Is it just me or does it seem like not a day can go by without some sort of bomb threat at one of our schools?
Today’s latest in Mashpee prompted the Mashpee Middle-High School to be evacuated and the students were sent home, with afternoon and evening events being cancelled. In the past month over a dozen Massachusetts schools have faced the same situation. Most of the threats are coming in via an automated “robocall”.
The disruption and anxiety these incidents have caused is uncalled for. Gone are the days when schools simply practiced fire drills. It really puts the state of the world into perspective for me when the elementary school your child goes to holds their first “serious threat evacuation” (i.e., bomb threat, shooter). Upon learning about this my daughter, who has Asperger’s and extremely high anxiety, fretted for days on end. She didn’t even want to go to school on the evacuation day. She felt better after learning all she would need to do was walk down to the end of the school yard.
I’ve even faced this in my own work environment. Although I don’t visit the office frequently, on a recent day when I was there we were promptly told at 4:30 to “get out of the building ASAP” as there was various “crime-related” activity going on in the neighborhood. I sensed my own anxiety walking to the parking lot which was filled with a heavy police presence.
Maybe it’s because people have run out of constructive things to do? Is it all the opiates talking? What is causing people to live their lives with the sole purpose of trying to ruin other people’s lives? Can’t they just ruin their own lives and leave ours alone?
A #throwback Thursday/#flashback Friday moment
Thanks to Bobby Popovic at tickld.com for this insightful read:
Recently, a question was posed to those over the age of 60. The question was this: ’’What advice would you give to those who are half your age?’’ While the question seems simple, the answers may surprise you.
We suggest you read these responses — because it’s better to act on their invaluable advice now before it gets too late!
1. People always say, ’’Make sure you get a job doing what you love!’’ But that isn’t the best advice. The right job is the job you love some days, can tolerate most days, and still pays the bills. Almost nobody has a job they love every day.
2. Years go by in the blink of an eye. Don’t marry young. Live your life. Go places. Do things. If you have the means or not. Pack a bag and go wherever you can afford to go. While you have no dependents, don’t buy stuff. Any stuff. See the world. Look through travel magazines and pick a spot. GO!
3. Don’t take life so seriously. Even if things seem dark and hopeless, try to laugh at how ridiculous life is.
4. A true friend will come running if you call them at 2am. Everyone else is just an acquaintance.
5. The most important person in your life is the person who agreed to share their life with you. Treat them as such.
6. Children grow up way too fast. Make the most of the time you have with them.
7. Nobody ever dies wishing they had worked more. Work hard, but don’t prioritize work over family, friends, or even yourself.
8. You might live a long life, or you might live a short one — who knows. But either way, trust me when I say that you’re going to wish you took better care of yourself in your youth.
9. If you’re getting overwhelmed by life, just return to the immediate present moment and savour all that is beautiful and comforting. Take a deep breath, relax.
10. Eat and exercise like you’re a diabetic heart patient with a stroke — so you never actually become one.
11. We have one time on this earth. Don’t wake up and realize that you are 60 years old and haven’t done the things you dreamed about.
12. Maybe this one isn’t as profound as the others, but I think it’s important… Floss regularly, dental problems are awful.
13. Don’t take anyone else’s advice as gospel. You can ask for advice from someone you respect, then take your situation into consideration and make your own decision. Essentially, take your own advice is my advice…
14. Stuff is just stuff. Don’t hold onto material objects, hold onto time and experiences instead.
15. The joints you damage today will get their revenge later. Even if you think they’ve recovered completely. TRUST ME!
16. Appreciate the small things and to be present in the moment. What do I mean? Well, it seems today like younger people are all about immediate gratification. Instead, why not appreciate every small moment? We don’t get to stay on this crazy/wonderful planet forever and the greatest pleasure can be found in the most mundane of activities. Instead of sending a text, pick up the phone and call someone. Call your mother, have a conversation about nothing in particular. Those are the moments to hold onto.
17. Pay your bills and stay the hell out of debt. If I could have paid myself all the money I’ve paid out in interest over the years, I’d be retired already.
18. Jealousy destroys relationships. Trust your significant other, because who else are you supposed to trust?
19. If you have a dream of being or doing something that seems impossible, try for it anyway. It will only become more impossible as you age and become responsible for other people.
20. When you meet someone for the first time, stop and realize that you really know nothing about them. You see race, gender, age, clothes. Forget it all. You know nothing. Those biased assumptions that pop into your head because of the way your brain likes categories, are limiting your life, and other people’s lives.
My favorite? Number 7. You will have many jobs in this life but only one family. When you die, your employer will replace you without any kind of hesitation. After a while you will be forgotten. But your family? They will miss you more than you will ever know.
Like many other Patriots fans, I’m passionate about this team. They’re a great bunch of hardworking, talented athletes who, despite a lot of setbacks this season, still managed to make it to their conference championship game. Which is a lot more than 28 other teams can say. Most teams in our injured shoes wouldn’t have made it past 500.
As disappointing as it was to lose, let’s remember it’s a football game. A team will win, a team will lose. No one individual wins on their own; no one individual loses on their own. It’s not fair for players to blame themselves or their teammates for a loss. Just as it’s wrong for the ego-driven athlete to feel the win was solely because of him.
I would still take our kicker, QB, TE, CB, coach, owner and whole rest of the team over any other in the NFL. After our first championship win, I decided it was great to win and if we never won again, so be it. But we have won again and we WILL win AGAIN.
The recent passing of David Bowie and Glenn Frey got me wondering about the life expectancy of people who make their living making music. Sadly, in one study I read about, it was discovered that pop musicians tend to live up to 25 years less on average than the remainder of us. They also tend to die due to accidents, suicide and/or homicide.
I’m not big on studies. Just read my post regarding my thoughts on studies and you can see how I feel about them. So I’m putting anything about “studies” aside. Because these “studies” get into the psychological nature of “why” rock stars end up like they do (i.e., they were abused as children, witnessed abuse, etc.). Although that may be the case with some, it isn’t with all of them.
I’ve always had a theory that rock stars do not live very long lives and lately that theory seems to be correct. Of course there is the infamous “27 club”, of which not one member died sober. They seem to be an exception. If we take the average age of the four most recent rock/pop star deaths (Lemmy, Bowie, Frey and Natalie Cole—70, 69, 67 and 65 respectively at their time of death), you get 67 and three-quarters. Even if I threw in Scott Weilland, who passed away late last year from a drug overdose at age 48, it still would average out to about 64. Is this to say that quite possibly the average life span for most musicians is roughly the mid to late sixties? It’s beginning to look that way. Unfortunately for music lovers, a great majority of musicians fit into this age bracket. Of course they are part of the greatest population: Baby Boomers.
On the up side, there is the “70 club” which includes the likes of most of the Rolling Stones (including Richards and Jagger), Bob Dylan, Rod Stewart, Eric Clapton, Pete Townsend, Paul McCartney and Tina Turner. Of course you don’t really hear much new music from these artists, maybe a tour from the Stones here and there, but hey, they’re still kicking.
Let’s not forget the ones who died by no fault of their own (see homicide above as a cause of death). Then there are some rock stars that just make you shake your head because, hey, they should’ve been dead years ago (see accidents and suicide above as a cause of death). They are the ones the music muse is truly shining on.
So what makes one rock star die from cancer at 67 while his 66-year-old peers are releasing new albums and doing tours? Did the one that died live a more crazy life? Did he smoke more pot, drink more booze, screw more women? Did any of that come into play in their eventual death? Why are they mainly men? Did the women miss the boat or just didn’t party hard enough?
I guess it really doesn’t matter. What does matter is what the artist gives us while they are here. That’s the great thing about musicians. Even after they die their music lives forever.
Only four short months ago we were watching the defending Super Bowl Champion New England Patriots take on Pittsburgh in their season opener. Now the playoffs are upon us and I can’t help but reflect back on this crazy season of ups and downs.
Hard to believe Lewis and Blount actually did play this season. Many weeks ago. And Edelman was on the field somewhere back in September and October, I think. It will be good to see him back doing what he does so well tomorrow.
What I think is so cool about the Patriots is that each time a player went down, another player stepped up and did his best to fill in. Shit, even Troy Brown was ready to suit up. That’s true element of a “team”.
I have no idea what is going to happen tomorrow. All I know is that there is a football game. If the Patriots win, great. We move on to yet another AFC Championship game. If we lose, well, we lose. It wouldn’t be the first time. But we’d have nothing to be ashamed of if that happened.
I’ve ignored all the weird distractions from this week. Bill, Gronk and Jones are all big boys. They’ll figure things out. We have the best kicker in the league on our side. Even better we have the best damn quarterback of all time.
Although football season is so short it still seems so long during the tough times of injuries. Luckily the people are tougher than the ailments.
Once again Twitter has given me food for thought.
Today someone tweeted: Why do we still need God? I immediately wondered: why wouldn’t we still need God?
So why do I feel we still need God? Fear of the unknown may be a reason for some. But what is the unknown? What is going to happen tomorrow? That is not for us to know. Tomorrow is just for us to live, just as today is and yesterday was. I all ready know I’ve been born and I know that someday I will die. Everybody is going to die. It is guaranteed. There is nothing unknown about it, so there is nothing to fear. As someone once said to me: “you can’t fear or worry about something you have no control over”.
As for being comforted in believing something greater than myself has control, yes, I know something greater than myself has control because I sure as hell don’t. I know non believers will argue the “nature” or “science” theory when it comes to bad weather. Yes, I agree that nature does influence the weather. But in thinking deeper, what controls nature? What makes nature like it is? Nonbelievers will blame religion on the fact that there are wars. Yes, I agree that many wars have occurred because of religion. But that is not the case with all wars. And in thinking deeper, what controls the people who fight these wars? What controls their ability to invent guns and other weaponry?
I think we still need God to have something to believe in. And I know non believers will sarcastically ask “which God”. To which I reply: The Higher Power. Call it what you want. The definition covers everybody. I know believing in something is great, but why God and not the dust bunnies under my bed? Well, believing in God makes people feel good about themselves, myself included. The dust bunnies, well, they just collect more dust. And I’m sure not believing in God makes people feel good about themselves also.
Just like the percentage of extreme Atheists draws a bad picture for all Atheists, the same thing goes for the percentage of extreme religious individuals. If we would all just learn to accept one another for what we do or don’t believe in, the world would be a much better place to live in.
Not to sound like an episode of “Seinfeld” but I really wonder why they call it “First Night”. Since we are celebrating the new year after midnight, shouldn’t it be called “First Morning”? To me “First Night” would be the evening of January 1, meaning after dusk. Just sayin’…
With that aside, in the past on the final day of the year I have often done a run-down of current events from the past year, including noteworthy passings, births, what-have-you. I’m not doing any of that this year.
Instead I’ve decided to reflect on what I’ve learned in 2015. Not that I’ve never learned anything during any other year. I’m always learning something new. But 2015 just seems like a year where I learned more than I have in the past. Maybe it’s just because I’m getting older. I don’t know.
I learned that with one fell swoop fond childhood Saturday morning memories can be tarnished forever.
I learned that the phrase “if you put lipstick on a pig, it’s still a pig” can refer to music as well as politics.
Just because someone is a legal adult doesn’t mean they’re going to act that way.
Most people don’t know how to mind their own business. Especially when it comes to social media.
I learned that although someone may not like what you say or do, they’re going to read, listen, follow, or watch you any way they can. Even hire “techies” to scan your every computer move. See not knowing how to mind their own business above.
I learned that people don’t always tell the “entire truth” so they will look better in the eyes of their followers. Then they try to cover their tracks when they realize you’re on to them.
I’ve learned that people don’t like it if you’re wise. They want you to be as “dumbed down” as most others are that associate with them.
I’ve learned that it’s better to just let go than to keep wading in the bullshit.
Most people will never tell you what they really think. They will, however, kiss your ass to no end.
Everyone has an opinion about something. Not everyone is going to agree with everything. If we all agreed, that would be boring. Then there are the people who go through life kissing ass and will agree with anything. See above.
Chances are if someone comments on a Facebook post, there will be spelling errors in it. To me that just pushes credibility out the window.
There is more dirty laundry on Facebook and Twitter than in my washer.
Trump uses Aqua Net.
No matter what happens to them, some people will never stop talking about themselves. Only in death will they stop being egotistical. And even then I wonder.
Steve Harvey is human
Gronk is a beast
Brady is the best QB we will ever see
The last two statements I already knew. I just wanted to throw them in here. GO PATS!
I learned you can get an AARP card when you turn 50. But I’m not 50. I also learned that you can get a senior discount if you are 43. But I’m not 43 either.
Charlie Brown will never change. Thank God. And everything Pixar touches turns to gold.
You can grow potatoes on Mars. Who knew? Only Matt Damon.
The Pope is hip.
I learned that I can make my deadlines, even when I think I can’t.
The older he gets, the better Springsteen is.
Canoe is a very expensive restaurant.
I know I’m in better health now than I was at the start of the year.
Terrorists are nuts and guns kill people.
Speaking of people, SURPRISE! We are ALL people, no matter what color our skin is. Imagine that!
Lastly, everyone should read Mitch Albom’s new book “The Magic Strings of Frankie Presto”. Especially musicians.
With that, my fellow bloggers, readers, snoopers, watchers—whatever—I wish you a safe and happy New Year. May 2016 be full of more learning experiences for us all!
One woman’s Christmas gifts to her family has caused a viral uproar. It’s not so much what the gifts are; it’s the amount of gifts that appear under the tree that seem to be bothering some.
Although it’s this woman’s right to purchase 300 gifts and post pictures of her load all over social media, it’s really nobody’s business. Unfortunately, when someone posts something such as this, they have to expect backlash. I mean, what did she think was going to happen?
Personally, I don’t see what the big deal is. To me 300 gifts in my living room is the norm every year. But that’s what happens when you have ten people to buy for. And those ten people buy gifts also. My house is 960 square feet. My living room is about 12 x 15. So you can imagine what it looks like squeezing ten people, furniture, a tree and over 300 gifts into one room. Once the gifts are “under” the tree (and around the tree, piled up several feet from the tree, etc.), there isn’t much room left to move around. Opening gifts in my house is pretty much an all day affair. My husband and I don’t open our gifts to each other until Christmas night. And if you really think 300 gifts is excessive, I know a family who does way more than that. It’s not uncommon for them to still be finding gifts after the New Year.
Has this woman missed the meaning of Christmas? Have I? I don’t think either of us has. Maybe she’s like me and doesn’t buy much for her kids through out the year. Maybe a lot of her gifts are health and beauty items which will help defray the cost of such items for the recipients for a brief time. Shampoo, soap, toothpaste, deodorant and other health items are some of the most well liked gifts in my house. Believe it or not, those items do add up.
Some may consider what this woman has under her tree as a Christmas overload. To me it’s just a lot of memories for her family.