Archives for February 2012

20 Questions and the Vacuum can Kiss my Thumb!

Ok, so we know I am not a prude and have no problem with the word “ass.” Just figured this was more family friendly in the Twitter feed ūüôā I figured you would get the point. They can both kiss my ass, my thumb, my big toe, the curb – whatever.

It all started out really cute. On the ride home from picking the kids up from school, a great game of 20 Questions breaks out. It is funny to say the least. The littler ones haven’t quite grasped the strategy of asking eliminating¬†questions¬†and narrowing the¬†possibilities. And the older ones are enjoying very much choosing topics that are abstract at best, unguessable at worse.

A small pattern has begun to take shape. Emily will always choose an animal. You will do better with Savannah if your first question is, “Does it have to do with Quantum Leap?” With Madison, it is the same except the qualifier is Anime. Morgan is the easiest. Just ask three or four questions, she will declare victory and tell you the answer.

Once home, the dear husband joins in the fun. And isn’t that nice? So cute to watch the whole family interacting. No TV, no electronics, no internet. Just us and our conversation. So nice.

It is my turn to pick. The kids have gotten better and, with the parental influence, the questions are more focused. I make my choice and the questions begin. Typical plant, animal, mineral type stuff. Then this…

Emily: Is it alive?

Me: It is not alive.

My dear husband: Do we have one?

Me: We do have one.

Savannah: Is it made of plastic?

Me: Parts of it is made with plastic.

Savannah: Do you use it everyday?

Me: I do not use it everyday.

My dear husband: Is it a vacuum?

No, ass, it is Elmo. I am going to watch my DVR’d American Idol episodes…


Another View (Or “I Wish I Owned That Outfit”)

Sarah Manley doesn’t know that I think I dig her. She also doesn’t know I think I was meant to find her (I discovered her due to my Lenten Facebook fast). She and I have also never actually met (“Hi Sarah, I am April.”)

But I knew I would spend more than five minutes on her blog “The Nerdy Apple” because of this outfit. And she likes Bloody Mary’s (I am not sure if that is in the morning, but I am betting I could talk her into it). And this is her comment policy:

If you can say it respectfully, it will stay. If you get mean, personal, insulting, I will remove it. I have no problem with differing opinions. I have a big problem with rudeness and bullying. So please, play nicely.

Yep – that is some cool stuff.

Sarah wrote a post, and I almost left a comment. But I didn’t because it turned into this post. (Sarah, if you are here, please don’t stop at #1 – I do agree mostly with most of it :))

1. The semantics of Abortion get all tangled. If it is a discussion on the topic, then the sides would be pro- and anti-. There are issues with all other monikers outside of pro- and anti- abortion.

  • Pro-life – not¬†necessarily¬†true of all anti-abortion thought holders. How do I know? Because I am currently struggling with my own¬†views¬†on the death penalty (a topic for another time). I would bet that there other anti-aborts¬†out¬†there that either¬†also¬†struggle or¬†comfortably support the death penalty. That is not a pro-life stance. Therefore, the issue is not pro-life, it is anti-abort.
  • Pro-choice – I¬†believe¬†myself to pro-choice. I¬†believe¬†that folks choose to have sex. (*Note – I have numerous times said that I¬†appreciate¬†the struggle over extenuating circumstances. These account for less than 5% of the abortions performed in the United States. The exception should not dictate the rule and I am content to discuss the other 95%.) I believe folks choose to¬†contracept. I believe babies are not choices – they are consequences to already made choices.

Legal doesn’t make right. Slavery is the first thing that comes to mind. Hitler’s reign is another. I am NOT comparing the acts or the people.¬†Simply¬†questioning the defense of the “legal”. And I wouldn’t think that digging a baby out of a womb is the same thing as digging a cavity out of a tooth. And unless Sarah tells me otherwise, I am going to assume she didn’t mean that either. As a person who also draws analogies that are sometimes misunderstood, I am assuming she was not comparing the medical practices simply the access to medical services.

2. Agreed. While I would prefer something different to be used other than “marriage,” we kinda gave that right up a long time ago. The religious assertion is that marriage is sacred – and I¬†believe¬†that it is. However, there wasn’t too much of a stink raised when the ceremony moved out of the church and into the courthouse. We didn’t ask that it be called a “civil union” then. And we fussed a bit, but not too much, as divorce went from a serious decision to $99 and a court date. You want to talk about an¬†assault¬†on the¬†dignity¬†and¬†sanctity¬†of marriage? It should have started there. We didn’t.

3. Agreed. However, I would caution that just because something is found or held to in religion does not, in itself, make that thing off-limits in the political¬†arena. Murder is the best illustration of this point. It is against a¬†Biblical¬†ordered commandment. But that doesn’t negate it from being addressed by the state. Murder is illegal, not because it is found in a religious text, but¬†because¬†it deprives the rights of another person against their will.

There are, and always will be, topics that commingle. The requirement should be, if you can discuss that topic in your religious body and justify it according to the governing powers for your religious order, then hold it religiously. If you can discuss that topic in your public square and justify it according to the governing powers of your civil order, then hold it civilly. If these two discussions can successfully occur on the same topic, I am not mixing church and state Рthe topic is just appropriate to be accountable to each.

4. Yep.

5. The system is broken and needs to be fixed, I agree. However, I would suggest that state mandate and socialization is not the way. Medical innovation and practice is expensive. Research and Development takes facilities, equipment, supplies, and some seriously talented labor. Medical practice takes the same. All of this equals a business that simply must make money. The investment is too great on the front end and the need for incentive must be available to fuel the ability to make it to the goal.

So do I think that health care should be a “get what you can pay for” service? No. But I also think that a “free for most, paid by some” system is¬†detrimental¬†as well. I don’t know what the answer is, but I do know the problem is¬†exacerbated¬†by both¬†extreme¬†views. The answer is somewhere else but the powers that be keep focusing on the fringes.

6. What is “fair share”? I am a Fair Tax girl. That is my definition of fair share. And there is an overwhelming population of people who pay no taxes at all. Shouldn’t there be something? Even if it is a super small something.

Further, I don’t think taxes are truly the issue. Most folks, I think, would not bitch so much about taxes if they believed the spending was appropriate. Kinda like my house. My husband and I don’t argue about spending. We don’t argue about income. We do butt heads over the eighth running outfit or the suped up, see to the moon flashlight.

7. There is a “behind/under” to clean? Damnit…

So, here is to a post that, I hope, will be found to honor Sarah’s comment policy. We disagree on some things (I have never met a Pale Ale that I liked) but I think our hearts beat the same (I would climb over you to order an Irish Ale). So the conversations cannot stay the same. We cannot keep beating each other over the heads with empty Smithwick’s bottles. But I think when folks like Sarah and I respect, question, and engage, progress is made – and a Bloody Mary wouldn’t hurt.

Lent 2012

It is weird not rolling out of bed, grabbing a cup of coffee, and logging into Facebook to chat with 1500 of my closest friends – especially since that isn’t my normal routine anyway. Typically the alarm goes off, I hit the snooze, grab my phone, and log in before I do anything else.

It took me a minute this morning to think about the alarm, think about the phone, and seriously consider, “ok, what now?”

Sounds a bit silly? Sure, if Facebook isn’t your thing, I am sure it sounds absolutely ridiculous. To understand, you will need to replace my thing with whatever your thing is. Don’t have a thing? Introduce yourself to me because I didn’t realize I knew anybody like that. I must milk your brain for the secret.

But for the rest of us, the thing(s) are real. When deciding what to do about Lent, they are usually the first thing that come to mind or the last. Facebook was the first thing that came to my mind some weeks ago. I spent much time in prayer trying to hear a different direction. I do business on Facebook, I have two babies coming during Lent, I am having my marriage blessed, I collaborate to solve all the problems of the world! (Ok, that last one is a small stretch)

But, prayer, as it is wont to do, only solidified and strengthen the proper path. And here I am. Facebookless. All the happenings of the world going on around me and I am none the wiser.

Or am I?

I still grabbed the phone. Couldn’t click Facebook since I deleted it from my phone last night (some temptations just have to be managed). So, I opened up my feedreader instead. It was affirming (which is still irritating as I get through the withdrawals) and encouraging (which is just what I needed).

¬†Debating politics and fighting the culture war are honorable endeavors, but they alone will not make us holy. The Lord wants a contrite heart. So for the duration of the Lenten season, I will try to write about spiritual things, things of the Faith, things that bring people — all people — closer to the heart of the eternal God who made and loves them.
~ Leila, Little Catholic Bubble

While I don’t think my Lent is purposed exactly the same as Leila’s (for those unaccustomed to Lent, this is not a bad thing as we are each called to pray, abstain, and give alms in a way that is right for our relationship), I hung out on her phrase, “they alone will not make us holy” for a long time. “Debate” and “war” tug at me as well. I think I will write about political things, but not in a political way…hang with me this season…I am not sure I know what that means quite yet.

At no other time are the paradoxes of the Christian life more evident than during the season of Lent. While the world looks upon this as a time for sadness and glum faces, the church sees it as a springtime of healing and restoration. While the world sees sackcloth and ashes, the church rejoices in the promise of forgiveness. Where the world sees a call for self-denial, the church sees an opportunity for greater intimacy with God.
~The Word Among Us

And there is that. The call, the obligation, the opportunity to be joyous in the sacrifice because the result and the purpose is good. That is still hard right now. I miss the forum. I miss the comfort zone. I miss the routine. But the ashes are blessed and the soul needs the renewal.

This will be wonderful.