Accentuate the positive …

Today marks 12 years since my mom passed and I’m dedicating this post to her. She was an eternal optimist who always looked for and found, the good in people and in life. 

There was a time I did a lot of blogging, here and for Huff Post, on US politics. I finally gave it up because it was making me tense and angry and I decided I wanted to change the channel.

I didn’t only stop blogging about it, I stopped watching the news — primarily CNN, where’s there’s an endless loop of misery 24/7. I haven’t stopped watching completely but I have cut back dramatically. There are days now when I don’t watch at all, weeks when I only tune in once or twice, and only for the briefest Continue reading

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I surrender …

I’ve always been a news and political junkie; and, when I moved to Toronto from Montreal, I instantly became addicted to CNN and its 24 hour news cycle. It was like I’d died and gone to heaven.

Now it’s more like being in hell.

Am I the only one struggling to find something positive on the news?

Not that I’m an escapist. I’ve never been one to bury my head in the sand, avoid reality or run away from it — even Continue reading

A desperate plea …

I watch the news in horror everyday. I still can’t believe that such a vile, unscrupulous, self-serving, demented, dangerous man could have been elected in the United States, of all places. 

In part, it’s due to an electoral system that made it possible, despite his losing the popular vote. One also cannot overlook the shockingly enormous number of Americans who share his sick, twisted and ugly beliefs, Continue reading

My very own pussy riot …

HERE’S THE COMPLETE ARTICLE I MISTAKENLY PUBLISHED  LAST WEEKEND.

It’s been close to 40 years since I’ve lived without a cat in my life and I’m shocked at how “still” and lifeless my apartment is.

Eerily, uncomfortably so, to be honest. I’m amazed at the energy these little critters bring. For a while now I’ve said — to myself mostly — that Bartlett (my last to go, just last Wednesday, pictured here) would be it for me.

But now I’m not so sure.

In my early years I wanted a dog and while it took my dad and me quite a while to convince my mother, I did finally get my wish, although truth be told, Tosca’s heart belonged to her. He liked us well Continue reading

Gathering steam …

To say I had the week from hell last week would be an understatement. I was all set to share my tales of woe and then thought, after what the students, parents and teachers went through recently in Parkland, Florida, who gives a toss.

My problems, regardless of how big or small I perceived them to be, are inconsequential by comparison. No one died, no one was slaughtered for no reason. It’s important
to put things into perspective.

I continue to be amazed, impressed and in awe of those Continue reading

Feeling hopeful … hopefully … ?

It started last Friday with the news that Mike Flynn had pleaded guilty to lying to the FBI and was cooperating with the Mueller investigation.

“Be still my heart,” I thought, “this could be big.” “Big,” because the Mueller team has a lot of evidence on a lot of Flynn’s wrongdoing; and they could have indicted him on much more serious crimes. Crimes that would have carried a long, long jail term — thirty years or more.

And so, I thought — hoped — if Mueller was willing to pass that up and settle for a much lesser charge — one that would carry a much shorter jail term — then he (Flynn) must have some pretty powerful evidence on a much bigger fish. A Continue reading

This is about manners, not politics …

We’ve been losing our civility for years. Kids, and I mean seven and eight year olds, talk back to their rude behaviourparents. They’re rude to teachers. You don’t hear “please” or “thank you” coming out of anyone’s mouth very often, regardless of age. We’re dismissive of other people and other points of view. We say, and do, mean things.

We shout. Ignore. Sneer. Swear. Jab. Interrupt. Huff off.

We stopped ‘dressing for the occasion’ a long time ago. When I was a child and even in my teens and 20’s no one would ever have thought of going to a concert hall, opera house or even dinner in a ‘nice’ restaurant in Continue reading

To the powers that be at CNN …

Shut the f*ck up already.  Really.  Your incessant repetition of nothing is so getting on my nerves.  The endless speculation that silencegoes nowhere.  The constant questions.  The meaningless questions.  The ever-growing stream of ‘experts’ who have no answers because there are no answers.  Your relentless prying and probing and the never-ending exploitation of people’s sadness and grief.  Please.  Stop.

Enough already.  Give it a rest.

It’s bad enough when there’s a snowstorm and your poor, unfortunate, frost-bitten reporters are sent hither, thither and yon to freeze their asses off, so you can keep tabs on how high the snow drifts are.  Or when a plane goes down.

You just can’t get enough of the gory details.  Over and over and over and over again you ask what it must have been like to be a passenger on that plane as it spun out of control and it became Continue reading

What’s the big deal?

We’re just days into the New Year and here I am, complaining.  Well, not really complaining.  It’s more like ‘wondering’.  Or making empty champagne bottlesan observation.  Or questioning.  I’m confused, is all.  For the life of me I can’t figure out why we make such a big deal out of New Year’s Eve.  Okay, okay, okay, I get the significance of beginning a new year.  Truly I do.  But why the insistence on wearing silly hats and cranking noisemakers and watching balls drop and drinking ourselves into oblivion?  What’s the point of all that?

Speaking strictly for myself, I’ve never liked New Year’s Eve.  In fact, I kinda loathe it.  Too many people trying way to hard to have a good time.  Way too many people who can’t hold their liquor getting way too drunk.  Drunk to the point of crying, drunk to the point of sharing the most intimate details of their lives with virtual strangers, drunk to the point of making passes at their best friends’ husbands (or vice versa), drunk to the point of passing out or, even worse, Continue reading

Is it me?

What’s going on?  Am I just getting cranky and intolerant in my old age?  Because I don’t know about you, but it sure feels like I’m living in a world where manners and civility are fast becomingcranky endangered species.

A world where callous, boorish, insensitive, classless, vile behaviour is, sadly, becoming the norm; and is generally accepted, excused, ignored, overlooked and, sometimes, even rewarded.

Of what do I speak?

If, in the end, the NBA does find a way to make Donald Sterling sell the Clippers he will make pots and pots and pots of money.  He’ll laugh all the way to the bank.  And he’ll still be a racist pig.  And a womanizer.  And a slum landlord.  He’s 80 years old and he’s got prostate  cancer.  He’s not about to change any time soon.  And why would he?  He’s gotten away with it so far.

If, in the end, by some miracle Toronto’s Mayor, Rob Ford, comes out of rehab and never smokes crack or drinks  Continue reading