I found my place at the end of the line, after I had finally parked in the Denny’s lot across the street. The end of the line at that point (8:15 am) was on Brookshire about half way between the Civic Theater and Mimi’s Restaurant. The person behind me in line was a man well prepared. He had his camp-chair and his lap-top. At one point they handed out some fliers. He took one. I did not. So after he had read it and tucked it under the corner of his computer, I asked if I might look at it. He kindly obliged. He made a series of calls to his wife regarding their 3 and 5 year olds who had gotten their first, but not second, installment of the H1N1 vaccine. That’s why we were in line….to get the vaccine. I qualified as being a health care provider. He qualified because his wife is pregnant and due to deliver next month. When the line began to move often enough that sitting wasn’t really an option, we struck up a conversation. After a couple of hours and a lot of conversation, I finally introduced myself to David and we shook hands. At a point where there was probably about another half hour to go, he offered me his chair at one of the sharp U-turns. There was a little spot of sunlight there and we had been in the shade of the theater long enough to get a bit chilled. He said, “You can sit here until I make it back to this point on the other side of the rope.” Worked for me. I took out my book and happily read with the sun on my back. When he came around, I returned his chair and ducked under the rope to rejoin him in my previous spot in the moving line. I said, “Your parents raised you right. You are quite the gentleman, and there aren’t a lot of those around these days.” He said, “I’ve done my good deed now, so I can be bad for the next couple of days.” I laughed and said I doubted that would happen. He told me that earlier in the week, as he was rushing into work, late for the every-morning-early-meeting, that he had walked right past a woman who had her hands full of things including a box of donuts. She had dropped her sun glasses and he had decided to let someone else help her, so he could get to the meeting. I said, “And it’s still bothering you!” He said he had found her later and apologized. We never exchanged last names, but by the time we parted company he knew I had two married kids and a grandchild on the way. I knew he had a five-year old son who looked sad and wounded when he took him for his first injection, and a three-year old daughter whom the injection didn’t phase. He knew my daughter-in-law was a clinical psychologist, and I knew he and his wife were seeing a clinical psychologist for marriage counseling because his long work hours had started to interfere with their family life. I knew he had gone to Catholic school and he knew my brother had gone to Catholic school. I knew he was a civil engineer and his wife was a school teacher and he knew I was a dental hygienist and our daughter was an occupational therapist. All in all a pretty pleasant way to spend three hours.
I don’t know what it is, but every time I see a woman, either in person or in a photograph, that is significantly younger than I, but looks (to me, at least) significantly older than I, it totally captures my attention. It’s probably the old, not very admirable tendency to feel better about yourself, if someone else is doing worse than you are. Ugh. What I should be feeling is compassion for the person having to endure whatever set of circumstances that aged them so.
The private lesson was GREAT! I highly reccomend it. The new student special is a steal. Usually a half hour private lesson is $85. For $20, you get the private, a group lesson and an evening dance. No-brainer! The instructor was excellent. I’m betting that will be the highlight of my entire week.
Today I heard our grandson’s heartbeat. Cool. Last time I heard that sound, it belonged to his mother. The grandson’s mother. My daughter. (Just in case you were having trouble following)
Today I did not make it to my Pilates class…..since I was busy listening to heartbeats.
Today we are making a rather large financial decision, hoping for the best, after gathering hopefully enough information so that we understand fully what we are doing. Praying for wisdom, preferrably before the decision, rather than gained the hard way after it.
Tomorrow I am taking my first ever private dance lesson. Sigh. I know I will never dance as well as SOME people, but there is the possibility of improving, and I am having fun, so it’s all good.
Yesterday I enjoyed the worship song portion of the service very much.
Now I’m gonna go do some housework and look for my notes on last week’s gold class moves.
Weird Car News: Butter on Bridge Prevents Suicides
Government officials in Guangzhou in southeast China ordered workers to smear a 1,000 foot steel bridge with butter to prevent suicides.
Several attempts had been made at the bridge each month, backing up traffic for hours, a story by Metro.co.uk said. Officials say the butter makes the bars hard to climb, making it easy to thwart attempts. There have been no suicides since using the butter, the story said.
An article I just read:
Republicans are evil
Marcia Segelstein – Guest Columnist (One News Now)- 8/25/2009
Living in a part of the country that is most definitely “blue” (as opposed to “red”), it’s easy to begin to feel a little isolated, and certainly out of the mainstream. So it was especially fun reading Harry Stein’s latest book, I Can’t Believe I’m Sitting Next to a Republican. Like me, Stein lives in the northern suburbs of New York City, in what he describes as a wildly liberal enclave of hip, culturally elite suburbanites.
Stein calls himself a libertarian-conservative and he paints a vivid picture, which I can easily relate to, of what it’s like to live surrounded by liberals. The book title’s origin speaks volumes. Stein and his wife attended a dinner party during the most recent presidential primary season and, as Stein describes it, “the discussion turned to the glories of The Messiah.” Stein had the temerity to mention Obama’s lack of experience, which was apparently over the top for at least one fellow diner. “[T]he guy beside me, who’d known me all of 15 minutes, drew back his chair, cast me a savage look, and roared…’I can’t believe I’m sitting next to a Republican!'” Yes folks, welcome to Blue America.
I have always been struck by the propensity of liberals to attack conservatives. Tolerance, for liberals at least, seems to apply to everyone except conservatives. Diversity is about skin color, not diversity of thought. My views have been called repugnant, even by some near and dear to me, based purely on assumptions about what I believe. Stein writes about “how astonishingly little they [liberals] know about us.”
Beyond making assumptions about what conservatives actually believe, in my experience liberals also tend to assume everyone around them is liberal, too. The beautiful, brainy daughter of close friends, a Harvard graduate now working in the northeast, echoed similar sentiments recently. “I started my job during the election,” she told me, “and people made the assumption that everyone was liberal. It was perfectly fine to lambaste McCain or Palin in public.” In her experience, if you’re perceived as a smart, decent human being, liberals can’t imagine the possibility that you might be a conservative.
What happens when people find out she is? She told me most people react with surprise, and then drop it. Much to her frustration, no one asks more about her views, or expresses any interest in them. “Liberals pride themselves on being tolerant,” she told me, “but they’re the most closed-minded.” Stein would concur.
He describes another encounter with a liberal, a guy he knew slightly, this time in the supermarket. Stein nodded to acknowledge him, when suddenly, “he spat out: ‘You people disgust me!'” All this guy actually knew about Stein was that he’d written a conservative book. “‘You’re disgusting,” he sputtered, swiping up his shopping bag and stomping away. ‘You sicken me!'”
Revealing your conservative leanings can be tricky, and sometimes it’s easier just to keep quiet. One of Stein’s conservative acquaintances, for example, didn’t want his name used in the book. “‘Why get into arguments with people?'” he told Stein. “‘Your kids have to go to school with their kids, and it just leads to no good.'”
A few years ago I chose not to allow my then elementary school-aged children to attend a school assembly promoting same-sex “marriage.” After babysitting them and a handful of other children in the school library until the assembly was over, I ran into a couple of mothers who’d come to watch the assembly for themselves. One was a friend who knew and accepted my point of view and gave me her take on the series of skits called “Cootie Shots.” The other made it clear that she was happy about the school’s decision to put on the assembly. After all, she pointedly remarked, she didn’t want her kids growing up to be rednecks.
Stein asked a liberal editor at a publishing house he knows for “a candid, shorthand version of the assumptions she and her colleagues make about conservatives.” Without missing a beat she replied, “Racist, sexist, homophobic, anti-choice fascists….They hate everyone who’s not a rich white guy.”
I have long thought that one of the striking differences between liberals and conservatives is this: liberals believe conservatives are evil, while conservatives believe liberals are wrong. Stein recounts something his friend Marlene told him, which makes the point. “[S]omeone I’ve known for 27 or 28 years actually said to me, ‘Marlene, I know you’ve worked with the mentally ill, so I know you care about people. But how can you be a good person and a conservative?'”
I guess this is news we can use, as the saying goes. It’s important to keep in mind that the label “conservative” (or Republican) brands us, in the minds of many liberals, as just plain bad people. And while we shouldn’t worry too much about how we’re perceived, we should be concerned about the future of conservatism and getting its true message across. The country our children will inherit may depend on it.
It seems that person(s) unknown have decided that Everest Street, specifically in-front-of-our-house-Everest Street, is the city dump. We have a mattress, and a broken wooden round table on the sidewalk in front of our house. Oh, and this morning there was a new addition just across the street: a TV on the sidewalk there. Any suggestions on how to stop the ghettoization of Downey?