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.

Dreamer’s World May 15, 2018 – No Surrender

    Since I deliberately removed myself from most social media, I find my mind is at peace. I still maintain a presence on Google + but that is because the people there have always been more real and interactive, rather than bots screaming for attention. Occasionally, I do run across a person or bot on there that can irritate me, but it is so easy just to block them and never say a word. I just keep enjoying my day and never look back.
    The response I get from people when they learn that I left facebook and twitter behind is shock. When they ask why I decided to leave, I point out that they didn’t notice for over a month and then say nothing else.      As is the case with most people, their attention is drawn to the easiest and most flashy things that can occupy their time.
    FB and Twitter offer people the cookie-cutter approach to social interaction. No thought is required, just start posting away and liking this and forwarding that, and somehow at the end, you are supposed to be a better person??? I was guilty of that myself. I found it so easy to hide behind an avatar and just follow the other lemmings over the cliff.
    If nothing else, FB and Twitter taught me an old lesson once again. I desire real interaction with real people. I don’t like cliques or trends. I cannot be happy as a member of the herd all of the time.
    I am the person in a crowd who looks in the opposite direction from everyone else. I am the person who takes the path less traveled when I come to a fork in the road. I prefer to hike along a trail in the woods over speeding down a paved highway.
    I prefer silence over the mindless chatter. I find happiness in music rather than TV. I would rather read than listen to a conversation about the latest fads or celebrities.
    I don’t feel I am better than other people, I just realize and embrace the differences that make me unique. I feel that everyone should take the path that diverges from the crowd, but I don’t demand that from others. Freedom includes the freedom to surrender to the mob, but I threw my white flag away years ago.

Dreamer’s World may 14, 2018 –

    The day has started out foggy and cool. I think it is fitting for a Monday morning. I start this week longing for the weekend that just passed but also looking ahead to the challenges that this week will present.
    One of the morning conference calls has already been canceled for today. The organizer has a medical appointment this morning, and I just got the cancellation email. I will find something to do with that time that I suddenly have at my disposal. I hope that they aren’t terribly sick and that they will be OK.
    I am busy organizing things for this week, setting my goals and priorities that I will accomplish by Friday. I always try to keep things realistic, with a touch of the seemingly impossible for some flash. I hope that nothing major erupts today at work. I like to get a handle on things as early as possible before they all start to fall apart.
    I do dread Mondays if I am up late Sunday night because I will also be up late by necessity tonight to pick Hal up from work. I really have to start going to bed early on Sunday night to avoid this double-whammy effect. In fact, going to bed earlier each night isn’t the worst thing that I can do.

Dreamer’s World May 13, 2018 – Thanks, Mom

      Mother’s Day is upon us once again. Mom is no longer here, she died 17 years ago. I will soon have spent a third of my life without her, but I still remember and love her.
    I remember the times when I told her that I would never forget her. I remember the times when she told me that I was going to be awesome when I grew up. I remember the home-cooked meals that I can never replicate.
    I remember the arguments that I always lost. I remember the hugs. I remember the celebrations after baseball games when I did well. I remember the things that she taught me.
    I remember the times when she was a room mother in elementary school. I remember that the other kids in class thought the world of her. I remember how she hugged each and every child just like she did to me.
    I remember her saying that there wasn’t enough love in the world, unless we made it ourselves. I remember her telling me that I should never look down on anyone, and that looking up to someone was something that they had to earn, it wasn’t freely given.
    I remember her voice on the phone when I went away to college and then on to the Navy. I remember worrying about her being alone since Dad had already died when I was in high school.
    I remember how she always made me feel loved and made the house feel like a home to anyone who came to the door.
     I remember her on her deathbed. I remember telling her that if she had to go, that I would be fine. I remember holding her hand and watching her fade away.
 
    I remember. I will never forget.
 
Happy Mother’s Day, Mom