Design by Sawyer Pennington, Underlying photo by Jon Tyson on Unsplash

We just posted our August column, Red & Black … An Extreme Summer, but don't let the title fool you – it's still relevant! We live in Houston, and although summer's always extremely hot, that wasn't the only "extreme" aspect of the "Summer of COVID-19". As Black points out to Red, even though things now seem very different, there are also many similarities to previous times … just a bit more, well, extreme.

Want to read other columns? Here's a list.

Photo on Shutterstock by KieferPix



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I don't know about you, but I keep thinking about Jackie's Facebook post on Cinco de Mayo. I'm not sure why I even paid attention to the email notice that she posted something since, as you know, I don't "do" social media.


Black's Head Black assets.rebelmouse.io


Sometimes, inexplicably, something compels us to do things we would not normally do. Regardless, as soon as you forwarded it to me and I read her opening words, "Some may say I don't have a right to talk about this day …" I was curious. And then, infuriated.


Red's Head assets.rebelmouse.io


Based on the first words you said when you called me, it was obvious you were livid. Jackie may well be the most amazing person I know, not only for her knowledge and experience in the adult education world but for her creativity and passion. So, for someone, anyone, to say that she's less than who she is just because she doesn't speak her "so-called" native language is beyond unbelievable.


Black's Head Black assets.rebelmouse.io


It is ignorant. Insensitive. Naïve. Racist. Shall I continue? And, it says so much about the person making a judgment about her, based solely on her skin color and last name. As expected, Jackie was very professional as she did not say who said it, but for her to post something that personal means it hit a nerve.
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Design by Sawyer Pennington, Underlying photo by Jon Tyson on Unsplash


Red's Head assets.rebelmouse.io


Is it possible that this summer might actually feel a bit more "normal" than last year?


Black's Head Black assets.rebelmouse.io


Define "normal," as I am confident we are not returning to normal, but instead are transitioning to a new normal.


Red's Head assets.rebelmouse.io


Fine. I just meant in comparison to last summer when I was hoarding toilet paper, fully stocking my pantry and freezer, and constantly wiping down seemingly every surface in my house.


Black's Head Black assets.rebelmouse.io


I guess you could call it "the summer of survival" since we were not prepared for the pandemic, especially not the lockdowns.


Red's Head assets.rebelmouse.io


Exactly! Which means that this summer will be more like a pre-pandemic summer in that we'll have more freedom, especially for those of us that are vaccinated. And it feels great.
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Photo by De an Sun on Unsplash

Something happened the other evening, and before I could become annoyed, I started laughing because I was "guilty" of the same offense … just not recently. Looking back at what, at the time, were my mortifying actions, I realized that anyone who drinks and types (whether email or text messages) has probably done it.

It has been proven that alcohol reduces your inhibitions – some people think they become charismatic, others become the world's greatest dancers (or lovers), while others believe they can see things with more clarity and need to share that knowledge. And, the list goes on. (I know that Red loves lists, but since she does not drink, the list would be impossible for her to understand … although many of us could see it as a checklist, "Yes, done that!")

So, have you ever been holding back your feelings (good or bad) about someone, and then one evening you have a little too much to drink and decide to let them know your inner-most thoughts? It could be a family member, a friend, someone at work, a romantic relationship (past, present, future "prospect"), or given social media, even a stranger. You let your thoughts and feelings run from your head (not sure the brain is involved, other than to help your fingers fly across the keyboard) through your electronic equipment … and then out into the world.

Sometimes you realize it almost immediately, and you futilely try to "recall" the message before they open it. More often, you do not see the error of your ways until the next day when you vaguely remember sending the message (or, possibly, multiples messages), clinging to the hope it was a bad dream … until you see it in your sent file. Or, even worse, finding a response, which you are not sure you want to read.

What made me laugh was that this time I was the recipient, not the sender (the first email was an expression of deep feelings, the second questioning if I had received the first one, both obviously alcohol-induced), and I decided not to let them off the hook. Since I had been out at a business dinner, several hours had passed, so I politely replied, questioning the reasonableness of each email and then asking if alcohol had been involved.

And, I could not help but wonder,

If there are car breathalyzer devices that require you to submit a breath sample, and if your alcohol level is at or above a preset level, it will prevent the vehicle from starting … should there not be similar devices that would inactive the "send" button on your computer or smartphone?

P.S. – I think Wikipedia's breathalyzer entry is fascinating, but doubt Red would agree.