Category Archives: Soapbox

A Call To Post. A Call To Help Us Remember The True Heroes.

Stop the madness! Quit inadvertently glorifying the cowardly Boston Marathon bombers by posting their pictures with every Facebook post, blog post or every news story, cheering their capture. Don’t get me wrong. I’m thrilled we got the bastards. But I don’t want to remember their faces. I don’t care what they looked like. Their lives mean nothing to me.

Let’s remember these faces. The heroes. The victims. The winners.

The ones who matter.

Martin Richard (age 8), Krystle Campbell, Lu Lingzi

Martin Richard (age 8), Krystle Campbell, Lu Lingzi

Officer Sean Collier

Officer Sean Collier

Former New England Patriots player Joe Andruzzi carries a woman from the scene on Exeter Street after two explosions went off on Boylston Street near the finish line of the 117th Boston Marathon, April 15, 2013. (Bill Greene/The Boston Globe/Getty Images)

Former New England Patriots player Joe Andruzzi carries a woman from the scene on Exeter Street after two explosions went off on Boylston Street near the finish line of the 117th Boston Marathon, April 15, 2013. (Bill Greene/The Boston Globe/Getty Images)

Rita Jeptoo of Kenya and Lelisa Desisa of Ethiopia pose with a trophy at the finish line after winning the women's and men's divisions of the 2013 Boston Marathon in Boston Monday, April 15, 2013. (AP Photo/Elise Amendola)

Rita Jeptoo of Kenya and Lelisa Desisa of Ethiopia pose with a trophy at the finish line after winning the women’s and men’s divisions of the 2013 Boston Marathon in Boston Monday, April 15, 2013. (AP Photo/Elise Amendola)

Feel free to re-post. Or write your own post glorifying the real winners in this horrific event. And post images. Lots and lots of images of the victims and the heroes.

Let their faces be the ones we remember.

 

 

 

 

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Filed under In the News, Soapbox, television

If You Can’t Speak Correctly (Especially To Defend Your Case Against A School) Don’t Speak At All

If you’re going to speak to the press to defend your case?

Please.

For the love of God and your former English teachers.

Use proper grammar.

An Ohio mother, defending her 5 year-old’s right to sport a mohawk haircut, articulated (and I use that term with tongue in cheek), “They seen his hair like it was. All the little kids were going over and feeling on it and everything.”

maddoxfauwhawk

Poor little Maddox Brangelina, sporting a mohawk-do.

 

I chose to use a pic of Maddox Brangelina to protect the little 5 year old kindergartener’s innocence. Poor Maddox lost his right to privacy once his famous parents started parading him around. Awww, shoot. What am I saying? That little 5 year old Ohioan lost his right once his mother started defending his haircut in the press, complete with personal photo. 

“They seen his hair like it was.”

Yes. I’m sure they “seen it.” It’s right there, on top of his sweet, little head. I have no issues with mohawks. But apparently, the school has a policy against distracting attire. And they deem this hairstyle distracting.

Wait. You confirmed that.

“All the little kids were going over and feeling on it and everything.”

Never mind the incorrect grammar. What about your defense?

Lady, you might want to carefully consider your choice of words the next time you want to defend your God given right.

And maybe hire a lawyer to do the talking for you.

(Kudos to Lylah M. Alphonse, senior editor at Yahoo! Shine for quoting this mother verbatim. It made my day and a blog post!)

4 Comments

Filed under I'm Baffled (And Because I Love The Word Baffled), Soapbox

False Alarms and Blowing Up My Phone With Text Messages. It’s Pet Peeve Wednesday!

We’re in the middle of another weather crisis, here in the deep south.

Tornadoes. Oh-How-I-Hate-Tornadoes.

But that’s not my pet peeve.

Here.

Read on…

Don’t you hate it when someone sends a well-meaning text to all of her friends, you among them, and then everyone else replies “To All?”

This friend sent a text to all of us regarding the impending doom (a possible tornado) with more alarm than a long tailed cat in a room full of rockin’ chairs.

“I don’t need this,” I thought, “I’ve had the darn TV on all day, watching every new blip of the radar. I am more than informed.”

But then, someone replied to all.

All.

As in everyone.

Soon, my phone blew up.

“Thx”

“Thanks babe!”

“Great. I’m already out. Should I come home?”

“It’s basement time!”

“I have basement envy. But I did just go and buy some good beer!”

“Good. Bring it over!”

(Two cute little beer mugs show up on my screen.)

(Then a smiley face.)

“Hahaha. No! Get your @$$ over to MY place!”

“Don’t worry y’all. I’ll text necessary updates!”

(Me. At home. Screaming NOOOOOOO!)

“I’m debating whether to continue driving to the store or jump in my downstairs bath. What to do?”

“Jill, the rain is just going to get heavier. Get home and turn on the TV!”

“Anyone for beer?”

And now that the threat has passed…..

“Hey, Susan. I wanna see Joey’s pic from the school play yesterday. I know you have a pic!”

“Ha! Ok!”

Are you kidding me?  Yep. My knickers are in a knot. I don’t care who has beer, who is out shopping, who wants to jump in the bath or how cute your kid was in the school play. I want my phone left free for important messages from my husband stuck at work during this “killer” storm and my daughter, navigating alone miles away but also in its path.

Well, butter my butt and call me a biscuit.

The rain was a real frogwash, but no tornadoes.

I’m not complainin’ but I don’t need my friends jumpin’ the weather-man-wolf-calling-bandwagon either.

I’m just busier than a cat covering crap on a marble floor.

I don’t have time for this.

 

 

 

 

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Filed under Soapbox

Crawl Back Under Your Rock, Lance Armstrong. We Don’t Care Anymore.

Lance Armstrong. Did he dope or is he just a dope?

You be the judge.

Or not.

Does anyone really care at this point?

Apparently, there are people who do. Or at least, Oprah would like us to think we should care.

All the latest hype is for a “no holds barred” interview with Oprah, to be aired Thursday, where he is finally ready to tell all. He is “calm…at ease and ready to speak candidly.” Again, I ask. Who cares?

arstrong

I am not an expert in drug enhanced sports performance. I did not follow every speck of the Lance Armstrong doping studies. But I followed enough to determine, for myself, that with the insane amount of information collected, the fact that he was stripped of all seven titles, and a chief executive of the USADA is willing to publicly say that it was the  “most sophisticated, professionalized and successful doping program that sport has ever seen?” I’m guessing, and it’s just a guess, that Lance Armstrong was guilty of taking  illegal sports enhancing drugs.

Seriously. Does anyone else doubt it?

And now, he’s going to appear on Oprah and it’s been leaked that he’s going to apologize and offer a “limited confession?”

He is an embarrassment. Not only because he took illegal drugs but because he denied it, vehemently, for years. He is reportedly worth $100 million.  He doesn’t need to confess. We know he’s guilty. He doesn’t need to apologize. We don’t care anymore.

Instead, he should be laughing all the way to the bank.

Or, at the very least, crawl back under the rock from which he came.

13 Comments

Filed under Observations, Soapbox

Stop The Abuse. (Sorry For The Lack Luster Title. I Am Too Outraged To Be Creative.)

I don’t mean to start the new year on such a negative note but I couldn’t help myself.

I am appalled.

I recently read about a father in New Delhi, India who is outraged at the gang rape and subsequent death of his daughter. He is demanding the death penalty for the 5 suspects. While I’m not a fan of the eye-for-an-eye approach, I can certainly understand his outrage and pain. Especially in a country where rape is hidden, the woman is often blamed for the attack and police will often refuse to accept complaints. In the rare event that a case makes it to court, it “can drag on for years.”

The young woman and her boyfriend were attacked for hours, on a private bus, while it drove through police check points and then dumped, naked on the side of the road.  She fought back, biting three of her assailants. Yet, even her fighting spirit could not protect her. She died from internal injuries in a hospital, 16 days after her vicious assault.

Protesters demonstrate in front of the New Delhi police headquarters.

Protesters demonstrate in front of the New Delhi police headquarters.

The people of India are outraged, demanding justice for her and for all the other victims who have been cast aside due to archaic law and attitude. Protesters hold signs: “Punish Police. Sensitize Judiciary, Eradicate Rape.”

They are fed up with the treatment of women in this horrific crime. They are standing up, demanding protection and justice.

In a part of the world where a rape is reported once every 20 minutes.

Three times an hour.

It turns my stomach.

It made me curious, in our developed and enlightened country, a place where rape is prosecuted and women have a reasonable sense of support from our judicial system, how often rape occurs here.

Are you ready?

Are you sitting down?

Once every 2 minutes. 

Thirty times an hour.

Excuse me.

I’m going to go throw up now.

images

 

 

 

 

 

Get involved. Check out Rainn (Rape, Abuse and Incest National Network. 

 

 

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Filed under Soapbox

Honor The Privilege. Be Heard.

I honestly don’t care who you vote for today.

Okay. I care. But I care more about you exercising the opportunity to be heard.

It is a privilege. It is a gift that many people in many countries around the world are denied.

Enough said.

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Filed under Soapbox

A Simple Thank You. It’s All I Ask.

How many times a week do you take advantage of a drive-thru? More specifically, for a coffee or a quick bite?

How often do you tip at a drive-thru?

I’ve always felt odd tipping at a drive-thru. McDonald’s doesn’t expect a tip from me. Neither does Wendy’s. Nor Burger King. But Starbucks has their tip jar in prominent display. And the Sonic Drive-Ins in our area recently posted reminders to tip your drive-thru attendant, just as you would the carhop.

I proudly call myself thrifty. I blame my Scottish heritage. But I waited tables in college and think of myself as a generous tipper. I know, firsthand, how hard the job is.

But the drive-thru? You stand there. Take the order. Possibly walk 3 steps to reach the order that has been prepared for you/me and then hand it to me through a window.

And by the way, that’s your job.

There wasn’t any extra service involved. You didn’t refill my drinks, take away dirty dishes, check to make sure my burger was cooked to order. You simply took my order and handed me my order. Oh. And took my money.

My husband always tips you. He has shamed me into tipping you, too. And so, I do. Reluctantly. But never more reluctantly until now.

Recently, in the past three months or so, I’ve noticed an air of expectance when you are handing me my change. And so, I tip. And then you say, “Have a great day!”

How about “Thank you?”

Thank you is the proper response when someone gives you a gift. And that’s what a tip is. A gift. I don’t have to give it to you. Especially at a drive-thru. But I do. So, I, the generous customer, give you a little extra money for the amazing 38 seconds that I spend with you. You, in turn, should reply, at the very least, “Thank you.”

I’ve been keeping track of how many “thank yous” I receive when I give a tip at a drive-thru for the past two months. Of the eleven visits for coffee or milkshakes for the kids at Sonic or lunch at our local country cafe with a drive-thru, I’ve received one thank you.

One.

Solitary.

Thank you.

It’s not hard. It takes less than one second to say.

Instead of a thank you, I’ve received “Have a great day!,” “Come again!” and a tip of the head and a smile. But nary a thank you.

Sigh.

Common courtesy and graciousness is dying a slow death.

Even in the South.

7 Comments

Filed under Observations, Soapbox

Shame On You, First Baptist Church In Crystal Springs, MS!

Shame, shame on you, congregation of First Baptist Church in Crystal Springs, Mississippi!

Members of the church, who just happen to have black skin, wanted to be married. In their own church. And a few bad apples, who just happen to have white skin, pitched a fit – threatened to fire the pastor if he married them-because there had never been a “black” wedding in their 129 year old church.

News flash, First Baptist Church. It’s 2012. Prohibiting marriage because of skin color is old, old, even ancient, news. We’ve moved on to the gay marriage debate. Get with the program!

To my great relief, “the vast majority of Crystal Springs residents, blacks and whites alike, were “blown away” by the church’s decision.” (There is a God.)

But to my great embarassment, we made international news. (A God with a wry sense of humor and an obvious lesson in humility.)

The venue chosen. Invitations printed. RSVPs received. And then, the day before the big event?

Outrage from a few bad apples.

For shame!

To avoid marring their special day (and save his job), the pastor found another church so that the wedding may proceed.

Considering the outrage from local citizens and other church members, how about rallying around this couple and their guests, overshadow the few bad apples and allow the wedding to take place?

Just a thought.

Whatever.

It’s sad. It’s pathetic. And I apologize to my husband for not believing him when he told me about this story. (Yes, I admit it. I really was Googling it because I didn’t believe you. It wasn’t research for a blog post like I said.)

On this beautiful Sunday morn, whatever your beliefs, please say a prayer and/or send loving thoughts to the Crystal Springs couple, their family, their congregation and those few bad apples.

Not because it’s the Christian thing to do.

Because it’s the RIGHT thing to do.

29 Comments

Filed under In the News, Soapbox, Uncategorized

Hi. I’m Jane. And I Nursed My Son Longer Than 2 Years.

(Jane clears throat and steps gingerly onto her soapbox.)

Hi.

My name is Jane.

And I nursed my son longer than 2 years.

Go ahead. Start slinging the arrows. Label me crunchy granola. Slap the handcuffs on my wrists and haul me away to crazy-mommy-jail. (Do they have Starbucks? If so, I’ll go willingly.)

I didn’t plan on nursing for so long. I knew I wanted to breastfeed. (Because, after all, that IS what my breasts were designed for, contrary to popular belief.) So when my pediatrician asked me if I’d given any thought to weaning I answered, “Yes. I read it’s best to nurse until a year old. And that’s when I’m planning on stopping.” She smiled a knowing smile and handed me a pamphlet on the latest statistics (7 years ago) and said, “Well, the World Health Organization now recommends breastfeeding until age 2 or longer, whichever is best for both mother and child.”

This was new thinking for me. But after exhaustive research (because I’m really a research nerd-junkie at heart) I decided to practice “child led weaning” or natural weaning. Yes. I said natural weaning. Because if it’s forced, it is un-natural. (I’m on my soapbox so I can say this.)

Now, I wasn’t the perfect crunchy-granola mom. I tried to practice a “don’t offer, don’t refuse” approach to the “natural” weaning process. But I succumbed to societal pressures. If we were in public, if guests were visiting who wouldn’t understand, I’d gently redirect and say, “Not now.” Sometimes I’d offer an explanation. But he didn’t really care. A redirect was fine.

But the fact that I was still nursing at (OK. I’ll admit it.) 3+ years of age? It was my dirty, little secret. (And not THAT kind of dirty, little secret. If that’s what you were thinking? Please. Just leave now. There isn’t enough room in the blogosphere to convince you otherwise and I’m not about to try.)

Frankly, I find it pathetic that only 57% of women in the U.S. even try to breastfeed their baby, compared to the 98% in Sweden, Norway and 94% in Rwanda. I understand that for some women, breastfeeding isn’t an option due to health issues. I get it. I truly do. But when a 6 month pregnant woman in my bookclub says, “Oh, no. We’re not going to breastfeed. My husband  and I just aren’t comfortable with that.” And she shakes her head with disgust, with a grimace on her face? I’m the one who is disgusted. (And I tried to hide MY grimace but as you all know, I do not have a poker face.)

And I tried. I really tried not to make a comment about the fairly recent Time magazine cover “Are You Mom Enough?” with the 3-year-old nursing. But hold onto your hats, because here I go.

First of all, I never, ever, ever nursed my 3 year old standing up with him on  a step stool.

Second. If you can’t nurse for whatever physical reason? You get a big, fat automatic pass at breastfeeding. No questions asked. But if you “can’t” nurse because it grosses you (and your husband) out? Maybe you aren’t mom enough.

Third. I understand that Time was trying to elicit a response with their shocking cover. But really. Natural weaning and attachment parenting practices should be a non-issue. They are practiced all over the world. ALL the heck over. We’re the ones with the issues that we need to just get over. Plus, different strokes for different folks. Stop the judging and start supporting each other. Maybe more moms would see the light.

And D (now you really know I’m angry because I’m mixing up my argument structure), that blog that wants to punch people in a place that would really hurt because they tick them off? You can be on your soapbox but please back up your argument with facts. Attachment parenting does not mean that you nurse until your child can spell “delicious and refreshing breast milk” and they co-sleep with you until middle school. I know you’re trying out the Time magazine shock technique, but honestly? You come across sounding mean, angry, hostilely judgmental and insecure in your own parenting skills.  But since that’s the point of your blog, I’ll just stop there.

Yes. I’m a crunchy, granola mom. By accident. Because that’s what felt right for me and my child. At that time in our lives. In that moment. I didn’t ask for anyone’s permission. I didn’t ask for anyone’s opinion. I just did it because that’s what felt right. And sadly, for me anyway, I honestly can’t remember the last time my son nursed. It had tapered off to a point that one day, a day I will never remember because it felt like any other day, he decided it would be his last. He didn’t need it anymore.

As it should be.

(Stepping off my soapbox, and ducking from the arrows, I just want to say whatever is was that YOU did about feeding your infant/toddler/child? It’s your business and your business alone. I don’t care what you did. I know what I think is best but that’s just it. It’s MY opinion. Not yours. You go off and have your opinion. Just don’t want to punch me in the throat because of mine.) 

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Filed under children, Moms, Motherhood, Soapbox

Hey! Got A Spare House Payment? Great! Let’s Go To A Concert!

I am a big Pink Floyd/The Wall/Roger Waters fan. My husband? Even bigger.

So when I saw on 60 Minutes the scope and scale of the Roger Waters show that is touring the country, I was intrigued.

Three years to plan and create this rock opera extravaganza. With 42 high-definition projectors. The screen, flashing images throughout the concert, is 3 stories tall and as long as a football field. Choirs. Orchestras. And Roger Waters, of course.

My husband’s birthday is this summer and I thought, what a treat! I’ll take him to see this amazing concert. And since I get to go, too, it’s a win-win!

Fifty bucks for tickets in the nosebleeds. Hmmmm. Let’s see what it is a little closer to the action. The tickets jump to $199 and $250. And we’re still not even near the floor yet. We’re still waaaaayyyy up there. It’s a pretty huge venue.

(Cue cynical smirk.)

Wonder what the prices are for tickets on the floor?

They start at $575. Or you can pay $1250 to be right on top of the action.

One thousand, two hundred, fifty dollars.

For one ticket.

Just one.

That’s a house payment. Or college tuition payment. Or a monthly paycheck for a teacher.

Twelve hundred dollars and change for the opportunity to be entertained for a few hours.

I’m appalled.

And then I stumble upon this piece about Roger Waters being thrilled that he was able to see Jimi Hendrix and Cream back in the 60’s for about 2 bucks. Recounted as the “deal of his life” Waters said, “It might have been the best purchase I ever made.”

Where is our deal, Mr. Waters?

I am so sick of celebrities: wearing their armbands of support, wearing t-shirts and hats screaming their favorite charity, lending their name and face to a philanthropic endeavor, pleading with us to give all we can and then turning around and agreeing with the venue to charge us a thousand bucks to see them play. I realize the star doesn’t receive all of the profit. But c’mon. A thousand dollars? You’re kidding me, right?

So, I’m curious. What charities does Roger Waters want me to support?

I go to looktothestars.org and search his name.

And this is what I find:

“Charities & foundations supported

None known – if you know of one, please drop us an email”

Not surprising.

Sigh.

We’re not going. Even to sit in the nosebleeds.

I still love the music.

But I am no longer a fan.

(I know there are artists out there that refuse to deal with certain venues or ticket sellers because of outrageous pricing. If you know of any, please list them in the comments section below. Those are the artists I want to support.)

11 Comments

Filed under Music, Soapbox