Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Sometimes Reality Bites

Dear Tre and Juicy,
I have been a fan of the Real Housewives franchise for years. And I have watched you from your debut. Reality TV may have made you semi-famous, but your actions and excessiveness on television made you a target. Pulling cash out of your purse and paying tens of thousands of dollars for furniture is what made you a target. In all "reality", it's probably when the investigation began. The alleged illegitimate success actually spawned legitimate success, but all that means is that you now have enough money to pay fines and attorneys.

Dear Journalists,
Kim D is not a reliable source of ANYTHING! She is a shit-stirrer. And if she is talking to the press, it's not likely that there is anything substantive. She can't spell it and doesn't have it.

Dear Friends and Extended Family of Tre and Juicy,
You are true friends for NOT commenting to the press. No tweets. No blog posts. No digs. I hope that Teresa notices that about each of you.

Dear Fans of Tre and Juicy,
I suppose now you are rethinking all happened these last few years. Stress, particularly hidden stress and secrets, makes people act a little crazy. Now some of the jabs by others are understood a bit more.

Dear Joe and Melissa,
I think that the two of you have hearts of gold. I believe you love your four nieces. And you may have the upcoming challenge of a lifetime to prove it.

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Sick people in my office, and other work-at-home discoveries...

As it becomes more common for people to work at home, I wonder if there will be a revolutionizing effect at the office. I have been a freelance writer and editor for about 20 years. There are many reasons that I chose this work. The appeal of no pumps and no pantyhose was near the top. But the primary reason was to be home with my children and "do more work in less time." Efficiency and organization are part of my daily world, and I don't recommend this type of work environment for those easily distracted or disorganized.

Recently I talked to a colleague who used to work in corporate America and now works at home. The first thing she said was, "I have never been more productive."That was quickly followed up with, "I didn't realize how much time was wasted in meetings." It's clear that the meetings, lunched out, trips to the snack machine and the coffee pot are giant time-sucks. If corporations counted up minutes wasted getting ready for a meeting, finding the room, waiting for folks to assemble, and listening to that one guy who just won't shut up, perhaps meetings would be treated as wasted time much like the dreaded hours spent in traffic.

I often hear, "I am a better multi-tasker than I was before." I think that happened to me when my home office wasn't so quiet during certain times of day (or all summer). I learned to balance children, errands, and chores like a well-run machine. It was amazing how much more time I had when I discovered that Target Tuesday was so much quicker than Target Saturday. The grocery is pretty quiet at 7 am on a Monday. I was able to cut the errand time by half just going when other people were not. I will admit, it is tough to have a sick child and accomplish anything. However, there is nothing more important than a mommy or daddy snuggle when you don't feel well.

When some of these stay-at-home workers transition back to offices, I wonder if they will carry with them the lessons learned. Will employers even listen? Flexible hours can be much more productive than static hours. A good set of headphones is essential. Meetings should be infrequent and quick, possibly even requiring all to stand rather than sit. And sick people in the office are annoying, unlike the little sick ones at home who love you and just want a hug.

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

The Pillars of Progressivism and Common Core

When the Progressive Movement started to manifest in this country in the early nineteen teens, I am sure there was a plan... a well-organized plan. In order for progressives to succeed, they need to have a few key areas under their control. People need to be dumbed down. The federal powers need to be expanded. Religion and morality need to be marginalized. And property rights need to be eroded.

I am not an historian. And I am not a keeper of all of the facts and trends of history. However, I am an American, wife, mother, and small-government libertarian who has been increasingly discouraged by the bloat of government. The progressive movement seemed to start with incremental political change. And that change has been creeping for more than my 48-year lifetime. 

As our society has been transformed into an entitlement society with an erosion of fathers, we are too tired and busy trying to make it to the end of every month to care about the larger picture. With moms at work instead of at home, no one is guarding the educational changes at the school. There was a purpose to all of the fencepost gossip among the moms on the block. They kept track. They rallied around. And they talked about the implementation of some new-fangled-thing at the school, and often turned it around. But when feminism lied to us and told women that we could have it all, we believed it. We can't have it all. And our children pay the price.

Common Core has been working its tentacles into our schools for four years. Who was paying attention? Educational publishing companies have been balking and squawking since 2008. But we had a recession/almost depression to worry about. People lost homes. Jobs evaporated. And what better way to distract the moms of America than to force them into flight or flight mode over basic living. New ideas come and go, but the Founding Fathers wanted our educational system to operate at the local level with parents and communities making crucial decisions. National curriculum is the antithesis of that principle. 

Sunday, July 14, 2013

Does the class reunion have to be like high school?

I guess it's an age-old question... can someone like me go to a high school class reunion and not feel like there is still a "cool kids" table? It might be the top reason why people don't even think about attending. Who would want to relive being ostracized? There were enough wall-flower dances and exclusions for a lifetime all within the time span of high school.

One of my goals in past reunions was to attempt to reach out to all of our 465 classmates. I never really had a group where I fit. I attempted to just be a nice girl on the fringes of many groups. For past reunions, I looked at phone books, mailed notes to parents still in town, and asked friends to round up their friends. I worked for hours trying to locate and communicate with people who had never been to a reunion. The Class of 83 has many members who never felt like members.

So imagine my disappointment that my reunion this year was planned exclusively via Facebook, with invites sent to friends of the popular kids, and to the exclusion of hundreds of my classmates. To attend the reunion, you not only had to have a Facebook account, but you had to pay through Facebook, too. The reunion was not on the typical weekend of past reunions. And three of four events were heavily themed with drinking (bar night, wine tasting, bar night). It's not too sensitive to our classmates in recovery.

Even at almost 50 years old, the cool kids table seems to have been replaced by Facebook Friends of certain friends. Even though I am on Facebook and knew about the event, I didn't attend-- having a little mini-protest. It might not have even been a protest (since I didn't tell anyone). Maybe it was a solidarity move to stand with the "not quite invited" among us.

Friday, July 5, 2013

Michael Douglas is confused or am I?

Within a day of Michael Douglas stated that he had throat cancer as a result of HPV from oral sex, he retracted his statement and said that his throat cancer was not caused by oral sex. So before much interesting discussion could take place, it was squashed. But there is a great learning opportunity in this blip in the news.

Here is the interesting discussion point... if it's true medically (and research shows that it is) that men can contract HPV from oral sex with women, then it might even be possible to go back to the discussion that oral sex IS sex. And viruses can be spread in this manner. Those of you who are Bill Clinton fans might wince at this news flash, but most of us already believe that any contact that can cause an STD is sexual contact. Sorry to spoil your fun.

The Lancet recently studied these infection rates and estimated that approximately 50% of men carry the virus. Perhaps I am missing something, but why are only girls immunized?

And I think it's time to talk about STDs and cancer rates with "real facts", "real numbers", "real photos", and stop attaching a political agenda to it and stop pretending that free love is free.