My Blog Motto

"Good judgement comes from experience, and often experience comes from bad judgement"

~Rita Mae Brown

Sunday, March 24, 2013

So Happy Together

In an effort to dispel the bluesy feeling I had all weekend I turned to one of my best weapons against My old friend who has seen me through dark days and lonely times. The most recent funk having been born of frustration with the cynicism, inertia and insensitivity I had been encountering of late could only be conquered by it's polar opposite; peace, love and freedom. I needed to reconnect with my inner flower child, the free spirited little girl who was lucky enough to grow up in a decade and an environment where the adults around me spent their days making music and art, wearing flowers in their hair and life was a seemingly endless party. Our house was frequently visited by people who had made pilgrimages to San Francisco and returned with tales of communal living, concerts in the park and some other experiences that, although I didn't quite understand at the time seemed to leave them feeling very complete and at peace with the world.
As with most music genres many of the popular songs are about love, or some close approximation anyway. As I went through the playlist of some of my early favorites and sang along I felt, for a brief moment, a fleeting sense of sadness that I have no one to sing these declarations of love and devotion to. But I realized that one person alone shared all the memories that accompanied these songs. One person knew all the secrets they evoked, which songs were matched with which crush, which break up, which life event. One person knows what song was playing when I lost my virginity (well okay, two but I have no idea where the other is or even if he's still alive). While songs croon of lifelong love, few of us are lucky enough to experience that ideal. There is only one person we spend our entire lives with...ourselves.
This is not the first time I've written about this topic. I had posted a blog about spending my first single Valentine's Day by being my own Valentine. And I probably have a few more out there. It is something that has taken me nearly a lifetime to truly grasp and a few more years to accept, that I am my best friend. Yeah it sounds cheesy but, trust me, I have enough dimensions to my personality to keep it interesting. So today as the music lifted me out of my gloom, pulled me off the couch to dance through my apartment waving my arms around like a damn fool and singing "so happy together..." I was singing to the only person in the room, the only person who knew the exact moves to the accompanying dance that I've been doing the same way for over 40 years. Me.

© 2010-2013 Nanakoosa’s Place, authored by Jennifer Hazard

Sunday, March 17, 2013

Random Thoughts

Cats..they may just keep us sane

I'm in a bit of a writing slump lately, but never at a loss for something to chatter on about. Therefore this weeks blog will consist of some of the noisier chatter that's been going on in my mind this week.

People are upset that the new Pope isn't into gay rights or equality for women. Any man who is going to make his way up the ranks in the Catholic Church is not going to do so flaunting a Liberal Feminist agenda. Let's just be glad that he cares about the poor.

Positive Thinking does not mean that we don't have negative or worrisome thoughts. It's more about how we cope with them. In fact until we live in a world where everyone functions in a state of constant bliss and generosity, worrisome and 'negative' thoughts are a means to survival. If we never imagined anything bad happening to our children, how would we protect them from the events and people that might harm them? Don't beat yourself up for having 'bad thoughts', you are human. Don't think for a moment that this makes you a less spiritually evolved person. Authenticity is spiritual. Honor yourself, that's real spirituality.

Although there are rational discussions to be had in the gun control argument, the people who would engage in these conversations are largely ignored by the media. We are also drowned out by the polarizing extremists on social media and in personal conversations. This is unfortunate because in a complex and diverse society the most practical solutions will be those that evolve from rational thought, not extremist reaction.

War is an ugly shameful enterprise that Americans have become immune to because it has always existed in some form in our history. Remember all those movies that came out in the post Vietnam era, like Platoon, Full Metal Jacket and Apocalypse Now? They can be difficult to watch, which is precisely why people should watch them. We need to be reminded of the true cost of war, not the cost in dollars, mind you, but the human cost.

Too drunk to say no also means you're too drunk to say yes. The young men in the Steubenville rape case have been handled with kid gloves through this entire process. If any good has come of this situation it is that it has shed some light on just how absurd the rationalizations and excuses for rape sound in print and in the media. Because they are reality.

Sometimes life feels overwhelming. We all feel this way from time to time. Give yourself a break. Indulge in something silly, something fun. This is why the internet is full of cats. Cats appeal to us because of their cool self indulgent nature. Take a lesson from a cat today.

That's it for this week. I hope I can regain some focus and start blogging more consistently again soon, but in the meantime, I'm taking my own advice and am lightening up on myself.

Peace, Love and Cats!

© 2010-2013 Nanakoosa’s Place, authored by Jennifer Hazard

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

The Boob Tube

I swear I'm not one of those pious and condescending people who boasts about not watching television. You know the type, I'm sure. These people practically nullify the merits of a untelevised household with their sheer arrogance and intellectual snobbery. I did however, go for nearly a year without having a tv in my house. Not because I'm morally or intellectually superior but because I didn't have the funds to buy one and it really wasn't that important to me (or I would have managed a way to afford one) In that year I watched plenty of tv but on my computer and therefore was able to be selective with my viewing. I was also, for the most part, able to avoid the bombardment of advertising that is seen on network tv.

Recently one of my daughters gave me her old set, a pre-digital model which involved needing a converter box, another hand me down. Then about 2 weeks ago my computer had an unfortunate meeting of minds with a cup of hot chocolate. There I was, no netflix, no X-files reruns, no YouTube jackassery, so I turned on the tube.

Within an hour of reengaging myself with my old friend I was convinced I needed to run down to Victoria's Secret and buy a new bra. By the next day I was squinting in the mirror at my wrinkles and uneven skin tone. By day 3 I realized that if this relationship were to continue I was going to have to mute the ads or change the channel when they appeared. Since staring at a muted screen is rather boring, I quickly rediscovered the senseless joy of channel surfing, the champion sport of the attentionally deficit.

This is when you know you have a problem; when you're not watching with intent and purpose but are beginning to 'turn', like a zombie or old milk. Having acknowledged I had a problem I immediately set out to find a handy source of rationalization to accommodate my viewing pleasure. This is when I discovered the retro channel. Ah, childhood memories. I Love Lucy, The Rifleman, Gunsmoke and Dragnet. Wait, Dragnet? Did I like that show even then? Heck no, but I remember it was always good for a few laughs when nothing else was on. And let me tell you, it still is.

Aside from the hipster ironic television enjoyment I discovered there is some pretty decent programming available, on PBS of course...any snob will tell you that. But seriously since network tv went digital and has had to compete with cable they have upped the ante on many of the public tv stations from travel shows to arts and crafts to documentaries.

Now I'm back online and able to be more discriminating in my viewing choices I'm not giving up my tv time. Like all pastimes it can be productive, mediocre or just plain unhealthy but as long as we can maintain some perspective and discrimination we're okay. Just skip the ads.

© 2010-2013 Nanakoosa’s Place, authored by Jennifer Hazard