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My Blog
Sunday, 9 December 2007
Long time no see.......
Mood:  irritated
Topic: Gripes

It's been a while since I wrote anything here.  I didn't realize that until I called it up and saw the pic from the World series.......  Guess I haven't had much to say.


Anyway, back on track.  We had a gang-related killing in this town last Friday.  An 18 year old shot a 17 year old in a McDonald's parking lot.  Over who knows what.  Territory, a girl................... whatever.  Now someone is dead.

Today, I read an article about juveniles who are convicted of adult crimes and are serving life without chance of parole.  Various social justice organizations are saying that this is wrong.  For me, it's a tough call.  In some cases, the kids may be able to be rehabilitated.  And in others, they would just return to the same life they had before.  I guess the thing that bothers me is the whole issue of violence is the answer.  Parenting experts tell parents to teach their kids to reason things out.  Are we kidding?  Kids are bombarded with violence is the answer images in everything they see.  The tv shows, video games, music, hip-hop performers...........  What do you think they're going to do?

Add into that mix the availability of weapons.  Kids don't have fist-fights these days.  There's no one on one with a winner and a loser.  And even if there is, there are reprisal after reprisal until no one is left standing.  Sure, you have to show ID and have a background check before you can get a handgun.  But you can walk into any Walmart and get a shotgun or "hunting" rifle.  And those are just the legal ways to get guns.  So these kids get guns and shoot one another, and anyone else who gets in the way.  Why?

 Well, for openers, kids these days seem to think they are never wrong.  Never.  Adults are idiots and repressive.  Well, ok, I thought that when I was a teenager a million years ago, too.  Obviously, it's more than that.

Teens are also considered "children" in today's society.  HUGE mistake.  Teens are NOT children and should not be considered or treated as children.  No, they are also not adults.  But since they are in the last stages of training for adulthood, they should not be babied as if they were still just learning to walk.

They are also given too much.  Even the poorest of the poor in the US really doesn't know what it's like to have NOTHING.  There are agencies and programs if people avail themselves of them.  Kids and teens in this country think they are underprivileged if they don't have the latest game system, the most expensive shoes, their own car and their own cell phone.  Ask one of the Lost Boys of the Sudan, kids, and I think you'll find out what a really hard life is all about.

Ok, so we have normal teen "boundary attitude", teamed with being spoiled rotten and babied.  Add the availability of guns............. still not enough of an explanation.  Here's where the social justice agencies come into play.  They tell us, the adults, that we are stupid, repressive and just plain wrong in everything we do.  That the poor little dears can't be held responsible for anything they do.  There's a name or a syndrome for everything.  We are a society of excuse makers.  I'm not responsible because.......... I grew up in a single parent home.  Who doesn't these days? Because, I grew up poor.  And???  That gives you the right to kill someone?  Get a job.  And I don't mean burglary or selling drugs to school kids.  I mean a real job.  Oh, yeah.  It would be demeaning to your fragile self-esteem to "flip burgers".  You should be a barely "C" student, come out of high school and be the CEO of your own company.  Dream on.  My personal favorite is Because I was depressed.  Oh there's a whole army of teary-eyed social justice workers just waiting to hold the hands of the "depressed".  Some people genuinely have a serious problem with clinical depression.  But being disappointed, doesn't mean you are medically ill.  And it certainly doesn't give you the right to kill someone.

Parents have to shoulder some of the blame here.  Today's parents are in debt up to their eyeballs and seriously at risk of losing everything in one blow.  But they keep maxing out their credit cards so that junior doesn't go without a single thing just because he/she says "I want that".  I have a friend who told me that her kids always get everything on their Christmas lists.  Always have.  She's thousands of dollars in debt, but just as long as her kids are never disappointed.  Get with it.  Life is FULL of disappointment.  From the moment you're born until the day you die.  Also, life is full of people who want to tell you what to do and how to live, full of people who will make fun of you, call you names and bully you.  That doesn't stop with adulthood.  There is such a thing as insulating our kids from too much.  My son got picked on a lot when he was younger.  I told him that he had to learn to live with it because there will always be someone somewhere who wanted to make his life miserable.  Am I wrong?  I guess time will tell.    But I digress.

So, in this society of excuse makers, teens are never wrong, emotionally immature, have never been told no, or been disappointed.  Put a gun in their hands.  What do you think will happen?

Many of my older relatives grew up, or were young adults during the Great Depression.  My dad had to quit school and go to work to help support his family.  His money was NOT his own.  His money that he earned helped feed his family.  Then at 20 he was in Europe getting shot at.  He came back home, got a job, married and had a family.  And at 50 years old, he finally finished his education.  He never shot anyone.  He got robbed once, but he never robbed anyone.  And he never owned a gun.  Said he'd had more than enough of them in the Army during The War.  We were raised that life is hard.  That you have to earn whatever you get.  That you never hurt anyone who couldn't defend themselves.  That you never picked on anyone except in jest, and then only those who could take it.  We were raised to accept everyone.  Color didn't matter.  Religion didn't matter.  Social standing didn't matter.  How they treated you--now that's what mattered.

So I guess I don't get it.  Who ever said that you shouldn't get punished for your crimes? If we let one off, won't we have to let them all off?  And, sadly, what kind of message does this send to the others.  That there really is no punishment?  On the other hand, they seem to think that serving in prison is some sort of badge of honor.  I don't know.  Maybe I really am just old and stupid. 

Posted by hiliz at 11:49 AM EST
Monday, 29 October 2007
Mood:  party time!
Topic: Baseball






















Posted by hiliz at 4:28 PM EDT
Sunday, 28 October 2007

Mood:  vegas lucky
Now Playing: The Colts vs Panthers game on CBS
Topic: Baseball

As I mentioned in today's post in "Good Stuff", I have my baseball buddy back.  I spoke with my dad today.  And, aside from seeming tired, he's all there, so to speak.  He said he hadn't gotten a chance to watch the playoffs or any of the Series because of all this mess.  Last night, he had it on his hospital TV, but fell asleep before he could see any of it.  And I didn't mind telling him all about.  No, not one bit.  I told him how Ellsbury and Pedroia are the backbone of the team this Series.  How great Beckett did in game one.  How Papi ran from second to home on a single.  How Matsuzaka batted in two runs.  And he knew what and who I was talking about.  He talked about how good Lowell was at third.  We talked about how Lugo really is a good shortstop and how Joe Buck and Tim McCarver don't know what they're talking about half the time.

In other words, I'll be able to enjoy the rest of the series.  GO SOX!!!! 


Posted by hiliz at 2:43 PM EDT
Updated: Sunday, 28 October 2007 2:59 PM EDT
Some Good News for a change!!
Mood:  happy
Topic: Good Stuff

I spoke with my dad on the phone this morning.  What's remarkable about that is that this time last week, I really thought I'd never have the chance to speak to him again.  His mind seemed to have gone.  He didn't know anyone, he didn't know where he was, he was angry and violent.  I live 800 miles away and wasn't even going to have the chance to get to see him.  And it was killing me.

Then today, my sister called and said she had talked to him and that he seemed fine.  So I called him immediately.  He's back.  The same as he was before all this mess.  Found out that a staph infection had caused all this.  We talked for a half hour about, of course, the World Series and the Red Sox.  Just like nothing had ever happened to him. What he doesn't know is that all the time he was talking, I was silently thanking God and telling Him that I was the most grateful person on the planet at that moment.  I was, and I am.  Thank you God!! 

Posted by hiliz at 2:37 PM EDT
Thursday, 25 October 2007
How About Some Common Sense???
Mood:  incredulous
Topic: Gripes

Recent news stories about kids and weapons really have me steamed. What an hysterical society we've become!  I don't mean that kids should be carrying weapons.  As far as I'm concerned, NO ONE should be carrying or keeping weapons, except law enforcement (and I'm not even too sure about some of them).

1.  A boy was suspended from school for making a stick drawing of a man shooting a gun.  Not AT anyone, just shooting.  He passed the picture to some kid on the bus.  This kid showed it to his parents who went insane and demanded the originator of this drawing be brought to justice.  When finally asked, this young "artist" swore to his mother that it was a water gun.   

2.  A 14-year-old girl is making herself toast, sees that her school bus is coming down the street.  She races out of the house, butter knife in hand.  Gets to school and throws it in her locker, forgetting about it until it falls out of her locker two weeks later.  A teacher sees it and immedicately reports it.  The girl has an expulsion hearing during which she states her case, and gets expelled anyway.  All in the name of zero tolerance on weapons.  The fact that this girl is an exemplary student with absolutely no discipline problems, lots of friends and loves school, is never considered.

3.  The 10-year-old son of a friend of mine found a some bullets and put them in his pocket. His mom, upon finding them, told him that this was bad and stupid and made him give them to her.  But he missed one.  Or kept one.  He's a 10-year-old kid, right?  So, he jumps into the same pants the next day (as most boys his age seem to want to do) and off he goes to school.  He discovers the bullet in his pocket and shows it to a friend.  He is reported and suspended for bringing a weapon to school.

Now let me say here that I'm somewhat in favor of "zero tolerance" as far as it goes.  That is to say, fairness.  You can't punish someone for doing something, and NOT punish someone else for doing the same thing.  The same rules should apply to everyone.  But can we use some common sense while we're making up the rules?

The kid with the drawing is not reported to have threatened the kid he gave the drawing to.  He is not reported to have said that this was what he was going to do to someone else.  He just passed the drawing on.  The girl with the butter knife didn't even show it to anyone.  When she realized she had it, she didn't even carry it with her.  She put it in her locker and forgot about it.  She didn't threaten anyone with it.  The boy with the bullet just thought it was cool looking.

My son says you should never be a snitch.  I disagree.  I think that there are sometimes when you must tell.  When you see a kid getting beat up every day, you should snitch.  If you hear someone repeated saying they're going to blow up the school, and I mean REPEATEDLY, and sounding like they mean it, you should say something.  You need to use common sense about it.  And common sense seems to be lacking in our society.

Case in point.  Today's parents seem to have zero tolerance for whining and tantrums.  So do I, but I just don't stand for it.  These parents give their kids everything they whine for.  Your 6 year old wants to play Halo, or some other game rated M.  An M rating means it should not be played by anyone under 17.  And there's a reason for that.  But no, the kid whines and kicks his/her feet and mom and dad (who are usually trying to show each other up anyway) get the game for the kid.  And most of these kids cannot properly process the violence, as say someone of the proper M rating age could.  They're allowed to watch R rated slash and gore movies.  And think they're cool.  I don't know.  Maybe I'm old, but I just don't think it's cool to see someone's guts being strewn all over the place.  And don't get me started about the crap that's on television that kids shouldn't be watching.  Not all cartoons are for kids.  Period. 

So after viewing all this that his "progressive" parents allow him to be exposed to, he draws a picture of a man with a gun.  And I'll bet that the kid he showed it to watches just as much junk and plays all the same violent games as he does.  But he saw an opportunity and took it.   And his hysterical parents did just what he thought they would do.  People, what part of common sense do you NOT understand?????

Kids have to grow up.  Kids will be exposed to all sorts of stuff.  You can't wrap them up in cotton batting and never let them experience the world.  I grew up in the 60's.  We were required by our teachers to watch the news every night.  The Vietnam War body count scrolled across the bottom of the screen and pictures of protesters and police battling it out, or of civil rights marchers being blasted with fire hoses and attacked with dogs, were views I saw every night.  But someone was there to discuss it with.  My parents, for one.  They were watching what I was watching.  We only had one television in the house, after all.  And we discussed it in school.  Not in the baby talk that kids get nowadays.  But in hard reality.  This is the world kids, and the world is not always kind.  So, snitch if you must.  But cope with a LOT.  I saw all this and never shot a gun.  Never stabbed anyone.  Not that I never had a fist fight.  But I grew up.  I coped with my share of bullies.  I learned to walk by them and ignore them.  I hated them, but I didn't kill them.  I didn't blow up the school.  I didn't run around and kill a lot of innocent people because I was unhappy.  I coped.  Without snitching. 

Oh yeah.  And we played tag and never called it sexual harassment or "unwanted touching".  But that's a subject for another day.......... 

Posted by hiliz at 1:59 PM EDT
Updated: Thursday, 25 October 2007 2:47 PM EDT
The Most Wonderful Time of the Year
Mood:  not sure
Topic: Baseball

Yes, folks, it's that time of year again.  I speak, of course, of October, the home month of the World Series.  And last night, the Boston Red Sox slaughtered the newcomer Colorado Rockies.  It was almost boring.  Almost.  But being a born and bred Red Sox fan, I had to look anyway.........

 Let me say something about fans here.  There are fairweather fans, and Boston has a lot of those since winning the Series in 2004.  There are fans who are fans because their boyfriends/girlfriends/husbands/wives are fans.  And that's ok I guess.  But the truest baseball fans I've ever found are Mets fans, Cubs fans, and Red Sox fans.  I mean, who else could still love these guys after waiting 86 years for a Series trophy?  Yep, me for one.  And my dad for another.  I remember watching the games with him on tv.  And I remember the annual outings to Fenway, back in the 80's and the chant then was "Dewey, Dewey, Dewey".  And we'd be shouting it at the top of our lungs.  The chant of "YOOOOOOOOklis" in last nights game reminded me of those games and those times.

That's the kind of sad part of this series.  I live in South Carolina and my dad lives in Connecticut.  But during baseball season, we talked often, and we talked baseball.  Red Sox baseball.  Papi and Manny and Tek, Shilling and the bloody sock, and Johnny Damon's defection to the Evil Empire.  How we hated the structural changes they made to the wall at Fenway.  And how we sometimes wondered if Terry Francona knew what he was doing, and then how we knew he was a great manager.

Here in SC, baseball is really NOT the sport of choice and, unless you have cable tv (which I do not), it's hard to find a game to watch.  Even harder to find a Red Sox game to watch.  But FOX shows the playoffs so I watched as my Red Sox stole the Indians chances away in game 7.  It made me cry.  I don't have anyone to talk with about the games anymore.

My dad is still with us.  But, after apparently having several ministrokes, his mind is not.  Hard to take when you're talking to him one day about the Sox and The War and the one room schoolhouse he went to as a kid, and then find out he's in the hospital and doesn't know who anyone is.   And no one seems to know quite why.

So, I'll still carry the flame.  I'll watch the Series to its end, whether bitter or sweet.  But I miss my Dad, my baseball buddy. And Red Sox baseball will be something bittersweet to me. 

Posted by hiliz at 1:14 PM EDT
Wednesday, 17 October 2007
For they have entertained angels unawares......................
Mood:  happy
Now Playing: My Funny Valentine
Topic: Good Stuff

Even on the worst of days, we still have blessings we need to be thankful for.  Oh, I know, they're hard to see sometimes.  And we all have "angels" in our lives.  Some may have lopsided haloes, while others may have broken wings.  But they are angels all the same.  Let me tell you something about mine.

First, there's the angel who struggles every minute of every day with bipolar disorder.  We've known each other for years, we've laughed together and we've cried together. And while her condition makes for some interesting roller coaster rides, I have no doubt at all that she's in my corner.  At the best of times and the worst of times. 

Another angel has a pretty tough exterior.  She's had a tough life and from that experience, she's built up some pretty strong fronts.  But if someone thinks they're going to push me around, she's there saying "I've got your back, baby."   And she does.  I know without asking, she'll come through when things look the worst.

But there are more angels:  one who makes me laugh, and really listens to whatever I have to say.  Sometimes I have to nail his shoes to the floor to get him to stay in one place, but when the chips are down, he's there.  And finally, there's the one who smiles and makes everything seem not so bad.  Who accidentally gets something extra at the fast food place, when really she knows that you didn't bring lunch that day.  Who tells you that "it'll get better" and somehow it sounds pretty convincing coming from her.

 Of course, there are many others who touch our lives briefly.  Someone you hardly know who shakes your hand and leaves a twenty behind, just when you needed it most.  Somehow, they knew.  And the one who buys you groceries because he heard you were having it tough.  And you hardly know him.  The one who holds your hand and prays with you because you look like maybe you need it.  And you do.  The one who knows that even though you say, "I'm fine" that you're really not.  The one who makes sure that you're ok when you've been sick.

I could go on and on.  I've met many angels in my life.  The staying kind, and the kind that comes into your life and goes, leaving you richer.

It's easy to get down.  It's easy to always look at the bad side of things.  But just open your eyes and you'll discover that every dark cloud really does have a silver lining.  And it's caused by the reflection from all the haloes of all your angels. 

Posted by hiliz at 6:02 PM EDT
Thursday, 11 October 2007
Excuse me!
Mood:  irritated
Now Playing: Everything (Lifehouse)
Topic: Gripes

Ok, I'll just come out and say it.  We are a nation of excuse makers.  Nothing is ever our fault.  Everything is beyond our control.  And for a nation of control freaks, that's something.  Yes, control freaks.  Can't be two steps from our cellphones or blackberries.  So afraid we're going to miss something.  But do something wrong and get caught?  Oh, it wasn't MY fault.  I grew up poor.  I come from a broken home.  I have a syndrome.  It's because of the video games.  I have a disorder. The instructions weren't written clearly.  Someone told me to do it.  I saw someone else do it..........  I think of my dear departed mother, and her famous saying, "If they all jumped off cliffs, would you jump too?"  Let's get a grip.  If you screw up, you screw up.  Period.  You made a bad decision, a bad choice.  Deal with it, live with it, and then move on.  Ok, they're are certainly some individuals who truly don't know the difference between right and wrong.  I'll concede that.  But I find it hard to believe that so many individuals just don't have the capacity to tell right from wrong.  The scary thing is that the excuse making is passed from generation to generation.  My son tries it on me, but I'm not buying.  I come from people who survived the Depression and the War.

So, America, grow up.  Get a grip.  You're not perfect.  Put down the cell phones, blackberries and video games and pull yourselves together. 

Posted by hiliz at 5:48 PM EDT
Well here goes.......
Now Playing: Hey There Delilah (Plain White Ts)
I decided to start a blog.  I might be getting in over my head.  You know, you put your opinions on something like this and no matter what you say someone has to come gunning for you.  Like what I say means the end of the world.  Or what they say has to show me how stupid I am.  Comments are welcome I guess.  Just nothing adversarial.  OK?

Posted by hiliz at 5:43 PM EDT

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