Do you know about”National Kiss a Ginger Day!”

I am a ginger

Gingers are the best

Did you know that yesterday was National Kiss a Ginger Day? Well, it was! According to the website:

The red hair gene is recessive and requires two copies for it to present itself. Even then, there is no guarantee it will. If both parents have the gene, there is a 1 in 4 chance they will have a redheaded child.  Most natural-born redheads (yes, some of us like the bottle) have brown eyes, followed by green or hazel. Coming in at 1% of the world’s population, the blue-eyed ginger is the rarest kind. So if you give one of these ginger’s a kiss, consider yourself lucky.

National Day Calendar website

If you are wondering, and I am sure you are, I fall into the “rare” category as I have natural red hair AND blue eyes. According to the webpage that describes redheads, many gingers feel like outcasts. When I was growing up, I did feel that way. Not so much because I had red hair but because of the pale skin that came along with it. When I was a kid, the thing everyone wanted was to be able to get a good tan. I have never been tan in my life. I turn red, then it peels and I am white as a sheet again.

That was always a struggle for me. I tried to get tan. I dreamt about it. On more than one occasion, I laid out in the sun with friends. To make matters worse, one time I did as my friends did and got super sick. We spread tin foil out on the ground, dowsed ourselves in baby oil and fried. I have never been that sick from just being outside. On my first visit to Cape Coral, Florida, where my best friend lived, I could barely be in the sun, it hurt so much.

Redheads need more anthesia

I did a paper on this when I was at Georgetown. The American Society of Anethesiology put out a report confirming that people with natural red hair need more anthesthisia than people with other hair colors. This was the first time such a correlation was found. This all comes from a defect in the melanocortin-1 receptor. Other indicators of the defect are pale skin and freckles.

Now, I have experienced this. When I had my wisdom teeth removed, I woke up in the middle of the surgery and was not happy about it. I can assure you, I will mention this when I have surgery next week.

My happy season

happy season

Thanks to the game last night, my happy season is back

As a Met fan, baseball season often turns into something of a sports Bataan Death March (no, not really but you get the point). For years, my happy season was football season. I am also a 49er fan. (I was born in San Francisco and grew up mostly on Long Island but spent a good deal of time in the Bay Area). By winning their game against the Rams, my happy season is back!

When I was a little kid, I was daddy’s little girl all the way. He loved the Mets and 49ers, so I did, too. He also loved the Oakland Raiders and I grew up loving them as well (that ended when they left for Los Angeles). He may also have been a Jet fan but I hated the Giants and Jets (I have no idea why). I only think he must have liked the Jets because I found a bunch of glasses with the Jets helmet on them. I gave them away.

Last week, I went out to watch the Niners play because I couldn’t watch it at home and I was pretty confident they would win because of who they were playing. This week, I was grateful I could watch at home because I don’t like to watch big games where my team isn’t in the best position. I wasn’t convinced they could win yesterday.

And what a game! I know it is too violent and have mixed feelings about the game in general but football can be a beautiful game. Last night, it was amazing! Now, I may not feel that way when they play the Cowboys (I hate the Cowboys!) but right now I am super happy.

Squirrel Montana & Moose Wilson

I love watching sports and getting all worked up over the games. I feel like it is very cathartic. During the pandemic in 2020 when there were no baseball games, I didn’t think it bothered me but I wasn’t sleeping well and then baseball was back. After watching one game and getting all worked up, I slept like the dead. As the narrator in Fight Club said, “Babies don’t sleep this well.” I think that movie offers a lot of insight into what people get from watching sports.

When describing the fights in Fight Club, the narrator says, “When the fight was over, nothing was solved, but nothing mattered. We all felt saved.” Watching sports is kind of like that for me. I get really into it. I love and hate passionately but when it is over, it doesn’t matter. If my team wins or loses, nothing in my life is different. I am different.

There is a quote that is often attributed to the Dalai Lama, “Pain is inevitable. Suffering is optional.” In addition to the pain we all experience, life is annoying. There are so many things that happen in our lives that just add aggravation. When I first watched Fight Club, the thing that attracted me to the story was the everyday annoyances we all experience that lead to violence. I was working as a temp at the time. Between the annoyances that accompany that job, dealing with the Metro, looking for a full-time job, etc. I could relate to the need to blow off some steam. No, I never got violent because that’s what I have sports for.

I watch and get really into the games. I ride the roller coaster that is a baseball season for Met fans because it is so cathartic. It’s also why my cats are named after athletes. Joe Montana and Mookie Wilson. Both had a huge impact on my youth.

Watching horror movies and reading scary books provide a similar experience. For many people, and this is one reason this genre is so popular, these stories give us all a chance to face our demons in a safe environment. The killer is always defeated (even if only temporarily) and the emotional release is great. Now that I am thinking about it, and it may have already been obvious to you, that is why people ride those roller coasters I referenced in relation to the Mets.

Back to life, back to reality

The holidays are officially over and people around here are taking down their holiday decorations. That makes me sad, as it does every year because it is so dark here so early. Having said that, I need to get cracking on my resolutions. One is to work harder on my writing but the other is to work against genocide. You can read more about both goals here.

Where’s Mr. Smith when you need him?

Where's Mr. Smith when you need him?

We need more Jefferson Smiths today

This time of year, many people watch the classic film It’s a Wonderful Life. I am as much of a fan of that movie as anyone but my go-to Frank Capra movie has to be Mr. Smith Goes to Washington. If you haven’t seen the film, you should watch it as soon as possible, it is about a naive youth leader who is appointed to fill a vacant U.S. Senate seat. Jefferson Smith is selected because his naivete would make him easy to manipulate.

Things don’t go as planned for the corrupt politicians who want Smith to just go along with whatever they say and he takes to the Senate floor to object.

And this country is bigger than the Taylors, or you, or me, or anything else. Great principles don’t get lost once they come to light; they’re right here! You just have to see them again.

Jefferson Smith

We need people like that in government. People who still believe that politics is the “art of the possible.” We need fewer people who think the only goal that matters is staying in office, getting more money and power, and think party politics are more important than doing the people’s business.

When I was a little kid, my goal was to bridge the gap that exists between people and the government. Yes, I was a strange child. While I felt that way years before I ever heard of Mr. Smith Goes to Washington, that was my goal. I started volunteering on campaigns on Long Island when I was about eight years old. I went door to door, passing out literature for local Democrats. In a two to one (or three to one) Republican area, this took some gumption. In fact, one thing that has never wavered for me is my commitment to progressive causes and candidates.

It would be easy to be depressed about the state of things in our government and in politics. On the anniversary of the attempted coup, it is important to point out that storming the capitol and beating up the police there is not the way to change things. I have no idea what to do to get us all reading from the same book, but have we ever really all agreed on anything?

Half of the nation thought owning people was a good idea for centuries. In 2020, Senator Josh Hawley (R-MO) called slavery a “necessary evil.” That just shows how two people can look at the same thing and think very different things.

It is lazy to think that the only way to change things and make them better is through violence. The hard work is less exciting. We all need to pay attention to the government and to act when we need to. By act, I mean, protest, write letters, write letters to the editor, write op-eds, plan events that raise awareness. The most important thing we can all do is vote.

And white privilege isn’t a thing?

Senator Ted Cruz (R-Hell-Texas) got himself into trouble this week when he called the rioters from 1/6/2021 “terrorists.” Tucker Carlson was having none of that and Cruz had to go on his show and defend his comments? Huh?

Add the fact that Senator Ron Johnson (R-Stupidville-WI) had some interesting things to say about the day.

“I knew those are people that love this country, that truly respect law enforcement, would never do anything to break the law, so I wasn’t concerned. Now, had the tables been turned — now, Joe, this will get me in trouble — had the tables been turned and President Trump won the election and those were tens of thousands of Black Lives Matter and Antifa protesters, I might have been a little concerned.” 

Senator Ron Johnson on The Joe Pags Show

What kills me about this is when people of color protest by taking a knee or taking to the streets, I often hear people — most often on the right — say things like, “They aren’t doing this the right way.” I have friends who say things like that. During the height of the #BlackLivesMatter protests in 2020, a friend posted (she was responding to a post that made it look like Antifa protesters perpetrated acts of vandalism), “We’ll treat you like humans when you act like humans.” Who gets to decide what is and is not “human behavior?”

When the protesters surrounded the White House, then-President Trump wanted to use the military to break up the crowds. He did use it to move people out of Lafayette Park (across from the White House so he could do a photo op in front of a church. Contrast that with what happened on 1/6/2021 and if you aren’t seeing the hypocrisy and racism, you aren’t paying attention.

The take-home message, as it always seems to be, if you are white, you can get away with just about anything.

Want to carry a weapon across state lines when you are a minor? If you are white (Kyle Rittenhouse), feel free! Want to carry a gun without a state permit and then drive with an air freshener hanging from your mirror (Daunte Wright)? We will kill you!

It’s a good thing that white privilege is not real.

We live in a scary world. I wrote this a few years ago about the things I think we should be scared of this.

Walking in a winter wonderland…

it's winter in Stony Brook

Our first snow of the winter!

I used to love snow. It was pretty and fun to play in and sometimes, I got the day off from school! Now I am not such a fan. Back then, I didn’t have to deal with the roads or shoveling or, well, shoveling is the worst part.

One winter, when I was a little kid, the house next to my grandmother’s (where I live now) was used as a mental hospital of sorts. A psychiatrist had her patients in the mansion next to my house. One of the patients got a knife and stabbed another. The injured man ran to our house and rang the bell. I am not sure what happened then. What I do know is that I was not allowed outside and when we left the house I had to go out the back and walk to Bennett Lane to leave because it had snowed and the snow in front of the house was bloody from the stabbing next door.

I didn’t know about any of this then. Judy, my grandmother told me about it all much, much later.

The Internet’s a crazy place…

I was looking for info on the house next to mine when I found this. My mom was in the Peace Corps back in the early 1960s. I had never seen this before today. Crazy!

Got plans for tonight?

If you are on Long Island and ready to have some fun, you won’t want to miss this show.

Tonight, January 8 at 9:00 pm (doors open at 8:00), Round Two Pub in Ronkonkoma!

Where were you on January 6, 2021?

January 6

January 6th was a terrible day, did we learn anything?

Unlike, September 11, 2001, January 6, 2021 is a Rorschach test of sorts. People who believe the majority of the media and government accounts of the 2020 election results, see a violent would be coup. People who don’t see that day in a different light. Former President Donald Trump has had several opinions about that day and the people involved. They were patriots who care about the nation. They were “deadbeats” and a few bad apples. They were really Antifa. The best he has said was that this was a “false flag.”

As you probably know, I am on the side of the people who think it was an attempted coup. I keep hearing people say it wasn’t really a coup attempt because the people were not very organized and it failed to change anything. If an incompetent person tries to murder someone and fails, it is still a crime. It’s called “attempted murder” and people go to prison for committing it.

This country has the ability to look into these kinds of events and crimes. After 9/11, Congress held hearings to look into what happened and no one called those hearings partisan. The initial hearings into what happened in Benghazi made sense but the GOP went too far.

As someone who has lived (for a long time) and worked on Capitol Hill, it was hard for me to watch the mob storm the building. If we cannot really investigate what happened and how to prevent it in the future, we will lose our republic.

Why has the NRA not embraced Daunte Wright?

When Kyle Rittenhouse, 17 at the time, went from one state to another with his AR-15, he was breaking the law. People on the right embraced him immediately after he shot three people. When Daunte Wright, pulled over for having an expired registration and a air freshener hanging from his mirror and then nearly arrested for a warrant for not having a state license for his gun, was killed, they were no where to be found. Why?

The NRA is always complaining about regulations on gun ownership, where were they complaining that Wright’s Second Amendment rights were under attack? This is just more proof that you can get away with a lot if you are a white, straight man in the United States.

Do you have resolutions for 2022? You can read about mine here.