Sunday, October 7, 2012

The more things change . . . The more they change

So I know I have not blogged in a really long time. I have been busy. I have been stressed out. I have not had time or really a desire to blog about anything. But so much has happened in my life this year. So much has happened in the last month. My marriage has gone from one extreme to another in the short span of 9 months and if it were not for my wonderful, caring, understanding husband loving me so much I don't know where I would be right now. Over these last few months he really has become my best friend. He truly loves me for me despite my flaws and issues and imperfections. He accepts them and doesn't judge me and we are a team. A real team finally. And I love him more and more each day. He has been there for me through my worst and still loves me. I can't say that about many people in my life. When I am down he lifts me up. He is there for me to vent to when I am frustrated and doesn't take offense. Without him in my life I would be lost. He is my rock. He is my strength when I am weak. My light in the darkness. My best friend. My love. Thank you baby!

Thursday, June 21, 2012

I am a horrible blogger!

Okay, okay so I know it has been months since I blogged about anything.  I am horrible at this shit!  But in my defense I started out at the new year and then the worst semester of my life hit me square in the face!  Who thought working a forty hour work week and then taking two science labs Monday through Thursday nights at 6:00 p.m. would be so damn hard?  Sure not this girl!  But I survived and even managed to keep up my GPA.  Granted the house was a disaster area, I had forgotten how to cook and my marriage was in shambles.  Yes, I know my semester ended a month and a half ago and I am taking the summer off.  Frankly, I was too depressed to write about anything that wouldn't end in my whining like a baby about how much I hated my life.  Things were bad.  Things were bad at home, in my marriage, financially and in my head.  I was eating like crap and gained weight back.  I wasn't exercising.  All I did was lay around the house and be lazy.  I must say I have read like 10 books though since the end of April.  But I am pretty sure that is the only achievement I can claim for this summer. 

So I got my act together.  Started eating better and working out again and managed to drop twelve pounds for my friends Kat and Joel's Louisville, KY wedding.  I started cooking dinner again and manage to clean the house at least once a week.  The dishes and laundry get put away now and my husband and I are really working on our relationship.  I feel better.  And I feel like writing again!

My summer and fall seem to be filling up fast though as I get ready for my little brother's wedding!!!  He proposed to Sarah while they were on vacation in North Carolina a few weeks ago and are planning a December wedding.  Sarah asked me to be her matron-of-honor and I am so excited to be a part of their big day.  Plus it is another excuse to buy a pretty dress and matching heals!!! 

I think I am going to dig through some of my old writing notebooks and see if I have anything good in there to share with my readers . . . because I have so many I am sure!  Or maybe I can rework some not so great pieces . . . we will see what happens!

Sunday, March 18, 2012

The government needs to stay the fuck out of my uterus . . .

And this is why I don't get involved with politics.  In fact, I go to great lengths to avoid the never good news channels and I refuse to listen to the string of lies that stream from political candidates mouths.  But I can no long sit quietly, content to be ignorant while the female form is attacked right and left all across our nation.  It is very disconcerting, especially during an election year and I almost feel like it might be backlash from the last presidential election fiasco.  But then again that is just my own personal conjuncture.  But I diverge. 

My interest was peaked, however, a few weeks ago when Rush Limbaugh's attack on women went viral across the web. Women who use birth control are all sluts and prostitutes according to Limbaugh and if we chose to use birth control then we might as well video tape ourselves having sex and post it on the internet for everyone to see since tax payers are paying for us to have sex after all.  Says the man who has been married four times with all his previous marriages ending in divorce.  I have very mixed feelings about the fact that my alma mater Hillsdale College is a Limbaugh supporter.  But that is neither here or there. 

And Limbaugh isn't the only culprit.

I guess I thought the women's rights movement of the sixties had paved the way for women to chose how and when they wanted to have children.  I thought we had socially evolved beyond the desire to keep women barefoot and pregnant in the kitchen.  Women hold positions of power, are CEO's, advance up the ranks of the armed forces, serve as doctors, lawyers, judges and hold political positions right?  Feminism is socially acceptable.  Right?  But if I didn't know any better I would think it was still 1950 and all women were still supposed to be stay at home mothers whose job it was cook and clean and serve their husbands as they popped out as many children as possible.  Women who do not desire to serve their men and children are all just sluts and prostitutes.  There proper place is barefoot and pregnant in the kitchen remember?

Barely people at all. 

Georgia Representative Terry England proposed House Bill 954, which would make it illegal to obtain an abortion after 20 weeks including removing stillborn fetuses.  It would force women to carry a still born fetus to full term and endure agonizing labor to give birth to an already dead child.  He equated women to farm animals.  He grew up on a  farm and well that is how they did it with cows and pigs so it should work just fine for women too, right?

If we aren't sluts we must be farm animals. 

Virginia Governor Bob McDonnell and Alabama Senator Clay Scofield proposed a bill that would force women who wanted to have an abortion to an extremely invasive transvaginal ultrasound so that they can view their child and empowering then to make the most informed decision possible about their fetus. To give informed consent they must undergo a dangerous and invasive procedure against their consent.

They are just women, we don't need their consent. 

California Congressman Darrell Issa didn't think a panel convened to discuss a mandate that insurance companies cover birth control pills should include any women or allow any women to testify.  An all male clergy panel was sufficient since they were not discussing reproductive rights after all but merely freedom of religion.

Clearly women could not have anything productive to say about religion.  Not like we allow women in our clergy anyways.

Republican Presidential Candidate Rick Santorum referred to his wife as "the rock which I stand upon".  I hope she has a strong back!

And the one I have found most disturbing: A proposed Arizona law would allow employers to require female employees to provide medical evidence that they are using birth control pills for "non-sexual" purposes.  Not only can employers pry into the personal sexual lives of their female employees but they would be able to fire them for having sex in the first place.  Men of course are excluded here.  They can have sex when and where and with whomever they want.  No questions asked.

So women are only allowed to have sex if they are going to pop out a baby in return.  It's not like our planet is over populated or anything.  Not like we don't have fourteen-year-old girls having babies that they can't support.  Don't worry they don't have to. The government will support them.  Have a few more and the government will give you even more money.  You can sit around all day eating Cheetos and watching soap operas while the rest of us work to support your ass.

I'm sorry.  I was starting to get angry there.  That is just it though, I am pissed off about all the woman bashing circulating around Washington.

I have pretty much considered myself a feminist since college.  And while my husband and I are on the same page most of the time when it comes to women's right and equality and pulling our own weight around the house and all that good stuff, he was and still is very pissed off that I refused to completely give up my maiden name.  In fact, my father was also upset with me.  But here is the thing, I could not give up that part of me.  I had a crisis of identity after I got married.  I had been Laura Branning for 27 years and was not willing to completely abandon that part of me.  I could not just become Laura Smith.  Not only is it a completely boring name (and not Irish in any way, shape or form) but it wasn't me.  I wasn't just a piece of property that was being bartered.  My title wasn't going to be transferred from my father's name into my husband's name.  So sorry.  Too bad. 

And guess what, I have been on birth control pills since I was sixteen-years-old.  I have poly cystic ovarian syndrome and my gynecologist recommended birth control pills to help prevent me from developing cervical cancer.  I have never been pregnant.  And frankly I don't think I want to reproduce at this point.  I am pretty sure my husband and I have decided that children are not for us and we will have nieces and nephews that we can spoil and send home.  Besides my brother and sister-in-law make beautiful babies!

And *gasp* my husband and I have sex.  And *gasp* he isn't the first man I ever had sex with.  But I am a woman.  I shouldn't have sexual rights or freedoms.  Or at least I shouldn't talk about them right.  The only reason I should want to have sex is to have babies right.  

So I guess that means I am a slut right?  A prostitute?  So who wants a sex video?

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Face Shredding Didn't Suck After All!

Unfortunately, I had to come back to reality after 9 blissful days of no work or school spent visiting with friends and family in good old Canton, Ohio.  I enjoyed my spring break so much, that upon arriving back in Hillsdale, Michigan I informed my husband he would be locating a job in Canton as soon as possible.  Moving home is no longer just an idea that Andy and I have been tossing around since Christmas.  It is a plan.  It will happen.  And soon.

So I discovered that even metal music can not only be tolerable but quite enjoyable with a little (or more like a lot of) liquor.  My brother managed to convince me to buy a liter and a half of Sailor Jerry Spiced Rum as well as a liter and a half of Pinnacle Whipped Vodka for his birthday celebrations!  Shane and I decided pre-gaming it up before the concert was the best option and proceeded to match one another shot for shot!  Sarah had agreed to be our designated driver for the night so Shane and I were free to drink ourselves stupid.  And we did.  Shortly before it was time to leave, Shane's neighbor Ryan shows up with a bottle of Jack Daniels Tennessee Honey.  We get the bright idea to to mimic the 4 horseman shot and created what we dubbed the Triforce Triskellion.  Surprisingly, it was delicious . . . unfortunately, it was 6 shots later in 15 minutes delish!  By the time Sarah managed to stuff Shane and I into her car we were beyond thrashed!

                                                   Dangerous, Deady, Delishish Deviance!

Ryan made the comment that if you puke your not Irish!  I managed to match my brother shot for shot the entire night and I never puked once.  I didn't move from the couch until almost 3 p.m. on Sunday but I never threw up.  Shane, on the other hand, managed to puke behind a very disgusting dumpster at an extremely shady Circle K in a not so nice area of Akron, at the not so well kept bathroom in Peabody's, behind a tree in some very nice families yard, all over his and Sarah's bed and managed to make it into the toilet a few times as well. 

He is going to kill me when he reads this by the way! 

But we had a blast!  Sarah and him know way more about me then they ever needed to thanks to my liquor induced verbal diarrhea and I survived my first face shredding metal concert!


Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Face shredding does not sound pleasant!

So because I love my brother dearly, I bought three tickets to Children of Bodom at Peabody's in Cleveland this weekend for his birthday.  I am taking Shane and his girlfriend Sarah to Melt for dinner and then to the concert.  It will be the longest they have left Griff with grandpa since he was born so Sarah is a little hesitant as all new mothers are.  But they have agreed to have a little fun sans the little one. 

When I told Shane I had bought the tickets, his reply was, "Be prepared to have your face shredded off!"  That doesn't sound like a very pleasant experience to me though.  I am not exactly sure what face shredding involves but it can't be good.  Shane suggested I listen to some of their music before the show to prepare myself.  So this morning, I plugged Children of Bodom into Pandora and was jamming out to some death metal when Andy came downstairs.  His immediate response included something along the lines of "What the hell are you listening to!"  Not my usual Celtic rock or top 40 hits there.

Speaking of Celtic rock, last weekend my aunt and cousins drove the three and a half hours up to Michigan to see Flogging Molly and it was amazing!  They are my all time favorite band!  We rocked out and Maddie and I even braved the mosh pit!!!!  The Catholic, Irish boys were even polite enough to pick us up off the ground when we were slammed to the floor and made sure we are alright before continuing their smash fest.  Sarah commented that she would be avoiding the mosh pit this weekend though at the Children of Bodom concert.  I told her I would be joining her in that abstinence because frankly I don't think those boys will be as polite.  Though I should not judge, who knows how they will behave.  The whole concert kinda scares me though.  I have never experienced death metal live so this will be interesting.  But I need to keep an open mind and experience the music. 

I am super excited to be starting my vacation in 3 days though.  I am venturing home to visit my adorable nephew Griff and the rest of the family too!  And will be staying for 9 whole days!!  This will be my longest trip home in several years and I have lots of plans to hang with family and friends including a birthday celebration. 

Happy Birthday Bro!

Sunday, January 29, 2012

Strange Sex . . . or so my husband thinks!

So I made Andy take me out for Mexican once he finally woke up this evening and it was delicious by the way.  Yummy chile poblano!

Anyways when we got home from dinner, he turned on the television and Strange Sex was on.  My interest was immediately sparked, even though I was supposed to be baking a cake and some beer bread and oh yea studying Chemistry and A & P.  But I was intrigued.  The episode was about a very non-traditional polyamorous family.  The one husband/father had begun dating another woman and she commented that she had always been interested in a polyamorous lifestyle.  My husband decides to chime in at this point and very ignorantly claims "well that is because she is a slut".  As many of you can imagine, I just stood there glaring at him.  I would have shook my head and said he was unbeleivable but I know him better than that by now.  Shit like that comes out of his mouth all the time.

So I asked him if he really thought she was a slut, and of course the response I got was "well yea".  So then I accused him of being a sexist pig.  I, of course, tried to argue that it was a double standard and women should have the same sexual freedoms as men without the social stigma.  His response, as always, went back to science, natural selection and animal instincts.  He said we humans are pack animals like wolves and lions, where a typical pride is comprised of one male and many females.  This, allows for a greater success rate of propagating the species. The strongest male with the best genes will rule the pack spreading his seed to the next generation. 

My retort back involved a speech about how natural selection is no longer applicable in today society and how our species has grown in numbers so large there is no need for each of us to reproduce.  Plus I threw in the fact that I am infertile and can't reproduce in the first place. But he still refused to concede and still thinks that chick was a slut who just wants to sleep around. 

My usual sigh followed and then I swore at him under my breath.

Men. *shakes head*

For some reason I cannot post a reply to comments.  Frustrating!

So in response to Starshine's comment:

Oh it is!  He was saying it was alright for men to sleep with as many women as they want but women are sluts if they sleep with more than one man.  He believes polygyny is perfectly natural from a natural selection perspective but polyandry is not. The family on the show was comprised of one woman, two men and their son living together in a polyamorous relationship where no one was married but everyone was committed yet they could seek out additional partners if they so choose.  It was an interesting conversation.  You had the biologist and sociologist butting heads!

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Blame it on the vodka . . .

So that last blog post was EPIC FAIL!

I had great inspiration at one point and had plans for this cleaver and witty post but had not had the time yet to write it.  So the other night I decided I needed to write something and I forced out a dry, uninteresting and a few too many paragraphs long post, that I am sure no one finished reading.

The original inspiration came with the help of vodka though, and unfortunately, I had not had anything while writing the other night.  That was my problem.  I needed to recreate the moment of genius and alas I failed!

So I contemplated rewriting it or even deleting it altogether but then thought better of it.

Not everything I write can be a master piece right?  Not everything has to be perfect or even funny.  

It is what it is.

And I should let it be.  At least that is what Andy is always trying to tell me.  I am just too much of a perfectionist and am often my hardest critic.

So I thought maybe I would post something I was proud of having written.  We decided for our wedding that Andy and I were going to write our own vows.  I spent many hours online researching and reading and trying to decide what I wanted to say.  Much thought and love and effort went into my en devour.  Andy on the other hand showed up and asked Randy to pull up some wedding vows on his iPhone in a last minute attempt at romance since he had not prepared anything despite my prenuptial reminders.  Not surprisingly, he failed at finding anything remotely appropriate and ended up winging it in all that Andy fashion.  I am sure you can picture my face at that point . . . shaking head, rolling eyes and all.

But here is what I said for those of you who were not in attendance:

I, Laura Branning, choose you, Andrew Smith, to be my husband, my friend, my lover and the father of my children.  I vow to respect you in your successes and in your failures, to care for you in sickness and in health, to nurture you and to grow with you throughout all the seasons of life.  From this day forward, you shall not walk alone.  My heart will be your shelter, and my arms will be your home.

I cannot take credit for originality though.  They are wedding vows.  I stole all kinds of shit from all over the place and put it all together. 

And with that I shall say goodnight.

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Ellipse . . . The punctuation mark not the movie

While watching Contagion tonight one of the characters made the comment that, "Blogging is not writing.  It is just graffiti with punctuation."  (The movie sucked by the way.)

I am not sure if I want to take offense to that statement or not.  It shocked me a little and then made me giggle.  Regardless of whether it is "writing" or not according to the above statement it is still an art form.  And with that I begin my rant about punctuation, proper English and how much it irritates me some days to read Facebook statuses. 

So this may seem weird but I have a favorite punctuation mark.  I am sure the average person does not consider punctuation as fondly, but for some reason I do.  Perhaps it is because I know how to use it, unlike many of my peers.  As the title of this blog suggests, the ellipse is my favorite punctuation mark.  It is certainly not the comma.  While I know the rules for comma use, I just hate editing to make sure they are all there.  I have a tendency to miss them while writing since my thoughts are often flowing fast than I can get them on screen.  But I do love ellipses.  Looking back at blogs I wrote in college I can see I overused the punctuation mark to the point of obnoxiousness.  So my goal this time around is to not achieve that same level of obnoxious.  So why my fascination with the ellipse you ask? Well I think it has to do with its mystery, intrigue and anticipatory nature.  It says this woman has something very profound and intersting to say and is going to keep us on the edge of our seats just a moment longer.  The problem is that while I think what I have to say is interesting and exciting, I doubt my audience would agree.  So I must limit my use of ellipses.  But what I found myself doing then is using exclamation points instead.  The exclamation point  comes in a close second to the ellipse on my scale of favorite punctuation.  But not everything I say is in need of that much enthusiasm and those I must force myself to default to the boring old period. 

If you are still reading and have not closed this window due to boredom then I will tell you that it drives me utterly insane when I read "friends" Facebook statuses that lack any and all concern for proper English.  I have no qualms against occasional use of slang.  I often use slang when writing Tweets, FB posts or blogs.  But at the same time I show a clear understanding of complete sentence structure, correct punctuation usage and spelling.  I cannot stand to read statuses from peers that attended the same school as I did, and yet, cannot spell correctly or use proper grammar on FB.  In fact, I have the urge to delete them so that I do not have to look at the travesties they post all over their walls.  Maybe this pet peeve of mine started in college.  I did spend two years living with an English major!  But who knows.

Proper sentence structure and grammar usage was even a requirement for me when dating.  I did a lot of online dating over the years, before I met my husband. (Yes, I know I said a lot.  Insert whatever gratuitous comment you would like there.)  One of the most basic requirements when I was looking at dating profiles, was if they typed complete sentences.  I could tell after just a few conversations if I was going to be able to stand a guy in person just based on whether or not he knew proper English.  My husband clearly has a strong grasp on the subject and we can carry on intelligent conversations.  I do often correct his grammar though much to his dismay.  One thing Andy does do though that drives me up the wall is text talk.  I understand and encourage the need to shorten sentences while texting.  That is not a practice I take offense to.  I do take offense when my husband feels the need to say things like IKR or STFU instead of the actual words.  At first he did it out of a bad habit he picked up from playing WoW, but now he does it just because he knows it irritates the shit out of me. 

Well if I haven't bored you to death by now, I am done ranting about the English language.  

Sunday, January 15, 2012

So which me is me exactly?

You can tell my new semester has begun . . . I have not posted in a week!  And I have been too busy this weekend reading, relaxing, shoveling snow and doing homework to post until now.  But I have had a few things on my mind recently that I have wanted to explore and I think I will now so here it goes:

I have been struggling with identity for some time now.  I find myself wondering exactly who I am, what I want and what I am doing about it.  I feel like a teenager again, sometimes struggling with what Erik Erickson would call the identity vs. identity confusion stage of development.  I should have this shit figured out by now right?  I haven't been an adolescent in a very long time yet I still find myself struggling with who I am, what I believe and what I want out of life.  At my very core, I am a woman.  I like to think of myself as a strong, independent woman, who has a hard time asking for help.  But at the same time, sometimes I feel so weak and damaged that I just want to curl up in a ball in the corner and sob.  I know that I have to be strong and responsible though.  I have a house and a family and I can't go quitting my job or running away whenever the urge arises.  There are expectations and responsibilities . . . I have bills to pay and people who depend on me.  Sometimes it is almost too much to bear though.  Have you ever just thought about running away from it all?  But alas I remain.  Perhaps I remain because I am a wife.  This is a new role for me.  An exciting and scarey roll.  I made a commitment to a man that I love. A very scarey sometimes commitment.  Do not mistake that statement for regret though.  I do not regret decisions I make.  I learn from them.  Not that I am saying marriage is a mistake by any means.  It is just big, huge in fact.  I never really realized how huge until after a few months of being married.  You rearrange your whole life because there is now someone just as important as you in it.  You make concessions and compromises and you do it for love.  Being a wife has certain expectations.  Am I to clean the house and cook dinner each night?  My husband and I are more or less on the same page when it comes to expectations and we don't necessarily subscribe to traditional roles and stereotypes.  But that doesn't mean there aren't times when we disagree.  I am a sexual being as all humans are.  As a wife, there are expectations there as well.  But what happens when my needs and desires and wants don't exactly match up with my husbands?  What do I do then?

I took on the role of aunt last year as well.  And a proud aunt I am.  I have a beautiful niece and a precious nephew that I love greatly.  I am so happy for both my sister-in-laws.  They are great mothers.  But then I feel that nagging emptiness that is often associated with infertility.  I wanted so desperately to be a mother myself but have not successfully been able to conceive.  I wonder if I will ever.  At the same time though, I feel relief.  I have seen so many of my friends lives change drastically after having children. Not that children are in any way shape or form a bad thing, but they are life changers.  I appreciate my freedom.  My fur babies, whom I love greatly, require minimal effort on my part if I so desire.  I can sit and read for hours on end.  I can sleep in.  I go where I want, when I want and not have to worry.  I can lock them in cages.  I am not sure if I want to give that up.  I have been wondering if I want children at all.  Is my want for motherhood just a primitive instinctual desire?  There are plenty of babies out there.  The human race does not depend on my reproducing.  So why should I?  Maybe I won't and maybe I don't get to have actual control over that. 

For the last six years or so I have worked in banking.  So does that make me a banker?  I have a hard time identifying myself as a banker though.  It is not really a role I desire to fill.  It was a job I took because I didn't want to leave after graduation.  Didn't leave because of a man . . . no a boy . . . a childish, selfish boy who left me broken, confused and weak.  My husband was there to pick up the pieces though.  And I am thankful for that. And it is a job that I have stayed at because it was easy.  I am good at what I do.  But I have always been good at whatever it is I chose to do.  It pays the bills.  But it does not challenge me.  It does not stimulate me.  Some days are uneventful while others leave me mentally and emotionally drained.  So what do I do?  I go back to school again.  I become a student again. Take on another role.  Another me.  Student is a role I enjoy though.  The learning environment is stimulating and engaging.  It plays well into my Gemini traits.  I changed gears though.  Decided to study something that was practical not like Sociology or Philosophy.  So I am going to be a nurse one day soon, I hope.  Another role to fill.

Then I think about other labels I could adopt.  Political or religious or social roles.  And it all seems so overwhelming.  Am I a republican or democrat . . . or more likely I subscribe to neither party so what does that make me then a libertarian?  Maybe, maybe not?  I have always identified myself as a Christian but what do I truly believe?  I am not sure any more.  I wonder what is true, what is real?

So how many of these are me?  Or are they all me?  I struggle as I try to sort through all the labels and roles I could take on and attempt to decide which I want to take on and deal with those I don't have any control over.  The weight of it all is oppressive at times.

Well that is enough of my random musings and rantings for tonight.  I just keep leaving myself with unanswered and unanswerable questions.

Saturday, January 7, 2012

Why does moral relativity have to be such a dirty word?

This question is not new to me.  I spent the greater part of my four years at Hillsdale College wondering this exact same thing considering I majored in Sociology and then picked up a minor in Philosophy.  These sorts of questions do not come up much in the banking world.  But I have recently had occasion to ponder it again . . . see what I get for reading other people's blog posts!  In fact I have been obsessing over it for the last two days, and decided it would be best to turn my, only slightly bitter thoughts, into a blog post.  I will disclaim though that my intention is not to 1. over simplify morality 2. reinforce stereotypes or 3. pass judgement. So here it goes:

Moral relativism is often slung at writers/philosophers/anthropologists/sociologist as a criticism for questioning or denying moral absolutes.  Very few people are proud to stand up and say, "I am a moral relativist.  Hear me roar!"  Yet, it is empirical fact that across varying cultures there are huge discrepancies as to what is thought of as moral, right or proper.  Different cultures and essentially differing subcultures place value on different attitudes, beliefs and actions.  This is observable and indisputable (in my eyes, because I am sure someone will try to dispute it).  The real question with relativity is then, do moral absolutes truly exist?  Traditionally, especially within western thought, that answer is yes.  When I think of moral absolutes the image that instantly pops into my head are of the ten commandments.  Thou shalt have no other gods before me.  Thou shalt not worship idols.  Thou shalt not take the lords name in vein.  Remember the sabbath and keep it holy.  Honor they mother and father.  Thou shalt not kill.  Thou shalt not commit adultery.  Thou shalt not steal.  Thou shalt not bear false witness. Thou shalt not covet.  If these aren't supposed to be moral absolutes then I don't know what are.  But I can't help but think of situations where breaking one, more or all of these commandments would not only be justified but, in my eyes, would be the moral choice to make. One of the most used examples from college was Nazi Germany.  Would you hide Ann Frank in your attic and then lie to the soldiers about it?  I probably would.  I would not only feel justified in doing so but would think I was right. I would also probably bludgeon a Nazi to death given the opportunity though.  Our society worships idols everyday.  It is not only tolerated and excepted but it has become the standard.  They are called movie stars, rock stars and sports stars.  Where do you think the term "star" came from?  We used to worship them . . . bright and shining in the heavens. 

So the question is, if that is the case, that these moral absolutes cannot be applied universally, then wouldn't it follow (especially if we are followers of Immanuel Kant) that they cannot be moral absolutes.  The whole point of absolutism is that it is universal but if we study culture any we can see that moral judgements and justifications vary from culture to culture based on the traditions and practices of that culture.  Western thought, that is the Greco-Roman, Judeo-Christian traditions, dominate our culture.  It is difficult for many of us to look beyond those traditions and embrace the idea that we might not always be right.  That there are other ways of looking at the world, other perspectives to take and other courses of action that may also be right. Tolerance, acceptance and compassion are all values that Christ embodied in the Bible, yet too often I have seen Christians, and other faiths, fighting over the little details and they forget to step back and look at the big picture.  

I, for one, can appreciate a little moral ambiguity.  It keeps us on our toes.  It makes us question and perhaps reaffirm our beliefs and values. What is the point of believing something if you don't know why you believe it?  Just because someone told you to?  Is that the right reason to believe?  We have to ask ourselves these questions or we all become sheep blindly following a shepherd that may or may not be leading us to the slaughter.  This applies not only to morality and/or religion but also to politics! :)

With all that being said I make this last statement:  The complexity of humanity is often stifling.  There are no easy answers just like I do not think there are any absolutes.  We must stop thinking of the world in black and white and recognize it is all gray area where man is concerned.

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

There was snow inside the porta potty . . .

Last night we celebrated a friends birthday by going out to dinner in Adrian, which is almost an hour drive from home.  I left my car at their house and we rode together to the restaurant.  We had a lovely dinner which involved way too much food and a few too many drinks, as usual.  Our friends wanted to stay and shop, so I rode back to their house with my husband.  I did not think to pee before we left the restaurant.  That was a mistake.  As soon as we arrived at their house and I stepped out into the frigid night air, I instantly had to pee.  The house was locked and the only place between there and my home 30 minutes away was a gas station porta potty.  Not even a gas station rest room, no a gas station porta potty.  Now, I am not finicky girly, girl as some of you probably already know.  While I am cautious of porta potties, I will do what I have to do when in need.  As I opened the door, I could see illuminated solely by moon light that the porta potty was full of snow.  So I pulled up my big girl panties, or more accurately pulled them down, took a deep breath and did my business as quickly as possible.  My poor cheeks were icy by the time I made it back to the car, but I had left it running with the heat blasting full power so that I could recover as quickly as possible.  Luckily, I had hand sanitizer on my key ring.  Lesson of the night:  Pee before you leave the restaurant especially during January in Michigan because you never know when a porta potty may be your only option.

Monday, January 2, 2012

And then the cops showed up . . .

I had expected to spend my New Year's Eve enjoying the company of friends and family safely in my home.  I love hosting parties and cooking for my loved ones.  So as I typically do, I put together a beautiful and extravagant spread of food and drink to share.  But when I invite people into my home, I expect them to treat it and me with respect.  Especially, when they are supposed to be family.  But I was not going to allow anyone to destroy my home or threaten my family.  I was not going to allow even someone I am supposed to call family to disrespect me.

I am sure it would have been comical to see me in a man's face twenty years older than I, on my tip toes, chest puffed out and finger pointing but I had complete control of my actions and emotions despite my state of inebriation until the moment he busted a bottle of lime green skittles vodka all over me, all over him and all over my dinning room floor.  I lost it.  In that moment, it was like a switch flipped and I went from trying to reason with him to screaming for him to get the fuck out of my house. 

Yes, I called the police on my own party.  I called the police not because I feared for my safety but because I was about to loose control and feared for his. 

Lucky for him I did not miss the ball drop.  He did however, scare several of my friends which I am not okay with. 

Great start to a new year huh?  The weekend's events further confirm my desire to move home . . . more and more I miss my family back in Canton every day.