Monday Musings


Ah, spring!  Days of sun, rain, flowers blooming, and the beginning of landscaping and other outdoor home improvements.  Hot summer days are just around the corner.

Spring is also time for celebrating the attainment of goals, namely, graduating from high school and college.

Recently, two prominent political figures gave speeches for college graduation ceremonies: Vice President Mike Pence spoke at Notre Dame University in his home state of Indiana, and a group of graduates arose in orderly fashion and walked out during his speech.  Betsy DeVos, the Education Secretary, was roundly booed at Bethune-Cookman University, a predominantly black college in Florida.

I love college.  It’s my favorite pastime (after movies, popcorn and pizza).  I have attended three college graduations for each of my degrees.  A graduation ceremony provides the opportunity to acknowledge the achievement of a worthy goal, and should be a solemn affair.


Colleges are, or should be, places where people can express themselves however they choose, so long as they are not infringing on the rights of others.  Expressing disagreement with our national leaders is a cherished tradition in this country, and the college campus is a very appropriate place to do it.

So to those who disagree with the protests, read your history books.  Look it up online, via factual information sources.  And don’t kid yourself: no one is getting paid.

To paraphrase Geico:  Protesting.  It’s what we do.



Service or Disservice?

I  have to admit that I like getting free meals and 10% off at certain restaurants and retailers just for doing something I was going to do anyway.

“Thank you for your service,” the cashier says, usually with a smile.  Although sometimes it seems more of an obligatory, management-ordered response.

In 1989 I was at a crossroads in my life.  At 26, it seemed I was not accomplishing much. My early childhood involved lots of playing “Army” in the dense woods behind our house, sleeping with toy weapons from the age of 4, and occasionally seeing scenes from a conflict on the other side of the world.

So I joined the United States Army and learned a great deal about myself and the world outside my small community edging Pittsburgh.

Upon being discharged I discovered that I was 30 and had not established myself in any meaningful way. I returned to college, studied for yet another standardized test, and began a 20-year career in child protective services.

In between, I had given teaching a shot, but that did not work out. I also volunteered at HelpLine and did a stint as a camp counselor at a weight-management program for children.

The theme here, in case you’re skip-reading, is service. This is not an attempt to toot my own horn, but to present a question: When did our country abandon service to others as a worthy endeavor, instead promoting greed as a national value?  Why did 62 million people choose someone for President who is arguably the most selfish person in America?

Yes, I continue to struggle with the ways in which our society has changed, and I fervently hope that we can once again rise to the challenge, and to the values of which we can all be proud.

Let us once more tout the value of service to others over service only to self.  To do otherwise is to do a disservice to all those who have served, and continue to serve, this country, whether on the battlefield, in the class room, or in the interest of keeping families together and children safe.

And let’s do it now.



Let’s talk about the ROOM.  Although it comes in many colors, this is no ordinary room.  There are also many different sizes to this particular room. Sometimes it’s private and sometimes it’s public (even when it shouldn’t be).  Its functionality varies greatly, although it has two basic purposes.

What is this ROOM? It is the Reproductive Organ Of Males.

Such a private part of the body should remain so, yet some owners like to show it off to unsuspecting victims.  Most owners, I’m inclined to think, keep their privates, well, private.  This is true of most women as well as most men.

The “room” has dual functions, one of which is discarding unwanted bodily fluids (urine).  Releasing semen is the other.  From an anthropological viewpoint, this is for the purpose of keeping the species intact.  From the  owner’s viewpoint, that is only part of it, and perhaps none of it.

So that’s biology.  Returning to public vs. private, how often do people discuss the role of the ROOM in reproduction?  Not nearly as often as the ROOF (Reproductive Organ Of Females).

The ROOF, or uterus, is in constant public discourse.  As in, two cells unite in the uterus, by hook or by crook, and therefore, the woman is now a species-maintaining machine, rather than an actual, decision-making person.

Can we give the ROOM equal time?

Recently I read a letter to the editor from an alleged physician, who expressed that he was “amazed” that people continue to claim that women can make decisions.  I am amazed that he continues to call himself a doctor.  Does he abstain from sex?  Has he ever had sex without a condom?  That is, is the ROOM always waterproof when certain male “needs” are being met, when he’s not busy keeping the species going full speed ahead…?

The size of the ROOM does not matter nearly as much as its owners use of it.  Respect the ROOF.  Respect the woman who owns it.  She is not a machine, and her body is not public property.



Monday Musings

The flowers are out, the sun is shining, and the muses are peering in from their haloed heights of wisdom with unabashed glee.

Why, you may ask.

Despite ongoing medical advances, despite a history of American social progress, and despite the exponential speed of technological advances, an aura of conflict and hazy notions of fact have pervaded the erstwhile American cultural landscape.

Or is it due to the crazy-fast development of techno-toys that this apparently widespread disconnect between reality and perception currently exists?

Historically reliable sources of information are under attack by those who prefer the alternate reality of alternative facts, which require no factual basis whatsoever.

A well established enemy of the United States has been diligently, happily and effectively working to disrupt the continuity of our young but strong democracy, to tear apart the strongest fabrics of our geopolitical fabric.  Yet, there are many who subscribe to the notion that political party is more important than truly nationalistic tendencies, that is, the physical security and cyber integrity of our government agencies and the people they protect, regulate and, ostensibly, hold together.

The fabric is becoming untwined.  Will national security prevail, or will partisan politics rule the day?

The muses are watching with deep interest to see how we will respond.

Living like Laurie

I suppose I will begin with life in general, since I must start somewhere.  People say if you blurt out that things are going well, you will trigger a negative event.  Well, here goes nothing.


Sorry, I was napping…for two weeks, apparently.

So I was cleaning off my back porch and saw a wasp.  As I am a live- and-let- live kinda gal, I went on about my business, ignoring the small pest.  Well, apparently the feeling was not mutual.  Unprovoked, I was attacked.  On the mouth.  Yep, the kisser (in better times), the opening from which (occasional) words of wisdom emerge, the place which admits (sometimes) nutritional elements into my body, thus increasing my chances of survival.

Angela Jolie lips later, I reversed positions on the live- and- let- live thing.

But overall, things are going…well… okay ?

September 20, 2016

Hello it’s me.  Feeling better.  No insect bites, haven’t lost glasses in three weeks…

So my mom is on vacation and I’m watching her cats as well as mine.  This means five little furballs have taken over my house.  There have been some disputes, but so far I am relatively unscathed.

Although there is this one thing… Yesterday, I stepped on something that I thought was one of my cat’s tails.  But when there was no scrowl (that would be a cross between a scream and a growl), I thought it must be a small stuffed animal.

Then I looked.  And I shrieked.  Then I got a paper towel and buried the deceased.  In my trash can.  I really don’t do chipmunk burials anymore.