had to sing part of a line of the song “Tush”. I won a free sub sandwich. Yay me!
  • Once when I was in college, I successfully convinced a guy I was flirting with at a bar that I was from England.
  • One of my friends at Girl Scout camp chose to not heed our scout leader’s plea to not bring candy because bears, duh. Upon being tattled on, the scout leader led us to the fire pit where my friend’s cherished bag of candy was set ablaze. Oh, the humiliation!

On Fear:

  • I am deathly afraid of heights.
  • I am freaked out by clowns.
  • I sometimes fear my blog has already peaked.

Speaking about blogging:

  • The first title I came up with for this blog was “Subject to Change”
  • I have a buttload of technical stuff to learn.
  • I’m not scared to post about things that could make me appear to be a doofus.

Things I wish I could do successfully:

  • Ride a bike.
  • Draw pictures.
  • Plan great parties.

 

Scroll Down to see the answers!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The lies….

Movies: I hated the most recent Mad Max movie. It was beyond weird, ridiculously violent, and utterly pointless. I only went because Hubs wanted to see it. More on me+Hubs+movies later.

Careers: I cannot imagine myself ever having the talent not to mention gumption to write a fiction novel. Non-fiction, with a twist of imagination suits me best.

Why I am still married to Hubs: It’s not because he and I share the same taste in movies. He will only see action movies and sometimes thrillers in the actual movie theater with me. Whereas, if I had my way, we’d go to see anything from rom-coms to westerns every weekend.

Things I used to believe: That I would always live in Minnesota. I have always pictured myself living in more varied parts of the country. When I was younger, it was New York City or California. And Hubs and I have moved quite a bit over the years, due to his job transfers: we’ve lived in Wisconsin, Kansas, and now Colorado.

Wacky stuff I have done: I was the girl who brought the candy to Girl Scout camp. I didn’t get my childhhod nickname of “Candy Queen” for nothing! This was one of my first experiences with true, deep shame. And our cranky scout leader scared the bejeezus out of me!

Fears: I actually do not fear clowns. In fact, I used to have quite a collection of them displayed in my bedroom. That said, you will not see me at a screening of the movie “It”. I’m not into creepy, scary movies like that.

Speaking of blogging: I am frequently in fear that my blog posts will make me look doofusy. Yet, my passion for it always supercedes this fear.

Things I wish I could do successfully: Plan great parties. Because I already possess that talent. Examples: two high school graduation parties one year apart with plenty of (mostly) homemade food, beverages, and festive decorations. That supercool party I put on when I was 16 where everyone had to dress up as their favorite pop star. I went as Moon Unit Zappa aka “Valley Girl”. It was so RAD!

 

Islamorada, the trip of a Lifetime

For most of our married life, Hubs and I aspired to take a dream vacation to a tropical locale. I think the seed was planted in our romantic brains when we were newlyweds and adopted the Beach Boys song “Kokomo” as our anthem.

 

When times got tough like when our two spawn were expressing their teenage angst by slamming bedroom doors or reminding us how many days till they turned 18 when they could fly out of our godforsaken coop,  or when the demands of work and keeping our home functioning in good order amped up our stress levels, we would often partake of sharing our daydreams of the perfect beachy vacation for two.

Funnily enough, and despite the lyrics of this song clearly commanding us to visit the Florida Keys, this was not actually our first choice. We first considered a trip to Hawaii (still very much on my travel bucket list). That was determined a “no go” once we saw how long the flight would be and how freaking expensive it would also be. I mean, we had surely saved up ample money over the years for this vacay, but we were most certainly not willing to spend the bulk of it on a flight to get to and fro.

That’s when we did a little search on the Internet and found Islamorada. We booked 4 nights at Ocean House, a small but beautiful resort with great amenities, the best of which was the close proximity to the Gulf of Mexico.

Their couldn’t have been a better location for us to celebrate our 25th wedding anniversary. For reals. 

This vacation was beyond wonderful. The staff greeted us upon our arrival with a cold adult beverage and chatted with us about where we were from and what types of experiences we wished to have while in Islamorada. The cabin we stayed in was spic and span and featured a sliding glass door that led to a covered patio, complete with two oversized lounging chairs overlooking the property and the Gulf just beyond it. We seriously enjoyed our personally delivered breakfasts of fresh fruit cups, freshly made  pastries, and hot coffee each morning while lounging in these chairs, pondering that day’s itinerary.

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Looking at the Gulf on Ocean House property

During the day, we spent time lollygagging on the beach at the Ocean House and swimming in their spacious pool. At night we would sit around the fire pit on the property and chat with other couples vacationing there from places like New York state and the U.K. Or we’d take a soak in the hot tub, which was next to that beautiful pool.

When we were feeling more adventurous, we went out exploring the Keys, like the day we swam with the dolphins or the day we visited Key West and got our picture taken next to the southern most point in America. Or the day we went on a charter boat for some deep sea fishing.

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Hubs looking fine with his dimples and new hat while deep sea fishing
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So glad we got this pic. God only knows why I felt the need to carry such a big purse.

Since this vacation, Hubs and I have often talked about going back there someday. We aren’t necessarily the type of people who vacation at the same places we’ve been to before. Because we like exploring places that are brand new to us, together. We think it makes life much more interesting. However, Islamorada is one of two places (the other being Washington D.C. but it almost doesn’t count because Hubs has to go there twice a year for work and I’m a really good “tagalonger”) we both would happily visit again.

Except it wouldn’t be as magical or special as it was the first time. It just wouldn’t. Especially now. 

Present Day Islamorada

Hurricanes suck. Climate change sucks. My heart goes out to all of the people living there now. I am eternally grateful that Hubs and I got to experience it when we did.

I am equally grateful that despite the horrific damage Irma left in it’s wake, the dolphins seemed to have come out unscathed.

Theater of the Sea animals safe

 

 

 

A few good white men

Lately, I’m sickened by the sight of angry, white, American men. I think it’s bullshit that they have all the power in this country, which has given them a podium to whine and bitch from about their supposed lot in life.

Here’s a visual, if I haven’t been descriptive enough for you:

Image result for charlottesville va protestImage result for trump cabinet

 

My optimistic nature, however, is getting the better of me. Fact is, there’s plenty of good white American men out there. Men who are respectable and respectful. Men who have goodness in their hearts. Men who do not hesitate to speak truth to power in their own special ways. So let’s hear it for a few of these dudes.

Al Franken

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So Al and I go way back. To 2010, specifically. Hubs and I attended an event with another couple in support of a new candidate for U.S. House of Representatives in Winona, Mn. We lived in Wisconsin at the time, but as admirers of Al’s work in congress not to mention SNL, we were there to see him, not the candidate, Tim Walz. So after Al gave a short speech and the four of us had wandered into the reception hall, I got a chance to meet Al in person. We had just read his book “Lies and the Lying Liars that Tell Them”,  which we got him to sign later that evening.  I was making a bee line for the cookie tray because free cookies, duh, when I realized I was face to face with Al. I couldn’t not say anything. But I couldn’t think of anything actually intelligent to say. So I stuck my hand out and said “Hi Al” with a stupid grin on my face. Then I proceeded to tell him I lived in Wisconsin so I wouldn’t be voting in Minnesota. But I added that I did indeed hail from Minnesota. I’m sure he was super impressed. Hubs and I have been listening to his latest audio book “Giant of the Senate”. Best quote so far in this book (we are on Chapter 3) : “Just because you are right doesn’t mean you have the right to be a jerk”.

Anyway, I remain a fan of Al’s to this day. I sincerely hope he stays in politics. We need more guys like him there.

Weird Al Yankovic

He’s the guy that made being weird cool, don’t you think? And he does a great job of satirizing American politics. Political satire is an important tool  coping mechanism these days, dontcha think?

Al Gore

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My favorite champion of the environment. Instead of enjoying a quiet retirement after leaving his job as VP in the White House, he chose to take up the most important cause of all: educating the public about climate change: what it means and how we can fix it.

Here’s to three great Al’s, courtesy of one of my very favorite Paul’s:

 

 

Movies that should be made

This post is courtesy of a conversation Hubs and I recently had where we concluded that despite having approximately 488 channels on our Direct TV, not to mention Amazon Prime, this time of year there is very little television we are interested in viewing.

I know-total First World problem right? 

I do realize that we are quite fortunate to even own a t.v. and have the ability to afford our monthly Direct TV bill. 

With the lack of truly engaging, creative, entertaining television happening in this moment, I’ve come up with a few ideas of movies I would happily consume if ithey were to exist. Movies that could be seen on the big screen or the little screen (once they were put on cable or Amazon Prime, or whatever channel we may add when the temps fall and we just want to stay in)

  1. A movie about Amelia Aerhart. Starring Hillary Swank, Michelle Williams, or Maggie Gyllenhal in the title role. It would include what we don’t yet know about her life after her plane crashed. The History channel is planning a documentary on this. That’s a good start, I think.

She may have survived the crash

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2) Biopic of Jerry Stiller and Anne Meara. They were married for 61 years and worked together as a comedy team for several of them. They were opposites, him being Jewish, and her being Catholic. She made the decision after they married and  gave birth to their first child to convert to Judaism as per Anne: “I wanted my children to know who they were”. I believe they had quite the love story. I think it would be extra special if their son, actor Ben Stiller, played Jerry and perhaps Emma Stone could play Anne.

Jerry and Ann article

3) Biopic of the love story between Paul and Linda McCartney. Michael Sheen and Cate Blanchett would be my top pics to play these two. I’ve always loved Paul’s music, not only from the Beatles of course but from his second act, Paul McCartney and Wings, along with his solo ventures. I think of Paul as being the ultimate optimist. I have the impression that he was the “cheerleader” within the Beatles. And only an optimist and probably a hopeless romantic would marry again after losing the love of his life in 1998, not once but twice. And I feel like we haven’t learned much about Linda over the years at all. I think Paul and Linda had quite the love story, and I’d like to see it on the big screen. This song, written by Paul for Linda, is why.

My Love

My curious mind would love to know any ideas of t.v. shows or movies you’d like to see. Please share!

Work in progress

So, for the last several months, I’ve been randomly coming up with ideas for blog posts. I keep them in my draft folder under the title “Great Big Writing Ideas”.  It has come in handy for me when I am plumb out of ideas of what to write about.

Today is one of those days. I’ve got bupkis. Just fleeting thoughts about songs or artists I want to share my appreciation of. Or op-eds I’ve read that I have my own take on. But nothing that feels really right. Nothing that flips my switch, so to speak.

So instead of picking one topic, artist, or political opinion (I suspect my readers may be getting tired of me and my political opinions and frankly I might be too), I’m going to share with you snippets of ideas and in some cases just thoughts, feelings, or personal affirmations which I’ve jotted down in my draft folder.

Lily T

6/27:

Write from the heart.

Pixar’s next blockbuster: How the body is the clean up crew. The bad guy is the disease. The heros are the doctors, scientists, and some politicians.

 

7/6/17:

My purpose is to inspire and empower!

The path is fraught with unknown obstacles and dangers.

Follow your curiosity for Pete’s sake…

8/4/17

New mantra : You are not in a hurry.

8/8:

Next blog post: The entertainment I would consume if it existed.

Spitball first. Thanks Liz Lemon. gif of her here.

A variety show that serves to educate the adult public about important issues of our time. With puppets and music. And comedy.

8/26:

Another post could be about alternate meanings for K.I.S.S. that I  may or may not expound on.

Like: salacious, serendipitous, spiritual, scandalous, shocking. 

Words: RESPECT. PERSERVERANCE..HUMILITY.KINDNESS #bigimportantwords. GIVE EXAMPLES.

8/29:

For the love of God, edit everything above this line! Done as of 8/31.

Ok next post: DC. Then couple friends. Then Pinterest. Then Polly’s preview, potentially.

-Polly needs to get political again. ASAP!

-Write about Colorado

-Food. Zucchini lasagna. Trempeleau County and the damn cookbook.

As you can see, I’m all over the place. Thanks for indulging me once again, folks.

I think I know what my next blog post is going to be now…

Key word here is “think”.

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4 Points from a discontented Polly

I have so much to say. About so many things. Things that are important to me as a woman. Things that are important to me as an American. Things that are important to me as a thinking, feeling, hopeful, yet still discontented human on planet Earth.

My discontentment stems from a multitude of bad news. From our so called President, who according to me anyway,  only truly cares about the almighty dollar, to biblical level weather disasters like we are currently seeing the catastrophic, human effects of, to the news of people dying at far too young ages from cancer, as my Aunt Connie (the personification of the term social butterfly), who we lost this week at the age of 64.

I believe very strongly at this moment in time it behooves me, as it should behoove us all, to get real about what changes are needed to begin the uphill climb to a better reality for all of humankind.

It’s time for Polly to climb up on her soapbox. 

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Here I go!

Here are a few things that I believe in my heart and mind need to happen to give every one of us a brighter and healthier future:

We need to push for positive political change. Most importantly, I believe we need to change the electoral college system. We need our government to better represent all Americans.  And we need to greatly improve our voting system so it’s easier to vote and harder for our system to be attacked by foreign entities. And we need to do all we can to increase the number of Americans that vote. Maybe that’s through employers allowing people time off to get to the ballot boxes. Or increasing the numbers of locations where people can vote. But certainly it will involve having multitudes of volunteers in every state getting people registered to vote. I’m down for that, how about you?

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Climate change-it’s real. The vast majority of scientists are in agreement with this.  We have the responsibility for our children’s and grandchildren’s futures to address it head on, by investing in alternative energies,  such as solar and wind power. Coal is not the way to go. It’s the past, not the future. It seems to me that our government and private companies ought to be putting their heads together and collaborating on a plan to train workers in the field of alternative energies. To me, it’s a no-brainer.

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It simultaneously breaks my heart and angers me every time I hear a story of someone who has gone bankrupt because of medical bills. This simply should not be happening. Not in America, or any other country for that matter. “Go fund me pages” should not be the answer when someone has the misfortune of becoming sick. I for one am more than happy to pay higher taxes if it means cancer patients and their families, for example, can focus their energies, mentally and physically, on treatment instead of having to worry about losing their life savings and/or their homes. Along with my endorsement of “health care for all” (a single payer system), which seems to work pretty darn well in other countries, I think more of our tax revenue should be spent on medical research to actually cure diseases like Cancer, Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s and Huntington’s (just to name a few). If America’s great scientific minds can figure out how to send a man to the moon, cure polio, and build artificial hearts, there is no reason to believe we can’t also find cures for devastatingly debilitating and deadly diseases such as these. I believe if the proper amount of funding was available for medical research, we could eradicate them all.

I firmly believe that more federal funding needs to be allocated for mental health services. There’s just been so much trauma inflicted on so many people due to war, natural disasters, violence due to terrorism and hate/ignorance in my lifetime. I think we as a country have dropped the ball on this. I can’t imagine there hasn’t been a huge increase in cases of PTSD, drug/alcohol addiction, anxiety and depression in the past several years due to all the social and political turmoil in our world, not to mention our engagement in wars that seem to have no end in sight. There’s a shortage of mental health professionals and that needs to end. Not only that, but the costs of mental health treatment I believe keep it out of reach for many. We need to have an abundance of trained, compassionate, professional mental health practitioners ready to meet this challenge. Perhaps the government and private entities can work together to create incentives for folks to pursue careers in the field of mental health? That would certainly be a good start in my opinion.

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There are certainly many more issues I believe we as Americans need to pay attention to and push our government officials to comprehend and find money to compassionately address. I could go on for days.

 

 

 

Tales from a 51 year old optimist transplanted from Wisconsin to Colorado. Finding silver linings, lifting others up, sharing positively good stuff

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