Saturday, June 30, 2012

Reality

Obamacare Complicated? Check Out The Flow Chart






As this graphic shows, the new law creates 68 grant programs, 47 bureaucratic entities, 29 demonstration or pilot programs, 6 regulatory systems, 6 compliance standards and 2 entitlements. What could possibly go wrong with something so-well organized?


This chart was meticulously compiled over the last four months after perusing the 2,841 pages of Obamacare that no one who voted for the bill bothered to read. This so-called “reform” has morphed into a new monstrosity of mandates, taxes & rationing, it will hurt seniors and hand healthcare into a bureaucracy which has now taken over 1/6 of our economy. This is a massive expansion of government & the bewildering complexity of this new law is overwhelming.

The HHS czar, Kathleen Sebelius, has 2200 references in the law and 600 new authorities which cannot be challenged. On the chart everything in dark blue to the left are expansions, orange are those empowered with rationing healthcare in the future. In the bottom left hand corner in blue, 150 new bureaucracies and boards have been created between doctor and patient. Those in yellow are specific mandates and there are 17 new mandates on insurance. Rep. Brady stated this law is so complex he couldn’t get the chart to fit on one page, the chart is only actually 1/3 of the size of the law so he shows “bundles of bureaucracy.” For example, one brown bundle hides 59 grant programs. Green diamonds are the taxes this law has created. In the far right corner are 19 special interest provisions, including the “Louisiana Purchase” and special interests for unions. All the lines are there because of the complexity, a la Glenn Beck’s chalkboard presentations.

Buried deep in the law are 19 special sections that cannot be challenged by the courts or any regulatory system. What the public is being sold and what the law actually has are 2 totally different things. House Republicans are dedicated to repealing this law. If they take back the House they plan to block the most egregious parts of this law & replace it with common sense reform. They are also backing states who want to block this law. Rep. Brady stated if these mandates are allowed to stand there are no boundaries to what this government can do.

And jobs created? Yes. Many. 16,500 new IRS agents to police the law and an explosion of jobs in the HHS Department with probably no jobs created in the private sector. This law will eventually need even more taxes to fund it and the US will have an “anchor around Her neck” with difficulty competing with other countries.

Please print out copies of this chart and hand to your friends, families and pass out wherever. The public needs to be educated about the impact of this law and what it will mean for their future.


"It is amazing that people who think we cannot afford to pay for doctors, hospitals, and medications somehow think that we can afford to pay for doctors, hospitals, medications, and a government beauracracy to administer it."  Thomas Sowell.

Do your part. Repeal Obamacare. Vote in November. Vote for our future.

Much love,
PK the Bookeemonster


Thursday, June 28, 2012

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Tuesday



I’m currently reading COWARDS: What Politicians, Radicals, and the Media Refuse to Say by Glenn Beck. Here is a description:


 
As we approach the most important presidential election in America’s history, something has been lost among all of the debates, attack ads, and super- PACs—something that Americans used to hold in very high regard: THE TRUTH. Glenn Beck likes to say that “the truth has no agenda”—but there’s another side to that: people who have agendas rarely care about the truth. And, these days, it seems like everyone has an agenda. The media leads with stories that rate over those that matter. Politicians put lobbyists and electability over honesty. Radicals alter history in order to change the future. In Cowards, Glenn Beck exposes the truth about thirteen important issues that have been hijacked by deceit. Whether out of spite, greed, or fear, these are the things that no one seems to be willing to have an honest conversation about. For example: 
 
How our two-party political system often leaves voters with no good options.
  • How extremists are slowly integrating Islamic law into our society.
  • How progressive “religious” leaders like Jim Wallis are politicizing the Bible.
  • How the cartel violence on our border is far worse than people realize.
  • How “Libertarian” has been intentionally turned into a dirty word.
  • How George Soros has amassed enough money and power to influenceventire economies.

In some cases, the truth is out there, but people simply don’t want to hear it. It’s much easier, and certainly a lot more convenient, to keep our blinders on. After all, as a quote attributed to President James Garfield made clear, “The truth will set you free, but first it will make you miserable.” Miserable or not, the truth can no longer be something we hope for; it must be something we live. When courage prevails, cowards do not—and this book was written to ensure that’s exactly what happens.
   
It was published this month and 320 pages.

 

  
I’ve been looking at the GOP Vice Presidential possibilities today:

 
  • Marco Rubio would bring the Latino vote but does not enough experience
  • Bob McConnell would bring Virginia, sound fiscal mgmt, social conservative
  • Paul Ryan could bring in strong conservatives/Tea Party, strong budget/economy
  • Tim Pawlenty brings Minnesota, broader appeal to base
  • Rob Portman brings Ohio, foreign policy/capitol hill experience
  • Bobby Jindal, Rhodes Scholar studying public health policy, strong conservative, good governor, may not move a major demographic, the presence of a non-white on the Romney ticket would signal that Republicans are inclusive.


There are others but I think these are the strongest contenders. I don’t think any woman would be considered this election because of what happened to Palin, unless it was Condaleesa Rice because she’s a strong black woman with foreign policy experience but she’s saying no and she has too close of ties to Bush so she therefore is a liability.

  
On the other side, President Obama will stay with Biden, unless a dark horse shows up to save the day. There are those who say he should swap out and have Hillary as VP – which would be a smart move and would possibly get him reelected (shudder) -- but I believe he would never do that. He doesn’t want the Clintons (both) any closer to the presidency.

 

Another freakin’ hot today but it’s supposed to be only (only!) in the 80s tomorrow. Ugh. Do. Not. Like. It. Steve’s got another new member orientation again tonight at gun club. Keeping cool with the boys as much as possible. Not much else. Going to watch Deadliest Catch deal with a horrible snow storm in Alaska. Awesome.

 
Much love,
PK the Bookeemonster

 

 

 

Monday, June 25, 2012

Ohhhh, if only....



HOOOOOTTTTTTT!!!  I HAAAAATTTTE IT. TOOOOOOO HOOOOOOTTTTTT
And TONS of millers out there. Yuck. We emptied the miller trap 3 times overnight.

I finished the Gregory book last night. I’m thinking I should focus on my nonfiction read to end the month. I had a goal this year to read one per month and I’m a bit behind. And I have SO MANY to read (these are on hand now):

Currently reading COWARDS: What Politicians, Radicals, and The Media Refuse to Say by Glenn Beck
THE GREAT DESTROYER: Barack Obama’s War on the Republic by David Limbaugh
CRIMES AGAINST LIBERTY: An Indictment of President Obama by David Limbaugh
AMERITOPIA: The Unmaking of America by Mark Levin
DEMONIC: How the Liberal Mob is Endangering America by Ann Coulter
AFTER AMERICA: Get Ready for Armageddon by Mark Steyn
ORIGINAL ARGUMENT: The Federalists’ Case for the Constitution, Adapted for the 21st Century by Glenn Beck
SUICIDE OF A SUPERPOWER: Will America Survive to 2025 by Pat Buchanan
THROW THEM ALL OUT by Peter Schweizer
… And a handful of others


What I want to get:
THE NEW LEVIATHAN: How the Left-wing Money-Machine Shapes American Politics and Threatens America’s Future by David Horowitz and Jacob Laksin
HOSTILE TAKEOVER: Resisting Centralized Government’s Stranglehold on America by Matt Kibbe
WHAT THE (BLEEP) JUST HAPPENED?” The Happy Warrior’s Guide to the Great American Comeback  by Monica Crowley
MARKED FOR DEATH: Islam’s War against the West and Me by Geert Wilders
NO, THEY CAN’T: Why Government Fails-But Individuals Succeed by John Stossel
IMPLOSION: Can America Recover from its Economic and Spiritual Challenges in Time? By Joel C Rosenberg
THE ROAD TO SERFDOM by F A Hayek

There are so many of these books currently because the world right now is in revolutionary times; we have fiddlers as Rome is burning while corruption beyond belief is running rampant. But we also have an awakening populace who are becoming aware and active. Are you still asleep or awake?

Example:

Obama Admin. Ends Immigration Enforcement Program Following High Court Ruling

Just hours after the U.S. Supreme Court rendered its ruling and upheld the controversial so-called “show me your papers” provision in Arizona’s immigration law, the Obama administration announced Monday they are suspending a vital program that lets state and local law enforcement agencies to enforce federal immigration law….That means police statewide can immediately begin calling to check immigration status — but federal officials are likely to reject most of those calls. Federal officials said they’ll still perform the checks as required by law but will respond only when someone has a felony conviction on his or her record. Absent that, ICE will tell the local police to release the person.

The latest move will certainly weaken Arizona’s ability to secure its own borders and appears to be yet another unilateral action taken by President Obama to dictate policy. The program suspension comes after ICE called the program a “top” initiative and agreed it strengthened “public safety.”



Steve has new member orientation out at the gun club. The boys and I will be hunkering down in the bedroom with the swamp cooler. 

BTW, he mowed the back yard last night, I think at 8:30. I’ll have to take over the duties, I’m thinking, if I want it done regularly.

Stay cool….

Much love,
PK the Bookeemonster 

Sunday, June 24, 2012

Sunday



How the heck did I do that again? I missed doing a post yesterday. Bah.

Hot Sunday. We're hunkering down in the basement. I've planned a cold dinner tonight of chicken and potato salad from the deli at Albertsons.

I've put in a couple apps today. Cross your fingers and send out good vibes, please.

I'm about to finish the Gregory book. Dunno yet which is next.

I don't know what it is about mowing the lawn for Steve. I haven't mentioned it -- purposefully -- in over a week. I asked him about it today and he jumped down my throat about hounding him and is now ignoring it. I hope to make arrangements tomorrow if the day runs out.

Stay cool, everyone.

Much love,
PK the Bookeemonster

Friday, June 22, 2012

I feel that way at work. Often.



Oh my my, it is going to be soooo hot the next few days. I stopped by Albertsons on the way home to pick up some stuff for dinner so I don't have to use the oven/stove, hopefully at all. And I got some Popsicles and grapes that I can freeze.

Overall, not a bad day on the phones -- no real super bad callers. A good way to end on a Friday.

Tonight I have Say Yes to the Dress to watch. I hope to hunker down in the basement this weekend and work on the computer when not cleaning or doing laundry.

Steve is walking the dogs for me tonight. I put away the groceries and got the boys kiddie pool out and starting to fill with water. They didn't use it at all last year but, who knows, maybe this year it will be different.

I'll leave you with this link:

Obama Asks People Getting Married To Forgo Gifts, Ask Their Guests To Donate To His Campaign Instead…

Or birthdays or anniversaries. You can even register your wedding on his campaign website.

Have a lovely evening
 

Much love,
PK the Bookeemonster 

Thursday, June 21, 2012

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Wednesday



To keep you up to date on current events on the Fast and Furious, the gun walking operation:
 
While other scandals involve money (Watergate, for example), Fast and Furious involves the loss of lives, including that of Border Patrol Agent Brian Terry, gunned down with a weapon that the federal government put in the hands of Mexico’s narco-terrorists, as well as over 200 Mexican citizen deaths.
 
This operation was conducted by the ATF, under the supervision of the Justice Department, that from what can be pieced together was horribly planned and horribly executed. But equally appalling is the blatant cover-up of wrongdoing by the Obama administration that has come to light.
There are documents that undermine the White House’s repeated claims of ignorance.
Eric Holder, President Obama’s attorney general, has, under oath, repeatedly changed his testimony and for months has withheld requests from Congress for thousands of documents.
The death toll is still mounting from Fast and Furious.
There is retaliation against Fast and Furious whistleblowers.

Holder had until yesterday to get the documents to the House Oversight Committee or else be found in Contempt of Congress. He didn’t.
Today, President Obama evoked Executive Privilege over these remaining documents so that Congress will not be able to see them. Why? He has always claimed that the White House had nothing to do with this operation so how can there be executive privilege? What’s in the documents that he doesn’t want seen? He apparently knew things about this operation before he claims.

This afternoon the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee voted and found Attorney General Holder – the highest legal officer in the US -- in Contempt of Congress and the vote will now go before the House.

Fast and Furious could be a bigger scandal than Watergate. This is an absolute threat to the Obama administration.

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Just because he's freakin' cute



Oh what a yucky day at work. I’m tasked to work really old invoices for Occupational Health all day on Fridays but I missed last Friday so I made up that time today. The computer program these accounts are in sucks –  it is very difficult to actually use information that’s in it. And trying to track down who to contact to speak with about the invoices takes so much time… Just yuck.

I’m currently reading MURDER BY THE BOOK by Susanna Gregory. This is 18th of 18 in series featuring Matthew Bartholomew, physician, and his colleague Brother Michael, in 14th century Cambridge, England. Here is a description:

It is drawing near to the end of term, and the University at Cambridge is in turmoil over the opening of a new Common Library. There is an attack on one of the masters at a meeting to discuss the matter, and a body is found floating in the pond in the library's garden on the eve of its opening. Meanwhile, there are rumours of a large force of dangerous smugglers lurking in the Fens. Aided by their friend Sheriff Tulyet, Bartholomew and Michael must thwart the invaders before the Feast of Corpus Christi the following week. To fail might mean the destruction of the town... 
It was published June 2012 in the UK and has 448 pages.

Tonight we have Deadliest Catch to watch on TV. I’ve got some articles to post to FB then I’ll probably read. A storm may be blowing in ... or by again.

Still waiting on the Obamacare Supreme Court verdict….

Much love,
PK the Bookeemonster 

Monday, June 18, 2012

US/USSR did the same thing during the Cold War



Monday Monday.

Work wasn't a slam of calls which made me nervous. The calls were just as rude/cranky.

I finished the Poole book; unfortunately, the killer was who I thought it was rather early on. I don't usually try to puzzle it out but this seemed to me fairly obvious. If this were a TV detective series, the bad buy would be a special guest star with a big name.

Next up, I'm not sure. I'm still reading COWARDS by Glenn Beck. I'm thinking maybe the next fiction will be the Susanna Gregory I received recently.

There's nothing on TV for me tonight though Steve will have his shooting shows. Leftovers for dinner. There's a potential for a thunder storm later but we'll see if it blows on by per usual. I may just read.

Much love,
PK the Bookeemonster

Sunday, June 17, 2012

Sniffers on "forward" only



I forgot to post yesterday? Hunh.

Happy Father's Day to my dad. I went over there this morning and had some coffee and conversation. Steve and I then went to a buffet brunch at the Elks club with his parents. We got home and I got some laundry going while Steve is cleaning out his truck because he gets a "new" one for work (his dad's old one now that his dad has a new new one). I then took a nap because I'd been up since 6 with the boys. :)

Last night I watched the movie Anonymous, which is a depiction of an alternative view of the Shakespeare authorship issue. The story here is that Edward Devere, 17th Earl of Oxford, wrote the plays while Shakespeare was the front man (Devere is the front runner from many contenders in the history of this issue). It was well cast, well acted and the production values were gorgeous. However, the authorship issue itself makes me angry (elites don't believe Shakespeare, being as lowly and common as he was, could have possibly written the plays). Also, this movie had many factual things wrong, for instance, at the time period of the movie, Christopher Marlowe has been dead for a few years yet there he is being jealous and making trouble and then he is killed against all known facts of his death. (apparently the writer says he did it on purpose as an "homage" to Shakespeare's own playing with facts in his writing). Right. And they have not only Queen Elizabeth having a child with Devere but that Devere himself was a child of Elizabeth from when she was 16. That's right, incest. Riiiiight. Bah.

So, there is supposed to be a possibility of thunderstorms later. The wind out there may blow something in.

All right, of you go.

Much love,
PK the Bookeemonster


Friday, June 15, 2012

Even creepier than Goldfinger



I'm currently reading THE BORGIA MISTRESS by Sara Poole. This is 3rd of 3 in series featuring Francesca Giordano—court poisoner to the House of Borgia -- in 15th century Rome. Here is a description:

Mistress of death Francesca returns to confront an ancient atrocity that threatens to extinguish the light of the Renaissance and plunge the world into eternal darkness. As the enemies of Pope Alexander VI close in and the papal court is forced to flee from Rome, Francesca joins forces with her lover, the brilliant and ruthless Cesare Borgia to unravel a conspiracy that strikes at the heart of Christendom. But when a shattering secret from her past imperils her precarious hold on sanity, only Francesca’s own courage and resolve can draw her back from the brink of madness to save all she values most. 

It was published May 2012 and has 416 pages. This is a book from the library.

Last night I tried to examine inside Coda's hind quarters because in the last couple days there'd been indications that he was having a problem there, sometimes whimpering, and whenever I tried to look he would jump away from me. My mistake was to attempt this without Steve being there to offer assistance in holding him down. I had him pinned against the couch when he surged upward and his head slammed into mine. I saw stars. Of course, as a person who's had glasses since the 3rd grade, my first thought was to check that my glasses weren't broken. They weren't, thank goodness. Then I was the one whimpering because my head hurt so badly. Ryker came over to check me out: you okay, mama? I did get a tiny scrape or something above my eye and it is slightly purple. And I've had a headache all day. Learned my lesson, thankyouverymuch.

I got groceries, took the boys for a good walk. Tonight, we have the "season" premiere of Say Yes to the Dress (the original version). Woot! Making fish and Rice Roni for dinner.

Much love,
PK the Bookeemonster

Thursday, June 14, 2012

Coda & Ryker would deny everything.



I’m currently reading AN UNMARKED GRAVE by Charles Todd. This is 4th of 4 in series featuring Bess Crawford, a British army nurse in WWI. Here is a summary:

In the spring of 1918, the Spanish flu epidemic spreads, killing millions of soldiers and civilians across the globe. Overwhelmed by the constant flow of wounded soldiers coming from the French front, battlefield nurse Bess Crawford must now contend with hundreds of influenza patients as well. However, war and disease are not the only killers to strike. Bess discovers, concealed among the dead waiting for burial, the body of an officer who has been murdered. Though she is devoted to all her patients, this soldier's death touches her deeply. Not only did the man serve in her father's former regiment, he was also a family friend. Before she can report the terrible news, Bess falls ill, the latest victim of the flu. By the time she recovers, the murdered officer has been buried, and the only other person who saw the body has hanged himself. Or did he? Working her father's connections in the military, Bess begins to piece together what little evidence she can find to unmask the elusive killer and see justice served. 

It was published in 2012 and has 272 pages. This is a library book. And for some reason I’ve jumped to this one without reading the third book in the series. Doh. I’m also reading Glenn Beck’s COWARDS which is very good.

Steve has gun class coaching tonight and then again on Saturday. The boys and I will hang out. Last night for dinner I had some left over lasagna. Ryker – who usually shuns anything but meat and cheese (even peanut butter!) – was ALL OVER me to lick the plate and pan. BARKED at me to be done. Holy moley. We’ve seen him make some moves similar to a cat – does he have some Garfield in him too?

Much love,
PK the Bookeemonster

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Obligatory Star Trek reference



So … I am much better this evening. No allergies today and calls were slightly fewer so I’m not as brain dead as I was last night.

I’m about to finish THE AMATEUR by Edward Klein; I hope to wrap it up tonight. Next up is probably going to be a book from the library, looks like two 14-day hold have shaken loose.  A Charles Todd and Sara Poole.

Ohmygoodness, Steve is mowing the front yard. Hallelujah. It was looking pretty bad.

We have Deadliest Catch to watch tonight. Really, not much else happening. My brain is not thinking of anything clever right now. It happens sometimes.

Much love,
PK the Bookeemonster

Monday, June 11, 2012

Monday, yucky Monday



Just wiped out tonight. Allergies making my sinuses/face ache today on top of a million calls. Might read for a wee bit. We'll see. Don't think I'll watch the end of the Stanley Cup (Kings ahead 3 to 0). I received the new Susanna Gregory book today; don't know if I'll start it or finish THE AMATEUR. Having a cuppa tea and glancing at the news while considering heading for bed though it is waaaaayyy early but it calls to me. :)

Much love,
PK the Bookeemonster

Sunday, June 10, 2012

I'm watching you



Och, it's been blowing horribly all day. I like dark days but not wind. I HATE wind. Plus, the wet yesterday and the awful wind today mean the lawn won't be mowed again this weekend. Bother bother bother.

Doing laundry and I've been reading news and blogs today. Posting to FB what I find important to share.

Tonight, we may watch Ice Road Truckers on the History channel but this season is without one of the main characters that I like so I may not bother. Bah. Last night we switched between the Stanley Cup and some kind of car racing and I stayed for the end of both. Do you see what women do for their men?

There is just so much I want to read. I sometimes feel like or wish that I were two people in my reading interests and needing the time to do to it. I love mysteries, historical mysteries. And I have lots and lots to read. I'm also interested in history and current events/politics and I have many books on hand to read in that category, too. Where does this drive to read or to know come from and what is the point of it? Why ask why, eh? This is me.

Making chicken fried steak tonight. Sunday dinners are for the meals that take a little longer to put together and with the cooler temp today something that will stick to the ribs.

No nap this afternoon; but I do usually take one after I walk the boys in the wee hours of the morning.

Much love,
PK the Bookeemonster

Saturday, June 9, 2012

Saturday



I finished THE LEPER RETURNS by Michael Jecks. Now I've got A CURTAIN FALLS by Stefanie Pintoff. This is 2nd of 3 in series featuring Simon Ziele, a former New York City police detective in 1905 New York City and Dobson, Westchester County. Here is a summary:

The careers of New York City detective Simon Ziele and his former partner Captain Declan Mulvaney went in remarkably different directions after the tragic death of Ziele’s fiancĂ©e in the 1904 General Slocum ferry disaster. Although both men were earmarked for much bigger things, Ziele moved to Dobson, a small town north of the city, to escape the violence, and Mulvaney buried himself even deeper, agreeing to head up the precinct in the most crime-ridden area in the city. Yet with all of the detectives and resources at Mulvaney’s disposal, a particularly puzzling crime compels him to look for someone he can trust absolutely.  When a chorus girl is found dead on a Broadway stage dressed in the leading lady’s costume, there are no signs of violence, no cuts, no bruises—no marks at all. If pressed, the coroner would call it a suicide, but then that would make her the second girl to turn up dead in such a manner in the last few weeks.  And the news of a possible serial killer would be potentially disastrous to the burgeoning theater world, not to mention the citizens of New York.

It was published in 2010 and has 400 pages. This is a book from the library.

No reason to watch the Belmont race now. Bah. We do have the game five of the Stanley Cup this evening.

It was dark and wet early this morning just the way I like it though I have to walk the dogs in it.

Much love,
PK the Bookeemonster

Friday, June 8, 2012

Friday at last



TGIF. Instead of me complaining about the work day, etc. etc., blah blah blah. Here's the transcript of a commencement speech given by teacher David McCullough, Jr. at Wellesley High School entitled "You're Not Special" . I find it truthful and something high school grads need to hear:

Dr. Wong, Dr. Keough, Mrs. Novogroski, Ms. Curran, members of the board of education, family and friends of the graduates, ladies and gentlemen of the Wellesley High School class of 2012, for the privilege of speaking to you this afternoon, I am honored and grateful. Thank you.
So here we are... commencement... life’s great forward-looking ceremony. (And don’t say, “What about weddings?” Weddings are one-sided and insufficiently effective. Weddings are bride-centric pageantry. Other than conceding to a list of unreasonable demands, the groom just stands there. No stately, hey-everybody-look-at-me procession. No being given away. No identity-changing pronouncement. And can you imagine a television show dedicated to watching guys try on tuxedos? Their fathers sitting there misty-eyed with joy and disbelief, their brothers lurking in the corner muttering with envy. Left to men, weddings would be, after limits-testing procrastination, spontaneous, almost inadvertent... during halftime... on the way to the refrigerator. And then there’s the frequency of failure: statistics tell us half of you will get divorced. A winning percentage like that’ll get you last place in the American League East. The Baltimore Orioles do better than weddings.)
But this ceremony... commencement... a commencement works every time. From this day forward... truly... in sickness and in health, through financial fiascos, through midlife crises and passably attractive sales reps at trade shows in Cincinnati, through diminishing tolerance for annoyingness, through every difference, irreconcilable and otherwise, you will stay forever graduated from high school, you and your diploma as one, ‘til death do you part.
No, commencement is life’s great ceremonial beginning, with its own attendant and highly appropriate symbolism. Fitting, for example, for this auspicious rite of passage, is where we find ourselves this afternoon, the venue. Normally, I avoid cliches like the plague, wouldn’t touch them with a ten-foot pole, but here we are on a literal level playing field. That matters. That says something. And your ceremonial costume... shapeless, uniform, one-size-fits-all. Whether male or female, tall or short, scholar or slacker, spray-tanned prom queen or intergalactic X-Box assassin, each of you is dressed, you’ll notice, exactly the same. And your diploma... but for your name, exactly the same.
All of this is as it should be, because none of you is special.
You are not special. You are not exceptional.
Contrary to what your u9 soccer trophy suggests, your glowing seventh grade report card, despite every assurance of a certain corpulent purple dinosaur, that nice Mister Rogers and your batty Aunt Sylvia, no matter how often your maternal caped crusader has swooped in to save you... you’re nothing special.
Yes, you’ve been pampered, cosseted, doted upon, helmeted, bubble-wrapped. Yes, capable adults with other things to do have held you, kissed you, fed you, wiped your mouth, wiped your bottom, trained you, taught you, tutored you, coached you, listened to you, counseled you, encouraged you, consoled you and encouraged you again. You’ve been nudged, cajoled, wheedled and implored. You’ve been feted and fawned over and called sweetie pie. Yes, you have. And, certainly, we’ve been to your games, your plays, your recitals, your science fairs. Absolutely, smiles ignite when you walk into a room, and hundreds gasp with delight at your every tweet. Why, maybe you’ve even had your picture in the Townsman! And now you’ve conquered high school... and, indisputably, here we all have gathered for you, the pride and joy of this fine community, the first to emerge from that magnificent new building...
But do not get the idea you’re anything special. Because you’re not.
The empirical evidence is everywhere, numbers even an English teacher can’t ignore. Newton, Natick, Nee... I am allowed to say Needham, yes? ...that has to be two thousand high school graduates right there, give or take, and that’s just the neighborhood Ns. Across the country no fewer than 3.2 million seniors are graduating about now from more than 37,000 high schools. That’s 37,000 valedictorians... 37,000 class presidents... 92,000 harmonizing altos... 340,000 swaggering jocks... 2,185,967 pairs of Uggs. But why limit ourselves to high school? After all, you’re leaving it. So think about this: even if you’re one in a million, on a planet of 6.8 billion that means there are nearly 7,000 people just like you. Imagine standing somewhere over there on Washington Street on Marathon Monday and watching sixty-eight hundred yous go running by. And consider for a moment the bigger picture: your planet, I’ll remind you, is not the center of its solar system, your solar system is not the center of its galaxy, your galaxy is not the center of the universe. In fact, astrophysicists assure us the universe has no center; therefore, you cannot be it. Neither can Donald Trump... which someone should tell him... although that hair is quite a phenomenon.
“But, Dave,” you cry, “Walt Whitman tells me I’m my own version of perfection! Epictetus tells me I have the spark of Zeus!” And I don’t disagree. So that makes 6.8 billion examples of perfection, 6.8 billion sparks of Zeus. You see, if everyone is special, then no one is. If everyone gets a trophy, trophies become meaningless. In our unspoken but not so subtle Darwinian competition with one another–which springs, I think, from our fear of our own insignificance, a subset of our dread of mortality — we have of late, we Americans, to our detriment, come to love accolades more than genuine achievement. We have come to see them as the point — and we’re happy to compromise standards, or ignore reality, if we suspect that’s the quickest way, or only way, to have something to put on the mantelpiece, something to pose with, crow about, something with which to leverage ourselves into a better spot on the social totem pole. No longer is it how you play the game, no longer is it even whether you win or lose, or learn or grow, or enjoy yourself doing it... Now it’s “So what does this get me?” As a consequence, we cheapen worthy endeavors, and building a Guatemalan medical clinic becomes more about the application to Bowdoin than the well-being of Guatemalans. It’s an epidemic — and in its way, not even dear old Wellesley High is immune... one of the best of the 37,000 nationwide, Wellesley High School... where good is no longer good enough, where a B is the new C, and the midlevel curriculum is called Advanced College Placement. And I hope you caught me when I said “one of the best.” I said “one of the best” so we can feel better about ourselves, so we can bask in a little easy distinction, however vague and unverifiable, and count ourselves among the elite, whoever they might be, and enjoy a perceived leg up on the perceived competition. But the phrase defies logic. By definition there can be only one best. You’re it or you’re not.
If you’ve learned anything in your years here I hope it’s that education should be for, rather than material advantage, the exhilaration of learning. You’ve learned, too, I hope, as Sophocles assured us, that wisdom is the chief element of happiness. (Second is ice cream... just an fyi) I also hope you’ve learned enough to recognize how little you know... how little you know now... at the moment... for today is just the beginning. It’s where you go from here that matters.
As you commence, then, and before you scatter to the winds, I urge you to do whatever you do for no reason other than you love it and believe in its importance. Don’t bother with work you don’t believe in any more than you would a spouse you’re not crazy about, lest you too find yourself on the wrong side of a Baltimore Orioles comparison. Resist the easy comforts of complacency, the specious glitter of materialism, the narcotic paralysis of self-satisfaction. Be worthy of your advantages. And read... read all the time... read as a matter of principle, as a matter of self-respect. Read as a nourishing staple of life. Develop and protect a moral sensibility and demonstrate the character to apply it. Dream big. Work hard. Think for yourself. Love everything you love, everyone you love, with all your might. And do so, please, with a sense of urgency, for every tick of the clock subtracts from fewer and fewer; and as surely as there are commencements there are cessations, and you’ll be in no condition to enjoy the ceremony attendant to that eventuality no matter how delightful the afternoon.
The fulfilling life, the distinctive life, the relevant life, is an achievement, not something that will fall into your lap because you’re a nice person or mommy ordered it from the caterer. You’ll note the founding fathers took pains to secure your inalienable right to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness–quite an active verb, “pursuit”–which leaves, I should think, little time for lying around watching parrots rollerskate on Youtube. The first President Roosevelt, the old rough rider, advocated the strenuous life. Mr. Thoreau wanted to drive life into a corner, to live deep and suck out all the marrow. The poet Mary Oliver tells us to row, row into the swirl and roil. Locally, someone... I forget who... from time to time encourages young scholars to carpe the heck out of the diem. The point is the same: get busy, have at it. Don’t wait for inspiration or passion to find you. Get up, get out, explore, find it yourself, and grab hold with both hands. (Now, before you dash off and get your YOLO tattoo, let me point out the illogic of that trendy little expression–because you can and should live not merely once, but every day of your life. Rather than You Only Live Once, it should be You Live Only Once... but because YLOO doesn’t have the same ring, we shrug and decide it doesn’t matter.)
None of this day-seizing, though, this YLOOing, should be interpreted as license for self-indulgence. Like accolades ought to be, the fulfilled life is a consequence, a gratifying byproduct. It’s what happens when you’re thinking about more important things. Climb the mountain not to plant your flag, but to embrace the challenge, enjoy the air and behold the view. Climb it so you can see the world, not so the world can see you. Go to Paris to be in Paris, not to cross it off your list and congratulate yourself for being worldly. Exercise free will and creative, independent thought not for the satisfactions they will bring you, but for the good they will do others, the rest of the 6.8 billion–and those who will follow them. And then you too will discover the great and curious truth of the human experience is that selflessness is the best thing you can do for yourself. The sweetest joys of life, then, come only with the recognition that you’re not special.
Because everyone is.
Congratulations. Good luck. Make for yourselves, please, for your sake and for ours, extraordinary lives.

Have a lovely evening...

Much love,
PK the Bookeemonster

Thursday, June 7, 2012

Thursday



Author Ray Bradbury passed away yesterday at age 91. I loved his work. I've read so many of his short story collections, one of my favorite stories had such a cool title: "Dark They Were and Golden Eyed." I loved THE MARTIAN CHRONICLES, THE ILLUSTRATED MAN, SOMETHING WICKED THIS WAY COMES. I did not read FAHRENHEIT 451 though I know the story of it. The really pathetic thing?  The people at work did not know who he was whatsoever. The name meant nothing. A cultural desert with some (most?) people.

He was one of the big ones, along with Isaac Asimov (loved), Arthur C Clarke (meh, not so much for me) and Robert Heinlein (ditto). 

I finally finished the Mantel book. This is the second of a trilogy of the Henry VIII and Anne Boleyn story but through the POV of Cromwell. I've always been fascinated by this time period. Maybe I was there.

I don't know what was in the air today but callers were just nasty. It felt like a long day.

This weekend it's only supposed to be in the 60s... hooray! 

One more day to get through. This weekend, Saturday, is game five of the Stanley Cup and the potential for a Triple Crown winner.

All right, off you go.

Much love,
PK the Bookeemonster

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Happy Birthday, Mom!



Hot again today. It was already in the 70s when I drove to work this morning. I don’t like warm. Make it go away.

Steve has a board meeting tonight so dinner will have to be done quickly, hamburgers and chips. Otherwise, I am very close to finishing the Mantel book so I’ll read that after watching Deadliest Catch.  The boys and I will just hang.

Today is my mom’s birthday. Happy Annual Event!  We had gone to lunch on Saturday at Red Robin (num) and I already gave card/gift at that time. Early, yes. 

Update: WALKER WON IN WISCONSIN! That is most excellent news. 

Much love,
PK the Bookeemonster 

Monday, June 4, 2012

I can so totally relate



Full moon day. Oh yes.

We watched the season finale of The Game of Thrones last night. Well done. The ending I think is different from the book so I don’t know where one storyline is going.

We then watched Longmire – based on the mystery series by Wyoming author Craig Johnson -- last night and I was disappointed. The character playing Longmire has taken “taciturn” to the level of watching paint dry on a rock. There is no chemistry in the series for me. And, I have to say, I know they’re filming in New Mexico but as one living less than an hour from the Wyoming border, the first part of the show looked somewhat like northern Wyoming. The second part … yeah, not so much. J We’re on the plains here – very flat.

Tonight, we have game three of the Stanley Cup to watch. Or Steve’s shooting shows on the Outdoor channel. Meh.

I’m still reading BRING UP THE BODIES by Hilary Mantel but I also started yesterday the nonfiction book THE AMATEUR by Klein – an expose of sorts of Obama. The audience that needs to read it … will never read it or believe it. It is intended, however, for a non-academic reader in that the chapters are short, the font is large. It will be a quick read. My book splurge of the month was ordering the new Susanna Gregory from the UK via a cheaper online source (about $10 cheaper). Otherwise, I’m hitting the library hard for my newer release reads. But I still have two from the library in the immediate TBR.

I'm wondering if my lower back pain was because of my chair at work. I have had it rather straight up and down. I was feeling better after this weekend but was starting to feel it again a bit into the day. I reclined it a little more and I have to say I don't remember have any twinges. Hunh. 

Hot today, they say 92 degrees. Ugh. It was 65 this morning on the way to work which is about my comfort zone.  I’m not a sun-baby. I’m a November baby – dark early and cuddling under blankets. There’s supposed to be isolated storms though.  It grumbled around 6 to 6:30 and was dark but no rain. Ryker doesn't like thunder so we hid in the bedroom during the worst of the thunder.

Much love,
PK the Bookeemonster

Sunday, June 3, 2012

Or dream about?



It is Sunday afternoon. I walked the dogs at 6am. It was sunny and I didn't have to wear a jacket but to the west there were very dark clouds. But they apparently moved around us because we didn't get the storm I thought would come. Ah well.

I watched online some of the Queen's Diamond Jubilee flotilla this morning. It would have been glorious with a sunny day. Unfortunately, it looked really miserable in the rain. For those who think the royals have it easy, take a look at what they have to do for their duty for hours on end.

I've got laundry going. I need to clean up some emails. I've got a couple projects online going. Hopefully this will be a productive day.

While at the library yesterday, I picked up a 14-day book that I thought Steve might be interested in. It's written by the creator of The Walking Dead and it's a prequel of sorts to a character named "The Governor" who will be showing up in the next season on TV and is apparently very well known in the graphic novels. He didn't reject it right away when I presented it to him so that may be a good sign.

Tonight, we have the season finale of The Game of Thrones on HBO to watch. I think it is on at the same time as the series premiere of Longmire so I may have to catch that next week. I don't know yet what I'm making for dinner, but I have some options at least.

Have a lovely Sunday

Much love,
PK the Bookeemonster

Saturday, June 2, 2012

And not happy about it



I have three books from the library to read. I had stopped by B&N this morning and I enjoyed looking around. If I had unlimited funds, I would have bought many many books to add to the collection. However, I do have books ON HAND IN MY HOUSE of historical mystery series to which I need to return or start in a new one.

  1. Stephanie Barron
  2. Peter Tremayne
  3. Maureen Ash
  4. Deryn Lake
  5. Bernard Knight
  6. Ian Morson
  7. Kate Sedley
  8. Steven Saylor
  9. Lindsey Davis
  10. David Roberts
  11. James McGee
  12. David Dickinson
  13. Carolyn Roe
  14. Catriona McPherson
  15. Pat McIntosh
  16. Laura Joh Rowland
  17. Cassandra Clark
  18. Medieval Murderers
  19. Candice Robb
  20. PF Chisholm
  21. JMC Blair
  22. Bruce Alexander
  23. Sarah D’Almeida
  24. Hannah March
  25. Robert McCammon
  26. Laurie R King
  27. John Maddox Roberts
  28. Victoria Thompson
  29. Robin Paige

So, you can see, while I don't have all the books in these authors' series (that would be fantastic), I do have quite a bit to read should I be cut off from libraries or Kindles for a while.

We'll be watching game 2 of the Stanley Cup tonight. I've picked up a pizza from Papa Murphy's.

Much love,
PK the Bookeemonster

Friday, June 1, 2012

Obligatory zombie photo....



Ah good, Friday at last. Got groceries and dog food after work. Steve was able to walk the dogs. I'm hoping to start a project this weekend, but I have run a couple errands in the morning.

Going to go read now.

Much love,
PK the Bookeemonster