Monday, February 28, 2011

Thoughts on a Rainy, Dreary Day in February

The temperatures are gradually creeping up but we still have a snow cover and some ice. Today it's windy and pouring rain, maybe that will get rid of some of this mess. It's so depressing when the snow is filthy, the roads are thick with sand and salt (or whatever they're putting on them this year), and you vacuum every day to deal with what you've tracked in. Bah humbug! At least tomorrow is March 1st and just the thought of March gives hope.

Discovered yesterday that the desk calendar I bought for this year not only doesn't have the day of the week for each date, it has a Feb. 29th. No wonder I was getting so mixed up. I think I need to switch to another one that makes more sense. I'm confused enough as it is.

Once again Charlie Sheen dominates the news this morning, even though it's the day after the Academy Awards. I feel badly for Martin Sheen. I read that he had tried to help his son, but Charlie doesn't listen to anyone. It doesn't take a psychiatrist to see that the man has serious mental issues; can no one help him? I suppose he has to do something drastic and illegal besides run his mouth so that he can be committed against his will. I no longer think this is addiction to booze or drugs. I think he's mentally ill.

I remember when I was younger I never failed to watch the Academy Awards - glued to the tube like this was the most earthshaking event in history. My how things have changed. Now I don't care who won; for one thing I haven't seen most of the movies, and for another I don't know most of the actors these days. Other interests have taken over my time and I don't know whether that's good or whether I've just gotten dull.

Two phenomena have captured my interest: a) the natural disasters in various parts of the world, and b) the uprisings in the Middle East. I believe the natural disasters are a product of global warming and I feel so badly for the people whose lives are turned upsidedown. I can't imagine what it must be like to have lost everything, sometimes even loved ones, and not know where to turn or what will happen. It breaks my heart.

As for the Middle East turmoil, I'm fascinated by what sparked this region-wide uprising. It doesn't seem that any one group organized it and the situation in different countries is so dissimilar that I'm puzzled. I fear for the Libyan people; they are most likely to see a violent crackdown in my opinion. Gadhafi has never, as far as I know, listened to reason and has never been willing to cooperate or compromise with anyone unless there is something valuable in it for him personally. Meanwhile we see refugees from all these countries and they are running out of safe havens. Where will they all go? Again, I can't imagine their terror.

At home we're hit in the wallet with gas prices soaring along with everything else. It hits us hard because of our fairly fixed income but it also hits working people who need gas to get to their jobs. My commute in my last job was 50 miles per day; thank heaven I'm retired. It's also a good thing that basketball season is over so we aren't driving to Binghamton so much. Ever since we moved to the country we have grouped errands, trying to accomplish as much in one trip out as possible. When gas goes up, that's even more important. However, staying home and keeping warm is high too. Can't win - another bah humbug.

As you can see, I have many reasons for longing for spring. I have cabin fever, the weather is depressing, and the economy is keeping us from doing things. Come on spring!

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