31 August 2008

WOW! This explains her international experience?

This is how Cindy McCain explains Palin's governmental experience and international experience.

Yes. She believes she will be good because Russia is close to Alaska.


Response to some readers

This is in response to comments to the post “Impacting and saving lives”. All three of the comments were anonymous, but if you would like to get together in person, since we are close to each other, or leave an email so we can discuss more, please feel free.

And I continue to welcome and love comments from all assorted views.
Comment: In a hypothetical situation, maybe a McCain supporter thinks McCain would be a superior leader regarding issues they consider more important, such as U.S. security, the economy or foreign policy.
Can someone who says that the recent aggression of Russia in Georgia is the “first… serious crisis internationally since the end of the Cold War” really be trusted to be a great leader in foreign policy or national security?

You question my understanding of history – perhaps you should question his. There have been many international problems in the past 20+ years. But maybe he just overlooks those. You talk of his defending the nation, but how can he truly do that without acknowledging that national defense issues constitute an international crisis. I understand he is trying to protect this country’s borders, but it is international groups that have threatened the people here, it is international groups and troops that are working to end the crisis and that are causing the crisis. He also forgot what happened in Afghanistan when in July he said that Iraq was the first major conflict since 9/11.

I feel that it is best to be able to talk with leaders of different nations to, in some cases, prevent escalated violence before it happens. Obama has already shown that he has the ability to do so and that foreign dignitaries are willing to speak with him – some Middle East newspapers I have read (sorry I cannot recall the names of the papers) say they would much prefer him and his entourage to McCain and his in terms of their needs and their desire to work with the US.

But, Obama is by no means going to completely change the current US policies in that region – that is obvious by some of his sentiments (some of which were contradictory) while over there this summer.
Comment: By the way, what is Obama’s stance on gay marriage? Because I’ve seen video of Obama specifically stating that “marriage is between a man and a woman.” Have you? How exactly do you think, if elected, Obama’s actions on that issue will differ from McCain’s?
I think it’s absolutely shameful that you are a freaking TEACHER and you know so little about the constitution and legal process that you think a constitutional amendment must be made to make gay marriage legal! Have you ever cracked a textbook or read a newspaper? Do you read anything much except “Stuff White People Like.com?”
The difference between Obama and McCain’s stance on gay marriage is big. Obama does not want them to marry (according to him it is only between a man and a woman), but he doesn't want them to be discriminated against. (Yes this is contradictory in many ways.) He wants to leave the issue up to the states (just as Cheney does). According to Obama, he "supports extending federal benefits, rights, privleges and responsibilities to same-sex couples and their children." Though, Palin has put down legislation that tried to deny health insurance to gay couples despite her staunch stance against marriage.

I know that legalizing gay marriage does not require a national constitutional amendment.

I also know that some conservatives are trying to push to make a constitutional definition of what marriage is, and that these are the people who want to put marriage into the highest legal document of this nation. An amendment in either direction is not likely to pass, but still in their minds. Most people for gay marriage are not trying to address it as much on the national level. They are willing to work on the local level to gain their rights.

I don’t read stuffwhitepeoplelike. Haven’t looked at the site since I first saw it about a year ago.
Comment: Why would you assume that their church leaders would dictate such a personal issue and alienate part of the congregation?
On the church issue, I do not know why they would “dictate such a personal issue and alienate part of the congregation”. It is not an assumption. I witnessed it. I felt really alienated in all the churches I attended that shared these stances. When comments were made, I looked around and saw a few others squirming in their pews as well. And it wasn’t just on one occasion. That is a main reason I do not continue to attend the ones here in town and wouldn’t go back to the ones that I visited out of town.
Comment: What’s hilarious is that such an “informed” Obama supporter would even go near the subject of “church leaders” and how they dictate to their congregations, considering Obama’s history with church leaders.
If you are referring to Obama’s Chicago (former) church leader, perhaps you are not listening to all that he says and all that he does with his church. If you are referring to the “God damn America” sound bite that was emphasized by the media, perhaps you need to listen to more than those 10 seconds to get a real idea of what he was saying and better understand how he was trying to help his congregation cope and really get politically active to question what is going on in their neighborhoods.

I by no means have purported that I am a full out Obama supporter. I believe I mentioned that just a few posts ago and in other posts over the past few months, as well.

Obama is not the perfect candidate. Neither is McCain.

There really cannot be a perfect candidate since there are so many people in this large nation that wish to be pleased by the stances of a president, his vp choice, and the people s/he will select to be members of the cabinet.
Comment: So you assume that simply because this man didn’t want to go to the hospital that he didn’t have insurance?... Also, has it ever occurred to you that this man had a seizure because he made a choice to stop taking his medication?
You refer to the man we found on the sidewalk. I was not assuming that he denied the ambulance due to lack of insurance. I am also not saying that by not taking medicine he may have brought it on himself.

I am using him as a stepping point to touch on a much larger issue.

I personally know many people who have stopped taking medicine because they have no insurance. I know people who have decided not to seek medical attention because they have no insurance and have to pay the daily bills they incur rather than try to scrounge together enough money to see a doctor. I have friends who have had to buy medicine in other countries because they could not get it here because they have no insurance. I know many people with and without insurance who would chose not to take an ambulance or go to the hospital because of the exorbitant price of the hospital and the ambulance ride. I have had friends and students who had ambulances called on them and were angered to find out how much the ambulance cost them. My post Unsure insurance assurance shows some statistics. This study was not really large, but it reflects many of the people in this country since there are about 47 million in the nation without insurance.

Neither of the main candidates plans are perfect. According to The New England Journal of Medicine,
McCain’s plan embraces market forces and promotes individually purchased insurance. Its centerpiece is a change in the tax treatment of health insurance. Currently, workers do not pay taxes on health insurance premiums paid by their employers. The McCain plan would eliminate this tax exclusion and use the revenue generated — projected to be $3.6 trillion over 10 years — to pay for refundable tax credits for Americans obtaining private insurance ($2,500 for individuals, $5,000 for families). Uninsured Americans could use their credits to help buy insurance coverage on the individual market, and workers with employer-sponsored insurance could use theirs to offset the cost of paying taxes on their employers’ premium contributions or to purchase coverage on their own.
In addition, most uninsured Americans would probably remain uninsured under the McCain plan. Given the high price of health insurance, even with the new tax credits, many lower-income people would still not be able to afford coverage. And if the credits are not indexed to the rate of growth in health care spending, that affordability gap would grow over time (as would the number of Americans who would pay higher taxes for employer-sponsored health insurance). Indeed, with the proposed credits, many Americans could afford only high-deductible insurance policies. The McCain plan could consequently trigger a move from comprehensive insurance toward thinner coverage policies that shift costs onto sicker patients. Moreover, some employers, particularly smaller businesses, might stop offering insurance if the tax benefits of employer-sponsored insurance were eliminated. As a result, some currently insured workers could lose coverage.
Perhaps the most serious problem with McCain’s plan is its reliance on the individual insurance market. Individual insurance policies are administratively expensive, typically involve medical underwriting so that sick persons and those with preexisting conditions are charged higher premiums (premiums also increase with age) or are denied coverage altogether, and generally offer less comprehensive benefits than employer-sponsored insurance.
Obama's plan is a little different in that it relies on an employer mandate, new private and public programs and regulation.
The core of the Obama plan is a requirement that employers either offer their workers insurance or pay a tax to help finance coverage for the uninsured (some small businesses would be exempt, and others would be subsidized). The Obama plan would also create two new options for obtaining health insurance: a new government health plan (similar to Medicare) and a national health insurance exchange (a purchasing pool analogous to the Massachusetts Connector) that would offer a choice of private insurance options. Both would be open to persons without access to group health insurance or other public insurance, as well as to small businesses that wanted to purchase coverage for their workers. Income-related subsidies would be provided to help lower-income persons afford coverage. And private insurers could not deny coverage because of preexisting conditions or charge substantially higher premiums to sick enrollees: the Obama plan would end medical underwriting according to health status.
Since the plan lacks an individual mandate for adults (coverage is mandated for children), it would not cover all the uninsured and therefore would provide universal access to insurance rather than universal coverage. However, most Americans without insurance would gain coverage through the new public and private insurance options, and Obama has not ruled out adopting an individual mandate in the future if the plan does not produce universal coverage…
Although the Obama plan would substantially expand access to insurance, it lacks reliable cost-control mechanisms and a viable financing source. Reinsurance would shift private-sector costs for catastrophic cases to the government but would not reduce total health care expenditures. The plan also assumes that substantial savings will be achieved by increasing the use of electronic medical records, improving the management of chronic conditions, and strengthening prevention, but none of these worthwhile measures is likely to control costs in the short run. The new national health plan could control costs, but its effectiveness in slowing spending would depend on its enrollment and the political willingness to restrain provider payments.
Neither plan addresses all the people in the best manner. And it is difficult to really figure out the impact and total cost of both for the citizens of this nation. Obama's relies on the government, while McCain's relies on competition.
Comment: You say: “They want to keep taxes low. But they don't care that the tax system is disproportionate to people's incomes.” Again, you’re displaying a lack of knowledge about the tax system. Do you know the statistic s about what percentage of U.S. taxes are paid by what percentage of the wealthy? If so, please state them. I’d like to see you make that same argument again after citing them
With regard to the proportionality of the taxes, it may seem to be a smaller percentage taken out for the lower, middle, and working class families, but how easy is it to live when you are living below the poverty threshold (which for a family of four last year was making a mere $20,650), paying out 20-something percent of that in taxes makes for hard living. When you are making in the 100s of thousands, giving up 2o-something percent is really not going to make it hard for you to decide if you want to eat, pay bills, take care of your children, or pay your taxes.

Under both main candidates’ tax plans, everyone would pay fewer taxes.

Obama’s plan would raise taxes for people making over $250,000 from 35-39%. He will not tax income between $102,000 and $250,000 for Social Security, but would for all over $250,000. He would give tax breaks to about 95% of the population that earns less than $250,000. This may be seen in a $500-per-worker tax credit for those who earn under $150,000 and a $4000 credit for each child you have in college. If you are a senior citizen earning less than $50,000 there would be no income tax. But the Tax Policy Center says that seniors may end up paying more if corporations pass their corporate taxes onto the consumers.

McCain would leave a lot of the tax cuts the current president has enacted, including the eliminating the marriage penalty and increasing child credits which help out the middle class. He would keep the cuts to the wealthy by eliminating the highest tax brackets. He would double the dependent exemption, which would benefit families that are large in all the different incomes.

Obama calls for a greater estate tax than McCain.

Since McCain’s tax breaks are still going to exist for the wealthy, his plan would cost the US Treasury more money than his opponents plan, according to the Tax Policy Center. If the tax breaks are renewed, Obama’s plan would bring in an additional $700 billion over the next 10 years, but McCain’s would cost $600 billion. If the tax breaks expire, both plans would cost the nation money -- $2.7 trillion for Obama and $3.7 trillion for McCain.
Comment: I think what frustrated me about your blog post the most was the assumption that the conservative viewpoint represents hatred towards groups. The fact is that in both liberal and conservative circles, the crazy nutjob haters exist. In the marketplace of ideas in this country, we will disagree vehemently about important issues.
I was not trying to imply that only conservatives show hatred. That can be seen across the spectrum of political thought. Hopefully the hatred will stop. So many people throw out the claim that this is the best nation to live in (especially ones that have not been to other nations), yet there is so much angst among the people here. This is supposed to be the land of opportunity, and yet so many people do not have the same opportunities as others. Many people hardly have any opportunities. I know we can't all be one large happy family, but hopefully we can be a dysfunctional family that works to really benefit the masses on all socioeconomic, racial, sexual, political, gender, and any other levels.

This was longer than I anticipated.

Thank you for sharing all of your comments. I welcome them all opinions.

30 August 2008

Impacting and saving lives - one vote/call at a time

That man and that woman will be in O'Fallon, MO Sunday along with some of the other people in the party. It really makes me hurt inside that people support them and their beliefs. Check that. They support the fact that they are anti-abortion. They support the fact that they are anti-gay marriage. They don't think about the implications of many of their other stances on the citizens of this nation. They don't think about what will change/remain horrible for them and others in this nation. They stick with them because their church leaders tell them to vote against abortion (rather than just not having one themselves) and tells them to vote against a constitutional amendment to legalize gay marriage. They want to keep taxes low. But they don't care that the tax system is disproportionate to people's incomes.

They don't recognize their impact and hatred for people of this nation.

On another note, I do. In fact KBO and I saved a man's life yesterday.

We were going to meet some other cool blogger people for dinner. When I got out of her car I noticed a man laying on the sidewalk. I was speechless and just pointing. When she came around the car to start walking down the sidewalk he started to seize uncontrollably. I have seen people have seizures, but never some as long and as convulsive as this one he was having. I immediately called 911 and gave them the location. They asked me a series of questions that I could not answer (does he have a history of seizures, is he diabetic). I interrupted the man a few times to let him know that I did not know the guy and so could not answer his questions and he told me that I still had to tell him "I don't know" when he asked them. KBO talked with and tried to calm the man down and make sure he didn't get up while I was on the phone with the operator. The ambulance came and the paramedics started to try and assist him.

He did not want their help. He said that he did have history of seizures, that he had been taking medicine for them before, but had stopped.

This made me super pissed. Likely, he does not have insurance, and can't pay the exorbitant price for the ambulance let alone the hospital care. He said he wanted them to just take him to his daughter's house. They said they would at least give him some oxygen. Then they sent us away. A few minutes, after we had met up with our company at dinner, we heard an ambulance with sirens pass by -- likely him.

It took me awhile for all the adrenaline to pass through my body and for me to stop shaking, slow my heart beat, and for me to just generally calm down from my anger at the whole situation.

Insurance is another issue people should seriously look at when trying to pick a candidate. Not that some people are really looking to "pick" a candidate -- they will just go with whoever their friends/church/Fox News etc tell them to vote for.

Things that make you go hmmmmm

Palin does not know what a vice president does and seems to have preferred remaining governor.

However as Sojourner's Place discusses, there has been some effort into getting her to be the VP nominee at least as far back as 2007. Check out all the links to the different sites she has on her blog.

Also questionable is how many of the links to her election sites to become governor now link directly to the McCain-Palin sites. A big question is how and why did she get on the radar so early with so little experience? Another question is why does the party seem to want to make it seem like she was just all of a sudden picked and that McCain only just now thought of her and only spoke with her once when she seems to have been being thought of for such a long time?

29 August 2008

Unintentional comedy

There is a student teacher at my school who is really the epitome of a nerd. Picture some of the guys from those old 80s Revenge of the Nerds movies. He is nice, but he seems a bit like he just wants to show off his Webster U education - though it comes off more like he is confused and not sure of what he is doing in the process.

Every day for the past two weeks, I see him and I just want to bug up laughing. Not because of the way he looks, but because of the way he showed up for school the other day.

He had on a dress shirt and some slacks and a tie. The problem was the tie.

He had the shirt buttoned up all the way, but the tie was on his neck.

I don't think you understand what I am getting at.

The tie was on his neck and not underneath the collar of his shirt. It was really confusing at first. He walked toward his cooperating teacher's classroom and the teachers I was standing with and I just looked for a moment. It was one of those times when it is hilarious, but you just can't bring yourself to laugh just yet because you are not sure if this is really real.

Fortunately the department head called him out on it and the next time we saw the kid he had adjusted his collar.

He had on the same outfit today, and it really just brought it all back to me. I couldn't help but smile whenever he started to talk.

All this while trying not to puke at the department head's camouflage Crocs, this other woman's dress Crocs, and the other woman's regular black Crocs.

In other news that I'm still not sure is funny, scary, or just stupid, the republican candidate picked a running mate. Yea for picking a woman to try to woo the disgruntled Hilary voters. Boo for picking a person who has been mayor for two years, prior to that was mayor of a town of 9000, she has no Washington experience -- but leave it to her to already have been under investigation for corruption. Her husband is connected with oil companies. She believes in creationism and is a staunch pro-life advocate.

But I guess she shows that he is looking for change and that he is willing to have a woman by his side even if he doesn't respect his wife.

28 August 2008

I am almost politically intrigued

I really have been disconnected from politics in this nation for quite some time. Over a decade, really. I am not fully in a go-get-'em mode yet, but I am starting to feel like there might be a large group of people who are coming to their senses about what is really going on and what needs to be done to make this nation change for the good.

The DNC has been good. Speeches have been good. I've heard people complain that there was not a lot of coverage on the regular channels, but I stuck with PBS where they did not talk over any of the speakers, including the regular people who came on to share their personal stories.

Today's speech by Senator Obama was good. He touched on some good issues and really went after the whole putting America and Americans first.

I have often been told that in order to know how to proceed you have to look at what your enemies/opponents are doing. After the speech, I was feeling quite touched. Then I felt like I wanted to see what the enemy would say to twist this positivity into some negative shit.

So I turned to Fox News Channel.

Bret Hume and Juan Williams piss me off all the time and they did not fail today. I was actually shocked that they had some people on their who actually seemed to approve the Senator's speech. But then they went back to the commentators who could spin anything into some way to put down Senator Obama and try to diminish the emotions of the people who were in attendance.

That's why I stick with PBS and NPR's mostly unbiased news reporting.

But they will not hold him down. I'm not by any means saying that he is a perfect candidate. There are some issues that I hope he considers and reconsiders for the sake of this nation. But he is the best viable option. And he is way better than the other main candidate.

And all on the anniversary of the day when 45 years ago the government told its secretaries to stay home so they would not get raped by the African Americans; when they shut down all the liquor stores for fear that they would incite more violence; when they canceled two professional baseball games for fear of attacks on the white attendants -- all so that there would not be any chance for violence. They were worried about severe violence at a non-violent assembly by people who had records of non-violence in their previous gatherings (well not completely non-violent since the cops and others who came to oppose them attacked them and sprayed them with water hoses and put out the dogs). Forty-five years ago today Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. gave his "I Have A Dream" speech today. Some felt that he should have touched on this more in his speech today, but I feel that was not necessary. It was acknowledged in their picking of today for his acceptance speech. It has been acknowledged by all the news media.

Another historical note: yesterday would have been Lyndon B. Johnson's 100th birthday. He was the president who signed a lot of the civil rights legislation into action.

I am still a bit apprehensive about what will happen in November. There are a lot of people who support what Obama says, but will not vote for him based on his race for the most part because of his race.

Oh, yeah. My buddy KBO posted a great explanation about choosing to be liberal in this day and age on her blog. Check it out. It only makes sense. Being a person who cares about yourself and the people around you does not make you crazy. You do not have to be a super conservative republican to believe in Jesus. But it is also strange to support some of the contradictory beliefs of the party such as being against abortion but not caring about the children who ARE born -- the ones who have families that can't afford to take care of them. I have had numerous students who have been homeless or lived in crazy family situations and it hurts that they are not cared for by the government.

Be accountable for your choices. And care about more than just yourself.

25 August 2008

The good, the bad, and the ugly

First off, Sergio Leone movies are really good. I never thought I'd watch a western movie and enjoy it, but all of his that I have seen are pretty freaking good. And the musical scores are so on point with what is going on that it is truly mesmerizing.

Back to business. It's been a while. A lot, and yet, so little has happened in the past few weeks. So I will sum it up simply.

The Good
  • School rocks all ass. I know that as the year progresses you will get tired of me mentioning this and tired of me comparing it all to my previous employer, but I cannot help it. I feel so much more at ease with everything. I have a whole office set up to make copies for me so I don't have to sit in the copy room and wait for the Spanish teacher to make 80 copies of a 40 page packet before school on a Monday morning when everyone and their mama is trying to get ready for the day. I also have people who are teaching the same subject so I can borrow ideas from them which means that I have less planning time.
  • The big kicker is that I GET OUT OF SCHOOL AT 2:13. Despite the school being hella far away (about 22-34 minutes depending on traffic -- can't help but time shit like that, I am a track coach, it's what I do), last Friday I was able to leave school, pick up KBO, and still get my Happy Hour on before the old school bell had even rung to dismiss for the weekend.
  • I was appointed head coach of the track team -- boys and girls. Nice. But comes with some problems I will address later.
  • The weather also has been amazing the past little bit. It has been so nice that I have reverted back to wanting to run in it. It's been about 5 years since I was a regular runner, and I am by no means ready to go out and do a half marathon or repeat intervals at a decent pace. But it feels good. So far I have run about 3 times in the past two weeks. Getting out of school early and having basically a whole day left before I go to bed is definitely aiding in my desire to get moving. I know, nothing stellar, but it is a big step for me. Hopefully soon when people compliment me on my physique I can actually say that, yes, I do still work out.
  • They Olympics are over so I can actually get things done now. I don't know what it is about those games. The channels must put crack in them. What else could explain my desperate need to watch whatever sport (besides baseball, softball, and basketball) they were showing even though for the next four years I will never watch said sport again. I even watched the opening and closing ceremonies. Though, the opening one was the day after the first day of school and I was so exhausted that I was falling asleep during the ending of it. I tried so hard to stay up and watch the lighting of the torch. I managed to see a man running in the air and started to think that that must be the beginning of the torch lighting, but then I blinked and when I opened my eyes, it was 45 minutes later. I have yet to see what the lighting of the torch looked like, but I have heard that it was truly amazing.
  • Currently watching The Black List an HBO documentary I heard about on News and Notes on Friday. Forgive me for being ignorant, but I had no idea Slash from G n R was part black. Check out the show. Good interviews that aren't really pushing any sort of agenda. Al Sharpton made an excellent comment about how the "thugs" of today are the Uncle Toms of this day and age -- they entertain the stereotypes that whites have developed about the black people of America. Other interviewees: Kareem Abdul Jabar, Serena Williams, Chris Rock, Keenan Ivory Wayans, Colin Powell, Mahlon Ducket, Suzan-Lori Parks, Thelma Golden, and many more. Read a review from The Washington Post here.
The Bad
  • I am still not able to sleep at a decent enough hour for a person who has to wake up at 5:30 in the morning. I am still up until around 11-12 each night. Though I did start taking melatonin, which is the best non-prescription sleep aid I have ever taken.
  • It's official. I have become a softy. I am now apt to cry at the slightest thing. I cried in parts of The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants (the first one, the second one was not as touching), I teared up during the first dance at the wedding I attended this weekend in Tennessee, I have been thinking about something in the car on the way home from work (it is such a long ride) and started to tear up a bit. I almost cried when Lolo tripped up in the hurdles during the 100m hurdle finals. It's really annoying. I never wanted to be this way. But, I guess, that's life.
  • As the new head coach of the track team, my entire coaching staff is men. Older men. One of which is really pissed that he isn't the head. The two sprint coaches are very stuck in their ways, which based on what they have said they do, are not ways conducive to athletic improvements. I have to find a way to tell them that they are wrong and that I will take over a lot of stuff without making them feel really bad or without making them despise me. I also have another assistant coach who seems to not like the black kids or coaches on the team (at least that's the word in the halls). We'll see how it all plays out.
  • I seriously wanted to back slap this woman the other day at work. I was in the copy room by the entrance door getting my papers ready to hand over to the copy woman. Minding my own business. Feeling good about not having to copy the stuff myself. This heffa crept up right by my shoulder and then screamed super loud, right in my ear, HEY to the copy woman (who was at that time only about 15 feet away from the screamer. She screamed so loud, so close to my ear, that my first reaction was to hit her dead in the head with either my papers or my hand or both. I decided against either of those.
  • Not working with my excellent colleagues any more is still getting me down. It was really great how I just came in with two excellent people who I still consider great friends, and had room and desk neighbors who I feel were not only excellent teachers and worked well with the students, but also were good listeners and friends when needed. I was able to find these people almost immediately at the other place, but with this school being so large, have not found any one up to par.
  • Last Friday I got an email around noon from some one at the school about a happy hour after school. But it wasn't going to be until 3:30. Excuse me. Were they serious? Who waits until over an hour after school to grab a drink. I guess the good thing is that working here, you don't NEED a drink at the end of the week. You kind of just want one, but not because you are over stressed. But, I did send an email to the writer of the message today asking about that whole scenario. He said the next one would be earlier.
The Ugly
  • Since I have been home so early, I have been able to watch Oprah. It still annoys me to no end how she interrupts her guests incessantly, but she has some good people on there. A couple weeks ago she had Suze Orman on the show. She was talking with couples about their lack of financial knowledge. It really amazes me how many people there are out in the country who keep trying to live beyond their means. People who constantly feel the need to keep up with the Jones' or the Shaniqua's that are around them. There was a couple on the show who said they were $3000 in debt each month. They had two homes, three cars, and just lived ridiculously. The woman said that her entire monthly salary went to paying for child care. Which made me wonder why she doesn't go ahead and quit her job and take care of the spoiled kids on her own. The real kicker was this: the two shit birds went to buy a car and the dealer convinced them to buy a second car that same day. WHO DOES THAT?! How financially stupid and just plain gullible and easily convinced of shit are you that you can be negotiating the price of a car and the dealer can convince you to buy a second car. And they were all SUVs so you know they were more expensive than they could afford. The man is steadily buying Wii games because he feels they are an activity he can play with his wife. Bitch, talk to each other. Play chess. Go for a walk. Suze told them they needed to sell all their stuff, they probably haven't. They probably are going to buy a third house they cannot afford and hire a gardener that they really cannot afford instead.
  • This is in the ugly section not because it is horrible, but because it is truly hilarious and such a great moment for those who despise Fox News the way I do. A great way to end this long post:

20 August 2008

Mouse fun (without any screeming or traps)

Wordless Wednesday -- some hi-tech stuff for you.

Click here to have fun with your mouse. It's like Etcha Sketch for your computer.

16 August 2008

Obama-McCain forum with Warren

Watching the forum with Senators Obama and McCain and Pastor Rick Warren. Obama really rocked out with his answers on abortion, teachers' salaries, stem cell research, and "working in concert with the international community" to solve problems and address genocide and the high orphan rates.

The more I see him the more there is something about him that just reminds me of my man. They have similar smiles and teeth and those thick, low brows. Both just really represent that educated, confident, grown-man sexy.

On the other hand, McCain really just irks me. With Bush, I really can't stand listening to him talk and change the channel of the radio or the tv when he is about to do a sound bite or a speech, but if McCain is elected, not only will I not be able to stand listening to him, but I will avoid even just having to look at him. Wow. The lack of lips, the super-duper short arms (No offense, I understand he was tortured in Vietnam while he was in service and they were taken out of the sockets repeatedly, but how does that make them shorter?), the voice, the way he seems to treat/refer to his wife, all the stories of his evil anger problems. I don't know -- I just can't/don't want to see him as a president. It took everything in me to not switch during the questioning back to the Olympics instead of waiting until the commercial break.

On a totally different note, CONGRATS to Christian Cantwell on his Olympic shot put silver medal!! Way to go Mizzou track teammate -- he taught me to not drink before or during a meal so that I could eat more of the wonderful food before me.

McCain made me cringe when he said we need to focus on off-shore oil drilling, but tried to redeem himself by then mentioning the other types of energy we should also use. Then he went on to talk about other issues and judges that I don't support and that don't support the rights and needs of the various majority of people of this nation. He did a lot of joking with the crowd, calling the audience "my friends", and shared a lot of old anecdotes which is a good way to get the basic American public on his side without making them actually listen to his words and ideas.

If you missed the forum, which was run pretty well by Warren, you should definitely read the transcript or find the video. There were questions asked that are not typically asked and it was nice to have a person asking the questions who was not a reporter, though at times, he did seem to prefer McCain's answers and presence, he still did all right as the moderator.

13 August 2008

Going steady with Hitler - Semi-wordless Wednesday

Today's picture is some random old propaganda poster from the War. I saw this back in college and was reminded of it when I looked at someone else's blog a few weeks back (I apologize that I cannot remember who included it - my bad.)

I have been super busy and, when not busy I have been super tired. I will try and post what's been going on with me later today or tomorrow. Though today will be the better option since school starts up tomorrow. We'll see if I get everything done this evening and don't pass out super early.

08 August 2008

A new kind of diet

There are some really weird people out in the world.

This is an email Kid Sis #2 sent out to us siblings about her experience as a medical student doing rounds with a doctor:
Today in clinic this guy came in with a several pound weight gain from six months ago. He said that he had stopped drinking soda, and started drinking chocolate milk in order to eliminate caffeine and increase his calcium.

He drinks half a gallon of chocolate milk a day. Every day.


Half a gallon is 8 cups.

There are 220 calories per cup.

That is over 1600 calories a day.

Of milk.

I eat about 1600 calories of food a day.

The doctor was shocked and appalled. It got worse when the patient told us he hasn't had a shower in 10 years (he uses alcohol to clean himself) and he hasn't brushed his teeth in six months (he uses some type of water pick to spray his mouth). The doc said he had heard enough, and seriously walked out of the room after the tooth brushing info. Literally. And didn't come back. I was dying. These are the things that make a 12 hour day less painful.

By the way, he takes 112% of his daily allowance of fat in that milk.

07 August 2008

What a difference a district makes

Day two of new teacher activities at the new district having a fabulous strawberry poppyseed salad and some soup from the Bread Co.

It is really amazing what a different world it is out here. I am feeling really good about my decision to leave the last place. Really good. The people here are great. They actually say that they love working here. They talk about how helpful everyone is here. About how great a place it is to work in.

I don't think I have hear people at the last place say that. Take that back -- they may say that, but there is always an exception, or it is preceded by something horrible, or all the extra stuff you have to do there, or how crazy the admin is.

Here there are no exceptions, no nonsense.

And imagine that I get three hours all 6 days of pre-school activities to ACTUALLY WORK IN MY CLASSROOM. I don't think I ever got more than 30 minutes of actual time allotted for actual work related to my teaching at the other place.

There are so many little things that already make this place great. A few big ones being that I don't have to worry about watering plants or making sure the extra furniture is aligned correctly in the back of the room. I have a department that is big, but that has all the stuff ready for me since there is more than just me teaching a subject. I have resources so that I won't have to spend hours upon hours getting ready for teaching a lesson or unit. The online curriculum service they are using actually makes sense and it is easy to utilize. They are using a lot of technology, they are one-to-one with computers in the school (they don't get to take them home, but I guess that prevents kids from making fabulous YouTube videos of the raps they create on Garage Band). And the teachers learn technology techniques that are immediately applicable and not a waste of several professional development days. And these days before school are organized by teachers, so they are actually really purposeful (imagine that).

The superintendent is great. The principal is a super cool, competent, focused, non-absentminded woman who seems to know what she is doing. And there is an administration that will be respected by the students, yet also looked upon as guidance figures.

Now the only question about all this (and one Leo keeps asking me) is this: Why did I wait so long to leave?

06 August 2008

The art of Mear One

Wordless Wednesday brings you today the art of Mear One. This artist strives to question "the intention of each of his individual works, asking is this a worthy concept... To raise a responsible conversation on the topic that is displayed, i.e. the painting... To see through the illusion of our decrepit social condition and speak out with art as a weapon of mass liberation."

Without further hesitation, ladies and gentlemen, (some of) the art of Mear One. Find Mear One here or on myspace (click the links for more on/from the artist or a piece below for a bigger view).

05 August 2008

Summer time and the living's easy

Today is cooler by one degree than yesterday. The heat index is at 105 right now. Though it feels even hotter than what the weather people say it feels like. I had no other clean clothes than my jeans today. I had to walk around down on Grand to the SLU building to try and get fingerprinted for new job.

Wow!! It was just about a 200m walk from the car to the door, but it felt like I was walking a marathon; like the door was getting further and further from me.

It was one of those times when you seriously have to think about how you are walking -- you have to walk fast enough so that you can get into an AC-ed facility as quick as possible, but not so fast that you start to sweat more than you already are. I found the medium. There were two shade trees on the street (I hate when city people plant trees in sidewalks because soon enough the tree grows and the sidewalk cannot grow with it. You see massive cracks and the sidewalk buckling to give room for the roots. I like greenery, but not in sidewalks, close to people's homes/buildings, or when people let their branches grow into power lines -- stupid). I tried to walk even slower when I got under the shade of the tree since it felt about 30 degrees cooler under there. Unfortunately the shade was only about 15m in length. I was talking on the phone while walking and upon entering the building and hanging up to avoid the weirdo-on-the-phone-inside-while-trying-to-get-service stares I realized that the creepy-crawly feeling I had on my crelbow (yes, crelbow ala Joey from Blossom) was actually the dripping of sweat. It was so gross. So icky. So hot.

Got in the building and found out I had to make an appointment first, so the whole trip was pointless.

I went to the pool and jumped in a few times. Swam a bit. Tried to fix up this tan for a few moments, but the sun was too much so went back in the pool. When I came out again, the shade was better so I sat and dried myself off sans towel.

The next hot, icky moment was when I looked over my body while sitting there. I realized that I was literally oozing some sweat from every pore. Every pore. I guess technically there are pores everywhere on your body, but you don't typically see them or realize their existence.

I saw them everywhere -- my chest, my upper thigh, my shoulders, my neck, my knees -- all tiny pores with little droplets of sweat trying unsuccessfully to cool my skin.

Now I'm back home. I have already been fairly productive today for about 4 hours. And I still have a lot of stuff to do. I will try not to have a nap today. Kind of cool thing is that once school starts, at this time I will already be out of school. We get out an hour before my previous employer, and only start about 40 minutes earlier. Not bad. I can still have a life after school. Even when sports start I will be home way earlier. I will rarely get home when it is dark in the winter time. I will be able to watch Oprah (if I for some reason desire to see her interrupt people during interviews). So exciting.

04 August 2008

The end/start is almost here

I've been without internet for almost 6 days now. Finally have it back.

Today I went to this teeny clinic my new employer recommended for a physical so they can clear me to work. I got there and signed in at 1:55. Filled in some forms and sat and waited to be taken to the other side of the wooden door. A male nurse came to retrieve me at 2:14 (my first male nurse ever) for the routine eye check (which I did fabulously on - one year since Lasik and still beyond perfect vision), he asked my height and weight (didn't actually measure/weigh himself - kind of weird), took my blood pressure and pulse (said both are really, really good despite my lack of adequate physical activity for the past 7 years - remnants from being a college athlete, I suppose), gave me a TB test, checked my hearing by having me turn my back to him while he whispered numbers for me to identify (wow - talk about low tech), checked my peripheral vision, then told me to change into the crappy gown and wait for the doctor.

It was now 2:26. I was pretty excited about how easily it was all moving since I was hungry and tired. Today started my attempt to transition back into teaching. I basically have spent the summer doing not much for most of the days. I have been sleeping hella late, staying up even later, and on some days taking three naps throughout the day. The past few weeks I have been more productive throughout the day, but I have still been limiting myself to four-five hours of productivity at the most.

It has been great. I have felt rested. I have helped coach some excellent athletes. I have spent time with family and friends (though not enough time). I have thought about the upcoming school year and all the new school could possibly be like. I have procrastinated on writing all of the curriculum (wrote some, but can't bring myself to finish, especially since I don't have all the resources that the other teachers have since I cannot yet get on the school server).

I don't know how I will be able to function on the first few days of new teacher shit. It is really hard to stay awake when someone is just talking at you, so hopefully there is not a lot of that. And hopefully there are not a lot of brand new teachers with a lot of new teacher questions. I really need it to not be that way otherwise I may start to fall asleep. Especially if it gets toward my nap time (which includes the hours between 10am-4:30pm at this point).

But back to the doctor's visit. It was 2:26 and the nurse had just left the room. I took off the clothes and tried to put the gown on strategically so that nothing would show through.

I looked at the corny company photo on the wall. Sent a text message to a friend. Then turned to take a look at the needle disposal container with the hazardous waste labels on it. Then started to get bored. Found a The Week news magazine on the counter. Skimmed through it. I kept hearing the voice of what I figured might be the doctor chatting and laughing with a doctor. I kept thinking that maybe, just maybe he was about to enter my room.

Still no doctor.

Looked again at magazine. Read EVERY SINGE ARTICLE IN THE MAGAZINE. Every article.

By now it is 3:15. I went into the hallway to check if there was any one still out there. Didn't see or hear anything.

I pulled the pillow off the shelf under the table, put it on the table and laid down on the paper rolled out for my protection, careful to not let my gown fly open.

At 3:35 the doctor came in. Finally.

The stuff he did took 7 minutes.

When I left the front desk nurse gave me a form that had a receipt and the time I signed in and the time I was released: 1:55 to 3:57. The entire process took over two hours. The exam took about 19 minutes.

Why do nurses bring patients into the back if the doctor is not going to see them for a long time? Why could I hear the doctor laughing and chatting with some female nurse through the door?

And why do they have to cut into my productivity hours?

On the way out I ganked about 7 of those lollipop suckers from the basket. When I go back for the TB screen I will take more, too.