OMGOMGOMGOMG

Monday, August 15, 2016

I MUST GO SEE THIS MOVIE.


Link Me Up, Scotty - Give the kids a chance edition

Wednesday, August 10, 2016

For the first time, the Olympic Committee is fielding a "Refugee Olympic Team" comprised of refugee athletes who will still get an opportunity to compete in spite of their countries and communities being in turmoil. This makes my heart happy.
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Michael Barrett, who leads Missouri's Public Defender system, has assigned the job of defending one of his indigent clients to...the Governor of Missouri. Now I want to marry Michael Barrett and have his babies.
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An Army vet and Purple Heart recipient was really offended when the Trumpsicle accepted that Purple Heart during his fundraiser in Nantucket. So he created a GoFundMe page to raise money to send the Trumpscile to a combat zone so he could actually earn that medal. The success of the page (and where the money is really going) tickles me no end.
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The Guardian takes on the challenge of being a sportscaster reporting on female athletics. "NEWS REPORT: [Female Athlete] did [sports] today. [Describe sports.] THE END. Sportswriting accomplished!" Why can't some men keep their sexy-time feelings out of their jobs?

H/T Sister Jeri
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The late Captain Khan's combat brigade commander has a few words for those who would disrespect and dishonor his and his family's sacrifice. Here's the thing I don't understand about the Trumpsicle's remarks on this matter: Gold Star families are a sacred cow in this country. Only a bloody idiot would disrespect them while running for public office. But I don't believe the Trumpsicle is an idiot. He's a sociopathic reprobate, but not an idiot. So is he deliberately tanking his own candidacy so he can claim the election was "rigged" when he gets shellacked? Or is he so very thin-skinned that he's willing to tank his own candidacy because he just can't shut the fuck up when someone has the temerity to criticize him? It's probably both, but I find his psychopathy endlessly fascinating. And, apropos of everything:

This morning's tally from Nate Silver's 538 2016 Election Forecast
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I'm posting this one for the Smart Man - guitar players' minds are unique. Like THAT's news.
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An article on how "Makerspaces" can transform libraries. Our own library district is moving in this direction, too. But we need to get our three new libraries open, first.
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Your feel-good story of the day: Bride tracks down the recipient of her father's donated heart and asks him to walk her down the aisle in her father's stead. And of course he said "yes." THERE'S SOMETHING IN MY EYE.
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Humpback whales around the world on are duty against orcas who are trying to hunt a meal. Inter-species cooperation and protection. Tell me again how whales aren't sentient creatures.
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An article about communal narcissism. At first I thought this might apply to me (because everything pertains to me, dontchuno), but when I read on (and thought about the quiz), I decided no, not even a little. Hurray! A mental health problem I cannot claim as my own!
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You want to know what irritates Atheists? THIS.
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Humans of New York is doing a new series entitled "Invisible Wounds" which focuses on our returning veterans and their unique stories. Well worth your time, especially for civilians.
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A woman with ovarian cancer decided to stop treatment after thirteen years and prepares for her death. These conversations are so, so important.
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Video of my Heart: Coleman Sweeney is the world's biggest asshole.

H/T BrainDoc

Link Me Up, Scotty - Get Your Groove On Edition

Wednesday, August 3, 2016

Are you a Harry Potter fan? Consider joining the Harry Potter Alliance, a charitable group brought together by their love of the Potterverse and dedicated to making the world a better place.
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It appears that the AARP is funding ALEC, so now I'll have to dump my membership in a huff. If you don't know what ALEC is, check out this Bill Moyers report on the organization, and learn about how they bypass our democracy like the shitweasels they are.
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The Military Sealift Command (MSC) will name one of its new oilers after gay rights advocate and Navy veteran Harvey Milk. Those are MY shippies.
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John Scalzi on Hillary Clinton, and the ethos of service. Say what you want about Hillary Clinton (and I know you will), but she has lived a life largely defined by her dedication to service. Since service is a core value for me, I find this characteristic in her worthy of my admiration and respect.
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The indomitable Margaret and Helen provide their opinion on the Trumpsicle and how miracles can happen. I love these ladies.
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Shortly after we lost Moe, I commissioned a piece of art from some artists who were her friends. That piece is now available for purchase from the group's RedBubble page, as well as the piece depicting Moe as the "Champion of Stars."
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A retired Army General offers his opinion not on our presidential candidates, but on why retired Generals and Admirals should keep their opinion of our presidential candidates to themselves. Indeed. At least pretending to be impartial towards who sits in the Oval Office allows both parties to trust their senior military leadership when they have to make life-or-death decisions for our Armed Forces. This should be a no brainer, but of course it isn't, given today's extremely polarized political climate.
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From the What the Fuck Files: Malawi's "Hyena Men" are paid by parents to have sex with their daughters, some as young as 12 years old. Extra special fucked up bonus: The man featured in this story is HIV positive, and did not disclose that fact to the parents who hired him.
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Video of my Heart: Khizr Khan, the father of a fallen Army Captain, speaks at the DNC and tears my heart out. The look on his wife's face is one that I recognize from my own mirror, and together they give a powerful message.

So instead of doing the smart thing (never mind the RIGHT thing) and thanking their dead son for his service, or least just shutting the fuck up for a change, OF COURSE that ignorant tool who passes for a presidential candidate tried to criticize them, saying that HE, TOO, HAS MADE SACRIFICES. Like...having to pay off his first wife when she accused him of raping her? Eating his caviar Luke-warm and from a metal cup? 

Thus, he earned a well-deserved spanking from Gold Star Mother Ghazala Khan. How can anyone believe that this entitled bully is the best that America's Republicans have to offer? THE MIND BOGGLES.


The price we pay for love

Sunday, July 31, 2016

Today marks the third anniversary of my daughter's death.

I don't cry as often now. I'm not as emotionally fragile. Her death no longer touches every single aspect of my life, every single day. I'm surrounded by people who love and support me, and grieve with me and for me when the need arises.

But not a day goes by where I don't think of her, where some small thing reminds me of her, and what the world has lost in her passing. Not a day goes by when her picture doesn't make my heart ache, and I wonder if I'll ever get over this pervasive grief.

And what I've learned is that the answer is no. I will never get over it. It will live in my heart forever, alongside my love for my Moe-Moe, a dull ache that will never go away. And I've learned that while the grief hasn't lessened, I've become better at bearing it.

Bearing the burden that is a lost child requires practice, patience and perseverance, and as time goes by, my own emotional life has grown around my grief. I've read that bearing this kind of grief is like training for a marathon - the longer you practice, the better you get. You're still covering the same distance, but you become more efficient in covering those miles.

The loss of my daughter still stabs at my heart like a knife. But I'm more efficient now in managing that pain, in performing the emotional labor that goes with rebuilding my emotional resilience and my life in the new reality that is life-without-Moe. The road that is my life will always be permeated by the grief of losing her, always. For me, losing this overlay on my life would mean that I've also lost my love for my baby girl, and that will never happen. This is the price we pay for love, and I'll gladly pay it for the privilege of being her mother, for the privilege of having known her and loved her.

So I'll keep training, doing the emotional labor required to improve my efficiency in managing my grief, and keep her memory alive through love and deed. It's the best I can do, and the most I can hope for.


Link Me Up, Scotty - The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly Edition

Wednesday, July 27, 2016

Pal Rachael talks about Pokémon Go, and why it's a fun game for all ages. The only thing she's wrong about is that team Blue is not the best team. That would be team Red.
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My favorite Christian Pastor on why he'll never support the Trumpsicle.
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Are you a Harry Potter fan? Then it's unlikely you support Lord Voldemort the Trumpsicle for the Presidency, according to a University of Pennsylvania study. READING IS FUNDAMENTAL, Y'ALL.

H/T Sister Ellen
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John Scalzi with commentary on the GOP convention, otherwise known as the biggest flaming shit-sack of the century. I really miss the days when the GOP fielded candidates I would actually consider.
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From the "people are awesome" files: a construction worker named Jason Haney was working on a building next to a hospital. So he and his daughter made an 8' "Waldo" and he hides it several times each day somewhere on the site for the hospitalized kids to find. The project has its own Facebook page, and the family is now working on some cut-out Minions for their next project. THERE'S SOMETHING IN MY EYE.
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A compelling analysis of the appeal of Donald Trump, or why your friends and neighbors who support him aren't necessarily idiots and racists (although they might be). 

H/T Brother Seth
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In Louisville, KY, there's a group of black teen boys who roam the community, looking for yards to mow. For free. They won't accept payment for their work from the homeowners, many of whom cannot get out and mow their own lawns, but they do have a GoFundMe page to help maintain their equipment (which wears out fast), and to fund an annual chartered trip to Disney World for the boys who choose to participate.

H/T Brother Vince
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LeBron James has donated approximately $41M to send 1,100 kids from his home public school district to college on full scholarships. Sports don't interest me much, and quite frankly I think the salaries that professional players at James' level demand says more about our values as a community than I want to know. But I do respect those who have been given much, and choose to give in return. Bravo, LeBron.
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A reminder to foster our inner light in times of trouble. Good advice at any time.
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Video of my Heart: Ward+Robes creates designer hospital gowns for very ill teens. I love this idea so very much. Science can give these kids the best chance of recovery, but being a sick teen is hard enough without being unable to explore your individuality. Brava!

H/T Sister Carolyn


Link Me Up, Scotty - Count your blessings edition

Wednesday, July 20, 2016

A year in the life of the migrant farm workers who pick blueberries. Tell me again how people of color are taking jobs away from HARD WORKING AMERICANS. This is a terribly difficult life, not only for the adults, but for their children who must move with the harvest.

H/T Steve
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If you've asked yourself "how the fuck can Donald Trump be the Republican candidate for President?" here's a syllabus of readings that help explain the rise of the Trumpsicle.
The readings below introduce observers to the past and present conditions that allowed Trump to seize electoral control of a major American political party. By extension, this syllabus acknowledges the intersectional nature of power and politics. The course emphasizes the ways that cultural capital like Trump’s grows best under certain socio-economic conditions. Trump’s open advocacy for race-based exclusion and politically motivated violence on matters both foreign and domestic cannot be separated from the historical and day-to-day inequalities endured by people of color, women, and religious minorities living in or migrating to the United States. Concerned less with Trump as a man than with “Trumpism” as a product of history, this course interrogates the connections between wealth, violence, and politics.
There's a lot to digest here. I better get to reading.

H/T Sister Ellen
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A person of privilige unpacks why he's a racist, in spite of himself.

H/T Debbie the Librarian
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Stephen Colbert's RNC Bingo Card. I'm afraid I won't be playing this year - the idea of watching those paragons of intellectual ability Scott Baio and Jerry Falwall is too much for me to handle.

H/T Steve
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Popehat's Ken White on the dangers of cynicism.
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Check out these Depression era library posters. We've come a long way, baby.

H/T Sister Carolyn
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An important note on why it's important not to let politics or the election get in the way of nurturing your relationships or providing meaning to your life. The money quote:
But the greatest mistake you could ever make, is either believing that hope is lost or that salvation is secured simply because of what transpires on Election Day. No human being gives your life meaning or renders it meaningless.

You get to decide that: with your voice, your hands, your words, your breath.
Just so. While I'm passionate about my political opinions and will absolutely vote my conscience, I determined earlier in the year to stop discussing politics with people I care about (with a few rare exceptions). Because as the Smart Man says, politics is poison when it comes to interpersonal relationships, and I don't want to poison my relationships with the people I care about. 

The Bad Old Days

Monday, July 18, 2016

It's time for another Facebook meme, this time courtesy of longtime reader Anissa. This one's about my Senior year of High School. The year was 1983...

1. Did you know your spouse? No. We didn't meet until I was in my early thirties. Worth the wait!

2. Did you car pool to school? No. I was anti-social even then.

3. What kind of car did you drve? A Volkswagon Rabbit. I loved that car.

4. What kind of car do you have now? A Fiat 500 Abarth and a Jeep Patriot. 


5. It's Friday night... where were you? Working. I had to work every Friday night.


6. What kind of job did you have in high school?
I was a soda jerk at a local ice cream parlor. 

7. What kind of job do you have now? I'm a systems engineer. I design contact centers for Fortune 500 companies.

8. Were you a party animal? Sort of. As much as a party animal as you can be when you tend towards the anti-social.


9. Were you a cheerleader? You're kidding, right? Although I was good friends with a couple.


10. Were you considered a jock? Not even a little. 


11. Were you in band, orchestra, or choir? Yes. I was in the chorale.


12. Were you a nerd? A closet nerd. I loved Star Trek, and read incessantly, so ended up being a nerd almost in spite of myself. 


13. Did you get suspended or expelled? No, but I barely graduated. Apparently I had better things to do than to "attend class" or "do my work."


14. Can you sing the fight song? Was there a fight song?


15. Who was/were your favorite high school teacher? Probably Mr. Weatherbee, whom I've written about before.


16. Where did you sit for lunch? Out at the gate where we could smoke. 


17. What was your school's full name? Wheat Ridge High School. 


18. What was your school mascot? The Farmers. No, I'm not making that up. 


19. If you could go back and do it again, would you? Shit, no. Mostly what I remember from my senior year is that I couldn't wait for it to be OVER.


20. Did you have fun at prom? Not really. Another one of those events where I was "expected" to go, but can't remember why I did so. 


21. Do you still talk to the person you went to Prom with? No. 


22. Are you planning on going to your next reunion? I've never been to a HS reunion. I usually to attend the annual get together for the equestrian group I was in, though. I spent more time with those kids than I did with my school-mates.


23. Are you still in contact with people from high school? Not really. But I do still have contact with the kids from my equestrian group. 


24. What are/were your school's colors? Blue and gold?