Dreamer’s World May 19, 2018 – Happiness Is Unexpected Laughter

Snoopy and The Gang have come to my rescue once again. I found myself intrigued by the message for today. Why don’t we laugh more often? 

Study after study, from both the physical and mental perspectives, has shown that laughter is a great thing. It actually improves our health and our outlook on life. How often do we look with envy at someone who is happy and not afraid to show it? 

We must never forget that being happy is a choice that we all must make. It seems that life has conspired against us in so many ways. We find ourselves too stressed, or too rushed, or too busy, to be happy. We allow events and people to dictate our lives to such a degree that we end up surrendering our own autonomy to them without realizing it until it is too late. Actually, it is never too late to take some level of control back over your life. It is never too late to make the choice to be happy. 

 

Dreamer’s World May 18, 2018 –

I am through with another week at work. It really flew past, now that I can look back at it. Thankfully, this is my short day, and I will start my weekend at 1430. I am ahead of things and today wasn’t stressful at all.
I cannot remember seeing the sun at all this week. I know this is probably an exaggeration, but not much of one. We are stuck in dreary and rainy weather this week with no end in sight. I try to keep it from affecting my mood, but it is difficult after so many days like this.
Hal and I watched “Deadpool 2” last night. I cannot remember the last time we laughed so much and so often at a movie in the theater. I won’t try to give away the plot, and there are just too many in-jokes and gags to mention. I highly recommend seeing Deadpool 2 to everyone. Make certain you stay until the end for a great Green Lantern reference.
Once work is over, we have errands to run. Bank and grocery store are among the first items on our list. I want to get some items for cooking in the Instant Pot this weekend. The plan is to make chicken breasts with pasta and sauce, with green peppers and onions and mushrooms. I already have the chicken breasts, which are defrosting today, it is the other items that I need to be ready for cooking either tomorrow or Sunday.
Since my cooking won’t happen tonight, we plan to go out for a nice dinner to celebrate the end of the week. No final decision on where we will stop for dinner. I suppose that we might end up at home and order pizza if nothing else. I am going to let Hal decide what we will, or won’t, do this evening.
 

Dreamer’s World May 17, 2018 – Returning To “Normal”

    Today marks the start of a return to normalcy around here. Things are going well with the new apartment, and I am finally getting finances back in order after the expenses of the move. It has happened quicker than I thought it would, and I am extremely happy about this. Now, I can begin to build my savings back up again and take care of the expenses incurred during the move to wipe them out as quickly as possible.
    Actually, return to “normal” is not quite true. Hal and I are establishing a new “normal” routine here at the new apartment. Because we are closer to most of the places we like to go and don’t have to cross major highways to get to them, we have begun going to the movies for the first time in years. We can safely walk to the movie theater in less than 15 minutes through a nice neighborhood without tons of speeding traffic.
    In fact, tonight we are going to s sneak preview of “Deadpool 2” at the local theater. I will drive only if the weather is unpleasant. If the urge strikes us, there are two awesome restaurants along the way where we can have drinks and dinner afterward.
    It feels terrific to be no longer isolated from everything. The old apartment was on the other side of a major highway, and going anywhere other than by car meant taking our lives in our hands as we crossed that highway, even at the designated crosswalks. Several near misses by distracted/stupid drivers effectively stopped us from going places.
    Now, we have the grocery store, library, theater, chiropractor, dentist, and multiple restaurants we can safely walk to. The change is palpable. Even though we are roughly the same distance from many of these places, it no longer feels like we live on another planet.
    I can feel the difference in my daily life as well. I am sleeping better here in the new place, things seem more relaxed and comfortable as well. Because we moved out to this area last year, we have not had many visits from our friends because they don’t want to travel this far. That is fine with me because it means that we no longer have to make arrangements for them to come over. Actually, I think the real reason we no longer see them is that they want to stay closer to DC so they can get to all of the places there. Traveling out here would effectively kill their plans on the weekend. I see this decision as a reflection of their priorities and also an indication of where we fit into their list of priorities.
    As for us, we are happier than ever. This is really saying something after being together for over 18 years. It is a testament to our commitment to each other and our resolve to be happy with ourselves first. I like this new “normal.”

White Woman Calls Security on ���Suspicious Man With a Baby��� at Park in Washington, DC

Donald Sherman and Caleb
Photo: Donald Sherman (Facebook)

Well, it looks like the epidemic of well-meaning white folks (I guess) calling the police or security on black people as they go about their lives is par for the course in 2018 America.

It is becoming increasingly clear that although the whites have always had an irrational fear of black people, as they move in closer proximity to them (i.e., via gentrification), they also bring their biases—along with ironic dive bars and astronomical rents.

If you are even a semiregular reader of The Root, you have seen in the last month or so (since the “Starbucks incident”) that this type of shit happens every day—that these attacks (because be clear: When you call the law on black people in America, it is an attack) happen with frightening regularity to black folks from all walks of life.

 

This time, a black father was pushing his son in a Washington, D.C., park, and a white woman saw fit to notify park security about “a suspicious man walking the bike path with a baby.”

It should make no difference that that man, Donald Sherman, is a professional, a lawyer, because to some folks, he will always be a scary black guy.

Sherman explained in a May 10 Facebook post that on the day in question, his son was not feeling well, so he stayed home with him.

Screenshot: Donald Sherman (Facebook)

After some time, baby Caleb seemed better, so he took the little guy out for some fresh air at Kingman and Heritage Islands Park, man-made islands in the Anacostia River, not too far from his gentrified neighborhood. Sherman wrote:

30 minutes into our stroll I got flagged by a security officer in one of those cars marked “Special Police” on the side. I was a bit confused as to whether she was looking for me to stop but she honked twice and pulled over so I got the picture. She told me that she received a complaint from someone who said there was a “suspicious man” walking on the bike path with a baby. She said that when the complainant was asked to describe my race, she declined.

What is clear to anyone with eyes, however, is that Sherman is dark-skinned while his son is not, perhaps prompting the woman to think that a black man somehow stole a white baby. I guess.

Sherman noted that the only person he saw on their walk was “a white lady on a bike who veered off as Caleb and I were walking in her direction” and that she was the one who “saw fit to report me to security.”

Thankfully, Sherman reported that his interaction with the security officer was “pleasant” and that she just wanted to let him know what happened.

But being a black man in America, we know it could have been a very different situation.

“If this complaint had been made to a different security officer or an actual cop, things could have gone very differently,” he wrote. “This is exactly why we have to talk about white privilege and why black lives matter. Because at any point doing anything anywhere my safety and my child’s safety could [have] been in jeopardy because [of] some well-intentioned complaint.”

Let’s break out the flowchart one mo’ gin for those who obviously need it:

Image: Wesly Peterson (Facebook)

Perspective | There’s no cost to white people who call 911 about black people. There should be.

How to stop calls to report “suspicious” black people who aren’t doing anything wrong.

Read on washingtonpost.​com

Maybe it’s time to start prosecuting folks for these meritless calls—at least to 911.

Is Your Screen Time Eating Up Your Free Time?

Damon Ashworth Psychology

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How Did We Get Here?

In the classic Sociology book ‘Bowling Alone’, Robert Putnam makes the compelling argument that social capital (reciprocal connections among people) has been in a steady decline ever since its peak in 1964.

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By the year 2000, the average American was 58 percent less likely to attend a club meeting than an individual only 25 years earlier. This may not seem like much of a big deal until you realise that regularly participating in a social group halves your risk of dying in the next 12 months.

It’s not just the joining of groups that has changed either. We are 45% less likely to invite friends around to our place, and 33% less likely to have a dinner around the table with the whole family. We are also 40% less likely to join a bowling league, which is surprisingly the number one participation sport in the…

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