Of course unlike Rahm Emanuel I’m not part of the corrupt Chicago political machine but I can imagine that the line about not letting a crisis go to waste can be true in a legitimate sense too. Each of us should be quite capable of learning not merely from his mistakes, misdeeds and setbacks but from all kinds of bad circumstances in general. Even though no one should ever even think of taking any kind of inappropriate advantage of a crisis, either financially or otherwise, there’s always something that can be learned from each experience. I can’t remember having turned any sort of crisis into an opportunity to accrue some kind of advantage, either financially or otherwise. It’s always quite a good idea for each of us to examine all the specific circumstances that are relevant to each particular crisis and to make sure that he learns how to avoid taking any unnecessary risks from then on. Each individual should pay very strict attention to any crisis that transpires in order to ascertain whether it was the result of problems with either timing, health, spending money or some other kind of trouble. From then on he can avoid, to the best of his ability, falling into the same traps.
When I have to deal with a crisis, my nerves get all inordinately frazzled. Calm, unfortunately, hasn’t ever been an easy thing for me to maintain. It’s most certainly not a lack of confidence in the sense of fear of failure. It’s more like an overwhelmingly annoying kind of adrenaline rush. I can do reasonably well now, though, compared to my younger days. For quite a while in the past I was inordinately prone toward anxiety and panic attacks. Back then I could never figure out how to relax under stress and even relatively minor frustration was quite often entirely too much for me to handle. Conveniently, though, the older I get the more I can understand how to cope with life’s biggest setbacks. The main difference between the current problem I have in the face of crisis and the way things used to be under similar circumstances is that by now I’ve learned how to deal with it. Diet makes a difference. Caffeine, especially in coffee, can make me crazy. Somehow, for whatever reason, it doesn’t bother me anywhere as much now as it used to. In earlier days it gave me very violent migraines. Now it just provokes an annoying sense of frustration if I drink it under stressful circumstances. Besides being exceptionally careful with my diet I make sure I take my time, do all things very slowly and methodically with great attention to every detail, and all works out quite well.
If I could have complete control over all that happens at a party, there would be all kinds of food, desserts and drinks available. Considering how many people and how much activity would be involved, I should have to arrange to have it in quite an exceptionally large hall. The only things that would be forbidden would be smoking and drugs. Lasagna has always been my very favorite food so there would be plenty of it to go around. I could have all possible other kinds of food, ranging from meat and cheese to vegetables and seafood. An infinite supply of condiments and seasonings would also be on the menu. There would be a wide variety of desserts including chocolate and candy and pastries in general. Besides the inevitable coffees and teas of all possible flavors, there would be free flowing alcohol too. I’ve never been able to handle much liquor well but it should at least be available. I was, for a while, a bartender at Knights of Columbus council 794 in Lindenhurst so I understand quite well the importance of liquor for a nice party. Good music, of course, is also quite an entirely indispensable ingredient for a successful event of any kind. At any party of mine there would be an inevitable bottomless pit of 1960’s music, ranging from Vanilla Fudge’s “You Keep Me Hangin’ On” to Iron Butterfly’s “In-A-Gadda-Da-Vida”, filling the airwaves. Of course, I most certainly can’t possibly leave out the Beatles. Maybe, knowing me and my flair for 1960’s style we could even get all the men to dress in bell bottoms and Nehru jackets, and the women in mini skirts and go go boots. Since there are so very many musicians in my crowd, a lot of people in attendance could even play for us. There would be no real need for any specific events or games, though because of all the constant music, dancing, naturally, would be virtually obligatory. I could invite all the people on my Facebook friend list, including all my old friends, teachers, classmates, relatives and many whom I’ve never once even so much as gotten a chance to set eyes on in person. Unfortunately since people among my guests come from such a wide variety of worldviews there would have to be a very strict rule against any kind of fighting. In order to keep things as distinctive visually as possible I should absolutely have to have it all festooned with a lot of brightly colored decorations including balloons and confetti in every possible color. There would be no dress code. Considering all the activity that would transpire, it would be very smart to allow everyone do dress as comfortably as possible. Since it’s my party, and entirely under my control, there would be no time limit. It could last as long as people are available to keep things going. It wouldn’t even have to be for any particular occasion either. It could all just be for the sake of having a really good time.
As far as I’m concerned I couldn’t care less about what anyone has to say in reference to the comments I get on either my blogs or my social networking sites. It’s not a question of whether or not someone should have the right to prune his comment section. Such an idea of whether or not it should be within someone’s rights is obscene. Everyone should get to do what he wants with his own site. For one thing it’s none of anyone else’s business who else has something to say on one of my sites. Besides that I don’t ever give anyone the satisfaction of letting his negative disparaging comments bother me anyway. Some people just like to lash out because it makes them feel important. There’s a guy on my Facebook account, who’s only there because we were classmates in grammar school at St. Gabriel’s. He’s in favor of all the left wing scam including atheism, homosexuality and everything else on the liberal agenda. Everything I say, he attacks. I always get such a kick of leaving everything of his alone precisely because he’s so outrageous and defiant he always gives people such an especially good laugh. They’re laughing at him. People frequently make comments about my profile pictures too. When I put up a profile picture I most certainly take quite a risk because it’s so hard to predict what someone will have to say about my appearance. Even if someone says something bad I still don’t mind because it’s all really good for a laugh anyway. My entire point is I don’t take either the internet or other people’s points of view the least bit seriously so I just leave even all the worst most annoying comments alone. It’s quite a bit easier than having to deal with this kind of trouble in person.
As far as I can remember I’ve never once deleted an entire blog post. There’s no reason to have to bother to stoop to anything like that. Frequently I put inappropriate things onto my blogs. When that happens I often, after having seriously thought it over for a while, eliminate the unwelcome passage before the blog entry is published. I generally put things onto my blogs only after having carefully thought them through. People are so defiantly ignorant and self-absorbed these days. They have nothing to do but to scour around throughout cyberspace and anywhere else they can possibly go, trying to find one excuse right after another to be offended. Today I just read something about the famous singer Avril Lavigne who’s being tarred and feathered because of her supposedly racist “Hello Kitty” video. They claim it’s supposedly racist. A bunch of complete fools who specialize in kissing the Orientals’ butts in Macy’s window have found all sorts of gestures, smirks, articles of clothing, et cetera, in the video that, according to their sick mindset supposedly prove she’s a racist. That mentality nauseates me thoroughly. Liberals, from one tine of their forked tongues, condemn censorship. From the other tine, though, they censor everything that happens. I try to be as decent and as accurate as possible in all my blog posts and I refused to let anyone else get away with dictating to me the terms of what I may and may not be allowed to say or to do.
I can honestly say that I’ve only deleted one comment that I can remember. I was really good friends, when I was a kid in Queens, with two sisters, Jo Anne and Ruthie, in my neighborhood and school. One day I made a comment on Ruthie’s Facebook page. Jo Anne saw it, recognized that it might have started trouble if it were misunderstood, and asked me to delete it. I did what she wanted in order to avoid any hard feelings. Each day I get quite a whole lot of angry resentful inappropriate comments on Facebook. People have all sorts of ideas politically, religiously and otherwise. Many people I’ve been in touch with are excessively blunt and don’t even think twice about presuming to lash out. I never erase anything though. Usually when someone comes up with something that strikes me as so inappropriate no one in his right mind could possibly be expected to put up with it, I tend to assume that letting it go would be quite a good idea exactly for that very reason. Even when the language is blunt, obscene and graphic, I just let it all go and have quite a very good laugh about it. It keeps things colorful when I have all that crazed bizarre variety to count on.
Unlike having to deal with things on an in person basis, the internet makes it a bit easier to come up with the confidence that’s required to contribute to a debate. The lack of accountability, although that’s generally a bad thing, encourages each of us to take a stand he would otherwise not be willing to risk. I quite often take part in all kinds of arguments online, though I should inevitably be much more careful about doing the same thing if the relevant parties were standing right in front of me. One of the major advantages of social networking sites is that people of all sorts of differing viewpoints can have a common forum by way of which to argue. Although people with drastically different ideas can drive each other crazy I find it quite enjoyable to butt into things and to defend the party who has been wronged. It’s not only a good idea, but it’s also quite frequently an exceptionally interesting enjoyable kind of thing. When someone presumes to get abusive, though, I invariably back down because there’s never any point in even bothering to give a trouble maker like that the satisfaction of a reaction. Unfortunately many people on my Facebook friend list can tend to be very abrasive. It’s only fair that if someone is in the right, he should at all times be entitled to count on other people’s being willing to come to his defense. As with something that happens in person, an internet fight should be dealt with intelligently and politely. Especially in the online world there’s frequently no way to find out conclusively just exactly who’s the victim and who’s the perpetrator. It’s a strange mixed up set of circumstances. All I can say is that I enjoy keeping people on their toes.
I don’t think anyone, no matter how hard he may try, can possibly expect to avoid having to deal with internet scandal and drama. Whenever any two or more people get together, especially when they can count on that kind and degree of relative anonymity, combined with such a wide variety of viewpoints and interests, tempers will get out of control and sparks will fly. On my Faceook site, I have quite a lot of people, representing a wide range of points of view, on my friend list. We’re absolutely constantly arguing, quite frequently about things that don’t even make any kind of significant difference anyway. There’s one guy, who was in my class in St. Gabriel’s, who has always been in favor of atheism, homosexuality and liberalism. He’s very mean and nasty. Whenever someone of that ilk gets involved with anyone who’s willing to give him the satisfaction of half a second of attention, all sorts of trouble can ensue. He always pretends, in typical liberal fashion, to be America’s ultimate victim. He rants and rages, reciting all kinds of unsubstantiated canards, typical of the left, about how he’s been ever so horribly exploited and beaten up upon. He incessantly rambles on about all the poor unfortunate women, minorities and other liberal darlings (O boo hoo!) who are such hardship cases. The problem with him, though, is that he’s so much more aggressive about it all than most other people. Anyone can tell, from the very tone with which he writes, that his claims are all a bunch of self-serving lies designed mostly for the sake of shock value. That’s one of the major disadvantages about the internet. There are too many ways available for someone to lash out at people, and to spread unsubstantiated claims, without having to be bothered with any kind of accountability.
For whatever reason, I haven’t ever bothered to go to the trouble of coming up with a bucket list. Perhaps it’s because it simply isn’t all that important to me anyway. Unless you count Canada, I’ve never been to a foreign country, but how important is that in the grand scheme of things? There are some things I should really like to do but most may be entirely impossible. I should truly like to eradicate liberalism entirely from the face of the earth but that’s impossible because there’s a liberal born every minute, as the old saying goes. Since I was only a kid I’ve always wanted to see, in person, some of the great singers, musicians and bands I’ve enjoyed throughout the years. That’s not possible though because of the mere passage of time. All the great bands have broken up. Most of their members have died. The ones who are still among the living are as old as the hills. Everything that interests me is always entirely out of reach. As far as I can tell the entire concept of a bucket list, or a desert island list, or whatever else someone may want to call it is just a cliche’, nice in a way, but by now it’s simply gotten to the point where it’s a boring reference. Conveniently my tastes have always been quite plain and simple. My approach to things may seem, at first, somewhat apathetic, but it’s not really. I prefer to think of it as being realistic. Nothing has ever struck me as quite that irresistibly interesting that I simply can’t possibly run the risk of dying without my having gotten around to it. By that standard I’m quite free of any risk of my being inordinately smitten by anything. It’s a commendable idea to be able to take things or to leave them.
Saturday night has always been such an exceptionally nice quiet relaxed time for me. Unlike earlier decades there’s nothing especially good to watch on television. I’ve never been in the habit of going to parties. For some reason I don’t even think I’ve been missing out on anything anyway. Although I can quite thoroughly enjoy the occasional Saturday night party-there’s no rule against inviting me to a party-my typical Saturday night is just quietly sitting around without any specific plans, simply taking each thing as it comes my way. Sometimes I watch a DVD. Everyone knows how I’ve always so thoroughly enjoyed old television shows and movies. Lately I’ve really been getting exceptionally interested in my computer too. The internet is quite a weakness of mine. As anyone can see, after having gotten to know me, I’ve always had quite an obnoxious side. On Saturday nights, though, I can be quite quiet and inconspicuous. I can take advantage of the nice relaxed quite atmosphere and circumstances by playing the guitar, drinking tea, or perhaps reading a book or periodical. Now that I have to spend so much time with Mary Anne, Steve and Bridget, they may want to do something every once in a while. I occasionally get mixed up with them for certain kinds of things. One weekend, a few months ago, Mary Anne, Steve and I, along with Mark, Laura and a few other people, even spent both Friday and Saturday in Manhattan. I’m most certainly not entirely averse to something like that. As a change of pace it’s exceptionally interesting. It would drive me nuts, though, if it ever were to happen on a regular basis. I’ve been noticing over the years that I quite enjoy an occasional trip like that. Unlike many people, though, I have absolutely no patience whatsoever with the kind of lifestyle that would involve something like that on a regular basis. I realize that there are very many people who thrive on constant activity of that nature. I’ve most certainly done my share of trying to keep up with the party animals in my crowd. It’s quite a bit more trouble than it’s worth though. Just let me have a lot of time to hang around and relax, with only occasional spurts of activity for a change of pace. That, and finishing it up with an early bedtime, can make for a fine Saturday.