Monday, September 29, 2008

Offensive? Yes.

Condo "Before" Pics

As promised, here are the pictures. These are definitely the "before" ones, so I'll post new ones once we have painted and get moved in.

The view from our bed room window.

This gives you an idea of how open it feels.

The kitchen.

Living room looking away from the sun room.

The living room looking toward the sun room.

Down the staircase.

The courtyard of our condo complex. Our place is the top one in the front of the left hand side.

Child Activist

My dad told me the funniest story yesterday. He was telling me how when he married my mother, he threw away all his "girly magazines", except for one copy of the May 1966 issue of Playboy (his birth month/year). When I was like 10 or 11 years old he and I were in the basement, looking through his old stuff (most likely LPs) and I pulled out the copy of Playboy. "What is this?!" I exclaimed.

He said the page I opened it to was not in any way explicit; it had a woman wearing a very tight fitting, short sweater dress. I said, "You need to get rid of this." And he starts saying how it is a collectible, and his birth month, etc. I looked him in the eye and said, "If you keep this, I will not respect you." He said okay, took it from me, and threw it away.

I do not remember this at all, but it does not surprise me in the least. I have always been very forthright about the things I feel strongly about. Apparently I was a vocal feminist before I knew what a vocal feminist was.

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Key Concepts

When I became the youth minister at my church there was a curriculum in place. It shall remain nameless. All of our youth activities sprang from it. The truth - it was the dumbest excuse for youth curriculum I'd ever seen... and I've seen terrible stuff.

The badness started with it's "key concepts" which were, 1) manhood and womanhood are gifts from God and 2) adulthood must be earned. First of all, I understand there are some gender politics issues with the concepts. Second, I have no idea what the hell they mean or how they connect with Christianity.

There is nothing revolutionary. Nothing about a deeper connection with God or those around you. Nothing about fighting against injustice. Nothing about anything that would make this in any way unique from something someone could teach at a damn etiquette class. It is precisely the kind of bullshit that makes people think Christianity is simply a system that makes people nice and very supportive of the status quo.

It's gone now.

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Adventures in Homeownership

We closed (which means we signed about 1,000 pieces of paper - most of which we had no idea what they meant). It felt great. We were homeowners. We were in debt for the rest of our live, but what are you gonna do?

Last night, Shelly had planned a wedding shower for a friend that was getting married on Saturday. So I called my friend Tim, to meet me at the house and have a few beers in celebration. We get there, I put the key in the deadbolt... it sticks. Fortunately, we have a bottle opener with us, and use it to leverage the lock open. We get in the condo. I try to use the bottle opener to get the key out of the deadbolt. It snaps. The one key we have to our new house breaks on the first night we have the house!

We call Lowe's to see how late they were open, and realized we only had 15 minutes to get there. We make it, buy new knobs, change out everything. Not exactly the way I planned on spending the night, but I guess that's home ownership - no landlord to call when stuff breaks! That'll take some getting used to.

We love the place, I really will put pics up soon.

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Am I Reading This Right?

Ok, I'm no economist. I don't understand this bailout thing. I know the experts say it's necessary. To me it sounds like we're saving greedy bankers (I found it interesting to hear this morning that the banks are lobbying for the bill to pass but against the provision that limits how much bank CEOs can make.... interesting).

I read Senator Obama's remarks here and thought, "Did he just say what I thought he said?" Because it sure sounded like he said screw the environment, the working class, the poor, the elderly, veterans, etc. We need to hold off on those proposals to save greedy bankers. Someone please correct me if I'm wrong, but a vote for Nader is sounding better than ever.

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Bad News

I've been feeling not quite right for awhile now. It's nothing major, I just really miss school. I miss the classes, the books, the discussions, the professors, the students. Everything. I had applied for three consecutive semesters to the MA English program at UNF. I was accepted, but for three consecutive semesters, money was not there for me to actually take the classes.

So, second plan. Since MAs are so expensive, I decided to simply pursue a second bachelors degree, this time in history. I was excited, but a little premature. It turns out that because of the property tax cuts from last year (you remember the ones the really rich people were excited about, but teachers, fire fighters, police officers, and pretty much everyone else opposed - even our ultra-conservative mayor) mean that budget cuts in the state college system have made it so that UNF can no longer allow people to pursue second BAs.

So, I'm too poor to pursue an MA and unable to pursue a BA. I love my state.

Tuesday, September 16, 2008


Shelly and I are closing on a condo in less than a week. I am so excited! Pics to come soon.

Monday, September 15, 2008

Communication 101

I've realized recently what it is that makes for a productive conversation. You need a few things:

1) A point of view
2) Another person with a point of view (it can be the same or different from your own)
3) A sense of humor
4) The desire to learn - (ATTN: that means it's not about proving the other person wrong)

I'm mainly drawing on a recent "conversation" with my brother-in-law.

We do not talk politics or religion with Shelly's family because we are in disagreement with them on almost any issue you can imagine. The only time I even try is when it is clear that we are all in agreement. It's just not worth it otherwise. Her mom is terrified of conflict (and I think the story that follows kind of explains why) and so as soon as any disagreement over anything occurs she basically ends the conversation (even when she hasn't been part of it).

Well, the other day we were with her family and the subject of Stanton dropping the 2.0 requirement came up (if you're unfamiliar with this, ask and I'll explain in the comments). I stayed out of it because it turns out I feel like the requirements can be equated to soft racism, and her brother tends to not believe racism exists. Which is funny, since he is the second most racist person I know. Anyway, I let the conversation continue as long as I could without interrupting. I was pretending to read e-mail on my phone.

Finally, I heard her brother say, "The problem honestly isn't with the school system in general. It's the black culture. That's what is ruining those schools on the north and west sides of town."

Excuse me?

I said, "Josh, clearly those neighborhoods have been neglected for years by our city, and we should be really trying to make those schools the very best in order to break the cycles and structures that are in play. I mean, everyone should have a quality education. Not just those in the 'good' parts of town."

He said, "It's not the schools, it's the culture."

I said, "And school is part of culture. It may even be the primary place we learn culture."

Now, up to this point it was clear he was irritated at my liberal notion that everyone should have access to quality education. I know, I'm a commie. But, it hadn't quite seemed to break any of my above rules.

Until he shouted, "You just want the government to raise kids. Don't you see you're asking government to do way more than it's meant to?"

Talking points are not the way forward in a conversation. Shouting me down is not the way forward. Treating me like I'm stupid and naive is not the way forward. I tuned out because it was no longer about learning anything. It was about being right. And I really don't care how right you think you are (or how right I think I am, for that matter). If we are to move forward as a society, the conversation has to become about how to move forward as a society, not who has the right ideology.

Thursday, September 11, 2008

All the kids ain't doin' it

Craig Ferguson has a great clip on You Tube right now. A piece:

If you don’t vote you’re a moron. I know that you say, “Not voting is a vote”. No it isn’t; not voting is just being stupid. Voting is not sexy, is not hip, it is not fashionable, it’s not a movie, it’s not a video game, all the kids ain’t doin’ it. Frankly, voting is a pain in the ass, but here’s a word, look it up, it is your DUTY to vote.

You can watch the whole clip here.

Sunday, September 7, 2008

Zoe the warrior woman

So I must admit I am a little (okay a lot) intimidated by guns. This might have something to do with the fact that I have had almost no exposure to guns; I've never even held one - the closest I've come is holding the bullets for my grandfather while he loaded his hunting rifle when I was little. However, I love to try anything new and I am all about getting past my fears/biases, so when the guy I'm dating mentioned going to the shooting range, I was all in.

Walking in the shop, I think I was more intimidated by the NRA posters and large quantities of camo than I was by the copious amounts of guns. And there were a lot of different types of guns. I mean, how many different ways do you really need to kill someone? They even had a handgun with a pink handle. (I think they were aiming for my makes everything better!) We rented a 9mm, bought some bullets and a paper dude to shoot at, and went in. After a few lessons on how to line it up and how not to anticipate the shot (which would make me jump and throw off my aim), I started having fun. I messed that paper dude up! I learned something new about myself - I'm actually a good shot (never saw that coming). And while I don't think I'll ever own a gun, I like being more knowledgeable (and feeling a little like Zoe from Firefly).

Saturday, September 6, 2008

Cold moose killa

There is so much I could say about Palin. But this says it all - with a beat:

Wednesday, September 3, 2008


Is about to make my head explode. Rudy Giuliani's speech was one of the most ignorant diatribes I've ever heard.

Fuck you Giuliana Depandi

I was reading this post over at Feministe which mentions Giuliana Depandi's book Think Like a Guy: How to Get a Guy by Thinking Like One, which should have been called Think Like a Misogynist: How to Write a Book That Compares Dating Women with Killing and Cutting Up Animals. In the intro offered for free on she tells the reader that men really want women that play hard to get and offers this metaphor:

“If a deer hunter lands his prey within the first five minutes he’s in the woods, he’ll experience an immediate sense of excitement…but the joy will wear off as quickly as it came, and in no time he’ll move on to his next victim. Therefore, you have to let a guy sweat it out. Imagine this: A hunter enters the woods and after about seven or eight minutes, he spots his prey. He cocks his gun, takes aim, fires--and misses. No big deal. He cocks his gun again…and misses again, and again, again. After several attempts, he starts getting really frustrated. Does that mean he’s gonna pack up and go home? Hell, no! In fact he’s gonna go after…the one that’s a little too sly and ‘evades’ him. ..As he sits against a tree, nearly defeated, he hears a rustle. He … fires his forty-ninth bullet. And with one shot he strikes his prey right in the heart …He treats this particular one with dignity…once he gets home, he cooks up and bites in to the most delicious deer meat he’s ever tasted…he mounts the deer’s head on the wall directly within eyeshot of his desk so he can admire it for years to come.”

So if you want a man who is gonna shoot you, eat you, and then mount your remains on the wall - play hard to get! This is some of the worst misogny I have ever read, the woman is "the victim" and "his prey". "No" doesn't mean no! "No" just means you have to try harder in order to shoot me, do whatever you want with my insides, and make me your trophy.
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