29 July, 2005

Socialism, Snob, Question of the Day, Jesus

OK, I think I am a socialist.

I believe everyone should, for the most part, be guaranteed a certain standard of living. Everyone should have a place to live, food, education, health care and child care. I think a person should aspire to more, of course, and should have to work to have more than the bare minimum. But I believe the disparity of wealth in this country is disgraceful. So few haves, so many have nots.

Homeless families. Children without health or dental insurance, older children staying home from school to care for younger children, hundreds of thousands of hungry people - men, women, children. Your neighbors? My clients, definitely.

How do we justify this? I don't mean the old white guy "I worked for what I have." Fine - good for you. What about the people who did not start on equal footing with you? Why do movie stars make millions each year and have every whim catered to while teachers start out making 25k and buy their own supplies for their classrooms? Why do daycare workers not get health insurance? Why do athletes make a zillion dollars a season and military families qualify for food stamps?

I guess it all comes down to what a society values, and what makes money for the people who have money and want more.

So, socialism. A viable option? Is it fair? Why does it matter so much to me that things are more fair?

I used to listen to the Craig Shoemaker show EVERY SINGLE DAY. I was in the Yahoo message group, I really liked some of the people I met. But they got to be a little hard core and there was a smidge too much drama for my taste...but I still listened to the show for awhile. For some reason, suddenly, I can't take it. It has not been funny or entertaining and it seems like everything for him is a struggle. One of the call in topics yesterday was Nepotism.


So I am listening to NPR from 12-3 now. I feel so smart! And I am such a snob. But I don't really care, I just want to be mildly entertained or at least enlightened.

Question of the Day
Does anyone else hate voice mail? It just annoys the crap out of me to have voicemail. I am also not overly thrilled with the phone in general unless I am talking to someone I want to talk to.

So basically I am a snob again!

Bob said that the crux of socialism (here we are, back again) is that you get something that you did not earn, did not work for, and under our work ethic, do not deserve.

Was Jesus a socialist? He offers something we did not earn, did not work for, and do not deserve.

Something for you to ponder over the weekend.


28 July, 2005

Ripple Effect

Ripple Effect
I went to a meeting today of the advisory council of our local mental health lead entity (I don't know if that is what they are really called, but with recent mental health reform everything has a new name or acronym and I am so sorry, but I just can't keep up.)

Anyway, there was a presentation by the Textile Outreach Coordinator whose job is to work with people who were laid off when Pillowtex (and other local textile mills) closed.

Silently, NAFTA and CAFTA stalked the room as we listened to battle-scarred agency reps talk about all they went through when the plants closed.

I really, truly had no idea it had been so bad. People spoke of tear-stained applications for assistance, flooded phone lines with overworked staff answering hysterical callers and trying to calm them, help them, point them in the right direction, of high school kids calling their agencies during lunch asking if they could get help for their mom, since they were afraid mom would just curl up and die, and of courageous near-retirees going back to school to learn something new and expecting a job to be there, waiting, when they finish their degrees...

It was disheartening. To say the least.

But it gave me a new appreciation for the importance of keeping up with the issues, and finding ways to communicate to people how that issue will affect them personally. Because of Pillowtex, resources are tighter. It's harder for everyone to get help.


What impact will they have on you and the people you care about and depend on.

NC lost 50,000 manufacturing jobs from 2000-2004. 95% of them were in textiles, apparel and furniture.



Mr. Quackers Update, Question of the Day, Lipstick, Book Part 1

Mr. Quackers Update
Poor Mr. Quackers - he got puked on last night. So he had a bath in the washer and we are all holding our collective breath to see if he comes out in one piece, or if he is all...quacked up.

Now you KNOW I had to do that!

Question of the Day
If you were to go to Antarctica, you know, because it is soooo hot here, you would be at the bottom of the world, right? If you look at a globe, and imagine little people standing on Antarctica, they would be standing upside down. Right?

So would you know you were upside down? Would the blood rush to your head? Would you technically be upside down?

Thank God for gravity or those penguins would just be off flying in space, willy nilly.

I hate lipstick. Actually I don't hate it - I just hate that it disappears so quickly and it needs to be reapplied so often. Now I am a girly girl, don't get me wrong...I just don't like to stop what I am doing (blogging??) to put on new lipstick every 10 minutes. So most days I don't bother at all.

I really should...but oh well. Maybe I can put that on my self-improvement strategic plan.

Book Part 1
So I am working on how to organize my humor book. My childhood was FILLED with absolutely hysterical stories and I am not sure if it should be chronological, by main character, by theme, or at random. Any thoughts?

I already have the title and it is HI-larious. My goal is to be the straight female David Sedaris.

That may take awhile. That guy is a master! LOVE HIM!

Watch out for the bloggie monster, stay cool, and kiss your mom.


27 July, 2005

Warning - Blogging will screw up your life

Email from me to Jeff - we are trying to do some work today:

Be strong!!!! Stay on task! Don't go down to the hood with your old bloggie friends!! They'll just convince you to start blogging again.

Taunting: "Hey, Mr. Doing-your-work. Don't you miss it? The feeling you get when you find a really good one? The primo stuff from NYC or London or Vancouver? Don't you miss being a voyeur and reading other people's gossip?"

You keep walking, trying to ignore their taunts.

"What, we aren't good enough for you? Is that it? Well, you know deep down you are just one of us. It won't last. You can't resist."

You keep walking, now you are sweating, trying to think of anything but blogs...the way it felt to click "Next Blog" and wait, holding your breath, and seeing something awesome come up on your screen...


Messy, Attached, Natalee Holloway, Question of the Day, Gin and Regret

Molly is messy. So am I. We can't help it. I leave shoes everywhere and I hate to put away clean clothes. I only make my bed on special occasions.

But Molly, Molly is far worse than I am. Molly is happy as long as there is a semi-clear path to walk. She does not care if her Barbies are mixed up with Little People and Legos. None of her Barbies or baby dolls have clothes on. Under her bed looks like a minefield. And she just does not care. No amount of yelling or time out or taking away toys or TV has made her neat. And I am beginning to fear it never will. Now this is a problem because Bob is a neat freak.

He claims.

I think he WANTS to be a neat freak, but is actually, deep down, just like us!

Meghan is suddenly attached to her stuffed duck, Mr. Quackers. Molly had a favorite stuffed animal way younger than Megs has...Molly has Coco the Monkey. Coco went everywhere with us for awhile - church, the doctor, the grocery store. But Meghan has not really shown any special affection for one stuffed animal over any other. Until now.

Now Mr. Quackers is big, and Meghan has trouble carrying him around. He's not very toddler friendly. As she is carrying him, she grunts with every step. So in the morning when she wakes up and gets out of bed, I can follow her progress to our room by listening to the grunts. Eventually, she slings Mr. Quackers up my bed and shrieks. She made it, and now someone else can carry Mr. Quackers around for her. Aaahhhh, the joys of being a baby!

Natalee Holloway
Let me preface this by saying that this whole thing is a terrible tragedy. It looks now that several young lives have been ruined. And for what?

What is the lesson we are all supposed to learn from Natalee's tragedy?
Not to travel? Not to talk to strangers? Not to go out after midnight? To keep our eyes on our children every minute of every day? That nowhere is truly safe? That seemingly benign decisions may have tragic consequences? That boys are not to be trusted, that every girl, every woman is a potential victim? That something bad could be waiting around every corner?

Or that life is short, so do what you want? That you just don't know, and you can't anticipate every outcome so you just have to do the best that you can?

What does her mother, her father, the chaperones, her classmates think? What are they taking away from this?

Question of the Day
I saw the news story about the twin boys who need heart transplants, and it broke my heart.

It made me wonder, morbidly, how would you choose who got the first heart? We can assume that two hearts would not come at the same time - I suppose the doctors probably decide, give the first heart to whichever baby has the best post-transplant prognosis.

Or would they give it to the baby who needed it most at that moment?

As a parent, would you let the doctor decide? Would you insist on giving it to the baby you choose? What criteria would you use to choose?

Please, God, don't let that be me. Ever. I can't foresee a happy ending to this story for anyone. Life is hard, and sometimes I just don't know how people live through the things they are asked to live through. My prayers are with those parents and doctors. And with the people who must lose children in order for these two to receive transplants. What a horrible, horrible thing.

Gin and Regret
On a lighter note, favorite TV lines of all time that I can think of before 8AM.

"Well, well, Karen Walker. I thought I smelled gin and regret." - Will and Grace, Beverly Leslie

Ross: "There's nothing wrong with speaking correctly."
Rachel: "Indeed there isn't." (both over-articulating)

Ross: "It's the Holiday Armadillo." dressed in an armadillo suit, trying to teach his kid about Hanukkah

Contestant: "Debinitely up the butt, Bob." Newlywed Game contestant to Bob Eubanks in response to the question "Where is the strangest place you have ever made whoopee?"

OK, I am sure there are more, but I can't think yet.

What are your favorites? Comment, and I'll post them.

C-ya l8r! (Good God I hate that!)

Bye guys!

26 July, 2005

Color Test

Take the Color Test

Heat, Question of the Day, Meme, Meetings

My god, could it be any hotter? All I have been eating is bagels and cheese, it's too hot for anything else. Tonight - salad. I just can't stand much else.

I want to be in the pool, in cold water, out of the sun. This heat is the killing kind - it is heat that makes you nauseated. It slows you down, makes you lazy and stupid. Makes you want to lie in the dark with a cool cloth on your head and no one talking.

And today is the hottest day of the year...and the AC at work is out on my side of the building. Thank goodness I don't have to be here this afternoon, that I have a meeting in Charlotte.

It's a languid, steamy heat that makes you dream of old lovers, underwater swimming, slow moving fans, flies, tropical plants and bright, beautiful, otherworldly flowers.

Question of the Day
How far would you go to keep a family secret?

I believe secrets grow and fester and gain power when they are kept. When secrets are told, they lose their power to destroy, to poison, to hold its keepers hostage.

When secrets are kept, there is always the fear that one of the keepers will tell - on purpose, in anger, by accident...

When people live a lifetime believing one thing and then the secret is spilled, and those beliefs are proven false, it is a death. Death of different things depending on the nature of the secret - but a death, nonetheless.

So I will not keep family secrets.

Well, except that one.....

What the hell is a meme?

I know the technical definition - but I am not sure I totally understand.

But I saw this on someone else's blog under the heading "Meme" so I decided to....borrow it.

10 CDs I'd want with me if I was on a deserted island (with, apparently, a CD player and electricity)

1. George Michael, Greatest Hits
2. Garth Brooks, Greatest Hits
3. Cyndi Lauper, 12 Deadly Cyns
4. George Michael, Faith
5. George Michael, Amazing
6. Maroon 5, Songs about Jane
7. Hootie and the Blowfish, whatever the first CD was
8. Norah Jones, Come Away with Me
9. Harry Connick Jr, When Harry Met Sally
10. Amy Grant, A Christmas Album

That's it - and I don't want any crap from you people - I know George Michael is on there 3 times. Bite me!

Meetings without purpose make me crazy. CRAZY I tell you. Yesterday I met with someone who told me the same things in the meeting that she told me over the phone. What was the point of that?

Now I love a good meeting with action steps and something actually comes out of it.

But I think I have been to about 3 of those in my life. Today will not be one of them, I don't believe.

I will, however, get to leave at noon and not come back to the office, so it could be worse...

Peace out, bloggie friends.

Stay cool

25 July, 2005

Which leader are you?

Lance Armstrong, Question of the Day, Mondayitis

Lance Armstrong
What a ride! Good for Lance - unbelievable 7th in a row. Nothing like going out in a blaze of glory.

I am inspired by him. Athlete, Cancer survivor, philanthropist, trend setter.

Not just an athlete - top of his game. Unbelievable. I don't know enough about cycling to be a good judge, but he's beaten everyone else. He is awesome. Focus, discipline. He knows so much about nutrition, about how to use food as fuel to master his sport. he knows how to train to get what he wants. Nothing matters more than that.

I can't imagine. Everything matters to me - I can't focus on just one thing. I don't know how to be self-disciplined. I think I would do better if I made myself a strategic plan, then action steps....treat my life like a business.

I will work on that. No, seriously!

Question of the Day
What causes chemistry between two people? I don't mean necessarily romance, I mean friendship too.

The minute I met Bob, I knew that was it forever.

(In front of my Toyota Starlet in 1991...on our way out to eat with Cris and Lisa. Cris invited Bob and himself along with Lisa and I).

Bob: Hi.
Shannon: Hi.
And that was it - I was a goner.

The minute I met Jeff I knew I wanted to be friends with him.

(Opening conversation at a volunteer mailing event - I was staff, he was volunteer. We were sitting next to one another blathering on about something).
Jeff: Blah blah blah
Shannon: Whatever, Mary.
Jeff: That's Phyllis to you, honey.

On the other hand, I worked with a woman who I really tried to be friends with, but I just couldn't quite connect. I couldn't feel the click.

With Carolyn, I felt the click.

With so many others, no click, no dice. No matter how hard either of us tried, it was doomed to fail.

So how do you know? What is it that exists between two people that makes them friends for life, and does not exist between two other people that make them not click?

I hate Mondays. It is so hard to get back in the groove. I used to make my Monday to do list before I left on Friday, so at least I would have some direction on Monday morning.

OK, so I am going to go make a list and get some stuff done and feel better about Monday.



24 July, 2005

Moto-mandals, Question of the Day, 100 things

Yesterday the fam and I were out running errands and I spotted this guy on a motorcycle.

Helmet - check
Leather jacket - check
Jeans with chaps - check
Boots- DENIED!

This metrosexual parading and masquerading as a Harley guy had on MAN SANDALS.



So I am assuming that now both Mr. Harley and Mr. Davidson are SPINNING in their graves at the thought. I just hoped he did not burn his toes on the mufflers...those things get HOT!

Question of the Day
What is it about summer that makes me want to read these huge, sweeping, epic novels?

I am reading the Thorn Birds (oh, Meggie, oh Father Ralph. So tortured. That book is rife with tragedy, I can only take so much at a time. I have read it so many times I know when it's coming and I cringe, I stop reading, I stall...but I always come back).

Next up will be Beach Music by Pat Conroy or Coming Home, September or The Shell Seekers by Rosamunde Pilcher. I want to read these huge books. I don't know why.

And I have read them all before, too many times to count. But their pull is irresistible, my desire to read and read and read insatiable. This was not a problem before kids, but now...it's hard to read enough to satisfy this burning appetite for other people's tragedies.

Maybe I think I can escape some fate of my own if I suffer enough with the characters in my big novels.

100 Things
OK, it seems all the bloggers do this. So here we go:

1. I am married, have been for 12 years.
2. I would get married that young again, but I hope my children don't.
3. I have 2 girls, Molly and Meghan.
4. My husband wants another baby.
5. I don't know if I do or not.
6. If we do have another baby I hope it's a boy - otherwise there will be way too much drama in our family!
7. I am the oldest child. So is my husband. We both think we know everything and should be in charge.
8. I have a degree in English.
9. Because it was easy.
10. And because I wanted to marry rich and be a writer.
11. I dated rich and married for love instead.
12. I have ideas for 3 novels in my head.
13. I think I should be a humor writer before I take on novels. Easier to finish.
14. I have a problem finishing things sometimes.
15. I love Harry Potter.
16. I am a Presbyterian.
17. I am the director of an AIDS service organization.
18. I don't have HIV, but for some reason the issue evokes enormous compassion in me.
19. I have lost too many friends and clients to this disease.
20. I am a very liberal democrat.
21. I believe in finding your talent and using it to make the world a better place.
22. I have great artistic vision, but no talent to put it down on canvas.
23. I love to cook.
24. I hate to clean up.
25. I do think it's all about me, sometimes.
26. I love to read.
27. I love to entertain.
28. I wish I did not have to worry about money so much.
29. I have never broken a bone.
30. I am scared of the dentist.
31. I have not slept a whole night since November of 2001.
32. I am tired.
33. I watch too much TV.
34. I love sitcoms.
35. I don't really like music all that much.
36. I can be found reading, watching TV, eating and talking on the phone at the same time.
37. I will not use the bathroom while I am talking on the phone.
38. The weeks I do not have any after-work meetings are like heaven.
39. I need to lose weight, like a lot.
40. I don't mind exercising, but it is SOOOO HOT right now (July).
41. Sometimes I think all my problems would be solved if I were thin.
42. What if I lose the weight and the problems are still there?
43. My desk is always a mess.
44. I can procrastinate like nobody you have ever seen.
45. I am very spiritual.
46. I am very funny and witty, I make my friends laugh a lot.
47. Sometimes I think I am too mean when I am funny.
48. Sometimes I think I am too nice in real life.
49. My favorite color is purple.
50. My favorite movie is Steel Magnolias.
51. My hair is very important to me. I want it to look fabulous all the time.
52. I have a southern accent.
53. I know you would think that I was stupid if you heard me talk.
54. I am actually pretty smart.
55. I used to want to be a nurse.
56. The I worked in a nursing home and changed my mind.
57. My nails always look like crap.
58. I don't have any piercings or tattoos.
59. Except my ears.
60. I love southern cooking.
61. I love French cooking.
62. Also Mexican, Chinese, Japanese, Thai, Italian, Cajun, and Mike Caulder's Irish Champ (Charleston)
63. I have a terrible sweet tooth.
64. My GYN is gay. And he is the best doctor I have ever had.
65.All the walls in my house are white. For now.
66. I tan very easily.
67. I hate birth control pills.
68. If you cut me open, I would bleed diet coke.
69. Seriously. I cannot over emphasize the importance of diet coke.
70. On my desk right now is a coconut carved into two monkeys lighting a bong.
71. I have never smoked pot.
72. I have never done any illegal drugs.
73. I used to be able to outdrink everyone I knew.
74. Now I have 1 diet white trash and I am slurring my words and smiling too much.
75. I hate getting migraines, unless I have time to lay down in a cool dark room and get over them. Then they are tolerable.
76. It took 7 years for me to get pregnant with my first baby.
77. It took less than a year to get pregnant with my second baby.
78. I never told my husband that I wanted Meghan's name spelled like that because of the Thorn Birds (I know, hers was Meghann, but somehow that did not fit my baby.)
80. I do not like romance novels.
81. I have so many books that they won't all fit on my bookshelves.
82. I belong to BJ's but I wish there was a Costco near us instead.
83. I have brown eyes and brown hair.
84. I color my hair frequently...no grays, please!
85. I prefer Clinique skin care and makeup.
86. I love lotion, body wash, special soaps, and exfoliating scrubs.
87. I hardly ever, almost never, wear perfume.
88. I hate to wear shoes.
89. I love purses.
90. I love microwave popcorn.
91. I hate to take my lunch to work.
92. I would live in London in a minute!
93. I love to talk on the phone to friends, but I hate to call people I don't know.
94. I have a partial hearing loss.
95. I still get acne.
96. I am a morning person.
97. I love a good nap.
98. I hated everything about High School.
99. I have 4 email addresses.
100. I check them all obsessively.

Have a good week!