There are people at my house. We go to a small event. There is to be a big event, with a famous speaker. I have a ride with a man.

"I need to go home." I say.

He has a dish to take the to event. Everyone will eat together after the speaker is done. "Are you sure?" says the man. He doesn't want me to miss the event.

"I need to go home," I repeat.

I don't have food with me to share. But that's not why I need to go home. I am worried. What's bothering me?

One of the men earlier started a fire in the fireplace insert. I think he overdid it. I am dropped off at my house and thank my driver and go inside. He leaves for the big event.

The fire is very hot in the insert. But the hearth is missing stones and looks broken and wrong. There is a tray on top of one part, with wood on it. I move the heavy tray. The wood on the tray flickers: coals. And there are coals glowing between the broken hearth stones.

I carefully pour water on the coals. I shut the insert so the fire will die. I crouch by the hearth, wondering if I should call the fire department. Is the fire out or creeping along under the floor?

Later a third man knocks and asks to come in. "I hear that you repair your own heart." he says. "Will you teach me to repair mine?"

I am surprised. I have written about it a little. I don't want to meet his eyes and I look down. He thinks it's a medical procedure, that I can teach. But I take my own heart out of my chest and repair it with whatever I have. Baling wire, lace, embroidery floss, dental floss, patches of velvet and leather. First I have to crack my own chest. Awake. With the saw. I can't even imagine telling him that. It hurts so much just to do that.

I wake up.

Good news: I went to bed around 8:00, it may have been before that, I laid down, pulled the covers up, and didn't wake up until sometime around 1:00, but last night I was able to fall back to sleep until sometime around five this morning. Life is so much better when I get enough sleep. I traced my terrible awful no good feeling bad day to some nuts my friend gave me. I should know better than to eat or drink anything I'm offered, food is such a bridge builder at times. We were having an interesting conversation, I was still hungry after I had eaten and it makes me feel good when I can give things to others so I accepted them gladly, feeling as if it was the right thing to do. 

I'm really happy with the chapter I just finished. Sometimes (many times) I am so wrapped up in how things could be better that I fail to step back and assess the wonders that are and have been. Today I am thinking about school, I love to learn and the lure of education continually tempts me. I have a lot of education, but it doesn't seem to get me better jobs or more money so I finally quit starting new careers based on me going back to school. I am great at school. I love school. Nobody has to tell me to learn or to pay attention in class (okay, sometimes I am chatty, but you know what I mean). I get excited when I am learning new things and I couldn't care less what the grade is because I know that is rarely the best way to test true intelligence and competency.

Sometimes other people are shocked to hear that I have no idea what kind of grades my children are getting. I think they are a stupid metric and don't pay attention to them because I know my children are learning in their own way and sometimes you can work really hard in a class where you get a C and you can breeze through a class that is easy and get an A. The grade is not a reflection of how much knowledge has been gained. I think if I was a teacher I would start the semester with some sort of chart or graph or point system and have the kids decide when they have added to their total knowledge base. I dislike the idea that doing well on a test means that someone has learned something when perhaps they haven't. 

To me school is about getting along with other people and figuring out how the child can contribute meaningfully to society. I like to ask people where they want to be and what is important to them. Sometimes people who do not do well in school are actually very bright and just bored with the curriculum. Not all teachers are great, students learn in different ways, and everyone comes to school with a different level of knowledge and a differing set of skills. School is about conformity to me. Can this person follow rules that have been set up, can they play well with others in this setting that has been constructed for their wellbeing and development?

At work I hear people who are critical of others who are not in school or working full time. First of all it isn't really anyone else's business how others choose to live their lives. Secondly I think that people learn about real life when they have real life experiences. All of sudden things that her parents have been saying for years make sense to my sixteen year old who recently started working. Last Sunday her dad didn't wake her up so she could make it to work on time. This is not her dad's job, it's hers, and the sooner she feels those real life consequences that accompany being tardy or absent, the better for her. As a punctual person being late feels dreadful to me, maybe it bothered her, maybe she felt the extra sleep was worth it.

Eventually I will have to find a job where I make more money. Either that or I will have to dramatically scale back my lifestyle. Two of the bills that drain my money are because of the car accident. I'm still working on that even though the two year anniversary is coming up in April. I thought I had car insurance. It isn't fair that I'm stuck paying ridiculously high rates for car insurance and it's less fair that I'm paying to replace the other driver's vehicle when he hit me. I'm still upset with myself for not retaining an attorney when I really needed one. But back then I didn't understand that the right attorney can make a tremendous difference in your life when you are going through a very difficult time.

One thing I like about myself is I feel like I make an effort to understand others and where they are coming from. Even if I don't like or agree with them, I like to honor their right and ability to make their own decisions. There are people who feel like I should be working full time. I did that and my home life suffered a great deal because of it. Today my home life is a bit less stressful than it was and I enjoy a much better relationship with my oldest daughter. My youngest and I are too much alike for us to have the kind of symbiotic back and forth my oldest and I have. The relationships have been very damaged, I was an emotionally immature parent, and working where I do has helped me tap into more of what I am feeling. I have the thinking part down, I'm learning to be more empathetic.

I'm also learning that it's okay to like myself for who I am. Sometimes, often, I wish I had such and such quality or I didn't have something I see as a flaw, but the truth is we are all like this. Humans composed of a set of strengths and weaknesses. The other day I told my friend that the company as a whole is better because of me. My manager's life is better, I increase profits, I increase cost savings, I notice others and promote them, I work hard, I'm positive, sunny, upbeat, cheerful, and optimistic. I try very hard to leave home at home and I'm working on leaving work there when I leave for the day. The other day my friend told me I should go back on dating websites. I just don't like that way of meeting people. I got one friend out of my Tinder experience and that was enough for me.

I am a very loyal friend and I want my friends to have the best lives that they possibly can. I see potential in others long before they see it in themselves and I believe so strongly in them that I probably come across as wanting to meddle in their lives when what I really want is for them to have every high, all the lows, and each experience that will shape and mold them during their days. I like to partner with others, but sometimes they have to do their own thing and so do I. I'm getting better at asking for help when I need it and I'm trying to see that I give things to my friends that aren't physical gifts people can touch and hold. Just being me is enough, I think I either don't realize that or forget that.

This is kind of long and kind of a rant but after the latest broadside from that bag of shit known as Steve Bannon commenting on Mitt Romney and Mitt Romney’s family for refusing to endorse accused child molester Roy Moore for the Senate seat in Alabama I’m even more outraged than normal.

In Bannon’s own words…

“You hid behind your religion. You went to France to be a missionary while men were dying in Vietnam. Do not talk about honor and integrity.”

"You ran for commander in chief and had five sons — not one day of service in Afghanistan or Iraq. We have 7,000 dead and 52,000 casualties, and where were the Romneys during those wars?"

Note to Bannon. Your former employer, President Donald Trump received five, count ‘em, five draft deferments during the Vietnam War. Four of them were while his was in college and the last was because he had some minor bone spurs on the heels of his feet.

As a matter of fact, I don’t believe any member of President Trump’s immediate family, both past and present has ever deigned to put on the uniform and serve the country.

Now let’s look at the line of succession for the Presidency should something ever happen to Donald Trump and he could no longer fulfill the duties of the office.

All of these people, unless otherwise noted, are members of the Republican Party.

Vice President Mike Pence – no military service

Speaker of the HousePaul Ryan – no military service

President Pro Tem of the Senate – Orrin Hatch – no military service

Secretary of State – Rex Tillerson – no military service

Secretary of the Treasury – Steve Mnuchin – no military service

Secretary of Defense – Jim Mattis – YES, Retired Marine Corp General – he’s also an Independent

Attorney General – Jeff Sessions – no military service

Secretary of the Interior – Ryan Zinke – YES, Navy Seal

Secretary of Agriculture – Sonny Perdue – no military service

Secretary of Commerce – Wilbur Ross – no military service

Secretary of Labor – Alex Acosta – no military service

Secretary of Health and Human Services – Eric Hargan – no military service

Secretary of Housing and Urban DevelopmentBen Carson – says he was offered a scholarship to West Point but West Point has no record of ever offering him one so I’d count that as no military service.

I’m tired of writing this but in closing I suggest that Mr. Bannon check under the own hood for members of his own party before he starts accusing other people of not wearing the uniform or evading military service..

Oh wait, Mitt Romney IS a Republican.

Well, my latest book came out today from WordFire Press. The title is Solar Singularity, a book I co-wrote with a couple of friends. It's based on the RPG called Interface Zero 2.0, a game where I was part of the team that developed it. 

Since the book is a cyberpunk action/adventure/thriller, I decided to apply for active status at the International Thriller Writers. It took them less than a day to say yes, so that's one more pro organization that I'm a member of. I'm holding off on the Romance Writers of America for now, and I still have to write a mystery or a crime novel to join the Mystery Writers of America, the last major one for my collection. 

All in all, a pretty decent day. Hopefully yours is going well.

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