Wednesday, November 30, 2011

The "War on Christmas"

Did you hear my eyes roll?  Because they did.

This whole "war on Christmas" nonsense is simply ridiculous.  I mean, I got reprimanded for saying "Merry Christmas" when I worked at Noodle Kidoodle... but since the company was owned by a bunch of Jewish guys... I can understand why they want "Happy Holidays" used.

Now, let me preface this with:  Christmas is my FAVORITE holiday.  Seriously.  I decorate that tree.  I wear the gaudy Christmas sweaters.  I play Christmas tunes in my office.  I love the holiday.

But I do not celebrate the Jesus being born part of it.  I celebrate the "peace on earth, good will to men (mankind)"  part.

Why?  Because Jesus wasn't born during the winter.  in the whole birth story, there are shepherds out with the flocks.  That only happens during lambing season, in the spring.  Plus the Romans celebrated Saturnalia during that time. There wouldn't be a census during a 2 week party!  I have heard it suggested (and I'm inclined to believe it) that early Christians put their holidays on the dates that already had similar celebrations.  The Winter Solstice is around that time, and the whole birth after a time of darkness fits.  I've even heard that Jesus/Mithras thing.  All very interesting.

Can you celebrate the holiday without an ounce of religion?  Absolutely.  People have been doing it for years.  We use it as a time to visit with the family, to celebrate tradition.  Ending the year on a happy note and all that jazz.

There is no "war on Christmas."  People just don't want to have to celebrate the religious part of it.  There's no harm in it.  If you want to celebrate the religious part, knock yourself out.  I'll be respectful of you.  Just be respectful of people that do not share your religious beliefs.

And when I say "Merry Christmas," I happen to mean:  "Happy time of peace, family, and festivities."

Just testing

I'm using something new as a blog feed.. just testing!

GleeCap: I Kissed a Girl

Ok.... Last night's show was a perfect time for people's entire personoality to be summed up in one sentence.  For example:  Puck...  talking about Quinn:
"Look, I was into you a couple years ago because you were hot like a pixie and I thought you were pretty much cooler than every other girl in the school, but it turns out you're kind of nuts. You're higher maintenance than Berry and pretty much the most selfish person I ever met in my life. So, thanks for the offer but I'd rather raw-dog a beehive."
Brilliant if you as me.  So let me break it down:  Santana is very out, her grandmother is less than pleased.  The clubs try to make her feel better (they should have done that to Quinn... post baby).  Puck seems to be over Shelby.  Shelby's still hung up on Puck (this will end badly).  Kurt's dad won.  Kurt lost, even with Rachael stuffing the ballot box.  Rachel's in deep Kim Chi... and out of Sectionals.

Now, neither of these clubs have the prerequisite 12 members... but that fact was forgotten.  Unless it'll be a plot point for later.

I'm just wondering what sectionals will hold... and how fast Quinn and Shelby crash and burn.

They say the perfect dog is one that doesn't poop...

Not exactly, but that's how the joke went.

Apparently I have the prefect dog.  Or close to it.  Every so often Misty goes through a little bout of irregularity.  She's not every lethargic, or shaking.  She just.. tries awfully hard to go.  Last year this culminated in her bleeding from her butt, so you can understand my concern (One vet said it might be the bone the little rascal ate, the other one said straining.  I'm not taking any chances).

So now to find the puppy Metamucil, and start Poop Watch: 2011!

I know, it's all gross and weird, but she's my baby.  I love her!  I don't know what I would do if my sausage shaped lump wasn't under the sheets at night... or curled up on my lap (when I'm trying to do something on my lap..)

Monday, November 28, 2011

I'm thinking that I need to send this to Ellen...

Dear Ellen,

I must say, I love your show.  I record it every day, and watch it the following morning as I get ready for work.  The day before Thanksgiving this year I sat down to catch up on some episodes of your program.  The dog and I were all cuddled on the sofa, and the Spousal Equivalent was in the computer room.... doing whatever SE's do.

I watched the story of the Johnson family.  It brought me to tears.  In fact, most of the stories of the families that you help leave me a sobbing teary mess.  The dog tried to lick the tears away, and bark at me (to get me to stop crying and pet her).  The Spousal Equivalent came out from the computer room to see what was making me cry.  He simply laughed and shook his head after hearing the story.  (I have a history of crying at the Christmas Folgers commercials too.)

Why did it leave me a sobbing teary mess?  Because I have a similar story.  I had a home foreclosed, a marriage end, unemployment benefits that were exhausted.  I lived paycheck to paycheck, praying that this temp job or begging and borrowing would help me make the rent, or pay for a doctor.

Thank you for giving us hope.  I found my job and am slowly clawing my way back from debt.  I still have an irrational fear of not being able to afford the rent, but that hasn't happened yet.

Thank you for making us all laugh, and for sharing the inspirational stories that move me to tears.  And thank you for the hope.

The Nerdy Secretary

Saturday, November 26, 2011

I can FINALLY decorate!!!!

Thanksgiving has officially passed us by. This means that I'm officially allowed to decorate.

Unfortunately, I need to clean first.

We live in a small apartment. There's really no place TO put a tree anymore, except for the entry-way table. Which is covered with stuff.

My plan is to spend the next week doing wash, putting it away, cleaning off the tables, cleaning the kitchen. Once that's done we're going to go buy a 3 or 4 foot pre-lit tree and a cheap Christmas themed table cloth for the entry-way table.

Christmas is my favorite time of the year. I intend to celebrate it to the fullest!!

Friday, November 25, 2011

Thanksgiving Leftovers

I haz them!

It was an interesting week.

My vacation started on Wednesday. I went to the DMV (record time in and out), then to Bella Cakes to redeem a Groupon. While there, I was a taste tester for Raspberry Strudel cupcakes. Yummy!

Thursday found us eating at House Awesome. I think I ate a record small amount of T-Day dinner. We then went home, and looked at the Black Friday sales. A kind soul bought the Harry Potter set for us while she was there.

Today was really low key. I'm watching the Glee Project. I sent the Spousal Equivalent out for pizza. We're going to a "Turkey Day Leftover Party" tomorrow... where I'll eat my leftovers. I don't want to eat them now!

Tonight there's a slew of chick flicks on cable. Tomorrow laundry, groceries and a party and Sunday meeting a friend and getting ready to get back to work.

So.... some things can't be substituted....

We're out of dishwashing detergent, so the brilliant Spousal Equivalent says: "Just use the stuff we use in the sink. It's the same stuff."

Oh, how he was wrong. So I put a bit in the dispenser and started it.

A few minutes later I go to make coffee, and there are soap suds coming out of the bottom of the dishwasher. I clean it up, and put the oatmeal on to cook.

Then the SE goes into the kitchen, and informs me not to panic. The small spill of suds now extends across the width of the kitchen.

The dog tried to clean stuff up too. *facepalm* I had to shoo her away from licking up the suds.

Happy Black Friday.

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

T-1 Day to Turkey Day!!

As is the tradition around here, we're heading to the BFF's house (a.k.a House Awesome) for Turkey Day. Around here, there are a lot of people with no close families, so she takes us all in.

She's supplying the turkey, green beans and pies. I'm bringing the ham and roasted carrots with thyme. (I'm making garlic-thyme infused oil for this... going a bit overboard). I'm hoping that there's rolls and potatoes. Then I'll be in heaven!

And that evening is Punkin Chunkin. If I had a bottle of wine to go with the festivities, life would be perfect.

Now, off to finish lunch, and do some dishes!

"If you wanted to work, you could easily find a job..."

I hate hearing that. Because it's not true.

Here's my stats. I found out in March of 2009 that I was no longer going to be a teacher. From that moment on, I applied for 5 jobs a week for the first 3 months. For the next year and a half I applied to anywhere from 20 to 200 jobs a week (as the time went on, the numbers went up).

I worked three temporary jobs between June 2009 and January 2011.

I signed up with 6 employment agencies.

I had a dozen interviews in that time.

I exhausted my employment benefits, had my house foreclosed on and had to borrow money from my parents to go to a doctor.

But, according to some, if I really wanted to work, I could have found work easily.

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

It's almost time!!!!!!!!!!!

Christmas is my FAVORITE time of the year! I put up my tree just after Thanksgiving. I have DVD copies of all of my favorite specials and spend quiet weekend nights watching them. Unfortunately I'm a bit thin on the Christmas apparel.. but I'm working on it.

So, now a poll! Well... 2.

What is your favorite Christmas movie/TV Special?

I have many: How can you not love The Grinch? It's one of my favorites. I think I have the words memorized by now. Emmett Otter's Jug Band Christmas has been a favorite of mine since I was very small. And you can't ever go wrong with the Garfield Christmas.

What is your favorite Christmas Song?

Mine's a toss up between the Coventry Carol:
(Don't know the group... it was the nicest I found)

And The Holly and the Ivy:
(Might as well stay with the same group for constancy)

Monday, November 21, 2011

Ok.. so it wasn't THAT bad...

I weighed myself, and only went up 0.2 pounds. I'm rather proud of that!

My current goal is to lose a pound a week. It's simple, not extreme, and attainable. It also means I have a year (give or take) to lost the 32 pounds. My goal is 130.

Thursday, November 17, 2011

All-American Muslims vs. All-American Bigots

Some families from the show All-American Muslims were on the Anderson today. It was 2 families from the show vs. this lady that believes that Islam will destroy the country! *insert mock horror.*

The show had me yelling at my television.

Let me give you some background. I HATE to characterize an entire religion on the stupidity of a few. I also will lose respect for someone if they are incredibly close-minded, especially about religion. I have someone that I can no longer respect because she proclaimed to me: "I've lived in Muslim countries. The whole being a religion of peace is crap. All they want is to kill Americans."

People say that Islam wants to convert the Infadel. Did we forget the Crusades and the Inquisition? Christianity did that too?

And for all of those people that say that all Islamic people want Shiira Law. Um.... We're more likely to live under Christian law first... especially if most of the Republicans win the 2012 race.

So.... to sum up: ALL religions have their idiots that read WAY too much into an ancient text. Let's not base our reactions on the actions of a few.

Furry Love

I wasn't a pet owner until a few years ago. Now I have 2 fuzz butts running around my house: Misty (the wiener dog) and Meryl (a cat).

And man, now I know why people want pets. I come home from work, tired and hungry, and there's Misty, sitting on the back of the sofa. She barks happily and wags her tail so hard that I'm sure she's going to wag herself off of the couch! Meryl is sneakier. She gets you when you're in the bathroom and trapped. She winds herself around my legs, almost begging me to pet her.

It doesn't matter what is going on, or how bad I feel, when Misty is curled up on my lap life is pretty good.

*sighs* 1 step forward and 4 steps back

*sigh* I put on my bra today, and it was tight.

This means that either I've gained a lot of weight, or I'm still having some breathing problems.. or the bra shrank a bit in the wash.

I think something is clear: I really benefited from Weight Watchers.

The problem? It's $40 a month that I don't have. Yes, I'll get $20 of it back from time to time... but still. That's an expense I don't know if I can cover.

Time to gather some motivation.

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

GleeCap: Mash Off

We learned some important information during last night's episode:
  • I don't know who pissed off the wardrobe people... but man... they put Kurt in some weird stuff.
  • Quinn is headed for a severe meltdown. She bases her self worth on all of these external factors: Her Cheerleader status, her relationships, Prom Queen, and now being a mother. She's going to frame an innocent mother just to get her baby back. And I honestly don't think she wants to be a mother. I think that Quinn has decided that's what she needs to be happy. But we all know that it won't make her happy.
  • Puck. *sigh* We all saw it coming. It's going to be disastrous.
  • Santana. Honestly, this was a long time coming. Seriously, why did you try to one-up the person that knows your big bad secret. (Well, it's one of the worst kept secrets ever... but we all knew that.) She let the verbal barrage fly so hard that all he was left with was exposing her poorly kept secret. And as much as I disagree with publicly outing someone... he was right. And those words needed to be said.
Now..... with New Directions and the Troubletones competing at sectionals.... did the rule about having a dozen members get forgotten?

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Penn State

The other day, I posted this to facebook:

"Dear Penn State: It's just football"

And was AMAZED that I got the responses I did. I meant it to be in response to the rioting by the student body. I couldn't fathom why a football coach getting fired would cause a riot! I was politely told that people don't know all the facts about the case and they aren't passing judgement.

Um.... wait a minute. If this was a PE teacher in an high school, the same actions would have been taken. But there wouldn't have been a riot. There are some facts in the case that are clear:
  • 8 young men came forward to accuse Sandusky of sexual abuse. It's credible enough that a grand jury was convened.
  • This happened over a period of years.
  • Paterno (Whom as an educator is a mandatory reporter) reported this to his superior
  • The superiors did nothing.
The college, when the severity of this came out, decided to clean house and get rid of everyone involved. I have a feeling that if this happened in a High School the same would happen.

It sucks, but it happened.

And all that the Penn State folks can think of is how AWFUL it is that they lost a coach.

*blink* Not that the alleged abuse is awful. Not that these young men's lives were forever changed by this. No. just that their football team is tarnished.

Again I say: It's just football. Football is NEVER a reason to riot.

Here's something to chew on: What if the victims were girls? (you should read this one too) After what happened in Texas, and what is prevalent in the media I don't think we'd be singing the same tune. Women are often blamed for rape. They were dressed like they were "asking for it." I mean... if the 11 year old that was allegedly gang raped in Texas is being blamed for this (She acted "older." Older? She was 11!!) what to stop others from blaming the victim?

But I digress.

To sum up. Things are looking not great for Sandusky. Penn State cleaned house of the people that did what they should have done and not a bit more. And students cared more about football than sexual abuse victims and rioted.

How sad.

Monday, November 14, 2011

Black Friday

People that work in retail shudder at the mention of it. Bargain hunters love it.

Black Friday!

Now, I know that people hate it. Find it immoral, or unethical or whatever. Most years I try to avoid it. But our old bulky TV is about to die... and if I can get a new one for under $300, I'll risk it! (I know.. we're supposed to buy local... but this sadly is too big ticket of an item).

I've done a few Black Friday sales. In 2005, I stood in a long line to buy a $500 computer. It was orderly. Just tiring and boring. The next year I was sent to Wal Mart to buy sheets. I stood next to the covered display with a dozen women. And we made a plan. We discussed what we were looking for, and planned to toss those items in the appropriate direction. Unfortunately some people muscled in and took most of them. I was pissed.

Years later I needed an external hard drive, so a friend and I went to Target to stand outside in the rain. She got toys for her daughter, I picked up the hard drive.

This year I need to look at the sales... and talk things over with the parental units. Maybe Christmas can come early this year?

Hey, a month early... but saving $200 might be worth it!

Why am I the only one that gets this way??

I'm not a marathon runner, or anything. But I'm decently in shape. But something has kicked my ass, but good! It's allergies.. but I don't know what to!

I've always had issues with allergies but most of them went away after moving to Virginia. Well, five years in, the allergies are back with a vengeance. I've already sucked one inhaler dry, and am working on inhaler #2. I get winded walking up stairs and I don't have the energy to take the dog out.

And I should be exercising. Well, after I'm drugged up with benedryl, and listening to myself wheeze, it's not overly fun.

I'm also now left in a catch 22. The house needs to be cleaned thoroughly. BUT... the process of cleaning, and the dust that's kicked up will make the allergies worse!


My plan now is to dust as best I can, have the Spousal Equivalent vacuum, and hope we get enough Christmas money for an air purifier for the living room.

What a WONDERFUL way to start a Monday

Watch it. I'll wait.

Seriously... how awesome does that look?!?!

I've talked to people about the books. Some don't understand it. Some think it's too violent for teenagers to read. Some think it's too far fetched.

I say it's not only possible, it's almost probable. Think about shows like Survivor. Think about the political unrest that we have. The horror of the book isn't the violence. It's the fact that I can see it happening.

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Allergies suck, part 2

So my intentions of having a healthy meal tonight have failed...

But it was the best meal ever!

Picture this: On the cookie sheet: an Italian sausage and fries. I sliced the sausage, seasoned the fries and sprinkled a little cheese over the both of them (Italian blend for the sausage, taco blend for the fries.

I want to make it for dinner again, except maybe adding some veggies to the cookie sheet. The easiest meal evah!

In other news, Apparently December 16th has been dubbed "Meari-Mas" by the Spousal Equivalent. I do not know what festivities will happen, but I hope I'll be having fun!!!

Allergies suck

I have spent the better part of the last week in, and out of, asthma attacks. This puts a crimp in many plans. I can't work out much. I can't clean (nor an I let the house get dirty... I know...). I've been living drugged up on benedryl, so I want to do is sleep.

But in the good news department, I have a week's worth of meals planned. And those meals are mostly healthy.

My goal for the week: work out a bit every day, do a load of laundry every day and try to find a place for everything.

But now, time to make some supper and medicate.

Stupid allergies.

Friday, November 11, 2011

Thank god it's Friday


Yesterday a perfect storm of anxiety hit, leaving me a teary mess.
  • I noticed the MOUNTAIN of laundry
  • My boss was diagnosed with cancer... and I might have to do her job for quite some time
  • Did I mention that I'm not a fan of being in charge? Which, with the boss out, I'd be.
  • New, very tough song in choir
  • Other drama going on in church (it's a long story... but I'll sum it up with: I'm not a role model or a spokesperson!)
  • I'm not even touching the stuff I'm teaching in the Our Whole Lives class this weekend. It made ME blush! And that takes effort! (Metaphorically, I'm paler than pale, so I blush if you look at me)
  • Something is growing, or molding, or something, because I've been wheezy, sneezy and itchy for two weeks now. Four more symptoms and I can become Snow White's new dwarves.
Now, I fully understand that 99% of my anxiety is me overreacting to situations. I always jump to the worst conclusion and give myself panic attacks.

I think that I'm going to spend Friday night and all day Saturday getting my laundry done, cleaning a little, and trying to relax and not think about work or any of my other stressors.

I believe there may be Ice Cream involved!

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

GleeCap: First Time

Let me separate this into two parts: West Side Story, and Sex.

West Side Story:

I happen to adore this musical. And the casting that was done was wonderful. Honestly, can you have anyone BUT Santana to be Anita?

My only issue was how they staged "America." They staged it like the movie (where there are guys). The additions of the other gang was a nice touch, though.

This is how the number was originally intended. (I happen to LOVE Karen Olivo in this!)

Now, onto the sex.

Unlike the episode about drinking, I liked how they handled this. It wasn't rushed, or forced. It seemed like a natural progression. And it was open ended. For all we know they never went all the way. And honestly, if all Kurt and Blaine got to was heavy petting, it would not surprise me at all.

The more things change, the more they stay the same.

Up until the 19th Amendment, Women had little say over their own lives. Up until the 20th century they were property of their husbands and fathers, unable to control their own money or own their own property.

But it got better.... for a while.

Around that time many states (31 in fact) passed laws legalizing Eugenics, and setting up Eugenics boards. Women (mainly poor and African American) were forcibly sterilized in an effort to end poverty and "feeblemindedness." These practices continued thought the 40's, and in come cases as late as the 70's.

Now the trend has reversed, and instead of sterilizing women, lawmakers want to make sure they have children by making a fertilized egg a "person."

Mississippi's Prop 26 want to declare a fertilized egg a person. This would outlaw abortion. It would also outlaw birth control. It would let women with ectopic pregnancies die instead of ending the pregnancy. It would spell the end of IVF in Mississippi.

Now, knowing that Mississippi has one of the highest poverty rates, teen pregnancy rates, one of the lowest literacy rates and one of the highest percentages of adults over 25 that don't have a High School Diploma, how is this law a smart thing? Even with all of that stacked against them, the federal government wants to slash the funding for W.I.C and Head Start, two programs designed for poor single mothers. Assuming this passes, there will be more and more poor single mothers in Mississippi.

For a group of Republicans that want more spending cuts and less government regulation... they seem to be wanting a lot of regulating.

Or maybe it's just that they don't respect women?

Or maybe they are so concerned with ending abortion that they never stopped to consider what would happen after. Or do they care what happens with all the babies that result?

Monday, November 7, 2011

It's Monday again....

This weekend was... Interesting....

Thursday I had to have a chat with someone. They said: "It's it your fault, don't worry about it." So of course, I had a panic attack.

Friday was.. Friday. I worked, I came home. The Spousal Equivalent wasn't there. He went to an Anime Convention. I had a lot of time to think.... which is always a dangerous thing.

For your reference, I'm really good and thinking of the consequences of my actions. But.... I tend to focus on the most outrageous one, and make it a hundred times worse. So by the time I heard from him on Friday night, I was sure that he'd find a younger, thinner, smarter, anime-loving version of me. *sigh* Well, he didn't, and I settled down with Regency House Party for the night.

The next morning I watched Manor House (can you tell I'm on a historical reality TV kick?), and worked from home. A quick trip to the store brought me gourmet pizza and Ben and Jerry's. I was ready to settle in with some movies when friends called asking me to Babysit. (And by babysit, they meant make sure the house doesn't burn down. The child was already in bed when I got there.). So I watched Disney movies on their HD tv. Animation in HD? Awesome!!

Sunday the SE came home, and I taught Religious Education. We took advantage of a sale at Bath and Body Works, then came home with lunch and dinner and settled in for the night.

Today I had to hurry up and scan stuff that I didn't know needed to be scanned! Hours of this... what a lovely way to start my week. Is it Friday yet?

In other news, I need to buy a pet step. The Misty hurt her front right leg... again... jumping off the sofa. She'll be ok, and she doesn't act like she's in that much pain. But I think it'll be a quiet night of snuggles for that pup tonight.

Friday, November 4, 2011

Adventures of being a Fur Parent

Yesterday, my Misty went in to have her teeth cleaned. Now, for humans this is no big deal. For little dogs, this is HUGE!

  1. Misty HATES the vet. They've cut her open, shoved stuff up her butt, poked her with needles and put stuff up her nose. In her words, they are EVOL!
  2. The pet nurse that checked us in was a large man. She's not a fan of guys, so getting her in there was difficult.
So she went. I cried. It was pathetic. The Spousal Equivalent picked her up. and my bouncy Mistygirl, was very sleepy on the ride home. Thanks to the anesthesia.

We was supposed to be given some water before the food. To see if she kept it down. Well, stubborn-butt wanted none of that! she wanted food! That's when I got smart. I took a cereal bowl and filled it with water, and a tiny scoop of food. Well, it worked. She ate the food and then finished the water.

This morning the pup is grumpy. I suspect she's hung over.

Thursday, November 3, 2011

I found this on Facebook.. and it got me thinking..

This is incredibly true. Scarily so.

I remember first noticing this in college. Women who were smart, capable women when we entered college, were quickly turning into air-heads. Usually the switch occurred when they procured a man.

The next time I was faced with almost militant anti-intellectualism was during my first full time teaching position. The area was poor, rural and predominantly African-American. The boys in my classes all but refused to learn. The didn't want to read, didn't want to write, didn't care if they failed the 8th grade (multiple times). I asked the principal what was wrong, and mixed in with the usual no parent involvement and reading difficulties was the fact that they want to be ganstas didn't want to "act white."

I was stunned. Intelligence is now anti-black?

This attitude, that being able to read, write grammatically correct sentences and hold an intelligent conversation is beginning to spread. I ran into it during my years as a fifth grade teacher. Students wondered why we couldn't write an essay as if we were writing a text message. They refused to look things up in a book if there was a possibility of googleing it. I wondered if the students were lazy. Now I'm not so sure.

I think that we should honor intelligence as much as we honor sports heroes.

But that won't happen. Look at the recent presidential candidates. Sarah Palin, Rick Perry and Michelle Bachmann have proven that they have a complete lack of understanding of History. Rich Perry goes as far as to refuse to look at any sort of statistical analysis, well at least when it comes to sex education in Texas.

It's very frustrating, and I don't know how to stop the dumbing down of America...

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Halloween, or, Great Pumpkin Day!

There's something lost on Halloween when you have no children. But I have a dog. So, that dog got dressed up!
Here she is, the Misty-Bat!
She hunts Squirrels!
She licks her Momma!
And looks cute doing it.

The Spousal Equivalent also got into the act. I've been in the grips of allergy hell. So we watched The Great Pumpkin Charlie Brown, ate pumpkin pancakes and pumpkin pie and were generally lazy.

Today, I'm at work, trying not to claw my eyes out. Seriously, allergies should be a recognized form of torture. Tonight we go back to getting the house presentable again (who knew pancakes could generate so many dishes), and start thinking about Christmas.

Hush up! It's my favorite time of the year!

Now.. what to dress the dog in for Christmas....