29 April 2009

HNT - Full Moon

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... we get to think of life as an inexhaustible well. Yet everything happens only a certain number of times, and a very small number, really. How many more times will you remember a certain afternoon of your childhood, some afternoon that's so deeply a part of your being that you can't even conceive of your life without it? Perhaps four or five times more. perhaps not even that. How many more times will you watch the full moon rise? Perhaps twenty. And yet it all seems limitless.

~ Paul Bowles


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I wonder if this is the only full moon *CLICK*

... and yes, as a matter of fact I did take both of these pictures!

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Oink! Oink!

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Are people really so ignorant that they panic over nothing? Do they really buy into the hype of the news item de jure? Do they not look at statistical significance and probability in order to make logical decisions?

This swine flu "outbreak" is about to get on my last nerve. Let me give you some really scary numbers ... are you ready? Just know that there is something out there lurking ... waiting to infect you ... in fact ...

  • Since January, more than 13,000 have died of complications from it
  • The worldwide annual death rate is estimated between 250,000 and 500,000
  • It resulted in no fewer than 800 related deaths were reported in any week between January 1 and April 18 2009

Let's compare that to current swine flu numbers, shall we?

  • Worldwide death rate - 160 (although I saw a "projected" death rate in the U.S. of 1,700)
  • 65 confirmed cases in the U.S.

So, what are those top number? They are the current data as reported by the CDC for SEASONAL FLU! This is not an exercise in rocket science people, but rather an exercise in common sense.

Yesterday, there was a flier sent home from the school district regarding the precautions they have put in place to combat a swine flu outbreak in the local schools. They have placed a temporary ban on all student contact - no hugs - no high fives - no physical education components that might result in bodily contact. Any infraction will result in disciplinary actions. Right ... disciplinary actions for a high five. Go ahead. Call me at work and tell me Cam is serving in-school suspension for a high five.

Listen ...

Take a deep breath ...

Be logical ...

Wash your hands, cover your mouth when you cough (do we really need to remind people to do these things?) ...

And OINK when you sneeze! Humor is a critical component of common sense recovery!

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28 April 2009

TMI Tuesday 184

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TMI Tuesday

1. Have you ever had angry sex?

Angry sex scares the hell out of me! I'm not one to lose my temper easily, but when I do, I really lose it. I'm afraid that angry sex might encourage me to cause permanent harm to parts of my partner’s body that they would prefer to keep in proper working order. I'll pass!

2. Pity sex?

I guess it depends on how you define pity sex. If we are in the "He/she couldn't get it anywhere else so I'll give it to him/her," then no - I'm not that much of a giver (or egomaniac), but if we are talking about the "poor, poor, pitiful me - no one loves me" sex? Ummm ... yeah ... I've certainly been in a position where I looked to sex to fill a longing to be loved - its effectiveness was minimal and misinterpreted.

3. “Oh well, I might as well” sex?

Far too many times to count, especially if we add in the "obligatory" sex.

4. One-of-you-knew-it-was-goodbye-and-the-other-didn’t sex?

I've not been on the giving end of this, but have certainly been on the receiving end of it.

5. Don’t-remember-having-it sex?

I have one word for you ... Tequila. It's the only alcohol that I can drink and NEVER pass out. Black out? Absolutely! Pass out? Never. Waking up with unexplained bruises on one's forehead, and no recollection of how they got there (this was 20 years ago), makes one reevaluate their tequila intake.

6. Regret-it-afterward sex?

Once ... and tequila was involved ... again. Let's just say it is never a good idea to sleep with your boyfriend’s best friend - especially when he is in the room right next to you and there is no lock on the door.

7. Can’t-remember-his/her-name sex?

I am surprised at the number of people who can say they remember the name of every person they ever slept with. I am not one of those people.

8. Never-knew-his/her-name sex?

Can I just put a scarlet "S" on my forehead now? Look, my past is pretty damn shady. I looked to sex to fill many an emotional void, and I left no stone (or is that wood) unturned. Honestly, I'm damn lucky I'm not dead - risky behavior doesn't even come close to describing some of what I've done.

There were many times when I didn't *want* to know his name because just knowing that little bit of information brought on a bucket load of unrealistic expectations. Better to go the anonymous route to keep disappointment to a minimum. They never stayed long anyway.


Bonus: What was the worst single sexual experience of your life?

Before there was a name for it - or even any concern about it - I was a victim of date rape. I was 20 and had been dating the guy for a few weeks. In one of my more stupid moves, I agreed to go to his apartment after dinner - in his car - leaving mine at the restaurant about 5 miles away. My acceptance of his invitation was interpreted as we would have sex that night. When I said stop, he didn't.

When he was done, he sent me on my way. I walked the 5 miles back to my car at 3AM, drove to my apartment, took a long, hot shower, went to bed, and never told a soul ... until now. I couldn't tell anyone. It was *my* fault. What kind of girl goes home with someone they've only been dating for a few weeks unless she wants sex?

Vanna, I'll take another scarlet "S" please ...

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27 April 2009

The "New" Discrimination

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Last week, the U.S. supreme court heard arguments in a reverse discrimination complaint by a group of white firefighters from New Haven, CT.

The city of New Haven spent $100,000 on a test given to all firefighters competing for officer positions within the department. The city coded the test takers by race, and of the top 15 scorers, 14 were white and one was Hispanic. There were only 15 vacancies in the top ranks of the fire department meaning no blacks would be promoted.

What did the city do? After much racially charged debate, the city's civil service board rejected the test scores and promoted no one.

At issue is a conflict in federal civil rights law. On the one hand, the Constitution and Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 say employers may not discriminate against people because of their race.

But employers have also been told they may not use hiring or promotional standards — including tests — that have a "disparate impact on the basis of race" unless it is "required by business necessity." Although this test was designed to be part of the evaluation process for officer positions within the fire department, the city claims it is not certain that the knowledge tested by the firefighters' exam was required to be a lieutenant in the fire department. What? Then why would you spend $100,000 on the test?

When the U.S. Supreme court rules on this case in June, it will likely be in favor of the white firefighters, but it will not, unfortunately, be a ruling that is far enough reaching to end Affirmative Action - legislation that is not only unfair by today's standards, but that actually encourages the continuation of the racial divide with its position that minorities (blacks, women, etc.) are not "good enough" to secure positions/promotions based on their own merits.

It is one thing to assure equal opportunity to all people, but when you exclude a group of people - based entirely on their race - isn't that still discriminatory whether they are black or white?

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26 April 2009

Sunday Secret

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You think I fall asleep on the sofa accidentally - that I don't make it to bed because I'm too lazy to walk upstairs in the middle of the night - or at least that's what you say.

Somehow, I think maybe you're just grateful to have the bed to yourself but don't want me to know that my actions actually make you happy. That is the real reason I stay downstairs.

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24 April 2009

Friday Wrap-Up

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Has anyone noticed that - just as he said he would - Obama is pulling troops out of Iraq?

Have you also noticed that he's putting them in Afghanistan? Funny how a campaign promise can look different through a bit of selective omission, or slanted news coverage, isn't it?

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For those of you not Twittering, I thought I'd post the latest from the wonderful world of the workplace (also known as W^3). Seems the president of my company was walking out to his car on Monday and found 4 wrappers from bite-sized snickers bars left in a pile on the top of one of the display cases in the lobby. Clearly, these were left maliciously and we employees are all pigs, so Tuesday he sent out the lovely memo displayed above (click to big).

Over-react much?

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I like awards, especially ones that make me feel good. And this one? It made me feel good because of who it came from and what she said.

Evening is an amazing woman. Seriously. I first met her through HNT, but now I actually read her blog *giggle* She is who she is and makes no apologies, nor should she. She is beautiful, intelligent and someone I look up to for her take charge attitude.

There are rules with this award, as there always are, but I'm going to actually abide by the rules this time *gasp* The rules are:

List 5 sexy things about yourself and pass it on to 4 other people.

I'm having second thoughts on those rules ... can I skip the first part and just do the last part? No? OK, this is probably a good exercise for me if nothing else. Y'all have no idea how difficult this is ...

I am sexy because ...

  • I am comfortable and self-assured in most any situation, or at least able to fake my way through it so that no one knows I'm not.
  • In conversation, I don't have to speak loud, interrupt or sling mud to be heard, and I willingly and articulately speak my mind.
  • I am genuinely interested in new information - always open to knowledge, even if there is little chance that I'll never use it.
  • I am able to stand on my own, but respect the potentially fragile egos of the men (and women) in my life.
  • I have expressive eyes.

Whew! That was the hard part! Now comes the less hard part. I don't usually hand out these awards because I'm always concerned that someone will feel left out. I know the feeling of being the last one on the blog awards list - to feel like you are only being mentioned because everyone else in your blog reading circle has already been given the award. Been there - done that - got the last of the blog awards to prove it!

So please, no one be offended if I don't mention you, M-Kay? It's not personal, I just can't list the 92 blogs on my reader!

And those of you getting an award? If this isn't your thing - if you'd rather not do anything with it - don't! I promise not to take that personally. Got it? Good!

In no particular order, I give the sexy blogger award to ...

Jay (aka Cynical Bastard). I'm sorry - does anything say sexy more than a viking helmet? Need I say more? Well, just a bit. Jay has this way of making EVERYONE feel special, and that is sexy ... or stalking ... one or the other ...

13 messages. Part of the HNT crowd that has become a regular read for me. 13 messages does some amazing HNT's - not the "Here is my cock penis, look!" kind of HNT's (sorry guys - most of you do that) but artistic, truly sensual HNT's ... and he can write too! That's sexy.

Real Live Lesbian. A true southern girl (what is it about you southern girls that is so damn sexy?). Beautiful, articulate and a heart that is so big everyone gets a bit of it and there are still leftovers. Yes, most definitely sexy.

Biscuit. Another of the HNT crowd and also one who physically defines sexy, but she is so much more than that (which is saying a lot). She's honest, passionate about those things close to her heart, and intelligent. Truly a complete, sexy package!

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Found the following comment on my Saturday 9 post:

I saw the clip of Jay Leno doing his Susan Boyle impersonation this weekend and I have to say it really did remind me of you and I could see the resemblence. (spelling left as is for effect!)


Now, being that I confessed on Saturday that I was extremely self-conscious of my chin, you might think that comment was mean and insensitive, and I'm guessing that is how it was intended, but you know what? It had quite the opposite effect.

My response:

This was - by far - one of the most creative comments you've ever made! It actually made me laugh out loud!

Thank you! Seriously - this made me realize just how silly it was to hold on to that remark made oh-so-long ago!

Don't you just hate it when you are trying to cut someone down - make them feel terrible about their confessed insecurities - and they aren't even insulted?

*EDIT* Found a pic of my look-alike. Hmmm ... I can see now how someone could mistake us for one another *gigglesnort*

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22 April 2009

HNT - Sunrise

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I am a morning person. I make no apologies for that. Mornings are my time to reflect, to enjoy the the peace before the rush, to calm any noisy thoughts left swirling in my head from the day before. In my world, the most perfect part of the day is morning - watching the day unfold as the sun rises - knowing that I've been given a ready canvas on which to paint my masterpiece.

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At sunrise everything is luminous but not clear. It is those we live with and love and should know who elude us. You can love completely without complete understanding.
~ Norman Maclean

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*click* to see the view looking in the window - Stolen form inspired by Biscuit


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The "F" Word

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Feminism. It came up, although indirectly, in the comments to my post on Monday. I do believe that women strive to "act like men" at times, and especially in the workplace. Now, before all of you men get your boxers in a bunch, I realize just how sexist that comment is to both genders, but I'm not eloquent enough this morning to put the concept into less sexist words.

My dear friend Librarian Lee (who I've *known* for over 10 years now) said it best:

I think I sort of fell off the feminist bandwagon when I got the impression that all that won freedom was so that we could be more like men. That camp, to me, is buying into the notion that men ARE better, men are the rule and women the exception. And, I absolutely disagree. I had hoped that the goal was to say, something like, we are women, we birth and nurture babies and we cry and we make homes, yet we are valued, and so are our tears, and we are strong and capable and 50%, not the exception. We've accepted that the workplace should be "male" and I have to wonder what it would look like if it were male and female.


Feminism first got its big push when Title IX was passed in 1972. For those of you too young to remember who might not be familiar with the wording in Title IX, it reads:

No person in the United States shall, on the basis of sex, be excluded from participation in, or denied the benefits of, or be subjected to discrimination under any educational program or activity receiving federal financial assistance.

In a nutshell, Title IX gave girls "equal" opportunity in many areas, but specifically in education and school sanctioned sports. It was needed as this country was still a bit resistant to the idea that women deserved the same opportunities as men.

The problem? Somewhere along the line, womens' equality morphed into "women must act like men." I don't blame men for this. In fact, I really don't blame anyone for this. I think it likely happened because women looked at the behaviors of successful men, and emulated those behaviors as they strived for their own success. What we ended up with was a feminist movement that moved women to act like men.

Men and women are different. We are physically different (don't get all d'uh on me here - you know what I mean). We are emotionally different. Women are not better, nor worse than men, but we are different. "Acting like men" minimizes our importance and contribution as women.

Gender equality isn't about sameness, it's about equal opportunities, and more importantly, equal value in society - for both women and men.

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21 April 2009

TMI Tuesday #183

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TMI Tuesday

1. Marriage and children aside, what has been your greatest accomplishment in life?

Hmmmm ... making it to my 44th birthday? Getting my Expert Field Medical Badge while stationed in Korea? Finally completing my Bachelor's Degree at 42? Mastering walking and chewing gum at the same time? Wait ... scratch that one ... still working on it!

I'm not special - I am well aware of that - we all set goals and strive towards those goals. When I start measuring my accomplishments against those whose accomplishments I admire, I fall way short, but these were all significant in my life.

2. Aside from healthy and happy children, what is your greatest ambition for the future?

Mastering walking and chewing gum at the same time! OK ... my ambitions really are a bit higher than that.

This sounds really corny, but I want to make a difference in the lives of the "invisible" people - homeless, children in foster care, possibly even prison inmates, using that degree I mentioned in question #1. I'm currently working towards that goal and am actually hoping it turns into a full-time position.

3. If we were to enter your real name in a search engine, what would we find?

Well, I hadn't done that for a while and now am a bit paranoid. In the past, I've noticed a few lurkers from my home town and wasn't too concerned (it's a BIG home town) - until I Googled my maiden name and discovered my blog listed on a high school alumni website. Oops! So, those of you who KNOW me, found me there and never leave comments, fess up!

The other stuff was stuff I knew about - my Facebook page - some articles I wrote for a single moms website - things you'd expect to find.

4. Who is the most famous person you ever met (not just in the same room as, but actually spoke with)?

I'm not much in to famous people. I don't follow celebrities or sports figures. In fact, I have a rather odd view of famous people - that they are no more special than any of us - that their gifts just put them in the public eye more.

Likely due to that attitude, I don't usually find myself in places where I have the opportunity to meet famous people. I thought and thought on this one and the only one I could come up with was back when I was 5 years old. Most of you won't even know who this is, but a few of you might. I met J.P. Patches and Gertrude. In fact, I was actually on their show!

I have no doubt this is the single cause of my life-long inability to be in the same room as a clown!

5. Parents aside, who is your biggest hero?

Mr. Elsworth - my 6th grade teacher. That year of my life was one of my most difficult as a child. Mr. Elsworth praised me, recognized my strengths and was the first positive male role model I ever had in my life.

As a side note, just a few years ago I sent him an email. He was still at the same elementary school and was in his last year of teaching before retirement. He claimed to remember me (not so sure that was true), but that wasn't my reason for writing to him - my reason for writing to him was to let him know what a significant difference he made in my life.

6. Someone once worked out the sexual version of Six Degrees of Separation - Celebrity A slept with B, who slept with C, who slept with D, making as sort of connection between A and D. Are you connected to anyone famous through six or fewer bonks?

I would say, based entirely on statistical probability, that is extremely likely. And that's all I'm saying about that!

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20 April 2009

There's No Crying In Baseball

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On occasion I find an odd phenomena in the blogsphere - random blogs that I read have a common theme. Recently, there was a crying theme. Another Suburban Mom talked about the manipulative crying of a co-worker and Karen talked about her random tear generator being in overtime mode. It was fascinating reading the two different perspectives and the comments that followed.

ASM's rant was one of what she perceives to be the manipulative behavior of women who cry at work. She said:

I think when women cry at work that it honestly sets us all back as a group. It perpetuates the myth that women are not good in management because we are 'emotional' and can't handle the stress.


I took issue with this statement because I feel the idea that women must act more like men (my interpretation of her statement) to be effective in management is a setback to women as a group. We aren't men. We aren't wired the same as men. We aren't supposed to be like men. I would argue that when we act like men - or buy into the idea that if we were more like men our value in the workplace would increase - we actually do more harm to women as a group than if we just cried once in a while.

Karen's post was from the perspective of unwanted tears - or tears that flowed due to what might be perceived as relatively minor issues. Now, Karen has been going through some significant medical issues and has felt the need to "act tough" (again, my words, not hers) and I think one of her commenters hit the nail on the head. Aunt Becky wrote:

I find that after I've repressed some emotion for a time, it comes burbling out my eyeballs. And while it embarrasses me, I need to be okay with it.


Boy, do I identify with this, and it usually happens when I've been forced to try to "act like a man."

Look, women (said generally) are emotional creatures. It's how we are wired. It is - in my opinion - the balance, the compliment, to men. When we get stuck in this thought that being more like men is of greater value to the workplace (something I believe is generated more by women than men), or to society generally, we just perpetuate the problematic thinking.

The problem isn't that women are sometimes more emotional than men, the issue is that other women society sees that as a weakness rather than a strength.

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19 April 2009

Sunday Secret

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I never used the "green" shopping bags sold by my discount grocery store because I was afraid they would try to charge me for them more than once, or worse yet, accuse me stealing them when I brought them to the checkout counter. Finally, I went to a "high end" grocery store and just bought their "green" shopping bags to use at the discount store to avoid confusion.

Now I don't use my "green" shopping bags because I feel like a snob when I bring them into my discount grocery store.

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18 April 2009

Saturday 9 - Almost Famous

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1. Have you ever been told that you look like someone famous?

Hmmm ... I've been told I have a chin like Jay Leno, does that count?

Actually, because of a rather insensitive remark made by my orthodontist 33 years ago ("You know, you might want to talk to your parents about plastic surgery - a plastic surgeon could shave off some of your chin and you'd look far less masculine"), the few times I've been told I have a chin like Jay Leno I've probably taken it far worse than it was meant. In my slightly unbalanced world, "You have a chin like Jay Leno," is NOT a compliment.

What I do get a lot is, "Do I know you? You look really familiar." I get it here in town (not that unusual in a town of 3500), but I get it a lot of other places too. In fact, I was asked that question on three separate occasions when Cam and I made the trek west last summer.

2. Name a celebrity that shares your birthday.

There were quite a few, so I decided to go with a list of those from the first 2/3's of the 20th century. Besides, with the exception of Vin Diesel (1967), Ben Sheets (1978) and Torii Hunter (1975) I had never heard of any of those younger than me!

1961 Elizabeth McGovern (actress)
1954 Ricky Skaggs (instrumentalist)
1947 Malcolm "Steve" Forbes Jr., (publisher, presidential candidate)
1941 Martha Reeves (singer)
1940 James Brolin (actor)
1939 Hunter Thompson (Journalist, writer, editor)
1921 John Glenn Jr (astronaut)
1927 Kurt Masur, conductor
1918 Nelson Mandela (south african president)
1913 Red (Richard) Skelton (comedian, recording artist)
1906 Clifford Odetts (playwright)

3. Tell us about your first kiss.

This has come up a couple of times in previous posts. I was 15 before I got my first kiss (I was not at all considered "kissable" most of my growing up years). Kisser #1 was Scott, the trombone player. He lived far away so I was pretty "safe" - no one that he saw every day would ever know that he kissed me!

4. When you meet someone attractive, what do you notice first?

Maybe it's age that does this, but attractive to me has far more to do with who a person is than what they look like. Sure, I'll look at a man or woman and think, "Wow! They are really attractive" but that doesn't mean that I am attracted to them.

Since I am more likely to be attracted to intelligence, sincerity, humor, etc., I would say the first thing I notice when I meet someone who is attractive is how they make me feel. Are they warm and welcoming? Standoffish? Do they seem honest and trustworthy? Wait ... I'm really not looking for a Boy Scout!

5. What was your biggest mistake ever?

This question is impossible to answer. There have been so many mistakes that choosing one would be like having to order plain vanilla ice cream in a small cup at Cold Stone!

6. Give us one random, but candid fact about you.

I seriously considered filing our taxes with a "Married, filing separately" status this year, knowing that I would get a significant refund and husband would have to pay. He'd have never known the difference and my refund would have paid for my trip out to Washington this summer.

7. What about your current or most recent lover excites you?

Can we just skip this one? I'll just say that my current/most recent lover no longer cares if he excites me and I really miss being excited!

8. What really annoys you?

Today? This week? Or just generally? This week I would say it is peoples' (said generally) inability to to read a "controversial" blog post and answer it with a logical, relevant and well thought out comment. I have seen so much random, poorly written, snarky comments this week it isn't even funny. Of course none of that occurred on my blog ... well, with one exception ...

9. How many other Saturday 9’ers answers do you usually read?

I don't usually participate in the Saturday 9. In fact, this might be a virgin experience for me! Yep! It certainly is! Saturday 9 has been in my Reader FOREVER but I need to be inspired to do the meme thing. I don't even know how many people usually participate, but if it's under ... say 30? I'll try to get to every one!

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17 April 2009

Friday Wrap-Up

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Ahhhh ... it's Friday! It's been somewhat of a hectic week, but a productive one! Taxes are done and paid (ouch!), Cam finished up his 3rd quarter of the year (and it looks like we'll see a HUGE improvement in his report card) and the trees are beginning to bud! In fact, I actually saw some Scotch Broom in bloom yesterday. Spring might finally be here.

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I've been getting a handful of requests from businesses/organizations asking if I'll publicize their products/activities. Normally I decline - I don't want to feel an obligation to any outside source for my blog content - but I received one this week that I thought was worth passing on. I did do some research to insure this organization was legitimate, and was quite touched by many of the stories I read.

The Fresh Air Fund matches up boys and girls, 6 to 18 years old, who live in New York City with host families throughout the northeast United States. The majority of Fresh Air children are from low-income communities - often families without the resources to send their children on summer vacations. It's a great opportunity for kids to just be kids and for host families to make a difference.

If you are interested in learning more about the Fresh Air Fund, clicking on their graphic will take you to their news release.




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There was a lot of political talk on many of the blogs I read this week. The tea parties seemed to be something that irritated the left leaning folks. It was interesting that most of the posts I read on this, no matter what their political leaning, stayed away from the name calling (thank you Jay and Hammer), but their commentors? Not so much. I saw this phenomena more on the left leaning blogs, but I have no doubt it occurred on both sides.

Look people, it is wonderful that we disagree. Really! But can you disagree without the name calling? Sure, there are some far right conservatives with their heads up their collective asses, but there are just as many far left liberals in the same predicament. Insisting that the only type of person who could possibly disagree with Obama is one who is racist - who is upset that a BLACK Democrat in office - does nothing more than make you look like someone who cannot form a logical argument.

There are many of us out here who disagree with the POLICIES, not the man. It isn't about who is making the decisions, but rather about the decisions they are making. It's not that we don't want to pay taxes, it's that we don't agree with how our taxes are being spent (and this is not new to the Obama administration). Let's have a discussion - not a name calling fest.

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Read [THIS] article in the Washington Post the other day. Just to give you a little inkling as to the content, the article is titled, "When You're Flush, But Acting Flat Broke." Seems the media now wants to blame those of us who still have jobs, but are more aware of our discretionary spending for the continuing economic woes. This paragraph sums it up:

The frugality of the Kimberlins and Scanlons and millions of other Americans who still have their good jobs feed back on the economy, holding down growth and encouraging other worried workers to trim their spending -- causing the whole vicious cycle to run another lap.


Ummm ... hello? Had EVERYONE been doing this from the start, rather than over-extending themselves with credit cards and outlandish mortgages, we likely wouldn't be where we are now!

Will someone please stop blaming those who are doing what they should have been doing all along for causing the problems? It wasn't - and isn't - us. If acting financially responsible is hurting the economy, then let the damn thing fail!

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15 April 2009

HNT - Tax Time

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It's tax time here in the U.S., and a trying time it is. Unlike many people, I attempt to keep our money in our pocket all year rather than allowing the Federal government to hold it for me, earning interest on it that we will never see (Why do you people do that?).

Anyway ... sometimes this means I spend hours making up maximizing my deductions in order to come within the budget window for each year. This year, we ended up in red, owing the government a little bit more than the exorbitant fair and reasonable taxes we already paid, but still within my budgeting guidelines. Whew!

To make the process a little more fun, I did it nekkid this year figuring it was easier to just give the government the clothes off my back, since they were already taking everything else!

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Of course the truth is that the congresspersons are too busy raising campaign money to read the laws they pass. The laws are written by staff tax nerds who can put pretty much any wording they want in there. I bet that if you actually read the entire vastness of the U.S. Tax Code, you'd find at least one sex scene ("'Yes, yes, YES!' moaned Vanessa as Lance, his taut body moist with moisture, again and again depreciated her adjusted gross rate of annualized fiscal debenture").
~Dave Barry


And when it was all done, there was a shredding party *click*

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It Needs Amending

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The Fourteenth Amendment. I like to call it a good deed gone terribly wrong. This was one of the amendments enacted after the Civil War and was originally intended to provide more rights to African Americans. Unfortunately, over time, its interpretation has granted a number of rights to people living in the United States - including automatic U.S. citizenship to children born to illegal immigrants.

The Associated press recently published an article titled, "Illegal immigrants having more kids in U.S. - They're nearly twice as likely to live in poverty, study says." You can read the entire article [HERE].

The study, released Tuesday by the Pew Hispanic Center, speaks to the struggles of Illegal immigrants' children born in the U.S. The 14th Amendment gives those children U.S. citizenship, yet - as the study concluded - "they struggle in poverty and uncertainty along with parents who fear deportation, toil largely in low-wage jobs and face layoffs in an ailing economy."

Call me a cold-hearted bitch silly, but since when did being a U.S. citizen guarantee anyone an income above the poverty level? And shouldn't their parents fear deportation? They are here ILLEGALLY!

Just a few of the study's findings:

  • About 59 percent of illegal immigrants, or 7 million, came from Mexico. Other regions included Asia (11 percent), Central America (11 percent), South America (7 percent), the Caribbean (4 percent) and the Middle East (2 percent).
  • Gee. No surprise there. Those with the easiest path here make up the majority of the problem.
  • One-third of the children of illegal immigrants live in poverty, nearly double the rate for children of U.S.-born parents.
  • Maybe if their parents came here legally they could secured higher paying jobs?
  • Illegal immigrants' share of low-wage jobs has grown in recent years, from 10 percent of construction jobs in 2003 to 17 percent in 2008. They also make up 25 percent of workers in farming and 19 percent in building maintenance.
  • Until we hold employers accountable - hitting them with hefty fines - and get past the entitlement issues of our own population, these numbers will likely continue to rise
  • The 2007 median household income of illegal immigrants was $36,000, compared with $50,000 for U.S.-born residents.
  • $36,000 per year FAR exceeds the poverty levels in Mexico where almost 40% of the population makes less that $2,000 (no, that is not a typo) per year. I'm having a difficult time finding any sympathy here ...
  • About 47 percent of illegal immigrant households have children, compared with 21 percent for U.S.-born residents and 35 percent for legal immigrants.
  • Of course there may be many factors contributing to this statistic, but one has to wonder if coming to the U.S. - illegally - to have children who then automatically become citizens isn't rewarding bad behavior. Hello?

President Obama claims he'll address the issue of immigration reform later this year, including a proposal to give illegal immigrants a path to citizenship. I'm not a fan of amnesty programs (we've seen the result of those in the past), but I am well aware that a deportation program just won't happen.

Does it bother me that immigration reform will likely reward those who are here illegally? Bother would be an understatement. What I don't understand is how a path to legal citizenship addresses what I see as two glaring deficiencies in our immigration policy - unsecured borders and a system that rewards the children of those entering the country illegally.

What do you think? Is it time for another Constitutional amendment?

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14 April 2009

Half-Posts

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Do you ever get a bunch of half-posts going through your head? You know, you've bookmarked this website, saved this article, for when you are inspired to write about them? I've got so many of those cluttering my brain they are taking up all of my thinking space. It's times like these when bullets are for more than killing Somali Pirates ...

  • Should I care what kind of dog the Obama's are getting? That they said they'd get one from a shelter but instead took the pure bread the Kennedey's were offering? Apparently I should because people are up in arms about the first family acquisition of Bo. Seems this was the promise they are going to hold the President accountable for. Glad someone is looking out for the best interests of the country!
  • Since we are on the subject of animals, should I be outraged that someone hung a goat head from a rope on the statue of Harry Caray outside Wrigley Field? Cubs fans are a superstitious bunch - there is this legend of the Billy Goat Curse - cast upon the Cubs by a tavern owner who bought a box seat for his goat as a promotional gimmick and was ordered to remove the goat from the stadium. Seems Cubs fans want to do everything they can to end the curse - good thing we have butchers who use the rest of the meat!
  • If you are more interested in the economy than you are about baseball, what is wrong with you?? Wait ... that wasn't my point ... my point is that I found this handy-dandy guide to the bailout acronym soup. Have you been wondering what TARP, PPIP and MMIFF are? Well, I had and considered writing a post on those. Yes, I am weird intellectual like that.
  • I considered a blog post about blog posts. MSNBC recently did an article titled, Dear Bloggy: Digital diaries tell all. Sure, it was an interesting article, but it wasn't anything to (digitally) write home about. Ho-hummmm ....
  • I even had a moment of insanity where I considered vlogging the TMI Tuesday questions. They were all about dance. Fortunately, I had a flashback to the interpretive dance portion of my 8th grade PE class (anyone remember Come Sail Away by Styx?) and realized I'd be the laughing stock of the blogsphere ... again!

See? Those are the things that keep me awake at night. Sure, I could be using my time more effectively, but what fun would that be?

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13 April 2009

Pirating for Dummies

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  • Never - ever - hijack an American flagged ship. Americans are a hearty and resourceful bunch. Just when you think you've been successful in taking over the ship, you'll discover a handful of crew members who don't play by the rules and take their ship back.
  • Although the FBI and the US Navy may call it negotiating, it's really just an opportunity to wear you down while they contemplate just when it is they'll kill you.
  • SEAL snipers do not miss. It doesn't matter if they are firing from a ship bobbing in the ocean, or if they need to shoot three people simultaneously. THEY.DO.NOT.MISS.

By now you are aware that Somali Pirates boarded a U.S. flagged cargo ship (ironically taking relief supplies to ... AFRICA) and five days later, had a 75% attrition rate. The only surviving pirate was the one who decided a visit to the USS Bainbridge in person.

There were 111 pirate hijackings in 2008, 66 of them so far in 2009. It's estimated that pirates amassed $80 million in ransom payments last year - certainly lucrative business for a country in political turmoil.

Unfortunately, the only real solution to piracy problem is achieving peace and stable central government in Somalia - something that has eluded the Horn of Africa nation since 1991, when warlords toppled a military dictator.

There have been 15 attempts to restore central government in Somalia since then, the latest being the administration of President Sheikh Sharif Ahmed, formed in a U.N.-brokered peace process earlier this year, but that government is quickly falling prey to Islamist militants.

What do we do? Does the US get involved, or do we leave it in the hands of the ever useless capable U.N.? Do we arm the cargo ship crews? Or do we give U.S. flagged vessels traveling in that area military protection?

It's a little more difficult to ignore the problem when the reality of it hits so close to home, isn't it?

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12 April 2009

He is Risen - Rise!

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Let every man and woman count himself immortal.
Let him catch the revelation of Jesus in his resurrection.
Let him say not merely, "Christ is risen," but "I shall rise."
~Phillips Brooks

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Reduce, Reuse, Recycle and ReStore

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I know most people are familiar with Habitat for Humanity, but how many of you are familiar with the Habitat for Humanity ReStores?

I had driven by the ReStore in our area several times. I assumed it was some type of warehouse for Habitat for Humanity projects and really thought nothing of it. Yesterday, I learned a little more.

I became aware of Habitat for Humanity when it became "newsworthy" as a passion for Jimmy Carter in 1984. I knew that the organization built homes for families in need and that the owner/partners had to put in some sweat equity. And that is about all I knew.

Today I learned that Habitat for Humanity was actually started 1976 by Millard and Linda Fuller and that the concept that grew into Habitat for Humanity International was born at Koinonia Farm (a small, interracial, Christian farming community founded in 1942 outside of Americus, Ga., by farmer and biblical scholar Clarence Jordan). At Koinonia, Jordan and Fuller developed the concept of "partnership housing," where those in need of adequate shelter would work side by side with volunteers to build simple, decent houses.

Habitat houses are built with no profit added and no interest charged. Building is financed by a revolving Fund for Humanity. The fund's money comes from the new homeowners' house payments, donations and no-interest loans provided by supporters and money earned by fund-raising activities. The monies in the Fund for Humanity are used to build more houses.

So why all of this information on Habitat for Humanity? Well, when Cam and I showed up at church to volunteer for the food bank project, we learned that it wasn't an option this week. There are usually about 200 people that show up to serve, so there are always 7-10 different opportunities, however many of the family friendly options are environments that require interaction with elderly or mentally handicapped - not something Cam is willing to do at this point - but there was one that involved work in our local Habitat ReStore. Cam and I decided that was a good fit.

In addition to sorting and stocking several hundred drawer/cabinet knobs and pulls and moving/loading larger items people had purchased (the projects Cam and I worked on), I also discovered a wonderful community resource.

From the ReStore website:
ReStore is a building materials reuse center benefiting Habitat for Humanity. ReStore accepts donated new and gently used goods from retailers, manufacturers, distributors, contractors and homeowners. Building supplies are then sold, at greatly reduced prices, to the general public. The store's operation generates funds to support Habitat’s house building program, while reducing the amount of material that would otherwise go to overflowing landfills.

At ReStore, we’re keeping stuff out of landfills, raising money to build homes, and making low-cost materials available to those who otherwise may not be able to afford them.
Unfortunately, many of us live in homes that don't realize there is an economic downturn right now - repairs are a very real part of home ownership. The Habitat ReStores offer new and reusable building supplies at about 60% of retail. Not only are you able to save money, but the money you spend goes directly to the continued works of Habitat for Humanity and keeps reusable supplies out of the landfills.

Clicking [HERE] will take you to a listing of Habitat ReStores. Click on your state to see if this is a resource available in your community!

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11 April 2009

Have you had "The Talk"?

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Recently, Harris Interactive conducted a Sex Talk Survey on behalf of Seventeen and O (not that O, The Oprah Magazine). This was an online survey and included 1,122 girls ages 15 to 22 and 1,098 mothers who have daughters ages 15-22. Not a large sample group, and not a good sample group for accurate statistical data (i.e. no estimates of theoretical sampling error can be calculated because there was no scientific methodology used) but the results were interesting.

For example ...

  • Fifty-six percent of the girls who are no longer virgins said they’ve had sex without any form of birth control and two-thirds of them (66 percent) kept it a secret from their mothers.
  • Nearly one-third (30 percent) of the 15-18 year olds in the survey said they had oral sex; about double the number mothers of girls in that age group know about—or even suspected (14 percent).
  • Three-quarters of teen girls who have lost their virginity say they’ve engaged in sex without a condom.
  • One-third of sexually active students reported engaging in vaginal or anal sex without a condom within the past three months, and one-fourth had four or more partners.

Maybe these results don't surprise you - this is an "older" age group. I'm not surprised 22 year olds are having sex, but I am a little disturbed at the extremely high number of girls having unprotected sex. Interestingly enough, do you know which group of people are seeing the greatest increase in the number of AIDS cases? Yes ... heterosexual women.

The other side of this study addressed girls who had "The Talk" with their mothers - three in five of respondents saying it “influenced” their sexual choices positively.

For example, of the teens who had talked to their mothers prior to having sex ...

  • Sixty percent said it influenced them.
  • About one-quarter (26 percent) of girls said having “The Talk” with their mothers has made them practice (or plan to practice) safe sex. The same number said it made them wait (or plan to wait) longer to have it.
  • Eighteen percent of girls said talking to their mothers made them use (or plan to use) hormonal birth control.

Are we, as parents, not talking to our girls (and boys) about sex? These results, although not scientific in nature, would indicate that we aren't, but that maybe we should be.

Remember that Birds, Bees and Purity post I did? Cam and I have had several open discussions about sex since then. Not only have we talked about the reasons it is best to wait to have sex, but we've talked about what to do if he doesn't wait. We've talked about masturbation (a topic I think we tend to see as taboo in this society - especially for our girls). We've talked about the importance of condoms - ALWAYS!

Are these difficult discussions to have with our kids? Absolutely, but the days of herpes being our greatest concern are long gone. I believe kids need to have accurate and honest information to make the best decision they are capable of making. No one wants their 15 year old daughter to come home and announce she is pregnant, nor have their 15 year old son come home and announce that he is going to be a father. And those are not, by any means, the most dreadful outcomes.

Talk to your kids about sex - before they make uninformed decisions on their own. Trust me, if you don't talk to them, their peers will, and that, if nothing else, should scare you into action.

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10 April 2009

Friday Wrap-Up

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A quick answer to Maeve's HNT Comment yesterday. She wrote:

I've never notice that birthmark(is it? I thought it was a tattoo on the first pic) before on you!

Well, it is a tattoo ... a very old tattoo (20 years old in fact) that has a great deal of sentimental value. I know I've mentioned this before, but my husband – the one who committed suicide - used to bring me "Thursday gifts." Sometimes they were little things, sometimes they were handmade things, and one time it was a trip to the tattoo parlor. The simple rose is very elementary body art by today's standards, and although the definition and color have faded, the memories haven't, and I just can't bring myself to have anything changed on it.

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Speaking of HNT, I see that some of you have been snooping around found my HNT only blog. For now, it is serving as the archive for all previous HNT's (that was a *hint* in case you need help finding it), but I may eventually post HNT's exclusively on that blog. We'll see. One of the things I've always liked about this blog is that it doesn't fit any of those neat little boxes people like to use. It isn't a mommy blog - it isn't a sex blog - it isn't a news blog - it isn't a humor blog. No ... it's kind of a momsexnewsmor blog! I'd hate to give that up!

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Cam and I will be playing with frozen meat again on Saturday. It's that time of the month when we head to the food bank distribution center, sort and re-box tons of frozen meat - literally. Our group of 30 volunteers processed 2.5 tons of frozen meat in three hours last month. I’ve also decided that I will continue volunteering on the same projects as Cam as it has become quite clear that he really does think it's kind of cool (in his "I only want people to know you’re my mom if I tell them you are" way) that I spend the time with him.

It will be Easter church service on Saturday night, then ... I don't know ... maybe White Castle for Easter dinner? With no family to celebrate the holidays with, I do my best to make the day special - and nothing says special Easter dinner quite like sliders!

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Unless you live in Tampa or Chicago, you probably aren't aware that Walgreens pulled the special-edition Chia Obama from its shelves saying, "it's not our image."

Chia Pet creator Joseph Pedott (76) told FOX news, "I'm sick about it," disputing any suggestion that Chia Obama's Chia hair was mocking the Afro hairstyle.

"Obama had an Afro - does that make him racist?" Pedott said. "So how the hell do you get racist out of it? And number one, you can give him a haircut."

OK ... so no one really thought the Chia Pet creator was going to be well-spoken, did they?

Odd coincidence, Cam and I were just in a Walgreens about a week ago and saw the Chia Obama and I thought to myself, "Someone is going to make a big stink over that." Cam wanted to buy one, but the thought of spending $19.99 on a grass growing bust of a president I didn't vote for just didn't sit well with me. Ahhh ... ssuuush! I bought him the Obama baseball cap that he wanted and I even let him wear it when he's riding in the car with me!

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08 April 2009

HNT - Vision

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Sooooo ... does it make me a bad person if I tell you the only technical difficulties I had yesterday were with my ability to come up with something to blog about? I know ... I know ... it's difficult to believe that she who has so many words and never actually says anything I ran out of words, but it's true, and I just couldn't bring myself to post another meme. Yes, I heard the collective sigh of relief!

Are you now silently giving thanks that it happened on a Wednesday and not a Thursday? *wink*


“Vision / It reaches beyond the thing that is, into the conception of what can be.
Imagination gives you the picture.
Vision gives you the impulse to make the picture your own.”

~ Robert Collier



You know what to do *click*

HNTbutton

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Technical Difficulties

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See you all tomorrow ... or will you be seeing me?



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07 April 2009

Genesis and Revelations

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Many of you may have noticed I've been talking more about church and God these days. Yes, it's been subtle, but it's been there. I've not done a post on this part of my life as I continue to come to terms with my own sin, daily hypocrisy, and scientific reasoning that I have difficulty getting past, but I've decided there is no time like Miller time the present. Well, that and the fact that it's been a hot topic over at Bagwine these past few weeks and I want my own piece of the Jeebus action!

Let's get the dirty laundry out of the way first, shall we? I am a sinner. In fact, I am a sinner AND a hypocrite. I am not standing on a moral high horse here because my moral high horse galloped from the stable long ago. In fact, I'm pretty sure my right foot is firmly planted in a gigantic pile of horse shit left behind by my moral high horse. That doesn't mean that I cannot call myself a Christ follower, although I'm sure there are a few of you who will disagree.

Are we clear? Dana ==> SINNER! Now that we've gotten that out of the way ...

Interesting enough, as I travel this new path - or maybe rediscover the path is a better description - it appears much of America is becoming less Christian. A study conducted by Trinity College in Hartford, Connecticut (American Religious Identification Survey 2008) found that, generally, Americans are less likely to identify themselves as Christian. The study found that 75 percent of Americans call themselves Christian (down from 86 percent in 1990) and 15 percent of people express no religious affiliation at all (up from 8 percent in 1990).

Although that picture might look bleak to Pope Benedict XVI, the survey also found that "born-again" or "evangelical" Christianity is on the rise (also known as non-denominational, often associated with mega-churches). While the percentage who belong to "mainline" congregations such as the Episcopal or Lutheran churches has decreased, the number of people associated with mega-churches has skyrocketed from less than 200,000 in 1990 to more than 8 million in the latest survey.

The church Cam and I attend is a "small scale" mega-church with a congregation of about 6000, spread over three area campuses. It is a Bible based, non-denominational Christian church that uses contemporary Christian music (performed by a live rock band), large screen audio-visual presentations (words to songs, Bible passages and video clips are an integral part of each service and are presented in this way), teachings that are relevant to current issues and a Saturday evening service for those who find Sunday morning hangovers difficult to navigate. It is a "doing and learning" church, not a "preaching and judgment" church, and it is like no other church I've ever attended. It's a place that I feel accepted, welcomed and safe - even with my scars, habits, hangups and enough baggage to keep American Airlines on the tarmac for weeks.

With churches like mine becoming more accommodating - more "real life" - why are Christianity and church attendance on the decline? Personally, I think it's because Christians tend to screw up Christianity. How many of us see churches as buildings full of people who say one thing but do another? Who are quick to condemn the actions of others while living similarly screwed up lives behind closed doors? Who brag about their "church membership" with the same egotistical tone as they do their country club membership?

I believe organized religion, which I loosely refer to as "the church," has failed in many ways. I'd start with its long list of do's and don't's that no one can live up to. When we fail to live up to those ridiculously high standards (as we all do) the church skims right over grace and focuses on punishment. Many of us have spent far too many hours in churches that made us feel bad about ourselves and our actions. In fact, for most of us to be recognized as "good" in the eyes of the church, we are often forced to keep secrets and deny our daily lives - to live in hypocrisy because we cannot live in perfection. The church actually encourages a life of lies in order to be deserving of its approval. I cannot imagine that "my" God favors that kind of behavior from a church or from His people.

I have to wonder what would happen if more churches, and congregations, were like mine? If people could share themselves with repentant hearts, admitting and owning faults without fear of rejection? If we could walk along side each other, holding out a helping hand rather than condemning each other and turning a blind eye? If we could just admit that we can't keep all the rules - that no one can keep all the rules - but that grace is there in the absence of perfection? Then ... maybe then ... Christianity would look a lot different than it does today and a few more people would embrace it.

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06 April 2009

April (frozen) Showers

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I don't know about your calendar, but mine says April 6th. I could swear that I even saw a little square on the calendar way back in March that said, "First Day of Spring." This? This was my Monday morning wake-up call.

Schools in the area are on delayed opening schedules (not Cam's - whew!). The White Sox had to cancel opening day festivities (the Cubs - fortunately - are playing in Houston). A snow day in April??

Yes, I realize that I live in the Midwest, but when I left Minnesota and moved "south" I was certain April showers would be liquid, not frozen.

I suppose I shouldn't complain too much - next month we'll be smack dab in the middle of tornado season and I'll posting from my basement while sirens blare ...

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05 April 2009

Sunday Stealing

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I'm all out of secrets! Seriously ... 18 months ... 4 weeks per month ... that's 72 secrets for goodness sakes. No one should have that many damn secrets!

If I can't tell a secret, then I might as well steal, right? It's Sunday after all. At some point in my internet surfing, I found this blog titled Sunday Stealing. I hoped that some day it would come in handy, and today it did! They write:

Here we will steal all types of memes from every corner of the blogosphere. Our promise to you is that we will work hard to find the most interesting and intelligent memes. You may have heard of the expression, “honor amongst thieves”. In that age-old tradition, we also have our rules. First, we always credit the blog that we stole it from and we will “fess up” to the blog owner where we stole the meme. We also provide a link to the victim's post. (It's our way of saying "Thanks!") We do sometimes edit the original meme, usually to make it more relevant to our global players, to challenge our players, sometimes to select that meme's best questions, or simply to make it less repetitive from either this new meme or recently asked questions from a prior featured meme. Let's go!


What the hell! Until I can find something better to do with my Sundays, this will have to do ...

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1. How did you come up with your blog title OR what does it mean?

Ha! Well, having a catchy title was really important to me. In fact, I was far more concerned with thinking up a catchy title than I was with what I was going to write. I've always been a fan of phrases with double meanings and "A mid-life crisis" came to mind. I could change that up a little to "Amid Life's Crises" And so it was born.

I'll always remember how proud I was of my creativity and how that came crashing down when my dear friend Tali said, "You misspelled 'crisis'." The fact that I had to explain I was using the plural form kind of deflated my glorious moment of creative genius!

2. What are your general goals for blogging?

I never really had any, which is quite clear after reading just a few posts. I'd say my "informal" goal is to create respectful discussion by bringing to light some common - and some uncommon - ideas, experiences and opinions to a public forum.

3. Do people “in your real life” know that you blog and do they comment on your blog OR is it largely anonymous?

When I started blogging, there was just one person I "knew" (had met in person) who read my blog. Since that time, I've met - in person - a handful of people who read my blog, but it is still largely an anonymous blog.

4. How often do you post (x per week)? How often do you read other blogs (x per week)?

I try to post 6 days per week. I read other blogs daily. My reader currently has about 75 blogs - many that post daily.

5. How do you select blogs to read (do you prefer blogs that focus on certain topics or do you choose by tone or…?)

I get most of my new blog reads through commentors and from reading other blogs. I really like that new Blogger widget that publishes a list of blogs with their most recent posts? I've found many good reads that way.

I don't really have topic requirements. I read everything from Stuff Christians Like (a wonderful, satirical, Christ following blogger) to The Seduction of Infidelity. The tone - the writing style - those things are far more important to me.

6. Do you have any plans to copy your blog entries in any other format, or do you think that one day, you’ll just delete it all?

I haven't thought much about this. I know that there are services out there that print and bind blogs, but I can't imagine there would be anyone interested in a legacy copy of this blog. Deleting the entire thing seems a bit harsh. Maybe I'd be better off just putting the entire thing in draft mode? Who knows ...

7. What are the things you like best about blogging?

By far, the single thing I like best about blogging is the relationships that develop. I have met some really amazing people that I would have never met had I not been for this silly little writing forum. I learn far more from all of you than I learn about myself through introspection.

8. What are the things you don’t like about blogging?

There are a few. One of them I recently addressed here.

Sometimes I feel an "obligation" to post - and to post worthy content. That is certainly a self-imposed sense of obligation and not something that I think is expected by any of you, but it can be a stressor if I let it.

The other one I find annoying is bloggers that promote their blogs all over the place - that ask me to promote their blog - and then just quit blogging. I'm all for helping out another blogger, but when you ask me to do that, then two months later drop off the face of the earth? You're on my shit list.

9. How do you handle comments?

I answer them, with the exception of HNT's and one particular commentor who is now on DELETE status. I am sometimes amiss in answering comments that happen later in the day - most of my blog time is before dinner time, so often comments left later in the day don't get answered.

10. Do you have any burning thoughts to share on blog etiquette?

I have some pet-peeves about blogs - some things that will keep me from visiting very often. If the blog is VISUALLY difficult to read, I'll stop visiting. For example, blog templates where the background scrolls or colors/patterns that make deciphering words a struggle. Music that plays the moment I open the blog in my browser will keep me away too. I appreciate that you are a music aficionado, but I come to your blog to read, not to listen to your music (unless I'm sitting on the Big Leather Couch)

11. Any desired blog features?

I'd love to have the ability to block trolls, stalkers and spammers blog readers by IP address and or user name. Yes, WordPress allows me to block commentors by those criteria, but I'd like to be able to block access - not just comments. I understand that this can be done if one moves off the Blogger/WordPress platforms, but honestly the whole "having your own domain and finding a host for the blog" (not even sure I'm using the correct terminology) thing is BEYOND me and I think cost prohibitive to have someone do it for me. Maybe if I were blogging for business I'd go that route, but I think it's a bit over the top in my case.

12. Have you suffered blog addiction?

I've suffered internet addiction. I spend a lot of time in the virtual world and I have to work fairly diligently at keeping it in check and balanced with "real life" responsibilities.

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04 April 2009

I'm all a-Twitter

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It was just over a week ago that I was denouncing that social Mecca known as Twitter. I praised those commentors who used words like narcissistic and self-absorbed, and mocked Jay and Karen for their participation in such a silly thing, calling them Twitterphiles and Twutzs. Then, I challenged myself to a week of Twitter – without reserve – without judgment. That, my dear readers, was the beginning of the end.

Sure, I was skeptical. I imagined (because I had nothing but my imagination to rely on) that Twitter was nothing more than self-touting, self-centered bits of nonsense scattered randomly throughout the day. I wondered how two seemingly normal readers (Jay and Karen – I’m not so sure about the rest of you) could possibly get caught up in such foolishness. I mean, I read their blogs and see none of the classic narcissistic traits. What could they possibly see in Twitter?

I logged on and started my quest for enlightenment. I un-followed anyone I didn’t know (I had reciprocated following anyone who followed me – BIG mistake) and typed with baited apprehension. With only a handful of tweets under my belt, I was unfamiliar with twetiquette (and you all know how I am about good manners). I had to ask Jay what RT and # were – he pointed me to a Twitter wiki *gasp* I used the word cleavage and wondered if I’d earn an adult content label. There was definitely a learning curve.

About three days into the twexperiment, I discovered I was having fun! This wasn’t people talking about themselves, but more like some sort of hybrid IM thing. I could talk to people without having to be there real time. I could get motivational quotes, local news updates and crafting ideas in one place. I could let RLL know that Pioneer Woman was having a KitchenAid Mixer giveaway. I could let Karen know that thoughts and prayers were with her when she was on her way to surgery. Yes … in just seven days I was obsessed hooked.

I am beyond shamed. Not only have I discovered that Twitter – like so many other things in life – is all about what you do with what you are given, but I now must admit – publicly - that I was wr … wr … wro … WRONG! OK! There! I said it! I was W-R-O-N-G … WRONG!

Is it possible that there are tons of narcissistic people out there talking about themselves in 140 characters or less? I’d say it’s not only possible, but highly likely. But you know what? I don’t have to follow those people. I am quite happy with the 35 twits tweets that I am following, and I feel just a bit more intimate with every one of them than I did when they were “just” bloggers.

One thing though … don’t let me write a post badmouthing FaceBook, OK? I really don’t feel like eating my words … again!

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