Endless Musings

This blog contains the random thoughts, feelings, and observations of a slightly "left of normal" young woman.

Monday, August 29, 2005

Praying for the Big Easy

While I live in the Chicagoland area I can't help but to tremble when I hear the doomsday predictions concerning hurricane Katrina. As I write this the hurricane is about five hours away from making landfall. I hope with all my heart that the dire predictions for New Orleans will prove to be exagerated, but the situation does not look good.
The most dire predictions are that New Orleans will take a direct hit by this catagory 5 hurricane. If this actually happens this will be the worst hurrican to directly hit New Orleans since the technology to catagoize these storms was created. This could possibly be the worst storm to hit New Orleans ever for all we know.
I've found myself already glued to the live web cams of New Orleans (www.nola.com.) Since the hurricane hasn't actually hit yet Most of the shots don't look that bad. However, when I was watching earlier, it was already raining pretty hard and gusts of wind were starting to blow small pieces of debris around.
I saw both emergency vechicles as well as what appeared to be regular cars sporadically driving past (this was on the parade cam on the above mentioned site.)
It amased me to see that people were still there and driving around. I know some people basically had no good way to evacuate. Other's have decided to stay and weather the storm. I fear that these people have no idea what they're in for.
Since New Orleans is already about 25 feet under sea level the predicted 28 foot wall this storm is predicted to generate will litterally bury the city. To make matters worse, the levys and pumps that keep the city dry aren't expected to sustain the impact. This means that in the after math there will be no good and quick way to pump all the water out of the city. This will not only be an urban disaster, but an enviromental one as well. Everything from wreckage, sewage, uneathed coffins, ect., will pollute the water in the immediate area.
The possible human toll is the most disturbing. I've heard estimates that a million people could be left homeless. Even worse than that, I've heard that this storm could possibly kill hundreds of people. There is a large number of people living in New Orleans who do not own cars. Many of these people were unable to evacuate. There are also tourists who got stranded down there when the airport closed. Many of these people are taking shelter in highrise hotels and also the Superdome. I hope that anyone left down there can find shelter that will endure this storm.
As I stated earlier, I hope these predictions will not come to bear. It would be great to turn on the news tomorrow and see people in New Orleans beathing a sigh of relief. Until tomorrow I will keep my fingers crossed that the worst case senerio dose not play out in the Big Easy.

Sunday, August 28, 2005

Back from My Trip to Mars

After my last posting I promised myself that I would keep up with this blog. However, as anyone can see by the date of my last posting, that didn't happen. My only excuse is that this summer I've been rather busy (and lazy) and I just haven't sat down long enough at my computer until now. I'm not going to make any promises to myself this time around, but I do intend to start posting at least once or twice a week. Rather or not that will actually happen remains to be seen (lol.)

Friday, May 27, 2005

A Long Time Coming

Wow, when I started this blog I never imagined I'd go this long without writing in it. I'm not going to into all the reasons why it's been so long. That would be a pretty boring story, for the most part.
My mother completed her cancer treatments and now it's just a matter of regular checkups to make sure that it didn't manage to spread. My friend, Tom, has also finished his cancer treatments. He'll also have to continue to have regular checkups. But, both of them seem pretty healthy at this point.
My friend, Diana, recently lost her mother. She was in her 90's and had been in ill-health for quite awhile. Diana has been (and continues) to carry some pretty heavy crosses. She's been dealing with her mother for several years. She has one son who recently had surgery and needed her help while recovering. Her other son was in a car accident a few years ago, which left him both physically and mentally disabled. She's been taking care of all these family memebers, while working a full-time job. She's also Tom's "old lady" so she's been taking care of him as well. Through it all, she's maintained a great attitude. I've never once heard her complain or lament about her burdens.
I'm typing this right now at my friend, Ed's house. He recently moved in with his friend, Dave. They were roomates when I first met them, about 15 years ago. Ed recently seperated from his wife. So, now he's back with Dave. Cranking the tunes at two in the morning while poor "old-man" Dave tries to sleeps in the next room. Ah, just like the good old days!
My garden has been growing very nicely. I planted day lillies, morning glories, 4'0 clocks, and cumbercumbers. As well as a couples hanging plants, the name of which I can't remeber at the moment. I was bold enough to plant at the end of April. Needless to say, I had to bring the plants into my apartment more than once to avoid everything dying from a freeze.
Well, I've rambled on enoung for now. I think it's time we sparked up another joy stick!

Tuesday, March 15, 2005

Travisty of Justice in OC

It was after midnight on Feburary 6th in Mission Viejo, California. A 19 year old man named Bassim Chmait was walking to a party with three of his friends. The party was being held at a friend's apartment in the Madrid Apartment complex on Los Alisos Boulevard. As the small group of young adults (their ages ranged from late teens to early twenties) neared their friend's party someone threw an empty soda can at them. In response, the youngsters threw the can back in the direction it had come from.
Right after the can had been thrown a man dressed only in his blue colored bathrobe emerged from an apartment next door to the party waving a badge in one hand and his loaded service revoler in the other. This man's name is Douglas Bates. Bates approached the group of young adults and was heard by witnesses to have said, "You don't want to fuck with a cop, do you?"
One of the young men, named Mike, asked Mr. Bates to please put his gun down. Mr. Bates responded by pistol whipping Mike until he lay on the ground bleeding from his head. As Mr. Bates continued to threaten the group, Bassim Chmait stepped between Bates and Mike to protect his friend from further injury. Neither Bassim or any of his friends were armed or posing any threat to Mr. Bates or his property. Bassim pleaded with Mr. Bates to leave his injured friend alone and put his gun away. In response Mr. Bates shot Bassim Chmait in the head at point blank range.
Mr. Bates turned and went back into his apartment after shooting the unarmed 19 year old college student in the head. Neighbors who had witnessed the shooting called 911. As his neighbors were coming out to help the dying young man, Mr. Bates opened his apartment door (still waving his loaded gun) yelled at his neighbors to "shut up" and then slammed the door closed again.
The police came and talked to Bassim's friends, other witnesses, and Mr. Bates. They did not arrest Mr. Bates or file any charges against him. Apparently, since Mr. Bates is a Homeland Security Officer the same rules that apply to regular citizens don't apply to Mr. Bates. The fact that Mr. Bates was off-duty and out of uniform at the time of the shooting didn't seem to matter. Nor did it seem to matter that neither Bassim Chmait nor any of his friends were armed or theatening Mr. Bates in any way. According to independent witnesses, Mr. Bates was the agressor in this incident.
Hundreds of mourners have gathered for candle light vigils in apartment complex where Bassim was gunned down. Many of the mourner's pain has been worsened by the knowlege that Mr. Bates is still a free man and still lives in the same apartment complex just about a hundred feet away from the vigils. Not only have no formal charges been filed against Bates, but he remains a Homeland Security officer (even though he has been reassinged to desk duty pending a sheriffs investigation.)
Tony Rackauckas, DA for Orange County, spoke with the Chmait family on March 7th to announce that he was turning this case over to the grand jury on March 11th. Chmait's family is relieved that this case is being moved forward, however they are concenred about the amount of time it has taken to press any charges on the man who murdered Bassim. The DA's office had indicated to the Chmait family that part of the problem in perusing this case is "conflicting information." It has been suggested that some if this conflicting information my be that Mr.Bates is now claiming that his gun went off accidently.
Many Civil Rights protesters has taken notice of this story. Bassim Chmait was an American of Arab decent. It has been suggested that had Bassim been white the police would have filed charges against Mr. Bates the night the incident occured. Certianly it would seem that at the very least, Mr. Bates is enjoying special treament by law enforcement that the adverage citizen would not enjoy under such circumstances.
Whether or not Mr. Bates was motivated to shoot and kill Bassim because he was of Arab decent is something that the courts need to decide. If in fact this shooting was racially motivated then Mr. Bates should be charged with a hate crime as well as murder.
The fact that as this issue is still being investigated Mr. Bates is not only allowed to be a free man with no charges pressed against him, but is also allowed to keep his job is a travisty of justice. Why the system would conduct itself in such a way needs to be investigated and the behavior needs to be changed. Homeland Security officers should not be above the law. They should not receive special treatment after gunning down an unarmed citizen in cold blood. This goes for anyone in law enforcement. Those who enforce the law should never be held above the law.
There needs to be specific laws applying to the carrying and use of service weapons when the officer is off duty. One of the most pressing questions Bassim's family and friends have asked is why did Mr. Bates come out of his apartment waiving his gun at unarmed teenagers in the first place? If there are not already laws in place to prevent law enforcement officers from behaving in such a way then such laws need to be enacted. If such laws do already exsist then, why were they not upheld in this case?
As more and more time passes Bassim's friends and family are still waiting for justice. Whether or not justice will prevail in this case remains to be seen. Many times the authorites like to drag their heels in cases like this in the hopes that people will forget and they can sweep the incident under the rug. People need to be aware of these incidents and refuse to forget or back down and keep quiet. If the citizens are unwilling to keep tabs on the government, law enforcement, and all the powers that be, then we lose control of our society.
Today it might be a 19 year college student of Arab decent shot down in cold blood and nothing being done to bring his killer to justice. Tomorrow it could be you or me because we dare to question the system.
PBU11

Tuesday, March 08, 2005

R.I.P. Army Spc. Adriana Salem

Last Friday Army Specialist Adriana Salem from Elk Grove Village Illinois was killed in Iraq. The offical story the Army released to the news is that the vehicle she was riding in "rolled over" killing her. She had only been in Iraq for 20 days.
Adriana was 20 years old. She joined the military shortly after 9/11.
Earlier this week an officer from the Army was joined by a man from the government. They asked Adriana's family not to talk about this "incident" to the press. They refused to give her grieving father the details on exactly what happened. They claim that the military is still investigating.
It is standard for the military to send officers to the homes of the deceased's family. However why was her family also visited by a governmental offical (who was clearly not part of the military?) Why would they forbid her grieving family to talk about this to the press? Why did they refuse to answer her father's requests for information on how his daughter was killed?
When her father tried to ask them about this all they would tell him is that his daughter's death is still being investigated and that it is a "sensitive" matter.

Friday, March 04, 2005

When the Homeland Heros Return Home

During this time of war it is very important for every American, regardless of their political beliefs, to remember the men and women in the military. These brave people signed up to serve their country (our country.) They don't decide themselves when or where to go to war. They do go, when called, into battle. Most of them sign up for military service with the belief that their country's leaders will not send them needlessly into harm's way. Most of them believe that their government will take care of any special needs they may have after fighting for their country.
Many Americans believe that our government takes good care of the veterans. It would be nice to believe that our current war time government would do its best to care for the veterans returning home from Iraq.
Unfortunately, there are many short falls in the government provided programs for veterans. These short falls have left many veterans without proper medical, dental, and psychological care. Government funding for the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) is insufficient to meet the increasing medical needs of veterans who are dependent on that system. Veterans groups such as The American Legion, the Disabled American Veterans and the Veterans of Foreign Wars have fought for adequate funding for the VA to meet the rising costs medical care. Repeatedly, Congress has failed to deliver a timely appropriations bill for the VA. This has caused many veterans to be denied the medical care they need in a timely matter.
Many veterans returning from the war zone are faced with psychological problems. This issue is nothing new when you study the history of warfare. Unfortunately, too many vets don't get the help they need to deal with these problems. Part of the reason for this lies with the insufficient funds that groups such as the VA recieve. Another part of the problem is that many soldiers are fearful of coming forward to admit that they are suffering emotionally or psychologically after being in combat. They feel that they will be seen as "weak" if they come forward for this kind of help. Many are affraid that if they go to the VA for conseling that the VA will inform the military. Many actually believe that the VA is part of the military. The VA is not part of the military and does not release information regarding psychological care to the military.
This year alone, an estimated 500,000 veterans will become homeless. Currently, veterans account for one-thrid of the homeless population. According to the VA, veterans are statistically twice as likely to become chronically homeless. The VA says that half of the homeless veterans have some form of mental illness, and about 70% struggle with drugs and alcohol. It is estimated that while more veterans return home from Afghanistan and Iraq, and Bush's budget cuts go into efffect, even more veterans will be in dire need of care and support.
Regardless of our views on the war, it is only right for us to speak out in favor of properly supporting our veterans. Everybody can write letters to their Congressmen demanding that they pass legislation that will provide to VA sufficient funds to provide the care that's needed. You can also vist the VA's website at www.va.gov. On the VA's website you can get all the info you need to send in a donation or volunteer. The VA's website also provides up to date information on current veterans' issues.
PBU9.

Tuesday, February 22, 2005

R.I.P H.S.T.

Yesterday the news broke that Hunter S. Thompson died of an apparent self-inflicted gunshot wound. Thompson was known for creating "gonzo" journalism where he immersed himself in his stories. He wrote many great articles and books. His most famous book is probably "Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas" made famous for a whole new generation by the movie. He recently had written books such as "Kingdom of Fear" where he describes the Bush administation in less than flattering terms.
Anyone who is familiar with Thompson's work knows that the world has lost a great literary figure.
May he rest in peace.

Friday, February 18, 2005

TV Trash

I used to have cable, but I got rid of it a few months back. It was mostly an economic decsion. I decided that it would be better to take the money I was spending on 100+ channels of (mostly)lame programs and use it to pay off my car and get a handle on my debt.
When I am home alone I usually prefer to read and/or listen to music. Side note here; almost nothing is funnier than muting the televison and playing music over political speechs. "Subterranean Homesick Blues" by Bob Dylan is great to play over almost any political speech. If you time it just right, it almost looks like the speaker is saying the song. "Masters of War" by Bob Dylan was the perfect song to compliment George and Laura dancing at the inaugural ball. It looked as if they were swaying along to the tune.
Most of the time when I'm really watching and listening I prefer PBS. PBS has fewer commercials and better programs than the networks. Every now and then I'll check out the networks just to see what rivoting television I've been depriving myself of.
The other day I decided to check out Fox. No not Fox News (no cable remember.) I watched part of an American Idol episode. Now, I'll admit that I have sneaked peeks at this show during the previous contests. I've usually peeked once or twice when the first couple episodes are aired. I do find it amusing to see the clips of the terrilbe singers who are also apparently terribly deluded (or so desperate for their 15 seconds that they will humiliate themselves on t.v.) I've also peeked at the final show of the contest because some of those kids actually are good singers and by the end the lame ones have been weeded out. No, I've never followed the show or voted.
As I was watching the episode that was aired earlier this week it dawned on me that I was watching a bunch of people basically being psychologically tortured for good ratings. I understand the theory that anyone who attempts to make a living in show business has to be prepared for criticism and rejection. However, the way that the show is set up and the people are dealt with it's obvious that they are playing games with these people to enhance their reactions and boost the show's ratings.
At one point they had the last two men to be judged and only one was going on to the next round. So they had both guys go in front of the judges. First they dragged it out by asking both guys irrelevant questions. Then one of the judges looked at one of the guys and started to say, "We're so sorry...." Then a pause to add suspense and a closeup of the guy's falling face. Then the judge went on to tell the guy that he made it through.
This was far from being the only obvious attempt to torture the contestants for the viewing audiance's pleasure, but I'm sure you get the point. I admit I found myself drawn in. It's almost like driving past a bad accident; you don't want to look, but your head turns anyways.
Another lame show airing on Fox is The Simple Life Interns. This wasn't the first peek I had of Paris and Nicole. I had watched about 15 minutes of The Simple Life last season. It was funny for about 3 minutes and then it just annoyed me. I remember thinking that nobody can be as stupid as these girls. I'm not saying that I think either one of them is hiding their Mensa credentials, but the way they act on these shows has got to be an act. If they were truely as dumb as they behave they would probably forget how to breath.
I watched the Simple Life episode that was on this week. They got internships at a funeral home. Now, as dumb as they act, I find it even harder to comprehend why anyone running a real business would hire them (even for one day.) Maybe these business owners think that the publicity of being on television will be good for business. I doubt that most people would want to utilize a funeral home who (for whatever reasons) would hire Paris and Nicole. Of course, that's just my opinion.
The Simple Life just seems to me to be one more "reality" show that has become way too unreal.
Yesterday, I broke away from Fox (my brain cells are still thanking me.) I decided to give CBS a shot. Then they decided to run a two hour episode on the "secret" life of Michael Jackson. I can't comment too much on this because I only watched about 5 minutes (that's how long it took me to find the remote.)
I don't have an opinion about Jackson's guilt or innocence. I don't spend that much time thinking about Michael Jackson. I can understand why so many would think that he's gulity. Afterall, he has been marketing himself as one strange puppy ever since I can remember. On the other hand, I can see why people might want to take advantage of his money and strangness to blackmail him. Again, I don't really believe one way or another. I don't know if I would have formed an opinion had I actually watched the whole episode, but I doubt it.
What upsets me is that at a time when; our nation is at war, our country is being split at the seams, and all hell is breaking out globally, CBS designates 2 hours to the "secret" life of Michael Jackson.
I'm sick and tired of Michael Jackson being one of the first stories reported when the evening news comes on. It's not just Jackson either. It seems to me that whenever a celebrity has legal problems, splits from their lover, or farts real loud that the press is all over it. All the sudden these bs stories are right up there with the news from Iraq. I know that there is a place for "human intrest" stories, but not on the same page as the war.
I know some people would point out the irony of this post. I've taken the time to write a trivial post about how trivial televsion is. I would hope that anyone who thinks that will see the irony that they've just spent their time reading this post.
That being said, my break is over. Back to work. So glad the company I work for gives us President's Day off. Some people might find that odd, but it's a Japanese/American company and in Japan they get a whole week off for the emperor's birthday.
Hope eveyone out there has a great weekend. Don't watch too much t.v!

Tuesday, February 15, 2005

Time to Get a Bit Political

Most of my postings on this blog have been of a personal nature. I don't tend to change that entirely, but I feel the need to vent some political steam at the moment.
Since this is a personal blog, I feel the need to give some personal background info. My grandparents on my mother's side were "academic" liberals. My grandfather was a science professor at both the University of Ohio, and later, the University of Michigan. Both he and my grandmother were very active in liberal politics. My grandparents on my father's side were "working class" liberals from Chicago. Both of my parents are life-long liberals. I was raised in a liberal household. As an adult, I am still a liberal.
I have been on other blogs that are either news or political in nature. I have read and, at times, posted comments on some of these blogs. The one thing that I have noticed all these blogs have in common is the increasing exchange of scathing insults being hurled back and forth between liberals and conservatives. Much of the time these insults have little to nothing to do with the issue at hand. I admit that there have been occasions when I have given in to my "less than mature side" and have posted responses to some of the insults posted by conservatives. Needless to say, my responses were less than constructive. Afterwards, I walked away from my computer feeling more riled up than as if I had actually gotten through to anyone.
I have learned to ignor most of the insults posted on these sites. Giving in and responding in kind only gives con-trolls the satisfaction of getting a liberal angry. It only encourages them to continue post their scathing insults. Plus, by responding in kind, I know that I am only lowering myself to their level.
There are a few insults that the conservatives repeatedly like to hurl at liberals. I would like to address the most common ones and give my response.

1. LIBERALS HATE AMERICA.

My response: As a liberal, I can assure you that we do not hate America. As it has been so kindly pointed out by many conservatives, we are free to leave this country if we chose. The fact that we liberals not only stick it out in this country, but take the time to try and change things for the better is proof that we care about our country. Also, lets not forget that part of what makes being an American so great is our right (thus far at least) to dissent. Thomas Jefferson once said, "Dissent is the highest form of patriotism."
I can handle the idea that people might diagree with my political viewpoint (I even have some conservative friends) but don't dare accuse me of hating my country.


2. LIBERALS DON'T SUPPORT THE TROOPS

My response: I take personal offence to this. My father and his father are/where vets. I have a several friends who are also vets (from Vietnam and the 1st Gulf War.) I have a very good friend who is presently serving in Iraq. Every time the news talks about another solider being killed I hold my breath praying that it will not be my friend. I pray for my friend (and all the men and women) fighting over seas, that they will return home soon and in one piece.
I do support our troops. I don't support this war. I question the reasons why our government started this war and the way the government has chosen to fight it.
I was outraged when I learned that the Bush administration overturned a ruling that awarded damages to American vets who as POWs had been tortuted in Iraq (during the 1st Gulf War.) If I was against the troops, then why would this upset me?
Every liberal I know (and I know plenty) support the troops, they just disagree with the war.

3. LIBERALS FAVOR THE TERRORISTS

My response: I don't know a single liberal who favors the terrorists. We all remember the horror of 9/11. I personally knew people who worked in the World Trade Center. The company I used to work for had offices in those buildings. I was not against the government going after the people directly responsible for what happened that day.
That being said, I do not believe that this war in Iraq really has anything to do with getting those terrorists invovled in 9/11. If it does, then I (and many like me) would like to see the proof. Yes, Bin Laden is from the Middle East and Iraq happens to be a Middle Eastern country, but that isn't enough to convince me that Iraq (or Saddam) was directly invovled in 9/11.
Now please don't get me wrong. I never doubted that Saddam was an evil dictator. He was. I just question whether it was our country's right or responsibility to rush into Iraq without taking the time to amass more international support, or properly arm our troops, or devise a feasible exit strategy.

4. LIBERALS WANT DEMOCRACY IN IRAQ TO FAIL

My response: I am glad that Saddam is gone. I am glad that the Iraqi's had an election. Whether or not it was a truely fair election is a matter of debate. Once again, while I think these things are good things I doubt that it was our country's responsibilty to make it happen. I doubt that the ends (for America's intrest in this) justify the means. Our government has spent billions on this war and Bush has just asked for billions more. Even more important to me, we have lost over a thousand men and women. Also, more Iraqi women and children have been killed in this war than all that died in America on 9/11. I'm not sure that this is blood that our country needs on its hands.
I also have serious doubts as to whether or not our form of democracy will take hold in Iraq. No, I'm not trying to imply that the Iraqi people are lesser people than we are. I just know that life in that part of the world is drastically different. The culture is also drastically different and I don't see that changing over night just because the Americans are there.

5. LIBERALS DON'T BELIEVE IN GOD

My response: I personally do believe in God. I was raised in a Lutheran household. I was baptized and confirmed in the Lutheran Church. I admit that I am not a regular attendee at church, but I do go from time to time.
I will not even try to speak for all liberals on this issue. Some of my liberal friends are also Christians, some belong to other faiths, and a very small number are atheists. I guess it would be correct to say that the liberals I know who are atheists don't believe in God, but there are really only a few people I know that fall into that category.
Most liberals I know believe in God in one form or another. Maybe we liberals are more accepting of other people's beliefs and this causes confusion for the ultra-conservatives.
Incidentally, the pastor at my parent's church happens to be a liberal. I wonder if he has conservatives questioning his faith.

The insults addressed above are far from being the only ones that I have had flug my way by conservatives. They are the most common ones that I see and I felt like addressing them here.
I am not going to go off and rant and rage a bunch of anti-conservative insults to try and "even the score." I don't believe that it is productive to do so.
I wish that we in this country could respect eachother enough to respect different opinions. No matter which side of the political coin you are on it does no one any good for us to hate each other. Like it or not, we are in this mess together. We might as well learn how to play nice.

Monday, February 14, 2005

Happy V-Day (I guess)

Today's Valentines Day. That wonderful day for people in love to express that love. I suppose it's also a day for those of us not in love to feel extra bitter (or sad.) I feel pretty much indifferent. It's not the first Valentine's Day that I have spent single. Unless I marry the love of my life within the next year, I imagine that it won't be my last Valentine's Day spent single.
I'm not an overly sentimental person. I used to get hung up on things like Valentine's Day when I was a teenager. Back then things that seem trivial now seemed larger than life. I think that's how it is for most people. The older you get the less time and engergy you have to spend on the little things.
I'm not going to lament like one of those way too bitter people who say things like, "Valentine's Day sucks, it's for losers and card makers." I admit there's been moments when I have felt like saying such a thing. I'm not that bitter though. Yes, I'm single but that has just as much to do with decisions that I have made (and that I don't regret) than with other people breaking my heart. I learned a long time ago that I am far better off alone than in a bad relationship with someone else. I also believe that when (and if) true love is meant to find me that it will naturally.
Since the break up with my last boyfriend I have had many things to keep me from spending too much time dwelling on him. I have had to deal with both my mother and one of my best friends each battling cancer at the same time. I have also had good things that have kept my mind off my previous relationship. I have joined several grass roots groups in my area and have even started hosting one. Through these groups I've met some intresting like-minded people. Also, these groups have taken some of the time and energy that I might have been tempted to spend lamenting over breaking up with someone who is obviously emotionally devoid.
As far as feeling jealous today because some of my neighbors and co-workers are getting cards and flowers in the mail, I feel elated. I might not have gotten a traditional Valentine's Day card this weekend, but I got something even better. It was a letter from the car company saying that they're waiving any leftover charges (there was about $900 left) and that the car is offically mine! Hooray! I will take that over a mushy-gushy "Happy Valentine's Day" card any day!

Friday, February 11, 2005

Long Week Over

Well, it's the end of another long week. I haven't made it back to the health club yet, but I have taken the stairs at work and at home. I figure that by doing that all week it should count for one workout. I plan to go this weekend even if all I do is swim a few laps. I'm too exhausted to go tonight.
Mom's doing better day by day. The doctor wants to do one week more of radiation. He's telling her that they have a way that they can do it and protect her tongue so it won't burn again. She has decided to give it a try. She'll start going for treatments on Monday. She already told them that if it starts to burn her tongue again that she will not keep going. I hope that they can do what they think is best without burning her so badly again.
I'm still adjusting to the medication that I just started taking. It seems to be working. Hopefully, I'll get the doseage just right.
I'd like to write more, but right now I'm too tired to type. I'll probably post something this weekend. If not, then I hope anyone reading this has a great weekend!

Wednesday, February 09, 2005

When Time Flies

It's hard for me to believe that its been several days since my last posting. I've been meaning to write something every day, but I have been getting tied up in so many other things.
This weekend I finally made my first trip back to the health club in over a year. I admit that I didn't do too much. I walked on the treadmil, lifted some weights, and swam a few laps. Then I sat in the hot tub relaxing and then moved on to the steam room. Too bad one can't burn off extra pounds sitting in hot tub and steam rooms. Then, I'd have no problem getting back into shape. I guess if it was that fun and easy, nobody would be out of shape.
I have also joined up with some political meeting groups in my area. One is simply a meeting group for Liberals in my area; other one is an imbeach Bush meeting group; the third one is a women's rights group. I came across these groups on meetup.com. It's a very cool website that offers people to join or even form groups in their area with people that share their interests. None of the groups I've joined charge anything to sign up (that's alway a plus.) Meetup.com covers groups across the country so I would strongly recomend it to anyone anywhere who is interested in joining up with like-minded people with no strings attached.
Mom's feeling much better. She's even started to get some of her taste back. Unfortunately, the taste that has come back the most at this time is the bitter taste. So, most everything still tastes pretty bad to her. The doctor told her that if she can't eat or keep anything down that they may have to put in a feeding tube. I don't think it will come to that at this point. She is drinking water and Gatorade and she's also been drinking those nutritional energy shakes. Today she was able to eat and keep down a couple breakfast bars and she told me that it didn't taste that bad.
The medicine my doctor gave me for my bile problem seems to be working. It's very gritty and doesn't taste that great, but it's better than suffering with the problems I had before I started taking it. Yesterday, I felt very nauseated I think it might be the medicine. My doctor told me that it might take awhile to adjust and that if I needed to I could cut back on the doses. That's what I did today and thus far, I feel pretty good.
The medication that the doctor gave me for the bile issue is usually prescribed for people who need to lower their cholestrol, but it also works for people with the bike problem that I have. Now that I have to take it everyday (and probably for the rest of my life) I guess the one advantage is that I'll never have to worry about my heart going bad!
Well, I should get back to my pre-spring spring cleaning. Lord knows, the cats aren't getting things done!

Friday, February 04, 2005

TGIF

I'm so glad it's finally Friday. This week has been one of the longest and most exhausting weeks I've ever lived thru.
My mother is doing much better. She still has a ways to go before she's going to be 100%. One of her biggest problems right now is trying to balance the pain medication so that she can function. If she doesn't take enough the pain is so bad that she can't eat, drink, or talk. If she takes too much pain medication then she gets nauseated. She went back to work on Wednesday and she's been very exhausted ever since.
I've been taking the medication for my bile problem. I think it's starting to work. The doctor told me that it could take a week or two before it totally takes effect.
This week I've been having trouble sleeping. I'm so tired all the time that I would think I should have no trouble falling asleep at the end of the day. I have to fight with myself to stay alert and get my nightime chores done and get myself ready and into bed (otherwise I end up sleeping on the sofa with nothing done.) Then by the time I get all ready for bed, I'm tired and wired.
Last night was the worst night this week. One of my cats, Guienevere, has figured out how to open the closed door between the living room and the bedroom. The way she accomplishes this is by pushing and pulling on the bottom part of the door until it opens. When she does this it makes a loud banging sound. She decided to do this last night just as I was about to fall asleep. Since I was startled back awake I couldn't just roll over and fall back asleep. So, I got up had a drink of water and tried to go back to sleep.
Just as I was ready to dift off again my neighbor upstairs either dropped something or something fell. At any rate, there was another loud bang (this time coming from over my head.) Being startled again, it took me even longer to relax and start to fall asleep.
The dreams I had last night were the kind that are so realistic that I can't tell at the time if I'm asleep and dreaming or wide awake. Those kind of dreams didn't help.
I feel like I only had two hours of sleep last night. I know that I must have actually had more or I probably wouldn't be able to function at all.
I haven't started working out yet. I know I said that I would in my last post. I've made the commitment to myself that I will go to the health club either tomorrow or Sunday for at least an hour. Even if all I do is swim a few laps in the pool it's better than sitting on my butt all weekend.

Tuesday, February 01, 2005

Trauma on the Scale

I had a doctor appointment yesterday. I had my gall bladder removed in the summer of 2003. Ever since then I have been battling gastro-intestinal problems. I'll spare anyone reading this the details. Let's just say that it's like having the stomach flu every day for almost two years. It took me awhile to deal with it because I was hoping to find a homeopathic treatment that would work. I also foud myself without insurance for awhile. The doctor explained that the problem I was having was that bile from my liver was dripping into my stomach and intestines. He explained that most people's bodies adjust after a month or so. Some people, like me, don't adjust. So he prescribed this powder that I have to mix and drink with water a couple times a day. He says that he has had great success in treating this problem with the medication.
I'm glad to finally have something to help with the physical torment I've been under. What I'm not glad about is that when they weighed me I realized that I am heavier now then I have ever been in my life. Just back in October I weighed only 116 lbs. Now, this was very small for me. You see, I had lost over ten pounds after having my gall bladder removed. Now I weigh close to 140. I almost fell off the scale!
I asked the doctor about it. I told him that I haven't been "pigging out" lately. He advised that my weight gain is probably being caused by two issues. Stress can cause weight gain. Lord knows I've had plenty of stress lately. He aslo told me that the weight that I had lost after the operation was lost because of the nasty side effects. Basically, it was like having unintentional bulimia. Since everything had been going right thru me for so long my body has started to retain as much energy from everything I eat whether I need it or not.
One of the things that's so bad is that I'm not one of those people who gains weight nicely. Some women can put on a few extra pounds and it just makes them look more "shapely." I put on extra pounds and it makes me look like a potato.
I don't believe in "diets." I do plan to start being extra careful that what I eat is good for nutrition and not just stuffing my face. I also have resolved that this weekend I will get off my butt and back into the health club. I've been so bogged down with everything going on in my life that I have seriously neglected working out. I hope that by the time the weather changes I will have lost 10 to 15 pounds so I can wear my summer clothes again.

Monday, January 31, 2005

My Mother's Current Condition

My mother had to go to the hospital Friday. The last radiation treatment they gave her was a stronger than usual dose and it caused serious burns inside her mouth. These burns caused a bad case of thrush to develop. This cause so much swelling and pain that she couldn't eat or drink at all. By the time they decided to put in a feeding tube the doctor who would have done that procedure advised that she was already too weak. He told her that she needed to go into the hospital and get on IV's because she had become dangerously dehydrated.
She's still in the hospital now. She should be released later today. She is feelign much better now. The thrush has cleared up. She's still in a lot of pain. The doctor advised that the last radiation treatment caused 2nd and 3rd degree burns in her mouth. It will take a while for these to heal.
The cancer specialist had wanted her to go thru one more week of radiation. After speaking with him and the other doctors she has decided against that. The doctors all agree that one more week with only increase her chance of survival by about 1%; however, one more week will do more damage to her entire mouth.
She's going to monitor her condition closely with the doctors to make sure that no cancer cells have spread beyond the known arera. There are treatments available if (God forbid) it has been found to have spread.

Friday, January 28, 2005

Finally Friday

Well it's finally Friday. This has certianly been a long week. I think my goal for tonight will be to do as little as possible after work. I know I'll probably end up getting some cleaning done, but the plan is to veg.
Mom talked to the specialist who was going to insert the feeding tube. He told her that she is too weak at this point to have a tube inserted. Based on a urine test they did he told her that if she doesn't get hydrated soon that her kidneys could fail. Dad is driving her to the hospital right now. I can't go with because I'm still at work.
She's going to have IV's put in to get her rehydrated enough to even withstand having the feeding tube inserted. We're hoping that she will only have to stay in the hospital for two or three days, but that will depend on how quickly the IV's can help. I'm hoping that this will be the worst of what she has to go thru.
My dad is a basket case because of all this. He's not the kind of person who handles change or bad news well. In some ways I'm just as worried for him as my mom. She's the one in the physical pain, but for him this is killing him emotionally. He tends to be obsessive when it comes to things that cause him great worry. I guess it's good that this is happening on the weekend. I can spend time over the next two days with my dad and hopefully manage to take his mind off worrying to some extent.


Thursday, January 27, 2005

A Day of Remembrance

Today marks the 60th anniverisary of the liberation of Auschwitz. In 1945 allied troops liberated the concentration camp. The Commandant of Auschwitz would be tried and executed in 1947, in Warsaw, for the deaths of 4 million Jews, Gypsies, Poles, and other Slavs.
There is a very moving interview with an Auschwitz survivor on http://www.spiegel.de/international/spiegel/0,1518,338597,00.html.
The survivor was only 18 when she was deported to Auschwitz. She was spared the gas chamber because she could play the cello. Apparently, the Nazis had a band made up of prisoners and they needed a cello player. When a guard asked her what she did before the war she told them of her talent and they decided to let her live. She lived on to become a memeber of the English Chamber Orchestra.
She makes the point in the interview that the most important reason for mankind to remember the Holocaust is so that we can think about what happened then and how it might apply to things that are currently happening in the world.
We can never stand by and let this part of history repeat itself. Nor should we turn a blind eye to more modern examples of genocide.
Many people in world said, "never again" after the truth of the Holocaust was revealed. However, there have been examples of genocide since then.
Consider the following: Bangladesh 1971, 500,000 to 3 million people, mostly Hidus, are killed within a ten month period;
East Timor 1975-1999, 200,000 East Timorese (one third of the population) are killed after the Indonesian army invaded; Cambodia 1975-1979, 1.7 million native Cambodians killed by the Khmer Rouge Regime; Guatemala 1981-1983, 200,000 Mayans methodically killed by the Guatemalan army; Bosnia 1992-1995, over 200,000 Muslims killed by the Bosian Serbs; Rwanda 1994, 800,000 Tutsis and moderate Hutus killed over a 100 day period by the Rwandan Hutus; Sudan 2004-????, over 70,000 non-Arabs have been killed by the Janjaweed troops who are supported by the Sudan government.
It would be nice to think that the days of genocide ended when the WW2 concentration camps were liberated, but it continues to plague our world.
Many people turn a blind eye to these issues because it's so unpleasant to even think about it, but as long as people look away it will continue. Many people feel that there's nothing they can do about such things. There almost always IS something people can do. We can speak out against genocide. We can boycot products that give money directly or indirectly to the people committing these crimes. We can keep our eyes on our own government and how it responds to these issues.
Just think of how many people in Germany during the Holocaust did have an idea of what was going on, but decided that there was nothing they could do. Consider for a moment what would have happened if these people did whatever they could. Might history have turned out differently? I would like to think that it would have.

Update on my Mother

We found out today that they're going to have to put a feeding tube in Mom. Her mouth and throat are so badly swollen that she can't eat or drink any more. She has already lost over 25 pounds. She's also a diabetic, so she really has to be able to get food in her.
The doctor had first suggested the feeding tube a while back, but Mom was naturally resistant to the idea.
She's going to have the tube put in on Monday. The doctor says that she'll probably have to keep it in for at least two weeks. Needless to say, she is not looking foward to it. She knows that she doesn't really have a choice.
This is the third time Mom's battled cancer. The first two times it was breast cancer. She says that this battle is the worst one. She told me that her 2nd battle with breast cancer (when she had a mastectomy)wasn't as bad as what she's going through now.
Hopefully, once she gets the feeding tube she can regain her strength and will heal quickly.

Wednesday, January 26, 2005

My Mother's Cancer

My mom had be go to the emergency room last night.
The cancer that she had was in her saliva glands (no she is not a smoker.) By the time the doctors noticed it had become a good sized tumor that made half of her face ook swollen. It had also started pressing on her main facial nerve and was causing a paralysis on that side.
Once the biopsy confirmed that it was cancer she had the tumor removed. They also had to take a length wise sliver cut along the main facial nerve. This is because this kind of cancer can spread via nerve paths. Unfortunately the tests on the nerve came back dirty.
The kind of cancer she has doesn't respond to chemo, but it does respond to intense radiation. Since the tumor was in her saliva glands they've had to radiate the entire left side of her face and mouth. For over a month now she looks like she has a sun burn on half of her face.
The biggest problem that she has had to deal with is that the radiation as it fights the cancer also damages healthy cells in that area. She says that her entire mouth feels like one big cold sore. She has lost all sense of taste as the radiation has burned away her taste buds. What she can taste when she is able to eat or drink doesn't taste the way it should. Also, her saliva glands have been burned to the point that they don't function at all. Because of the pain and taste perversion she has lost over 25 pounds.
She just started her last week of radiation this Monday, but they had to halt the procedure because she has developed a very bad case of thrush (its like a yeast infection in the mouth.) This developed because of the drying and damage inside her mouth.
Last night the pain from the thrush got so bad that even with the liquid morphine they gave her she still couldn't stand it. My dad took her the the emergency room late last night. They put her on an IV because she's become seriously dehydrated and they gave her the potent intravenous morphine. She told me today that even with all the morphine in her she was still in agony.
She's home resting right now. I know that they've suspended her treatment until the thrush heals. I hope that they won't have to restart it or that the time off won't mean more time treatments at the end.
One of the worst things about this is that the doctor has told her that not everybody makes a full recovery from this treatment. It can take months for the healing process to complete and even then not everything will be back to normal. They told her that some people never get all their taste buds or any of their salive glands back. We're all hoping that this won't be the case for her.

Tuesday, January 25, 2005

Is it Friday Yet?

Today has been one of those days from hell. First, the other woman who works in my department had to take the day off. Normally, this wouldn't be a big issue. My boss is also out of the office because he is on a business trip. So, he's been calling me on and off today asking me about issues that she has been working on. I've had to call her at home three times already to ask her what was going on or where she is keeping paperwork.
One of the issues my boss called me to do was to make a reservation for a rental car for one of our reps from Japan. The other woman I work with already made a reservation for the days that she was intially given by my boss. The day the rep was supposed to pick up the car was Saturday. He evidently was held up in Japan and isn't coming to the country until tomorrow now. My boss called me this morning to change the dates of the reservation. The problem was that since the rep didn't pick up the car on Saturday and no one called to change the date (my boss didn't tell anyone to until today) the rental company deleted the reservation after 24 hours. Of course, when I called to see if I could make a new reservation they advised me that they didn't have any cars and probably wouldn't until Friday.
So I had to call my boss on his cell phone which was cutting in and out and try to explain this to him. His English is not the greatest and it's even harder over a bad phone connection. At least he didn't get mad at me. He told me to make the reservation for Friday. I guess the rep will have to make due with cabs until then. I didn't ask; I didn't really care.
While I was trying to take care of that our server went down. Since we need to be on-line to get our email and communicate with our people in Japan (as well as other US locations) this was not good. Thankfully, our IT person was in the area and was able to stop over and fix the problem in good time. If we had to wait then I probably would be looking at being here half the night playing catch up.
This has just been a frustrating day and the timing of it certainly doesn't help. Lets just say that this is not a good time of the month for me. I'm cranky, bloated, cranky, breaking out, cranky, over tired, cranky, and anxious.
Oh, and did I mention that I'm cranky?
Some (crazy) women say that the time right before their "friend" visits is a wonderful time when their personality really shines. I agree, all 27 of them (personalities) are shinng like the sun!
Well, gotta' get back to work, gott'a make those BIG bucks!

Monday, January 24, 2005

Winter Weight Blues

I have a bad case of the winter weight blues.
For some reason starting at the beginning of winter I gain weight. My appetite increases as the temperature decreases and even though I try to use self control it seems that my body actually retains more fat than normal. You would think that I was a bear getting ready to hibernate!
Now the end of the winter season is in sight. Soon begins the season of sun dresses, shorts, and bathing suits (gasp.) Since the beginning of winter I have gone from a size 1 to size 11 jeans (and those are way tight.) When I walked past my full length mirror while getting dressed I thought there was a lumpy person walking behind me. Then I realized it WAS my behind.
This time of the month isn't helping the way I feel about myself either. I'm more bloated than normal and my face is breaking out like I was a teenager again. Plus, my mood just couldn't be more charming (it's amazing how one can watch oneself being a bitch and be helpless to stop it.)
I admit I'm not one of those people who loves to go to the health club. I do like to get exercise outdoors, but running on a treadmill makes me feel too much like a gerbil. I tried cutting sugar out of my diet a couple years ago, but then I found out that I'm hypoglycemic.
Well, that's all the excuses that I have at this time. I'll do what I do every year. I'll start dragging my sagging ass to the health club and cutting down on how much junk I eat. It has worked in the past years so I'm hoping it will work just as well this one.
Hopefully by May I'll be back in my hip hugging jeans (without a belly of flab hanging over them.)


Saturday, January 22, 2005

Let it Snow

Well, needless to say, I didn't make it out to my friend's house tonight. We did get at least a foot of snow. Also, the wind has picked up and the snow that has been plowed is blowing right back onto the road. Plus, they've just issued another winter storm warning until 4AM. I guess we might get even more snow later.
I wasn't so worried about my own ablities to drive in these conditions, but my confidence in other drivers on the road isn't that great.
Today was a pretty quite one, but I did manage to get a lot done around the apartment. I also got to spend some quaility time with my parents.
I've always had a close relationship with both my parents. My mother and I have always had a very close relationship. Now that my mother is fighting cancer again it has become all the more important to me to spend time with her.
My parents and I went to their church earlier tonight. It was a very small turn out. Litterally only eight people (counting my parents and I) in the pews. However, the pastor still came through with an thought-provoking sermon. He asked us in the beginning of the sermon to consider what life must be like for the citizens of Iraq right now. Later in the sermon he asked us to consider what it must be like for our men and women in uniform in Iraq, who must be wondering why they are really there.
He didn't try to answer those questions directly. He did mention that we must have faith the God will eventually intervene and bring peace to all. I hope that he is correct about that last part. I do believe that the issues the pastor brought up are things that we all need to ponder.
Well, it's late. I am going to watch a movie with my parents (no, I don't live with them, but very close.) I hope everybody out there is warm and safe. Peace.

Friday, January 21, 2005

Snowy Days

Friday is finally here and of course they're predicting a snow storm. We're supposed to get 4-7 inches tonight and then another 2-4 tomorrow. We already have some on the ground so things should look pretty and sparkling white by the time the sky stops falling.
I was planning on visiting a friend of mine up in Wisconsin, but I guess I'll play it by ear. It isn't that I have a big problem driving in snow, but too many other people on the road can't seem to handle it.
At least I don't live in North Carolina. I heard on the news that they had about an inch of snow and it basically shut everything down. I heard that there were even children trapped overnight at school because even the school buses and parents with SUVs couldn't get to them. All this because of an inch? I understand that they don't usually get snow, but still it's just an inch of snow.
I guess I shouldn't be too critical. Considering that there are people who live up here and have lived here all their lives who still seemed confused about how to drive properly in snowy and icy weather. Those are the people that make me nervous about being on the road in bad weather. I know I can handle it, but I've already been involved in one accident because someone else couldn't.
The accident happened a few years ago when I was still in college. It was snowing and there was a layer of ice under the snow. The plows were out, but they can only do so much when its still coming down. I was approaching an intersection to make a right turn. The light for the people going straight thru the intersection was turning red, but I had a green arrow. All the sudden out of the corner of my eye I see movement. Before I know it a Lincoln Town Car slides across two lanes of traffic (narrowly missing two other cars) and ends up right in front of me. I was already breaking to make the turn, but there was nothing I could do not to hit the other car. I hit the passanger side rear door.
The other driver told me later the they had been closely following the car in front of them and didn't realize that that car was going stop for the changing light until it was too late. The other driver panicked and jerked the wheel to the right and cut across two other lanes before ending up right in front of me.
Thankfully no one was hurt. Also thankfully the other person admitted fault right away (I had witnesses who stopped incase I needed them.) The other person also had insurance (law in Illinois.) The door on the other car had to be replaced. Fortunately the only damage I had was that the plastic cover on my left turn signal broke off.
In the end it wasn't that bad, but it shook me up enough to make me nervous about driving in certain conditions. Incidentally, the other driver was from this area (I asked shortly afterwards.) So, the point is that some people who live in Northern states and should be used driving bad weather apparently can't.

Thursday, January 20, 2005

Closure

Last night after a few drinks with one of my friends I called my ex. He didn't answer which was just fine with me. I really don't care to talk to him at this point, but I did feel the need to get things off my chest. I left the following message, "Look all I have to say is that no matter what reason you had for not wanting to see me anymore you could have had the decency to communicate that decision to me. The fact that you chose to blow me off instead just proves that you didn't care one-iota about me. It also proves that you had been lying thru your teeth every time you said you loved me. I wish I knew why you lied, but I know it would be pointless to ask you for an honest answer. In closing all I want to say is may you reap all the love and happiness you have sown. Good luck with that."
I actually do feel as if an emotional weight has been lifted off my sholders. I don't expect my message to change anything. I certainly didn't ask him to call me back. I don't want him to call me back at this point. That wasn't why I called. I just felt that I needed some closure to the situation and since he wasn't decent enough to provide that closure, then I had to get it myself. In the end, I'm glad that I did. Now I can move on emotionally just like I already have intellectually.

Wednesday, January 19, 2005

Spam Mail / Con Artists / Tsunami Relief

Whenever I get into work one of the first things I do is check my business email. It never ceases to amaze me how much spam mail I get at work. Here is a list of some of the mail that was waiting for me today: an offer for a college loan (great, but I'm done with college.) An offer to take out a 2nd mortgage (I live in an apartment.) An offer for 50% off a motorized wheelchair (now that's just an insult!) Not to mention offers for credit cards (thank you, but I have enough debt) and "free" giveaways (that of course are never really free.)
I never respond to any of these emails. Nor have I ever visted any of these companies online or otherwise. I even have a spam blocking feature on my email that seems to work because it does automatically block any junk mail and mail from companies or persons whom I have blocked previously. Yet, I still get all this spam.
I guess on the plus side spam email isn't as bad for the enviroment as the paper junk mail that used to prevail, but it is annoying.
The worst spam that I have received are the emails claiming to be from a lawyer (or family member) of someone who died with a large sum of money in some obscure country with really messed up estate laws. The person goes on to claim that all they need so the family can collect their inheritance is for them to move the money to an account in the USA. They offer to give a large sum of this money to me if I would be so kind (and gullible) as to help them by emailing them back with my banking information ect.
Obviously, I have never responded to these emails. I knew before I ever received such email that it is a scam.
I have always deleted these messages right away and used my spam blocker to block further email from the sender. This is what people should do if they get such an email. I would like to think that most people know this. However, if these scam artists never managed to con anyone this way I would imagine that they wouldn't continue to send these messages to anyone.
I would bet that in the aftermath of the tsumani there are many emails of this nature being generated by many con artists. I haven't received any yet myself (maybe the spam blocker is doing some good.)
I would hope that everyone who has email (or even a phone for that matter) will be very careful about giving money or banking information to anyone who emails or calls them asking for donations. These scam artists like to take advantage of peoples' desire to help after a crisis.
If you want to help tsunami victims (or with any other relief efforts) donate only to organizations that are well established and legitimate. A good organization to donate to is the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Cresent Societies. It's basically the international version of the Red Cross. They have a website where you can read about their organization and make a donation. One of the things I really like about them is that you can specify which cause you want your money to go their web address is www.ifrc.org.
I would hope that anyone who hasn't already donated would consider it. Every little bit really does make a difference.

Monday, January 17, 2005

Happy Birthday to Martin Luther King Jr.

I just wanted to take a moment to wish the late Martin Luther King Jr. happy birthday. He would have turned 76 this past Saturday.
I wonder what Dr. King would think about current events if he were alive today. I wonder what his feelings would be on the war in Iraq. I would bet that he would oppose it.
I wonder what he would think of the numbers of mostly black voters whose votes were rejected in the last two elections. I'm sure he would be very upset. After all the work that he and others in the Civil Rights movement did to insure that all people could exercise their constitutional right to vote I'm sure it would anger him to see that in the 21st century black votes are being dismissed.
I wonder what Dr. King would think about the fact that all these years after the start of the Civil Rights movement there is still inequality in the quality of education provided for children who have the misfortune to be born in a poorer neighborhood.
I wonder what Dr. King would think about our president throwing himself a $40 mil. inauguration party while millions of Americans can't afford basic healthcare and people around the world are starving.
I wasn't alive during the lifetime of this great man. I can only guess as to what he would think and say if he were with us today.
His message was one of change thru loving ways. His message was one of hope. He brought people who felt that they had no voice together and taught them how to speak out against oppression. He taught that everybody has a voice and that if we use our voices and work together we can affect positive change. Change may be slow in coming. Consider that we as a nation have come a long way since the beginning of the Civil Rights movement, but we still have a way to go.
I believe that the best way to honor the memory of such a great American is for us to keep his dream alive. We can do this by not sitting still and quiet when we see things that are unjust. We can keep Dr. Kings dream alive by speaking out not just for ourselves but for all people who are still being oppressed.
May everyone have a peaceful and joyous day!

Another Fun Web Test

I am an Intellectual



Which America Hating Minority Are You?


Take More Robert & Tim Quizzes
Watch Robert & Tim Cartoons




Now, before anyone posts any hateful comments or sends nasty email, I do NOT hate America. I LOVE my country, I just fear my government.
This is just a fun, silly, web "personality" quiz. I thought it was cute so I posted it.
Besides, it says I'm an intellectual, so it must be correct!

Friday, January 14, 2005

Here Is a Fun Little Test I Took (it didn't tell me anything I didn't already know)

cute but psycho
you are the cute but psycho happy bunny. You
adorable, but a little out there. It's alright,
you might not have it all, but there are worse


which happy bunny are you?
brought to you by Quizilla

Thursday, January 13, 2005

My Emotional Dilema

One thing that really bothers me is unresolved issues. Especially if they are of the highly emotional kind. I have recently found myself caught up in the unresolved issue of my last romantic relationship.
I met my ex-boyfriend in July this past summer. When we met and fell in love (or at least I thought we were BOTH in love) things were going pretty good in my life. He and I hit it off right away. From our first date forward he called me every day and we got together at least once every week. He told me that he loved me after we had been dating for a few weeks. He seemed sincere at the time. I fell in love with him. I thought I had finally found a really good man who just might turn out to be "the one."
Unfortunately, these good feelings would be short lived.
After we had been seeing each other seriously for about three months my life took a bad turn. First, my former boss had a nervous breakdown and left the country. This meant I was suddenly unemployed. I was able to get a job with one of our clients, but was a temp to hire job that didn't provide the same benefits or salary. Two weeks after this happened I got a call informing me that one of my dearest friends has cancer. Two days after that I found out that my mother has cancer (for the 3rd time.) Then, two days after that my dad suddenly lost his job.
Suddenly, I found myself struggling financially while worrying about the health of a good friend and my mother and the overal wellbeing of my entire immediate family.
Needless to say I was an emotional wreck the first two weeks following all this s@*t hitting the fan. This was when I really needed my ex-boyfriend to come thru with the love that he claimed to have for me by standing by me and being emotionally supportive.
Not only did he not come thru, but he did the polar opposite. The more serious my problems got the more I could feel him pulling away from me. Then on the very night that I found out that my mother's cancer looks as if it has spread, he picked a fight with me and litterally walked out. He and I spoke over the phone the following day. I asked him at that time if this was his way of trying to break up with me. He told me that it wasn't.
That was the last time we talked. I sent him a letter addressing the issues he raised when he picked the fight with me. My letter also addressed my concerns that the reason he picked the fight was as an excuse to bail on me now that the going had gotten a little rough. This was not a "Dear John" letter. I decided to write to him at that point because there were a lot of things that I needed to say and I wanted to do so without any of the distractions or interuptions that can occur in a phone conversation. I even explained this in the very first sentence of my letter. At the end of the letter I invited him to respond and I was sure that he would (even if it was to tell me goodbye.)
He has never responded.
I have accepted that it is over between us. I have accepted that obviously he was not as in love with me as I had been led to believe. The thing that still boils my blood is that he didn't even have the decency to tell me that he had decided to end things between us. Whatever his reason for no longer wanting to stay romantically involved with me there was no reason for him to just blow me off like he did.
There has been moments since it became obvious that he was not going to respond that I have thought about calling him to confront him, but I haven't done so because I have all these 2nd thoughts about it.
Considering how badly he's treated me I have no desire to get back together with him. I learned a long time ago that I am much better off by myself than in a bad relationship.
What I long for is closure. Since its obvious that he's not going to call me to bring closure I guess I should call him and bring it myself. However, I'm not sure that I want to call him and risk giving him a chance to hurt me even more. I also don't want to give him that false impression that he's got me on a string.
I wish I could stop thinking about this. I'm not sure if calling him would bring closure or if it would actaully be an emotional step backwards.
God, maybe I should just go ahead and do it. If I did call him then at least I could stop wondering if I should or not.

Wild Weather

Yesterday was a rather unusal day weatherwise. We had temps in the 60's and at night we actually had some pretty impressive thunderstorms roll through. It felt like it was the middle of spring not the middle of the winter. Today, on the other hand, is completely different.
Not only was there snow coming down in droves this morning, but it's only 32 and it's supposed to drop down to the single digits tonight. YUCK! I don't really mind the snow. Its actaully kind of pretty when its freshly fallen. The only time I cringe at snow coming down is when I have to drive any great distance in heavy traffic surrounded by morons who can't figure out how to drive in snow. The bitter cold, on the other hand, is probably my least favorite thing about living in this part of the country.
I lived in the Pacific Northwest for two years when I was a kid. The weather there was not as nice as it is in places like Florida, but it was not nearly as extreme as it is here. I used to tell my friends back here in Chicago that they have 2 seasons in the PNW; the rainy season and July. The difference between the two is that in July it only rains every other day. Now, all the rain got on my nerves; but I did enjoy the fact that the the temperature never dropped below zero in the winter and it didn't boil the asphalt in the summer.
Oh well, I'm rambling about the weather. How boring! Well, at least we don't have to worry about mudslides like those poor people in California.
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