Friday, February 23, 2018

Mental Clutter

Without evidence to the contrary, I think we all pretty much assume that what we experience, what is normal for us, is pretty much what is normal for everyone.  I know I was 12 years or so old and got health insurance before I discovered that it was NOT normal to have a good eye and a bad eye.  I just assumed everyone did and was surprised when the doctor tried to correct my amblyopia (they caught it too late and never did get it corrected until my cataract surgery 2 years ago!)

So maybe not everyone goes to sleep the way I do.  I know probably all of you sleep in a bed, but that isn't what I'm talking about.

When I get onto my couch and snuggle under my quilt and get my pillow punched into the right shape, my brain goes onto auto pilot.  It decides what I'm going to think about as I fall asleep.  I kind of visualize this long plain white banner on which is printed ... oh, I don't know ... something about the day, or memories of something, or thoughts about a particular political issue I'm upset about (I try not to think about that), or just what is on the schedule for tomorrow. If I haven't written this entry yet, I'll think about what I want to say in the morning.  Often, because I'm a food-a-holic, my last thought before going to sleep is what I plan to eat when I get up.

Last night as I sat here writing this entry, my body cried out to go to sleep!!!  I finished up and went to the couch, but that mental white banner was as jumbled as the stuff on my desk. Thoughts I could not control came flying in from everywhere, everything from the things I planned to do that I've been putting off for weeks, to unpleasant memories from decades ago, to sadness over deaths we've experienced, to concern about my mother, to the projects I'm working on for SwapBot.

It was a real collage of feelings, thoughts, emotions, and visual images.  I tried to sort through them and concentrate on only one or two, but the effort of doing so woke me up and I ended up back in the family room watching Morning Joe and then as that got too depressing, switching to Netflix to finish the last 3 episodes of Grace and Frankie.

It was after 5:30 when I finally decided to try the couch again and by now all the mental clutter had gone and I don't think I was awake long enough to think of anything at all.  I managed to sleep for 2 hours.

Walt went off to San Francisco to the symphony this afternoon, after a "nap-ette" (he said) before hand.  It was quiet downstairs until he left and especially after he was gone.  I had all sorts of grand plans for things I was going to get accomplished and as usual did few of them, but I did make a big dent in the unfolded laundry and made "mystery soup."

I call it "mystery soup" because when I got home from the supermarket yesterday, the refrigerator and freezer were very full so I had to remove some things and chose to remove all the bones I had accumulated.  I knew there were turkey bones but I didn't know what the other bones were.  Some were from our spare ribs last night, others I haven't a clue.

Anyway, I plopped them all in the Instapot with veggies (some of which were well past their prime) and herbs and pressure cooked them for 2 hours, resulting in a flavorful broth, once I removed all the solid from the liquid.

The "mystery bones" looked solid and like regular bones, but after being pressure cooked for two hours they practically crumbled when I touched them.

I took all the solids and put them in a blender with some of the broth and blended it all up and it will be Polly's food for several days.  She was Very Happy.

In the evening, I alternated between watching ice dancing at the Olympics and flipping to MSNBC  to hear what is going on in Washington today.  This whole "arm teachers" thing is fraught with so MANY problems it's hard to know where to begin.  Teachers already have to buy their own classroom supplies because there isn't enough money in the budget.  Who is going to buy the guns and ammo and pay for training?  Will we arm nursery school teachers? Will a teacher have time to both protect kids in the closet AND go all Rambo on a shooter?

And, if we have a school filled with armed teachers, what happens when the police arrive to capture the bad guy and sees a hall filled with people with guns?  Who does he shoot?  Will teachers have the marksmanship to shoot just the bad guy and not the kids who are fleeing from him?

How many schools ARE there in the United States?  How many to-be-armed teachers are we talking about?  Thousands? Millions?  Where does the money come from?  Who will pay for the psychological assistance a teacher who might actually be lucky and hit someone will need after killing another human?

Oh such a bad idea.  Isn't it easier just to ban assault rifles???

Interesting to run #45's comments on background checks and compare them with Wayne LaPierre's comments and note that they are nearly word for word identical.  This does not bode well for substantive changes a-coming.

(I was also tickled to learn that several businesses--car rentals and banks--are ending their association with the NRA and that the FBI may be investigating the NRA to see if they are laundering money for Russia.  It's terrible that the NRA has such a terrible reputation when it is my understanding that the majority of the actual membership does not agree with the opinions of Wayne La Pierre.)

It's more pleasant to watch ice dancing.


Anonymous said...

I've been having the same thoughts that you have expressed here. Can't imagine teachers of six year olds carrying guns. And, I do not understand the push back against banning automatic and semi-automatic weapons. Mental health services will not prevent the quiet and seemingly sane shooter from killing. Making it very hard to get a military style weapon will help.

The Democrats may be able to do something when (if) they again control congress and the executive branch. The Republicans will never do anything significant. The thing that gives me a wee bit of hope is that a majority of the public is starting to support real gun control.


Bev Sykes said...

AND, all those kids are soon going to be old enough to vote. The repubs may be biting off their noses to spite their faces.