So Long, 2016, And All that You Took

You were here and then you weren’t. I could say that about the year and a lot of other things — quite a few celebrities died plus our Mojo kitty and our hamster, Prarrie Dog, who passed several months ago too.

We miss our kitty dearly. He had the best character arc ever (especially for a cat). I think about his cuddle-bug personality daily.

David Bowie, Prince, Gene Wilder, Alan Rickman, Ron Glass, Florence Henderson, Alan Thicke, John Glenn, George Micheal, and more. All gone. Perhaps this year seemed so harsh because I knew who all of these people were, and I was used to having them around. They were popular for my generation. Plus so many of them weren’t even old. It seems unfair.

Carrie Fisher is the celebrity death that hit me the hardest. I still can’t believe she’s gone. Her mother, Debbie Reynolds, passing the next day only upped the sadness. What heartbreak for the family and all their friends.

I first loved Carrie Fisher in Star Wars, a movie that came out when I was nine years old and blew me away. It made me a different person. I could probably date my life “b.SW” and “a.SW”. Or maybe BS and AS. Anyway, it sparked my love of science fiction (though some may debate calling it science fiction) and my love of (most) things Star Wars that would follow. 

I had seen Star Trek before Star Wars, but Star Wars prompted me to watch Star Trek again. I was hungry for adventure and outer space. Star Wars ignited the hunger.

Carrie Fisher’s Princess Leia was a strong woman, a leader, who could save the guys as much as they saved her. (Somebody had to get them into that garbage chute. You can’t just shoot all the stormtroopers.) She was the original self-rescuing Princess. If there were others before her, I don’t remember them. She’s the one that mattered to me. 

Carrie Fisher kept up that theme throughout her life. She became so much more than just Princess Leia. From her honesty about mental illnesses to her insanely funny interviews to her witty and amazing writing… 

And I really mean amazing. She wasn’t just some celebrity who decided to write a book and isn’t that cute. Her writing was awesome — funny and compelling. And it was more than just books. Carrie Fisher was a script doctor, a person the studios could call in to rescue lackluster scripts for movies and such. She knew her craft. 

She kept at it and excelled. 

She melded with Princess Leia in ways that made her own the character and allowed Princess Leia to become part of who Carrie Fisher was too. She was more than the sum of her parts.

And then she was no more. She will be missed. 

2016, I’m sure I will miss parts of you too. Other parts not so much.

May those of us who made it through, have a rich and wonderful 2017 filled with love and laughter, joy and peace. May we rise to the challenge.

Copyright Deb L. Kapke 

Vote Kodos or Kang*! (Actually, no. But please vote!)

This year I feel like I (along with the entire country) have been transported to an alternate universe. Somewhere around here Spock must have a goatee. And Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton are our major-party candidates for President of the United State. Many of you who are registered to vote have decided on a candidate and will vote for that candidate. Yay, you! (I’m not going to try to change your mind.) 

But if you’re even remotely thinking of not voting, I’m writing this for you. If you don’t like either choice … can’t find the time … don’t think your vote matters …

Please vote any way.

Today is the last day to register to vote online in my state. The same may be true for your state, so check it out and register if you haven’t already. 

Some people say that both candidates are bad. So they say they won’t vote. As if that will show them. As if not voting somehow sends a message to Washington.

“Bob Smith didn’t vote; we must be doin’ somethin’ wrong,” said no politician ever.

The only message sent by not voting is one that says that you don’t care enough to vote. Status quo is okay with you. Let other people pick your leaders.

There are men and women in other countries who fought and died to be able to vote in their elections. Ladies, remember when it wasn’t legal for us to vote in the United States? Neither do I. Yay! Now, use your right to vote. 

You may think that you don’t have a choice. That you must pick either Donald or Hillary. But you can vote and still not vote for Hillary or Donald if you want to. Just be sure to vote.

There are some who may tell you that you’re throwing away your vote if you don’t vote for a Democrat or Republican (depending on whom you ask). When folks feel that way, some of them end up not voting. But the only way to throw away your vote is by not voting at all.

You can vote 3rd party.

You can vote via write-in.

You can vote in the congressional, senatorial, and local elections, but then not vote for a President if you wish. 

Just please vote! (And really you should still vote for a President. Even voting for Kodos* or Kang* is better than not voting at all.)

Make your voice heard. It may be a small voice, but it is an important voice. It is your voice.

If we see a record number of voters voting it says that people care enough to spare a bit of time to have a say. It tells Washington that you’re paying a little bit of attention. (Well, a record high number of voters is good. Record lows. Not so good.) 

And if this election sees a record-high number of write-ins and 3rd-party votes, that says something too. It sends a message (even if the person you voted for doesn’t become President). 

I know I won’t change anybody’s mind about whom to vote for. I probably don’t want to change your mind about some things, and I would love to change your mind about others. But I’m happy to agree to disagree as long as the voting happens.

Mind made up? Mind not made up? All fine. Vote!

*Kang and Kodos are aliens as depicted on the TV show The Simpsons usually showing up on the Halloween episodes in some form or another. I don’t really want to elect either one of them President. (I could say the same about some real, live humans.) But I do think voting, even for creepy, green aliens is better than not voting. 

Testy Little Thing

Dammit Jim, I’m a graphic designer, not a doctor!

But, I’m mostly just curious to see if I can type stuff on my Pod while not on any wi-fi networks, and then upload later when I am connected. I probably could have achieved the same result, by writing something else and then posting it without mentioning the testing aspect. None might have been the wiser.

So for your amusment, I’ll share a spectacularly misquoted quote which I uttered earlier today. (Today being 07/20/10.*)

Me: “Dammit Jim, I’m a doctor, not a geologist!”

(Shudder. I put my geek to shame.) I am SO turning into my mom who is widely known to say the mixed-up, backwards wrong words, almost right meaning, at a dazzling rate.

The correct quote from “Devil in the Dark” regarding the silicon-based Horta is this.

Bones: “I’m a doctor, not a bricklayer.”

I guess I should thank my lucky stars I didn’t say, “geographer.”

Dear Brain,

BRICKLAYER! The correct word would be, “bricklayer.” Not that you did’t already know that, but please make a note of it so there will be less fail in the future. Thanks for playing. Please come again.

D