OPINIONATORS WELCOME!

Saturday, December 4, 2010

Strong and not strident: Inner conflict and strength


“As a woman who was raised in a society where it is implied that women should be agreeable and amenable, where speaking up for yourself can label you 'difficult', I personally have found it difficult to do that very thing. Why is it important to have personal boundaries and make sure they are not crossed? More importantly, how can we keep them while coming off strong and not strident?” (http://goop.com/newsletter/107/en/)

Monica Berg, a spiritual leader and writer, in the recent Goop newsletter, asked this question. In addition to her own response (see link above) stating, "Our own beliefs are only threatened when we don't know what they are,” several seemingly very intelligent and well-spoken women responded to her thought-provoking dialogue, as well. My brain turned as I pondered the different responses, which I sincerely appreciated: the importance of integrity, how we are "molded" by our environments, the successes of standing up for oneself, definitions of "strident", our fear of assertiveness and the implications of it, and just the complexity of the issue for women.

What I find strange is that amongst all of those intelligible women's reactions, I never heard how the intriguing nature of the question itself makes us wonderful and insightful creatures? How that we, as women, are nurturers by physiology, and yet we conquer ourselves and our environments to become powerful and meaningful products of society and of the world through the exact struggle we are attempting to conquer. Our bodies and minds are developed for the purpose of caring for and nurturing others. Yet, we are thrust into a world of situations in which our nurturing instincts are challenged, we are put to tests of integrity and mindfulness, and still we hold onto that which makes us feminine and individualize our patterns and decisions.  We still manage to care and nurture those whom we desire to, including ourselves.

I am proud that this question is even pondered. I am proud that a woman faces this issue. Why? Boundaries specific to our gender, and more importantly ourselves, are an important topic of discussion. We have personal boundaries and social boundaries that are individual and then we have those that are socially “mandated” to identify, define personally, define socially, and apply within a certain context. Complex? Yes, this is true (an understatement, really..haha). But, isn’t it the very complexity that we struggle with that makes us so special, that makes our struggle so unique, and that will empower us beyond the stratospheres of politics and elected roles. Isn’t it this very question that sets our facilities of communication and our desires aside from our male counterparts? Isn’t it true that we cannot know what our own beliefs are in a society if we are not knowledgeable about “society” itself? Definitions are not constant standards. They are malleable by context.

It is the search, the questions, the inner-reflection, the hope, the viability of integrity, and the mistakes that we learn from that give us our power and strength. It is the daily fight a woman has within herself and within her society that makes us so strong and promising. It is the decision to personally challenge the past and tread unknowingly through the present with our heads held high that makes us so grand. It is the choice to become and not just be that gives us our strength and helps us determine our boundaries.

Monday, November 22, 2010

Aden will be 4 in less than a week...Looking back

Aden's first picture with momma
2wks
Such a sweet baby

My little elf (2007)

1st birthday!

Always happy

Sweet face, baby blues

Day before his 2nd birthday

Time passes so fast

Now, we call him Mr. Personality :)

And he is still as sweet as the day he was born <3
I remember it like it was yesterday. Aden was born on November 28th, 2006 after HOURS of an epidural repeatedly wearing off and stalled labor via c-section. I remember my thoughts, hopes, dreams..and... ...misconceptions, all of it. The last 4 years with Aden have taught me a lifetime of lessons, patience, and love. He might as well have opened an entirely different universe for me. I was career-oriented, a perfectionist to say the least, and my mind set was completely different. Those mentalities prepared me for the rest of my life, but I am so happy to have become who I am because of him. I had never intended to become a stay-at-home-mother. I had intended to go back to work within months of my baby boy's arrival. But, as you can tell, life had other plans. Aden taught me a different type of appreciation, and he taught me to appreciate life's surprises. My husband talked me into having children (twice). Nope, I had NO maternal ideation...not really. I didn't have a clue what it took to raise a child, and I was horrified at the thought of being so selfless. Well, I can say that they were the two best decisions (to let go of the reins a little...or maybe a lot) that I ever made. I never in my WILDEST dreams could have imagined my life now, the fun I have had and will have, and the work and worry that is involved in raising a child. I look forward to a lifetime of work, worry, and fun surprises! Thank you for rocking my world, little man. I love you Aden Zachary, my precious boy!

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Ignorance is NOT bliss

Ignorance may be painless and comforting to those with flightly lips, but to the world and people around the imbecility it can be quite distasteful and unpleasant. (It never ceases to amaze me.) There are two types of ignorance in my book: innocent, not-meaning-to-cause-harm ignorance...and then there is the mean, intentional, regretful, and downright plaguing ignorance that haunts mankind.


The ignorance of anyone who would go to a funeral and protest, especially a soldier's funeral, has to be an intentional and malicious stupidity. According to what other people have reported (I refuse to read media reports on this issue), recently, there has been an increase in protests at funerals for United States soldiers. How absurd! For one, no matter the feelings on war, combat, military choices, etc...protesting at a funeral only and simply makes a complete idiot of those who participate. The attention the protesters receive can NOT possibly be fruitful to their cause. I cannot imagine one empathetic, loving, and normal humane person would think that protesting at such an event would be a good idea.

This brings an entirely new definition to ignoramus. For one, the soldier's family has no control over the soldier's enlistment. They are sufferers of the deepest sort. They serve for our country, too, but without their own consent. How on EARTH can someone be so callous? It shouldn't matter the situation or cause. Protesting at someone's religious or non-religious grief-based ceremony or event should be completely federally prohibited (in my personal opinion). And, the absolute LEAST we could do for soldiers who serve our country is to protect them with law-based content and implementations, so their families may grieve without such abhorrent disruptions.

As for freedom of speech, I am ALL for it, but there are LINES that should be drawn. Do we allow students to say whatever they please in a public classroom? No. There are certain circumstances that warrant restriction for the common good. There are many issues that have been protested at funerals, and I cannot think of ONE that is worthy of the protest!


All in all, funeral-protest laws have been passed in at least 41 states, including: Alabama, Arkansas, Colorado, Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Idaho, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, North Carolina, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Virginia, Washington, Wisconsin and Wyoming.

Sunday, October 31, 2010

I have achieved a new level of awesomeness...

I don't mean that I am awesome. (Although, I am not necessarily saying I am not totally awesome, either. haha). What I mean is that I FINALLY have learned a more holistic type of FUN. F-I-N-A-L-L-Y.

It is a totally new level on my life reminiscent scale. It really is.

I had a hard time growing up, and I was quite a stiffy at times. In case you aren't familiar with the technical term "stiffy", I am referring to my lack of ability to just let loose and be myself. I put myself into a shell. I was always trying to be perfect, and I worried about what people thought or how they might react. I was so caught up in how I would appear that I didn't really think about what I wanted or wanted to experience for myself. Or, maybe I did think about it some, but I didn't have the cohones to actually do it.

I tend to try my best and be a bit of a perfectionist. The problem with perfectionism is that it is a completely flawed concept. Trying your best and expecting a lot is one thing...a wonderful insightful life approach, but being a perfectionist just leads to disappointment after disappointment.

The truth is that we only have a limited time to do what we want in life. If someone asked ME what I want out of life, excluding the obvious firsts...other people...I would have to say that I want to be happy and loved. Happiness is a harder asset to come by than most people give it credit for. You can find happiness in simple things, but life in general is tough.

So, what have I learned? I have learned that memories and actions like dancing madly in public, or laughing a little too loud, or singing "I Put A Spell On You" dressed like a beat up zombie character, or running through the racks at Wal-Mart playing peek-a-boo with my kids, and giving life a huge dose of zest makes me happy. It is FUN! Where o' hath thou' been, fun? (I wish I had learned to do this earlier in life, but I'm also glad that I have come to such a revelation in the present).

I don't care what the "stiffies" think, and I refuse to be a stiffy. I know the ones who truly love me will love me for my fervor for life. I LOVE LOVE LOVE my life. I have bad days, we all do...but I've learned to counteract the toughness in life with something called FUN! A warning to those around me, I intend to be a total embarrassment to myself and my children for most of the remainder of my life, but yet not feel embarrassed in the slightest ;) I intend to bask in my imperfections!

If you haven't acted a complete and harmless fool lately. I highly suggest that you try it!!

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

I love looking back...

I love looking back at my blog. It is a compilation of my thoughts...at difficult, fun, tiring, exciting, wonderful, bad, and intrigued moments. It gives me solace when things aren't going exactly right. It helps me realize that I can get through, b/c I have done it a million and one times. The good times and bad times are what make us who we are. I couldn't be me without each and every one of them. It is sort of like looking back through an old picture album and seeing what you didn't know you remembered...only in thought rather than vision. It is a different sort of retrospect that I rather enjoy and appreciate. It is easier to reflect when their is something to reflect upon.

Sunday, September 12, 2010

So, I gave her five bucks....

I've often wondered if I should give people money when they come up to me asking (or begging) for it. There has been several times when I was not sure of the intention of the person asking. Are they going to use it for food or another necessity item OR is it going to be spent on drugs, alcohol, or something else I do not approve of someone spending my hard earned money on.

Well, yesterday at Walmart, as I was walking to my car, I see a lady walking car to car in the parking lot. I kind of figured she wanted something, and as much as I hate to admit it, I had that "Oh, great" mentality as she slowly approached me. Now, don't get me wrong, I KNOW there are dire straights, and I am ALL for helping my fellow man (or woman), but when people ask for money, it scares me. I always wonder: Am I going to get mugged? Am I perpetuating a problem? (those sorts of questions).

So, the lady walked up, not too close, but close enough to where I could get a pretty good look at her. She was worn looking, if that makes sense. I wouldn't say she was dirty or anything, but she looked tired and disheveled. She proceeded to ask me for money to put gasoline in her car. She said she was stranded without gas, and she had to make it all the way back to Durant from Denison. She wanted me to go look at her gas gauge, but I wouldn't do it. I handed her a $5 bill.

Kind of instinctively I made a decision that I would have made with more thought. I told the lady that I didn't need to see her gas gauge, and honestly I didn't really care what the money was for. I told her, "If you are asking for it, then you must need it more than I do." Now, I didn't know what the woman would REALLY do with that $5, and I must have not really cared, or I wouldn't have given it to her.

And, although I didn't care what she did with the money (I mean, I couldn't control what she did with it), as I turned around to finish loading my car with things I THOUGHT I needed (mostly NOT necessities), I watch as her beat up car that looks like it is on its last rope pulls into lane at the gas pump.

I know I made the right decision. I don't know that lady's circumstance, her life, her reason, her problems, her thoughts. If she would have driven out of that parking lot without stopping at the pump, I would have still felt like my decision was the right one. If she had spent that money on drugs or alcohol or simply just pocketed it, I still would have made the right decision.

Do you want to know why I felt like it was right either way? Because it was. I don't need that $5. I don't need that fatty Arby's meal next door. I can go without just once. People go without every day. People are mistrusted and misused every day. We do not have a magic power that tells use people's intentions, whether good or bad. Besides, good and bad is relative, isn't it? Even illicit drugs can become a life line (as much as I disapprove of addictions).

Need is need is need. If I had not helped her, would anyone? How long had she been there? Those questions are not ones with REAL answers. All I KNOW are my OWN thoughts. I KNOW that I feel better not saying "no". I KNOW that I feel better not knowing what she was going to do with it rather than not knowing what she would do without it. 

Saturday, August 14, 2010

And She Lived Happily Ever After: The Story of The Three Little Virtualities

Once upon a time (in a far, far away land...of course) there lived a young lady who was quite the inquisitive. She enjoyed talking with her friends, hiking in the woods, swimming, running, and adventure. One day she got high speed internet.

This opened up a WORLD, a plethora, and immediate access to information within seconds. It was quite the adventure in itself. She researched, and studied, and taught for day upon day. Learning and growing and exhausting herself.

Then, all of a sudden, she found a place...a once very magical place, called Myspace. It glittered, and it moved. It was colorful and pleasant on the eyes. It was full of life and stories and pictures of the outside world. It was simply beautiful....but there was something missing. She just couldn't put her finger on it.

So soon, and with her adventuring nature, she became somewhat bored with the glitter and sparkles of this new kingdom. She searched the internet far and wide, until she came upon a more contemporary, classy, and resourceful place. It was like moving from a loud, sweet, shiny, and fast-paced carnival to a hill on the country-side with birds and a camera. Facebook, it was called. She made friends, chatted, sipped coffee, and shared her adventures.

While she visited Facebook, she also happened across the land of Twitter. Twitter was simply a looking glass of sorts that allowed her to see from her pinnacle, as a pirate in a ship. But, it never gave her the wonderment and excitement that the other two places did. It was just one more place she visited on her journey.

Well, for some time it was this way, she enjoyed her travels. Until, (gasp) the world of Facebook became overwhelming. It was no longer a scene of serenity, but an entire community and appropriation of meddling and association. It became a task and a chore to have to visit several times a day. Then, BOOM!! Stories, memories, and delight blew up in a cloud of notification smoke.

So, she stepped away from the high speed internet and pondered reality. She looked around her room, and she didn't see glitter, or movement. She didn't see port side binoculars, and she didn't see a loud community sipping wine and eating cheese. She saw her desk, her couch, her window....THE WINDOW!!!

Outside were REAL birds, and trees, and dogs, and fresh AIR! She stepped out into the sunshine and soaked it in. She stretched her arms and slowly breathed in the crispness. From that day on, she vowed to never let her adventures become virtual. She took one last glance back at the kingdom of Facebook, which held a special place in her heart, bid her new friends fair well (promising to keep in touch), and rode off into the sunset. As she ventured off, she decided that it is okay to visit magical places, but it isn't always best to make a permanent home there.

And, she lived happily ever after.
The End


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Thursday, July 15, 2010

Great Unexpectedness

For most of my life, I've thought that not expecting anything meant no disappointment. So, I tried to avoid expectation as much as possible (which is pretty much impossible). But, what I forgot about was the greatness that lies within expecting one thing and getting wonderful in the unexpected.

I remember trying to picture my life, and seeing something COMPLETELY different than my present self. I tried to control my future. I wanted life to be a certain way with certain (what I thought to be) important elements.

Well, life isn't a book or a movie. It isn't always fair, the monsters are not destroyed, the endings are not necessarily happy, and sometimes there is no rational explanation. Sometimes, the best explanation is none at all.

The best thing about life is its raw realness. The possibility of everything...and nothing. I could never have imagined my life, as is. The growth and reciprocation within myself is only with retrospect of the unexpected.

So now, I expect the unexpected....and I appreciate, enjoy, and love it.

Friend or foe?

Standing tall
a sanctuary
in shade

Liquid gems shared
roots run down, out, and around
synchrony swayed

Ivy creeps
birds peep
insects crawl
inside it all

Sunbeams of light
giving hope but not sight
age on call
until they fall

Great hands reach
straightness stands
self or as one?

Frozen journey
not at all alone
characters oblivious
to damage they have done

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Magic "Who Cares" Glasses

I am SO unbelievably grateful to my true friends for their companionship. I genuinely care deeply about them, and I believe they genuinely care about me. (Sending a love shout-out to my true peeps. lol) And, a relationship that isn't reciprocated in a compatible fashion, cannot be a "true" one.

I have had a hard time lately, and my true friends have asked about my health condition and me in general, been a shoulder for me to whine on, given advice to take or leave, watched my children if I needed it, and been the epitome of what friendship is: a reason to TRUST.(Thank you!)

And, once again, there are ruiners in the crowd (as there is with everything, right?). I sure wish I had "Who Cares" glasses prior to finding out the "truth". It is so difficult to want someone to love or care about you that doesn't...or, to think someone IS being genuine and get slapped in the face with it.

And, so...

I must get over the fact that some people aren't going to genuinely care about me, lie to me (or about me), criticize me, or what-have-you. You can't wish/want or hope or be nice to someone so much that they care, and you can't change other peoples' flawed personality issues. It doesn't matter if they are "supposed" to love me.

I guess I'll just keep being me. Take it or leave it. I'll feel sorry for those people who can't be genuine, who are incapable of reciprocated "true" relationships worth more than words can do justice, and who feel like they need lies to fulfill themselves.

And, as far as them doing what they do/did to ME, personally...Who CARES! :) (Well, I guess I do have those glasses after all. A little different in application, but still the same result.)

Thursday, May 20, 2010

The raven versus the seagull

Bombarded the unconscious
And stolen my dreams
Taken my decisions
From this repeating theme

Eyelids peeled open
Vision is blurred
I do not wish to be
Darkness's chauffeur

Can you release me from your talons?
Give me my babes' rest
Gently lower yourself
And place me in your nest

Can you give me peace?
Allow me my own will
Shallow breath's release
On morning's windowsill

I do not need the worm
As appetizing as it seems
Take me under your wing
And please give me back my dreams
-------------------------------------


***4:20AM and I am so tired of insomnia.

Sunday, May 16, 2010

R-E-S-P-E-C-T

The lesson for the day is that we CAN all get along. I really do not understand why people have to be so demanding, rude, and assertive with their belief systems (Am I beating an old horse to death?). Some of my very best friends do not agree with me on topics that we both hold dear. There is a matter of respect between individuals...lines that you do not cross.

So, if you have an opinion, belief, idea, or what-have-you, that is fine. We have all the right to those. But, if you do not want or cannot handle other people's opposing opinions/ideas, and be respectful when they do not agree (and vice versa), then simply keep it to yourself.

I cannot fathom why this is such a difficult concept. We can learn something from everyone, even if it is just that we do not agree. I mean, unless you are DIRECTLY affected by someone's input, why is it such a big deal? It is a rarity (and virtually impossible) to agree with anyone on everything.

I know that sometimes people can be eccentric, and sometimes to a point of mental instability, that is a different case. I figure the best approach to fundamentalism or dogmatism (and I'm not necessarily referring to religiosity here), is to ignore the problem, and hope to goodness that it disappears. I have no constructivism for minds who cannot show empathy, regard, respect, and tolerance.

An authoritarian perspective on life is not pleasant, and it surely will get poor results. So, why can't we all just get along?

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Babies are NEVER "bad"....

Ok, so the title is a itty bitty bit misleading. Of course, babies/children ARE in fact sometimes "bad". But, I don't think it is appropriate to tell a young child OVER and OVER and OVER that they are. I think that it should be extremely limited, and maybe even eliminated. If a young child is told that they are bad repeatedly then they BECOME that stereotype already being engraved upon them. They believe that they are...whether they are or NOT.

Research has shown this to be true. Classrooms divided into treated-like-they-will-succeed and treated-like-they-will-fail DO JUST THAT. If a child is shown the letter (A) over and over before a test, they are much more likely to make an (A). Similarly, if a child is shown (F)s over and over before a test, they are MUCH more likely to fail.

I recently had a run-in with my son's karate coach about this issue. My son is 3, and YES, he can be a handful. He doesn't have a HUGE attention span, and he definitely hasn't mastered following instructions 100% of the time. These are all pretty much standard for a 3yr old.

Now, I am ALL for discipline. I think children NEED to be molded at a young age. Otherwise, they are given a shaky foundation for life. HOWEVER, there is a difference between construction and demolition.

I cannot imagine telling young children that you are going to QUIT your job, b/c they didn't "behave" the way you wished that day. I cannot imagine telling 3 to 5 year olds that they don't deserve their participation stickers almost EVERYTIME they come to class. And mostly, I cannot FATHOM trying to teach without a TON of positive reinforcement. This person actually punished 3yr-olds as a team (In other words, if one messed up they all were punished).

Ok...so...I was accused as the PROBLEM, simply based on the fact that he has over 20-something years of experience. Well, my response to that...Years do not necessarily make a person. There are a LOT of old people in this world who do not know their head from their behinds...AND...There are a lot of really young people in this world who are wise WAY beyond their years. I don't think age/years makes a person perfect, wise, or immune to learning. If you claim years or age as a reason not to listen, learn, and grow, I would accuse the opposite.

I started realizing the effects were not just my parental imagination when Aden began dropping his head and calling himself "bad" at home, and then quoting this "coach's" descriptions of his mislabeled deviance. (It broke my heart).

Unfortunately, Aden loved going to this OVERLY PAID instruction, and I had to explain to him that it wasn't his fault. A 3yr-old cannot determine an adult's mistakes. They are taught to obey and respect, and they don't really have to ability to discern something on that level. They think if someone tells them they are bad...Then, they must be.

Needless to say, we no longer go to this coach anymore, and I will NOT go back. Why can't the world be full of nice and respectful people who want the best for everyone? Even if Aden IS bad (which is a perceptual term, and it seems that he IS in this coach's perceptions), what exactly IS bad at 3, and should we really be telling a 3 year old that over and over?

I know, I know. I ask too much :)

Thursday, April 8, 2010

Sugar and Spice Can Be Kinda Nice

I suppose being female isn't ALL bad:

I mean, I will admit that I do rather enjoy choosing a style and color for my hair, the satisfaction of viewing my carefully glossed and French-manicured toes, deciding heels versus flats with my ensemble for the day, getting an occasional door opened on my behalf, and even my societal right to be an emotional wreck on occasion.

But, I do get tired of all of the hassle. I expect myself to look presentable, all whilst trying to accomplish the daily routine of woman-ness with a screaming tot. It now only takes me 30min to complete my transformation. At one time, it took at least an hour-and-a-half to prepare myself for the world. Unfortunately, I do not have the time to spend, nor do I choose to donate that much of my life to the beauty gods.

Washing, exfoliating, creams, and powders…shaving, and covering, and plucking, and modifying; it is simply exhausting. The number of steps that must occur before I exit the comfort of my humble abode is ridiculous. And, what is even more frustrating is that I then, after all my diligence, still feel completely inferior to my idolizations.

I tote. I clean. I cook. I BREATHE. I buy. I read. I learn. I cuddle. I lift. I coax. I discipline. I laugh. I watch. I listen. I give…

But…I get.

There are some traditional female complaints that do have some up-points. For instance: I did not enjoy the ails of pregnancy, but as horrible as I felt, and despite the bodily morph, I DID get to experience it. I HATE PMS with a passion, however I do get that excuse to cry and moan and whine if I need to on a monthly basis. I feel like crap about the way I have to throw myself together, but it is particularly nice when I DO have the time to make myself feel feminine. I adore being able to yackity-yack about the meaningless. I like my insecurities being filled by a warm embrace. And, more than anything, I really LOVE being a mommy.

Since I have to hide my sentiment when Bambi’s mother gets shot or when the old man in “UP” loses his lifetime partner, I cannot imagine having to be a man. I would totally suck at it.

Sure, I can put on a HARD exterior: bury pain, rough around, and let my inner masculinity shine. BUT, at the end of the day, I guess I actually like my girly hassle. I prefer my constant quests toward beautification. I enjoy hearing, “I want mommy”, after a scratched up knee. I like being the hug-giver. I do get to be the sensitive one.

I have to remind myself that it is pretty cool to be a girl. Or, maybe I'm just an optimist, and I am trying to see the glass half-full, seeing as I don't really have much of a choice.

Friday, April 2, 2010

Don't ask, we'll ask, and don't tell, we'll tell???

TALK about backtrack. I'm not usually one to offer my opinion on matters of a political nature, but I just cannot fathom being discharged from the United States Army based on sexual orientation in 2010?!

The Associated Press reports that the "don't ask don't tell" policy has been temporarily suspended. Now, I'm not much of a military gal, and I am not familiar with much associated with the military, but tell me again HOW does an openly gay person pose a threat to national security?

The Pentagon has stated that they want to "hear from gay troops" as they are conducting a current research study to determine how best to lift the ban. There is only one problem....

THEY AREN'T SUPPOSED TO TALK ABOUT IT, OR THEY COULD BE DISMISSED!

Okay, so I'm not a genius by any means, but this seems to be a tad bit contradictory. And, to make matters worse, a senior service official interviewed 3 openly gay persons. Well, on Thursday he "thought" their was a moratorium on dismissals while these interviews were taking place....

BUT...once again...OOOPsie. Apparently, he had to retract that statement. There is not, nor will there ever be (according to the Defense Secretary), such a bind on dismissals for being gay. He says he won't reveal their identities or discharge them at this time...hmmm.

The official then goes on to say that he PROBABLY should have told these these 3 suckers that they were breaking the law and their conversations couldn't necessarily be kept confidential.

I mean, really?!! Seriously!? Some one is pulling a late April Fool's joke, right?!

Nope. Good ol' U.S. of A. (sigh). To date, about 13 THOUSAND people have been discharged under the "don't ask, don't tell" law, some ousted because of open admissions to being gay...and others when they did not make their sexuality apparent.

Maybe the Army has a reason for this law that I do not understand? I wouldn't mind an explanation, because I feel like my current opinion is that we are not as keen on humanity as I had once thought. And, regardless of WHAT the Army decides on the stupid law, shouldn't the gay people that DO keep their mouths shut (as ordered) be protected when SPECIFICALLY ASKED to speak?? ESPECIALLY when RESEARCH is involved?!

Anyone educated in the realm of research is drilled on the importance of confidentiality in studies of this nature. Why on EARTH would, in of all places, the US Army not adhere to these standards? GOOD grief.

And, that is all I have to say about that. (I felt a Forest Gump quotation would be quite appropriate).

Thursday, April 1, 2010

Too close for comfort

I have come to find that we all seem to have someone who we are inevitably close to, whom we must spend regular time with, and who drives us completely crazy. This might be a friend, co-worker, family member, etc.

This person sometimes is wrapped in a all-too-kind packaging. They seem sincere and gentile, but are hiding a secret that they might not even know that they have. This person's introduction to another is truly an unexpected "surprise": like a tornado on a sunny springtime day, poo on your shoe after walking through lush grass, or a laugh that produces cola through your nose.

Others of these sort do not hide their B.S. at all. Many times, they give a boastful distaste, hiding a smile under a frown no matter the occasion. Most of the time they are genuinely pleased by the sourness of themselves.

We often wish to confront this particular person about whatever it is that bothers us. Well, much to my expectations, these confrontations never go too productively.

Then their is you (i.e. me), who is too determined (hard-headed) to not contribute to the possible eradication of the bothersome quality or tendency. You attempt to talk openly, honestly, and respectfully to this person. You try to sneak in the negative with a sugar-coated menagerie of compliments and distractions.

So, what happens you ask? Well, one of two things: Either the sugar coating is peeled into a heap and ONLY the pursecutory nature of the discussion is completely highlighted, distracting the content into a hard-iron defense of momentous proportion. OR, the person is too oblivious to even notice the implications at all.

Personally, I prefer oblivion to the "turn-around". The turn-around is when you are then attacked and caught completely off-guard. The discussion is NO longer about the intended, but is now transfered into the criticization of you, leading to full-out list of all the wrongs you have personally performed for the entire duration of your lifespan.

So, what is my methodology for this sort of unresolved issue, you ask? (We all have our own techniques, please feel free to leave yours in the comment section below). It is very simple: RETREAT!! The behavior probably isn't going to change, despite any best efforts.

My personal procedure is to give them my best cheesy smiled, puppy dog-eyed face, and closed body-language stance, especially when meeting unexpectedly. I MUST groan to myself in order to eliminate some of the mental combustion. Then, I avoid them as much as possible, and I deal utterly and completely with whatever it is that drives me crazy. In other words, this is NO solution at all. I basically tuck my tail and run, leaving myself at the beginning of where I started---full circle.
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So, when I get a chesire cat kind of smile, I can't help but wonder...Am I the ONE? And, are we ALL the ONE to somebody? Wouldn't that make the masses SO much easier to tolerate, if we knew with certainty that we all were that ONE? I mean, to me (and you might very appropriately refer to me as facetious), it makes having to deal a little easier when I know someone else has to deal with me :)

Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Grasshoppers are NO LONGER cool

According to the Wall Street Journal, federal officials have estimated the largest grasshopper "outbreak" since 1985 to hit the West this year. Apparently, in 85' they ate everything in sight, including "fence posts and paint off of barns"! Last summer, in Wyoming, grasshoppers ate every blade of grass on 10,000 ranch acres. They estimate about 60 grasshoppers per sq yard in the high population areas for this coming year! WHAT!?

When I was a child, I used to LOVE playing with grasshoppers. They were flighty creatures with big delightful eyes and an amazing hopping ability. I noticed that they hop 20X their body length, and I thought the "tobacco juice" they produced was quite "COOL." I enjoyed watching as well as chasing them. They made tasty treats for the catfish in my grandpa's pond.

But, as with most things as I get older, my perceptions are changing. What was curiosity with the BUGS has turned to distaste for them completely. Now, I tend to see these armored locusts as creepy, bulging eyed, sticky-legged, noisy nuisances that eat my precious blooming flowerbed and fly unexpected into my face or hair. They spit brown GOO out of their mouths...eww. Disgusting!!

Officially, they are NO LONGER COOL!
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Thursday, February 25, 2010

I think I woke up on the wrong side of the bed (THANKS Feng Shui)

Well, I am in one of those moods that usually go with a horrible, no good, very bad day...But, I'm really not having a bad day...JUST A BAD MOOD. I think I woke up on the WRONG side of the bed today.

Hmmm, but then to avert my attention from my moodiness, I wonder: What does that mean? Wouldn't I have to sleep on a particular side of the bed to wake up on that side (or roll around a lot). Ramblings? Maybe, but I do have a point...a pointless point...but still a point:

Turns out, Feng Shui (which is the method the Chinese use to place harmony with things/people in their environment) in addition to psychological/physiological findings about the workings of the brain (go figure on this one) helped to establish the "wrong side of the bed bit". See, the left side of the brain is more rational/logical/analytical and the right side is more emotional/imaginative/artsy. And, in Feng Shui, the Chinese regard the left side of the brain with family/health/money/power. Therefore it is very apprehensively concluded that the LEFT side is the "right" side...hmmmm

So, yes...today (and everyday), I rose to the left. I tend to be the analytical sort. But, this doesn't really empirically back this theory that there is indeed a "wrong side of the bed", since I rose on the left and am feeling rather on the mood ENHANCED side. The LEFT side was NOT the RIGHT side today. And, since your left foot is controlled by the RIGHT side of your brain. That doesn't really fit either, now does it. According to the physical structures of the brain, a less fragile of a mood would actually start with the RIGHT FOOT FORWARD (and wouldn't matter the side of the bed).

Maybe... I should have just stayed in bed :)

Thursday, February 18, 2010

WITWC2?

Ok, I am ALL for technology within reason...But, honestly, does anyone else think this is too much:
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Kotaku calls it a "fast finger keyboard".
I have recently stated that the iPad will probably change the world, much as the iPhone did. I am all for technology with purpose. Having instant access to the web-on-the-go changed how we accessed information and each other forever (for the good and not-so-good also, but that is another discussion). As for the iPad, Having instant access to full page periodicals all neatly delivered on a hand-held device will make reading more efficient and more practical in our now more bustled lifestyle. I'm sure there will be pros and cons (as of the time wasting potential of the iPhone), but all-in-all, I see potential.

But, really? What improvement are we making for ourselves here with a "fast finger keyboard"? Does LOL or TTYL take too much out of our fingers? WHEW, I almost broke a sweat! And, will the already formed acronyms eventually lead to young people writing IMO, yet having NO idea what the letters indicate. Well, IMO, this is a $25 waste of money. People who spend abundant hours chatting online using acronyms are probably not in need of too many millisecond time saving measures.

And, since we are on the topic...JIC, UDK how to translate an IM, FYI there is a TXT/IM dictionary you can use. S2S there are actually 100s of them. (I wonder how many teens use an IM dictionary more than a Websters? hmm). It is just pathetic. F2F interaction is not completely outdated. WITW coming to?

Man, I'm exhausted. Hitting that shift key and only typing out letters instead of words just took it completely out of me. TAFN. L8RG8R (as I pass out from pure lethargy)

Monday, February 15, 2010

Takin' Advantage of FREEdom

To get straight to the point..
Dr. McAnaney's office held a "free dental clinic" all day today. I saw this all on the 5 o'clock news. I couldn't help but laugh when the news anchor bluntly said (repeatedly), "Now, they are offering only ONE, I repeat, only ONE procedure per patient". I wonder JUST how many free-loaders went out there to get their ENTIRE mouth overhauled.

Now, this was QUITE a kind and generous gesture on behalf of Texoma Dental Care, and I am sure that it was MUCH appreciated by all that attended. But, I can't help but feel sorry for the poor suckers who worked there today.

I saw several people in line without teeth, probably hoping for FULL dental implants for free. Can you imagine the mouths that showed up, and can you imagine picking only ONE procedure to perform? lol

Well, inside those tents was probably very interesting. And,while I do NOT want to make light of people who are need of dental care or who are in desperate need of assistance, I would like to take a moment and reflect (ie. laugh) at the HUGE line of folks who were in attendance.

My imagination cannot help but to form a detailed image of complaints, halitosis, and missing tooth lispsss. And so, I would like to say that it was VERY kind for Texoma Dental Care to do what they did. And, on behalf of all the yuck mouths (and receptors of those mouths) who did receive some sort of treatment today (even if it were limited and incomplete), I would like to say thank you for giving to our community. We do not see such givingness everyday. It must've TRUELY been "Dentistry from the Heart".

Saturday, February 13, 2010

Baby Banshee

At some point in everyone's life their parent says, "Just wait until you have kids...Payback's a comin'." Well, apparently I didn't understand the breadth of this statement.

I am convinced that I currently have the noisiest baby on the face of the planet. At least every hour, he takes a deep breath, opens his jaws as WIDE as he can, and lets out this screech that is louder than a chainsaw but only 10 or 20 decibles quieter than a jet plane.

SEVERAL other people have proceeded to tell me how CUTE this behavior is. UGH! Yes, he is a very adorable little critter. And, (again) YES, he has beautiful dimples and crystal blue eyes. HOWEVER, he could WAKE THE DEAD. I just spent over an hour listening to him SCREAM his head off. I seriously think I saw his head spin completely around on his neck! I thought about grabbing a cross and some Holy water, just in case.

Most of the time, he just enjoys hearing the sound of his shrill little (or not so little) voice. But tonight, he is sick. He doesn't feel well, and his tiny little button of a nose is stuffy. So, he decided that instead of sniffling or whining that he would put his VOICE to work.

I have NO idea how something SO loud can come out of something so tiny. And, how on God's green Earth does something SO cute make such an atrocious sound? I mean, I'm pretty sure my dogs were not barking at a neighbor walking or at a passing train...but at my baby. I think my outdoor critters would hold their ears if they could. My outdoor critters are wishing my indoor critters to be quiet. Isn't it supposed to be the other way around?

Well, he is asleep now. He let Keener put him down...FINALLY (which made me feel like crap for a minute...not too long, because he IS actually sleeping). I looked in on him a minute ago, and he is angelic. His face was relaxed, palms open, and breath shallow and soft.

I suppose one day I will be wishing for the banshee to return, to no avail. For now, I am enjoying the pitter patter of not feet...but my keyboard....ahhhh.

**UPDATED** Things I Want To Do Before I Die

  • Love my boys equally and have them know that
  • Go to a wine tasting
  • See a live polar bear
  • Water ski
  • Build a time capsule
  • Plant a tree
  • Take a long car trip witout whining :)
  • Hatch baby ducks
  • Learn to crochet
  • Dress very formally for something
  • Do something crazy that I would never do
  • Feel okay in public looking a hot mess
  • Have a huge food fight
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  • REALLY help someone I have never met
  • Build a HUGE sandcastle on the beach
  • Take my kiddos to Disney World
  • Sing Christmas carols at a nursing home
  • Ski down a black ski run
  • Write and publish a book
  • Start a blog (check) :)
  • Intervene in and change a young person's life
  • Laugh with my boys until we ALL cry
  • Ski dive
  • Make my family proud
  • Cook a HUGE holiday meal by myself
  • Feel good in a bikini
  • See and hold my grandbabies
  • Own some sort of unusual animal
  • Go on a HONEYMOON (that we never got)
  • Go camping in a tent (I might change my mind on this later)
  • Volunteer for a cause I feel strongly about
  • Teach my boys empathy and compassion
  • Put all my recorded videos actually onto DVDs
  • See friends I thought I would never see again
  • Be an inspiration to someone
  • Watch a meteor shower
  • Dance as crazy as I want for as long as I want in public
  • Live in the country
  • Dress up like a clown and act silly
  • Buy an entire new wardrobe and not feel guilty
  • Get Lasik surgery
  • Do something really special to let my husband know HOW much I love and appreciate him
  • See my kids in a school play/event
  • Drive a tractor
  • Cook a meal out of a recipe book that looks like something I would never accomplish
  • Have my kids KNOW I will always be there for them and love them no matter what
  • Ride in an airplane
  • See a cavern/cave
  • Visit a national park
  • Play a practical joke on someone that is unforgettable
  • See my sister's children play with mine
  • Grow an awesome garden
  • Publish more research articles
  • Be surprised by someone else's kindness
  • Do a backflip on a trampoline
  • Befriend a foe
  • Learn the entire Thriller dance
  • Take a risk in the stock market
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Thursday, February 4, 2010

Quick Parenting Book (or for those who work with children) Recommendation

Michele Borba, Ed. D is a top regarded parenting/childhood development/childhood education author (recently featured on Dr. Phil, of all places). My recent additions from her repertoire are "Parents Do Make A Difference" and "The Big Book of Parenting Solutions". I highly recommend both. Although, "Parents Do Make A Difference" is my favorite.

Borba focuses on character and self-esteem. I noticed that Aden used a lot of "I can'ts". Since reading and implementing Borba's recommendations, I have noticed a great change in him. He tries harder, longer, and has less tantrums.

Anywho, for any of you parental figures out there, go check her stuff out. It is easy to read and easy to use.

Challenge of an opinion-ator

I hear all kinds of personal opinions on matters irrelevant to the opinion-ator. Why do people care if I change my haircolor? Choose not to have a traditional wedding? Give money they think I shouldn't to charity? Why interfere themselves in choices about my child's health that they obviously know nothing about? Seriously, there is probably someone out there who cares how I wipe my bottom end, and he/she would probably give me step-by-step instructions on how to become more efficient at the job.

Why do other people concern themselves with trivialities that will not harm them or anyone else? Is it pure boredom? How bored do you have to be to care what color I paint my damn walls or which direction I mow my lawn?

I don't know how many countless times I have heard: OHhhh my goodness, did you see H-ER shoes? Well, I wouldn't be caught dead wearing that! Did you SEE that mother over there? She MUST have 7 children? That wedding was just pitiful. That flowergirl had no poise. lol.

I know, these are just random instances of opinionators at their handiwork...BUT, I actually have heard these "opinions" all recently. So, I thought I would address to anyone out there who might be guilty.

Come ON, folks. Do SHOES really make a person? Do you think that probably sometime in YOUR life someone else made criticisms of your choice in attire? Could the frazzled mother need a hand instead of a put-down? And, really...HOW many times have I heard the wedding critique?? IT is a FREE party for goodness sake...QUIT YOUR BITCHIN'.

Is this tendency innate? I mean, this callousness for humanity must be inborn. Then again, I could see the nurture debate on this one. These OPINIONATORS clan together. They whisper and giggle their insanities, thinking they are all too wise.

In fact, they think they are better than other people. They think their poo smells like posies. They MUST. You must have some sort of grandiosity about you in order to have opinions on EVERYTHING. So...maybe I am the opinionative one...Maybe? But, at least I have respect and niceity in my heart.

You ask how to BEAT the opinionator? Well, I say give them something to talk about. Hold your head proudly and wear (gasP) brown and black boots with a pink and red top. Wear red hair when your natural is blonde. Go non-traditional all the way, if you so please...

--YES!!!>>> Go non-traditional, be YOURSELF...be NICE...show LOVE to your common (or not so common) man/woman...and don't cling to people who bring you down into the abyss of critical discourse...or THOUGHT. Clear your mind and clean your soul...

Perhaps pick up a book on something that interests you :) It will eradicate some of that nasty boredom...te he he

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