Wednesday, January 31

My New Title

My Peculiar Aristocratic Title is:
Her Grace Lady Stacey the Bewildered of Wimblish upon Frognaze
Get your Peculiar Aristocratic Title

Monday, January 29

Regarding a much maligned industry

Pharma accounted for 43 percent of all U.S. giving:

Donations made in the U.S. totaled $7.8 billion, and pharmaceutical companies contributed 43 percent of this total. No other industry even comes close to matching the donations from pharmaceutical companies, reported Drug companies gave $5,585 on a per-employee basis. The world's second most generous industry, media and publishing, gave $1,549 per worker.

I'm not saying the industry is perfect by any means. I'm simply saying I was happy to see this, since I'm currently part of said industry.

I'm not personally giving 13% of my income to charity, so, maybe I should take a lesson.

Thursday, January 25

For those of you who really *know* me...

... or, "My Boyfriend is Funny."

Todd and I took a drive to Cissna Park, Illinois to retrieve his belongings in storage. On the way back, we were talking about all kinds of cheerful things. For example, I was telling Todd that if I should die young (God forbid!) that I wish to be cremated and sprinkled -- liberally -- in Portugal or CuraƧao or somewhere fabulous. He says, "I'm pretty sure I'll die before you will."

I say, "Well, I'm just saying, if I die in a freak bow-hunting accident..." [I'm already laughing]

Todd says, "A freak napping accident is far more likely."

I laughed so hard I almost peed my pants.

Sunday, January 21

Famous Drag Queens

1. Misty Fjords
2. Ladies and gentlemen, I'm proud to introduce, all the way from Korea... Kim Chee!
3. Crusty Duvet
4. Beverly Napkins (Bev Naps!)
5. Nuclia Waste

Tuesday, January 16

Nice one, John.

I hate to see you cry
Lying there in that position
There's things you need to hear
So turn off your tears
And listen

Pain throws your heart to the ground
Love turns the whole thing around
No it won't all go the way it should
But I know the heart of life is good

You know, it's nothing new
Bad news never had good timing
But, then your circle of friends
Will defend the silver lining

Pain throws your heart to the ground
Love turns the whole thing around
No it won't all go the way it should
But I know the heart of life is good

Pain throws your heart to the ground
Love turns the whole thing around
Fear is a friend who's misunderstood
But I know the heart of life is good
I know it's good

Monday, January 15

Another Good Quote

"Service is the rent we pay for being. It is the very purpose of life, and not something you do in your spare time."

--Marian Wright Edelman

Friday, January 12

Tony Campolo Brilliance

"Evangelicalism getting wedded to the any political party is like ice cream mixing with horse manure. It's not going to hurt the horse manure (i.e. the republican party, and I would say the Democrat Party is also horse manure so don't get the wrong idea), but it sure will mess up the ice cream."

Tuesday, January 9

Not so teensy anymore, but still the cutest puppy EVER!


Thursday, January 4

Giving and Getting

We all have things that say to us, “I love you”. For most of my life, those things were stuff that my mother does on a regular basis, like, keep clean towels in the linen closet, fix dinner, and know where everyone is. When we go visit someone, it says “I love you” if they’ve made up the guest room (or guest couch) with clean sheets, laid out fresh towels, and planned ahead for at least the first dinner you’ll have with them.

When I was a kid and we went to visit mom’s parents’ for Christmas, there were always card games going, people dropping by, and food being prepared in abundance. Tablecloths were pressed, trees were decorated, and presents were wrapped. People rushed out the front door to hug you and say how glad they were that you’d turned up to visit. “Come in, sit down, what do you want to drink? Let me help you with your suitcase.”

Those things still say “I love you” to me, but I’ve learned to understand other languages, too.

When we went to my dad’s parents’ for Christmas, there were games of solitaire going. My grandmother didn’t look up super often from her crossword puzzles to visit. When you arrived after a harrowing trip through a sandstorm, the attitude was mostly, “Hi. You drove through a sandstorm, did you?” I don’t ever remember people coming around to visit or many company-esque dinners being prepared. (I’m illustrating here. Hang with me, they were also wonderful.)

If all your life people had indicated their love for you by preparing in advance and acting real enthusiastic and excited that you’d come to see them, you can see where not preparing in advance and acting neutral about your presence might feel like, “Huh, I don’t really love you that much.”

For my dad’s folks, they most certainly were not saying, “Huh, don’t really love you”. They were saying, “This is how we do things here.” They showed love in other ways, like building sterno-powered paddle-boats for the swimming pool, letting their excitable granddaughter throw a luau in the back yard, and writing letters when we were not nearby.

This is where it gets tricky.

If your first language is, say, English, and the native language of the person you love is, say, French, and he or she says to you, “Je t’aime” They actually ARE saying “I LOVE YOU.” They just aren’t saying it in your native language. So, this requires some emotional intelligence. Do you accept “je t’aime”? Or do you insist on “I love you”? Further, do you accept that the one who was home all day and did not prepare dinner while you were at work does not mean, “I don’t love you”? Do you accept other languages?

My solution, which I’ve only come to through time and destroyed marriage, is that (for me) both are acceptable, and needed. I have learned to recognize “I love you” in forms that are not my native language. Sure, the kitchen might not be clean (um, I didn’t clean it, either…), but there is conversation, and at least one intricate story to be told/listened to. There are thoughtful gifts, questions about my day, and speculations about a shared future. These are all “I love you”.

When I need to hear it in my native language, I ask for it. For this to work for me, I have to believe that asking for something I need doesn’t devalue it. Over-romanticizing things and pretending like my friends should KNOW my native language doesn’t result in receiving what I need. I believe these things wholeheartedly.

When I ask in plain language for something specific and easily provide-able, and then don’t get it, *that* can be an indication of anti-love. If I don’t ask and don’t get? That’s an indication that I didn’t ask.

Tuesday, January 2

For the New Year

One of my favorite quotes, from Marianne Williamson:

Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate.
Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure.
It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us.
We ask ourselves, “Who am I to be brilliant,
gorgeous, talented, fabulous?”
Actually, who are you not to be?
You are a child of God.
Your playing small does not serve the world.
There is nothing enlightened about shrinking
so that other people won't feel insecure around you.
We are all meant to shine, as children do.
We were born to make manifest
the glory of God that is within us.
It's not just in some of us; it's in everyone.
And as we let our own light shine,
we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same.
As we are liberated from our own fear,
our presence automatically liberates others.

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