KingMidget's Ramblings

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Things I Want To Know (5)

I started piano lessons about three months ago. I started with the idea that I would learn to play songs I know. Like Beatles songs and whatever else floated my boat.

Then a good friend told me about her 11-year-old daughter playing Fur Elise for an audition and I decided I wanted to learn the song.

I have now switched entirely over to classical. It’s just a better type of song to play on the piano. More interesting to play and more beautiful if you can get it right.

So I’ve been playing Fur Elise for a little more than two months. On some level, it is an easy song to play. In places. The challenge with the song is that it has distinct parts that are different than the other parts and the transition from part to part can be difficult.

What I want to know is whether I’ll ever master this song.

And here’s where I was gonna include a video of my playing the song but apparently videos on the ol’ iPhone are massive in size and unloadable hereabouts. You’ll have to take my word for it. I’m probably about 80% of the way there with this song, but I feel like I’ve been there for awhile now.

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Things I Want To Know (4)

Any writers out there use Wattpad? Did you have any success? If so, how?

Any writers out there actually make any money at Medium.com? If so, how?

Any writers out there with any great ideas for branching out into freelancing or other writing opportunities that pay?

Asking for a friend.

Things I Want to Know (3)

Why can’t the Warriors and Raptors keep playing?

Seriously. Why not?

I’ve been blessed for the last decade, after 40 years of sports fan futility. First it was the Giants three World Series and as soon as their run was over, the Warriors picked things up. This year was their fifth run through the NBA Playoffs all the way to the Championship series.

The first four were match-ups against the Lebronaliers. I mean the Cavaliers. The series were good, but not great and it’s primarily because of how Lebron sucks the life out of a game.

But, man, this years match-up against was the Raptors was just so intense. By the end of last night’s game, I felt like these teams had spent the last two weeks playing every single possession like it was their last. I really don’t know that I’ve ever seen a playoff series in the NBA played the way the last six games were played.

For six games, the ten men on the court played basketball as hard as they could. The whining at refs was kept to a minimum, more or less. I don’t recall any chippiness between the players. They just played basketball. Hard. With teamwork and with respect for the other team.

This is what the NBA could be if it wanted to be. Unfortunately, it’s not what the NBA is about 98% of the time.

So, yes, why can’t the Raptors and Warriors just keep playing?

Things I Want to Know (2)

What is an apology worth? What’s it worth when it arrives 50 years too late? Or 150 years?

Earlier this week, the New York Police Department apologized for its raid of the Stonewall Inn — which is commonly viewed as the launch of the modern gay rights movement. I can appreciate this, but wonder if it’s worth anything at all to anybody.

Nobody affiliated with the NYPD today was anywhere near the police force 50 years ago. At least I hope that’s the case. If there is any such person, I’m thinking it’s time for them to retire. But, if nobody currently with the NYPD had anything to do with the Stonewall riot, what exactly are they apologizing for?

Over on the right-wing blog I read, the commenters regularly, frequently, incessently point out that the Democratic Party was pro-slavery in the 1800s and that many Democrats voted against the major Civil Rights legislation of the 1960s. So, you know, we Democrats are all a bunch of racists. Not Republicans. (Yes, there is all sorts of things wrong with this “analysis,” but that’s a topic for another day.) My point here is today’s Democrats are not responsible for what Democrats did 50 years ago or 150 years ago and we shouldn’t be held accountable for the actions of our Democratic predecessors. Just like today’s NYPD shouldn’t be held accountable for the actions of the police force 50 years ago.

I simply don’t understand what the value is in an apology delivered in a changed world by people who had nothing to do with the incident giving rise to the apology. For instance … about 30 years ago, I was mildly sexually harassed by a female supervisor. Instead of complaining about it, I ended up getting a different job in the organization to remove myself from the supervisor. If that employer now apologized for the harassment, it would be completely meaningless to me. Nobody working there now was involved in any way in the management of the organization when this happened. It would be an empty, meaningless act to apologize now.

A rather large subset of this issue deals with the endlessly cyclical demand for reparations for the descendants of slaves. I absolutely do not question the horror and brutality of slavery in America. It is a stain on our nation that will never be washed clean. And I don’t see how reparations, which could really only be in a symbolic amount, could provide any cleansing of that stain.

Racism still exists in this country. It always will. It is, sadly, a part of the human condition. But if reparations are really about slavery, people alive today had nothing to do with slavery. We are not responsible for what happened all those years ago. I simply don’t understand how apologies now, checks for $5,000 (or whatever amount), does anything to improve the situation that exists today — which is what we really should be focused on.

What am I missing?

Things I Want to Know (1)

Is the ratio of vampires living among us higher on the East Coast of the United States than on the West Coast?

No, seriously.

Via social media, I’ve come to “know” many people on the East Coast. Here on my blog. Over on Twitter. Maybe even a few on Instagram.

Most evenings when I’m on my way to snoozeland here in sunny California, many of those East Coasters are still firing away — tweets left and right, responding to blog posts or comments on blog posts, liking this, texting that.

And then when I get up in the morning, typically around the crack of dawn …

Segue time.

Have I ever mentioned how much I hate the sleep schedule I’ve developed as I have got older. Up until about 15 years ago, I was up until 10:00 – 11:00 most nights, and frequently later on weekends. Then something happened. I started waking up earlier and earlier. To the point where I don’t need an alarm to wake me up anymore.

I used to have to hit the snooze button several times before dragging myself out of bed. Not anymore. It’s been years since I’ve needed an alarm to wake me up on normal days. No matter when I go to sleep, I’m awake by 6:00 a.m. almost every single day. Case in point — woke up at 2:40 this morning and realized my son, who promised he would be coming home after work was not home. It’s the worst thing a person can do to me. For the next two hours, I lay awake imagining him dead or in jail. I texted him, called him — got no response. So, after missing those blissful hours of sleep, you’d think I’d sleep in, right? Well, I did … until 6:15. Yeah me!

So, where was I?

… yes, when I get up at the crack of dawn (sans alarm), and check the ol’ social media outlets, many of those same people are already at it. I mean, seriously, do you East Coasters ever sleep? Are you actually vampires? Cause if you are, I’m a huge fan of garlic.

Maybe it’s just me. One of the consequences of my unnatural early rising is that I also can no longer stay awake as late as I used to. These days, I’m pretty much dead to the world by 9:00 p.m., if not sooner.

But still … has anybody checked the ratio of vampires living on the East Coast? I’m thinking there’s an issue here that needs to be fleshed out.

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