Letting go of anger

I forgive.

I must admit that it takes a good amount of evil and bad treatment to get my goat, but I will also admit that I have a hard time letting go.

I can count on one hand the number of people who have really made me angry, angry to the point of getting to a major burn.

I forgive.

I also hold a grudge and that is my main item to work on. I am going to try not to do that. I am going to admit as well that it is purely for a selfish reason. I feel as if it is truly detrimental to me. It is unhealthy. People who have truly angered me deserve the ire that I send to them because I really give them a lot of chances to undo their ridiculous behavior. Sometimes, however, these people fall victim to themselves, victims of their false values, victims of the feeling that they are always right, that they are the victims and that it is okay if they bully their way and steamroll right over others.

Just so we are all on the same page, I am convinced that sooner or later that these people will get what they deserve, that people will finally see through them, that people will realize that there is a hugely false narrative and that their lack of understanding and empathy is nothing more than a narcissistic take on life that seeps into the lives of the people they encounter.

These people set themselves up as superior to others because deep inside they have multiple issues that cause them to feel actually inferior with the need to push people around.

Get out and vote, people, see the light, forgive but don’t forget.

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Getting colder, Autumn, and leaves

I walked the dog this morning (Monday), a distinct change from the preceding day when Stewart had had a sleepover at our oldest son’s house. Stewart had a good time, as did the girls, and I was able to take a morning walk alone and do my Hungarian lesson while walking on Sunday.

I have been studying Hungarian, mainly via Pimsleur, as I have apparently exhausted the Duolingo Hungarian. I will start to watch videos and take a look at a grammar book and textbook in the next few weeks to see where I can go with it.

Duolingo is now Spanish review, something I am really enjoying. It has been a long time since I have done any real work in Spanish and I had never really gotten to the level I wanted to achieve.

I am enjoying the out of doors although it is so hard for me to gauge the temperature and dress appropriately. No matter what I do, I perspire and then with the cold, it is unpleasant. No matter how hard I try, I just cannot get it right, and frankly I don’t think I ever shall. Today with Stewart, it was in the mid to upper 30s and it was cold.

We did take a walk around noon and went to the put our ballots for the 2020 elections in the special box for mail in voting. It was less than a mile from our house. Afterwards, after standing in line to even do so, we went to Starbucks and had some hot tea before walking back home.

The cold air, the leaves on the ground, that special smell of the combination as you walk down the street, it is wonderful.

Once again, please vote. I don’t know how much more of the great orange evil one I can take.

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The Koerner Subaru Saga

Our 2020 Subaru Outback with all the bells and whistles.

Our 2010 Subaru Forester which now belongs to our youngest son.

My 2008 Subara Impreza WRX with over 100,000 miles under its timing belt.

Today I drove my simple Subaru, simple and yet complex. Never in my life have I owned a car this long. It was purchased in 2007 at the end of the year to replace a car (2005) that saved my son’s life (rolling over on black ice and being completely destroyed, yet allowing him to walk out unscathed). I bought the exact same car, even the same color, Subaru blue. It is an Impreza WRX, a turbocharged vehicle and to look at it, only the exterior technology gives its age away (the antenna). I love that car and the fact that it is not big, it is fast, it has a manual transmission, and it is so old that you cannot really connect your phone to it.

Our new Subaru is a 2020 Outback with all the bells and whistles; this is the first time we have truly done that. To be honest, as Mary Kay put it correctly, « This is a car that cost more than our first house! » It is heaven to drive and has so many technological things that we are still learning how it functions. It has camera technology to set the seats and mirrors and easily connects to our phones, opens when we are in the vicinity with our fob, and even has a phone charger, something I generally do not need, but well, MK does… Most importantly, it has a sun roof!

Our new car replaces our 2010 Subaru Forester that has moved on to belong to our youngest son to use in his « the chef is bringing dinner to your house » business and we no longer have to worry about his less than reliable Ford Escape that had seen better days. This car has many more years of use left and each and every Subaru we collectively own looks like new.

Now, maybe the Pandemic might be over so we could spend more time in our new car instead of taking short jaunts here and there.


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The tagine

The tagine is a wonderful implement, a device used in the kitchen to cook delicous meals, meals that originate from Northern Africa, Morocco, in this case.

In our ESL Conversation Hour, I talk to the most interesting group of people.They are from all over the world and some of them are actually in the other part of the world when we have the session. Jardel is in Brazil when we meet and Thao and Tranh are in Vietnam, while Adriana is in Mexico. The rest are new to the United States and we use Zoom to conduct English conversation.

The other day we got on the subject of a favorite food of mine, a food that I first encountered in 1971 while living in Tours (St. Cyr sur Loire, to be specific), France on an academic year abroad. Merguez are a favorite and Naval, a delightful participant originally from Morocco jumped in to help me explain these delicious sausages that are often made with both lamb and beef.

To make a long story short, Naval told me she was going to make me dinner and she made good on her promise by delivering a tagine full of delicious food and two homemade breads. One bread was plain and one with sesame seeds in case we didn’t like sesame seeds (we do!).

So, this Friday evening is going to be one in which we have a delicious dinner, brought to our door, bringing food from northern Africa and more importantly, kindness and caring from a wonderful immigrant to our great country (I am hoping it will be great again).

Thank you Naval. You reaffirm my faith in humanity, that there is empathy and kindness, and nice human beings.We shall all work together to make this a better place.

Meanwhile, let’s get out there and VOTE!

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The Narrative

We live in the time of narratives.

Some people are quite adept at these. Some people are so good at narratives that they actually begin to believe the reality of the narrative.

What exactly is a narrative?

According to the Merriam-Webster online dictionary, here are the first two definitions:

1) something that is narrated : STORY, ACCOUNT
He is writing a detailed narrative of his life on the island.

2) a way of presenting or understanding a situation or series of events that reflects and promotes a particular point of view or set of values

The rise of the Tea Party and the weakness of the Obama economy have fueled a Republican narrative about Big Government as a threat to liberty …
— Michael Grunwald

The media narrative around Kelly’s appointment had two central ideas … : He would calm and professionalize the White House, and he would provide a more measured leadership style than his boss.
— Perry Bacon Jr.

Growing up, back in what seems to have been the middle ages, I always thought of the first definition, that of a narration of some story or account.

Now, I am firmly entrenched in thinking of the second definition, the one where something is told with the idea of forwarding certain values, ideas, and thoughts. The trouble is that this definition seems to continue to gather speed as it evolves and has gone from just espousing to even altering the facts.

Everyone seems to be doing it from the top down. The White House occupant has championed the narrative to the point of making it into a total falsehood and also to the point that every ‘Tom, Dick, and Harry’ (damn, I am old and I am even thinking that might well be politically incorrect) is doing it. The scary part of all of this is that the people creating and using these narratives actually get to the point of believing them. This is why, for example, we cannot have a proper discussion with many a Republican. The narrative espoused is such that it totally clouds their brains and they cannot deal whatsoever with anything that varies from the party line that they espouse.

How does this play out in our present society?

Well, take malbor, for instance. He is allowed to get away with bullying his neighbors because he has self-created a narrative that makes him totally right in what he believes to the point that he can walk all over anyone and everything. If he thinks that the neighbor’s dog is making too much noise, even if it is only one bark, then he calls the police. If he has standing water, it is okay to drain it under the fence into the neighbor’s yard. If he feels paranoid, he puts up cameras and focuses partially on the neighbors. The neighbors have no recourse because there are no laws governing that. If the neighbors put them up, he will retaliate by putting up more and being more difficult, always flying ‘under the radar’ of harassment.

This is one crazy world we live in.

Get out and vote.

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