Category Archives: enemies

Bidding Adieux to the Old Year

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As we bid ‘adieux’ to the Old Year, 2014, we may reflect on this past

year and see some great things happened in the world, along with

our personal lives. This post won’t dwell on the many negative news

items that took place across the world. My recent conversation I had

with my good friend, Patrice, where we discussed the economy was

full of hope. She is a moderate Republican but found Pres. Obama

has “helped the economy,” citing some personal ways it improved.

Especially for the businesses of her family, who saw an upswing in

purchasing pizzas at her brother in law’s pizza chain, along with her

sister’s Castle Farms in Charlevoix, Michigan having much continued

success. Pat shared good news with her family’s investments in stocks

and bonds, showing profitable and significant increases. The U.S. stock

exchange and business world has not been this secure since Clinton’s

administration. (This can be confirmed in the business pages of the

New York Times, Cleveland Plain Dealer and Columbus Dispatch.)

 

I don’t really wish to quote statistics, just the positive slow, gradual

upswing in the economy as something good to report.

 

While talking with members of our warehouse, several mentioned

the Obamacare (health care and insurance) situation seems to have

‘finally straightened out.’

 

While talking with my artistic brother, Randy, we were on the ‘same

page’ thinking that the renewal of ties with Cuba is a positive way to

bring trade. Also, influencing the political climate of country south of

us, which we have had past problems with. Hoping this will lead to a

better future connection. While this may be ‘common knowledge’ I

found the fact the leader of Cuba is one who has chosen to lead a ‘gay

lifestyle’ hopeful,  since this may mean that there will be less civil unrest

and hateful reactions to people of different life choices.

 

It also seems to reflect a ‘gentler’ means of controlling his country, less

than we had from Fidel Castro. Back in 1963, Fidel Castro had made

quite a mean statement about Cuba’s gay community and their ‘tight

pants’ and wishing to display ‘girlie’ acts in public. Since 2012, there

have been annual Cuban “Kiss-In’s” which is the gay community’s way

of standing up to the controlling leadership in a non-violent way. Even

getting a positive ‘nod’ from the Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro,

for the United States reaching out to Cuba with an olive branch.

This was all compiled by myself: having attempted to confirm various

sources of information.

 

I will hope Fidel’s brother, President Raul Castro, will help lead his

country from communism into socialism. They may label themselves

‘socialistic,’ but the cruel army regime exists there still. I can ‘dream’

of Cuba’s someday becoming a Democratic country, where people’s

votes will be counted.

 

It is totally fine with me, if this positive outlook is challenged with

big doses of reality. I am “open for debate” in my comments section!

 

Thomas Kinkade, 2001:

“I believe that adding light to the canvas of our daily existence is a

simpler process than we often make it out to be. I believe it really is

possible to think and act in ways that shine more radiant joy in our

lives and the lives of those around us.”

 

From my old Children’s Anthology, which featured ‘brownies’ who are

like little sprites in the night:

“In January, when the snow

Lies on the hills and valleys low

And from the north the chilly breeze

Comes whistling through the naked trees

Upon toboggans long they ride,

Until the broadening light of day

Compels them all to quiet their play.”

(Written and Illustrated by Palmer Cox.)

 

My post-Christmas special memories of this year, 2014:

*~ I loved having my Mom be happy and healthy in body

and spirit. She was entranced by the Elf doll which was

a bright and cute girl, with red ‘velvet’ skirt with white

trim, with green and white striped hose and red pointy

shoes, with bells on each toe. She exclaimed each time

she spied it up on the edge of a rocking chair back.

*~ I found the most giving souls were the two six year old

Kindergarteners, among my grandies.

Little Marley could not open her gift before I opened her

purchase of a white painted sleigh bell with its top hat and

cheery face, making it a cute little snowman ornament.

Marley slipped a bracelet into my coat pocket, which she

had made from a craft kit given to her by Santa. I did not

‘discover’ this string of red, black, pink and yellow stars until

I got home, putting my mittens back into my pockets.

 

Micah had used his Secret Santa school “pocket savings”

from his home piggy bank to purchase a wide variety of

little dollar gifts. Mine was a head band which had a pair

of reindeers on the ‘antennae.’ This was the first time I had

seen this head adornment; usually the two ‘antennae’ are

antlers! I wore it proudly around to both families’ Christmas

events. I also had two children request a photo taken with

them on. Quite a thoughtful and fun gift, Micah!

 

The ‘true spirit’ of giving was in both these little ones’ hearts.

 

Do you have any thoughts about the political climate or post-

holiday memories you wish to share?

 

Fantasies

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Not sure the Grimm brothers would wish to be considered descendants from an

“elite line of criminal profilers” known as simply, “Grimms.” The character, Nick

Burkhardt, is very popular in the television show with that name. It is a combination

of mystery, suspense, horror and fantasy. I have watched this from its premiere, with

bated breath waiting for the next episode to begin. Nick’s character partner is named,

Hank Griffins, who is part of knowing Nick’s ancient history. The story revolves with

ancestry references and a fictionalized heritage besides. Hank is a good and trust-worthy

partner. This history allows him to ‘see’ and ‘fight’ by engaging in battle with all sorts of

strange creatures. The fantasy television series first appeared three days before the

holiday, Halloween, in 2011.

The other side characters in “Grimm” include a woman, Fuchsbau Rosalee, who is

able to use pharmaceuticals, including herbs and natural ingredients needed to be

‘antidotes’ and ‘potions.’ She is the “Fox,” among the characters. The Wolf,” is also

once the ‘big, bad wolf,’ but has learned to control his transformations, unless he

is angered, his character’s name is Monroe.

A very popular episode with my fellow coworkers at my warehouse is one that engages

the character of the Filipino fairy tales, the terrifying, ‘aswang.’ Felda, Mary Jane and

their families gathered to watch this “Grimm’s” episode that aired on March 7, 2014.

It came up again in conversation, with the new Fall Season starting soon. Next Friday,

another “Grimm” show will be presented. The March scary Filipino fairy tale involved

a popular character played by a Clevelander, a Padua Franciscan High School graduate.

In the television series, his name is Sergeant Wu. As Sgt. Wu, his character was an integral

part of the way the case against the “aswang” was solved. In real life, Cleveland born Reggie

Lee, could have headed off to Harvard. His parents, who were from the Philippines, would

have been so ‘proud of him.’ He chose instead to dabble in the dramatic art of acting,

at the Cleveland, Ohio Greenbrier Theater and Cleveland Play House.

 

Make sure you check out “Grimm” for fulfilling your need for fantasy crime scenes!

 

There is a rather new “fractured fairy tale” written by a woman named Helen Oyeyemi,

who has written a re-telling of the traditional, “Snow White.” Her book titled,  “Boy,

Snow, Bird” is her newest book. This is a tale with the main character being a bi-racial

eight year old girl and her ‘badly behaving’ secret friend.  Ms. Oyeyemi’s history of

wondrous books includes her first book published called, “The Icarus Girl.”  This tale

wove African and Western cultures together in an international mythology.  Her second

one was called, The Opposite House.” Her third book, “White is for Witching,” sounded

intriguing, too.  While on the cover of her “Boy, Snow, Bird” book there includes “Mr. Fox”

as her most recently published before this one. If you wish to hear why the secret friend

of the 8 year is old is ‘wicked,’ you may check this out.  The playfulness of the book, is

shown in the mother being called mistakenly, “Boy.” While her daughter is called, “Bird.”

The rat-catcher, involved in the plot, adding comic relief. It is published by the Riverhead

Publishing Co. Its bright lime-green colored cover, captures your eyes like ‘eye-candy.’

It has a rose-covered vine winding around the title. . . like a sinister snake.

 

This is not a fantasy, but it is certainly inspiring to watch. Check out YouTube for a

community of Amish people constructing a barn. I always think of that fantastic

mystery, police story and cultural movie, “Witness,” when it comes to the artistic

‘barn-raising’ scene filmed in this Harrison Ford movie. The way it is constructed in

such a beautiful, poetic and fluid way is just goosebump raising for me. So far, there

have been over 2 million ‘hits’ of watching this Raising of an Amish Barn.

 

Here is a quotation that wraps up this post that is about the television series,

“Grimm,” some creatively constructed fairy tales by Helen Oyeyemi and

the Amish community spirited barn-raising:

 

Charles Dickens’ quotation:

“The whole difference between construction and creation is exactly this:

that a thing constructed can only be loved after it is constructed; but a

thing created is loved before it exists.”

Patience

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Many songs, poems and essays have been written on the

subject of patience. I will not try to make this a

witty commentary nor a play on words. I have just

a few people that have been getting on my nerves

lately. I need a little patience!

I have to laugh, because this week we had a small

family gathering for my five year old grandson’s

birthday. I went there after dinner, around 7:30,

to be part of the festivities. My oldest daughter

is the one who has had theme parties for all 9

years of my oldest grandson. This year, she and

her partner, Mike, had taken the weekend to spend

time with both my oldest and youngest grandsons.

This was a ‘cake only’ and ‘gifts optional’ fun

time.

While waiting for the kids to run off some of

their steam before settling down to watch gifts

being opened and cake to savor, some of us were

sitting on the living room set. We were relaxing

and suddenly Micah ran into the living room,

turned around to find his recent ‘shadow,’ Kyah

behind him (age 3 on March 3). He looked very

exasperated at her and said, which stopped the

flow of our adult conversation, loudly:

“Stop following me! You are annoying me!”

It takes almost every ounce of my ‘being’ not to

laugh out loud at such things, while my serious

daughter scolded him,

“That’s not a nice way to talk to your cousin!”

I raised my eyebrows at my son, who also smiled

back at me. He knows what it is like to be one

of the only boys! (He has an older sister, had a

single mother (‘moi!’) while growing up and has a

younger sister!)

This is rolling into the ‘same old/same old’ stuff

that I am mainly wanting to write about. The way

some people are annoying. At work, in lines, in

public restrooms, to name a few places where I

have been showing a little irritability.

Yes, me!

There are numerous comments at work about our

limited hours, during the winter. I think the

ten to twelve hours we work during the summer,

in the hottest place I have ever worked, brings

home a lot of extra cash, which I save for when

we have our slower periods. We have had slow

months of January and February this year. It

may continue into March.

I get tired of the pleasant lines I deliver to

those who are ‘broke’ and complaining:

1. “Soon enough, we will be super busy and will

wish for some ‘down time!'”

2. “I try to save money from those big checks we

get in the warm months, from April or May up until

last November. It seems that we have less months

to rest up each year!”

3. “I am happy that we will soon have our income

tax refunds, do you declare 0 dependents?”

My cheery self, has been beat down and worn out on

the weather complaints. I mean, I was raised in the

cold northern part of Ohio! I did not mind 6- 12″

of snow as a child, try to see the fun, beauty and

enjoy the walks through the snow.

I especially love the way the stars seem so much

brighter at night and the daytime skies seem so

brilliantly aqua, turquoise and azure! The sunrises,

as I head to work, and the sunsets, as I leave the

library, are so awesome and thrilling.

But my good mood balloon ‘gets deflated’ and I am

dragging it behind me, on such subjects as money

and weather come up these days.

The other people who ‘get my goat’ are the ones

who have been going on and on, over Obamacare. I

have been studying and listening to this subject

without too much to say one way or another. It is

decided, now live with it!

The ones who are complaining are also telling me

that their grandchildren were born with no billing,

due to no marriage license or no insurance. I would

like to tell them, “No more free rides!” Wouldn’t

that shock them? Would everyone stop talking to me?

Sometimes, I want to be the grumpy one! But I am

NOT!

There is a woman, who at work, I have called the

“Queen Bee.” I have written about her awhile back.

Anyway, her new way of irritating me, is that she

volunteered to serve on the Safety Committee at

work. This means, she is allowed to carry around a

little pad of paper, stop you and ask you,

“Do you have any new safety concerns?”

I have given her the ones, like the Exit that was

closed, so in case of Fire, there was no Exit for

me to leave quickly and safely in the most flammable

area of the building. This got fixed, due to my

saying something, but tell her that she needs to

keep an eye on the heavy items and having them

moved from the top shelf. These are all that I

have been able to come up with. She came by, for

the second time this week, “Miss Chatty Cathy,”

and the “Queen Bee.” I do not directly let her

know my emotional uproar that shouts inside my

head when she bothers me, while I am trying to

make a good pace or ‘rate’ which is daily

measured.

When she interrupted my counting out 24 of these

items that usually are stocked in handy dandy

boxes of 12, so plunk, plunk, and two drops of

those boxes and I am done. Nope, I had to re-count

the 24. Already mad at the stockers who unpacked

and dumped these into bin boxes!

I take a deep breath and greet her by name. Oh

yes, I am using a pleasant voice.

“Tomorrow is the Safety Committee meeting at 6

a.m. and I won’t have time to ask you before I

head off to this, what are your concerns this

month?”

“Authority positions are a dangerous way to go

with certain personality types,” I think.

“If I don’t give her any ideas for the meeting,

maybe she won’t bother me next month,” I also

think. 23, 24!”

Out loud I tell her that I appreciate her waiting

for me to count the products that should have

been kept in their boxes of twelve. She nods

politely. This is, after all, ‘not her territory.’

She is one who works in the Mezzanine, where I

only have to deal with her once a week, except

on these occasions. I do want to say, she circles

round our table at lunch time but with the Force

of Four:

Tammy, Trevinal, Robin and Peggy, we all give her

a glare, pointedly staring at “The Price

is Right Show,” and she usually walks away from

our table.

This all takes willpower.

It is not a ‘pretty side of me,’ I admit.

The one who doesn’t want to cooperate with the

one who made me cry, seems like ages ago, due

to her rudeness.

She is also the one who drove my friend, Cheryl,

at work, to ram a cart into her. Fortunately,

Cheryl could honestly name a few people in that

area, who saw the “Queen Bee” ram her cart first

into hers.

“She did it first!”

So, I look at the woman who sometimes yanks my

chains and tell her…

“No safety concerns at this time.”

I didn’t fold nor flinch. I delivered my line in

such a ‘don’t mess with me’ tone, she walked

away.

Just as she walked away, I thought of the movie,

“Bambi,” a classic animated film, 1942.

Where Thumper got a lecture from his father, then

he used a re-phrasing of it to Bambi:

“If you can’t say something nice,

don’t say nothin’ at all.”

(Of course, the original parental speech would have

been, “If you don’t have something nice to say,

then don’t say anything at all.”)

Enemies

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We have had enemies in the history of our being here. We could have had

enemies, like the Klingons, from other planets. We may have had a “bad”

friend while young and declared these spiteful words: “You are my enemy

for life!”

Here is the definition of “Enemy.”

1. One that hates another one that attacks or tries to harm another.

2. Something that harms.

3. a. A nation with which a country is at war.

b. A hostile unit or force.

Foe is the synonym for enemy. Shows hostility or ill will. Stresses

antagonism. Showing itself in hatred or destructive attitude or

action.  Foe stresses active fighting or struggle and is used poetically

for an enemy or hater.

Why bring this up at the holidays? I think the powerful but beautiful

words, “Peace on Earth” sometimes need to be understood in the

way of looking at the world. How we face and act out towards our

fellowman.

From the beginning of time, sometimes our wrath was simply defending

ourselves. It may have been against a group of people or another caveman.

They probably fought over food, hunting grounds, where a good shelter

was located or their “attractive” or “desirable” mate!

Territory was an issue in some cases of enemies. The Hatfields and Mc Coys

come to mind. Also, clans against clans, tribes against tribes and this was

over where they lived and where their properties were. In the West, there

were the Free Range folks and the fenced in cattlemen.

In the history of our country here in the United States, and probably in your

own country, if you are not here, the problems lie in different points of view.

In these cases, it was the issue of Jewish people and Arabs in Jerusalem. It

is sadly a case of “sharing” and a small strip of Land, called the Gaza Strip.

It was the case of the Roman Empire which had to fall because of its immorality

and unfortunate destiny.

We were all about the Freedoms. Freedom of Religion drove us across a huge

ocean. Where we were not too religious, at times, with our feeling of impower-

ment and sovereignty. We believed in Freedom of Speech and that meant we

could gather in groups to picket or question the opinions and take our stands.

We still quarrel over the Right to Bear Arms and what “arms” should be allowed.

I am not on the side for any automatic weapons in the hands of anyone in their

houses. The armed forces, the “militia,” that the Revolutionary War patriots

were talking about, were protecting their property, families and country.

I feel that there should be allowed handguns and rifles, all for the reasons

of protection and getting food on tables. I am sure that it is a great form of

entertainment and sport. Those 98% of the country (and world) who would never

shoot their neighbor are not the ones we need to worry about. Those we do

worry about, fear mightily, due to their being “terrorists” or “psychopaths,”

probably can get around the rules and laws of owning guns.

I believe in the right to your feelings, allowing expression and the right should

always be there, as long as no one is being hurt or their lives put in danger.

This falls into the areas of prejudice, bullying and different lifestyles. None of

the ones who are minding their own business, living their own types of lives,

who are not hurting anyone, except maybe by their choice of wardrobe (touch

of humor, here, folks!) should have to stifle their expressions and ways of life.

My grandmother, Paula Haller Mattson, was born in Germany. She was hurt

and appalled when she would speak in her own version of English, some extra

special words from her country injected into it, when someone would ask her

if she were a “Jew.” She was living during the WWII era, and told me more than

once, “What if I were? I am a naturalized American…” She said, “I would allow

the nosy busybody to ‘assume’ that I was Jewish, because I did not want to ‘put

down’ those that were.” The questioner was implying by the question, in her

mind, somehow that it would be abhorrent, due to the concentration camps

and horrors that were not Jewish in orientation, nor her own background or

family’s choice of religion, Catholicism.

So when my brothers would try to play “Cowboys and Indians” or the “Germans

are the Bad Guys” my Grandma Mattson would pull them in from their play,

sit them down and explain a bit of history, sprinkled in with her love of all

mankind. We were only allowed to call the “enemy” using the words,

“The Bad Guys.”

When we were visiting from Ohio in Florida, going for a quick lunch out

at the good old Golden Arches, my Grandpa Mattson saw a black family

walking out of the place, heads down, parents looking dismayed, Grandpa

had to ask,

“Why are your children looking so sad?”

Turns out even in the sixties, different races were not allowed to buy a

hamburger at McDonalds, where you did not have a drive-thru. Most

of the original hamburger (fast food places), you would have to walk in

to order at the counter, take it to the beach or wherever you were headed.

But in the South, past when it should have been an issue, definitely past

the one hundred years’ mark that the Civil Rights War’s anniversary, we

were turning people away from sitting in the fronts of buses, eating at

the same places that others were allowed and drinking at water fountains

that were not labeled by the heinous words: “For Colored People.”

Well, my Grandpa took his little gas and mileage paper pad out of his glove

compartment and wrote down their orders and marched into the McD’s

to place their order. He included a few extra fries and hamburgers, too.

As he was leaving, ready to slam the door behind him, he exclaimed

loudly,

“By the way, that nice family from Washington D.C. that you turned

away still wanted to eat your food, I will never buy it for my own family

and grandchildren again!”

In the animal kingdom, there are mostly defensive killings, rarely a

choice of distaste, definitely more a decision that it was animal vs.

animal, the most dangerous one being the one to defer to.

There are no cases between animals of killing out of jealousy, hate crimes,

or genocide. There are episodes of bullying, fighting over territory and

where the next meal comes from. Nature is pretty straight forward,

mankind is so much more emotionally charged and complicated in their

choosing their enemies.

Why can’t human beings just get along?

All I can think of is, we were given more brain power, we should be able

to control ourselves, make better decisions and not always follow our

first impulses. Who can decide why we feel our gut reaction to someone?

How do we learn who to trust or not?

One case at a time…

All this is pretty controversial, throwing my opinions around and all!

I was not raised to be a narrow-minded person, my world was always

large, inclusive and sometimes, in the case of my own father, included

the universe with stars and the possibility of intergalactic friends, too.

I would overall like to have us ponder this, reflect and act better towards

each other, by being this way, we do make a difference!