Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Got My Ire Up

While so many are talking about the State of the Union address, which for the first time in my adult memory, I skipped, all I can think about is the cheating Patriots.  Now, I have hated Bill Belichick since he was last caught cheating against his former team, the New York Jets.  He was caught stealing the Jets coaches signals.  Disgraceful. The NFL gave him their severest penalty at the time, other than suspension.  He paid around $400,000 in fines and lost a draft pick.  BFD!!  He never showed remorse.  He got away with it.  His reputation tainted but remembered mostly only by people in New York.  This go round, he has cheated far more egregiously.  Okay, yes, I am jumping the gun.  It hasn't been proven who knew what, who did what, or who ordered what, but, seriously, once a cheater, always a cheater.  

For those of you not caring about football, the New England Patriots have been charged with using deflated footballs in their 45-7 win over the Indianapolis Colts for the NFC championship.  It has been proven that 11 out of 12 footballs were 2 pounds lighter than they are supposed to be.  Less air makes it easier to throw and catch.  Easier gripping in the cold, driving rain the game was played in Sunday night.  It's a total disgrace.  It's a tarnish that will not go away, regardless of the final investigative report.  Other players are coming out of the woodwork with other instances that, in hindsight, the Pats footballs may have been deflated.  This stain will not go away.  Even the great and illustrious former coach of the Miami Dolphins, Don Shula, called Bill Belichick, Bellicheat and that was a few weeks ago.  Who knows what we don't know or what wasn't discovered?  

It is unbelievable that if these allegations are deemed true, that there was a nefarious act done, the New England Patriots don't have to forfeit the win.  They still get to go to the Super Bowl.  The Colts get cheated out of a chance at another Super Bowl and so do their fans!!  When the facts are collected and assessed, if Belichick knew anything in advance or looked the other way, he should be suspended for a whole season!  Maybe that would make him reassess his priorities and his cheatin' ways.  

So while you're sitting there on Sunday, February 1, 2015, eating your nachos, pigs in a blanket, burgers, etc. trying to have fun with family and friends, think about how the Pats got to the game.  Think about the Colts fans and players.  Think about the message that we are sending to our children.  It's a total disgrace.  Fans always get screwed by our professional sports teams.  This is just another example.

I just couldn't take watching the State of the Union Address.  I couldn't stand the thought of seeing all the Republicans not clapping and the Democrats giving standing ovations.  It's gross and meaningless.  I think the SOTU should be on radio or alone in the oval office.  The partisanship year in and year out makes it so irritating.  Watching the Speaker of the House from the opposing party look so dour the entire speech is painful.  These past years it's been, John Boehner, but it could just as easily have been Nancy Pelosi.  It's predictable and pointless, so the SOTU may be important, but it gets lost in the B.S.  So DC elected politicians, get to work.  Do something that helps the 99%.  You all have dipped into the cookie jar too many times.  There's not enough for the rest of us. Maybe I'm becoming a socialist....

Sidelines:  Couldn't be happier to see JK Simmons getting all the kudos he so richly deserves.  If you haven't seen Whiplash, go!  Trying to catch up on the movies I've missed.  Not easy.  The Bachelor has caused such a controversy with their censored black square blocking one woman's butt.  It's weird.  ABC isn't saying anything.  Whether in a swim suit or shorts, the black box is blocking something.  It's so odd and making the not knowing more uncomfortable.  Saw The Judge last night.  Did you see it?  It's the movie that Robert Duvall is nominated for starring Robert Downey Jr., Vera Fermiga, Billy Bob Thorton, Leighton Meester, Ken Howard, and more.  It's really a great cast and some great acting, but the screenplay....It's Wednesday cold, grey, and snow on the way. A Yankee Clipper is coming.

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Friday, January 9, 2015

Je Suis Juif

I am heartsick about the terrorism in Paris.  I have a huge love/hate relationship with Paris.  It is my most favorite city in the world and I am conflicted because Paris and France have a long history of anti-semitism.  It has been on the rise and French Jews have been fleeing in droves to Israel to find peace.  The brutal murders at Charlie Hebdo earlier this week, made the Parisians stand up for all that they believe.  Democracy, freedom of expression, liberte.  The horror of the unconscionable murders of journalists shook the French to their core.  There were three terrorists, one 18 year old and two brothers in their 30's.  The 18 year old folded and surrendered the first day.  The two brothers fled and held the police off until today where they held hostages and were surrounded by the police and army.  Finally, this hostage situation ended in the death of the two terrorists.  

At the same time, waking up this morning to hear that there was another hostage situation at a Kosher market in Paris, in the Marais, by another two terrorists.  As upsetting as the Charlie Hebdo murders are, I can't tell you how upsetting it is to me that more Jews are targeted.  As non-religious as I am, I am through and through Jewish.  I relate to the history and the culture of the Jewish people.  I have spent my life conflicted about the religious aspect, but still find myself drawn to the Jewish religion if any religion at all.  It seems simple and fluid.  I am not speaking about the extreme right of the Jewish religion.  Any extreme I don't get.  It's difficult for many to understand that anti-semitism is alive and well everywhere.  Young people don't see it, just like many young people don't see racism and homophobia, but it's all still there.  The slights and covert undercurrents of anti-semitism are clear when watching the news or reading the New York Times.  The "dog whistles" (as Chris Matthews coined regarding the racism of Republican speak) of anti-semitism are getting louder the older I get.  Is it me getting wiser and more aware?  Or is the reality that the drums of Jew-hating is getting louder and louder.  

I am trying to process all of this.  There are still so many more facts to get. How many have died? How many are injured? How did the French police decide to raid both locations at the same time?  How many are dead??  Have you been to the Marais in Paris?  It is a tiny, small, Jewish community. Smaller than the former lower east side in NYC.  It's hard to even fathom that terror could be inflicted on these small streets of Paris.  It is quaint and old.  Everyone knows everyone.  The streets are teeming with tourists.  It's a gem of a neighborhood.  A slice of a time gone by.  So, for those that know me, you may feel that I am hypersensitive to the plight of Jews, but I don't think I am hyper anything.  I feel I have to help point out acts against Jews and Israel.  We are mighty but few, that pisses people off.  We won't stand down.  

Whether you are Jewish or not, take a moment to think about the journalists and Jewish people that were killed by terrorists.  Maybe light a candle in their memory and in hopes for a brighter future.  I can't shake it off.  Je suis triste.  Je suis Juif.  Shabbat Shalom.

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Tuesday, January 6, 2015

New Year...I'm Ba-ack

The slate is metaphorically clean.  We begin again. Some make resolutions. Some break resolutions.  After 55 years, I don't make New Year's resolutions.  I don't think that there is one that I have kept so I finally stopped. I always re-commit to being healthier and workout more, but that's just hoping that by some miracle, if I say it year in and year out, it will happen.  So, everyday, I try to re-commit to different things.  Some days I am successful, other days, not so much. 

Personally, the year is starting off fairly well.  Globally, ugh. Don't want to be Debbie Downer, but there's so much.  The fact that our President declared the war in Aghanistan or Iraq or both over just drains me.  The fact that the Iraq war was the longest war the USA ever fought in is also staggering.  I am grateful for all the sacrifices that our military and their families made, but....What was it all for?  Are we safer?  Is the world better for the wars?  Certain wars are clear or seemingly clear.  The Civil War, World War 2, but these unending wars in the Middle East?  If our leaders would just study, watch, and learn from history, it's no understatement that history repeats itself.  Hear that?  History repeats itself.  The smartest statement President Obama made recently was about Cuba.  If you try something for 50 years and it hasn't worked, it's time to try something different.  Of course, if people learned from history, it would take down psychotherapy as an occupation.  

Local politics in NYC is dreary and painful.  Mayor DiBlasio has done nothing to instill confidence with his leadership skills.  Every time he speaks, he steps in it.  Now that he is dancing as fast as he can to win back the entire NYPD, he sounds so disingenuous.  Maybe he should've taken public speaking before he became Mayor.  We are stuck with him for 3 more long years.  Do you hear that?  If I could think of anyone to replace him, I would start a recall election, but I don't see anyone on the horizon to run this city.  "Houston, we have a problem."  I can only hope that DiBlasio doesn't destroy this city while he is in office.  Bloomberg can't run again. Christine Quinn has virtually vanished into thin air since she got walloped in the primary election in 2013. It won't be Joe Lohta.  Who is there? Come on good, smart, educated politicians, who will be able to have the skill set and win an election in NYC?  If you reveal yourself soon.... 

Sidebars:  Took the family to see The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time on Broadway.  It was breathtaking.  Best production since The Lion King.  If you get the chance, don't miss it.  Trying to catch up on movies.  Theory of Everything, The Imitation Game, Into the Woods all worth seeing.  Want to see Cake but isn't playing here yet.  Still have to see Birdman, which is getting scarce to find showtimes.  The Golden Globes are Sunday, January 11th.  Best awards show, by far.  Set your DVR's.  The new television season began with new episodes of The Good Wife, Madam Secretary, and the 5th season of Downton Abbey.  Not to be left behind, The Bachelor started last night its 19th season with "Prince Farming."  The season preview at the end was, as always, thoroughly entertaining.  The Bachelor editors must have the most fun of all.  American Idol begins its umpteenth season, but don't think I have it in me, certainly will not DVR it. I started an Instagram account over the holidays (MamaPodo).  I am realizing that I have little to say through photographs, but my kids began an Instagram for "OurBlindDogChloe."  Follow her.  I will use mine to follow others until or if I can find my visual voice.  Snowing and bitterly cold here today.  The Polar Vortex is ba-ack. Wishing everyone a very healthy and happy 2015.

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