Friday, December 30, 2005
Humans do some odd things. Buying lottery tickets. Wearing your favorite team's shirt, when you are home, alone watching the game. Wearing shoes that make it impossible to walk any normal distance.
The polar bear swim on New Years Day. That's the one that really confuses me. Why is going into the north part of the Atlantic Ocean in January fun? Who thought of this in the first place?
In my hometown, Ocean City, NJ, this is a big event. Jersey shore towns are all about the big events. Give the tourists a big event so they come to town. Especially in the off season. A bit of trivia. The Miss America pageant was started in Atlantic City as a way to extend the tourist season one more week.
I'm still trying to picture the first people who did this. There is a group in Vancouver who claim to be the oldest polar bear club, established in 1920. But before this was an organized activity, someone had to say, "Hey, it's January 1st, 10 degrees, lets go in the ocean!" Then leave their warm house for this bizarre activity. I find it easier to understand if I picture alcohol playing a major part in the decision.
They claim this has been popular in Scandinavian countries for centuries, but I don't buy that. My money goes on the drunk Canadians.
So Sunday morning, I'll be in Ocean City, on the beach. Why? Because my darling daughter thinks the polar bear swim is the quintessential holiday activity. She did it last year, but I tried to explain that last year didn't count, because we had unseasonable weather and the air temp was 55 degrees. I don't think she will be so lucky this year.
But I'll be there, with my camera, and I'll be sure to report back if little darling is still enamored with the polar bear swim.
Tuesday, December 27, 2005
"You see Weapons of Mass Destruction"
"Losing your civil rights is really a protection."
"We don't need that silly Bill of Rights (except the second amendment)."
I guess hypnosis is the only way to convice the public that the Bush Administration is not screwing us.
Thanks to Dependable Renegade.
Sunday, December 25, 2005
On Friday, a co-worker and I were discussing the "Christmas Cards" (actually MS Publisher generated greetings) we received from other departments. Our department didn't send any, because we are either too lame or too cool to participate in this winter tradition.
Of course, all of the notices (they really aren't cards, so I won't call them that) all said Happy Holidays and Seasons Greetings. We work for a large school district. No one is sending Merry Christmas, less it offend someone.
Merchants saying Season's Greetings is completely understandable. No businessman wants to be the proverbial last straw.
Imagine you are Jewish (or Muslim or Buddhist or Pagan or atheist or a Sock Worshiper or whatever) and you enter Target to shop. The greeter says, "Merry Christmas". Are you going to flip out? Well, maybe. Maybe today you had to explain to your kids for the 140th time why Santa doesn't visit, that you are not Christ Killers, that you don't decorate for Christmas, that everyone does not celebrate Christmas, and that people who don't believe in Christ are not going to burn forever in the lake of fire. Then some employee at a store says "Merry Christmas" and you take their head off. You explain (read scream) that not everyone is Christian and isn't it enough that Christians get their holiday to be a Federal Holiday and can't they just leave you and your family alone for once.
Then you storm out of the store and get into your car. By the time you leave the parking lot, you realize that you made a complete ass out of yourself, and probably scared the poor employee half to death. Now, do you go back in and apologize? Probably not. You go to Walmart or Kmart to do your shopping. And you will probably avoid that Target until you believe enough time has passed that someone else acted like an idiot and they have forgotten about you.
From a business point of view, Target doesn't want to lose the sale, so Happy Holidays is the greeting of the season. No one is offended. Everyone spends money.
But I work for a large school district. School districts, besides being government organizations, are managed by former teachers and principals. They are very busy and have tremendous responsibility. Usually they manage the schools and employees quite competently. However, they tend to treat all the employees like students.
We've all seen the teacher handing out balloons to her class, only to have everyone scream for the red ones. What does the teacher do? Most often s/he says "Ok, now nobody will have a red balloon. Ever. No more red balloons in this classroom!" My superiors treat us like that. Someone might get offended, so no Christmas! Never! Like that is going to teach us a lesson. Now this does not extend to our classrooms, only the administrative employees.
So while chatting with a co-worker, we decided that it was also wrong to wish people a "Happy" holiday. Maybe they don't want to be told what kind of holiday to have. What right do we have to demand that they are happy.
So we are wishing everyone a Holiday.
Saturday, December 24, 2005
What's funny is that this wasn't reported by Francis, but by his ex-bimbo Paris Hilton.
Now I don't condone threatening people with guns, but if it was this man's fate to be robbed, then I'm glad he got a taste of his perverbial medicine.
And I always had a soft spot for criminals with a sense of humor.
Friday, December 23, 2005
Can we do anything more demeaning? Maybe put in pole dancers? Hooter's girls?
Saks had a "Shop with a Bunny" day. Unfortunately for women who value their dignity, it was a rousing success.
I don't understand this at all. Do these guys just like pretty women for ornamental effect? Do they go home and masturbate?
The men aren't getting any, but they act like they are. Would someone please explain this?
Thursday, December 22, 2005
They don't visit much, we go to their house. Of course, they live in Ocean City, NJ 2 blocks from he beach, so their house is much more appealing than my little townhouse in Bath, PA.
Yesterday I finished my shopping. For me this is early, I used to shop on Christmas Eve. It was easy, each store had very few items available, so it was easy to pick presents. I gave some odd presents, but I've always believed that I give presents that I WANT to give to people, not necessarily what they want. They ought to be glad I got them anything!
All day yesterday and today I've had this song going through my head:
Go in and out the windows,
Go in and out the windows,
Go in and out the windows,
Just like we did before.
There other verses, Go up and down the doorsteps, Kneel down and say you love her, and Now follow me to London.
This was a circle game (do kids still do those?) that we played in Kindergarten. I googled this, to see if there was a story behind it, but to no avail.
Anyone remember this? Anyone know if there is a back story?
Wednesday, December 14, 2005
Service men and women who have died in Iraq are being shipped home as cargo. How unfeeling can the Bush government be? Please don't tell me this isn't the President's responsibility, I'll address that later.
This is how a fallen soldier should return home. This is how we have always honored our dead.
I can only imagine the insult added to the grief of parents/spouses/children who find their child/spouse/parent returned with such a lack of honor.
Anyone who reads this blog knows that I'm a Democrat. I'm a Democrat because I believe that the government has a responsibility to help those who can't help themselves. I also believe Republicans to be unfeeling. But this is even beyond my imagination. How can this administration not support the veterans families. Service men and women who died in a Republican started war.
I always knew Bush's administration was heartless, but I thought they took care of their own. I thought the Republicans considered the military be one of their own. I guess I was wrong.
Some bloggers have said that this mistreatment, this disrespect is part of the conspiracy to keep the war dead and their families out of the media.
I think it is something worse. I think they don't care, at all, about anyone. We always knew they didn't care about the poor, now we know they don't care about the military. They don't care how many die. They don't care how the deceased and the families are treated.
They care about themselves and their agenda. That lack of caring and disrespect for the dead soldiers has permeated every area of our government. And the hell with everyone else.
Friday, December 09, 2005
However, I had a snow day today. No school, no work. Bath, PA is a winter wonderland, and I am in such a good mood, I thought I'd share pics of my daughter and dog enjoying the snow.
Wednesday, December 07, 2005
Normally, this would be called an anniversary. But I don't use that word. My husband died 6 months after we were married. Since we never had an anniversary together, I feel that I never had a wedding anniversary.
My husband had cancer. A brain tumor. A Glioblastoma Multeforme. Whatever you call it, it was a death sentence. I always believed he would live longer. I thought we'd get at least one anniversary.
All of the shit we had to go through: Surgery, radiation, chemo. He lost most of his sight, all of his hair, his short term memory, his sex drive, his appetite, his stamina--all of that we took in stride.
Time heals all wounds. Whoever said that never watched a loved one die. Time doesn't heal. Time just makes your wounds become a part of you. A part of your life, so much that you don't even see them anymore. But the wound is still there, still open, and when something--like a special day--comes and pokes that wound with a stick, the pain is as fresh as it was the first day you were hurt.
But the odd thing is, you don't mind it as much. Time has make it such a part of your life that it is surprising to still feel that wound. When I feel that pain of loss, I also feel all the love and joy we shared. I don't curse the gods or fate or whatever. Life dealt us a rotten hand, that's all. My husband and I did a lot of living in a short time.
But I still feel cheated that I never got a wedding anniversary with my husband.
Monday, December 05, 2005
Sunday, December 04, 2005
Friday, December 02, 2005
Interesting article at Media Matters.
A November 27 Washington Post article uncritically reported data from a flawed poll, concluding that the majority of Americans are "sympathetic" to "Vice President [Dick] Cheney's suggestion that criticism of the administration's [Iraq] war policies was itself becoming a hindrance to the war effort." In a poll released November 21 by RT Strategies, a polling firm founded by Democratic pollster Thomas Riehle and Republican pollster Lance Tarrance, the firm reported that 70 percent of Americans believe that Democratic senators' criticism of President Bush's Iraq war policy hurts U.S. troop morale in Iraq, while 13 percent believe it helps morale.
But as the Daily Kos weblog first pointed out, the poll does not allow for the possibility that criticism of Bush's Iraq policy has no effect on troop morale.
We have to stop trusting poll results without checking the methodology. Every statistic should come with a link to a web site that we can see questions asked and possibly demographics.
We need more sites like Media Matters to question statistics and keep the Media honest.
Thursday, December 01, 2005
It would be funny if it were not so accurate.