The Sweetie Chronicles

Fill your paper with the breathings of your heart. ~William Wordsworth

Going Home for a Few Days

I didn't get a chance to post yesterday, and I'm afraid that this week may be a bit inconsistent. I am driving home today to Georgia to visit with my family and to watch my former students in a musical. I might find time to write up a few posts on my laptop, but you never know. I hope that the drive goes easy today and that I make it home safely and in good time. One thing that always makes the ride more enjoyable is listening to audio books.

A few weeks ago I picked up a paperback book at Mike's Used Book store, where I go from time to time. The book is called "Confessions of a Shopaholic" by Sophie Kinsella, and I had been eying it for some time. Part of the appeal was the word "Shop" in the title, which speaks for itself. Another part was the cotton candy pink cover of the book. And finally, the promise of a Bridget Jones'ish heroine that I could learn to love. After reading the book, however, I have to admit that I was a tiny bit disappointed. I mean, I had such high hopes. It was well written and humorous but it was also quite overdone. It was Bridget Jones x 10 with a heroine that not only got herself into interesting situations, but who also made decisions that were just plain stupid. Heavy on the humor, but light on the likability at times.

Anyway, when I'm driving I have gotten in the habit of listening to audio books. This is of course, something I picked up from my mother, and loathed when I was a teenager and just wanted to listen to music or sleep on road trips. I went to Barnes and Noble to look for an affordable audio book, and I found the book "Can You Keep a Secret", also by Sophie Kinsella. The story is about Emma Corrigan, a young woman who unwittingly spills all of her secrets to a handsome stranger on a plane, only to find out that following Monday that the stranger is the CEO of the company she works for. Being that it was only $14.99 (minus 10% member discount), and that it was wrapped up in an irresistible cotton candy pink colored box, I decided to give Sophie Kinsella another shot and see if this book is any better than the Shopaholic one.

Also on my agenda for the return trip is "The House" by Danielle Steel. I am looking forward to both books, really. They help to pass the time in the car, which is always a blessing on long trips by yourself.

Hope to write more soon this week, but if not have a good one and I will definitely be back Tuesday morning next week and on my regular writing schedule from then on. *hugs*

My Blanket

As a child, I was never really the kind to hold onto one item like a blanket or a pacifier. Sure, I had stuffed animals, but there wasn't really anything that I couldn't live without. I remember that my cousin K had this yellow blanket that she would NEVER let go of. I'm talking years and years of addiction here. She wouldn't sleep without it. She would not go in the car without it. She would scream bloody murder if you took it away from her. Eventually her parents got her out of the habit, but it took many years and a lot of patience. To this day, however, she still has that ratty yellow blanket in her possession. I never had anything like that as a child.

Lately, though, I have become addicted to my Hello Kitty blanket. G and I bought it one day when we were at Target. I think it was $20 or something, and I remember debating over whether or not to buy it. But it was so fuzzy and pink... and I have never regretted spending that $20. Usually, the blanket lives in my computer chair where I either sit on it or wrap it around myself. If I go downstairs to watch TV, though, the blanket goes with me almost always. Sometimes, if I'm not feeling great, the blanket will accompany me into the bedroom where it will comfort me while I sleep.

It is the softest blanket I have ever owned and I adore it. Is it silly for a woman my age to be addicted to a soft blanket? Not to mention all of the other Hello Kitty items I have in our house right now? Some people might think it is silly or immature, and maybe it is. But I say that if you can find happiness and joy in something in this day and age you should embrace it no matter what anyone else thinks. Hello Kitty makes me smile and I don't see anything immature about that. I always loved Hello Kitty when I was a little girl, and even though I'm in my 30's, I still love her. I don't think I'm alone in this either. Even Mariah Carey has a room dedicated to her Hello Kitty addiction.

If something ever happens to my Hello Kitty blanket, I doubt I would scream bloody murder the way K did when we were six years old, but I know I would be sad. It's a comfort to me to wrap the soft pinkness of it around me when I'm sitting down and writing or playing video games. I guess someday it will get stained or frayed and I will have to let it go, but for now, I love it.

Itching to Get Away

Lately I have been itching to get away for a romantic weekend. Between school projects, yard sales, and the like, we have been pretty much stuck here though. This particular weekend, G is on-call with work, which means that should there be a problem, he will get a phone call and most likely have to go in to work for a few hours to put out whatever fire needs to be put out.

Next week, I am heading home to Georgia to see the school musical where I taught last year. I am certainly excited about seeing my family and seeing my old students perform. However, I always miss G so much when we're apart and I'm sure next week will be no exception.

When we first were dating, we lived far enough apart that it made more sense for us to just meet in between at a hotel and spend a weekend together. Parting on Sunday was always the hardest part, but the weekends were so much fun. We'd make love over and over, go out for dinner and drinks, walk around a new city and discover shops or just talk. Of course, everyday real life can't be like that every weekend, but I think that it can only help a relationship to go away every once in a while and leave all the rest of the everyday crap behind.

What I have been daydreaming about lately is renting a cabin or something that has a jacuzzi tub. No video games allowed. Just us and a steaming hot jacuzzi, maybe a few DVD's and some comfy blankets. A new sexy outfit or two. Either that or maybe a new city to explore with new museums or an aquarium. That would be fun too.

Instead, though, this weekend will be about productivity. We are cleaning the carpets, cleaning out our cars and running various other errands that we've been meaning to get to. I know that all of these things need to get done, but I am really hoping for a weekend where it can be just the two of us alone somewhere with all the responsibilities of our house and jobs left behind for a few days.

Laser Hair Removal

In just a few minutes, I will be heading to my 2nd laser hair removal treatment. For the first one, I was nervous and unsure about what to expect. This time, it's almost as if knowing what to expect is scarier, but not.

On the one hand, I have seen the results of the first treatment, and let me just say... if there is any place on your body where you detest having hair, get laser hair removal treatments! They told me to expect maybe 10% reduction in hair growth after the first treatment, but I saw at least 30% I would say. Maybe I was just the perfect candidate or something, but this is really working for me. So, on that note, any amount of pain is pretty much worth it since it only lasts a short time and I know the results will be more or less permanent.

On the other hand, it really fucking hurts. Last time, I was basically shaking and crying after just a few moments because it hurt so bad. And believe me, I usually handle these type of things really well. The doctor even commented that I was handling it so much better than most of her other clients. That can only mean that some people make her stop because they can't take it... or maybe they scream.

You have to imagine that it's a laser that penetrates deep into your skin and basically burns you every time it thinks it detects a hair. So if you have a lot of hair densely packed in a sensitive area, it is going to burn the shit out of you for each little hair. To make less hot, they attach this really super cold arctic wind chill type blower onto the laser and it blows cold air on you wherever the laser is burning you. I am sure that having the freezing cold on you is better than just sitting there burning, but the cold is what made me shake last time I think. It's like my body got confused. Am I being burned? or Frozen?

I am hoping that since there is less hair this time, the laser won't burn quite as much. If I get another 30% result from this second treatment, then you'll barely even be able to see the unwanted hair anymore, which will be great. I'll put up with 30 minutes of pure torture for that, honestly.

Okay, so I'm off to my appointment. Wish me luck.

A Rainy Drought


Well, here we are, still in the middle of what some are calling the worst drought in North Carolina history... and it's raining. For the second straight week in a row. I guess I should be out stomping around in the mud, doing a praise dance to the gods for sending us this fruitful rain, but I have to admit that it's getting a bit dreary around here. And, no doubt, when all is said and done, and the rainfall has reached over a foot, they will still come on the news and say that we are on restricted water use due to a drought.

I think that the rural areas are seeing a lot less rain and that is why there is so much concern. The farmlands and the people like my parents that use well water instead of city water... that's where the trouble comes in. Of course, mentioning that there really doesn't seem to be a shortage of rainfall in the midst of drought is almost like mentioning that you don't go to church or that the Bible is not necessarily the be all end all of God's work. It's almost blasphemous to doubt the drought. So instead, I'll stand in the rain and sigh, wondering when the rainy drought might get back to a sunny and beautiful one.

Earrings!


Yesterday I actually set some goals and followed through! Yay me! I managed to do something most people do everyday. Woohoo! Anyway, the trick is to do that every single day. If I could accomplish every goal on my list on a daily basis, I know that I could pretty much do anything I wanted to. It just takes time and focus and dedication. I started small hoping to build from there. Here was my list of goals:

* Write 500 words Minimum in my current short story.
* Read at least 2 chapters of research.
* Work on a jewelry project (earrings)

I realize that this is an extremely modest goal list, but I've decided that creating a huge list of amazing things only turns out to be overwhelming and leads to the inevitable disappointment and self-loathing. Instead, I am going to go with small until I can work my way up to big. Here is what I actually accomplished from my list:
* Wrote 527 words in my current short story.
* Read 30 pages of research.
* Made five new sets of earrings.

Here is a close-up of the earrings. They are not perfect, but I think they turned out pretty cute. Today's goals are very similar as far as the writing and the research. I also want to work on a craft project today. I think it's going to have something to do with sewing today. I was thinking maybe of sewing a small decorative pillow cover and then adding some beads to it. We'll see.

New Crafting Space!!

Wow, I had another very productive weekend! On Friday we had our usual EQ2 game time, but we actually went to bed a little early so that we could get up on Saturday morning. Our community had a Volunteer Day where a lot of people got together to plant monkey grass and knockout roses in front of the townhouses. It was a really beautiful day, and we even got to work out in the shade.

After working out in the yard in the morning, we went to a big lunch (too big) buffet and then came home for a short nap. Then, G went to school to work on a project and I got to work on laundry and cleaning up what has been named "My Room". G and I live in a three bedroom, two and a half bath two story townhouse. When I moved in, there was the bedroom which also houses his computer desk. The second bedroom was being used as a sort of catchall for computer parts and the third bedroom used to be his roommate's room, but only had a bed in it. We turned the computer parts room into a proper office with a U-shaped giant desk space that we share and which wraps around the entire room. Then, I took over the guest room and made it my own.

First of all, I needed closet space. G's closet in the master bedroom was already pretty full, and let's face it, I have a ton of clothes and shoes. So, I painted my new room purplish-blue, moved my things into the closet, and then put in a small desk and chair and bookcase for my writing and working center. I also put the bed that was in there on the floor and was planning to use it as a comfy work space when I wanted to lay down and read or whatever. Basically, though, the bed turned into a dumping place for my clothes when I was too lazy to put them away. Bad bad bad.

So, this weekend, G and I did a wonderful thing. We moved the bed downstairs and into the living room for a temporary home (hopefully we'll get rid of it soon if need be). Then, we took his old computer desk and turned it into the ultimate crafting space for me! We went to Home Depot and had them cut a piece of plywood and a piece of hardboard with a smooth surface, into a 3 x 7 piece. Then, we brought it home, placed the new pieces on top of the old desk and G screwed them together. He also took out a wooden support piece at the bottom to make more leg room for me, and added his old rolling filing cabinet to the left side of the desk, extending the work space and evening out the look of the desk. Snickerdoodle's crate fits just at the end of the desk perfectly now instead of sticking out into the middle of the room the way it did when the bed was there.

Yesterday, I spent most of the day organizing my crafting supplies and putting them up onto my work space for easy access. Here is a photo of the result.
Everything is neatly organized and color coded according to which craft it belongs to. (e.g. Beading, Sewing, Scrapbooking, etc.) You will notice there is even a tiny tv/dvd combo on the workspace so that I can watch movies or listen to music while I'm crafting.




Here on the left is a picture taken from the door where you can see my writing space on the other side of the room. I am so excited to get to work in this space today!! I am planning to get at least 500 words written in my latest story, and then work on a beading project. I think I am going to make some dangling earrings today. Tomorrow I will post some more pictures of my crafting efforts. Horray for productive weekends!

100 Posts!


Yay! This post is my 100th post on the Sweetie Chronicles!! After a rough start with sticking to a blog last summer and fall, I am really proud of myself for being consistent with TSC and keeping up with my posting. Thanks to those of you who check back daily and actually give a crap what I have to say everyday. Woohoo, 100 posts!

8 Year Old Granted a Divorce

An 8 year old girl in Yemen was granted a divorce this week from her 30 year old husband. The news on the internet is that her father forced her to marry this older man and then she had to go and live with him. The girl claims that he beat her and forced her to have sex with him. Now, let's think about this for a minute. She is 8 YEARS OLD! I have a very hard time understanding a culture where it is okay to marry off your 8 year old child. I also have a hard time understanding a man who would accept this child bride into his home and then defile her by beating her and making her have sex with him. Aren't we supposed to be living in the 21st century here? It just blows my mind that people can live like this and think that it is okay to treat women and children however they please.

According to CNN, the girl actually went to a judge on her own and asked if she could file for divorce. Apparently, in Yemen, the law is that a family can actually pledge their child in marriage even if they are younger than 15 years old, but the husband is not supposed to have sex with the bride until she reaches puberty. That sounds a bit disgusting to me, honestly. I mean, some girls here in America start their periods and begin getting breasts when they are as young as 9 or 10 years old. Does this make them ready for a sexual relationship and the responsibilities of a home and a husband? Of course, here in America, if anyone has sex with a girl (or boy for that matter) who is under the age of 17 or 18, they can be put in jail for child molestation and will probably suffer severe consequences. Having sex with a 15 year old is bad enough if you're 30, but an 8 year old! You've got to be kidding me!

The judge in Yemen granted the child bride a divorce on the grounds that she had not yet reached puberty. However, for some unknown reason, the girls' family had to pay her ex-husband $250 as "compensation". In what fucked up world does that make sense? He is actually getting paid for basically raping and molesting a child. Where is this country that lives like this and allows such things to happen?? I had to honestly look it up, because I had no idea where Yemen was. According to www.pray4yemen.com :

Yemen is located on the southern tip of the Arabian Pennisula between Oman and Saudia Arabia. It is bordered by the Arabian Sea, the Gulf of Aden, and the Red Sea. Yemen's terrain varies from a narrow coastal plain to flat-topped hills to rugged mountains. The upland desert plains in the center slope into the desert interior of the Arabian Penninsula.

Why doesn't it surprise me that this is a Middle Eastern country? I am not going to say that I completely agree with the war in Iraq and how our country has handled it, but damn. Something has to be done about the way women and children are treated in these Middle Eastern countries! I realize that there are cultural differences that I cannot understand and which should be respected. We can't take our American beliefs and culture all over the world and force everyone to be just like us. However, I don't think it is ever right to force your 8 year old into marrying a 30 year old and then sit back and do nothing when she tells you that he is abusing her. I also don't think it is ever okay for a 30 year old man to force a child into sex, legally married or not. And the fact that he got paid to do it as an "I'm sorry" from the family makes me sick to my stomach.

2009 Toyota Camry... Because the 2008 isn't new enough.


I was watching American Idol last night and right there in the middle of the episode was a commercial for the 2009 Toyota Camry. 2009??? Are you seriously trying to tell me that the 2009 vehicles are already on sale in April?? Okay, so G looks over at me and says "Sweetie, it's always been that way." Has it really? I mean, I can remember the following year's car coming out in the late fall and car dealers having commercials that said "This is the year end sales event! We've got to make room for all of those brand new whatever-year-cars."

Even if they have always come out with the next year's model in the spring of the year before, I think it's completely ridiculous. If the car is made and being sold in 2008, it should BE a 2008 model. I guess someone in marketing one day just decided that they could sell more cars if they advertised it that way... After all, we are the dumb consumers who buy into that shit. I am sure that there are tons of people who think it's cool to own the "new" 2009 model. Much cooler than owning the 2008 really. I mean, the 2009 is like the car of the future! In a country where "keeping up with the Jones's" is so important, having the 2009' hit the lots in freakin' April is probably a good idea. Before you know it, they will be trying to sell us cars that are dated 5+ years in the future. They will try to make us feel that somehow their designers have so much foresight into the technology and the style of the future that they can design the 2015 Camry or whatever and sell it in 2010.

The truth is, there hasn't really been that much advancement in technology when it comes to the cars we drive. VW's were already getting 25+ mpg back in the 70's, so why am I still driving a car that gets about the same?? Sure, there are the new hybrids and electric cars, but they are so much more exensive that it's cheaper for me to buy the poor gas mileage car and just pay for the gas prices. I have a feeling that the technology to make our cars more efficient is out there, but someone has paid to shelve it. Big Business could really care less about the middle class and poor drivers of America who can't afford to fill up their car for $60 every week. All they care about is skyrocketing gas prices and filling their own pocketbooks. I don't know about you, but even if the 2009 version of my car is cooler and newer... I can't fucking afford it.

Get Over It!

I have definitely reached a point where being sad or upset about my past has gotten old. This whole not having self-confidence is a bit old too. Why did I let someone else take so much away from me? I really have to get over it, you know? Enough already!

Part of what gets me when I start to think about my past is this feeling of "Why didn't I take advantage of _____ when I had the chance?" (Insert whatever into the blank. e.g. sleeping in, being young, my freedom) Or realizing that I didn't live to my fullest potential back when. The big problem with this kind of thinking is that it seriously starts to depress me, which in turn keeps me from taking advantage of all of the wonderful things happening to me right now, or living to my full potential today. I am sick of looking back and being disappointed in myself!

The only way to change that is to start today to make a difference in myself. I know that I have the potential to write a novel and to get it published. I actually believe that I have the potential to write a best-selling novel and make some money doing it. So what is holding me back? Nothing but myself, really, and I know it. It's time to really work to get over the past and start believing in myself again.

Deadliest Catch


Have you ever watched the show "Deadliest Catch" ? It comes on the Discovery channel and is a documentary style series about crab fisherman. Now, before you start thinking that it's going to be like watching bass fishing or something boring, you should really give it a chance. I would have never in a million years turned on the show if it hadn't been for my brother, who is fascinated by it. Last year when I lived with my brother for about six months, we used to sit up together and watch it. Part of its charm may have been just that I was spending time with my brother, but I really liked the show.

Probably the best part of it is the people, because isn't that what makes any reality show interesting? Capt. John Hillstrand is my favorite. He captains the Time Bandit and he is definitely one of the funniest out of all of them. The captains of the various boats run a contest every year to see who can bring in the most pounds of crab (relative to how big their boat is or something to make it fair), and I think Hillstrand won last year. Of course after he won, he bought all the captains a drink with his winnings and then donated it to a fisherman charity for those that lost their lives fishing that season. Believe me, this goes beyond just reality tv because it's a documentary about an interesting and often very dangerous topic. You only have to watch that giant metal cage lift out of the stormy waves and crash into the boat while six men try to get it under control to know that being a crab fisherman is not for the weak. I am excited that the show is coming back on and I will have yet another series to start recording on my DVR.

Productive Weekend

Wow, this weekend was amazing! In fact, I don't think I've gotten so much done while having so much fun in as long as I can remember. Now, let me preface this by saying that my usual weekend consists of playing Everquest II and sleeping, going out for meals and maybe doing some laundry. I definitely enjoy those weekends because there is no pressure, I can sleep in a bit, and I get to spend the whole time with G, which is always good. But this weekend was different.

Okay, so Friday night we still played EQ2, as usual. We didn't get to bed until after 2am, and I was thinking it was going to rain, canceling the yard sale. At 5:30 am, though, when the alarm went off, I popped out of bed and peered out the window, praying that it was not raining. And it wasn't! Yipppeee!! So, I jumped in the shower, got ready, woke G up (and I am NEVER up before him), and started hauling all of my unwanted post-divorce crap onto the front lawn for the yard sale. By 6:30, we had everything out on display. By 6:35, we had already made $20. The morning was so much fun! I loved talking to people as they browsed and getting to know some of my neighbors a bit better. It was fun to be making money and spending time with G outdoors. There was not a drop of rain all morning, and it was about 65 degrees and lovely. When it got to be 11:00 and it was time to close up, all I had left of my mountain of crap was a couple of boxes that went in my car for donation, and about $100 in profit (which I think is pretty darn good for a yard sale).

After that, we headed to the club house here in our townhome community for a luncheon (I made dessert). Who knew that right here, just a few feet away, was a social circle just waiting to happen? A few houses down is M, a girl probably around my age who just had a baby, and next to her is A and her boyfriend P, also about my age I'm guessing. Across the courtyard is D (who has been a TA at state for G's classes a few times) and his wife B. We are all around 28-32'ish I would guess, and we seem to get along great! I can't believe it! I thought that other than G and his friends, I was in a social wasteland!! No offense to Cary, but I just haven't put myself in situations to meet a lot of people, and definitely don't want to go to bars or to churches, but that's a completely different topic for a different day. Hopefully the three couples will at least get together soon to go bowling or dinner or something like that. Hmm.. I wonder if we could have them over here for a DDR party or something?

Anyway, after lunch, G and I headed to the donation center to drop off the things we didn't sell in the yard sale, and then went to the flea market. We took some things we had been meaning to try to sell there to vendors like an old cell phone and some jewelry. I was thinking that maybe we'd make another $10 off that stuff, but would you believe we made $105?? Off some stuff that was just sitting in the closet! We also scouted out the other booths because I am thinking of putting together some of my own crafts and selling them at the flea market for fun and extra cash on weekends. It started to rain, though, so we went to get some food and then headed back home.

Over the course of the weekend, we made over $200, cleaned the kitchen, did the laundry, made new friends, scouted out a possible business opportunity, went to see a late night movie, played a game, read some books, went shopping, took some bulky trash to the dump, mowed the yard, and even made love. It was the perfect weekend.

Yard Sale


Tomorrow is the community yard sale here at our town homes. I am just going to pull everything out tonight that I can think of and stick tags on all of it. I am determined to get rid of everything, even if I have to sell a $100 item for ten cents. I just want it gone. The time has really come to purge our house and my life of all of these things that I got when I married J and things that he purchased or gave to me. It will feel so good to let it all go. Hopefully a lot of people will show up and be ready to buy! It starts at 6:30, omg, and I am not looking forward to waking up that early, but I guess I'll have to get up around 5:30'ish. Anything that doesn't sell becomes a charity donation. I am not setting any goals on how much I make on it, because I don't want to be disappointed and I don't want to hold onto anything just because I want more money for it. Wish me luck!

Bob and The Showgram Off the Air



Freedom of speech is at the heart of the triangle's biggest topic today: The suspension of the popular crew of G-105's morning radio show “Bob and the Showgram”. I heard the Public Service Announcement style apology on the radio this morning and was immediately in a state of panic. Did they take Bob off the air? I rushed home to scour the Internet for the story and found it on newsobserver.com. A recent 15 minute humorous conversation by Bob and his co-hosts about the Lumbee Indians being “lazy” has stirred up a very passionate response from the area's Native American community. They feel that Bob and his crew should be taken off the air permanently for their racist comments. In order to appease the angry crowd, the producers suspended the Showgram crew until Monday without pay.

I think that it's ridiculous that Bob has been suspended over this. I listen to his show several times a week, and he is always making jokes directed at stereotypes. Rednecks. Blacks. Rich girls. Fat people. The list goes on. And it's FUNNY! If I wanted to listen to a watered-down, very unfunny, politically correct morning show, I would tune into easy listening or something, but the truth is, I tune into G-105 because they make me laugh. If everyone took him seriously and got offended at every crazy thing that came out of his mouth, he would not still be on the air. Instead, most people realize that he's just joking around, which is proven by the fact that he's got the number 1 morning radio show in the area.

Freedom of speech is the bigger topic here I think, and it's a tricky one. Yes, he has the right to express his opinions and to make fun of whatever the hell he wants to. On the other hand, he only has the ability to do it on the radio if the people that employ him let him do it. You're kidding yourselves if you think that those owners and producers give a shit about the feelings of the Lumbee Indians. All they care about is ratings and money, and who can blame them since they are trying to run a business? That's why they haven't fired the Showgram crew. They simply gave them a slap on the wrist to show that they “care” about the hurt feelings. The truth is, though, that even bad publicity is still publicity, and come Monday, the show will probably have a renewed listener base because people will either want to show their support or see what he'll say next.

Thankfully, we live in a country where you can believe and express whatever you want, and no one can stop you from it. Each and every one of us has the right to our own opinions. Maybe we all don't get to host our own radio show, but if enough people loved what you had to say, you might just get that job. My mother used to say to me “You can't please everyone.” I consider this one of the best lessons she ever taught me. Everyone might not like what Bob has to say or think his jokes are funny. Some people are going to get pissed off, while others are going to laugh their tushies off. If they fire him, 100 Indians might feel they got justice, but thousands of listeners would be angry and feel robbed of their morning giggles. You can't please everyone.

Another topic of conversation surrounding this event has been that unspoken rule in America that says you can only make fun of your own race or other people just like you. Have you noticed that? Blacks can call each other the dreaded “N” word, and Chris Rock can joke all day about Church's chicken. Chinese people can get together and laugh about their slanted eyes, and even Lesbians can make fun of themselves. But the second a straight guy makes a joke about a lesbian or a gay man, you better watch out! Now, there do seem to be some exceptions to the rules. Men can make fun of women and that “time of the month.” Women can make fun of men and their wife-beater t-shirts or their beer guts. Black guys can even laugh at white men that can't dance or play basketball. All of these comments are made in a joking fashion, though, in the name of comedy. The tone behind it is what matters.

One reader on triangle.com actually compared Bob's comments to Hitler. “This kind of behavior is like burning crosses and wearing hoods. It is like drawing swastikas on doors.” Are you seriously going to compare harmless comments made in a spirit of humor with the murder of millions of Jews and the horrible racism associated with the KKK? Get over yourself! You just have to look at the meaning and tone behind those things to see the difference. No one was killed or beaten. Okay, so maybe some feelings were hurt, but get over it. Stop taking yourselves so seriously or change the station and let the rest of us enjoy our morning dose of Bob and the Showgram.

Katherine Rees - Right or Wrong?

Lord knows there is enough wrong with this country's version of "Justice". I have witnessed firsthand how frustrating it can be to go through a lawsuit. Basically, people threaten to sue all the freaking time, but the truth of the matter is that sueing someone is a very big ordeal and what's more,it's extremely expensive. If you have been wronged in some way, chances are it will cost you more to prosecute your wrong-doer than it would for you to take a month long shopping vacation in Paris and Milan to destress instead. I would advise taking the shopping trip, because when all is said and done, you probably won't find justice anyway. How has our nation turned into this place where justice is so hard to find? Let me tell you.

So, my topic today is Katherine "Katie" Rees, the 23 year old Miss Nevada who was dethroned after nude photos were leaked onto the internet. (As if these girls don't realize that in their quest for the crown someone is going to eventually leak those naked pictures of you. That story is so over-done.) Anyway, apparently she also is a bad driver. She managed to elude police and the court for some time even though she had some serious traffic violations on her record and had not paid the tickets yet. When she was finally pulled over, she resisted arrest, resulting in the police having to forcefully restrain her. This is the important part here. SHE RESISTED ARREST.

Okay, so cute little Katie went to court, paid her traffic fines, and the judge agreed that since she was willing to plead no contest, the court would dropped the misdemeanor charge of resisting arrest. CNN quotes her saying, "I'm just really glad this is over. It was a really traumatic experience, and I'm ready to move on." She wasn't exactly being truthful, though. Instead of moving on and just being grateful that the court did not prosecute her for resisting arrest and then put her in jail for six months, she is going to file a police brutality case. On what grounds?? While she was RESISTING arrest, the police slammed her down on her car and broke her beauty queen tooth. THIS is what's wrong with our justice system. Too many American people who have taken advantage of the system and distorted it. She is the one at fault and yet her lawyer is pushing her to believe that she was the one wronged in all this!

I hope a judge laughs in her face, honestly. Instead, what will probably happen is that someone will pay her off to avoid the embarrassment and hassle of a trial. It happens all the time, and it's disgusting. People who actually need and deserve justice will never see it because it's too expensive for them to fight and the laws can always be twisted to suit the needs of the side with more money or fame.

Violence and Olympics Don't Mix


I think that all of this rioting and protesting surrounding the Olympics is sad. Watching the Olympics as a child was always an emotional experience, and maybe even more so as an adult. There is just something fundamentally wonderful about seeing athletes that have worked day and night for years finally get their chance. Some of these athletes have honestly worked from the time they were 3 years old, sacrificing friends, family time, regular childhood everything in order to be an Olympic grade athlete.

As the Beijing Olympics draw near, the only thing people can think about is politics. I guess this is a difficult argument to take sides on. On one hand, you have the idea that the Olympics is supposed to be free of politics and animosity between countries, and we are supposed to focus on the beauty and hard work of these athletes. Sure, it is about pride in your country and the people that compete for each country, but it is also supposed to be a showing of peaceful collaboration and competition. We should be able to set aside our differences and allow the young people that are competing to be in the spotlight for their big moments.

On the other hand, however, China is not exactly a free country like America. Protests on the way China has abused Tibet and its people are all over the news, but this is not a new issue. This is more like the topic that gets pushed to the side a lot, until now, of course. Since actors are usually at the forefront of activist groups due to their fame and position, Richard Gere spoke out for the International Compaign for Tibet when he said, "What the Chinese are doing, this is not an athletic game to them," he said. "This is putting a stamp of approval on repression and human rights abuses." He has a point there. We boycotted the Moscow Olympics games for similar reasons right? Sort of. And even though this is supposed to be about peace and overlooking our differences, you have to look at the big picture. Should we be so avidly supporting a country that does this to others?

You have to wonder what China's own Olympic athletes experience. Are they all athletes by choice? Or are they pretty much forced into this lifestyle? Did they have the freedom to choose what career path they would take? I wonder.

This is such a complicated issue and I can honestly say I am not sure what I think about all of it. I see evidence that China abuses its people and is a perpetual example of repression. Just because Survivor and America's Next Top model got to film there does not mean that they are "just like us." We have to remind ourselves that despite China's recent move to court American viewers and their money, China is not a FREE country. Its people are kept in the dark about a lot of things, not allowed to see the whole story, not even allowed to browse the entire internet. As much as I love to watch athletes in their moment of victory, maybe having the Olympics in China this year was a HUGE mistake and maybe the US should boycott it like the 1980 Olympics. I just don't know.

Baby Born With Two Faces


Have you seen this story? About a month ago in India, a baby was born with two faces. She has two identical faces - two noses, mouths, four eyes - everything is duplicated except her ears. There is a scientific name for it, cranio-whatever, but I wonder how that happens inside the womb? Is there a genetic malfunction? Did the Mom eat something weird that she shouldn't have? I just can't imagine what it would be like for a mother to see your child for the first time and have it be a beautiful baby girl... with two faces. The idea of siamese twins has always interested me, but creeped me out at the same time. This is a bit different though, because it is not two separate people, it's a single baby, just with two faces.

Some people in India are making pilgrimage to the little baby to worship her as the reincarnaion of a Hindu God. Now, I don't totally get which god they think she is exactly. Some websites are saying Ganesha, which is the Elephant-headed god of wisdom. I wonder why they would associate two faces with an Elephant head? Maybe it's because Ganesha has four arms, so there is some kind of duplicity? I don't know for sure, but it's interesting that she is being worshipped.

Her parents basically said that they had a very hard time accepting the baby at first, but now they see her just like any other child. Honestly, I don't mean to sound shallow, but it might take me more than a month to get used to that. None of the news I read said if they agree that their child is a reincarnated God, but I imagine that they would rather just go home from the hospital and live normal lives, away from all the media and "worshippers". The sad thing is that babies with this deformity usually do not live long. Doctors say that the baby is doing very well for now, but that it is rare for them to live out full healthy lives. Can you imagine only being married for a little over a year, being excited about your first child, and then having a media freakshow baby that you learned to love, but then who died to her unusual condition? That would probably haunt you forever.

The Crazy Ex-Husband

You hear stories about insane ex-husbands or ex-boyfriends who are stalkers or who go totally mental and never leave you alone, but you never expect it to happen to you. Five years ago when I married the guy, I thought he hung the moon. I was so happy to be marrying him and tying my life to his. How could my judgment possibly have been so terrible?

I am sure that divorce is never easy, and even as tough as mine has been, there are probably millions of divorces that are more difficult than mine, simply because children are involved. Thank God I never had a child with that crazy lunatic! Once all of the pieces and little details have been taken care of, all the loose ends tied up, I won't have to deal with him anymore, ever again. Or at least I am hoping that is the case. You would think, however, that after a year of being divorced, he would have moved on with his life, maybe found someone new or realized how foolish he had been and calmed down a bit about it. No. He has developed a whole new kind of crazy with which to threaten me.

After selling our house, there was just one last issue holding us together legally. Taxes. With the deadline coming up, I have been more and more stressed about the fact that he still has not come up with the documents I need to file our taxes. Then, today, I get the most insane email from him. Not only did he make all these threats to me about completely unrelated and made-up things, he also indicated that he has been scouring the internet for anything he can find about me or my family, referencing, specifically, pictures of my brothers wedding that I am guessing he found on the photographers website. THe fact that the wedding was not in my hometown and that I never told him about it seriously creeps me out. DOes he honestly have nothing better to do with his time than to search for information about me online? He also asked for my father's liability insurance information and my brother and sister's contact information (even spelling my sister's name wrong). What the hell could he possibly want with their contact information?

I guess the other thing that is pissing me off right now is that even though I know he is trying to push my buttons and make me upset, I am still letting it get me upset. I should not allow someone like that to have any power over me and my emotions anymore. Haven't I dealt with enough abuse from this man? Maybe he never hit me, but I survived years of mental abuse. I have no doubt from the way he used to throw things at me and threaten physical abuse that he would have eventually gone down that path too. I am so grateful that I got out of that marriage when I did, but how do I really move on if he is going to continue to seek me out and make threats? This week is going to be the end of it. I am going to either get his tax documents or find a way to file without him. THen, I am going to block him in every possible way. EMail addresses, phone numbers, everything. If I have to, I will get all new emails, a new phone number, whatever it takes.

This should serve as a warning to all women in relationships. They say that Love is blind, and I think they are full of crap. If you are blind to the truth of the situation you are in, or you are blind to the honest truth of the person you are with, then it isn't love at all. It is a mirage... fake love. Love is only real when your eyes are wide open and you can see everything about someone so clearly that you know them like you know yourself. If you love them anyway, or more, for the way you see them when you see them for Real, then it is true love. Blind Love is just Blindness.

Inspiration

Sometimes I think I get too hung up on age. Yes, I know that 31 is still young, but sometimes it really feels like it's getting to be too late for some things. Women can have babies into their 40's, but when you already have trouble in that department, it makes you wonder when your cut-off date is going to be. Of course, I don't want to have a baby before I'm ready just because I'm scared of it being too late. The other issue with age that I've had lately is just career based anxiety. Everywhere you look, someone is talking about saving for retirement. I, on the other hand, cashed in my only retirement and am not currently earning anything towards my "golden years".

I decided to take a look at the biographies for two of the most popular and prolific romance writers, Danielle Steel and Nora Roberts, to see when they started writing. I was honestly sort of expecting to see that they finished their first books when they were 16 or something crazy, but it wasn't like that at all. Both of those women didn't start writing until they were around 30, and neither of them saw real best-seller-success until they were around 34 or 35. Yay! That makes me feel very inspired! Nora Roberts was rejected a lot when she first started out, and come to find out, she got her first start with Silhouette books, which is the same publisher (now owned by Harlequin I think) that I am writing something for right now to submit to their ebook program.

When I was trying to become an Opera singer, there was always a lot of talk about age. The female voice doesn't fully mature until early 30's they would say. Of course, if you didn't have a bunch of performances and lead roles on your resume by your 30's you could pretty much forget it. There was always a ticking clock it seemed. Writing doesn't have to be like that, and I am starting to realize it and relax a little bit. I doubt a publisher ever turned down an amazing book because the author was 40 years old. There is definitely some inpiration to be found in reading about other authors.

I Wish I Was A Dallas Cowboy's Cheerleader


This post may prove that I am the biggest dork in the world, but here goes nothing. When I am working out at Jazzercise, the routines sometimes get to be a bit too hard or I feel like I am starting to lose energy or the ability to carry on... so I have come up with a little way to keep myself going. I pretend that I am trying out for the Dallas Cowboy's Cheerleading Squad.

Did you ever watch that show on ESPN or whatever where they showed the entire audition process for the DCC's? (Dallas Cowboy Cheerleader's) Well, they made it into a reality show and it was brutal what some of the girls put themselves through. I remember that they even had this egg shaped thing the girls had to go into one at a time that measured your body fat percentage. If it was too high, they had a stern talking to with them about their level of body fat and gave them tips and diets to follow in order to lose it before the final cut. Brutal. I mean, some of the girls that were too "fat" were like 5 foot 10, 130 lbs, and completely gorgeous. They also showed the instructors calling girls in after a rehearsal and saying things like "You just aren't getting the routines. Don't come back." And then you would see these girls just go nuts. For some of them, it would be the 6th or 7th time they had tried out and almost made it. For others, it was their first time and they had just moved there and gotten an apartment when they found out they made the "boot camp". Imagine uprooting your life completely to go to a strenuous boot camp and then getting cut because your body fat percentage was like 15%?? Omg, brutal.

So, anyway, back to my topic :). I know I don't look like those girls and I know that it's only Jazzercise, not some top level choreography for a famous cheerleading/dancing team. However, if I pretend in that moment that I am dancing to try to make a team or that I am sexy and looking amazing out there as a future Dallas Cowboy Cheerleader, it keeps me going. It gives me that extra ability to push through the routine no matter how much my body aches or I feel out of breath. Yes, I realize that this makes me a dork. But by God I'll be a healthy, skinny dork when it's all said and done. Yeee haw!

Wednesdays Are Harder

Doesn't it always seem like Wednesdays are the hardest days? I know a lot of people hate Mondays because the weekend is over and all, but to me, at least I am facing Monday after having a fun and hopefully restful weekend. But Wednesdays are like an island. They are sitting out there surrounded by two workdays on either side, with no weekend in sight. It's always the hardest day for me. Hard to get out of bed. Hard to get dressed and out of the house. I wish that I could just skip Wednesdays and go straight to Thursday. On Thursday, at least you know that tomorrow is Friday and that gives you hope that the weekend is near. I am sure that once I get going today, I will feel better and the day will brighten up, but right now all I want to do is go back to bed.

April Fools

Happy April Fools! This is not exactly a "holiday" tradition that I have gotten into too much in the past, but it's fun to see what ideas creative tricksters have come up with. Google seems to have gotten in on the festivities with custom time, where you can send emails into the past and also a new wake up system, complete with bucket to dump water on you if alarms aren't working. Check out a list of some online april fool's day jokes at Cnet .

My favorite joke so far is what Youtube has done. Just go there and click on any of today's feature videos. It cracks me up. You have to wonder what Rick Astley thinks about the whole "Rick Roll" joke that's been around for so long.

I think I have always been too chicken to pull off any good April Fools Day jokes, personally. My family tells stories of my Nana and her sisters pranking each other out. It got pretty brutal. One time, my Grandmother's sister called in the middle of the night and said that her house was on fire and the police and fire department were on the way and could she get down there right away and help. Everyone got dressed and frantically headed over to the house, where her sister was sitting on the porch with her husband laughing their asses off. They all thought it was so funny afterwards, but that type of gag is just too intense for my tastes.

I prefer jokes like this one at thinkgeek or the Rick Roll at YouTube. Of course, one reason I probably don't get into April Fools that much is because I am usually the one who falls for it. Then, I am the one who feels completely foolish (no pun intended) because everyone is laughing at me. :) But it's all in good fun. Have you ever been pranked or fallen for a good April Fools?

Sarra Cannon

Young Adult Indie Author

I always secretly wanted to be a cheerleader. And a witch. Now, I write about both. The first five novels in my Peachville High Demons Young Adult Paranormal series are available now in ebook!

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Beautiful DemonsThe Time Traveler's WifeLoveroot: PoemsFear of FlyingWe the LivingAnthem

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