Hallelujah by Leonard Cohen


Since Leonard died, his song Hallelujah has become the song everyone wants to sing.  And wants to understand.  I myself just bought it on a Christmas album by Pentatonix.  Here are some thoughts I have about it.  My thoughts are not the only ones worth listening to.  You can find many more thoughts and interpretations about it.

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Christmas for Seniors


I first wrote this blog two years ago, and then copied it for last year.  It is still the most popular blog I ever wrote.  But instead of just copying it over again, I just had it repeated (with my permission) in HACA’s monthly newsletter.  I am now copying what the reporter Beth did by cutting it down.  Thank you to Beth for writing it into the newsletter.  Here is her edited version:

Most elderly people don’t need any more gifts of talcum p0wder, perfume, gowns or bath robes.

Most of us have homes full of things we have collected over the years.  I’ve gotten rid of more stuff than I need, and don’t want any more.

What we want are things you may not think are decent holiday presents.  But here is what I would appreciate, and I bet your elderly relatives would too.

  • A 24- or 48-roll package of toilet tissue wrapped in a big, fluffy, beautiful bath towel.
  • Gift cards to places like a grocery store, CVS, Walgreen’s, Target or Wal-Mart.
  • Books of stamps, preferably the pre-stuck kind, and if they still sell them, the good-forever stamps.
  • A gift card to a fancy food place, like Central Market or World Market.
  • Food gifts wrapped in a package with something in which you would serve the food or drink.
  • A 12-pack of soap.

There are necessities for every elderly person that they sometimes cannot afford.

Most of us simply don’t want another knickknack or bath product that is just going to collect dust.

If you feel silly giving toilet paper, remember many of us have limited income, and paper products can add up.

Toilet paper, tissue or paper towels are great, especially if you get creative with the wrapping or decorating.  Add a set of kitchen towels or a utensil or two.

Children want fancy, expensive things.  The elderly don’t.

Carol Stepp, Austin, TX

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Five Days After……….


 

I have just spent five days stunned by how many of you are truly bigots, and disrespecters of many of our American citizens.  Disrespect for women, for so-called minorities, for people who love differently, for all religions except christianity.  You have shown this by voting in a man who ran on all of these issues for the past year or so. The more spiteful he spoke, the more you ran toward him, showing your own bigotry, your own intolerance for anyone who is not exactly like you.

This is the thing that causes me the most distress- that this country is full of non-American citizens, critical of others because they show more patriotism for this free country than most of you.

So now I am getting messages on Facebook that it is time for me, and liberals like me, to stand up with you to make this country united again.  What bullshit.  The time to have stood up for an America that invites everyone in was eight years ago.  And don’t tell me it was not racism that led you to defy the best president this country has ever had, and probably ever will have.  Because now that you have taken the blinders off the rest of us who tolerated this kind of behaviour and shown us who we really are.  Because you are the people who delighted in calling President Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama ugly names, and disrespected the office of the Presidency of this great country, and literally ignored the fact that we the people voted for him, not just once, but twice to the office.  Now you expect us, we the people, to suddenly jump up and stand behind so many of you who did not bother to do so.

So what has this brought on us, 68 days before Trump is even inaugurated?  Children mocking non-white children, and including white girls, in their school rooms.  White middle-aged men targeting minorities by trying to run them over with their vehicles and bats and mouths screaming obscenities, and Paul Ryan threatening our social security and Medicare.

As most of you don’t understand, President Obama is still the President for 68 more days.  And he still has Executive Privilege.  Personally I hope he uses that power to fill that Supreme Court seat, and to pardon Leonard (Peltier Peltiel) whatever his last name is.

So here’s the thing:  you want me to get used to Donald Trump as the president?  So far he has said he thinks the Affordable Care Act is a really good program.  It needs a few tweaks, but we have known that all along.  Problems include Paul Ryan and Mitch McConnell refusing to help get those tweaks done.  Remember, these two said from day one of Obama’s Presidency that they were not going to do their jobs, and they were rewarded with getting their seats back and your cheering them on.  This is a reason I will not accept Trump at this time.

Another thing is that Trump should now stand up and say “I’ve been a Democrat all along; I just wanted to see how low I could go, and have you still stand up for me, and boy, have you shown us all how low you can go.  I wonder if ever you will pick yourself out of the mud.  I doubt it.  If Trump does turn and show some compassion at all, you will simply blame we Democrats and Liberals, and will try to start a war.  Hey, I won’t be running from you.  I’m old enough to not fear for my life, and young enough still to continue the fight for the rights of all people to be equal to one another.  Except maybe you.

So, you want me to heal the wounds of this country, and pledge to stand up with you in solidarity of your ways of thinking.  That is never going to happen.

I will also leave this with you to ponder.  You think that somehow the horrors that Trump and the Republicans in Congress will happen only to us, the Liberals?  No, your elderly and disabled and poor are going to get the same exact treatment.  So I suggest you hope and pray that Donald Trump will turn out to be just as two-faced, now that he has the “power”,  that he does do a turn-around and explain that he simply wanted to know much power you would give him.  He also has 68 days before he has to stand up for what he has said, or to stand up and say “Everybody has the same rights as anyone else”.

I know which one of those two choices will allow me to show him any respect, and backing.  In the meantime, while I am also waiting for January 20, 2017, I will not be sitting back and crying for myself, but working to take Lady Liberty’s tears out of her eyes.

Carol Stepp, Austin, TX

 

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In Appreciation

This gallery contains 1 photo.


I got this certificate in the mail last Wednesday.  It came from the Southern Poverty Law Center, signed by Morris Dees.  I do not know by which route it came to me – it was an utter surprise.  I wish … Continue reading

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Suicide – up much


So, I haven’t been on the computer much since Thursday. Once again I discovered I slept through a complete day – last Friday, never got out of bed.

I have always loved my life. I have had a few setbacks, enough to cause me to go into a deep depression, and go suicidal twice. I got help both times, and went to a Mental Health Specialist for a while.

When I realized that sleeping through whole days was a sign of my clinical depression returning, I thought seriously once again about suicide. And I simply cannot do that. I have so many things at hand to help me through these episodes, but I honestly think this whole political season has just about done me in. I don’t trust anyone from our government, nor so many people any longer. I don’t want to get up and face each day. I don’t see a reason to do so.

I have loved politics all my life. I have had fun in politics, working to try and better things, fighting for equal rights for all, no matter who they are. I have walked streets and knocked on doors, and I went on one bus tour for a candidate just a few years ago. Otherwise, it has always been volunteering in offices and making phone calls and keeping up databases and knocking on doors.

I know Hillary to be a good woman, and I liked her husband as our president. I understood, and understand, what is important when a person wants to be my president. I have known her to help so many, especially children. I have watched her through many trials, and tests of character, and as a mom, and have admired her in so many ways, and for so long. I have actually, though, have to defend her integrity so many times I feel like a broken record.

In the meantime, so many people want to crucify her for doing some things that other presidents and their posses, particularly George W. Bush, have gotten by with. It is okay for them, but not for her. I don’t know if it is just because she is a woman, or if we just have so many wicked people who wish they could get away with the same evil deeds these others are doing. I am especially fed up with those who call themselves christians, believing, I guess, that since they have been baptized, they are once saved always saved. This means that since I have been baptized, even though I no longer follow the christian faith, that I could go out and kill one of you and still get to heaven. Wouldn’t it be an awful disappointment to all you self-righteous folk for this pagan to actually get into your idea of heaven just because I have actually been baptized twice – both times into the church of christ, one of the most strict of all in saying how we should live purely.

Well, I woke up early on Saturday and finally got out of bed. I left my computer pretty much alone, and watched college football all day. It didn’t hurt that all of my teams won – Notre Dame, Oklahoma State, Auburn, Clemson, Louisiana State University – but I especially said to myself I’m not going to let you do this to me.

So I’m going to vote early, I’m going to vote for Hillary Clinton and Tim Kaine, and Democratic right down the ballot. And if in Texas there is a race that does not have a Democrat running, I’m going to write someone in just to keep a Republican out.

And after this year, I’m giving up politics. I have seen the worst, now, and the stupidity, now, and the stubbornness, now, and the hatred. I have seen enough innocent people killed by people who love their guns, especially their assault weapons. I have learned that there is just not enough compassion and kindness and love in our world any longer, and although I still believe there is good in most people, the media are not giving them the coverage they should have. They pretty much prefer the titillating stuff that keeps people upside down.

I refuse to let you do this to me. I still have love and kindness and compassion to give, and even those who take advantage of that (I recently gave a needy neighbor $40 to sweep and mop my apartment, and it never got done), but I can get beyond that too.

I can not wish good things to most of you any longer, but I have learned to treasure those who are my friends, and who have the same amount of love and compassion and kindness in them, and they, my dear ones, are the ones who will keep my alive and kicking. The rest of you can just go jump off a cliff into a lava dome, and see if I care. No thoughts and prayers from me for any of you. And don’t come calling for my help, ever.

God/dess bless the rest of you;
In hope and faith in good,

Carol Stepp, Austin, TX

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2016 Rio Olympic Games


This year’s Olympic games were a delight.  I saw a lot of good athletes.  I particularly still love the Track and Field more than anything else, but I saw a lot of good beach volley ball from both men and women, enjoyed the different boat venues, especially the scull races, and some white-water canoeing, and saw my first Rugby ever, having a really good time with that, though I need to learn what the rules of the game are.

I have only one criticism, but it is a big one.  Sports coaches and rules committees and the makers of Olympic uniforms have gone way too far with the technical aspects of some of the sports.  This is why I found myself liking the rhythmic gymnastics way more than the regular gymnastics, and the duet and group swims .  That is why I prefer to watch the field sports more than the swimming.

Well, swimming was never my favourite sport anyway.  I do like the diving.  Unfortunately, in the intent to make as little stress and pull, even a friend commented on how the swimmers completely shave their bodies (they don’t have any body hair), they wear these teeny little suits.  Same with the women in beach volley ball.  Same with the gymnasts.

I’m no prude; I like the human body, especially the male body (well, I’m a woman).  I don’t mind if their genitals show up (and yes, so do the women’s because of the Venus mound).  It makes it easier for them to move.  I just remember how sweet Olga Korbut looked in 1972 with her little fuzzy gymnastic uniform which legs came over her butt.  Or the swimmers and divers when I wasn’t just waiting to see if hitting the water was going to yank their bathing suits off.  I know the bikinis keep sand out of various soft spots in beach volley ball, but so would shorts with a bit longer leg, which didn’t creep up and begin to look like thongs.

Perhaps this is why I like the winter Olympics a bit more than I do the summer Olympics.  I know they wear streamlined uniforms as well, but at least they let me look at the people and how they move without wondering if they were going to lose their clothing.

Maybe someday the games will be played as the Greeks played them – completely naked, and maybe we will also see a one-minute mile.  Of course originally only Greek men were in the Olympics, and they only had field sports.  But with the way things are headed these days, it would not surprise me to see co-ed naked games.  Except I suppose they will still have to find a way to keep breasts and penises out of the way.

Still, I love the Olympics.

Carol Stepp, Austin, TX

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2016 Rio Olympic Games


This year’s Olympic games were a delight.  I saw a lot of good athletes.  I particularly still love the Track and Field more than anything else, but I saw a lot of good beach volley ball from both men and women, enjoyed the different boat venues, especially the scull races, and some white-water canoeing, and saw my first Rugby ever, having a really good time with that, though I need to learn what the rules of the game are.

I have only one criticism, but it is a big one.  Sports coaches and rules committees and the makers of Olympic uniforms have gone way too far with the technical aspects of some of the sports.  This is why I found myself liking the rhythmic gymnastics way more than the regular gymnastics, and the duet and group swims .  That is why I prefer to watch the field sports more than the swimming.

Well, swimming was never my favourite sport anyway.  I do like the diving.  Unfortunately, in the intent to make as little stress and pull, even a friend commented on how the swimmers completely shave their bodies (they don’t have any body hair), they wear these teeny little suits.  Same with the women in beach volley ball.  Same with the gymnasts.

I’m no prude; I like the human body, especially the male body (well, I’m a woman).  I don’t mind if their genitals show up (and yes, so do the women’s because of the Venus mound).  It makes it easier for them to move.  I just remember how sweet Olga Korbut looked in 1972 with her little fuzzy gymnastic uniform which legs came over her butt.  Or the swimmers and divers when I wasn’t just waiting to see if hitting the water was going to yank their bathing suits off.  I know the bikinis keep sand out of various soft spots in beach volley ball, but so would shits with a bit longer leg, which didn’t creep up and begin to look like thongs.

Perhaps this is why I like the winter Olympics a bit more than I do the summer Olympics.  I know they wear streamlined uniforms as well, but at least they let me look at the people and how they move without wondering if they were going to lose their clothing.

Maybe someday the games will be played as the Greeks played them – completely naked, and maybe we will also see a one-minute mile.  Of course originally only Greek men were in the Olympics, and they only had field sports.  But with the way things are headed these days, it would not surprise me to see co-ed naked games.  Except I suppose they will still have to find a way to keep breasts and penises out of the way.

Still, I love the Olympics.

Carol Stepp, Austin, TX

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