Wednesday, April 19, 2017

Finding Rainbows

Yesterday we flew from Anchorage to Arizona, with a stopover in Seattle. It was raining (big surprise I know.) For various reasons, our plane out of Seattle was late getting off and we had to wait behind ten other planes for takeoff. So I was waiting, reading my book, and happened to look out the window to see this. 

I don't think I've ever seen a rainbow this low across the sky, or with such definition between the colors. The photo really doesn't do it justice, especially with the raindrops on the window, but you can take my word that it was spectacular. 

This is one of those lessons I keep having to relearn. Beauty is all around us if we pay attention. 

Look up. Do you see something beautiful?

Tuesday, April 11, 2017

Musical Memories

I was puttering around in my garage today and found a time machine. Yes, Virginia, those are real vinyl record albums. Granted, the time machine isn't fully functional because, while we do still have a turntable, the stereo receiver it used to be hooked up to is long gone. But it doesn't matter. Just looking at the covers is enough to send me back in time.

I remember when my friend introduced me to Tiger Beat and Donny Osmond. She had his album and a signed poster. *sigh* That smile, that hair. What twelve-year-old girl could resist? Then came the Carpenters and John Denver and Olivia Newton-John. Yeah, I wasn't much of a rebel. Eventually I discovered the Eagles, and Peter Frampton, and Fleetwood Mac. 

My college boyfriend, now my husband, didn't sing or play an instrument, but he had one great musical talent. Within a few notes of a song starting on the radio, he could name the song, the band, and often the album. He introduced me to Heart, Thin Lizzy, Credence Clearwater Revival, and so many more. Here's Homer Simpson remembering his music. 

Earlier in the episode, Homer Simpson claims music achieved perfection in 1974, and I wouldn't totally disagree. I've forgotten most of my algebra and almost all of the periodic table, but I can still remember the lyrics to "Desperado." Can you?

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Thursday, April 6, 2017

Life isn't Football

Have you ever been to a college football game? I don’t even like crowds, and yet there is something exhilarating about hanging out with 50,000 of your fellow fans, rooting for your team.  The conflict is set, the stakes are clear. At the end of the evening, you’ll emerge victorious, or you won’t. But there’s always next season.

It’s especially fun in the student section, where enthusiasm is at its highest. You’re all on the same side, rejoicing at each first down, groaning over every fumble. If a call goes against your team, you all agree it was a bad call, because it’s your team, even if the replay does rather look as though the knee touched the ground. It’s all in good fun, because at the end of the day, it’s just football.

But I’m seeing the same behavior when it comes to politics. There is this bitter rivalry between the two parties, and everyone’s expected to root for the home team. Everything my party does is good, everything your party does is evil. Don’t show me the replay, because I don’t care. I’ll believe what my friends believe, because we’re on the same side.

Is it truly unimaginable that a person who believes women should make their own choices on abortion can also believe high corporate taxes are bad for job growth? Or that we spend too much on welfare and not enough on alternative energy research, or vice versa?

When a controversy pops up, do we really consider the implications, or do we blindly believe or dismiss information based on what our friends are saying? After all, if something is controversial, it usually means there are strong arguments on both sides. Hardy anyone’s against home-grown tomatoes or puppies.

It’s fine to have opinions. It’s fine to share opinions with friends. It’s not fine to marginalize or insult everyone who has a different opinion, especially when we haven’t researched the issue ourselves. Headlines aren’t a sound basis for policy-building. 

If we want to vow unquestioned loyalty to the home team, there’s always football.  

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