Thursday, February 26, 2009

Go for your yearly and Get the flu!

Why is it when a perfectly healthy person goes to the doctor for a physical, the result is usually something that death would alleviate? Why don't doctors have a separate office and lab space for people who are healthy and don't need to be exposed to everything from a mere cough to pneumonia.

Last week I go for my regular and, of course, they need urine and blood. I was careful in regards to what I touched, where I sat, and how close I stood. I was armed with my Mr. Monk antibacterial wipes and thought I was safe from contamination. WRONG! I spent the entire night on my knees praying to the porcelean god of vomitusion and he paid no heed to my dire requests to cease and desist. I must say that the whole thing only lasted 12 hours though it felt much, much longer. My headache still persists on sticking around but it is much more appreciated than those other symptoms. And I think I lost five pounds!

Maybe this was a virus sent to me via internet from my good friend Niki! And I was hoping she was feeling better.....hmmmmm.

Sunday, February 22, 2009

By working hard, old man, I hope to make something good one day. I haven't yet, but I am pursuing it and fighting for it . . . .” Vincent Van Gogh

I accomplished quite a bit this week. First I completed my final project for my computer course which included a memo to my fictitious boss expressing the need to improve an IT program that had not been updated in 12 years, spreadsheets of computers, costs, services, etc., so comparable analyses could be done and a power point slide show to present my findings. (As if that weren't enough to give me a headache.) I am someone who doesn't do anything by half measure and began the research on this project weeks ago, finding true and accurate material so that I could draw an educated conclusion from my studies. Yet, this week someone in my class asked the following question, "Do we have to look this information up or can we just make it up as we go?" Imagine my surprise when the professor answered, "You can make it up. The final project is about being able to prepare Excel spread sheets and Power Point presentations, not about the research." Well, F*@& me! Wonder if I'll get extra credit for the research....

My second project was the final draft of my persuasive essay. I was having a rather difficult time coming up with something I needed to persuade others to believe. The night before it was due I remembered the essay we had to read by Jonathan Swift in which he suggested that the Irish eat their young in order to alleviate the famine problem in their country. It was a bit gruesome but a valid argument nonetheless, and led me to begin my exploration in regards to changing adulthood legally to occur at 21 (my previous post). I will not bore you all with my final project but I found more research, I perfected my arguments and I completed my assignment with several days to spare. I find that I do not like spending three or four weeks on one small project such as a persuasive essay. I get bored and lose interest...makes me question whether I could actually be a writer of novels if I can't concentrate on a freaking persuasive essay....

Finally, today, I completed my computer class final exam. It only took me 2 hours and 15 minutes of the allotted 3 and a half hours, but I managed and I believe I did well. Up until this moment I was running on a 100% in that class. I doubt if I made a 100% on the exam, but wouldn't that be a boost to my flailing ego. But even completing the course with an A would solidify my now jellied belief that I AM smarter than this machine.

So I step back from my educational pursuits for a week, taking a much needed cerebral break to recharge and prepare for the next block of courses which include Algebra and Nutritional Science. Heehaw! Now doesn't that sound like fun? If these two classes don't drive me to drink, nothing will!

Saturday, February 14, 2009

Twenty-One, A Government Mandated Age of Maturity

It began in the 1970’s when states took it upon themselves to change the legal drinking age from 18 for wine and beer to 21 for all alcohol. Students and young adults across the nation were angered that this Rite of Passage was denied them after so many years in anticipation of its forthcoming. Petitions were written and protests were formed, both sides having valid and strong arguments for their defense of what they felt was right. These arguments were put forth and have been debated on a regular basis since the first legal limit was changed. But it is my belief that we are fighting to change the wrong law. Let us keep the twenty-one year old drinking age in place and use it as a guideline for everything else. In other words, have the government mandate the age of maturity as twenty-one years and make it law that all adult responsibilities and pleasures are limited to only those who have attained this legal age of permissible adult rights and privileges.

One of the biggest privileges as an adult is the right to vote. To have the honor of choosing our leadership should be limited to mature and responsible human beings. The voting choices placed in front of an individual can be overwhelming especially if the voter is not old enough to fully comprehend or appreciate this heavy responsibility. The drinking law proves that the government presently does not feel an 18 year old is responsible enough to make the right decision when it comes to alcohol (not just wine or beer but any alcohol) so therefore it can be assumed that the government does not feel an 18 year old is responsible enough to make any major decisions to include voting for an elected official. This is further stressed by our own Constitution that states no one can serve in an elected position until the age of 25. The logical course would follow that even our own government believes only those old enough to make decisions are intelligent enough to make the right decisions. Hence, the 21 years old Government Mandated Age of Maturity (21GMAM) would apply to the legal age of voting and the right to choose any and all elected officials in every State of the Union.

Another grossly debated point made in this continued under-age drinking argument is the fact we have 18 year olds (and younger) serving in the military. Some of these young people have had the sacred honor of fighting (some sacrificing their very lives) in wars in order to keep us and the rest of the free world safe, a grievous burden that should not be placed on the shoulders of these teenagers. And these same young adults who dedicate their lives to the protection of American freedom cannot even partake in a pint of beer after blasting the brains out of our enemy. This problem can be completely eliminated by the 21GMAM which would not allow anyone under the age of 21 to serve in any of the armed forces. That law would work twofold by eliminating the entire old enough to carry a gun but not old enough to drink argument and as well as guaranteeing that only our adults are getting killed serving in our military. Our children would not have to be sacrificed for our freedom. It also may increase the number finishing high school and maybe, continuing to higher education which in turn would make for a more productive and educated adult society decreasing the need for such things as government supported services aimed at those persons under the age of 21.

And to continue on the decreasing need theme, the driving age should be changed to 21 as well. Insurance premiums for teenage boys 18 to 21 are higher than those of adults (though it usually decreases for both sexes at 25). Why not save money and expense across the board and not allow anyone under 21 behind the wheel? This would limit insurance companies’ abilities to set premiums due to age and sex as 21GMAM would verify adulthood and responsibility for both males and females. This law would also rectify a plethora of other issues to include (but not limited to) fewer vehicles (all those driven and/or owned by teens) on the highways, teens talking on cell phones while driving, teens laughing and chatting with other teens in the vehicle while driving, teens searching for the songs on iPods and radios while driving, teens texting teens while driving, and teen drivers racing vehicles against other teen drivers. Circumstances such as these are factors resulting in the following statistics; “motor vehicle crashes are the leading cause of death for 15-20 year olds” and “77% of teen crashes involved avoidable driver errors” (as posted on the Arizona Driving School website). These types of fatalities can be completely eliminated under the 21GMAM Law. And finally, this law would prevent teens from using their vehicles to partake in sexual activities.

This works as a great segue into another issue that is rampant in society today and could be eliminated with the 21GMAM; underage sex and its financial and social ramifications. These would be decreased if only individuals of legal adult age could partake in the pleasures of the flesh. It should become law that no one under the age of 21 be allowed carnal knowledge of another without the threat of physical incarceration of the teen and monetary fines to be paid by a teen’s parent(s). Any child conceived from such an illegal means should be put into homes sponsored and paid for by Pro-Life and/or religious organizations. This would lower teen pregnancies, would slow the advancement of STDs among the younger generation, and therefore have a positive effect on the population, sexual health and moral problems plaguing society today.

I realize that the 21GMAM would mean that we would need special facilities to house these types of criminals; after all, one does not want to put an underage drinker or sexually promiscuous teen in the same facility as a hardened, violent criminal. But I feel they could be put into the public housing being utilized by those welfare adults and their families who refuse to find employment that are burdening our society. The orphanages, now sponsored by pro-Life non-profit organizations, can reopen to house the children born to those giving birth under the age of 21, which in turn would provide jobs and housing for the unemployed who used to live on food stamps and welfare in the government housing now being utilized by criminals. The children in these facilities can be raised to take low-income employment (construction, manufacturing or leisure hospitality jobs) which would eliminate the illegal immigration problem that is rampant in our country. It is true that the automobile industry as well as the oil industry would suffer as the number of vehicles on the road would decrease drastically, but the result would be lower toxic emissions in the atmosphere and a greener America which would put a smile on the faces of the left-wing liberals who would probably find issues with the 21GMAM law. And finally, our children would not be dying on foreign soil in a war begun by a leadership voted into office by legal, mature, responsible, twenty-one year old adults.

Valentine's Day's Symbol of Love and Romance

My daughter and I were discussing Valentine traditions yesterday when a dozen roses was brought into the conversation. Neither of us quite understand cut flowers as being a symbol of lasting love. Yes, they are beautiful and, yes they smell devine (sometimes), but they don't last long. I suggested they were a symbol of romance, which can be fleeting, and not love, which can be lasting. She suggested that people should can the cut flowers and purchase plants that when nurtured, like love, will grow. I told her I would make that suggestion. So, all of you people out there, we are reinventing Valentine traditions which from hence forth will include the giving of live plants (to symbolize lasting love) and cut flowers (to symbolize a quick toss in the hay). You will know what your sweetheart wants by the gift you receive. Please pass it on!

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Another interesting Blog by Mr. Rugare

I was just cruising through my neighborhood blog sites, catching up on my reading and trying to discover interesting tidbits that I could use in my persuasive essay, when I fell into this wonderful, witty bit of thoughtfulness presented by Mr. Tony Rugare. It centers around cliches and their present use and his interpretations of them as well as where some were originated.

An example of his perusing follows:

"Is “ let the wine breathe” a cliché? It is certainly overused and maybe even a questionable practice. Personally I prefer to aid the breathing by applying CPR to a glass of wine. "
Posted by Museful

Yes, these are fun. If you have a moment, go on over and check it out. I'm sure it will put a smile on your face as well as an idea or two in your head!

Monday, February 9, 2009

Higher Education

I needed a college/unversity that would allow me to take only online courses as working at the Bed & Breakfast didn't give me a set schedule and I really wasn't sure where I would be in 6 weeks let alone one year. I was hoping a college such as Mary Baldwin or James Madison would have fallen into this category, but alas, this was not in the cards. So, after much research I chose an online university with the hopes of getting through this education process rather quickly and with as little pain (financially and mentally) as possible but with a degree in an accredited school. So far so good, but I am now questioning my choice.

I am taking a Creative Writing course, not English 101 but something that should be taken after one understands sentence structure and grammer. Yet, I have three, maybe four, students in my class who do not seem to have a grasp of the English language let alone comprehending basic writing and vocabulary skills. And now I am left to wonder what was the point of entrance and placement exams if anyone who can barely read English can take these courses. Worse still, will having a degree from DeVry actually be beneficial? Guess I need to graduate to find out!

Saturday, February 7, 2009

Love Under the Catalpas

The baby’s cries echoed through the monitor. My daughter sat frigid, her arms crossed tightly against her chest. With each decibel the baby’s voice increased in volume, Bravard’s patience dropped. Another high wale caused her to clinch her teeth and a tear squeezed from her closed eyelid.

I went into my room in search of my bag of those orange, foam barrels that could be squeezed to fit snuggly in one’s ear preventing sound penetration. I found them under the bed with several dust bunnies and a forgotten crossword puzzle.

I put the little bag in my daughter’s lap and kissed her wet cheek. “I’ll rock him a bit and you try to get some sleep.”

“Mom, I’ve tried that, nothing is working!” Her frustration was palpable. I just patted her cheek and headed to the baby’s room.

Michael had worked himself into a tizzy. He was standing and turned his head toward the door when it opened. When he saw me he fell onto his bottom then to his back sobbing louder. His poor face was sopping wet and bright red with pain and frustration. Teething was hard enough cutting one or two, but this little guy was getting a mouthful at once.

I cradled his body to my chest as I made my way out the front door and into the spring air. The catalpa trees in the yard stretched to the top of the old farm house. They were fully dressed, covered in new green leaves the size of dinner plates. Mother Nature had done a fantastic job this year, adding pearly jewels that the breeze rained upon earth. When they floated past their fragrance, something between frangipani and orange blossom, lingered.

I walked down the steps and toward the hammock strung tautly between two trees. Someone had used it earlier and the old, stained quilt lay across the woven mesh.

Gently I sat. As I hugged my grandson the hammock hugged me. Leaning back against the cotton I noticed how beautiful the last of the daffodils and the tulips were. They bowed and waved, dancing to nature’s music; young birds sang as they found love for the first time, squirrels chattered excitedly over a horde of nuts, bees gathered pollen to make their golden sweetness, lilies of the valley, those tinkling bells that only garden gnomes and fairies can hear, rang gently in the breeze.

As I relaxed more fully and pushed at the damp dirt with my bare toes, I was surprised at the myriad of color. I never realized there were so many shades of green. The hammock rocked and the colors changed, darkening through the layers of thickness, lightening as the sun’s rays pushed their way down to my face.

I heard several cows conversing somewhere in the near distance and the neighbor’s dog barked an answer.

And the baby laughed. I turned my head toward little Mikey and noticed a catalpa flower had spiraled downward landing on his face. Several others were parachuting toward us and they spun lazily on their ride to earth. Mikey swung his arms outward in excitement, his eyes wide and unfocused on the display that was taking place above us.

I kissed his forehead and began to sing quietly. “Go to sleepy little baby….go to sleepy little baby….it’s just you and me and the devil makes three…you know I love you little baby….” My foot kept the hammock swaying slowly.

A cloud moved overhead blocking the warmth of the sun. I continued humming but was reminded of all that was going wrong with my life; my partner had really messed up the money and was losing the house and business, my husband of twenty plus years had packed his things and begun a new life with someone he loved more than me, my mother had died, I was no longer communicating with my Dad or my sisters, and I was dead broke. At that moment I felt small, fragile, lost and without want of breath.

I noticed the gentle fuzz of the baby’s hair brush my cheek as he turned his face to me. His eyes, not quite green but still not brown opened and he gazed into my own, now old, grey and sad. And I saw love. My heart swelled so much that I thought, “If I die right now, I will die the luckiest person in the world.” Love filled me; I mean it really filled me. It made me breathe deeply. It pushed against my ribs and raced through my veins. And the sun returned and warmed the earth again.

Yes, I found love, right there, on that old hammock, under the catalpas, in the eyes of my grandson.

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Remembering the past

Have you ever noticed how you can be doing the most mundane chore and this colorful memory comes flying out of nowhere implanting itself in your mind's eye where it remains, lifelike, vibrant and constant for a long time? Sometimes it leads to other memories, just as silly but just as emotionally searing. Sometimes those little nuances of time past, the little traits that one takes advantage of are the things that are missed the most when a person is no longer in your life. Licking q-tips before cleaning an ear, biting a lip in concentration, absentminded touches of a pinky as reassurance of someone's presence. And you wonder if thoughts of you fall into memories of those who have gone away to live distant and separate lives. Does that someone ever get a glimpse of something you did that was insignificant but so special? Does it glue itself into their memory bank making them catch their breath? Does it matter?

My father always said there were three stages in life; the first stage is when you are worried about what everyone thinks about you. The second is when you don't care if they think about you or not. And the third is when you realize no one was actually thinking about YOU to begin with. Thinking about you and remembering you....are they so different?

Monday, February 2, 2009

Just wanted to see his precious face on my blog. This is my grandson, Mikey. He is a ball of fire! He turned one on the 7th and the doctor said he was more like a three year old. It's Kyle all over again, size-wise. 32 inches long, 32 pounds. I will say my arms are getting toned!
Posted by Picasa

Sunday, February 1, 2009

A warning

I haven't written in quite awhile. Didn't lose the desire and would have loved having this little area to vent, but was afraid someone would read it and get hurt. It has happened before, so I stopped writing anything that I was feeling only adding a little fluff here and there for those who may want to venture here. I find though, now, that I need a space to reflect, to review, to rant and rave, and I cannot worry about the feelings of others in the process. So, if anyone ever reads this, sees something that can be taken personally, I do not apologize. I do not regret the words I've written or plan to write and I will not soften their blows. This is not your window for venting it is mine, and if you cannot take the words in my heart and in my head, do not venture further.