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Si tratta di principio

A person’s word is sometimes all he or she has.  Even a homeless person has value – his word.  Granted, he may be a liar and a thief and his word to some may not garner much in the bartering war that goes on daily amongst those unfortunates that struggle to merely survive another 24 hours on the mean streets.

Children learn their words from teachers, their parenting figures, each other and television, radio and electronic games.  Frequently, these words are good and stay with them as foundations for their growing personalities and psyches.  However, just as frequently, some of these words are detrimental to their fragile foundations and they fester, sometimes lying deeply within them until a moment when something triggers an alert that causes a meltdown within them; all hell breaks loose, and everybody turns to each other with incredulity and cries of indignity and questions of why!

Principles are the cornerstones of what kind of words children develop as their own in life.  I’ve known people from many walks of life and from many countries.  Amazingly, the ones that seemed more open and honest with well-developed principles, those that would give you their last US dollar if you truly needed it, were not from the US!  Isn’t that weird?

Before I start getting hate mail, let me also say that there are thousands of US citizens who are just as generous and principled.  The ratio seems to be so lopsided in our country, however, and it is disheartening.  I believe that part of the problem stems from those that we are supposed to look up to for guidance and support, those we elected in public service, those in government, from local to national to federal.  Everyday, the political dance-offs in Washington continue to confound and confirm to the American people who the powers that be do not seem to have our best interests at heart.  In other words, their principles are lacking.

The kicker for me was yesterday when I discovered that children of Congress and its staffers are not required to repay student loans!  This is a travesty; **but it only takes 38 out of 50 states to convene a constitutional convention.   Proposed 28th Amendment to the United States Constitution: “Congress shall make no law that applies to the citizens of the United States that does not apply equally to the Senators and/or Representatives; and, Congress shall make no law that applies to the Senators and/or Representatives that does not apply equally to the citizens of the United States .”

For too long we have been too complacent about the workings of Congress. Many citizens had no idea that members of Congress could retire with the same pay after only one term, that they specifically exempted themselves from many of the laws they have passed (such as being exempt from any fear of prosecution for sexual harassment) while ordinary citizens must live under those laws. The latest is to exempt themselves from the Healthcare Reform… in all of its forms. Somehow, that doesn’t seem logical. We do not have an elite that is above the law. I truly don’t care if they are Democrat, Republican, Independent or whatever. The self-serving must stop. **

**This verbiage was taken from a Facebook posting received from ACTOFCOURAGE; let’s hope that it reaches all FB page owners with principles who will carry it forward.

Everybody complains about the government, yet, nobody does anything to try to make positive changes.  It’s easier to bitch and moan about something and feel like you’ve done your civic duty.  Well, I have decided that, although I am an unemployed 64-year old, soon to be 65 – yes I said it – but I’m not dead, damn it, my mind works just fine, I have to do something other than just bitch and moan.  I don’t know what it’s going to be at this time; I just know that I have to do my part.  I don’t want my grandsons to look at me one day and ask why I didn’t do more to make a positive change in their lifetime.

I want them to know that their Gramma Ally has principles and that her word counts for something good.

 

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In governo piu o meno

I never thought I would be writing these words, but I am looking forward to studying Poly Sci, Economics and any and all other government-related courses required at GSU.  To those who live under rocks, have no technical aids, whatsoever, or are interested in all other things such as Football Bowl Games, drinking games, eating games or any other games not mentioned in this blog, The Fiscal Cliff debacle was (thank God!) diverted at zero hour.  There were winners and losers, but we all knew that was going to be just one fallout aspect of the grudgingly agreed-upon agreement.

The reason for my oh-so-giddy excitement in learning about the intricacies of our illustrious government?  Maybe, just maybe, there will be enough independent dialogue among the student class that will explain to me why politicians have been allowed to misbehave so badly for so many centuries and why our country keeps turning a blind eye to the miscreants and their misdeeds  (unless the misdeed is not keeping their business in their britches, and then, OMG, they have just done the unthinkable and we have to call for their immediate resignation!  Does anybody else see the ludicrous and the lunacy of this backward thinking?!?)

Unfortunately, this kind of bad behavior with no repercussion threatened by constituents or superiors has become the norm in life and Politics 101 is the backbone of big business now.  Just look at whom was facing off against our wonderful President in 2012.  Now, I have to say that at the time I was not a Romney fan and am still not a fan, but I’ve seen and heard so much crap on CNN, Bloomberg, MSNBC, FOX, and all the other 24-newscast stations in the past month to force me to continuously run to the bathroom and hit the toothpaste and mouthwash every three hours because the seriously flawed rhetoric I’m hearing is leaving a very bad taste in my mouth!

I once called myself a Democrat; for a while, I imagined myself a Liberal until a few candidates became slightly tainted with too much left-wing activity that once again had me scurrying for the safety and innocuous Democratic armchair.  Sadly, it has taken me the past 11 months of struggling with unemployment, researching and rediscovering that equality only works on paper and not in the real world, and that back room deals continue to be made by and with anyone who has a pocket big enough to invite someone else in.

I don’t know what the solution is; actually, I don’t think there is a solution.  I’m afraid Alice (the US) has taken the wrong pill and jumped down the rabbit hole.  There doesn’t seem to be a happy ever after ending, just a really, really wild trip we seem to be on. Is it wrong of me just to want a little old part-time job doing what I love to do while finishing out a couple of years of school?  The way I look at the big picture, if I’m being taken for a ride with Alice, give me the chance to give something back.

Wasn’t it a Pink Floyd song that has a line that says, “Is there anyone out there?”  Well, is there?  Does anything I say or write make a difference to you?  It sure would be nice to know.  That’s what the reply section is for.  Happy New Year to us…

La liberta di stampa

A blog’s purpose can be two-fold for a writer.  It can be simply an exercise in the craft itselft; a self-made workshop for the writer to improve the writing style, or, maybe define one’s style.  It can also be a way to vent, rant,  or merely editorialise on a particular subject matter, with a mild curiosity of who the heck might be interested in what the writer has to say.

My particular reasoning behind my blog’s creation is a little of both; I hope I have entertained a few and will continue to do so, no matter where my location may be.  I have put a lot of plans in place within the last several months, and I am praying that a miracle will happen within the next week that will allow me to remain where I am to continue my academic pursuits that I have worked so hard to prepare for.   If God doesn’t see fit to allow me to follow me dream (my last chance to do so, seemingly), I will have to relocate to a state that I abhor, but one in which I have no choice.

This posting is very different from any of my others, dear readers, and may make you uncomfortable, but please be assured that I will work very hard to once again entertain you.  I just pray I don’t have to pack up my belongings.  I so looked forward to finally getting my BA in Journalism; I had my courses picked out and everything!  It really irks me that such a thing as ageism is alive and well and thriving in a metropolis such as one I live in!  For it is ageism that has stopped me from gaining a simple part time job to keep me afloat.  Unfortunately, I’m not the only one this has happened to and continues to happen to.

But, as long as young hiring managers don’t realize that those of us who have already paid our dues so to speak, and know how to behave in public and in the workplace and, that we’re not looking for a handout, but a hand-up, we’re going to be forced to choose between prescriptions and food or rent.  And, one of these days, those hiring managers are going to be 65 and forced to make horrible decisions no human being should have to make.  I hope their memories are long.

IL RISTABILIRSI

My apologies to faithful readers lately.  Very ill and still recupererating from several nasty bugs.  Kudos to Lawrenceville Gwinnett ER for their investigative prowess; otherwise, I might not be here now.  Slow recovery, but I hope to blog on a semi-regular basis. 

I haven’t heard of any ticker-tape parades or celebrations happening during my ordeal, so I’m pretty sure that our illustrious (I’m SO disillusioned that I voted for him TWICE!) president is forcing us to walk the plank of the fiscal cliff.  Just heard from one of my roommates that our landlady may be raising the rent, so will probably be writing this blog in the future from hotspots as I drive by well to do neighborhoods that can still afford the luxuries of internet.  HAH!  Did we ever think our generation would be living in such precarious times?

Spoke to a retiring postman first of the month and he’s taking the buyout package and moving with his wife and family to the Philippines.  Cheaper and calmer there to live out his golden years AND they can start their own business for a pittance of what the USA requires.  All I can say is, good luck to ya, Sir, the best!

Fading fast – later, readers.

Tremendo fede

I’m one of those folks who insists that if something is going to go wrong, it will.  It’s not that I am a pessimist, only that I’ve knocked on the door of Disappointment (thinking it was the door of Opportunity) enough times to be a little wary.  However, there are times in my life where a cloud’s silver lining shines brightly, seemingly innocuous events are more like portentous events unfolding, and a flicker of all being right with the world of a Writer Without a Hook  gives off sparks.

Maybe trust has a lot to do with it.  Sometimes that’s all we have left when everything else has been stripped away.  Not that trust is easy to come by or easy to keep once you get your mitts on it; it’s an elusive intangible quality that sometimes can’t even be put into words.  You know when you’ve got it and you know when you don’t.  Ask any abused person of any age; many will say they don’t have it.  A few may say otherwise, and God bless them if they are being honest.  Many will say they want to trust more than anything.  And a very few will say it doesn’t really matter to them — which, as we should all know, is like saying it doesn’t matter to them if they breathe.

Because, no matter how we feel about it, trust is something we all want, need and sometimes crave.  It was the fire that kept the caveman and his family safe from predators; it is the home security alarm that gives a sense of peace and safety to a young family, and, it is the assurance we feel (for trust is, after all, a feeling) that our loved ones are not going to hurt us.

Maybe it’s the season, maybe it’s the chaos and sadness in the world and maybe it’s time for me to reflect on this past year.  I’m trying very hard to bring a little levity into my postings lately, but levity has been replaced with something else.  I’m sure my marvelously dry wit (thanks, Daddy, I owe it all to you) will return soon, but for now, I have to trust that at all times there is a time and a place for everything to happen in the way it’s supposed to happen.

I trust that my faithful readers will continue to tune in to my blog and muddle along with me.  I don’t want to jinx myself, but hopefully, TRUSTFULLY, the door of Opportunity will be opening to me very soon.  Until then, be wary of stale fruitcake; it will stay with you long after you want it to.

Far piacere perdonare

Did you think I jumped off the fiscal cliff?  Lots of stuff going on in the household of the Writer Without a Hook.  Still looking for the elusive part time job and getting ready for classes a month from now.  And oh yeah…I finally broke down and bought a domain name.  As if you can’t guess: THEBEAUTYOFTHEWRITTENWORD.COM. 

Soon I will have a website built that will have links to this blog, Examiner.com (the online media I write a gluten-free Atlanta column for), both my facebook pages and my two businesses, which, at this time are still lacking clients.  I’m looking forward to the ease of being able to direct my friends, readers and clients to one place where they can meander.

Sad stuff happening in the world, right?  Is it just me, or does anyone else think people are just kind of losing their minds?  Between people being arrested for wanting to kill scores of total strangers, and those who actually follow through to do the deed, not to mention the fights that break out between union members and who know’s who (I’m still not sure who was trying to destroy the tents) in the matter of passing a right to work vote, there’s not much good news going on. 

Heck, even the commercials don’t bring much goodness and joy this season.  Do you remember in years past when the advertisers would create those funny, but touching, holiday commercials that would stay with you?  You know the ones I’m talking about – the ones you prayed wouldn’t come on when you had company, especially a hot date, but you always teared up at.  Yeah, I knew you’d remember.  We called those Hallmark moments.  We joked about how we hated them, but down deep, they reminded us of everything in the world that is good and that we wanted to hold on to.

Yeah, good times.  Pray for the peace, people.  Our world needs it.

Ricordare da dove noi e venuto (Remember from where we came)

I’ve been thinking lately about my genealogy and whether my “roots” play any part in my talents, skills, personality traits, emotional bents, etc.  Since my two or three years’ college psychology and one year philosophy course does not make me an expert in the matter, I decided to go to my all-time favorite jack-in-the box: Google.

Well, that was a bust; either my wondrous powers of research were acting as though I’d been sipping martinis laced with antifreeze, or I just didn’t find anything of bloggery value.  Next, I pulled out the nifty little book my Great Aunt Kate began researching at the age of 13 and finally published in her 90’s!  It’s the Neeld (my mom’s family) family tree and its line goes back some 500 years in England before Jamestown was settled.

During Aunt Kate’s diligent research (can you imagine that she did all this without the help of the internet?!?), I discovered ancestors that hailed from Modena, Italy (Bartholomew Leonardi) and Rome and Florence (Joseph Bonelli, born in 1740 in Livorno, Italy, and of the houses of Bonelli, one of which married the niece of Antonio Grissilieri who was afterwards known as Pius the Fifth, and who, in 1712 was canonized, one of the great Popes).  How’s that for my own ‘7 degrees to Kevin Bacon?’

I also discovered Neelds (probably tailors long, long ago) that were writers, explorers, horticulturists, musicians, architects, master mechanics, and carpenters.  The current day Neelds meet annually to catch up, eat (of course), since most of the Neelds that are still alive remain in Florida and just sit around and talk.  The sad thing is that I’ve never been to a reunion when we discussed our ancient ancestors and what life might have been like for them.

I guess everyone wants to leave home at some time.  Undoubtedly, my ancestors wanted to leave, since most of them gravitated to sunny Florida filled with snakes, gators, Florida Panthers (long before they were put on the endangered species list).  Once firmly ensconced, very few ventured outside of their new home state, although one family settled in Seattle (one of my many homes for seven years) and tried to coax some close relatives to leave the heat and humidity for the myriad shades of green and cool, crisp air that is so clean you just want to bottle and sell it!

So now you might know a little more about this Writer Without A Hook, and maybe you don’t care.  But, every time I travel the pages of my Aunt Kate’s lovingly prepared research that took most of her life to complete, just so that her relatives would know where they came from and would always remember, I am grateful for the hard work she put in to achieve this project.  But, you know, I sort of believe that Aunt Kate did not look at it as work, but as a labor of love.  Undoubtedly, she had a great love of the written word as well…

I live – therefore, I write.