Happy Halloween Hungry Children!!

can't type/talk now...hiding out from hungry children, savaging throughout the city....I've left a few packets of top ramen on the doorstep...I hope this helps them.

you know we're in a financial crisis when you have to send your children to the neighbors begging for food (dressed in a disguise so as not to be embarrassed).

Discounted Gift Certificates!!

DISCOUNTS! COUPONS! HOT SALES!! BARGAINS!! I love them. I love them all.

Restaurant.com is giving a super-big discount on gift cards purchased before Halloween-that's FRIDAY. Hurry over!!! Look:

A $100 gift card and a $125 gift card for ....$18.00?? Insane, right?

You can do a search for restaurants that take it and this would be especially helpful if you are going on a trip somewhere (not Reno). Seattle appears to have a lot. I don't claim to know that much about any kind of restrictions but I imagine they might have some kind of: Must buy two drinks to qualify or something silly.

Enter the code: TREATS at the checkout page and save big!!!

On the food discount note, about once a month, I go through the drive-up window at Outback Steakhouse -- I like the food but I don't like to eat there because:
  1. We overeat the bread
  2. I always drink too much soda - I feel like I have to in order to justify paying $2.75 for a glass of soda
  3. I have to tip 15% on a $45 bill and the service is not really (typically) that great
Going through the drive up window saves me almost $15 and a lot of excess calories. SAVINGS SAVINGS SAVINGS!!! Love it!!!

Anyway, so I got home the other day and started to eat my yummy Chicken on the Barbie and find that it's REALLY tough on the outside. I'm not down with that and so I called them and let them know it wasn't as yummilicious as it usually is and they apologized and offered to send me something.

And I got it three days later.....a coupon for $25.00 and a handwritten card (who does that anymore) that said: "Thanks for giving us a chance to get it right!"
LOVE them.

I also called Panda Express on Monday because they completely got my lunch order wrong and they told me I can come back for a free meal anytime. LOVE that (not so much them).

Good customer service is WONDERFUL!! FREE stuff is even MORE wonderful!!!

Waffles Anyone?

How is it that I'm 30-something and never made waffles before? It's super easy---granted, I used a pre-made mix that only called for me to mix in oil/egg/water and whisk, but that was part of the glory of it all---it only took minutes!!!
And then just throw it on the George Foreman grill and wait four minutes.

Like magic!!!

Serious Entertainment

Not really that funny....maybe it would be funnier if it weren't for the picture of the crime scene.

Amy Poehler Makes me Laugh!!!

Amy had a baby!!
I adore her. She's hilarious!!
She named her baby: Archie!!!
Ha-that's hilarious. Babies aren't named Archie. Men over the age of 70 are named Archie.

Saturday Night Live was not the same without her.
I'm super-happy for her and her new 70-yr old baby, but I really really hope she doesn't take a long maternity leave!

Just Another Obama/McCain/Opie/Palin/Fonzie Post

I really like this one!!

Does anyone watch Lost?

If you watch Lost, did you watch War of the Worlds when it was on tv last year (or earlier this year maybe)? During the movie, they played commercials for Lost to get you caught up on the seasons past and the girl in the video above speaks just like the person in those commercials-very bland, straight-forward voice. The commercial was hilarious-it would say something like: The plane crashed and 456 of the 489 people died. Claire cried.
And then later something like: Some of the survivors moved their camp from the beach to blahblahblah. Jack grew a beard.

Very random. I love it. Will have to find those commercials later-they were great.

This has info that we've covered last month, but this is better with pictures.

It's OPIE!!!!!!!

I understand that actors and musicians aren't necessarily qualified to make important political decisions (i.e. Paris Hilton), but these are three men who have (from what I can tell) been silent on political matters in the past and just done what they do best—movie making, fishing, good tv shows, creating catch phrases, and making girls swoon. I see these as respected men who have not had a lot of drama and scandal in their lives and believe that they would not have made the decision to throw down their opinion about their political choice if they did not base it on some sincere fact-finding.

On that note…why do we care what celebrities support what candidates? I don’t know.

But the fact that Opie and Andy Griffith came out of the closet to support Obama makes me warm inside. The fact that Fonzie is out about Obama means that all women in poodle skirts will probably vote the same way. Yay!

Random Ramblings

  • I heat my wrists at least four times a week with a heating pad and go to sleep with it wrapped around my hands. I sometimes do this just because my room is super-cold and I don't want to pay for the electricity to heat the room. (WAIT---RELAX...it has an auto timer on it-it's been used for two years and always turns itself off. It is not a fire hazard any more than my clock radio)
  • I went shopping for one sweater this evening and ended up with a $220 bill. The clerk said, I have your coupon here and if you spend $250 total, you can save $75 on top of the $28 you are already saving. Um, what?? Don't lie to me lady!!! Seriously-now I'm sporting some nice soft and comfy lounging pants in a pretty mauve color that is like no other in my closet, in addition to the other clothes and jewelry. I feel like I robbed them.

  • I have more pictures of my cats than anything else in my cell phone. Even my beloved teenager. I can't help it! They are just the cutest little creatures in the whole wide world!!!! here they are cuddling for the first time EVER:
  • I read approximately 15 other bloggers EVERY day. Usually they are the same ones that I have in my google reader or my Internet Explorer feeds, but sometimes I just click from one blog to the next and randomly find really great stuff (and sometimes really bad stuff).
  • Most people lately have been visiting my blog by searching for "red lobster all you can eat shrimp", based on a blog I did last year.
  • I never use any cream or lotion or liquid make-up on my face. I recently bought some, as it seems like the thing I'm supposed to do as an adult, but honestly, I think my skin is okay and I'm lucky not to need any of that yet. I did buy some pricey eye cream last year to help prevent bags under my eyes, but have only used it a dozen times. I know I'm supposed to throw it away in a certain time frame, but if I didn't and continued using it this often, the tiny jewel-encrusted million dollar gumdrop sized bottle that I bought would last my entire life.
  • I do not think my swiffer floor-washing thing does the best job and so I rarely use it. I prefer to just wash the floor with a wet, soapy towel of some sort (or even just seven clorox wipes). It sincerely hurts my wrists though so I typically only do this once a week. I would prefer it done every night and as soon as my wrist transplant comes through, I'll be all over that. I'm in the process of teaching my teen how to do it, but his teenager style of doing things is just frustrating most of the time.
  • I do not understand why no one has had a good sit-down chat with Dog Chapman and explained all the new and wonderful hair styles and clothing lines that are available and that it's OKAY if he wants to step out of his 1987 shell and maybe just, I don't know....get a full shirt instead of the leather vest, and maybe just trim his hair a little. Maybe. Something...just a LITTLE talk with him?? Don't get me wrong--i like him and he seems to be a good guy overall but geesh, c'mon sweetheart--a new shirt? Just one?? I know he has money---he has a tv show that's been on for years, there must be some money in the family!
  • It's very interesting to me how President Bush has been so out of the current election process. When has a sitting president ever not helped his party win?? I think that really says something, right?
  • I kick ass at samurai sudoku. I'm not trying to brag, I'm just stating a fact. I am a master of the samurai sudoku domain. I have a great word document with a TON of these puzzles if you want to print them out--just send me an email and I'll forward it!

Rooting For The Underdog

This must be photoshopped....I'm not sure what kind of little bird this is but in what land would it not be afraid of a dirty smelly pigeon and his gangsta friend??

And what in the world is it they are fighting over anyway?

NPR News About That One Thing

I listened to this NPR report last night and it was really interesting and I thought: I MUST look into this more....

But then I went to sleep and now I can't remember what it was about!!

I do remember having a dream about a friend of mine who showed up at my moms house while we were there visiting and I told him it was too early to visit and we haven't even brushed our teeth yet! To which he said, "let's all brush them together" and then the rest of the dream was about me finding excuses why we can't all stand around a sink and brush our teeth together. (which I would never do by the way).

And then I woke up and checked the time, as it felt like we had overslept. But it was only 3:45am. So back to sleep...and my next dream was about me talking to friends about the dream where this other friend had stopped by and wanted to brush his teeth together!!

Dreams are very odd. It's funny sometimes when you are having a good dream and then you wake up before something finishes and then you go back to sleep--you end up dreaming about it more and get to see what happens--it's called a Bonus Dream. Or Round Two Dream. Or Follow-up Dream. Or Dream the Sequel. I think it's good luck when this happens.

I will have to look at the NPR schedule and try to figure out what was so interesting that I couldn't wait to find out more about it...

Recipe of the Week

This is an old family recipe, passed down from generation to generation, so simple it was perfected when it was made. Many of you have probably never had them, and so I must share, as this is something no family should live without.

Pizza Snacks:

English Muffins (wheat or multi grain only if you care about being all healthy and such)
Pizza Sauce
Various toppings - in the photo we have a carnivore type: with (too much) hamburger and garlic or the veggie type with spinach and garlic
We like just a smaller amount of cheese, as we aren't huge cheese eaters and it just adds on the calories. If done properly, this is a low-calorie filling meal.


In It To Win It!

I do not play the lottery.

My number one reason why: my parents have played (nearly) every week (or every other maybe) for my entire life (possibly) and though they each buy (probably at least) one ticket and pick (maybe) REALLY great numbers (maybe not)...they still do not win.

It's a fact-not a criticism....but mostly-an explanation of why I don't play.

Let's say that the information I have is accurate (which it might not be)....doing some quick fuzzy logic math:

Avg spent a week on lotto: $10 (totally guessing)

# of weeks in a year is 52, but let's say they missed 8 wks...so 44 wks.
That's $440/year.

And I'm 34ish....but let's say they missed a few years....so we'll say 30 yrs.
That comes out to $13,200 (i think)
That's a fair amount of money. Invested across 30 years at blahblah interest rate, they could have saved blahblah dollars!!! I have no real grasp of the concept of figuring out interest rates and saving and such---but I'm sure that invested properly over the years, $13,200 would be a lot more than $13,200.

I appreciate that they have spent this money if only for the fact that it makes me very hesitant to ever play the lotto.

HOWEVER - I will/do play bingo because the odds are better (fairly certain)

Here's some boring facts for you that reinforce my theory that I will win bingo before they (or most people who play) will win the lotto.

  • single state lotteries usually have odds of about 18 million to 1 while multiple state lotteries have odds as high as 120 million to 1.

18 million to 1?? That's insane.

There is no bingo hall in the world that will fit 18 million people, and just by that number alone means that I have better odds.

I think on a typical night of bingo, there is probably (totally guessing again) about 100 people in the bingo hall. (I'll do a quick headcount next time I go to confirm this)

On EVERY single bingo game that is played during the night, at least one person must win.
EVERY game.
EVERY time.

I am no math wizard (not really even close) but I am pretty sure that this puts my odds of winning at 1 in 100 (assuming there are 100 people).

Those are good odds, right??
So when I think about gambling (which, yes, I acknowledge bingo IS) - I weigh the costs of losing money vs the realistic chance I will win (1 in 100 people!!!) vs how much fun I have.

I personally don't find it fun to pick the lotto numbers and check to see if they won later. The entertainment value is down, chances of winning are down.

Compared to bingo: it's a social event (for me, not for the mean old ladies). I can go there for 3.5 hours, hang out with friends, chat and laugh and make fun of mean old ladies (quietly of course) and only spend $12 (though typically I spend $20).

However.....bingo has gone high-tech on me and has plummeted my odds.
For those of you who don't frequent the bingo club, let me give you some insight---they have electronic machines which you rent there. On the machines, you can play 30 games at ONE time (where I'm from, we call that "Cheating"). I think the max you can play is 100 games at one time. You just put all your money down up-front and have them preload the games for you. So while there might be 100 people in the bingo hall, 50 of them might have machines (cheaters) with an average of 50 games on each machine, that means that every bingo game I play, my odds went from 100 to 1, down to ....well, down. (way down)

I'm not sure I can even do the math on that one.

Seriously, it's hurting my brain to try....so we'll just say it's much less than 100 to 1....
HOWEVER---it (must be) still better odds than the state lotto games.


Could someone do that math for me just to verify?

And I'll go buy my lotto ticket just in case I'm wrong on that...

And on Wednesday night, I'll be at the bingo hall. Because it's my turn to win. And I have grand
plans on how I will disperse all my riches.

Facebook or Bust

Ugh..I have succumbed to the masses and created a Facebook profile.

Why? I don't know yet. (well, somewhat because my friend J-Mac told me I MUST, even though she found herself quickly addicted and spent an entire day on it.

So far-I have my name, a pic, my email, and somehow there are people who are requesting my friendship on there already-one was actually waiting when I first signed up.

I don't understand it and I refuse to be addicted! I do!!

Do I care if my Facebook page is updated daily? not really.
Do I care how many people I'm linked to-nope, not so much.

Do I need to spend more time on the computer?
Egads, no.

(Remind me of this if you find me updating my Facebook hourly!!!)

(oh--and don't forget to search for me and add me as a friend!!!)

Sweeter than Sweet, Sadder than Sad

There is nothing I have read or heard of in AGES that compares with this posting by a fellow blogger.

Everyone should go and read that and I dare you not to shed a tear. Double-dog dare you even!

Funny Link of the Day


I mean really...no matter what your affiliation, there is some humor to be found in politics, eh?

I'm a Maverick!

Random Picture Taken While Driving

relax (Aunt Jean!)...I was completely stopped and not in any way causing any risk to others, just stopped in traffic.

Happy Birthday, Young Alison!!

Young Alison has a birthday today!!!

A wacky young girl, Alison has a lot going for her. She's quirky and funny, she's sarcastic and smart, she likes to cook, she can sing really well, she can have long conversations about NOTHING at all & she can have really short ones about very serious issues, she can play a mean game of Bingo and she can drink like a fish. She doesn't like to share condiments, she likes to eat oatmeal cookies for breakfast-but calls it an oatmeal breakfast bar, she likes to take long walks on the beach, and she likes to read like me! She's awesome - really! And it's her birthday!!!

(even Reba McEntire and Kelly Clarkston know how cool Alison is!)

Happy Birthday Alison!!!

Song of the Day

I LOVE this song, and the lyrics are soooo deep:

Why are there so many
Songs about rainbows
And what's on the other side
Rainbow's are visions
They're only illusions
And rainbows have nothing to hide
So we've been told and some chose to
Believe it
But I know they're wrong wait and see
Who said that every wish
Would be heard and answered
When wished on the morning star
Somebody thought of that
And someone believed it
And look what it's done so far
What's so amazing
That keeps us star gazing
What so we think we might see

Someday we'll find it
That Rainbow Connection
The lovers the dreamers and me

Have you been half asleep
And have you heard voices
I've heard them calling my name
Are these the sweet sounds that called
The young sailors
I think they're one and the same
I've heard it too many times to ignore it
There's something that I'm supposed to be
Someday we'll find it
The Rainbow Connection
The lovers, the dreamers and me

True Kermit -- someday we WILL find it!!

Bad-Book Review of the Month

I checked out this book:
The book was one I just pulled off the shelf of my new and beautifully renovated library last week.

It's a short read, only 135pages, so I anticipated being able to finish it just before bed. Got the cat, got the blanket, got the heating pad (to warm the blankets), got a bottle of water...ready!

I haven't been reading much lately - which is a primarily due to not having to ride the bus 40 minutes a day to get to my job. SO-I'm excited to crawl into bed a little early and read a quick novel.

I start reading this cute little story about a mom who just wants to reconnect with her adult daughters, a classic tale of all mothers. It's true and it's sad, but you spend a full and busy 18 years devoting your life to these children who knew NOTHING before you taught them it all--walking, reading, adding, spelling, tying shoes, etc. And then they just leave you behind and go off into the world on their own and just come back every now and again for a weekend here or there and major holidays, sometimes less depending upon the distance between them. It happens to all mothers. Tale as old as time, right?

But then just as I started to get interested into the book, it suddenly turns into a book where every page is "devoted" to christianity. It wasn't too devotional at first, it started slowly, but just past the halfway mark of the book, it moved from a story about a Christian mom (which is completely tolerable to read) to a book where not one page can be turned without a reminder that they are a religious family. It became all about "god's will" and "it's what god has planned for me" and "please god help me." And then I realize---this IS a religious book!

I'm not against reading a book where a character prays or where they talk about religion. I've read a fair amount of books about muslims and christians both in which people prayed or talked about religion, but by the end of reading Seaside, the entire plot seemed pointless.

Here's a breakdown (spoiler alert!):

Mother is isolated from very busy daughters
Daughter #1 is fighting with husband lately (typical housewife drama)
Daughter #2 is late 30's, still-single, barely making it and feeling like her family looks down on her for not "finding a man."

Mother plans a getaway for them all after not seeing them for an entire year.
Daughters are both too busy to step away from their lives for a full week, but eventually feel enough daughter-guilt and make it work.
Mother feels bad that she never taught them how to relax and just enjoy life for what it is.

good so far....
And then---the mother admits that her weight loss and short hair style is due to having been diagnosed with cancer and going through treatment the last year. Sad. Still a good book.

But the mother announces she is done fighting, there is no chance for a cure, she is going to die.
Very sad, but real-life and still a good book.

About four pages after this announcement are then filled talking about god's will and not being afraid to embrace his plan, etc. Eh, four pages is two pages too many, but still an okay book.

And then the daughters decide they are going to do their own research and make her fight. As any daughters would! Still an okay book.

And then four more pages of mom talking about god's will and they have to accept what he has planned for them. This is now three pages too many and the book is totally losing me.

And then the daughters realize that this is part of (say it with me): god's will. And this is where the major-letdown peaked.

They all accept it (over the course of two pages) and decide to just use their faith that god has a plan and it's time to say goodbye to mom.

The end.

sigh. This was a letdown in what started out to be a nice little "come-together" story of family love and the need to stay in touch with your family and ended with a constant mantra of religious chanting. I'm glad that religion helps some people accept religion into their lives and gain strength from whatever they are taught, but how does this story make sense?

Here's where I find the flaws:

1) When mom was sad and feeling lonely, shouldn't she have accepted it as god's will? And really, when she was diagnosed with a terminal disease--shouldn't she have accepted that as god's will and not tried to fight off god's will for a full year?
2) When Daughter #1 was feeling unappreciated at home, shouldn't she just have embraced the love of her god and had that be enough?

3) When Daughter #3 was worried about bills being paid, she should have just put her faith in god's will that things would work out as he planned and that if she was meant to be successful, she would, but if she was meant to be homeless, she would?

I could break it down more, but those are the basics.

Anyway - this is not a posting about religion, (which I try to avoid talking about here) the point is that this is not a book I would recommend and I'm irritated that it did not have some kind of warning that it was a religious book, and I don't understand why this book even got published.
Probably because it was god's will.
The end.

Call Me!!!

I think this is going to be my next phone!!

Seriously---it's everything you wanted in a pda without having to cross the line and buy an Apple product.

More info Here.
And Here.
And Here.

I absolutely LOOOOOVE this phone!!! (so far)

And they are guessing it will only be around $200. I'm saving my money now, cause this looks like my most favorite gadget EVER.

The Place Where Plants Go To Die...

...is my house.

This one lasted a VERY short time in our home. This one is obviously not my fault, because if it can't even make it a full ten days-there was clearly something wrong with it before it got in my beloved hands.

I really had high hopes for this one. Mostly because it is a small plant, in a small planter and I felt like it just had a *small* amount of life it needed to sustain to live. I gave it love, water and a lot of positive feedback, but I guess it just had a horrible past that it couldn't get over. It came from K-Mart originally - who knew they even sell plants?? I only ever go there for laundry soap or Kleenex so i thought this was a real treasure to come across a cheaply priced little plant begging for a home. should have known...

This plant is at least two or three months old and I'm really happy with its' progress. It doesn't LOOK well, however - it used to have about 72 more beautiful sprouting green leaves on it and about 59 of them died immediately. I definitely think this is a case of bad juju, as there have been many plants who have died in this planter. I love these planters-two matching, one forest green, one a sienna type color, so I keep trying, but ultimately it seems like whatever plant ends up in these planters, will die a quick and painful death. This plant has managed to maintain about 12 leaves, which I think is a testament to my loving care.

This is the other planter from that set - and this is the other K-Mart plant I bought. I still think this one might make it! I have faith in this one, bad juju and all - I think it will pull through. It's still absorbing the water I give it (unlike the other Kmart one that just gave up all form of life). It's been about three weeks and it looks really pathetic, but I like to think it's just the runt of the litter and sometimes those are the best ones to get.

This is a L-O-V-E-L-Y type of plant that I've seen all over the place - everyone has one! However, mine is the ONLY one I've ever seen that has just three leaves. Yep---THREE. It has lasted a long, long time in our house-at least a year now, which is the longest that any plant has ever made it. Granted, there are ONLY three leaves, but those three leaves are beautiful!!

Okay---here are the success stories!!!

This is my favorite-though it's only been in the house for a week, it shows huge signs of being a success.

This tall thing started out as a mangy looking mutt, but somehow grew and grew and grew and I'm afraid to repot it into a bigger pot, as every time I attempt this with any plant-they fail to cherish life any longer. So this one might actually be some type of tree or bush, but it will forever live in the tall thin planter that it started out in.

And these are the other success stories. They love me, and I love them! I wish they would talk to the others and let them know how great it is to live in my home.

I Love my Monk

Have you seen the tv show called Monk?
I didn't like it at first and the boy got hooked on it while at grandma's one time but now-I LOOOOOVE it.
It's about a detective who is obsessive compulsive and has every phobia in the world.

But one of the greatest parts - the theme song.
Sing along (as I always do):

It's a jungle out there
Disorder and confusion everywhere
No one seems to care. Well I do.
Hey, who's in charge here?
It's a jungle out there
Poison in the very air we breathe
Do you know what's in the water that you drink?
Well I do, and it's amazing
People think I'm crazy, 'cause I worry all the time
If you paid attention, you'd be worried too
You better pay attention
Or this world we love so much might just kill you
I could be wrong now, but I don't think so. It's a jungle out there
If you haven't seen the show-you should.
And if you've only seen one episode, you won't have fallen in love with the show as I have. You must suffer through until you get to know him, and to know him is to love him.

Purgatory for Teachers

I most certainly won't do justice to the story, but has anyone heard of The Rubber Room, a place where New York City teachers are sent to when they are in the midst of some kind of troublesome issue at the school where they work.

It's somewhat unreal to hear about - each year, there are hundreds of teachers who are suspended from working, waiting for their "trial" on offenses ranging from excessive lateness to sex abuse. (criminal cases go through the courts, so these seem to be accusations that do not require the legal system, but will still demand a trial in the school system.

Okay, so teachers are put "on hold" in their jobs because of some reason or other...and disciplinary action sometimes takes awhile..... but they also get PAID to stay there. They show up each day and read (they formed a book club) or play chess or learn a language (one of the teachers is teaching the others)...and they get PAID-their full salary. At the taxpayers expense. They are highly encouraged to quit their jobs or retire - but these are (typically) teachers who love their jobs and want to teach. They don't want to leave the system-they want to get back in their classroom.

There's a documentary being made about it and several of the teachers have started a blog. It's just amazing. There are some insane things going on out there....

I first learned of the Rubber Rooms and the insanity of it all via This American Life with Ira Glass (plays on NPR and is the best radio show ever). If you get a chance (it's about 50 minutes), you should definitely listen to this episode (and then listen to all the others).

Book Love for All

Tweaked, by Patrick Moore, is the book of the day.

Here's an interesting read...if you're tolerant of homosexuality. I would add be willing to hear about graphic drug use as well, but I think most people are more used to hearing about someone shooting up heroin as opposed to a descriptive narrative of the gay club scene.

It's a quick and easy read (assuming the above things do not offend you). I find it's interesting because it's so far from my normal heterosexual, drug-free lifestyle. It's a small paperback with only 213 pages - so just a couple hour read (for me), which was nice, as I wouldn't want to read about drug-use for another hour or two. The homosexual part doesn't bother me in the least, but I know a few people who would find this unbearable so would not recommend this to them.

I have three novels to read next. Nothing recommended or books that I had heard of before-I just wandered through the library and grabbed them off the shelves, which I haven't done in AGES.

Our library just had a big remodel done and now it is like the Grand Pubaa of all libraries. It's super-big, super-clean and super-peaceful. It's now the kind of library where you would want to just grab a book and sit in the corner and read. If I was unemployed, I might spend much-too-much time doing this.

Welcome Fall...Finally!

I love a rainy Saturday morning, laying in bed with a cat: listening to the sound, the smell in the air, reading a good book.

I checked out four books from the library, two of which are just barely 200 pages and one is just under 300. I got home and double-checked to make sure they weren't books for young adults (as I've been known to stumble upon a Young Adults Fiction book and read it all the way through before noticing it's meant for a much younger age group). But no, these are all books in the adult genre, just very short.

Yikes! I Love My Big Feet!!

Ever think your feet were too big?

It's MUCH better to be too big than too small in this case...cause um, wow...the photos I just came upon were shocking.

I have read a number of books about the Chinese culture and the more I hear, the more astounded I am.

We've all heard tales of feet binding, but have you ever really seen a real life case? Me either--until I happened upon these photos. (yes, the title on the post says these are the feet of a geisha-the blogger acknowledged his error in the comments-this is definitely a Chinese tradition).

This is an atrocity of such an extent that you almost think that it is just a fairy tale and couldn't possibly be true. And perhaps the Chinese prefer to deny it and try to keep it underground (much like the Koreans like to deny they eat dogs), but you can't erase the evidence.

It goes back a LONG Long time in a Galaxy far away....
Legend has it that the origins of footbinding go back as far as the Shang dynasty (1700-1027 B.C.). The Shang Empress had a clubfoot, so she demanded that footbinding be made compulsory in the court.
...but the ramifications STILL are present.

Very sad!!!

Play it Again...and Again...and Again

Not much going on today.
We played Palin bingo tonight and watched the vice-president debate. That was fun-neither of us won, but it was fun rooting for this funny lady to say either "gosh" or "national guard." We did hear the word Alaska approximately 11 times.

Every now and then I get this song stuck in my head (like Palin gets the word "gosh" stuck in hers!). It's funny how you can't control it sometimes-once in awhile I will sing part of the Pokemon song, sometimes it's more recent adn more tolerable....sometimes it's a song you just can never get over.

When we lived in Korea, there was a Korean/Japanese messed up version of Mtv. It was randomly in Japanese but was a Korean channel, which is odd because the Koreans (from what I've heard) have some very negative feelings toward the Japanese-or did at that time due to the arguments over who owns this tiny island-like collection of rocks called Dokdo and there is the matter of the "comfort women" who were used and abused and horribly mistreated and then just forgotten...

Anyway....so the Korean channels had all these wacky Japanese shows mixed in and the music channel was the same.

BUT, a ray of fresh sunshine in the winter.....they had American videos as well!! And for months we listened to Kylie Minogue sing Come Into My World-MONTHS. I'm not sure why, I'm certain it wasn't a hit in the states, not for that long for sure...

And we had this French video that played ALL the time....I have no idea why-but I heard it every day for months and months.

Here's the lyrics, you must sing along (try doing this every day for months). It's just a really catchy tune. I almost think I am in fluent in French just from hearing this video about 8 million times.
J’ai demandé à la lune
Et le soleil ne le sait pas
Je lui ai montré mes brûlures
Et la lune s’est moquée de moi
Et comme le ciel n’avait pas fière allure
Et que je ne guérissais pas
Je me suis dit quelle infortune
Et la lune s’est moquée de moi

J’ai demandé à la lune
Si tu voulais encore de moi
Elle m’a dit "j’ai pas l’habitude
De m’occuper des cas comme ça"
Et toi et moi
On était tellement sûr
Et on se disait quelques fois
Que c’était juste une aventure
Et que ça ne durerait pas

Je n’ai pas grand chose à te dire
Et pas grand chose pour te faire rire
Car j’imagine toujours le pire
Et le meilleur me fait souffrir

J’ai demandé à la lune
Si tu voulais encore de moi
Elle m’a dit "j’ai pas l’habitude
De m’occuper des cas comme ça"
Et toi et moi
On était tellement sûr
Et on se disait quelques fois
Que c’était juste une aventure
Et que ça ne durerait pas

Just Give Me A Home - No Buffalo Needed

Today was Make a Difference Day at my work.

My new company values the importance of volunteering SO much so that they actually schedule a day when all of us can leave work early and go volunteer together at a variety of events throughout the area.

LOVE the idea!!

I went with fellow coworkers to a homeless shelter (of sorts) and was reminded once again of how fortunate I truly am. The issue of homelessness is just accepted in our society and it's one of the worst injustices of our time. There are people who definitely do not do their part to make their life successful, but there are a LOT of people who are just beat down by the system. Once you get down, for whatever reason-a medical illness, a domestic violence situation, or just really bad luck-it's VERY easy to get stuck on a downward spiral.
As of 2001: nationwide, 20-25% of homeless people suffer from serious mental illness.
We don't have adequate medical services to help those with mental illnesses. It's a hidden disease that no one cares to fully address.
Two trends are largely responsible for the rise in homelessness over the past 20-25 years: a growing shortage of affordable rental housing and a simultaneous increase in poverty. (more info here)

Let's face it - our economy is going to shit. (what an odd phrase that is....)

We are in a recession, on the edge of another depression - why can't we admit this? Because the affluent people who control the government are still affluent. The poor are getting killed.
And the nearly homeless are becoming homeless and the organizations that typically serve the homeless population are losing funding all across the board - government funding has decreased (because lawmakers have other priorities) and private donations are down (because people feel the crunch of living in a recession). Housing costs are outrageous, not to mention electric and food costs. You just can't live off minimum wage-it's just not possible.

It's a very sad state of affairs going on around us.

If you were to see a small child helping his mother carry in all of their belongings in four suitcases into a homeless shelter, where they will only have six weeks of relief before they must leave and make room for someone else - you would understand the sadness of it all.

If you could see the sadness in a teen boys' face as he comes "home" from school to the homeless shelter and know that he feels anger, sorrow, and shame of having to be there, sharing one room with his parents and sibling, but grateful that they no longer have to live in their car...you would understand.

It's just a sad time for so many.

There is so much more we should be doing.


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