Pandemic Day 375

Well, hooray! The Governor this morning lifted the restrictions. So, what does that mean? Masks aren’t mandatory and we can have larger crowds. More people have been vaccinated and positive cases and deaths are down significantly. Cool. That sounds great!
Well, now we are going to be in this new weird space where we businesses want to do the right thing, and we aren’t quite sure which way to go for the best interest of our guests and teams. Some businesses are already posting that they are going to continue requiring masks for the health and safety of their staff and customers. Some businesses are really taking a stand right now in that announcement. I have been wearing a mask at least 12 hours per day every single day for about a year. I think we are all anxious to not have to wear them. I am not sure I want to take a stand about enforcing them at my shop, but I also am not sure I want to just suddenly be loose about it either. I already told the staff we would continue to wear masks for now and until we are certain that we no longer need to. However, I also took down the signs on the door that state that masks are required before entry. I needed to clean the glass anyway and those papers had been there a long time. I could always put them back if we decide that is best.
Right now, it is so uncertain and we want to behave well for our guests and our team. That is the most important factor. I think when our guests feel comfortable without masks, and our team feels comfortable without masks and society as a whole feels comfortable without masks…through that process, we can gently shift I suppose.

Blah. The politics and the pandemic have really made stuff not as fun! Not going to lie. I really am eager to burn all the masks I own.

Deception At The Scare House

When we were driving home from the halloween party, Karl saw a sign that said Scare House. Figuring it could be fun, we decided to go with the boys. So, we drove down the road and followed the signs. It was a nice neighborhood with nice houses. We got there and stood in line. We were going to go with the next group. We anxiously waited and talked about how cool it will probably be. The people putting on the show were dressed up in scary costumes for the occasion and we were getting more and more excited as we waited. Finally, it was our turn. We went inside and the first thing was a dark hallway where a scary monster jumped out at us. After this, we were all led into the garage. It was all set up with black walls and black lights and several rows of folding chairs facing a big projector screen. We all sat down and there was a warning that some of the material may not be suitable for small children. My youngest is six and I decided to wait and see how it was. I mean, how scary could it be?

What came next instantly shocked me. First there were several words that flashed one at a time on the screen. They were words such as LUST, GREED, PERVERSION, etc. Next, the lights came on and a couple of teenagers came in doing a skit about a drug deal and one trying to push drugs on the other. In his hand was a bag of white powder (I am assuming this was flour???). While this was going on, I was becoming very uncomfortable and eyeballing the exit ready to grab the kids and walk out. Those teenagers left and in came a grown man and woman doing a skit about domestic violence and the husband and wife screaming at eachother in an extremely mean way. This was when I grabbed my children and walked out. Karl arrived outside a short time later and told me that after I walked out, the son of the two fighting came in and shot the dad and then shot himself. Of course, this was all just an act or a play, but the message was not what we would expect to see at a haunted house during Halloween. We had to explain to the children that this, although the stuff they were showing was pretty scary stuff, this was not what a real haunted house was like.

Now, I am guessing that these people are trying to spread their preaching word onto us and using halloween and a bit of deception to lead people into their game. I am outraged about this. I think it is completely wrong. It is one thing to invite people, of their own free will, to come hear a preaching message, but it is another thing to deceive people. They did not offer us any warning while we were standing in line. In fact one of the women putting on the show came up and made spooky sounds around us and seemed to like our costumes and saw my two young children standing there and did not say a single thing about what we were about to walk into.

This happened in Mesa off of Guadalupe and Dobson. If you see signs for a Scare House, beware…it is probably not what you are expecting at all.

Flaws In Our Species

My X is leaving for Kuwait on Monday. Most of you know that he and I are still good friends. I get sad about this whole mess of a world we live on. Time goes on, the wounds grow deeper, we trust our neighbor less, the ten commandments mean so little these days. Those of you who know me, know that I am not big on organized religion, but I do believe in morality and the idea of doing to others as you would have done to yourself.

Priorities often seem shifted. The other day, I came home from breakfast with Mark and my children and my street was flooded with cop cars and the cops all had rifles and these police officers were just running up and down my street, in front of my house with their rifles. It was a bit disturbing. Turns out the guy a couple houses away shot himself. This happened on my street where I live with my children. So much seems uncomfortable in our neighborhoods and in our schools and most of us are broke and the economy sucks, so we are out there killing eachother and stealing from eachother and screwing eachother over and many of us do not know our neighbors and would not say hello to a stranger on a street corner and countries are at war and the wounds keep getting bigger and the population grows as science discovers new ways to make us live longer and make more babies (conceived in a test tube in our Brave New World). What are we accomplishing? And what is our choice? And how do we change this? How do we get out of this tornado of distrust and lack of faith in people and an ever increasing population of creatures who were given the ability to think. With the ability to think comes differences of opinion. And the biggest flaw of our species seems to be that we often dislike or even hate others for no other reason than these differences. Centuries have gone by and this fact has not changed. All that has changed is our numbers, increasing the energy behind the hatred and the ability to inflict larger wounds. It was very cool when America seemed to suddenly gain a great deal of spirit after september 11th, but where is it now? Maybe it was us showing our teeth and flashing our colors. Was this spirit fueled mainly by anger and hate? When was the last time you said hello to a stranger on the street corner? I know there are many who can say it was just this week or even yesterday, but I would be curious to see the statistics of how many have a habit of walking by without as much as a smile. I mean, it has been over a year since September 11th and everyone is really busy trying to get by and deal with their own lives, right? We just do not have the time, right? And our country is in all of this debt and the poor get poorer. And eviction rates are at a record high (I read that today). Many people are incapable of finding work and struggle to feed their families. And we spend how much money each year trying to figure out ways to keep people alive longer?

Do we have a goal? Can we even get out of debt as a nation? Can we slow down for a second and realize we are on the same team? Can we stop being so greedy and selfish and prejudice before we completely do ourselves in?

9/11 – One Year Later

Last year, I used my television as my alarm clock and awoke on this day to see airplanes crashing into buildings. On my way to work, I listened to talk of terrorists. When I arrived to work we all watched up to the minute accounts of it all on the big screen. We all left work to be with family, friends or alone to deal with things in our own ways. The day was full of many emotions. Over the next days, weeks and months, I saw vehicles painted with American flags and other patriotic artistic representations. I heard talk of a nation united. As the sadness and fear of this country turned to hatred and anger, I realized that it was a nation united and a planet divided. Prejudism was rampant and we were all afraid. This morning I awoke and I thought of it all and I felt the tears forming in my eyes. These terrible acts of hatred that happened one year ago have jaded so many of us and chiseled away a large part of our belief in fairy tales and happy endings. Buildings were turned to dust and rubble and we each constructed our own tall, thick, solid walls around ourselves. We all say how strong we are as a nation and how united we have become and how we have learned to love our neighbors… we just do not trust them all. We are all human beings living on the same planet and unlike the terrorists, we hold life sacred, and when we stop doing that , we become like the terrorists. Someday, I hope that our planet will be as united as our nation.

This morning at work, we replaced our old flag with a new flag and all said the pledge of allegiance after a moment of silence. I have a hug for you. Even if you are far away, I hugged someone today that hugged someone that hugged you. And always hold on to the fairy tale fantasies of your childhood as tightly and intently as you possibly can.

Abandoned Infant

This morning, on National Public Radio, I heard a news story about an abandoned infant found in a recycling yard in Iowa. The infant had been put through a shredder and it was difficult to even determine what sex the child was. Turns out it was a boy who was a full-term newborn. In addition, it is undetermined who the mother is. So, the D.A.s office decides to check with Planned Parenthood and requests all records of women who had a positive pregnancy test about the time that this child should have been conceived. Planned Parenthood, of course, refuses because of confidentiality of these 100s of women. So now there is this huge debate and the president of the Iowa Planned Parenthood may be jailed.

So, my thoughts on this are, what is the likelihood that this girl even went to Planned Parenthood? Are we going to risk the confidentiality of hundreds of women for the possibility that this girl, who abandoned her baby, actually went to planned parenthood to get tested? In my opinion, the more likely scenario is that the girl probably did a home pregnancy test. In fact, it is possible that this pregnancy was a complete secret from everyone. Maybe this was a teen girl who was scared and kept it a secret from everyone. Then, hundreds of women are going to have their records investigated and their privacy invaded.

It would be different if they had something to go on, but they are basicly searching for a needle in a haystack. What are they going to do once they have all these records? Go door to door and find out if there is a live baby to match the positive pregnancy test? Interogate anyone who cannot present a live baby?

Life is Sacred

Unlike the terrorists, we hold life sacred, and when we stop doing that, we become like the terrorists.  I heard that on the radio today and thought it was perfect.

It is ok to be angry, but it is important to direct our anger at the right person or people. I have heard a lot of people, who claim they were never prejudice, suddenly having prejudice thoughts. I have seen stories on the news about hate crimes against muslims and arabs in our country in the last week. We have always taken pride in the fact that we are a nation of extreme diversity and we welcome all people. If a child is ridiculed because of being of muslim descent, then the seed of hatred is planted and it will blossom. Let us not lose sight of the fact that we may be from different backgrounds and nationalities and religions, but we are all humans living on the same planet. There are evil elements in all groups of people, but it does not mean that the group is evil as a whole. I agree that it is very hard to trust and open arms to some people when it has become public knowledge that the men who took control of those planes had been members of our society that were even well liked by the americans who they interacted with for the past few years. I realize that you are as angry and sad and shocked and worried as I am about the events that occured on September 11. It was terrible and cruel. When Tim McVeigh took down the federal building, did we hate all Americans? Did we want to kill all Americans? Yet, as it states in a news article about the bombing: “And lost that moment – although nobody knew it yet – was the innocence of America. Homegrown terrorism had
arrived with a vengeance, and the terrorist was the kid next door. And he was cruising away from the carnage –
down Interstate 35. ”

I am angry too. Please do not think that I am not. I am scared for the future. I am sad about the loss of so many of our people who had dreams and futures and loved ones left behind to cope without them. I am sorry with all my heart that this has happened. I do not want to lose my freedoms due to the need for heightened security. I do not want my world as I know it to be changed. I want my fairy tale world to be as it always has been. In order to cling to the hope that it may still be, I must remember how easily anger can turn to hate and I must not let any act of cowardace that is fueled by hate reduce me to that level because I am an American and I am stronger than that….. and so are you.


Some people say that we should not fight, which goes along with the two wrongs do not make a right theory. And some people say that we should which goes along with an eye for an eye theory. And I say Why can we not all just get along but that is only my fairy tale fantasy world theory and it is impossible because this has been going on since the beginning of history of mankind. So, what do we do? I do not know. Should we go over there and kick ass? Maybe, but not like a traditional war. No. It will not be a traditional war. We will never have a war like Viet Nam or WWI or WWII again. We just do not have those kind of wars anymore. We are going to go over there and find the person or people responsible and demand justice be served. Maybe with a trial. I do not know. We are going to force justice on the person or people responsible and not on the country full of innocent people that were not responsible. The problem is, we do not know who is responsible, and the scary part is that these people blended in with our society for years and we did not even know it and people say He was such a nice boy. So your neighbor could be a terrorist and you would not even know it. So, what is the solution? I do not know. I just want things to be like Star Trek after the federation, but it will not be that way at least for a very long time.