Animal Farm

I first read George Orwell’s Animal Farm when I was in junior high. I read it at least once again many years later. Then I read it again yesterday and today. It is a short book. There is no excuse for not reading it, especially these days when most of us suddenly have a lot of free time on our hands.

The book was written during World War II, and can be read as a diatribe against Stalin’s Russia, Mussolini’s Italy, Hitler’s Germany, or any other authoritarian regime. Orwell’s point in writing Animal Farm was not to be subtle. The message is delivered with sledgehammer force. And comparisons to what is happening today in the United States are too obvious to escape notice.

If you’ve never read Animal Farm, or have not re-read it recently, NOW is the time. Read it. Listen to it. Absorb it. Don’t let the pigs win. Even more importantly: Don’t become one of them.

13

Here’s a problem with blogging: I hate typing. Not only do I hate it; I suck at it. I can’t type three words in a row without having to correct a dozen typos. (Well, that’s probably a slight exaggeration, but only a slight one.) And no matter how much I practice typing, no matter what methods or typing courses I attempt, I never get any better. So typing remains a frustrating enterprise. I’d much rather hand write everything, but that doesn’t help much when sooner or later whatever I write has to find its way onto the computer in order to find its way into the blogosphere.

I never took typing in high school. I had so many music classes during my day that there was simply never room for it in my schedule. I had to take both night school and summer school as it was in order to complete my American and World History requirements. When I graduated, I had WAY more credits than I needed, but typing was not one of them. And forget those rumors you may have heard about piano players being good typists; I can prove that one wrong!

12

My plans, as is the case with most people lately, have changed. My original intention with this blog was to narrate my attempts to find something positive about reaching age 55. Foremost in my search was to be a new job—something to replace my two part-time jobs. Well, thanks to COVID-19, both of those part-time jobs are now gone, along with two theatrical productions I was counting on for not only some extra income but also to scratch my itch to perform. You see, I play piano and low brass and was just wrapping up tech week, previews, and the first two performances of Singin’ In The Rain at the Des Moines Playhouse. Rehearsals had already begun on a production of Guys & Dolls at Des Moines Area Community College (DMACC). Both shows cancelled. Losing two jobs and two shows in less than two weeks hurts. A lot.

11

Okay, so this blog about me—Who cares? For starters, I do, and since I’m doing the writing here, my vote carries some weight! A less glib answer: I’ve been looking for a blog, vlog, website, chat group, etc. for others with whom I share some experiences and concerns. I am 55, married but with no kids, struggling financially, frequently feeling as if my ship has sailed and I missed it. My guess is that one or more of those situations resonates beyond only me. If so, maybe we can have a conversation about it!

10

As we as a nation and a world enter into what for most of us is unfamiliar pandemic territory, I will once again plug a handful of websites that I find comforting and/or educational:

Kahn Academy (https://www.khanacademy.org/)

Crash Course (https://www.youtube.com/user/crashcourse)

Lavendaire (https://www.lavendaire.com/)

Even while limiting the time we spend around other people, we don’t want to term into hermits! Nor do we want to waste our days mindlessly following unproductive internet clickbait. (Too easy to fall down that rabbit hole!) The information superhighway can be both informative and super if we use it wisely.

8

I tried several blog ideas on for size, each relating to an interest of mine: Art, Music, Religion, Running, Theatre, Cats, etc. But there are existing blogs about all of those things—really good blogs, better than anything I could come up with. So I decided to write about the one thing no one else is blogging bout: Me!

9

A new blog deserves a new name. So far, however, I haven’t come up with a title I’m happy with. For now, I will be posting to this same blog, but with an eye toward premiering a whole new blog as soon as I feel it’s ready for its debut. (There’s a handy reference for the proper use of “it’s” and “its” as a free bonus!)