‘Hey, don’t do that (protesting) anymore’ OR ELSE isn’t going to work in NFL

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The Panthers have always done a great job of showing the love to veterans. Full field-length flag was at home openers 2016.

For anyone who thought NFL players creating awareness by protesting a specific situation– the killing of young black men by police officers that seemed almost epidemic in 2016– in this country could be ‘fixed’ by executive fiat and fines, there’s going to be a long period of trepidation before the first pre-season game.

For starters, there’s that First Amendment (freedom of speech) thing, and if the Founding Fathers decided to put it atop the amendment list ahead of possessing firearms, it probably deserves real consideration. The chances all 53 members of every team will 100-percent agree on a choice between staying in the locker room OR standing at attention during the anthem is slim, and slapping that on the table without any input from NFLPA was a move that’s unlikely to produce lock-step acceptance. Many factors can cause regular people to hide their feelings, *demanding* they do it OR ELSE is another thing.

As recently acquired wide receiver Torrey Smith of the Panthers put it:

“The whole reason guys were protesting was to draw awareness to something. To take that away and be, ‘Hey, don’t do that anymore,’ like you’re anti-American or something like people try to paint – it is very frustrating to continue to see that false narrative.”

That the opportunity to play professional sports is a fairly limited one is obvious, and every player who has taken a knee to protest like Colin Kaepernick did knows they were doing something that would certainly be unpopular or have negative effects. Especially for players with ‘short resumes’, the choice between possibly sticking somewhere or putting it on the line and going back to a less glorious job seemed a no-brainer.

The Panthers brought Torrey Smith to Carolina because he is a fast, experienced receiver and while they might not have known his outlook before, he has both abilities and rights. Don’t count on Coach Ron Rivera – who has a very strong military background in his family – to put Smith back on the market for being outspoken. Communication, probably privately, produces understanding the vast majority of the time, and Rivera has a reputation for being a ‘players coach’.

For the record, veteran defensive end, Julius Peppers, was the only Carolina Panthers player to remain in the locker room during the national anthem last year.

What they’re NOT doing is disrespecting the flag or U.S. military, and Smith isn’t only one who is frustrated about how that false narrative has eclipsed the original intention of personal, *silent* protesting. Even Pittsburgh Steelers offensive lineman Alejandro Villaneuva, admitted he was embarrassed about not being with his teammates in the locker room. Many felt he was standing tall because of his service as a Ranger in Afghanistan, but the Steelers understood he missed the boat on staying in locker room, not that he was trying to show anyone up.

President Trump recently dis-invited the NFL champion Eagles– of which Smith was a part last year– to the White House because many players publicly stated intentions not to attend. Several teams have stated similar feelings about the trip to White House situation – including the 2017 NBA champion Golden State Warriors.

Protesting via civil disobedience is going to happen – in Charlotte and elsewhere – not just as a knee jerk response, but with a strengthening of resolve: “This was mostly over, but…” in Smith’s words.  How new Panthers owner David Tepper reacts to any protesting – as both he and the Panthers organization are strongly involved in community service – will probably involve a meeting of the minds. New York Jets co-owner Christopher Johnson seems to have the best grip on protesting, stating he will pay any fines for players who kneel, because the prohibition was instituted without NFLPA coordination.

For fans throughout the NFL, its doubtful booing those who stand, stay in locker rooms, or kneel will affect them, and Kaepernick might well win a ton of money on the alleged collusion of owners to keep him unemployed, when someone like a (retired) Jay Cutler became the Dolphins quarterback at $10M for a sub-par effort.

If President Trump continues to amp the protesting situation, or somehow counts on owners to bench/cut players based on a specious factor that infringes on their team’s ability to win football games, that will show just how far anyone, including Cowboys owner Jerry Jones, is willing to go to– well, KNEEL— to his interpretation of events.

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Memorial weekend starts Year 24 in Charlotte: Knee solution was truly The One Thing

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While I’ve never believed an orderly desk and mind were necessarily linked, there’s no doubt that biking and writing are for me.

This Memorial weekend is my 23rd anniversary in Charlotte, and having successfully rolled into my second career at sixty-one, consistently completing content writing ‘gigs’ and blogs has become a scheduling priority. Being involved with a senior’s care demands hours be invested regularly as well, so for people who say ‘time on task’ is necessary to produce desired results, YES! 

While Mom questioned ‘Where’s my Carolina sunshine?” at lunchtime yesterday, I’d had no problem committing an overcast morning to finish another piece for my current sportswriter-blogging gig (FanSided/CatCrave) before getting out on a 16 mile bike ride. It’s a well-documented truth that discipline is what makes the difference in one’s ability to run on a desirable time track, and becoming the proverbial ‘good person’ who lets non-crucial activities encroach on actions constituting productivity is the downside.

Doing a sixteen mile loop out W.T. Harris to Idlewild, through Mint Hill-Matthews and back in on Monroe Rd. works fine for fitness, but 700 words about the Panthers draft picks being ready for submission comes first.

Time block combinations are tough to maintain in an 8-5 work world, especially relative to senior care involving appointments, walks, ‘emergencies’, and lunch times.  As an ever-expanding pool of telecommuters, ‘giggers’, and entrepreneurs of all stripes already know, anyone who considers working for themselves ‘ideal’ needs to set a higher bar regarding personal dedication to project completion.

The left knee replacement I’ve mentioned several times since December was THE ONE THING decision that fixed my humbling gimpy-ness as completely as I’d hoped it would.

The point with ONE THINGS is how attaining them changes elements downstream from that point.  That my recovery wound up spilling over into helping with Mom’s needs after a hospital stay– and dovetailed so well with a writing career which I’m confident about being professionally well-equipped and enthusiastic about– is a goodness that flowed pretty straight ahead once the best decision (replacement) was actually made.

Riding has been a constant for years because it didn’t hurt to pedal while keeping me fit, and whenever I’ve listened to that knee for negatives since replacement, I continue to get a clear message that all is fine. Re-adding other sports– including a possibility of golf/travel writing that’s appeared on horizon– to the bike riding means I can go forward without physical fears, which is obviously a major improvement.

****

annual baseball game

Right field foul pole is a cozy 315 ft. Last time our group went, 3 HRs were hit into our section to the left.

If politics continue to bring stress and concern about Trump and the stuff that implausibly keeps coming out of the clown car he and the GOP enablers are driving, I’m still more concerned about Mom’s memory– after she asked who I was on Monday while playing cards on the usual table in her apartment– than another swamp invader in DC.

Invoking Covey’s ‘7 Habits’ principles, I won’t be overwhelmed by that vast majority of things worrying about can’t affect.  Catching a Knights baseball game Friday evening at this gem of a park, with a terrific skyline of downtown beyond the brightly lit field and Romare Bearden Park next to it, in a  luxury box filled with catered food, quality beers, and nice people, the start to year 24– and my knee– feels very good to me.

 

 

Never let it be said you didn’t do the least that could be done

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There was a small element of surprise when a recent lunch and learn regarding four Early Education Tutoring (part of the OPPORTUNITY Task Force) reading programs moved as smoothly and enlightened so well. Twenty-six potential volunteers attended (only one other guy), but the feeling of helpfulness and purpose regarding a necessary grass roots effort permeated the room.

The surprise at finding the right type situation– on my fourth attempt at volunteering to help with reading programs– was gratifying and easy to schedule. The Freedom School at St. Gabriel has linked with Oakhurst STEAM Academy for six years now, with the goal of reducing the summer learning loss for about 50 kids. There are two three-week sessions, with an opening for a Harambee Reader to kick things off in the morning June 18-July 6. Its only 40 minutes (8:20-9am), but when Laura Hull said, “Boy, do we need some male readers!” a magic button was pressed.

The focus of these programs is significant. If you haven’t heard about the Chetty Study, it’s a Harvard/UC Berkeley project that found Charlotte ranked last (4.4%, San Jose was tops at 12.9%) of 50 major cities in economic mobility, essentially how many children rise from the bottom of one economic quadrille to top of it as an adult.

Early care and education is one of three primary factors that correlated with economic mobility, and one specific and very relevant fact is that students not reading to grade level by fourth grade are almost destined to fall further behind as reading-writing needs/material become more difficult.  The Task Force goal to have 80% of Char-Meck students reading at that level is lofty—its currently only 39%, with Afro-American (22%) and Hispanic boys (18%) lagging significantly.

As a writer, its somewhat simplistic to state that reading made a major difference along the way for me, because while a highly regarded high school journalism program and college sharpened the tools,  knowing words (comprehension) and structure was the start— I had a ninth grade reading level in second grade. I doubt that going to a book mobile– my childhood included one available in a bank parking lot two blocks away, every Friday for years– is an option kids have in 2018.

Early care and education is one of three primary factors that correlated with economic mobility, and one specific and very relevant fact is that students not reading to grade level by fourth grade are almost destined to fall further behind as reading-writing needs/material become more difficult.

It was pointed out during presentations that the non-academic period of year is where support lags and students in high-poverty schools fall back. As a Wyzant tutor, I’ve focused on reading-writing-public speaking, and being able to see the progress with an 8th grader’s comprehension after a simple suggestion about pausing for punctuation during a second session was meaningful to both of us.  While she’d blazed through several paragraphs in a book, her comprehension of individual ideas was obviously jumbled; making that kind of a difference counts.  As Director-writer for SCHOBY (South Carolina Hugh O’Brian Youth) leadership program, I found even ten minutes of coaching before the groups of high-caliber rising juniors began doing group essays had the effect of focusing them, and improved the quality of product that was edited into a read-along, Aesops Fables-type children’s book. While those are the 90-95 percentile achievers, it makes the point of extra help even more valid—  a small push was all they needed.

Four programs our gathering learned about:

Augustine Literacy Project – (Fall 2018) Structured, explicit lesson plan format, tutor twice a week during school time for 1 ½ years (60 hours of tutoring), is quite a commitment. Two weeks of training ($250 cost for materials is generally handled by scholarship). Free, long-term, one-on-one instruction is their goal, because 74% of poor third grade readers are still poor readers in ninth grade.

Heart Math Tutoring – Executive Director Emily Elliot stressed that “Growth in concepts counts. The nature of math as yes/no answers means that enthusiasm and academic confidence increases when the student gets the 1-1 help that makes the difference in understanding.”  Their success—98% of students have met program growth goals—is admirable. (Fall 2018)

The Padres y Padrinos (Parents and Godparents or ’PYP’) program is a LAWA (Latin Americans Working for Achievement) project that has addressed the academic and social development of ESL students in East and South Charlotte elementary schools since 1992. They need volunteer commitment to 14 or 28 weeks of one hour per week for reading and basic math skills.

Thirty minutes a day for three weeks as the Harambee Reader? I’m in, and if I won’t immediately promise to get money for supplies, or extra people to listen to kids read for an hour on the July 18th Great Day of DEAR (Drop Everything and Read), I also refuse to be someone with good intentions who fails to do the least that can be done.

To participate in or learn more about any of the programs, please contact Annette Dreyer at annette.dreyer@yahoo.com.

Marches for Gun Control Were Exceptional, Don’t Sweat ‘Bots, Negativity

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Last nights date kind of ticked me off by stating, several times, that maybe pro or college teams would do better *for the psyches of non-starters*—if they played instead of first teamers. She used her cousin’s JV girls basketball team as an example of kids who got a lot better from one coaches efforts in that area.

Now, the difference between JV teams and say, a $17 million a year pro quarterback, should be obvious. One is a developmental situation, the other is being rewarded economically for ability to put a larger quantity of Ws vs. Ls on the board, almost always because of proven statistical-physical prowess. You don’t put anyone else in a starters role unless you want some serious blowback from stars and the fans. I sent her a note to that effect, and I expect that’s the end of any relationship where an old psychology major’s ivory tower thinking goes against over thirty years of sports writing expertise.

The point is, we all get to have our opinions, because this is still ‘merica. I’m sure she felt as right as I believe she’s wrong, and that will be the case for a lot of things, including Trump and collusion (at least until Mueller gets to bottom of things),

Another situation, an exceptional difference that splits the idea experience makes all the difference, is the students from Stoneman Douglas HS and their terrific push regarding gun control. It’s easy to equate student protesting with the anti-war protests of the ‘70s, when 500,000 people at a time, across the country, put other differences aside to say STOP THIS!together. By all accounts and pictures, this past Saturday was a match to those historic efforts, with some 800 rallies around the world organized through social media. Members of Congress BETTER recognize that a united, one issue block of voters has appeared on the horizon. Statistically, not all 75 million will vote against anything, but its a helluva number to consider.

There have been plenty of BS negatives about this– identifying a sheep drive as photo of one of 800 rallies, photoshopping David Hogg in a Nazi uniform with Hitler behind him, and taking a girl to task for having a Cuban flag on her jacket– but I’m not sure its people or those damn ‘bots getting into act again. Vietnam split this country in half, and going against the military-industrial complex, yeah, that didn’t look like a winning fight for a very long time either. Vietnam marches always generated tons of “f’n cowards!” talk, now its “f’n stupid KIDS!” There may not be a name to hang on this generation just yet, but I‘m thinking that having them focus on this specific situation will not only define their future, but be a whole lot more productive socially/as citizens than almost any class they miss.

They’re active, clearly sincere about a topic that was never on anyone’s radar until Columbine in 1999, and, as pointed out, has mushroomed into a fact that Stoneman Douglas was the 18th such school assault of the current year–with kudos to the guard who quickly ended #19 in Maryland, only two kids shot.

If you haven’t had an opportunity to work with teenagers, putting every post-millennial or Gen X/Yer down as unworthy compared to The Greatest Generation that won WWII and created the America that lead the world, that’s not the whole Truth.

The naysayers will continue to impugn their age, efforts, and ability to put an effective coalition of the like-minded together, mostly by saying it’s useless tilting at windmills, that they’ve been co-opted by others, or because the NRA’s political and economic reach with government at all levels is too strong. That some are stuck in a malaise that affects great swathes of this country, and is primarily responsible for the rise of a populist like Trump is part of things; the sort of young leaders that we’ve seen on the nightly news calling B.S. is the other side of that coin. They’re active, clearly sincere about a topic that was never on anyone’s radar until Columbine in 1999, and, as pointed out, has mushroomed into a fact that Stoneman Douglas was the 18th such school assault of the current year (with kudos to the guard who quickly ended #19 in Maryland, only two kids shot).

I’ve had the privilege of working with HOBY leadership programs for a number of years, and those selected 15-16 year olds are *sharp*. They look you in the eye, know how to assess being told specious ‘facts’ (which they will Google), and assimilate truth readily, even if its not used in particular situations the next day. Having seen the question, “What did they accomplish by walking out of school?” rings hollow when held against the light of the American Revolution—or Vietnam– which certainly wasn’t fixed in a day or week or month, or without blood, sweat, and tears.

Trump is probably thinking he’s gotten a break by having so many people concerned with this gun control situation vs. porn stars, personal malfeasance, personnel shuffling, trade wars, stock market losses and RUSSIA, but thinking positively, here’s hoping we are seeing something significant from a new force in our country. Its been said that the world stands aside for a man with a plan—add a whole bunch of women, and yes, a lot of passion from youthful observers who saw things up close, and you’ve got something that should move this country’s weak psyche up a notch. They say youth is the first casualty of war, so even if gun legislation will be a grind, I’ll hope nobody has to be involved in a full out war where *everyone* has an AR-15 level weapon in any near future.

When the many are fighting for the same goals—and #Blacklivesmatter is in the same neighborhood regarding violence, even if not the same house—it makes a difference. Less guns in Chicago just HAS to slow down the slaughter, and major kudos to David Hogg and others for recognizing they have the spotlight and going to a school in DC to bring their pain into the light as well.

Mom is Forgetful, School Slaughters and a Definitive Response From ‘Kids’ Shouldn’t Be Glossed Over

Every day since we brought my mother back from the hospital last Wednesday, she has expressed sorrow whenever she reads or sees mention of the 17 students killed at Marjay Stoneman Douglas HS in Pageland, FL. Mom turns 84 on March 1, and while she often asks the same question several times in a single conversation, such forgetfulness is a LOT less acceptable from so many Americans taking a similar “Oh, that’s a terrible thing to hear (again)!” route regarding such carnage, forgetting the last time and thinking this just happened.

God’s honest truth, that there’s an on-going slaughter of people of all ages in places like Chicago or Detroit, including fact that so many of them are black lives lost, isn’t lost on ‘them’. That many in this country beat their breasts over the agony of 17 dead teenagers killed in this school shooting is shown repeatedly on TV, but almost zippo is heard about *constant* death elsewhere isn’t ‘fair’, but I’ll stay with the basics on this.

Paper wraps rock, scissors cut paper,

GUN ends argument.

This problem is pretty much an American deal, because we have TONS of guns, and lots of people who are willing to settle a situation without further ado who will reach for them. Point to that situation in Sweden (years ago) where a gunman killed like 80 kids on an island because he was ONLY one with guns, well, it happened. That cases like England and Australia, where it only took ONE major slaughter to get guns banned effectively enough that it hasn’t happened again, and you wonder what could stop U.S., even with that gnarly deal about ‘well maintained militia…keep and bear arms shall not be abridged.”

SOMEONE has to make a difference, and if kids from the latest massacre want to take up the grail, and others pour in along the way, I’m kind of thinking that’s how both VIETNAM and getting Big Tobacco under control happened. You know what? Throw in *environmental concerns* and civil rights, and you can understand that while its not EASY, concentrated actions by such groups brings results. The first anti-war protesters were labeled cowards, and even when it was obvious the war was just churning out young American corpses at incredible cost of material for an unwinnable situation, it tore families apart, because it was your JOB to support what your country was doing…

The only line where that works now is *politicians* MUST defend guns and the NRA that supplies a high financial incentive to them—pols are reminded that campaign contribution $$ can go to someone else who will watch out for their (NRA) interests more carefully. If Marco Rubio, Republican Senator from Florida, got upset that a 16 year old who lost friends in that school last week braced him with, “Will you say right now that you won’t accept contributions from NRA?” that’s a legitimate question for every one of our representatives in Congress.

Those who (and how ‘bout those bots, getting ‘re-tasked’) smear articulate youths, and declare that the situation has been hijacked by LIBERALS to further anti-gun programs, I declare bs! I’ve worked with HOBY program for years, and the 15-16 yr. old rising juniors ARE that good, and they LISTEN to good counsel. Try to deny them or use stupid arguments your co-workers won’t put up with either, they tune you out and walk away. Stopping guns in schools any way possible is a worthwhile agenda, and they WILL get help from professionals who recognize high schoolers can’t craft legalese enough to get it on anyone’s legislative agenda. That’s not co-opted, that’s *smart*.

It won’t be easy by any stretch, but trying for the Biggest Difference they can imagine counts. Don’t denigrate their efforts, HELP THEM.

Politics? Ehhh–Hanging with Mom at Hospital Takes Most of the Caring I Have

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It’s not easy to admit, but politically I’m starting to lose some control of whats been a pretty solid Caring function because its been used up on my Mom. One of the ‘7 Habits of Highly Effective People’ (Covey) is don’t worry about things you can’t affect, and while I haven’t pulled that book off the shelf in a while, I know 90% of the stuff many/most of us worry about will happen no matter what. That’s why ‘effective’ means dealing with things you CAN control, like taking an hour away from TV watching and putting some effort into a novel, or sticking to diet goals by not eating (another) frosted doughnut just because it looks lonely in the box.

Time with Mom in her hospital room hasn’t exactly been productive, but politics, geeez! it seems to come up hourly, in an almost relentlessly negative way. Even Rachel Maddow takes a few moments now and then to mention she knows it sounds a bit repetitive. I’ve busted on CNN because Wolfe and the crew show the same 4-5 clips and repeat the story heard 20 minutes ago because they have LOTS of time to fill, and if you watch more than one of the political shows –with a snarky ‘versus the puppet shows on FOX’– yeah, there’s lots of same old, same old. The Mueller Russia investigation grinds on, and while its good poker playing to not show your cards (HE sure doesn’t), this waiting for Godot feeling ain’t cutting it on the Whoopie! Scale.

It seems like I’m shirking my duty as an American who cares about right and wrong to just shrug

The problem is, it seems like I’m shirking my duty as an American who cares about right and wrong to just shrug about a TON of bizarre stuff out of D.C., especially the exceptionally stupid enabling/stonewalling/stick up for the Prez while cramming a mess of brutal negatives (example A-1 being that $1.5 trillion ‘tax break’) down our– well, the non-1% anyway– collective gullets. Yeah, I know some people got extra $$ in their paychecks from that, but along with rolling back civil rights people *died for* 50 years ago, crushing of environmental regulations that truly made a difference, and hey, more than a whiff of misogyny from guys at the top, how can numbly “letting him do the job he was elected to do” be legitimate, liars and Russian bots be extra damned?

Bottom line, what *possible reason* could there be for not wanting to get to the bottom of what is clearly a blatant, documented interference in our election process?

Is there an alternative? Olympics watching maybe, but what about at work? I’m not generally a whiner, but a couple blowhards/apologists/cretin-y Trump-eteers, or even a Demo-centric ‘did you hear?’ conversation just rrrrrs! me. Offer it up for Lent? Sounds whack, doesn’t it? I haven’t done that suffering bit in quite a while, but hey, stop my beer drinking is not a *real* option. A lot of information to be gained from watching triple headers on multiple channels to prepare for upcoming March Madness, y’know, and water with all those chips (but no politics) just doesn’t seem right. I’m doing some volunteer work for Reading Buddies, but that won’t affect politics, nor will getting back to bicycle riding with my new knee, because there is plenty of time to think about things beyond shifting gears on 10-12 mile rides.

Curling up in a ball and just taking it? Naah, that’s useless to the max.

So, my decision is to focus on writing, working on a fantasy world and events I *can* control. I knocked out 50,000 words for annual NaNoRiMo event on November mornings  while working crazy graveyard shift hours, and getting three chapters edited and sent to a couple publishers by the end of the month is legit. I KNOW my heroine (Marlena the Magnificent) will pull her fiancee’s bacon out of the fire in time, because while his getting kidnapped sort of messed up the week before their marriage, I have an exciting and righteous path already laid out.

America, good luck to the rest of you about having things work out as necessary– I’ve got Mom and Edgar Allan ‘Poe’ Starkes to think about.

Sex for a Past-60 Writer in #MeToo Era: Something is Amiss

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Having knocked out 50,000 words for a NaNoWriMo submission this past November while working a never-saw-this-possibility-on-radar job pre-loading UPS trucks from 1:00-9:00 a.m., I recognized (not for first time) how much more difficult the love scenes were to write without some, you know, relatively recent transfer of that sexual energy.

Watching reruns of ‘Mad Men,’ I’m not talking Don Draper, drunk but always ready-able to get it up and in at any opportunity–THAT hasn’t been a reality for waaay longer than being sixty. An aunt I truly respected suggested (well, stated) that I needed to have more/better bait vs. just being a Good Guy and the right equipment, and I get that in capital letters now. Frankly ladies, we all want to know we’ve still got ‘It’ on that front, and not that you’ll be needing The Rabbit to satisfy you when we leave.

For those who might be expecting an analysis of recent opportunities or techniques related to that 60+ category, ummm, today I turned 61, and the past 366 days haven’t included sharing that desirable activity, so I’m sorrier than you’ll know about not being able to enlighten anyone about empirical factors the title might suggest. Mostly I’ll believe I’m not the only guy wondering which end is up in the post-Weinstein scheme of things, a million miles from getting through awkward breakfasts in college, much closer to Seth Meyers recent proclamation when hosting the Golden Globes that, “For the male nominees here tonight, this is the first time in three months it won’t be terrifying to hear your name read out loud.”

There’s been LOTS of documented abuse of women along the way by Hollywood and/or male brethren of all stripes, but I’ve never been a ‘crotch cricket’ as Dad referred to certain womanizers (like a college roommate), or walked around with my pants to my knees. As Meyers noted, I’ve never had the power to hold sex over anyone, although I undoubtedly said something similar to what local Carolina Panthers owner Jerry Richardson allegedly did about the shapeliness of certain jeans-wearing females posteriors. Hey, college and the herpes-challenged ‘80s featured Jordache and similar $100-plus jeans, and it was pretty much mandatory that noticing and commenting was expected. Now and sixty-plus is an obviously different day.

Working in scholastic fundraising in the ‘90s– where younger, smart, good-looking teachers were common and I wasn’t close to 60– wasn’t the place for ‘cutting a filly out of the herd’ reputation-wise; the divorced moms with kids I’ve dated after moving to Charlotte were okay– often just a scheduling thing. Ditto for working in real estate years (although I was in a relationship then), and the recession flat out sucked, which is kind of the nut I’m working with.

Fundraising success and feeling very Good Human Being-ish while participating in Junior Chamber of Commerce activities back then was legitimate, and can we admit that ‘successful’ usually trumps POS Guy at this point, Chippendale types always being an exception? I’ve been told I’m pretty well-preserved, and with recent knee replacement, personal energy is higher than its been in years, but finances since recession haven’t sparkled.  It seems those Women who bought houses (or got as result of divorces) are a bit more concerned about possibility of sharing resources with ‘keepers’ than less equal if kind of studly older lovers.

‘A good man is hard to find, but a hard man

is good to find’

SEX, whether sweaty or sloooow good, is less like the lady who once told me, “Just because we’re not going to be forever doesn’t mean we have to give up something we obviously both like,” and more about Beyonce and ‘Put a Ring on It,’ although relationship status doesn’t really affect The Act. I’d bet that a quantity of the negatives we’ve heard about still kinda fit in the category of “I seem to remember the circumstances a bit differently,” that Lauer and Rose used, as un-PC as that might come out.

And really, is it possible Al Franken is the ONLY guy from SNL days that groped someone?

Writing-wise, I seem to be using OLD memories, and while I’ve never been graphic-graphic in book scenes, and the sensuality and caring still flows, actual pillow talk and fitting in last night’s interludes, or bouncing previously written material off a date while noting which parts reeeeallly worked for her, made things so simple. Sex isn’t as distant as the moon, but it doesn’t show up every Friday night either– and FYI, contrary to what ol’ Bill Clinton danced around, sexually guys DO know what is, is, but cuddling isn’t sex.

My question is: If-when I hammer that 50,000 or so words into a script and it miraculously become a Success, will it get easy to find mutually desirable-willing ladies again, or will *I* be on guard about life resources coming down the proverbial stretch? Am I, hard to believe, being too picky myself?

I admit missing the notion that, ‘A good man is hard to find, but a hard man is good to find,’ ‘It takes two,’ or yes, very definitely, “There’s a Good Woman behind every successful man (and she wants you to get your clothes off NOW!)” To say good sex still comes from the heart and not a little blue pill is problematic—I’ll let you know after I’ve been in a situation where that little blue pill might make a helluva difference.