Saturday, June 30, 2012

A New Adult Talks Politics

As I've mentioned (briefly, because the very thought makes me break down in tears), Addie graduated from high school a couple of weeks ago.  My beautiful, brilliant daughter is leaving for college at the end of this summer; she has a boyfriend these days; she shows me pretty much every day how grown up she is getting (although she's not eighteen until September, so I still have a little bit of leverage ;-)).

Addie has always been a very cool person, and I say that not just as her mother.  She is funny and smart and thoughtful (she is also stubborn and moody and refuses to get a job, but those come up far less often).

Anyway, we were just hanging out in the living room the other day, and the next thing I knew, we were talking about politics.  Like, legitimately.  I'm not even sure how it came up.

We've talked in this basic direction before, some of the things that are on the news.  Addie's contributions are usually question-laced (which is good) and connected to personal experiences (which is probably better).

*  Why aren't ___________ and _____________ (we know and love a lot of same-sex couples) allowed to get married?  That's just stupid.  They love each other and have been together for longer than a lot of people.  Why should selective reading from the Bible supersede the main lesson of love, that none of us are without sin, that it's up to God (if you believe in Him) to make the final call after you are dead?  ______________ and __________________ are good people that love everybody and give so much to society, while so many "married Christian couples" do horrible things all the time.  Also, it's a true statistic that many more heterosexuals than homosexuals cheat on their significant others and are pedophiles.  If God is going to let people into heaven based on their sex lives, I don't think I want to go there.

*  It's really ironic how politicians will go on and on about how wrong abortion is, yet when it comes time to foot the bill for these babies that nobody really wanted, they're perfectly okay with letting them live in poverty with no real shot at ever getting out.  Mothers who beat the crap out of kids they were guilt-tripped into having by some pro-life group that disappeared pretty quickly from the picture are not held accountable because budget cuts have taken the teeth out of the Division of Children, Youth, and Family.  There was a girl at school whose father was molesting her and, when they showed up to ask him about it, he said it was a lie and wouldn't let them into the house, and there was absolutely nothing they could do ... because it interfered with his "civil rights".  Crazy!

*  Why do some people still think that Saddam Hussein was behind 9/11?  It doesn't take a rocket scientist to know that Hussein and Osama bin Laden hated each other based on the type of Muslim each was ... why are people too stupid to pick up a book?  And why did the government lie about the whole "weapons of mass destruction ... Iraq is an immediate threat" thing?  Was it really as simple as George W. Bush wanting to take out Saddam Hussein for his father?  There are other countries that pose far more of a threat to the USA than Iraq, so why?

*  And of course we've had multiple conversations about the desperate need for welfare reform.

The other day, she asked me my thoughts on immigration.

I was really honest with her (I do try to keep my opinions on things to a minimum as I'd rather she draw her own conclusions).  "Immigration," I said, "is a tough one."

I told her my basic concern, namely that it's a good thing for our family that immigration was an accepted practice a couple hundred years ago, because otherwise I'd probably be digging up potatoes in Ireland.  I mean, realistically speaking, there were Native Americans already here in the United States when what could be defined as "immigrants" first arrived.  Is it fair to say, "Whoa, okay, immigration was good for awhile, but now we're cutting it off.  Done."?

She started telling me about some of her friends from other countries (this was the adult part of the conversation) that have never understood immigration.  To them, it is completely wrong and strange and different to allow others any fair chance to assimilate into their culture and part of the world and so on.  "But that's not why people in America are against immigration," she noted.

It was very cool.  We talked about how part of our laissez-faire attitude about immigration and our lack of understanding about why people like Texas and Arizona are so fired up about it is likely because we live in the northeast, where it's definitely not the problem it is in other parts of the country.

We also agreed on kind of a cool immigration policy.  Basically, anyone should be able to enter the United States and be given five years to become a contributing member of society (or at least show progress in that direction).  Five years should be plenty of time to demonstrate that, and the knowledge of such a degree of regulation would give immigrants an incentive to work hard and follow American laws and so on.

We got laughing and said that clearly there has to be some pretty strong arguments against that policy because otherwise it would be in place.

Anyway, I try to keep politics out of this blog, but this really isn't intended to be about politics.  It is instead meant as a testament to how wonderful it is to have intelligent, evidence-based discourse on important issues of our time with my daughter who, not too long ago, was more concerned with whether her jeans should be from Hollister or Abercrombie.

My process when getting into discussions that could potentially become heated is to always listen to what others are saying.  Even if I completely disagree with them, listening to why they have a certain opinion is often quite a learning experience.

That Addie has joined those ranks, that she can make me think and learn and grow, just emphasizes her status as a new adult ... and that makes me incredibly happy and proud.

Friday, June 29, 2012

Standing up for What's Right Vis a Vis Welfare Abuse

I almost put the words "welfare fraud" into the title of this post, but I didn't.  I don't like opening cans of worms, you see.  Plus, technically it's not true.  To be completely fair, technically it's not welfare abuse either, but I guess this is where my bias becomes clear ;-)

Last week, New Hampshire media started reporting the story about a store clerk who refused to let a customer buy cigarettes with his welfare card (they're called "EBT Cards" here in New Hampshire, but I know that's not universal, so I'm calling them welfare cards).  

I guess the point was made that he could just walk over to the ATM, withdraw cash with his welfare card, and buy cigarettes with that.  He didn't think that was fair or right.  Anyway, the media got wind, so now it's out there.  

But interestingly, no one really wants to talk about it.  

So I figured I'd bring it up here, share my thoughts, and find out what you, my brilliant readers, think.

Oh, and for any non-American readers, a welfare card is basically set up to mirror a credit card so recipients don't have to count out food stamps (and cashiers don't have to count them ... or something). If you have an EBT card and you get a "food stamp" allotment, you can only buy "food items" with that money (which, by the way, does include soda, candy, lobster, and filet mignon).  If you receive financial assistance (which is usually tied to either having minor children at home or some sort of disability), you can use that money however you want.

Okay, I understand that people need assistance.  I have absolutely no problem with my taxes going toward families that are unable to find work for a short time.  There are people, lots of people, that receive welfare assistance for a period of time while they're finishing school or trying to find a job or overcome an illness or whatever, and I am totally okay with that.  

What drives me crazy is that those are in the minority.  A huge percentage of people that receive welfare benefits have figured out how to beat the system (continuing to have children so your benefits don't end even when you're then trying to raise nine kids, for example, or my personal nomination for the hall of shame, one of my former friends--he had a shitty little food stand, and he bought the food and drinks he sold with food stamps because he could make five or six times what the state had given him to keep his children fed, and turn it into cash...that is utterly deplorable, in my opinion).  

But back to the cigarette situation.  

I want to go shake that cashier's hand.  Seriously, if someone needs money to survive on, cigarettes should not be included in that package.  It is like flipping off the system that has kindly given you money, and furthermore it's adding to the increasing likelihood that this guy will end up with some long-term medical condition that will entitle him to stay on assistance forever.  

It really burns me up.

With that being said, though, technically the cashier was in the wrong.  I mean, it's not up to any of us that work long hours and sacrifice much so that some guy can go buy a pack of butts with money that he didn't earn.  

A besides, if the scrub can then just go to the ATM and take out the equivalent cash, the problem still exists.

So while I think it is so cool that the cashier stuck to her moral guns, we're dealing with a system that is not set up to be judged by the morals of others.  And so she was wrong in the sense that, Constitutionally speaking, the guy has the right to buy cigarettes with money that the State of New Hampshire opined was necessary to his (or, God forbid, his children's) survival.

But it still sucks.

Considering where I fall on the political spectrum, my vehement distaste for the welfare system and the need for it to be overhauled sooner rather than later is pretty funny for people that know me well.  In fact, when it comes up in conversations and I go all, "Welfare recipients should have to be drug-tested every week ... there should be required to have hysterectomies after six consecutive kids ... they should have to provide evidence on a weekly basis that they are legitimately seeking employment ... they should NOT be allowed to buy tobacco or alcohol (or lobster)", my friends nearly pee themselves.     

The problem is, this whole mess brings up the question of, "Who decides morality?"  And the answer is ... well, it's not really the government's business to say what is right or wrong in terms of morals.  And if I want to say that same sex marriage should be legal because who the hell am I to judge or that women should be able to choose whether or not to have an abortion because it's none of my business and so on, then I certainly don't have the right to get all bent out of shape over some dude scamming the system over a pack of butts.

Yet I find that I am, and I am incredibly proud of Jackie Whiton, a woman I have never met and probably never will as she was fired for her refusal to allow the loser to buy cigarettes with state-given money.

His response to the whole situation was, as stated to the media, "Clearly I was in the right, because she was fired" after he called the store's company and complained that he'd been discriminated against.  He then went on to say--and yes, I am serious--"I barely qualify for it, and for me to use the few dollars I get on cigarettes, that's considered a treat."

A treat.  

So, yeah, enjoy your treat, buddy.  I'll continue to work my butt off and eschew any treats so I can save up any remaining money after paying the monthly bills so that my daughter won't be buried in student loans when she graduates from college.  

Sounds like you're perfectly happy to sit around collecting, and since the government continues to entitle that mentality, go for it.  I'm sure a self-aggrandizing twit like you doesn't care about the impact your smug little actions might have for people that use the welfare system legitimately.

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Youth is Flummoxed by ... What Used to Pass for Technology

There is a rotary telephone at my family's beach house.  It is avocado green and completely epic.  I should also mention that, while we've gone through three or four cordless phones on a separate jack, that rotary phone still works just fine (well, unless you get to an automated system because clearly you can't press one or whatever).

But anyway ...

Belle is a pretty technologically savvy kid.  She knows how to operate an iPod, a television, a DVD player, a VCR (which Henry informed me that some of his high school students can't accomplish), a computer (in fact, she's pretty well-versed with PCs, which we have at home, and the Macs she uses at school), and a sno-cone machine.  

She also passed "The Moron Test" on my iPhone, which had me stymied (I was a little embarrassed ;-)).

But today, when my mother asked her to call a family friend to see if she wanted to join us for dinner, it was Belle's turn to be stymied.
She figured it out eventually, of course, but it struck me pretty deeply how this kid who can navigate touchscreens couldn't figure out how to use a telephone circa ... well, I was born in 1976, and there are pictures of me as a baby with that phone in the background.

We talk about the technological advances of this day and age, but it's unfortunate in some ways that we've sort of lost the technological wonders of the past.  I don't know if I'm just nostalgic here, or if it's worthy of concern that kids today can program computers but aren't able to gather reliable information from a book (I'm talking about when it's not all done for them, a la Wikipedia).

We had a little dinner party for Addie's graduation tonight, and her friend asked me a question (a really good question) about Harry Potter (since, according to Addie, I know everything there is to know about Harry Potter ;-)).  

I did not know the answer to this particular question (basically, "What the hell happened to Harry's paternal grandparents, who couldn't have been all that old since he was in his twenties when he was killed?"), so I did what I always do in those situations ... I took out my iPhone and Googled it.  I got the answer (which I'd tell you, except it's easy enough to Google ;-)), but I also wondered what would have happened if I hadn't found it right away.

Yeah, being me, I probably would have reread the books.

But I had to think about that for a second.  What WOULD I have done?  I can remember the days before the interwebs sliced its virtual highways around the earth, and I can remember being a pretty resourceful kid, but ... I cannot remember what, in that situation, I would have had for options.  

Scary stuff, if you think about it.

If you hand a kid a cassette tape, an Atari joystick, heck, even an EZ-Bake Oven, they'd look at you like you were crazy.  Actually, they'd look at you like Belle looked at us as she tried to figure out how to operate a rotary telephone.

Do you have any great stories about the technologically advanced youth of today being flummoxed by things that were simple to us at one point in time?  

Oh, and do you think that letting the technology that came before, that paved the way, should be forgotten?  (I mention this because I never heard of an eight-track until I was in college and was dating a guy with an eight-track player ... I thought it was the coolest thing ever and wondered why my musical scope was limited to LPs, cassettes, and CDs)

Summer Writing Project--Please Weigh In

Along with my writing mojo returning came two great writing ideas about which I am very excited.  That being said, I know that I can only focus on one at a time and a decision has to be made.

I've written one novel and several short stories (here, here,  here, and here, if you're interested).  I thought they were pretty good at the time (they clearly weren't ;-)), but I've learned a lot about writing and about life since then, and I am unquestionably at a better place as a writer now.

If you know me at all in real life (or it's entirely possible you've picked this up from my blogging topics and patterns), you're well aware that I'm pretty much the textbook version of an adult with ADHD.  I struggle with getting started, finishing what I start unless there are firm deadlines, and many of what we call in the education world "executive functioning skills".  I am impulsive, disorganized, and I hate authority.  And so on and so forth.

Oh, I also have that "hyper-focus" on one area, kind of like self-hypnosis (if you have or know anyone with ADHD, you know what I mean).  For me, it's reading.  Or writing.  For a lot of hyperactive kids nowadays, it's video games.  But that's a different rant ...

Anyway, I've made a lot of progress with functioning in life, more than just bouncing around driving people nuts or using books and caffeine to keep myself under control (I'm really not as bad as I'm making myself out to be ... I am a successful mother, teacher, girlfriend, dog owner, friend, daughter, sister, and blah blah blah).

And I've decided that this is the summer of writing.

So I've got it down to two topics.  I'd really rather not flip a coin, so I am going to let you, oh person reading these words right now, decide.  Seriously.

Oh, and before you say, "Why don't you try doing both?", see the above explanatory ADHD rant.  I cannot focus on writing on two things at once.  It's as simple as that.

So ...

1.  A historical mystery. (vague, I know ... I don't want to tip my hand ;-))
*  I know the whole story in my head (this sort of planning ahead is symbolic of the new and slightly improved me)
*  It's an extensive lesson in history, and I've already started researching extensively.
*  I have always wanted to write a mystery


2.  A memoir of my life.
*  It's an interesting story ... I have had the great fortune of having incredible things happen to me ... and the horrible misfortune of having unspeakably horrible things happen to me.
*  Coming to terms with a couple of my traumatic life events has given me closure ... part of me thinks that getting it all out there might do so on a larger scale.
*  It is very important to me as a mother and a teacher that the children I raise and/or educate get the lesson that, when life knocks you down, you get right back up.  I think this is a message that needs to get out more, and I think putting it in writing (more than the occasional blog post) could help people.

So, please give your recommendation (your vote, to use that word) in the comments.  Should I focus my summer writing time, other than blogging and other responsibilities, working on the historical mystery or the memoir?

And should you want to explain why, that would be great, too :-)  

Either way, I'm going with the majority.

Thanks in advance <<3

Monday, June 25, 2012

Television Hypocrisy Leads to Selective Memory Contemplation

There is no question in my mind that kids today watch too  much television.  Not a shred of doubt.  Agreed.  It's a problem.

I am also willing to admit that Belle, my precious (and precocious) eight-year-old, watches more than her share.  

What occurred to me the other day, though, is that this is not a new problem.  No, not Belle watching too much TV ... that's only been a problem for seven years or so.  But, seriously, it really is more of a universal concern.

Okay, here's what happened.  I had a stroke of ... well, brilliance is probably too strong a word, but at least it was a very telling realization.

My mother is always on me about the amount of TV Belle watches.  Like, it's a borderline serious issue between the two of us.  

I always try to point out that
1) Belle isn't a passive TV watcher.  She is almost always doing stuff while watching television.

2) The occasions when Belle does sack out in front of the TV almost always follow extensive outdoor ventures.

3) Belle is a voracious reader and would frequently rather sack out with a book than with Victorious or iCarly.

None of that cuts much dice with mi madre.

But then I remembered something--namely, the entire movie script from Labyrinth, which my siblings and I watched near-obsessively when we were kids.  And a whole list of movies scrolled through my mind--Ghostbusters, The Neverending Story, Jaws, Back to the Future, the original three Star Wars films, Spaceballs, The Goonies, The Legend of Billie Jean, Ghostbusters, Heathers, Nightmare on Elm Street, The Dark Crystal, and dozen of others.

Basically, my mother didn't seem to care as much that her own kids were watching so much television that their brains were turning to mush.

I don't write this to bash on my mom; I truly believe that first, she wants to make sure that her grandchildren have the absolute best and second, that her memory is selective with regards to this.

The fact that I can say without the shadow of a doubt that my sibs and I watched far more television than Belle does means very little in the great scheme of things.  My brother and sister don't watch TV excessively as adults, and I almost never watch TV at all.

I guess it's more the selective memory that my mother exemplified ... and the realization that I and pretty much everyone I know is guilty of that same sort of rewriting of history, if only in their minds.

Why do we lie to ourselves about things that, when push comes to shove, really don't matter at all?  And do we believe ourselves?

Sunday, June 24, 2012

Recap Via Pictures as I Try to Atone for Sucking at Blogging

I have had terrible writer's block for months.  I don't know why, but it appears to be gone now (woohoo :-)!!!!).  Anyway, so much has gone on that writing about it seems overwhelming, so I figured that I'd do a little annotated photo catch-up post (in reverse chronological order).

Today I went mini-golfing with Henry and Belle.  It was so much fun :-)  I somehow won, which was a first.  Belle wanted an ice cream desperately when we were done, but once we got to the counter, she changed her mind to a blue raspberry slush thing.  She still looks like she ate a smurf (but she won't let me take a picture of it).

 My golden retriever is petrified of thunderstorms.  She cries and shakes and her heart beats so fast that I worry about her survival.  The only thing that makes her feel better is barricading herself into a small space, and the most recent thunderstorm found her between the recliner that Belle was sleeping in and the couch that I was sleeping on.  Poor puppy :-(
This is my current Facebook profile picture.  No makeup, I was seriously sleep-deprived, and I'd been sick to my stomach early that night, plus I don't think I've needed to have my eyebrows done so desperately since I was fourteen or so.  Still, I kind of like the picture, and I really like that I've gotten to a point where I don't feel the need to look "good" in every picture.  It's kind of freeing :-)  
 Since the death of my bed (it was a "Ward and June Cleaver" original from the fifties, I think), I've been stuck with the couch.  I have a nice Sealy full-size in my storage unit but haven't had the time to get there.  In the meantime, Sonja has decided that sleeping on the couch with me is a good idea.  Um ... no.
 Belle and I joined Pythagorus on a cruise to the Isles of Shoals.  Well, we tried to, but the boat turned around about an hour in due to seven-foot waves.  Most memorable was the fact that Miss Belle, despite my attempts to convince her otherwise, wore a summer dress and flip flops (and begrudgingly brought a sweatshirt with her).  Fortunately, I never clean my car out, so I found her spring jacket and a blanket, which was a good thing because it was FREEZING.  It was a fun morning, though, and I'm glad for it because as always, things with Pythagorus go up and down like a roller coaster, so whenever Belle can enjoy her visits with him is a good thing.
 I hate awards ceremonies because it always seems like the same kids always get the lion's share of awards.  As a result, I have for years done "class awards" for every single student on the last day of class.  They are sometimes silly (one year, one of my students and I always had to pee at the same time each day, so she got the "Best Bathroom Conversation Award") and sometimes serious (the "Untapped Potential Award"), but I think it really means a lot to the kids that I take the time to honor them all individually.  One of my students gave me this the next day...just before he took his final exam, I might add :-)
 Addie graduated from high school.  I will be doing a whole post on this when I am able to.  There are not words to describe the incredible pride and the deep trauma of watching your oldest child become a high school graduate.  I'm tearing up, so time to move on ...

 We had an awesome party at the beach house where everyone came--both of my siblings and sibs-in-law as well as my two precious nephews, plus the usual suspects.  Belle was, of course, in her glory at the opportunity to boss a couple of adoring little boys around (although in this picture, they were pushing her around in a chair ;-)).
 Belle and I went to a play at my school, and it started raining so hard it was ridiculous.  We were staying at Henry's that night, but he wasn't home yet, and I was soaking wet from my run to the car from the school (I'd picked Belle up at the door, so she was okay), so I rummaged through Henry's drawers to find a dry shirt.  I took this picture to text him and tease about going through his stuff, but I could only get it to work as a mirror pic, and then it turned into "things to notice and laugh at", such as his unmade bed and his cats' eyes and the fact that one piece of my hair looks completely blonde, and so on.  One of the things I love best about Henry is that we laugh a lot.
 As Senior Class Co-Advisor, I guess there was no way I'd get out of being part of the senior prank.  However, the kids that just graduated (my secondary babies or "school babies", as I call them) are such a good group that their senior prank was shockingly ... well, kind.

 I still have the sense of humor of a thirteen-year-old.  To wit, I took a picture of my recent order of "pot fries" (which of course fell under the "Open food" category) as well as the double entendre present on a Burger King Kid Meal.

 I had the privilege of being one of the chaperones on the senior class trip, where we went whitewater rafting and had a total blast.  The only downside was that it was on Mothers Day weekend, which ended up being okay because the seniors got us (the "mothers" who were spending their day with them instead of their own kids) cards--mine was by far the most far-out ;-).  We also got my co-advisor a lobster since she was bummed that her family was eating lobster without her.  In typical fashion, things got very silly, and the lobster's remains ended up being a mascot.  Oh, and there was a bachelor party in the cabin next door; the first night, the guys were just completely wasted, but the second night, they had a stripper.  Yeah, it was pretty damn memorable :-)  (and yes, I am in fact on that raft)

 My brother and I took Belle and my nephew Pete to Odiorne Point, which has great hiking trails and allows some really cool ocean views as well as lots of opportunities for throwing rocks into the water (one of Pete's favorite past times) and walking way out on the breakwall (which quickly became one of Belle's).  We had such an amazing time :-)

It's been a really busy few months, with a lot of good things and a couple of truly horrible things happening.  All in all, I'm just very relieved that school is out for the summer, that my writer's block appears to be gone, and that I can resume writing, blogging, and rejoining society ;-)

Sunday Stealing: The Imaginary Meme

This is Part VI of a longer meme, but since I haven't blogged forever (other than my random iPhone contemplation on roadkill, where I learned that IOS doesn't give a rat's derriere about paragraphs...), I figured this was a good way to ease back in.  Check out Sunday Stealing, if you get a chance ... always an interesting read :-)

101. Name 4 things you always have with you.
iPhone (it's a combination extra appendage and crack), coffee, keys, and ... hmmm, underwear???? 

102. How many SERIOUS exes do you have?
Serious exes ... hmm, sounds a touch oxymoronic ;-)  Probably four.

103. What causes you to you admire people?
Honesty, humor, and ... well, a willingness to do interesting things.

104. Do you like sports?
I do.  I like to watch baseball and football on TV, and I enjoy playing random "non-sports" like badminton, ladder golf, beach volleyball, and such.  And I'm a swimming maniac.

105. Would you have sex after marriage? Why or why not?
Nah, marriage takes all the fun out of it ;-)

106. What is your favorite male name?

107. Do animals go to Heaven?
They'd better, because many animals I've known are more deserving than most people.

108. Last time you had a great time with your dad?
Some Christmas Eve event at his house.  It's usually a good time, with lots of music and beer and reminiscing.  

109. What is your favorite hair style?
I am very low-maintenance.  My hair just is.  The idea of all the work that goes into it keeps me from really enjoying any other hair styles.

110. Do you like your name?
Sure.  I mean, it's a little over-common, but it's much better than Prunella or Apple or whatever.

111. When was the last time that you quit your job?
2008.  Geez, time flies ...

112. When you wake up, what is the first thing you think?
"Put the dogs out", since I usually wake up to a black lab climbing all over me and a golden retriever relentlessly licking my face.

113. Have you ever pulled an all-niter?
In my wayward youth, many times.  It's been awhile ...

114. What is the perfect day for you?
Any day where I get to spend extensive time with my daughters.  And cheeseburgers.

115. Last time you cleaned the bathroom?
Hmmm, when you can't answer that question off the top of your head, I guess you know it's time to clean the bathroom.  Guess I know what I'm doing when I finish this ...

116. Have you ever failed a grade? Why?
I never failed a grade, but I did fail Algebra I.  Twice.  

My parents got divorced when I was in sixth grade, so suffice it to say that I didn't care a whole lot about school at that time (it was a pretty bad scene).  As a result, I ended up tracked in low classes when I went into junior high.  My eighth grade English teacher wanted me to take the placement test for Honors English when we were doing course selections for high school, and they decided to take me, for some reason.  

The problem was, the school would not allow me to take Honors English and Pre-Algebra (back then, if you were exceptionally smart in one area, you could theoretically be exceptionally smart in all areas).  I had to make a choice.  Well, my mother had to make a choice.

Long story short, I walked into Algebra I thinking that "X" meant multiply.  It went downhill from there ...

117. Have you met anyone online?
Haha, yup.

118. Have you ever smoked?
Yup...dirty, filthy, disgusting habit :-(

119. Do you like celebrities?
I do, in fact, have a minor obsession with celebrities.  When I was in high school, I kept scrapbooks of different celebrities that were always in the news, and even now I can tell you random celebrity gossip facts that are completely pointless.  I own the celebrity category of Trivial Pursuit ;-)

120. Do you like traveling?
Actually, I love traveling.  Unfortunately, I have a deathly fear of airplanes, so my options are a bit limited.  I do the best I can with what I have :-)

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Disturbing Realization (Kind of Gross...)

While driving into work this morning, I had a disturbing realization... Anyone that is my Facebook friend knows that I have an unfortunate tendency to hit squirrels, chipmunks, and even birds with my car. It's horrible, and I hate it, but I guess it's unavoidable when your daily commute is nearly two hours. Anyway, I've always kind of wondered whose job it was to dispose of the...well, the plethora of road kill. I found out this morning that, apparently, the job falls to Mother Nature... There were crows. A lot of crows. It wasn't pretty. I guess I'll leave it at that. I mean, part of me wishes there were special sanitation workers in charge of it. Hell, even the proverbial garbage truck rider. Nope. Crows. Ewwwwwww.

Are Minorities Discouraged from Taking Upper-Level Classes?: The Elephant in the Room

As a public school teacher for sixteen years, I sometimes feel like I’ve seen it all. I’ve seen Standards come and go (and despite the brou...