Inauguration Day

Four years ago I wrote about inauguration day. I wrote about looking for hope even if you didn’t like the person being inaugurated. I think the last four years have been even more disastrous than I expected. The news has been worse and worse as the yeas have gone by, ending in the midst of a pandemic.

Looking back at my post from four years ago I see I had too much faith in other politicians. I should have known better. No one stepped up, No one in the president’s party spoke up against him until it was basically over. Politicians did what politicians always do – care more about power and reelection than the people they represent. It also seems hard to think about finding hope in each other. Try to remember that there is much more good than bad out there. The bad gets all the press, but the good is out there. Continue to find hope in the thought that our children can make the world a better place than we have left it. We can still work to become the hope in the world. Spend more time working to make the world better for others instead of arguing with each other on Facebook. Volunteer. March when necessary. Be a light in the darkness.

Today is a day of hope for the future.

We have a new president who is much more stable than what we have had for the past four years.

We have the possibility of leaders from both parties finding common ground.

We have hope that the vaccinations will ramp up and we will finally emerge from the darkness of the pandemic.

We have hope that we will go back to working with the rest of the world instead of distancing ourselves.

There will still be bad out there. Things won’t magically get better at noon today. We won’t magically live in utopia because of a change in leadership. The hope doesn’t fall completely on one man. The hope falls on all of us. Turn off the news. Stop arguing on social media. Start becoming the good you want to see.

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Fighting the Midwinter/Pandemic Blues

This time of year is always a little hard for me. The holidays are over. It’s cold. While the days are getting longer, it is still dark relatively early. I go from having my kids around back to the empty nest. There’s not a lot to look forward to until the days are longer and warmer. This year is compounded by the state of the world. The virus is still out there. We just hit 400000 deaths in the US. DC is under guard to protect against violence at the inauguration. It will be east for me to give in to the depression and just give up on finding any good or being productive.

It took me a long time to even consider opening my laptop today. The only reason I did is because I am writing a letter of recommendation for someone’s grad school application today. Otherwise, I would have justified letting the writing go for another day.

There are positives, but I can dwell on even the negative of that.

Three family members have received their first shot of the Covid vaccine. Hopefully, my mother in law will get an appointment soon. This is all good news. But I remember that I am on the bottom of the list for vaccinations. I will be lucky to get mine by June. Most of my family has a reason to be ahead of me due to jobs and health conditions. I foresee a time when all of my family in Kentucky is vaccinated and can see each other while I am here in Maryland still waiting on my turn.

This was made worse by someone in the library world telling me that there is a push for library employees to be added to the essential worker tier of the vaccinations. It would be typical for me to leave my job only to find out that if I had stayed I could have been vaccinated earlier. I strongly disagree with this idea. Librarians who were always very vocal when it came to funding about how essential they were all suddenly decided they were nonessential when it came to the discussion of opening to the public. You can’t now decided you are essential again to jump the line for vaccines. If you closed in March and never considered opening again or expanding services you can’t now claim to be essential when it gives you benefits. Assholes.

I’ve talked in therapy about what to do to fight this. I want to find volunteer opportunities. I want to see if there are online trivia nights I can join. I want to initiate Zoom social nights with friends from high school, college, etc. I want to do all of this, but it is so much easier to sit on the couch under a blanket and wait for things to get better.

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10 Days of Travel: Day 8 – Baku, Azerbaijan

Can’t find the words today, so I will do my travel photo this morning. The last location for my wife’s conference before the pandemic made it virtual. I had no idea what to expect. I ended up being on of my favorite cities we have visited. The people were very friendly, the city is safe and walkable, and it isn’t overrun with tourists.

10 Days of Travel: Day 7 – India

I will include a photo from India despite the fact that India tried to kill me. This is Charminar, one of the stops on the official tour with the government group. As we walked through the shopping area we were escorted by police and warned not to stop and shop. We eventually made it through the crowd and to the top of the tower in the photo.

What’s Good in Tater Town 1/17/20

Another quiet week at home. I feel like that is going to be the norm for a while. I need to get out more even if out just means sitting on my front porch to get fresh air. Let’s see if I can make a list of good.

  1. Dinner with both kids Sunday night.
  2. My daughter is still home so I wasn’t completely alone.
  3. I’m reading more.
  4. The weather was nice enough to walk every day.
  5. I used my going away gift to get donuts along with free coffee from Dunkin.
  6. I balanced rest, writing and chores well this week.
  7. My wife is back from Kentucky.

That’s it for this week. It was very quiet. All my sports viewing falls into the bad category this week. Is it baseball season yet?

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10 Days of Travel: Day 6 – Elephants in Zambia

We got to go to Zambia for one of my wife’s work trips. Before her conference started they took us on safari. We were almost to the end and had not yet seen any elephants. We were starting to worry that we would miss out on seeing elephants in the wild when we saw this.

Elephants!

10 Days of Travel: Day 5 – Disneyworld

This does not seem as exciting as other places I’ve been, but it was just as special. Two years ago today we were in Orlando. It was the first trip in a while to somewhere besides Kentucky where my son was able to be with us. We went back to one of our favorite places. We had warmth in January. We had a week away from the real world. We had a week with both kids. We had a week when our grown kids could be kids again. I want to do it again.

My Week in Books, Movies, and TV 1/15/20

I still have at least another week before everyone is back to their regular living spaces. That means at least another week before I really know what my new normal might be, Will I read more or less? Will I watch more TV? Will I be able to get into a real routine? Who knows. Here is what I managed to read and watch this week.

Movies – We watched The King of Staten Island on HBO. This is the semiautobiographical Pete Davidson movie about a 20 something guy who has been unable to move forward in life since his firefighter dad died when he was a kid. He spends his days smoking weed with his friends and dreaming of becoming a tattoo artist. When his mom starts dating again(another firefighter) he is forced to deal with his grief. I really didn’t know what to expect going in. I like Davidson on SNL, but didn’t know if he could carry an entire movie. He can and he did. It was funny and moving. I highly recommend.

TV – We tried a couple of new TV shows this week. The first was Mr Mayor. It stars Ted Danson as a wealthy businessman who becomes mayor of LA. It was apparently meant to be a spinoff of 30 Rock with Alec Baldwin’s character, but was rewritten to become this. It got a lot of bad reviews, but I enjoyed it. It wasn’t a perfect first two episodes, but the cast is great and I laughed several times. Isn’t that what we want from a comedy? We also watched Call You Mother. This starts Kyra Sedgwick as an empty nester mom who relocates to California to be near her grown children. It was a good first episode. I think it could be a good one. It could also get old fast if the story can’t move past her need to be involved in the lives of her kids. We have been watching the Ken Jennings episodes of Jeopardy. I think he is doing a good job as host and hope he gets a fair shot at being the permanent host.

Books – I finished two books his week:

The Living Dead by George Romero and Daniel Kraus – a very long zombie novel started by Romero and finished by Kraus. It starts out telling the individual stories of various survivors around the country. A government employee in DC, a coroner in California who witnessed one of the first zombies, a teen from the Midwest, a Navy man from an aircraft carrier. Eventually, all of the stories come together and we get to the end game. I enjoyed the book. I think it took too long to get to where it was headed. Some individual stories were more interesting than others. I think fans of zombie movies would like it.

The President is Missing by Bill Clinton and James Patterson – I gave up reading all but the Cross books from Patterson and I still wonder why I’m still intent on reading the Cross ones. I had this one on hand for some reason, so I decided to give it a shot. It is better than most Patterson’s I’ve read recently. It has a decent plot. It held my interest. It did have the same problem I have with the Cross books. The main character was too good at everything. Patterson seems to be unable or unwilling to have a flawed protagonist. I doubt I will read the next Clinton/Patterson collaboration.

On Deck – I have two DVDs from the library, but I don’t really think I will get to them. My wife is home now so I’m sure we will do some catch up on our normal shows. I want to start WandaVision. I just need to find out if anyone else plans to watch or not. I need to find a new show to watch alone, but I can’t decide if I want a comedy or drama. I’m reading 10 Things I Hate About Pinky by Sandhya Menon. It is a nice YA romance to cleanse my reading palate of zombies and missing presidents.

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10 Days of Travel Photos: Day 4 – Donner Lake Area

This one is from our family trip out west. My daughter loved the Daniel James Brown book The Indifferent Stars Above about the Donner Party so this was high on our list of places to go. It was a beautiful area.