Positive Interactions With Positive People

Sleep?  Who needs sleep???

So, the other night, I had an amazingly positive experience that I needed to recount.

I’ve been down the past few weeks.  Back to back injuries, feeling very listless in life…just feeling down.  That feeling was kind of encapsulated Monday night as I rode my bike to work that morning, which definitely aggravated my abdominal issue.

Made a mistake…my bad.

Biking home was worse.

I also wanted to get some laundry done.  I hate doing laundry in my building (so f’in expensive), but I definitely wasn’t hauling clothes anywhere, so I put a load in the washing machine, and headed to Whole Foods in Hyde Park.

I don’t often shop at Whole Foods.  It’s a bit rich for my blood.  But I remembered they have really good pizza, and at 2 slices for $6, the taste to price ratio was right up my alley.  It had been a long day, I’d had salad for lunch I was in the doldrums, and all I wanted was to eat and watch a movie while icing my abs.

You know how in those minutes, when you kind of feel at the end of the rope, is exactly when things never seem to go right?  Well, that’s exactly what happened when I got to Whole Foods.

The pizza was all gone!

WTF???

There were no more slices.  The young lady working at the pizza bar was still making whole pizza, but that was it.

I didn’t want a whole pizza.  I shouldn’t have been eating pizza anyway, but I just wanted two slices of pepperoni.

I shook my head, and started towards the frozen food section.  And then I noticed the prepared foods/deli section next to the pizza.

As I said, I don’t often rock with Whole Foods, but I saw a sign that read,

1 Entree + 2 Sides = $9-$12

The young lady working behind the counter approached, and I said “Hey, how does this entree and sides deal work?”

And she walked me through it.  Pleasantly.  With a smile.  I don’t know if she could sense I was having a bad day, but she took the time to lay out all the options, and I was like “wow!”

In retrospect, I was suddenly way more excited about food than I should have been…but I think I was much more uplifted by her positive disposition.  So, I decided on cheese lasagna, garlic and parsley green beans, and smoked mozzarella pasta.

The young lady, Brandy, was tickled by my excitement.  And I was genuinely excited to some degree. I walked in to get pizza, and was walking out with a real meal.

“Wow.  I’m excited.  Brandy, you are the best!”

“Well thank you!”

“I think you’ll definitely be seeing more of me.  I think we’re going to be good friends!”

“I look forward to it!”

And with that, a positive interaction completely lifted my day.  My week.  It might have been my first genuine smile of the week.

I’m going to send a letter to Whole Foods to thank them for the amazing customer service that Brandy provided.  Having worked in retail, I know that small gestures like that really matter, and I know that it can sometimes be hard to offer that kind of human touch…but I was genuinely grateful.

I went home, warmed up my food, sat at the table, and had dinner, with a much lighter disposition.  And to add the cherry on top, the food was enough for two separate meals, one of which I’ll be having today for lunch.  #Winning

It’s so very true, that it’s often the little things that mean the very much.

Thanks Brandy!

So when was the last really positive interaction you had with someone?

Or, blow your own horn.  When was the last time you totally lifted someone else’s day?

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Monday Morning Pick Me Up: Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson

I feel like I’m in a situation that many people find themselves in in life.  I’m wanting to take my goals and desires to another level.  I wanna take my life to a new level.

I’m not a lazy person, and I’ve never been a person content with being stationary.  That’s not my bag, and I feel like I’m in a phase of life where I’m sitting…motionless.  It’s the worse feeling.

And so I decidedly, tacitly at first, and with more conviction as time has passed, to work and focus on my goals and desires and make them happen…or at the very least fail miserably, so I don’t have any doubts or questions about what could have been.

And I constantly remind myself of people who are successful, who are exactly where they want to be, and the many pitfalls and ton of hard work it took to get there.  I’m not afraid of failure or hard work…so here we are.

And away we go.

Gallery

Reflections on the Take Action to End Criminalization, Detention, & Deportations Rally and March

I had the pleasure yesterday of joining my fellow Chicagoans yesterday in denouncing the current Immigration policy of the Trump regime, the southern border concentration camps, and the impending ICE raids here in Chicago.

It was a morning full of hope, full of amazing speakers, and while the mayor wasn’t there, I was happy to see she actually was out in communities talking with community leaders and the police about reaction steps to ICE raids.

When I let my emotions get the best of me, I draw a hard dichotomy between the right and the left. I like to think that in 2019, we can all agree that it is never ok to treat fellow humans like animals, but then, while marching, I had an “aha” moment. The highlight of the march for me, actually, was seeing marchers stop outside the ICE office at Clark and Wells, and then looking up and realizing that the inmates at the Metropolitan Corrections Center there were looking down on us. The people all started waving and offering sentiments of hope and upliftment.  That’s how we should treat people who’ve made mistakes, who find themselves in a bad way.  We should hope for their rehabilitation and upliftment…right?

I stepped off to the side, and thought while I don’t know how much “yard time” they get there, they were all spending it at the bars, looking down on us, waving and receiving waves back.

And it dawned on me,

“we treat people like animals everyday. Putting kids in cages is every day business.”

Sometimes I forget I guess. We put people in cages,  together, with little to no education, job training, counseling or rehabilitation, and then let them out with every metric telling us they are likely to go back in, and then we let people make millions of dollars off this cycle. That is as American as apple pie. And it’s fucked up.

The crisis of Trump immigration policy and concentration camps isn’t extraordinary…it’s an extension of business as usual.

We can do better, that I have no doubt. The fact that there were so many people there yesterday leads me to believe that I’m not the only person with those thoughts.

Resist. All day. Every day.

Finding America

I’m currently sitting in the Jay Pritzker Pavilion, listening to the Grant Park Orchestra present their Independence Day Salute under the direction of Grant Park Chorus Director Christopher Bell.

I never miss this concert. It’s such a pleasant evening, and I arrived late. I was worried.

In past years, the park has gotten so packed that they had to turn people away. But only 20 minutes before the start of the concert, there were seats to spare. I immediately wondered why, and 3 possibilities came to mind:

  1. The Trump Effect
  2. The Heat
  3. The Constant Threat of Rain

Now, when I say the Trump Effect, I mean the toxicity that he has infused to almost any sense of patriotism. My Facebook feed this week has been littered with variations of

“Fuck the 4th of July”

“What is there to celebrate?”

Ad nauseum

Well, I’m certainly not the most patriotic person you’ll ever meet. I don’t salute the flag, I don’t stand during the playing of the “Armed Forces Salute”, etc, etc.

But, I’m happy I’m here. We aren’t the best country in the world, and I don’t believe in the sense of “American Exceptionalism” that conservatives so desperately cling to.

We’re flawed. We’re a country founded by flawed men, smart men, but flawed, and they built a flawed place, based on a flawed set of laws and values.

That sounds like the recipe for the Titanic.

And as we have evolved as a place, and people, we find ourselves arriving in our current predicament, in a fight for the soul of our country.

We are at a strange nexus where we’re struggling for who we will be for the next odd 200 years.

Will we be a country that continues to subjugate and oppress people at every twist and turn?

Or will we be a country that reaches to more closely live the ideals that helped found this place:

“We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.”

Also, let’s not forget the next passage:

“That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, — That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness.

Important side note: If you have not read the Declaration of Independence this year, today is the perfect day to do so.

We’re at a place where this experiment of American Democracy could potentially be falling apart.

I imagine the tension and schism in thought and ideology we see today is akin to what creates civil wars, to what causes countries to fall in on themselves.

But, what has made America the country that it is, is it’s durability. Our ability to endure the unendurable.

Yes there are concentration camps on the southern border of our country.

Yes the current President is a unintelligent boar who had to get help from a foe of the nation to win his seat.

Yes we still have rampant problems with racism, corruption, sexism, police brutality, white nationalism, and a list of other issues.

And yes, we will get through it all. I have no doubt about it. That’s what we do. That’s why no matter how bad the shit storm gets, our allies still look to us.

Yes, we feel like we’ve lost our moral compass, and yes, it feels like a dark time.

I remember some dark times when I was in Afghanistan. I remember the first time I felt the concussion in my chest of an actual bomb explosion. I remember the first time I heard a friend had died. I remember the first time I had to pull the trigger of my weapon…for real.

And yet, here I sit today.

We endure.

That’s what makes Americans who we are.

We push through, and sometimes with a little panache, although that just seems far away. We fight until we die. I imagine for some, those two options are scary.

Sorry sweetheart.

As my drill sergeants always said,

“Freedom ain’t free, and it ain’t certain.”

We are toiling to achieve it. Unfortunately, that’s part of the process too, but now the fight isn’t in some other place. It’s here, front and center here, and we’re all in it’s midst.

And so I sit here, and I’m not ashamed of the flags flying overhead, or what they stand for. They are a constant evolution…struggle…and in my mind, the state of the nation today is simply a result of too many people hitting the snooze button. But we’ll fix it. Of that I have no doubt.

Happy 4th of July.

So what are your thoughts on the 4th of July? Have your feelings changed on the holiday under the Trump regime?  How did you spend the day? Who had barbecue??? I’m freakin jealous. I’d love to hear all your thoughts in the comments!

Step 2, if you liked what you read here, SHARE IT WITH OTHERS!!!! 

Also, be sure to know every time I post a new entry by subscribing! Also, you can check out Reflections of a Chicago Life on Facebook.  I post a lot of articles and we can have some wicked discussions on there. Be sure to click “Like”. You can also check me out on Twitter, and see all the things I see around the city on Instagram, and it still bears repeating…it’s important to have

STANDARDS!!

This post was created on an iPhone XR. 

You Can’t Win!

Without fail, every year the Millennium Park Summer Film Series is one of my favorite summer activities, and in 2019 it simply has not failed to deliver.

I mean, how could you go wrong? Huge movie screen you can see from like 200 yards away, a $2.5M sound system that makes seating choice fairly irrelevant, and the picturesque view of the Chicago skyline on all sides. It’s a no-brainer.

Yesterday was the presentation of The Wiz, the 1978 film of the musical based upon L. Frank Baum’s “The Wonderful Wizard of Oz (Did You know the Wizard of Oz was written in Chicago?).” If you haven’t seen The Wiz, it’s an urban retelling if you will, much more soulful, with an all-black cast, featuring some of the biggest stars of the day, including Diana Ross, Nipsey Russell, and Michael Jackson.

Just to make it clear, the musical “The Wiz” was written by William F. Brown, who is white, and he hated the film adaptation.

I’m pretty certain that this was my first time seeing the Wiz as an adult (I’m assuming I last saw it when I was a teenager), and one of the moments of the film that absolutely captivated me was the musical number “You Can’t Win.”

Sung by Michael Jackson, whom received a boisterous ovation from the crowd when he appeared on screen, was originally written for the Broadway show, but was cut prior to opening night.

To quote Jackson himself,

“The song was about humiliation and helplessness – something that so many people have felt at one time or another – and the feeling that there are people out there who don’t actively hold you back as much as they work quietly on your insecurities so that you hold yourself back.”

I didn’t remember this particular scene at all, but you have to picture a woeful scarecrow, hanging on a pole in the middle of an empty lot, being teased by a pack of crows.

He begs to be let down, just for a little bit, to which they respond by telling him that his station in life is to be on that pole, and even if they let him down, he wouldn’t be able to walk anyway.

At that point, the crows insist that the scarecrow has forgotten the Crow Commandments, and demand he recite them.

  1. Thou shall honor all crows
  2. Thou shall stop reading all bits of paper and literature
  3. Thou shall never, never get down off of this here pole

Wait a minute!!! See, now this is where my adult brain kicked in.  “How sad is this???  My man has been bamboozled!”

Then the crows demand the he sing the crow anthem.

Now, as a fairly educated adult, I can see there’s a lot of subtext going on here.

Anyone who knows me knows that I like to research films, songs, whatever art.  I’m always interested in the back story of how a great piece of art came to be.

In the book Pimps, Wimps, Studs, Thugs and Gentlemen: Essays on Media Images of Masculinity, author and professor Dr. Elwood Watson spoke about this song at length,

“Daily, Scarecrow begs The Crows to liberate him so that he can pursue his quest for a brain, intellect development… The scene invokes African American experiences in the south and the ritual lynching of African American men. The Crows, however, have no intention of doing bodily harm to the Scarecrow – theirs is a more insidious violence… The Crow Commandments invokes the laws that forbid educating slaves… The Crows reinforce Scarecrow’s subjection at their hands through a song… that aims to disabuse Scarecrow of any aspirations toward freedom.

“The Crows are even more disadvantaged than Scarecrow because, unlike him, they are hopeless. The Crow’s chorus… reflects their disillusionment with their inability to realize the promise of upward mobility. The Crows are suspicious, and perhaps justifiably so, of optimistic political discourse that promise substantive change… The Crows, then, become symbolic of a potentially negative family dynamic, one that subjugates its members and does not encourage an exploration of alternative constructions of the self.”

Now it was funny that I heard this song yesterday, because just a few days before I read a quote that’s been in my craw ever since.

It was on the Instagram of Lilliluxe, a digital creator, that I follow on there.  Really pretty, and yes, that’s pretty much what 90% of my Instagram is, really pretty women.  The other 5% are friends.  Anyway, she said the other day,

“Personal story time… 🚨🚗 If you think there’s a better life out there for you… you’re right.
3 years ago I was at an all time low with depression living in Ohio and working in a corporate cubicle. I was earning money but the cost to my mental health was crippling. I was a sad panda that HAD to get OUT. My boss mercifully let me go and told me my contract would not be renewed. I started a Digital Nomad club in my city and started researching ways to make money online. I didn’t know how I would earn a living, but I knew that I wanted to be self employed and able to travel ✈️. I worked a few more corporate jobs, while continuing to model on the side. Little did I know, my modeling hobby that allowed me to express myself creatively and sensually, would eventually become my livelihood! 🇪🇸 Now, I am living in Spain, self employed, and haven’t stepped foot in an office in 2 years! I am grateful everyday for my life and for trusting that voice inside that said “There is something better for you” ❤️ Never ignore that voice!!”

After reading that, I immediately thanked Lilli.  I’ve been feeling in a rut as of late, and it was yet another kick in the pants I needed, and got me thinking.

How much negative talk do we succumb to?  How much negative talk do we impose on ourselves.  As Les Brown would say,

Yes Me!!!  Why not me?!?!?!

As I look back, I’ve lived out so many other peoples conclusions of who I am and what I should be doing.  That makes me sad as fuck.

But, today is another opportunity.  And I’m taking all the opportunities, creating doors, and making moves.

So step one is my podcast, which I’ve wanted to do forever.  Even if I get one listener, that’s more than I have today.

As an end note on The Wiz, To quote BroadwayBlack.com on an article on “The Wiz: Live”,

“In a New York Times articleThe Wiz playwright William F. Brown – who called the film version starring Diana Ross awful – discussed the song as being a “Black message song.” Brown, who is White, said: “But it’s all changed. Black people can win. And this is not a Black message show. It’s everybody’s show.” I think it’s pretty safe to say, that some Black people weren’t winning in the 70s. Should the thought be that Black people are winning in 2015, it might be necessary for some re-thinking. In light of the disturbing climate of race relations today, the song can take on a greater meaning when it is broadcast to millions of viewers.”

Brown no longer includes “You Can’t Win” in current incarnations of the musical The Wiz.  Which I vehemently disagree with, but to each their own.

See…all that thought from a night under the beautiful night sky at Millennium Park.  Oh yeah…it also rained most of the movie, and going into the last 1/3 of the movie, it started lightning and the movie was stopped.  However, up until that point, people were dancing and singing in the rain.  Now that’s the Chicago that I love.  A little rain don’t stop no party.

Are you a fan of the Wiz?   Have you actually seen the musical live?  Have you been to any of the films at Millennium Park this year? I’d love to hear your thoughts in the comments down below.  . 

Step 2, if you liked what you read here, SHARE IT WITH OTHERS!!!! 

Also, be sure to know every time I post a new entry by subscribing! Also, you can check out Reflections of a Chicago Life on Facebook.  I post a lot of articles and we can have some wicked discussions on there. Be sure to click “Like”. You can also check me out on Twitter, and see all the things I see around the city on Instagram, and it still bears repeating…it’s important to have STANDARDS!!

This post was created on an iPhone XR. 

Stop Me If You’ve Heard This Story Before

Stop me if you’ve heard this story before.
 
It starts with propaganda, demonizing the other, and convincing citizens that they are the root of all of your problems.

“We have people coming into the country or trying to come in, we’re stopping a lot of them, but we’re taking people out of the country. You wouldn’t believe how bad these people are,”

“These aren’t people. These are animals.”

“They’re bringing drugs. They’re bringing crime. They’re rapists. And some, I assume, are good people.”

Initially, there are cries for a wall.  While the government says that it is to keep the offenders out, just as many whispers insist that it’s to keep the citizens in.  But a wall is expensive, and time consuming.  Not exceptionally expedient to a leadership on a decisive timeline, and so it is decided that we have to lock the outsiders up, for undetermined periods of time, with little judicial oversight.
What separates these resulting camps from a prison (in the modern sense), outside of harsher conditions, is that it functions outside of a judicial system. The prisoners are not indicted or convicted of any crime by a court. Regular reports of deaths in the camps leak out, often involving children, as well as reports of sexual assaults, batteries, etc. The government brushes off the reports as overblown.
Eventually the name “concentration camps” emerges.
 
And then the jackboots start kicking in doors to round up more of these troublemakers and outsiders. Reports of citizens being asked to show their ID cards or papers at train stations float around.  The President says that city-wide sweeps will begin, and all of the outsiders will be detained and imprisoned.  We’ve had enough, and the reign of terror of these parasites ends today. 
 
It sounds like a fairly familiar story, but if I told you it was describing 2019 America, you’d call me a liar.
 
Donald Trump is by far the most despicable person this world has to offer at this time in history, and he’s dragging the rest of us down with him. 
To quote John Whitehead,

You persuade the people that the menace they face (imaginary or not) is so sinister, so overwhelming, so fearsome that the only way to surmount the danger is by empowering the government to take all necessary steps to quash it, even if that means allowing government jackboots to trample all over the Constitution.This is how you use the politics of fear to persuade a freedom-loving people to shackle themselves to a dictatorship.

It works the same way every time.”

How will you respond when the Jackboots arrive?

Aldermen, Activists Warning Immigrant Neighbors Of Reported ICE Deportation Sweep Starting Soon In Chicago

Are ICE raids a concern in your community?   Is it something your neighbors are talking about?  Is it something you and your family have to worry about? I’d love to hear your thoughts in the comments down below.  Also, the quotes at the beginning of this article are from Donald J. Trump speeches. 

Step 2, if you liked what you read here, SHARE IT WITH OTHERS!!!! 

Also, be sure to know every time I post a new entry by subscribing! Also, you can check out Reflections of a Chicago Life on Facebook.  I post a lot of articles and we can have some wicked discussions on there. Be sure to click “Like”. You can also check me out on Twitter, and see all the things I see around the city on Instagram, and it still bears repeating…it’s important to have STANDARDS!!

This post was created on a  HP Pavilion x360.
I hate this computer. I don’t want my money back from HP, I want an apology. 

Father’s Day

Hello WordPress…I’m back.

I feel like a husband who left his wife for a mistress, and then after he’s had his fun, he comes crawling back.

Here I am.  Will you accept me?

Today is Father’s Day.  I always get down in the dumps on Father’s Day.  I don’t ever really think about it until all the “Happy Father’s Day!”  start flying around.  I lost my father years ago.  13 or so at this juncture.

I miss my dad.  A lot.  Every day.  But especially today, when everyone is posting pictures, and talking about how fabulous their father is, etc, etc, etc.

And so it goes.  I didn’t do much today.  I’m in the midst of riding 860 miles this month for the Great Cycle Challenge, which raises money for the Children’s Cancer Research Fund. I’ve currently raised $940 dollars, and committed myself to riding 860 miles in solidarity.  So far this month I’ve ridden 458 miles.  I got 402 to go.

During my ride yesterday, I knew I had a leak, but fortunately I made it home.  Unfortunately, I woke up to a flat today.  Fortunately, Small Shop Cycles is open on Sunday, and I was able to go in and get a quick innertube replacement.  I also got a chain cleaning kit, and some other materials to clean my bike, which I did this evening.  It’s far from perfect (could really use a hose), but it looks pretty good, and the chain, derailleurs and my cassette and rings are all clean.  And lubed.  I also discovered that one of me pedals was falling apart, which I fixed.  Both pedals were loose actually, so glad I caught that before I got stranded somewhere.

Beyond that, I recorded my first podcast this weekend, with a friend who was in town, Sarah.  She crashed on my couch, which was cool.  It was the first time seeing her in 19 years.  It was great to catch up, and I’m glad I was able to save her some money, especially in this town.  Love this town, but it for damn sure ain’t cheap, and that includes hotels and Air B&B’s.

And here I am.  Waiting for my chili in my slow cooker, watching Gran Torino, hoping that it doesn’t rain tomorrow (it’s not supposed to rain tomorrow, but this weather has been crazy and atrocious), and hoping I can get some extra miles in tomorrow.  I’ve been slacking on miles the past few days.  Hoping the rest does the legs good, because it’s been hell on my motivation.

I did talk to one of my two daughters today though.  That was the highlight of my day.  They’re soon to be 14, such a strange time for your girls, and I feel the distance between us growing much further than the few hundred miles between Chicago and Florida.  A constant source of depression.

I gotta figure it out.

How was your Father’s Day?   Did you get to spend time with your dad?  Are you a Father?  Did you spend time with the fam?  Lets hear how your day was in the comments down below.

Step 2, if you liked what you read here, SHARE IT WITH OTHERS!!!! 

Also, be sure to know every time I post a new entry by subscribing! Also, you can check out Reflections of a Chicago Life on Facebook.  I post a lot of articles and we can have some wicked discussions on there. Be sure to click “Like”. You can also check me out on Twitter, and see all the things I see around the city on Instagram, and it still bears repeating…it’s important to have STANDARDS!!

This post was created on a  HP Pavilion x360.
I hate this computer. 

Random thoughts on a random night

As far back as I can remember, I’ve hated sleeping.

I can remember, back in the day when such a thing occurred, playing with my toys until the American flag popped up on the screen, accompanied by the national anthem. Following that, the screen would go snowy white, with the sound of static.

I spent lots of time playing in the light of a snowy white screen.

My father would often fall asleep in a chair near the television. He would settle me down next to him, sometimes on him, thinking I would drift off to sleep with him.

Sometimes I did, and often times I didn’t. But eventually, with no real stimulus, I would settle down to sleep. As a teenager, my disdain for sleep didn’t improve much. After my mother would make me go to bed, I would often lie in bed reading. I was a voracious reader as a teen, particularly partial to Stephen King books…with an especial affinity for his short stories.

Once my mother got hip to me reading in bed, I would go in the bathroom and sit on the toilet, reading page after page. Sometimes, I would literally fall asleep there on the toilet, in the bathroom, book in hand, only to jar myself awake, book on the floor, or even worse, to banging on the door, “What are you doing in there?”

Masturbating. The answer is always masturbating. 😉

I suppose over the years, I thought I would grow out of my “youthful exuberance,” and grow into a healthier relationship with sleep…

…but I haven’t.

Fuck sleep.

I remember years ago, living with a woman I was dating. Now, she was a sleeper. A solid 8-hour sleeper. She liked it when I went to bed with her, which I would. And, as soon as she drifted off to sleep, I would slide out of bed and go watch a movie, or surf online, or read, or…

Then, I joined the military, and if you’ve ever needed a lover who would enable your worst habits and tendencies, the Army will oblige you. I cannot speak, with direct knowledge, of other branches of the military,  but the Army definitely appreciates modern chemistry as a force enabler. You need caffeine? They got your caffeine. When I was in Afghanistan, you could literally walk out of the chow hall with cases of Rip It, and get it in. Coincidentally, while in Afghanistan, I had a caffeine overdose situation. But, it was so much easier to fuel up that way, rather than face the pillow.

Additionally, the less you sleep, the better of a soldier you are. The Army wants machines. I generally operated on 4 hours of sleep, a habit I maintained for years. I also learned the magic that is power naps.

I will say that in isolated situations, I like sleep. Many years ago, I dated a woman named Mirinda.  Man, I was all about her.  Now she was a sleeper.  She was one of those people that had a huge glorious bed, with a countless number of pillows, made to drown in.  She would talk about sleep the way a sommelier might describe a choice vintage, savoring the experience.

One thing we could agree on was taking midday naps, particularly in the summer.  She was a huge air conditioning person, and would jack it up until her bedroom was like an ice box.  With the summer sun dancing around us, we would climb into bed, and spoon, until we drifted off to sleep.  Sometimes we would wake up, intertwined, commence to making the most pleasurable of love, and then go back in for another hour or two of nap time.

I enjoyed that.  While I hate sleeping, I do enjoy closeness and intimacy.  There is something about feeling someone else’s skin against yours, hearing their heart beat, listening to their breathing in a quiet room…occasionally, watching their serene face as they drift off, or as they dream.  Those times, those experiences, make the otherwise waste of time worth it.

If I should ever find myself married, or at least long term intertwined with someone, I think they would have to be an incessant cuddler.  That’s one of the few activities that I will willingly slow myself down for. It brings peace of mind…and heart…let’s not forget that cuddling is good for you. 

So what about you all, what is your relationship with sleep?  Do you sleep a lot?  How many hours do you require to function?  Would love to hear all of your thoughts.

Now, first and foremost, if you liked what you read here, SHARE IT WITH OTHERS!!!  Step 2, comment below!  I want to hear your thoughts.  Also, be sure to know every time I post a new entry by subscribing!  Also, you can check out Reflections of a Chicago Life on Facebook. I post a lot of articles and we can have some wicked discussions on there. Be sure to click “Like”. You can also check me out on Twitter, and see all the things I see around the city on Instagram, and it still bears repeating…it’s important to have STANDARDS!!

This post was created on my brand new HP Pavilion x360.

I’m coming up in the world. 

Random Thought of the Week: Deer Knuckle

Random Thought of the Week:  I should open a men’s underwear and “sexy-time” store named Deer Knuckle.

Follow the train of thought:

I was out biking and went past the store Moose Jaw.  That started with the thought I should start a store to go head-to-head with them.  I could call it “Deer Hoof”…but then I thought hoof was too benign…how about knuckle.

But damn, I don’t know anything about camping gear.  How about…men’s underwear? And sex gear?

Yeah…and I’ll call it Deer Knuckle.  Yeah.  That’d be hot.

And this is a testament to how my mind works.

Let’s look at this logically: Coal Dumping and the Environment

So this morning, I heard something about the president signing a bill killing the “stream protection rule”, which restricted coal companies from dumping mining waste into streams and waterways. 

Now, I’ll be the first to admit that I don’t know much about coal mining.  The only coal mine I’ve ever been in is the replica coal mine at the Museum of Science and Industry.  The story caught my eye for 2 reasons:  My mind immediately registered “dumping mining waste into streams and waterways”, and I recently met a woman who was born and raised in Appalachia.  In a conversation, coal mining came up and she mentioned how horrible it was when it was discovered that you could blow the tops off mountains to get to the coal…and the detrimental effects it had not only on the aesthetic beauty of the area, but also on the environment.  Here’s an article on the topic from Wired Magazine:

Blowing The Top Off Mountaintop Mining

But if you just stop and take a step back, objectively, you have to ask the simple question, “Is that healthy?”

So what is coal?

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