Mrs. Patty Poole
Mr. Ralph Furley
Wesley T. Owens
Mrs. Patty Poole
Mr. Ralph Furley
Wesley T. Owens
Events like Sandy bring everyone together - even in the middle of a nasty election. There has been a lot of talk this week about Governor Christie, the keynote speaker at the RNC, putting aside partisan politics to speak honestly about his thoughts on President Obama’s leadership during the storm. To me, it’s sad that it truly is newsworthy that a Republican governor put his constituents, his job & his state before bashing our President - and it’s downright pathetic that some people are actually bashing Christie for doing it.
It doesn't have to be this way. We don’t have to only come together as a nation when something bad happens. We really can work together all the time. Politics is not a sport. The political parties are not opposing teams. Like it or not, Americans are all on one team - supposedly working toward the same goals; simply checking & balancing each other. If you are someone who votes for either candidate simply because you want the other side to fail, you are rooting for America to fail. If you believe that America can truly succeed when half of its citizens - including the leadership of the opposing party - are actively encouraging the failure of the President, you haven’t taken the time to understand how our democracy works. Imagine a basketball player blocking his own team’s shots because he didn’t like the way his point guard played the game. Imagine a centerfielder who refused to make catches so his pitcher would struggle - and then bashed the pitcher for failing to get the win. In sports it’s a laughable and ridiculous notion to think that would lead to team success. Yet somehow when it comes to government, many, many people are all for this approach.
So here is my humble plea to America: Stop hating people just because you disagree with them and realize that those disagreements are the very reason this country exists. The founding fathers envisioned having one place on earth where everyone gets to be exactly who they want to be and believe exactly what they want to believe and no one can tell them they can’t. That's what America is about. And it will never prosper when either party is solely focused on bragging rights. Unlike sports, government actually affects the quality of our everyday lives in this country.
I think that childhood obesity could be eliminated if we simply convince all the children of the world that ice is a dessert item. It would be so easy. Simply tell them all that ice-cold nothingness is a flavorful and delicious treat and then vehemently deny the existence of sugar. They’ll believe you and grow up in a world where they can have all the snacks and desserts they want, without the added pounds, health issues, hyperactivity and parental nagging. And by the time they figure it out, they’ll be well past the stage where it can really be considered “childhood” obesity – and, as an added bonus, will not be addicted to sugar! Problem solved.
I understand it may sound crazy and impossible to consider keeping sugar and sweets a secret from kids, but let’s face it; sugar is pretty much the crack of your single-digit years. Something drastic must be done. We all know that many, many people have absolutely no problem allowing their children to believe that both an old man and a giant bunny break into every house on the planet one night a year. Or that someone is willing to pay good money and maybe a pack of sugarless gum for their teeth (someone who also breaks into the house at night). And I would argue that the majority of the country is currently denying the existence of homosexuality until their kids figure it out for themselves. A whole population of actual people!
Yet it’s ridiculous to think we might be able to keep sugar a secret?!?! At least when kids find out we lied about sugar, they can be comforted by the knowledge that we spared them from obesity. They can’t really get pissed at you for that. So I say, let them eat ice! But not just any ice - Icey Ice, the delicious and nutritious anytime treat!
· When did Barry Gibb start looking like Sam Kinison’s dad?
· I am not a regular watcher of the Wednesday results show. However, every time I’ve seen it the group sing is no less than 100% UNwatchable. How on earth do these not get called out by Simon as "cruise ship worthy" and removed from the show?
· I love that Crystal’s father had Mr. Bill in his vest pocket. Oh no, Mr. Crystal!
· Is Paula a comedian now? Did she and Dane Cook switch careers? Who made the decision that he should sing and she should do stand up? Especially considering the fact that neither one of them is all that good at their primary career anymore.
· Was anyone else unsure if that was Kelly Clarkson at first? No judgement, but she looks like she’s 52 and about to become the new Jenny Craig spokesperson. What happened there?
· Now I can’t look at Bret Michaels and not be flat-out afraid for his life.
· Do Ryan Seacrest and Mario Lopez both now officially have the title of “Co-Dick Clark”?
· Lee is great, but Crystal should have won.
This is something that has fascinated me for awhile. And I file it under “another reason the world hates Americans.”
Below is a list, as of March 2010, of the available types of Oreo cookies. It does not include Oreo ice cream, or Oreo pie crust, or anything Oreo other than types of Oreo cookies available right now at your average American supermarket:
2. Double Stuf
3. Golden Original
4. Golden Double Stuf
5. Double Stuf Chocolate
7. Cakester Peanut Butter
8. Cakester Golden
9. Cakester Double Stuf (how fluffy is this thing?)
11. Original Mini Bite Size
12. Golden Mini Bite Size
13. Chocolate Mini Bite Size
14. Golden Uh-Oh with Chocolate Crème (not sure what an uh-oh is exactly)
15. Organic Flour & Sugar
16. Reduced Fat
17. Chocolate Crème
18. Chocolate Fudge Sundae Crème (Limited Edition)
19. Fudgees Chocolate Fudge Filling (???)
20. Pure White Fudge Covered (just typing this makes my teeth hurt)
21. Chocolate Fudge Covered
22. Chocolate Fudge Mint Covered
23. Double Delight Chocolate Mint’n Crème
24. Spring Purple Crème
25. Halloween Orange Crème
26. Chocolate Mini Fun Size Halloween
27. Chocolate Mini Fun Size Easter
28. Chocolate Mini Fun Size Holiday (mini fun size not to be confused with mini bite size)
There are 28 types of Oreos! Does anyone else think this is a bit much? Now, don’t get me wrong, I have absolutely nothing against Oreos. They’re tasty – at least in their original form which I have to admit is the only type for which I can personally vouch. But this, to me, is exactly why we Americans are not exactly the most well-loved citizens in the world. This is not types of cookies, remember, this is types of Oreo cookies which means there are also hundreds of additional cookie options at any given supermarket in any given town. There are people in the world who literally eat bugs and dirt to survive. The wealthiest nations in the world offer less than 10 varieties of cookie in their largest supermarkets. The average American walks into their local supermarket to find 28 TYPES OF OREO COOKIES at their disposal, gets fat, and then complains about there being too much food available. Admit if you lived in the desert this would be annoying! That’s all I’m saying.
Michael Steele refuses to dispute the birther conspiracy for more than 6 months into Obama's presidency. Michael Steele calls the healthcare bill "radical socialism". Michael Steele has used his time as the head of the RNC to write an entire book about how to defeat Obama's agenda. Michael Steele has made sure it is abundantly clear that his top priority is making sure the President of the United States fails. How is that patriotic? Or American? Or leadership? Isn't that actually treason? What does any of it have to do with governing?
As much as everyone loves to compare politics to football, I feel like it has become a dangerous metaphor - a) because government is not a game and b) because in football, unlike in government, it is entirely appropriate to wish for the complete and humiliating failure of the opposing team. Clearly it's an analogy from which Michael Steele has taken most of his cues on to how to lead. A more apt analogy though is not to think of Democrats and Republicans as two separate football teams, each out to force the failure of the other, but as two sides of the same football team (America). They are the offense and defense, each supporting and furthering their own interests while simultaneously supporting the interests of the overall team (America). The defense doesn't have the same exact interests as the offense, but even so it does not focus on making sure the quarterback fails because a) then no one would be focusing on producing defense and b) if the quarterback of the team fails, the whole team will most likely fail.
The Republican Party flat-out refuses to govern these days, as there are myriad examples to prove. No one is focusing on pushing through a true conservative agenda, only on destroying those leaders who really do want to govern and support the overall growth of the country. Where are the leaders of the Republican Party who object to this type of gamesmanship; who actually want to stop playing games and help govern? Isn’t there anyone in the party who is willing to stand up and admit this strategy is misguided and irresponsible by now? Is there someone willing to justify this man's leadership position in American government? Anyone?
Let me start off by saying that I’m not one of those females with a bug-killing issue. It’s certainly not my favorite thing to do, but I have smushed more than my fair share of spiders, mosquitos, flies, ants and assorted other insects in order to sleep peacefully through the night, safe in the knowledge that nothing will be crawling on me while I do. Moths too. As far as anything larger than a bug, my only experience with killing was once tearing the backs off of live Dungeness crabs when the seafood market was too close to closing time to be willing to do it for me, after which I had nightmares for 3 days. I’m not a killer. (And apparently my rationale for bugs is self-defense.)
One night I was staying at a friend’s apartment when I heard something rattling around in the kitchen. It was about 9pm and the only lights on were under the cabinets. I go in to check things out and what do I see but the single largest moth I’ve ever laid eyes on. I’m no expert but I firmly believe it could have just as easily fallen into the small bird category, also known in my world as the “too big to kill” category. One look at that moth and I knew 3 nights of nightmares was not worth it so I shut the lights in the kitchen, turned on a light in the back room, opened the back door and by the time I went to bed assumed it had showed itself out.
The next night I am standing in the kitchen when I hear something rummaging around in the laundry room. As I move towards it and ponder what manner of wildlife I’m rooming with tonight, the moth shoots past me, free at last to fly toward the light of the under-cabinets once more! Clearly he did not show himself out after all but instead took shelter among the cleaning supplies for the night, resting up for another delightful round of “crash repeatedly and with alarming speed into the light, wall and countertop.” The moth is going nuts and my mind is racing. I throw open the kitchen window, grab the first thing I could find on the counter – an empty plate – and then, of course, attempt to reason with a giant moth. Which went something to the effect of: “OK Moth, we both want the same thing here… for you to leave the house alive. I really have no idea how this is going to happen, what with you slamming your little body into the light over and over, never seeming to see that it’s not moving either of us closer to a solution here tonight.”
As this monologue is happening and apparently under the impression that apoplectic, winged creatures respond to stoneware, I am attempting to use the plate and a pencil to somehow shepard the moth the 5 or so feet from the cabinets to the open window. The moth’s response is to use the plate as one more surface at which to fling himself, now frantically bouncing off in 4 directions instead of 3. And I’m still babbling incoherently, “Look Moth, I know you don’t know what to do but FREAKING OUT is not going to solve anything. We both want to get you out of here safely and be free. But I can’t do it alone, Moth, I need your help. Come on, Moth, help me help you here.” Bouncing madness. Again, “HELP ME HELP YOU, MOTH!”
When suddenly the moth stopped dead and stood perfectly still on the counter. I quickly brought over my tools. And then, with just a gentle nudge, he stepped onto the edge of the plate and there he sat while I brought the plate outside the open window, when he took off into the night and I said to myself “I think I just bonded with a moth.”
Situation: I’m on a blanket in the park, listening to my ipod and soaking up some sun when suddenly a perfect stranger appears to ask if I’d be willing to watch her things while she runs to a bathroom. Now, in theory I have absolutely no problem with this whatsoever. I tell her as much and she is off. I then take a quick visual inventory of her possessions from my own blanket, glance around to see if anyone is eyeing them suspiciously and take comfort in the fact that this will most likely be an easy favor, a walk in the park if you will.
But of course my brain is already racing… what if it isn’t? The very fact that she’s concerned enough to ask a trustworthy-“looking” and/or nearby stranger to watch over her things implies she believes there’s at least a remote possibility of her things being stolen.
So what if someone does comes along and grab something?
What exactly are my responsibilities here?
Do I need to run over there and attempt to prevent the c rime since I technically now have power of attorney over her things?
Or do I only take action if something is taken?
And what if something is taken?
Am I supposed to run after the guy? If yes I should probably be stretching a bit - especially since I’ll be doing so in flip-flops. Furthermore, clearly this means there are indeed criminals in the park so who will watch MY stuff while I’m chasing down a perp for this urinating stranger?
As I am fully absorbed in surveying the park dwellers for the second most-trustworthy looking stranger, my protectee returns from the bathroom, throws a nod of gratitude my way and probably never realizes just how safe her things were on my watch. And I can stop worrying about any of it and go back to my tunes.
As it was for many others, 2009 was a tough, tough year for me. But now that it’s over, I find myself grateful for it. I learned A LOT about myself and the world and I know that I’ve been honest and objective enough with myself to be able to use what I’ve learned to evolve. From where I stand today, I see what had to happen for me to be ready to actually start this blog. I had to remove every unsupportive distraction from my life and finally understand how to truly focus on myself. The hardest part has been figuring out how to slow down the wheels in my head long enough to make sense of it all. Which eventually got me to thinking…over the course of my veryclose to 40 years, I have been told a lot of things about myself that have stuck with me*, allowing those wheels to keep turning:
*In no particular order and not a complete list of things I have been told over my lifetime.
That I am quirky, unique, strong, brave, smart, angry, hateful, a surly motherfucker, F’ing nuts, that I’ve been considered as a reason to commit suicide, my hair is too big to take me seriously, it was only about the money, stand-up comedy is so easy anyone could do it. That I’m stubborn, unclear, unrealistic, inspirational, funny, skinny, chunky, I have kind eyes, a big heart and I march to the beat of a different drummer.
That I’m annoying, not worth listening to, too intense, my love life is pathetic, I’m intimidating, I’m wrong, I slouch, I should never get trapped by my salary, I write like a writer, I smoke too much weed, I have special blood, a quiet confidence and an attitude problem. That I’m gay, straight, bisexual, bipolar, honest, brilliant, and I look like a boy.
That I’m bossy, I think I'm perfect, I have to have the last word, I think I’m always right, I’m opinionated, I’m hysterical, I’m lazy, insane, the sane one, I'd be a good mom, I require too much of a learning curve, I’m quick, I’m on the ball, I should have been a lawyer, I'm not doing my job, I'm good at my job, a fuck up, rebellious, disrespectful, mean, a bitch, trustworthy, a smart ass, an all-star, a dork, adorable, cool, hot, cold, warm, a loner, a social butterfly, a unifier, an explorer, adventurous, depressed, missed, worried about, a renaissance woman, a mentor, insightful, defiant, creative, too logical, ridiculous. To own it, to create my own opportunities, to pull over & let myself out of the car in the middle of the NYS thruway at 9pm.
That I should give up, keep going, get help. That I'll figure it out myself, that therapy isn't helping me, that being with me was a drunken mistake, that people are proud of me. That I'm admired, a rock, awkward. That I’m a Catholic, an atheist, an agnostic, a Buddhist and definitely a Jew.
That he’ll always be my father. That I have a sense of where people are coming from, a great sense of direction, I’m lacking direction and lost. I’m intuitive, give good advice, clingy, anal, a liar. I've outstayed my welcome. That it gets better, it's all downhill from here, I think too much, I should leave a quarter if I borrow a Q-tip, I’m great at networking, I’m secretly in charge, I need to put myself out there more, I didn't do my due diligence, I went above and beyond expectations, I have too many walls up, I was exactly the right person at a very important moment, I have good instincts, a genuine laugh, I’m a tortured genius, I talk too much, I'm shy, I’m outgoing, I’m fun, I was a scribe in ancient Egypt.
That I did the right thing, I made a big mistake, I have so much potential, I take the party up a notch, I’m crazy for picking people up from the airport, I'm generous, my opinion is respected, my feelings are inaccurate, I must have done something terrible in a past life, I’m one of those people that great things just happen to, that people don’t know how to help me, that people don’t have friends like me, that people who get close to me must be idiots, that it would be awful to live inside my head and that I should go to the ladies room if I’m going to pick my teeth. That I am over-sensitive, over-bearing, over-reacting, over-analyzing, over-thinking.
The point is that I have felt loved and hated, idolized and ignored. Sometimes all by the same person. I have experienced too many mixed messages coming from too many disparate sources to ever truly know which to believe and when. And I’ve added my share.
So while I want and appreciate the honest opinions and feedback of others, in the end I am the only one who can decide which of the above are true. And I feel qualified to do that because I feel I have a decent understanding of who I am and what I believe. More importantly for me, I take the time to understand why I believe it. And more importantly still, that answer is never “because ______ believes it”. I simply refuse to be someone I’m not based on the expectations of others. It’s just who I am. Knowing that is what slows down the wheels in my head and gives me one consistent guiding voice; my truth.
I find that there is so much less chaos in the truth. Own it. Use it. Grow. Keep Moving Forward.
I finally feel ready(ish) to share that voice…with all 5 of you that are still reading…because these are the things I think about.
Technology is turning us into zombies, a little bit. Don’t get me wrong, I love technology, I love how it makes the world smaller, I love how it makes life easier and less stressful, I truly consider my iPhone the next best thing to a husband…especially because it is not afraid to ask for directions and always wants to watch the movies I want to watch.
HOWEVER, have you ever been in this scenario in the supermarket? You’re attempting to leave an aisle and you can’t because the person in front of you is slowly, slowly, shuffling along, very slowly. You quickly think to yourself, this person is:
c) Back from the dead
If it’s a) and/or b), I’m happy to wait for you, please take your time. But both of these options can generally be ruled out rather quickly, even from behind. If it’s c), uh, then I don’t even care about ruling it out, no need for me to be loitering near any fellow shopper I even remotely suspect of being a zombie. But if it's d) then get the fuck out of my way!! Seriously! I’m not spending my whole night in aisle 6 so you can text "sup?” to random persons on your contact list that you have deemed most likely to respond!