Friday, January 18, 2008

The Tag Says to tell "Why I Think It's Good to be Me"

Brenda, over at Country Romance tagged me with a "Why It's Good to be Me" meme. I've got to be honest with you, the way 2008 has started out, I was sort of struggling with answers to this one. But then I stumbled upon a BIG reason why I'm glad I'm me and I'm glad I live in this day and age. I know that the true spirit of this particular meme is so that we can all take a moment to review our lives and realize what all we have to be thankful for. However, I'm going to take a different tack and use it to make my own humble commentary on life as a woman. And no....before the thought even begins to form in your mind, this is not a "rant". Repeat after me, "This is a Social Commentary". Big difference. Really big. For instance, "rant" has only 4 letters, while "Social Commentary" has 16. Plus a space. See what I mean? Big difference. So, let's get started...
"It's good to be me" because I was born at a time when more women than ever were working and it was becoming more the norm than the exception to have a mother who worked outside the home. Why was that important to me as a female child? Because it showed me that women have options! Women could take the skills that are necessary to run a household and use them to run a company, as well.
"It's good to be me" because the whole time I was in grade school, I thought it was normal for the girls to be smarter than the boys. Now hear me out before you start labeling me as arrogant! Back in the day, all the boys in my classes were into sports almost to the exclusion of all else. That's how it seemed to me, anyway. At the end of every year, when we had award ceremonies for the "Top 3" in each academic subject, it was almost exclusively girls who won those awards. The boys didn't seem to see a problem with that and I certainly didn't. I, and many of my friends, thought it was normal. Of course, once I got up into high school, which had a much larger student body, I came to realize that boys had brains, too. (I should have focused a little more on those brains instead of getting blinded by their prowess on the football field. Yeah. Well. Good memories, anyway...). But the point I'm making is "girls being smart" wasn't always expected, accepted or even allowed up until fairly recently in our country's development.
"It's good to be me" because I can vote! Do you realize that the Nineteenth Amendment was passed less than a hundred years ago??? On August 18, 1920, the Nineteenth Amendment, which was specifically intended to extend suffrage to women, was ratified. In other words, some of our mother's, our grandmother's, our great-grandmother's who are still with us today were born to women who did not have the right to vote. Can. You. Imagine??? (And for all you women out there who do not vote, shame on you! Our foremothers, and even some of our forefathers, fought long, hard battles so that we might have this precious right. USE IT!) By the way, in 1893, New Zealand became the first major self-governing country in the world to give women the vote. (Progressive New Zealand. You gotta love that! I know I do.)
Having said that, I must now say that "it's good to be me" because I live in the United States of America and, while we have our problems and our bloated bureaucracies (that's a little shout out to the VA!), it's still a wonderful place to live. I can speak my mind without fear of death squads hunting me down and I can travel freely from state to state without having to fear some Nazi-like border guard demanding to see my "papers". I can worship God in the way I chose (or even not worship, if that was how I wanted to go). I can walk into a grocery store and not have to fight over the last loaf of bread because this is, indeed, the land of plenty. I know that America is not the only great place to live in the world, but it's my home and I know I am blessed to be here.
"It's good to me be" because I live in a time and a place where I can read anything and everything that I get my hands on. I can do this because reading has always been a thrill in my life. Even when I was young, reading was a favorite pastime, right along with climbing trees, playing with dolls, perfecting my softball catch or eye-balling good looking guys. My parents imparted a love of reading to me. They never made a big production out of it, they just read. For pleasure, for higher education, for political edification, for news of the day. They just read. It was good to be brought up in an atmosphere where frequent reading was the norm.
And finally, "it's good to be me" not just because I'm a woman in today's world, but because I am a part of the world of blogging, too. I love having the freedom to say what I want on my very own blog and everyone out there can respond as they see fit. (Or not respond...even lurkers are welcome here!) I can state my opinions, I can gripe about the way the world is treating me, I can brag about my children, I can proclaim how lucky I am in my marriage, but equally as important (and some days, much more important!) I can enter the worlds of others and learn how you live, how you feel, how your world is treating you. I can laugh at your stories, I can tear up when you tell me of a sad or touching event. And I can offer you comfort or humor or sarcasm and I can even commiserate with you when you describe something I'm familiar with. Yep. It is good to be me because I get to know you. For those of you who welcome me into your world, I say thank you ----

P.S. Now I tag Jana at Jana Banana's Babbling and Kari at Alas 3 Lads and Jayme at Scrapper Mama/Jayme's Life and Kathy at Remembering the Moments and Lynne at Lynne's Little Corner and the amazingly funny Sling over at Sling's Domain. These are people that I don't think I've ever tagged before but I absolutely, positively and thoroughly enjoy reading their blogs. If anyone's looking to beef up their blog roll with some good people, these are 6 I would most certainly recommend to you. And I'll end this with saying to these 6 people, if you don't care for meme's, no hard feelings. In addition to wanting to know more about you, I also just wanted to give you a mention to let you know how much I appreciate your blogging efforts (Jana's taught me how important it is to let people know that!!!).

Thursday, January 17, 2008

Say "Hey" to Jana!

Hey guys! Anybody reading this, please go over to Jana's blog at Jana Banana's Babbling and welcome her back to Blogland. Jana took a loooooooong break (since October 2007) from blogging because she didn't think anyone was reading! (Well, that and she's been waaaaay busy planning for her new baby who is due in May.) Please stop by and tell her hello! She's a wonderful and entertaining person who honestly wants to meet and greet (just like the rest of us). And she'll probably be mortified that I'm trying to send you guys over there, but I don't want her to stop blogging again just because she doesn't think anyone's interested!!! And Jodie - you especially should go over there and check out the nursery she painted for her baby. You'll love the colors!

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

A Meme of 8

This is a meme I saw on another blog and thought it would be fun to do (you know, you could make an effort to work with me and not roll your eyes like that. I'm trying to get back into blogging again. It's harder than you might think. I've only recently discovered that I don't actually have anything interesting to talk about. But maybe, just maybe, if I spew enough random thoughts out here, something worthwhile might scitter across my brain and give me an idea for a good post. And if not, what have you lost but a little time. Besides, didn't your mother ever warn you about rolling your eyes? Do you really want to chance going thru life looking like that blind Shaolin monk from the old Kung Fu television series? I thought not. So okay, here we go):

8 things you are passionate about:
My family
My friends
My dog, Sydney
Making our house a home
and the American Way (yeah, me and Superman…we’re all over this concept so you can rest easy!)

8 things you want to do before you die:
See all my children reach their age of majority
See all my children happy and successful in their chosen vocations
Learn to be sociable
Read a million more books (might cut in to that "sociable time" I wa hoping to work on)
See Times Square during the holidays
Visit New England during the fall
Get a real, honest to goodness tan
Move home to Oklahoma
(Wow. I may need to raise the bar a little bit. My "Bucket List" doesn't really seem all that ambitious, does it?)

8 things I say more often than I need to:
"Infidel! I keel you!"
"I’m not your friend, your buddy or your pal. I’m your Mama so shut up and listen."
"Let’s eat out."
"Move your bloomin’ arse!"
"I hate talking on the phone!" (I keep saying this but no one seems to listen!lol)
"You’re so good lookin'. Yes you are!" (I tell that to Sydney the Wonder Dog at least once a day. Hey! He’s a Chihuahua! You almost have to tell them they're good-looking or they get depressed!)

8 books read recently:
Bones to Ashes – Kathy Reich
Carved in Bone – Jefferson Bass
Crescent City Kill – Julie Smith
Star Wars: Republic Commando: True Colors – Karen Traviss
The Alibi Man – Tami Hoag
The Society – Michael Palmer
The Twelfth Card – Jeffrey Deaver
Star Wars: Darth Bane: Rule of Two (still reading it) – Drew Karpyshyn

8 songs I love right now:
Dream Weaver – Gary Wright
Sweet Escape – Gwen Stefani
At Last – Etta James (I’ll always love that song)
Never Again – Kelly Clarkson
The Rockafeller Skank – Fatboy Slim (yeah, so I’m a little embarrassed about this one but it’s good!)
Big Girls Don’t Cry - Fergie
Back in Black – AC/DC (this one just never gets old)
Minnie the Moocher – Big Bad Voodoo Daddy

8 Favorite Shows on TV:
Criminal Minds
The Closer
Law & Order (I’m loving the new detective guy!)
Burn Notice

8 Qualities you look for in a friend:
common sense
sense of humor
grouchy without coffee
must be named Susan :> (okay so this one is only necessary if we’re talking BFF here. lol)

Originally this one was “8 Radio Shows you listen to” but I don’t listen to enough radio to name 8 shows. Therefore, I’ve changed it to “8 Authors That You Would Pay Hardcover-Full-Price for Their Books" (that translates into True Love if you’re as cheap as I am. lol):
J. K. Rowling
Jefferson Bass
Harlan Coben
Janet Evanovich – (the “number” series only, though)
Dan Brown
Michael Connelly
John Sandford
Dick Francis

So what have we learned about me, ladies and gentlemen? We've learned that I love crime stories, whether written or portrayed on TV, I love reading, I love my family (and am particularly smitten with Sydney the Wonder Dog), I cuss a bit too much and I'm kind of a freak when it comes to music choices. Huh. Who'd of thunk? So how about you guys? Anybody got the time to do their Meme of 8? Let me know if you do. I'm hopelessly nosey and would love to read it!

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Book Reports and Things that Make Me Go "Hmmmmmmmm"....

I've been a bad blogger this year. I've found myself full of bad attitude and unsociable tendencies. Well, that and a wicked kind of flu/cold and a nasty case of back spasms have kept me from blogging daily and answering e-mails. In short, I have been bitchy. Rea-ea-eallly bitchy. The downside to that, in addition to the bad blogging habits, is that I am not winning friends or influencing people in my normal, charming (ha,ha,ha,ha,ha) way. The upside? I've gotten to do a lot of reading because, basically, no one else wants anything to do with me so I've turned to books for entertainment and companionship. And I gotta tell 'ya...the beauty of books doesn't just lie within the adventure of the stories they contain. A large part of the beauty is that books, quite simply, don't talk back. Unlike husbands and children who are comfortable in the belief that they are faster than I and the knowledge that I have no memory retention to aide me in plotting their punishment for any mouthy transgressions. But let's not delve into my family dynamics at this point, okay?'s my oh so humble opinion about 3 of the books I read the past week:

Does anybody watch the T.V. show Bones? I do. I usually love it, although it seems like about every 6th show, the writers forget what they're doing and write something so incredibly stupid that my brain leaks multiple I.Q. points just for having been exposed to the sheer lameness of the story. But, as I said, I usually love it. I started watching it because I had read a number of Kathy Reichs' books and enjoyed most of them. That and I've long been a fan of the leading man, David Boreanaz. Yeah. I'm shallow like that. Sue me. Anyway, while the last couple of Kathy's books haven't exactly floated my boat, I decided to buy this book (Bones to Ashes) because the storyline seemed interesting to me. This book didn't get rave reviews from the readers at Mystery Guild, but I actually enjoyed it. I found it to be very engaging and a fine read. Maybe my literary needs are just too simple compared to others, but I would recommend this one to anyone who asked (and even to all of you who haven't).

I also read this book, Crescent City Kill, by Julie Smith. This is a slightly older book, having been first published in the '90's. I thought this one was also pretty good, except for the ending. I won't get into all the details of how and why, but I will say this (which will pretty much ruin the ending regardless so skip over if you just can't bear to know): Sooner or later, I think it's just good sense to have the bad guy get caught and punished. You can't keep letting him escape or, eventually, your reading audience will start to think evil always triumphs and, personally, I think that scenario sucks. So arrest or kill the guy already, okay Julie?
Now this book, Carved in Bone, was FANtastic! My BFF Susan had pointed it out to me when she was visiting last month. I bought it then and finally got around to reading it and I have to tell you, I can't wait to read another one. The author, Jefferson Bass, is actually a team of 2 individuals and man - what a fabulous team they are! Susan said she thought they got a little dry in places and spoke a little too much about technical issues, but I can't even find that criticism to be true for me. I am a new fan and convert to these guys. A new book, called The Devil's Bones, comes out February 5th and I'll be buying it for sure. They also have a book called Flesh and Bone that I'm on the lookout for. If I can't find it locally, I'll have to order it online. I highly recommend this book if you like a good plot, good characters and a good old fashioned mystery involving a dead body. And who doesn't like that, eh?
Okay, book reports are over for now. I have no idea why I even think anyone would be interested in my opinions of them, but least I'm blogging again. That's got to be worth something. Right? R-I-G-H-T??? Say "yes" so I can rest easy in the knowledge that you care. Or even in the belief of the knowledge that you care. Thank you. Moving on....
Not only have I spent much time reading, I've also taken the opportunity to ponder several issues in life. Things that make me go "hmmmmmmm". Such as...just how many cars do they have over in the Middle East and how cheap are these things to get? I mean really. These people are portrayed as financially poor and culturally "focused" shall we say, on their own belief system and way of life (or death, as the case may be). I know that Bin Laden and others like him have wealth. I also know that he's not exactly passing out debit cards to his followers for them to use down at Abdullah's Used Car Lot. And if 90% of the populations of these countries are poor and going hungry, who in the hell is buying all these cars that are being used by suicide bombers? You know, I've been poor. Of course, according to the media, my life of "poor" pales in comparison to that suffered by the "every day man" in the Middle East. Nevertheless, when I was poor, getting a car was difficult. Randey and I bought "beater" cars, mainly. You know the kind...4 bald tires, no air, no heat, and a radio that was hanging on by one thin wire. Sure, these beaters only cost around $500 but they provided much needed transportation and weren't disposed of lightly. But these guys over there...they're blowing up Beemers and Mercedes! What the heck? Sheesh! How poor are you when you treat freakin' cars like they're disposable? And where do they find the idiots to drive their disposable cars anyway? I mean how does that recruiting speech go? "Sign up here to blow your body and your family's only means of transportation to work and/or escape from the hell hole that has become your neighborhood to smithereens and, in return, we promise you virgins. Lots of virgins!". You know, not to sound crass or hedonistic or even flip...but these people sure 'nuff put one ginorous premium on virginity, don't they? Just to throw this out there... back in my long-lost virgin days, had I thought for one instant that my reward for purity would be a place in the harem of one of these dumbasses, I would have been hawkin' my body down on the local street corner just to guarantee exclusion from that particular club. Go ahead. Call me a slut. Better than the alternative. I would consider that a step up from their offer.
Another thing that baffles me and has for do you throw away a trash can? I'm serious. You have a trash can you don't want anymore so you set it out to the curb. The garbage men come by, see it's empty and leave it. I mean, it's a trash can. How do you signify that it's actually the trash. You could write "trash" on the side of it, but what good would that do? It'd just make you look OCD and compelled to label even your trash receptacles. I guess you could put the trash can in a bag. But what if you don't have a big enough bag? What then? Do you cut your trash can up into little bitty pieces? Do you take it down to Goodwill as if it were a donation? Do you throw it over your neighbor's fence and pretend the wind blew it there and you have no knowledge of it's true ownership? So many questions. No clear solution. Makes me go "hmmmmmmm".....
Here's another question for the masses...if they can make a hair color to turn your hair red, orange, black, brown, blond, purple, green and /or blue, why the heck can't they make a hair color to turn your hair gray? I've recently decided to let my hair go gray. Glorious gray. How's that working out, you ask? Well I'll tell you. I look like I tumped a bag of all-purpose flour on top of my head. Nice and white/gray on top, Ms. Clairol red on bottom. Can you buy a bottle of gray hair color that will make it all blend? No. You. May. Not. Your options? Shave your head and start over or suffer until the colored hair grows out. Nice, huh? Come on all you Cosmetic Industry Gurus! If Michael Jackson can make his skin white, why can't you do that for my hair? Hmmmmmmm????
Finally, can anybody out there please explain to me exactly why our society venerates actors and athletes? Honestly! We base our hair cuts, our clothing choices, our political opinions, our estimation of a successful life on people who PRETEND or PLAY GAMES for a living! How smart is that? If you want to be considered "important" these days, you'd either better learn to lie and fake your way thru every emotion imaginable or you'd better learn how to play a game better than anybody else. This conundrum doesn't just make me go "hummmmmm", it makes me laugh, cry, shake my fist in frustration and just generally wonder if the fall of civilization as we know it is at hand because we've put the jesters in charge of the court, so to speak. Pretenders and players rule our world. So what does that say about us?
Yeah, okay, I'm done now. Ranting seems to be my only talent these days, doesn't it? Ah well. One should stick with what one is good at, right? lol

Monday, January 14, 2008

Jeff Dunham - Achmed the Dead Terrorist

Pause my music to listen to this video. Beware of bad language and offensive jokes!