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Posts Tagged ‘30 in 30’

If we were having coffee, it would be very early. It’s not quite 5 am here on the west coast. I’ve been up all night. I can’t seem to shut down. There are too many things on my mind. There is a sense of hopelessness inside of me right now. It has been a tough week.

If we were having coffee, we might be streaming one of my favorite movies. In an effort to just detach from the negativity in the world, I’ve tried to stay off of social media as much as I can since early Friday afternoon. It has helped. I’ve streamed some of my favorite movies, the ones I go to when I want to feel good. I’ve streamed Under the Tuscan Sun, Erin Brokovich, Dirty Dancing, Shall We Dance, and I finished the last half of The West Wing Season 7. I can’t quite concentrate on reading right now. Or writing. My mind is filled with things that shouldn’t be in there.

Yesterday I wrote about a peaceful protest here that turned violent and ugly when an anarchist group took over the peaceful march. There was a lot of damage done. It saddened me greatly. However, within hours, there was a group that was out there cleaning up the damage; broken glass, over turned trash cans, graffiti. It was all cleaned up by volunteers that didn’t point fingers or blame anyone. They just went and took care of the problem. They also set up a Go Fund Me account to raise money to help the businesses that were damaged by the protesters. The account raised over $37,000 in about 16 hours. I haven’t checked to see how much more has been raised. This is a good thing. It helps a lot to know that just as there are people that are willing to destroy things and disrespect the property of others and that of the public, there are also good people that are willing to go out there and take it upon themselves to try to make things right again. That made my heart hopeful and it made me proud to live here.

Friday would have been the 58th birthday of a friend that died earlier this year. That was another thing that made my heart heavy this week. I read through old emails between the two of us and some comments on Facebook between the two of us. I read what others posted about her, too.

Then there is the fact that my seasonal depression was setting in before the election so there was already that component before the world went crazy. So it’s good for me to detach a bit. It’s good to try to take care of myself before it gets bad. Last year I bought one of those light therapy lamps but it arrived too late for me to use it because I didn’t need it anymore. This year I will use it starting now.

If we were having coffee, I would want to hear about your week. I would hope that you would have something good to share with me; something happy; something positive. I would want to turn it over to you because I’m plum out of things to share. So tell me about you; about what you are up to.

#WeekendCoffeeShare is a weekly blog link up hosted by Diana at Part Time Monster Blog.

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On Wednesday we did one good thing. We got out of the house and went for a hike with the boys. This has become one of my favorite places as it looks out on Mt. Hood which is one of those places that makes me feel at peace and puts things into perspective. I never get tired of looking at its grandness.

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Last night, Thursday, just like on Wednesday night, there was a peaceful protest against the Trump win. On Wednesday night it was peaceful but after the protest, there was a lot of graffiti left by Trump supporters, including swastikas, on buildings. Then came last night. The peaceful group assembled in Pioneer Courthouse Square (we’re talking Portland, Oregon) and began their march. Somewhere along the way, outside groups joined in and hijacked the main protest. The outside groups included at least one anarchist group that has been active here in Portland in the past. There were other groups but, because I am not sure of who, I won’t name them. Suffice to say that they were not the peaceful group which began the evening.

It turned violent. It turned ugly. It turned destructive. There were fights. There was spray painting. There was smashing of windows. There was rock throwing. There were fires in the street. The police were severely outnumbered. The group was about 4,000 protesters against a tiny police force. Portland has a total of 500 police, however they weren’t all on duty because things had been so peaceful. So there were just a small number of police against the 4,000 and that made it far too dangerous for the police to go in and break it up. So they marched and destroyed and rallied and got brave.

I wasn’t even aware of it. I had checked in around 6 pm when everything was peaceful. I forgot all about it. Then when I went to bed around 11, I turned on the TV. Lo and behold! There it was. Live. My heart sank. I hate to see that. There is no reason for it. None at all. I was tuned in to the TV coverage. The protesters were very angry. They would not disperse even when riot police confronted them and warned them repeatedly. Even when they were attacked by rubber bullets they remained. It was ugly. It was scary.

Finally, TV coverage ended when the police began to arrest people and things seemed to be cooling off. That’s when I tuned off too. That’s when my heart ached. That’s when I began to write this. I had other plans for today’s blog post but they, like the peaceful protest, were hijacked by these violent anarchists and whatever other groups were out there. My heart is sad.

The only good thing is that the police and the media are aware that the groups that were responsible for the violence and the vandalism were not the original group. That means a lot to me. And I hope that it will become clear to people when it is reported in the media in a couple of hours.

Hopefully, I can gather myself enough to post later on what I was originally going to post.

Violence is not okay. Vandalism is not okay.

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I remember when I was in seventh grade. It was the 1968 Presidential Election. Hubert Humphrey was the Vice President under Lyndon Johnson. He was the Democratic candidate for President that year. The election happened. He lost to Nixon. The day after the election, I was in first period, which for me was English. Our teacher, Miss Rossi, was in tears that morning. She was so upset that she couldn’t stop the tears when the bell rang and class began.

For that hour, Miss Rossi spoke of the election. Mainly, she spoke about the Electoral College and although I was in seventh grade, it was the first time I learned anything about the body that elects our president and vice president. Before that, we had been taught that we, the people, vote for and elect the president. I don’t know why the text books hadn’t told us differently when we studied the elections in fifth grade, but they hadn’t. That year, even on the morning after the election, it appeared that HHH (Hubert Horatio Humphrey) had won the popular vote but lost the Electoral College. It later turned out, once all of the ballots were counted, that Nixon did indeed win the popular vote (there was less than a 1% divide between the two candidates), but in the early days post election, it appeared differently.

That’s what I think about when I hear the term Electoral College. It didn’t seem fair then and it still seems like there should be a better way; one that better reflects the popular vote. I still think of the passion with which Miss Rossi spoke and I wish that more Americans had that passion. We, I think, are too complacent. We vote then we accept until the next time. We don’t do anything about perceived injustices until it happens again.

So this ThrowBackThursday post I dedicate to Miss Rossi wherever she is. I think she’s still around. She was very ¬†young in 1968. It was only her second year teaching so probably around 23. I know that somewhere, Barbara Rossi is sitting with tear-filled eyes and wondering why we still have the Electoral College.

 

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Like I explained last week, plot ninjas are meant to give you a way out when you are stuck. They spark your imagination so that you can keep writing. It may end up giving you a scene, a chapter, or a whole sub plot!

Here are a few more:

–One of your characters says “It never happened.”

–Give your character(s) a favorite beverage. Tell the background of why it’s a favorite. (Maybe over a drink at a bar; at a party?)

–The door bell rings. Who is it? What do they want? What bearing does it have on your story?

–Your main character admits something. What?

Bonus

Use one or more of these words in your story:

catapult

election

exuberant

calliope

 

 

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