Saturday, September 26, 2009

hello mid-30's

I turn 34 today. For the most part, I’m okay with it. I find myself proud of my age, wearing it like a badge of wisdom. I also find myself saying things like: “of course she feels that way, she’s in her twenties.” That’s not a dig on anyone in their 20’s, rather it’s the discovery that there is a shift when you hit your 30’s. You lose that sense of urgency. That fatalistic feeling that everything is do or die. You’ve most likely experienced love and loss and start to see that you will survive, and even be better after the experience.

I’ve learned that most clich├ęs are true and are around for a reason. Here’s a list of some of what I’ve learned in my 30’s so far:

  • Communication is the most important part of relationships. The Most Important Part.
  • It turns out I do not know everything. In fact, sometimes I feel like I know nothing.
  • Weight is harder to lose as you get older.
  • Forgiveness is imperative to happiness.
  • I will survive.
  • If you don’t handle your shit, your shit handles you.
  • There are no rewards for martyrdom.
  • I’m not the fattest, ugliest, dumbest girl in the world. In fact, I’m pretty damn awesome.
  • Where attention goes, energy flows.
  • Moisturize, moisturize, moisturize.
  • Problems do not take care of themselves.
  • This too shall pass.
  • Sometimes love is not enough.
  • Oxyclean will get a stain out of anything. If Oxyclean doesn't work, use Incredible.
  • It’s not what you have, but who you have.
  • Nothing lasts forever.
  • You cannot change other people, but you can inspire change.
  • Putting grapes in the microwave creates a terrifying plasma explosion.
  • Honesty is always the best policy. If you cannot be honest, say nothing.
  • Anybody is capable of anything. Good or bad.
  • Once a cheater does NOT mean always a cheater.
  • Judge not, lest ye be judged.
  • The only way to be happy is to stay checked in to life. Checking out (ie: drugs & alcohol) only makes things worse and brings resentment from those around you.
  • NOBODY likes a victim.
  • Your life is your own. You are responsible for your own happiness and often times you’ll have to fight tooth and nail for it.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

30DoW - bitch of the day

Okay, I admit it. I’m a bleeding heart liberal. I’m also, personally, a socialist. Let me clarify. I do not necessarily support the idea of a socialist government. But personally, I’m a socialist. Example: I stop at a red light and there is a homeless person asking for money. I don’t think twice before opening my wallet and giving them half the cash I have (which I assure you is never more than $10 bucks). I have taken in a number of people who’ve needed a place to stay, fed a number of hungry people and believe in universal healthcare.

Chris and I have argued about this incessantly since the beginning of our relationship. He feels people take advantage. He feels it is enabling. And I don’t necessarily disagree. But my argument has been that it’s not the point. My personal feeling is that it doesn’t matter what they do. What matters is what I do. And I help whenever I can. I picture myself blessed and lucky and feel the need to pay that forward at every opportunity possible. I’m not much of a volunteer and I don’t tithe in church (I don’t go to church for that matter), so this is my small way of making the world a better place.

But I feel those days may sadly be coming to a close. Over the past few of years I’ve started to notice a trend. Some people whom I’ve helped, the ones that I know, have not been paying it forward. In fact, few have rarely taken advantage of the opportunity, instead, they’ve taken advantage of me (or us, rather). When I extend my hand to help those that I know, it does not come with strings attached (those kind of people irritate me). However, I do expect that it at least be appreciated. If I loan you money for food, I’d hope that you would shop for HEB Meal Deals, as opposed to going out for steak and wine. If I invite you to stay in my home, I’d hope that you’d at least clean up after yourself, not leave spaghetti-stained dishes in the bathroom.

I’m starting to believe that you cannot teach people to respect others. You cannot teach people to appreciate opportunities. You cannot teach people to pay it forward. Some people do it. Others do not. Some people actually bite the hand that feeds them. I think it’s learned in childhood, and if one doesn’t learn it, I’m starting to think they never will.

I remember a conversation I had with my dad’s best friend not too long ago (a “reformed liberal”). “I was once a hippy liberal like you,” he yelled (I had made him angry just prior). “You know what I got out of the deal? Nothing! Absolutely nothing! I watched poorer people move ahead. I watched people hold out their hands. But when I needed a break, I got nothing! So you go ahead and give shit away, but let’s see where that gets you 20 years from now.”

I cannot change who I am. I will always help others and extend a hand when I can. I will continue to give money to those who ask. But politically, I feel I’m moving further and further to the right. I’ll never be “the right”, because those guys are just assholes. But while I used to describe myself as a “bleeding heart liberal”, I now find myself defining myself as a “moderate” or Libertarian. And Lord knows that has made discussions with my husband and family a little more tolerable. But let the record show (my dear husband), I’m not budging an inch on Universal Healthcare. I still remember the $1700 bucks we had to spend on 7 damn stitches, and the newborn baby we had to put on CHIPS, because we couldn’t afford $900/month for insurance. And I won’t be forgetting that any time soon.

Monday, September 14, 2009

30DoW - in loving memory of my Grandma

I have truly been blessed with the best and most interesting of grandparents, so it was hard to choose just one to write about (and I feel a strong desire to revisit this topic at a later date). There’s my paternal grandmother, who was Wiccan and drop-dead gorgeous Dolly Parton-style. There was my paternal grandfather who defined the phrase “larger-than-life”. And there is my maternal grandfather who has become a huge part of my life in the last 5 years, sharing my love of politics, finances and general life philosophies. But this entry is devoted to the woman who played such a huge role in what kind of woman I would later become.

My maternal grandmother was known simply as Grandma. She was my favorite by far, because honestly, I was her favorite. She was born a bastard child from a prostitute mother in Taunton, Massachusetts, so she was never very fond of men. Looking back on her life, I’m positive that she married for security alone, as I doubt she would ever know how to actually love a man (including her son and grandsons). She never finished school; instead she went to work in a factory at the age of 12 or so. Because of that, she was illiterate into adulthood. I believe she taught herself to read at some point, because she was always working on crossword puzzles or word searches.

My first memories of her were when I was about 4 years old. She took a job at the Dairy Queen across the street from my daycare and I was convinced she was the coolest Grandma ever. When I was 5 years old, she took me out of daycare for a week to watch Luke and Laura get married (from General Hospital). I can remember it was a big fricken deal for both of us. After, I remember spending weekends watching the Late, Late Show (this supplied me with an impressive knowledge of “cult classics” such as Cat People, Godzilla and King Kong) while eating chocolate ice cream and then eventually falling asleep on the couch with her. I always slept cuddled up with her, either on the couch or in the king-sized bed her and my step-grandfather shared. I remember her being feisty, opinionated and fiercely competitive. We often played games together, everything from Solitaire to Rumikub. My step-grandfather even built a marble board the size of their dining room table that held 8 players. I remember sitting in my Grandma’s lap while she “killed everyone” at the table and me and her laughing the more pissed everyone else became. Christmastime was the BEST. She would give me a Sears Christmas Catalog and tell me to circle everything I wanted with a red marker. I think I enjoyed the shopping more than actually receiving the presents. But with her, I always received everything I wanted. The Holly Hobby canopy bed with matching gingham curtains and rugs, the prettiest of dresses and every doll my heart desired. I later learned that she was terrible with money. She had a bad habit of bouncing checks (something I also picked up from her in my 20's). But it didn't matter to her. She wanted to give me (and my mom) the world, and it didn't matter the cost or consequences (the cops actually came to her house with a warrant once).

At one point her health started to deteriorate. I remember she had to have a double mastectomy and my shock at seeing her naked after the surgery (they were not concerned about image, only function in the 80’s.) Shortly after, she was diagnosed with Emphysema. My mom went by her house everyday to help care for her and on a number of occasions I remember helping her take a bath. I can still hear her apologizing that I had to bathe her, and seeing her feelings of embarrassment. I assured her that I didn’t mind at all, while hoping to hide how uncomfortable I actually felt at the situation. Her health quickly deteriorated and she became more frail and weak.

I was 16 years old when she died. I wasn’t seeing her as often because I was a teenager and completely wrapped in my own world. It was 1992 and Ross Perot was running for President. My mom was a huge supporter of his and took my Grandma to register to vote for the first time in her life. During her last week in the hospital, she watched the Primaries non-stop. The doctors were amazed that she was still alive as her oxygen intake was next to none. But my Grandma was not ready to go. She held on for a week, eventually losing consciousness. The day she died my mom called me from the hospital. “I don’t know that she is going to make it through the night, you need to get up here,” she said. Again, I was 16 and angry, and had a trip to the beach planned that day. “Fine,” I growled, “I’m on my way.” Mom cried and said, “I’ll tell her you’re coming.” 20 minutes later I received the call that my Grandma had died. I believe her last words were “I’m going to vote for Ross Perot.” I also believe that she did not want me there to see her die.

I’d like to say I was torn up inside, but I wasn’t. I don’t remember feeling much of anything, to tell the truth. It wasn’t until 2 years later on the day of high school graduation that it hit me. My Grandma had never missed an event in my life. She was at every dance recital, school play, awards assembly – you name it. And now it was the biggest moment of my life thus far, and she was not there. And it hit hard. The morning of graduation, my mom bought me a dozen peach roses (my Grandma’s favorite color) and said, “she would have wanted these for you.” I remember sitting in my room alone looking at the roses and finally feeling the huge hole in my heart. The same feeling took hold at my first (and second) wedding and again at the birth of my daughter. Even as I write this, I choke back tears at everything she has missed, when she more than anybody (other than my mom) would have wanted to be there.

But then I realize the impact her life has had on my own. She inspired me to be strong, feisty and opinionated. She pushed me to be better and rise above. She taught me not to be a victim, instead to deal with what life has given you and fight with everything you’ve got. Because of her, I desperately wanted to actually love a man, not just need one. I learned that the little things would matter a lot with Isabella. Random trips to get ice cream, playing board games and staying up really late to watch a scary movie. And most importantly, she never failed to show me how much I meant in this world. I felt loved and adored unconditionally. I was the most beautiful and the smartest and the funniest girl in the world. And without having that kind of love, I’m not sure I would have ever known how to give it.

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

30DoW - Combo post on Motherhood

I haven't had a chance to write lately, so I decided to make a combo post on motherhood for the 30 Days of Write. It's a bit long (to make up for lost time).

* The following "Parenting Job Description" is copied from the internet. I tried to find the original author to no avail. *

POSITION :
Mom, Mommy, Mama, Ma
Dad, Daddy, Dada, Pa

JOB DESCRIPTION :
Long term, team players needed, for challenging permanent work in an, often chaotic environment. Candidates must possess excellent communication and organizational skills and be willing to work variable hours, which will include evenings and weekends and frequent 24 hour shifts on call. Some overnight travel required, including trips to primitive camping sites on rainy weekends and endless sports tournaments in far away cities! Travel expenses not reimbursed. Extensive courier duties also required.

RESPONSIBILITIES :
The rest of your life. Must be willing to be hated, at least temporarily, until someone needs $5. Must be willing to bite tongue repeatedly. Also, must possess the physical stamina of a pack mule and be able to go from zero to 60 mph in three seconds flat in case, this time, the screams from the backyard are not someone just crying wolf. Must be willing to face stimulating technical challenges, such as small gadget repair, mysteriously sluggish toilets and stuck zippers. Must screen phone calls, maintain calendars and coordinate production of multiple homework projects. Must have the ability to plan and organize social gatherings for clients of all ages and mental outlooks. Must be willing to be indispensable one minute, an embarrassment the next. Must handle assembly and product safety testing of a half million cheap, plastic toys, and battery operated devices. Must always hope for the best but be prepared for the worst. Must assume final, complete accountability for the quality of the end product. Responsibilities also include floor maintenance and janitorial work throughout the facility.

POSSIBILITY FOR ADVANCEMENT & PROMOTION :
None. Your job is to remain in the same position for years, without complaining, constantly retraining and updating your skills, so that those in your charge can ultimately surpass you

PREVIOUS EXPERIENCE :
None required unfortunately. On-the-job training offered on a continually exhausting basis.

WAGES AND COMPENSATION :
Get this! You pay them! Offering frequent raises and bonuses. A balloon payment is due when they turn 18 because of the assumption that college will help them become financially independent. When you die, you give them whatever is left. The oddest thing about this reverse-salary scheme is that you actually enjoy it and wish you could only do more.

BENEFITS :
While no health or dental insurance, no pension, no tuition reimbursement, no paid holidays and no stock options are offered; this job supplies limitless opportunities for personal growth and free hugs for life if you play your cards right.

  • · I stir awake with the feeling that something is right in front of my face. That something is my daughter, waking me up with “Eskimo kisses”. My anger at having to wake up at 7am is softened by “Eskimo kisses” every time.

    · I beg Izzy for “10 more minutes”, trying to entice her with my arm (she likes to sleep on my arm.) It works. For now.

    · The next time I awake, it’s to Izzy in my face saying “Mommy wake up! The sun is up. Mommy you get up too!”

    · I roll out of bed, get dressed (essential step when roommates are involved) and walk down the hall to the kitchen. I swear to myself that this will be the day I’ll stay awake and get some things done (like a 10 minute workout on the elliptical).

    · I sleep-walk to the kitchen and put some cereal in a bowl and milk in a glass. Let the dog out then in. I turn on the TV to Nick and am greeted by the Backyardigans doing a little song and dance. A small amount of guilt sets in, but is eased by the pillow calling my name on the couch.

    · I lie down on the couch, promising myself just “15 minutes”. Izzy hops up there with me and lies her head down on my arm. An hour later I wake up to Izzy standing in front of me with a gallon of milk, chocolate syrup, cup and a spoon. My heart fills with pride at how self-sufficient she is. I pour the milk into her glass, add the chocolate and watch her mix it up before she puts the milk away. I nod back off to sleep.

    · I am awoken 30 minutes later when she drives a small car over my face. It’s at this point I realize I really do need to get up and face the day.

    · I get up and change her diaper, swearing this will be the day I will potty train her (today is actually the day!!) Guilt once again sets in when I realize most kids are potty-trained at this point. The guilt subsides when I realize she won’t start college with diapers and that she is able to play computer games better than some adults.

    · I check my email, Facebook and indulge in a little bit of online time.

    · I then set about the daily task of washing clothes and cleaning house. I realize I could wash clothes with my eyes closed. Lift lid, turn knob, add detergent, add softener, stuff washer with wayyy too many clothes and repeat. Everyday at least twice a day. I wonder where the dirty clothes come from and swear to start wearing clothes for days at a time.

    · After picking up, I finally respond to Izzy’s constant begging of “you wanna go play in Izzy’s room?” I walk into her room when she quickly shuts the door behind me signaling that I will be there for quite some time.

    · I drink imaginary tea, eat imaginary eggs with peanut butter and toast and sit through her reading half of her bookshelf. I then teach her how to make a “book tower” involving stacking ALL of her books on top of one another. I am certain that she is learning some important skill here, but seeing as I know nothing about child development and quit reading the books years ago, I cannot be sure.

    · I ask her what she wants for lunch and she responds with an expectant “ice cream”. I tell her no and decide to go with carrots and ranch dip instead. While this does not seem like a well-rounded lunch, I remind myself that she is most probably a vegetarian and that this will work.

    · After lunch she sits down for the 103rd viewing of ‘Alvin and the Chipmunks’. I wonder if Jason Lee went through a bad divorce, which is why he decided to star in this movie. I continue washing clothes.

    · At 2:30 it is time for a nap. Izzy kicks and screams the whole way to the bathroom, cries while moving her step-stool, then insists on brushing her teeth by herself.

    · We then walk to “Grandma’s room” (our room now) to lie down. We exchange kisses and “night-nights”, before she snuggles up next to me with her head on my arm. I vow that I will not fall asleep and I will use this time to get things done (like 10 minutes on the elliptical).

    · 2 hours later I wake up with Izzy’s sweat all over my arm. I kick myself for falling asleep (again).

    · I check my email, Facebook and indulge in a little more online time.

    · I start thinking about dinner. I settle on grilled cheese because I am so damn tired of cooking dinner everyday. I experience a certain amount of guilt over this (it’s my job as a stay-at-home-mom, after all) but decide to add chicken noodle soup to round out the food groups and feel better about myself.

    · I wash dishes and clean the kitchen (we dirty dishes like we dirty clothes, apparently.)

    · I start dinner when Izzy comes running with her little pink step-stool wanting to help. I wash her hands and let her put the cheese on the sandwiches, thanking God she wanted to help on an “easy dinner” night.

    · We sit down to eat dinner (on any given night this can involve 2 to 5 people, as we have quite a busy household), while Izzy exclaims how much she “LOVES grilled cheese”.

    · After dinner, I let Izzy play her games. She sits down at the Mac, opens Safari, goes to the Favorites and finds her online game (nickjr.com). She plays until it’s time for a bath while I proudly envision her being a web developer and taking care of me in my old age.

    · During bath time, she uses her bath crayons to draw circles all over the bath tub. I make a mental note to be sure to clean the bathtub before company comes over. But it can definitely wait until then.

    · After her bath, she gets naked time. Whether we have company or not. I suspect this makes some people feel uncomfortable.

    · The time comes for her to get dressed and go to bed. This is a battle every. single. night.

    · Upon finally getting her to her room and in bed, we read 3 Rainbow Fish books. At this point she has 2 of the 3 memorized (including the cover page info. Involving publishers).

    · After reading the books, I turn out the lights. She counts a few of the glow-in-the-dark stars on the wall, says her prayers and makes me promise to “sit” while she goes to sleep.

    · I sit for about 3 minutes and then tell her I have to do something and I will check on her in a few minutes. On a good day, this works (though I have to check in every 2 minutes for about 30 minutes). On a bad day, she becomes worked up and cries for several minutes (to an hour) with me checking on her intermittently.

    · After an hour she is usually asleep. It is then that I clean the kitchen again, finish the clothes and decide that I MUST get a job outside the home as soon as possible.

Monday, September 7, 2009

I'm not a fan of the 70's

I will resume blogging tomorrow. I am too exhausted to think, let along think in paragraph form. I'm so tired I'm getting sucked into That 70's Show. Must. Go. To. Bed.

(I had to edit this post 4 times for corrections. Seriously.)

Friday, September 4, 2009

And I'm out...

After smoking a half pack of cigarettes (really, I need to quit. Like now.), I'm feeling a lot better. I have to give huge props to an AustinMama who led me to this bit of info:


I remember reading about this a couple of years ago, but I thought it irrelevant at the time. I now look forward to the moment when I can say "Godwin's Law - I win." and simply walk away (or close the window to the internet world). No doubt that moment will come soon (most likely this weekend, as I'm heading back to my hometown). While I originally agreed with a recent comment that "nobody wins an argument on the internet," I do believe this is my magic ticket to a win. And it makes me very, very happy.

*Bonus* Mr. Godwin was an Austinite.

30DoW - I just can't "take you there" today

I can't do today's writing assignment. I wanted to stick to the assignments as best as possible this time around, but damnit if today's goings-on don't have me all pent up. I'm going to go ahead and say it: I'm getting to the point where I want to leave this country. And that's just not like me. I'm a fighter, damnit! And the idea that I sat through 8 years of Bush only to want to leave even more during Obama (who I believe to be the best President in recent history), simply makes me want to cry. And I'm not even on my period.

Sure, the government is a mess. My husband will tell you all day long that none of them are worth a shit. And on a cynical day, I'll agree with him. But whatever. People have to act to make things better and we Americans are a damn lazy lot. It's the people in this country that have me terrified. They don't realize that it's them that's destroying America. Not the government. I'm all in favor of free speech. Really I am. I am not in favor of pulling kids out of school, attacking people at Town Hall's or shooting a man in his own church (for fucks sake!)

There's no point in me even trying to expand. I can't think clearly. I just have images and phrases running through my head like a bad pop song bomb. I'm going to spend the last of my energy cursing Glenn Beck and Fox News. Cursing them with every ounce of imaginary powerful magic my crazy Conservative family claims I have. Cursing them with the core of my being. And then I'm going to go to bed and pray that I wake up to a more beautiful world. Because despite my cursing and cynicism, I still have hope. But when that hope is gone (and I fear the cup is slowly emptying, I'm taking my family and getting the hell out of here.)

(Notice to authorities: I cannot be held liable should anything bad happen to Glenn Beck or Fox News. The above was neither a threat or a promise. Just a simple curse. And you know you guys don't believe in that sort of thing anyway.)

Thursday, September 3, 2009

Because I have to vent somewhere...

This was a Facebook status update from my ex and the resulting comments. I thought my comment would elicit some pretty harsh feedback, but alas, nothing. Regardless, I was so frustrated by their comments, I had to go somewhere to voice it, otherwise I would have quickly become an internet troll myself (by leaving one nasty remark after another). Unfortunately, this series of comments hit two nerves of mine: politics and censorship. Throw in kids and I become fighting mad. All I have left to say is a.) Thank God I got out of Baytown; and b.) Thank God I married up.

And so it begins:

Billy obama is giving a speech Tuesday at 11am directed towards school kids and the gov as ALLOWED school districts the right to choose if they wanna air it or not,I called my sons school to find out if they were gonna air it and they said they were but were sending home a paper I could sign if I object to it and I'm gonna sign it,if they didn't give that option he wouldn't have went to school that day!!!

6 hours ago · Comment · Like

15 people like this.

Billy AMEN BROTHER!!! OBAMA IS AN IDIOT AND OUR KIDS SHOULD NOT BE SUBJECTED TO IT ANYMORE THAN THEY ARE ALREADY!!!!!

Kari We're doing the same thing for my nephews, they don't need to waste their time watching that nonsense!!!

Billy Well when I sign the paper saying I dont want him to watch it Im going under the radar in the goverments eyes

Kari But there are SO many parents signing it, EVERYONE is going to be under speculation!

Scott heard on the radio today the newest Obama load of shit is he is wanting students to take a pledge to support their leader every day... someone needs to do something, fast!

Jana I need to look into this...are all schools across the good ole us doing this?

Billy I guess I shoulda added I dont really care if I am...just means they gonna waste thier time on me...

Billy Im pretty sure all the schools will have the option to show it but as far as the school lettin you sign a paper to allow them to watch it I dont know about that part...just call them and ask

Vera I'm with you Billy! My kids won't be subjected to any more of his bull shit if I can prevent it! I'm signing the paper in the biggest sharpie marker I can get my hands on! If my kids are going to have to "pledge to support their leader" they better come up with some sort of pledge toward me because I will be damned before I let them pledge ANYTHING to him!

Kari I think it is TOTAL bs that they question the pledge of allegiance and prayer in school but yet they'll televise this trash!

Julie I signed both forms for my kids!! That should be something shown during the evening hours and not during school. What a waste of valuable instructional time. It's my job to guide my childrens morals and values not Obama's.

Dana Don't get me on my soap box about this. They think it's okay to take God and prayer out of school, but they can bring in the President. We shouldn't talk religion in school, but politics are okay. Oh, yeah, religion is okay, just not JESUS!! This is absurd!! Honestly, I think the children than NEED to hear someone tell them how important education is and that they should be in school so they can grow up and get a job and support themselves and not ask for a handout will be there - my children; however, will not be there!! The Good Lord gave me my children to take care of and to teach them MY values, NOT Obama's.

Dawn i don't think i need to comment on this. i am signin the paper as well. it doesn't belong in the schools. i can watch it from home if i wish,WHICH I WILL NOT!!!!!

Michael Here is the "change" that everyone wanted ( BTW this is not a race issue.. I hate how when you are white and don't support Obame.. The race card is automatically played... I'm not racist.. I would have voted for Condaleeza or Colin Powell.. I watch Opera ..the Cosby Show.. and I like Tupac)

Jeremy I don't have any kids (just the occassional anonymous father's day card), but I'm gonna go around to as many schools as I can and pretend to be someone's dad and start signing papers!! Any one kid saved is worth it!!

Taunya I'm most definitely going to get flamed for this, but wouldn't it be more productive to let your kids watch the President of the United States speak (right or wrong, he is still the President. Maybe not YOUR President, but President nonetheless), and then discuss your problems with his speech later that night, rather than to avoid it altogether? I wasn't a fan of George W's (no need to burn me at the stake for that) - but I would want my daughter to hear everything he had to say and then have a commentary on why I thought he was right or wrong. A "teaching moment" if you will....

Jarrod I second everyone's opinion. Even without kids, I am offended. Now that adult America is awake and saying "Hell No!", do they think they can really plant their seeds in future voters? W doesn't seem so bad anymore does he...

Christopher Dawson while the dislike of a president and his agenda (or the congress, for that matter) is completely yours to discuss with your children, the undeniable fact remains that without discourse the next generation of our country will be more diminished and even more out-of-touch than ours. if you really fear a socialist regime and earnestly desire to protect your children, then the greatest defense to provide for them is a logical and open discourse. nothing will be gained by shoving your kid's heads in the sand. if a patriot is uninformed or misinformed, then he is nothing better than a terrorist and a threat to his own countrymen.

Billy Well I was waitin for some liberals to chime in and glad you did...1st he is my president even though I dont like that 2nd Im not shoving my sons head in the sand its just that he doesnt need to make remarks towards the kids...there was another leader that made great speeches and talked to the youth...his name was Hitler! Look how that worked out! Me and my son can discuss everything that is going on but dont want a liberal school to teach him

Michael... Texas should just secede from the Union and have Chuck Norris for president and Ted Nugent for vice president. Don't mess with Texas!

Sarah I am not going to let my boys see it. I will make sure they stay home if the school doesn't give us a choice. I'm with all of you. Amen Billy!!

Christopher Dawson well, to be exact i am a libertarian, not a liberal. i find that a lot of folks i speak with (libs and reps) have become too easily caught up with name calling and invoking the name of hitler. and, for the record, george bush talked to our youth, too. he also urged that america's youth dedicate themselves to a life of service:

(link deleted to save space)

BTW---neither the republicans or democrats are on your side. all this stuff is a smoke screen to keep us occupied and our attention focused elsewhere.

Billy Chris I do agree with you that the goverment isnt here for us "little" people anymore and hasnt been for many many years.I dont recall Bush giving a speech during school hours where parents were at work and couldnt monitor what was being said...but he was in there 8 years so he might have snuck one in

Taunya Bonner Dawson I am quietly stepping away from this comment and moving to my own (on the same issue). God Bless America! (hahaha)

Kari Like Michael said, this is not a race issue nor is it repubican vs the world. We are not "putting their heads in the sand" by not having our kids watch this presentation at school, we just choose to educate and inform our children at home. I do not have children but am a very active part of my nieces and nephews lives. My 14 yr old nephew was at my house months ago and had questions regarding our president. I explained some isues and posisions to him and also helped him look up info on the internet to educate him on Obama. I do not think they should watch this video at school wthout parental supervision to interject when needed. It almost comes across to me like Obama picked this time (when parents are at work and kids are at school) on purpose; almost like he feels he can "brain wash" their neive minds into supporting him. Above all that, my biggest issue with it is the simple fact that congress has been pushing for years now the seperation of school and state. Why is it ok now???

Taunya Bonner Dawson Simple question. Would you guys have felt the same way when Bush was in office? (There's no tone or accusations there, just genuinely curious. Know that I'm treading as lightly as possible.)

Christopher Dawson actually, congress has been doing the exact opposite:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/No_Child_Left_Behind_Act

passed with a bipartisan vote and has had its funds increased over and over. the reason they are talking to the kids now is because they know most parents dont educate their own kids and their publicly funded schools dont really teach anything. what better time than now to begin the 1984 generation? this is not obamas doing or the current congress. this was started a long time ago and no one is more responsible for this happening than the people who elect these career politicians over and over. for any malady that affects a democracy, only the governed (where the power rests) are responsible for allowing it to continue. if you want to protect your kids, or anyone else's kid, vote for a third party. any one of them. eliminate the two party system. BTW--has anyone paid attention to the most recent anti-food bills that were introduced in congress? do you like food?

Shelly I looked at the link abt bush. yes he did, but those were graduates. Not elementary kids. graduates pretty much know what bs is. our elementary lids don,t btw I wouldn't my kids either

Jarrod I'll tell you what, I SERVED my country before anyone asked me to. My time in the Air Force shaped who I am today and it helped to open my eyes to what really matters. I'm tired of people trying to tell me how what when and where to run my life and then try to cram it down my throat anyway. Time for debate is over in my book. We've taken a wrong turn recently as a government. Continuing in this direction is "sticking our heads in the sand". When will someone pull their head out and make a U-turn? Probably way too late. Our grandchildren will be paying for our mistakes and hesitations.

Some people loved to bitch about the past administration. Guess what, now it's my turn on this one...

Christopher Dawson how can graduates know what BS is if they are taught by liberal universities? i think that arguing semantics might be an exercise in futility. youth is youth. besides, is it a fair assumption to guess how whatever obama chooses to say will impact those kids? i highly suspect they will leave school as obama-zombies. more to my previous point, whatever the case may be, obama is just a figurehead. this is bigger than obama and it has nothing to do with socialism. a leisurely read of 1984 would offer a more realistic possibility. anyway, i did find a transcript of an address by Bush Sr to school children, pumping up learning and how it is cool to be smart. but, i suppose one could argue that this was not the entire nation, but whatever. it is senseless to split hairs...unless one simply insists on being right to support their own opinion, which is neither right nor wrong.

http://bushlibrary.tamu.edu/research/public_papers.php?id=3394&year=1991&month =9

Christopher Dawson http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nineteen_Eighty-Four

Dennis For those wondering about BHISD see the following from the school Website. www.barbershill.isd.esc4.n

et/

Address to students...

President Obama will deliver a national address to students on September 8 at noon ET. The president will challenge students to work hard, set educational goals, and take responsibility for their learning. BHISD will not broadcast this live to students. There will be a link to the recorded broadcast after Sep 8 so parents and students can watch it together.

Angela thanks denny..my kids go there. that answers my question. i would've kept mine out that day too.

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I don't have any more to say on this. I'm spent just re-reading it. But bless these poor kids hearts, they are our future.


Wednesday, September 2, 2009

30DoW - Screen CAPTCHA

Write in favor of something I dislike immensely. That is today's task. At first I thought "No problem." I'm Libra, after all. I see two sides to everything. Turns out, age does make you set in your ways. Conservative Christians? I couldn't even if there was a new car in it for me. Republicans? I could do it, but I'd have to go into political philosophy and Chris would surely correct me along the way. The pro-life movement? I don't even want to think about it.

So instead I'm going to go against my general nature and keep it light. I'm gonna go with word verifications, otherwise known as CAPTCHA's. I'm an old school blogger and commenter, so the uprising of the CAPTCHA has gone from a random annoyance to a regular irritant. But wait, I'm supposed to be writing in favor.

According to Wikipedia "a CAPTCHA is a type of challenge-response test used in computing to ensure that the response is not generated by a computer." Basically, it aids in filtering out unwanted ads, spam and automated postings to email, blogs, forums or wikis. The term "challenge-response" should not scare you away. They are designed so that "most humans can solve" them. Of course, you might not be able to read the first, second or third CAPTCHA, but eventually you will get the random letters and numbers correct. Unless of course you can't due to a disability or because it is simply too difficult to read. But do not worry. CAPTCHA creators have designed an audio CAPTCHA for your convenience. No doubt that anyone who has ever had voice activation on their cell phones are overjoyed to hear about how easy an audio CAPTCHA will be! So rejoice in the technology that serves as a constant reminder of how irritating us humans have become in this technological age. Be free of spam and trolls! But please remember that CAPTCHA's do not actually have to be real words, nor are they an internet fortune cookie. Do not make the mistake of trying to use them in a sentence or find meaning in the one you have been provided. They mean nothing and yet they do everything! (Unless the spammers are employing cheap labor or have developed character recognition software. Which is not only possible, but probable in this day and age. But let's not think about that!)

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

30DoW - Full circle

So here we are. Back at the beginning. It feels like that in a lot of ways, but I'm sure I'll go more into that later this month. As for now, my intentions. Honestly, they are similar to before. I'd like to branch out in my writing style (the last 30DoW was a branching out FAIL). I'd like to improve what little style I have (because admittedly a wordsmith I'm not) and I'd like to finish what I start.

As for me, I'm a tightly refined mess. But I'm working on it...