Sunday, August 26, 2007

War and Rumors of War

I recently visited Carly's journal where she had an entry entitled You Look Marvelous. She included a picture of President Bush and her text amused me. She had received a couple of comments expressing their disagreement with her assessment of the president's performance and I left her a comment indicating my agreement with her point of view. To read Carly's original post, follow the link above. Following is my comment to Carly:
I agree with you. I love the "coo-coo for coco puffs crazy!" I can't stop laughing. I was a teenager doing (during) the Vietnam War and I had friends who died in the war and others who came back so emotionally damaged that they never were the same. I don't understand how anyone could think that we should have stayed in that war. We never had a practical strategy for how to win the war and we had no exit strategy. Sounds familiar, huh? I read the other comments and I don't respect their opinions, not unless they are willing to strap on military hardward, climb on a plane, and go to Iraq to support this "good" president.
Today, I received an email from the author of one of the comments who took issue with my comment in Carly's journal. Following is the comment that she had left in Carly's journal prior to my visit.

I totally disagree with your opinion of him, and find it more and more disheartening that people think it's ok to belittle him, but then ask for prayers for him it seems rather contradictory. He's not perfect, but neither am I..the difference is I don't have the whole world judging me on every word I say and every decision I make. Most of us will NEVER know that kind of pressure and stress, yet those who take on this job will never be able to explain that all the ugliness and stress they go through with this job.

Not so long ago, the American public actually respected the position of this job, too bad it's not still that way. Doesn't mean we can't disagree withOUR President, but to show it some respect would be nice.

I give President Bush kudo's for being able tocontinue to stand up for what he believes, even when it goes against the popular opinion, most would have folded a long time ago. Of course the majority of American's are happy to sit in their living room and listened to what the MSM aka LIBERAL media shoves down their throats and take it as the God's honest truth, when quite often it's full of lies and injustice.

My comment was in response to Carly's post and only peripherally to the comments. I wasn't really addressing the comments as much as letting Carly know that I supported her point of view. However, in hindsight, I understand why my comment would not be well received by the others. Following is the email that I received today from one of the commenters.

You commented in Carly's journal and I could be wrong, but figured your comments were towards my comment..My HUSBAND is in the Army and HAS went to war not once, but TWICE so far and we know he'll be going again.So maybe I'm not personally the one as you said "strapping on the military hardware, climbing on a plane, and going to Iraq" but the love of my life has and does, and I stay home, support him, raise our children and teaching them to be proud of their Daddy, Love Jesus, and Respect those who deserve and earn respect. So I DO respect OUR President, even after having my husband away from our family twice for THIS war, which if all you do is watch the liberal media and read the liberal newspapers (which is the majority of National Papers and almost every news affiliate except for Fox..then you're simply getting fed what the liberals want you to know), you get about 1/8 of what is ACTUALLY happening in Iraq and Afganistan. We've lost more friends than I like by far, yet their deaths ARE NOT in VAIN. I just showed this to my husband and he said he's so sick and tired of people who make comments like yours. As he said, it's NOT support, it's the opposite..but what's he know...he's just a SOLDIER. The WAR is not about supporting our President, supporting our President, praying for him, realizing that he's a HUMAN being...and remembering that he did NOT send us to WAR...but's time the American public remembered their's takes an ACT OF CONGRESS to declare war, and THEY DID!
I respect that her husband is in the military and has seen combat duty.  I felt that she deserved a thoughtful response from me. When I was done with my response, I decided to share it here. I have provided you with the background to provide some context for my piece. I've been in a rather flippant mood as of late, and most of my posts have been for amusement. But as some of you who have been with me for a while know, I don't believe in pulling punches about issues that I feel matter. I don't much care for labels, but there are some that I wear proudly, with no apologies--liberal, feminist, supporter of human rights, believer in justice--to name a few. Following is my response to the email that I received.

You are entitled to your opinion, but no one, not even the so-called liberal media tells me what to think. My opinions are based on my own observations and beliefs. The beauty of this country is that each of us is entitled to express our opinions because of a little document called the Constitution of the United States. You don't have to agree with me but neither do I have to agree with you. If we are only allowed to have the same opinions, then what does this freedom that we are allegedly fighting for really mean?

Bush is just a man who was elected, by some of the people, to the office of president. I don't think that he is doing a very good job in fulfilling the duties of that office.  I am not awed by any human being, regardless of his or her title. In my book, respect has to be earned; I don't confer respect on anyone just because of his/her office or position. I don't respect George W. Bush because I think that he has betrayed and abused the office of the president. I don't expect you to agree but if you believe that you have a right to tell me what I may believe, then it doesn't seem to me that you have much respect for the principles of freedom of speech that this country espouses in its constitution.

September 11 was a horrific attack on this country and I was just as saddened as any other person in this country. But, in spite of the war in Iraq, the main person responsible for orchestrating 9/11, Osama Bin Laden, has never been captured. There were no weapons of destruction in Iraq, even the president has publicly conceded that. In spite of the beliefs of many Americans, Saddam Hussein was not behind 9/11. Again, the president and Congress have made that clear. The death toll to American soldiers has been high, and there have also been Iraqi civilian deaths numbering in the thousands, men, women, and children who have been innocent victims of this war. Many of our military leaders have publicly questioned the wisdom of this war.

By the way, there was no declaration of war by Congress in Vietnam nor has there been one in Iraq. Both conflicts were military engagements authorized by congress, but stopped short of being official declarations of war. Our last official declaration of war under Article I, Section 8 of the Constitution was WWII. It's a minor point; people are still dying. Please don't take my word regarding the declaration of war, look it up for yourself on the Internet, or call your congressman's office or ask any member of the military leadership.

What I'm tired of is people at home sending men off to die in a war that our leadership has no executable plan for ending. I respect your husband; he is in danger and I do not blame the soldiers fighting this war for the policy mistakes of our leaders. I pray that he and all the other soldiers return safe and unharmed to their loved ones. I pray for the president and for congress, that they may use wisdom and temperance in making their decisions. But when I pray, I can't help but think that many of the people in Iraq must be praying too. No doubt, mothers and fathers pray for their children, wives pray for their husbands; the Iraqi people pray to God, whether they call Him Allah or by some other name, they pray to the Creator. I also cannot help but think that the Creator of all things is saddened to watch us continually engage in war with one another. I don't believe that God chooses sides; we are all God's children, so most of all, I pray for an end to war; I pray for peace.


Thursday, August 23, 2007

Artsy Essay Contest

Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket

Juanita at the Old Cafe   


Go left if you would find her.

Do not forget your sombrero

for the sky is red,

the air like hot chilies.


Do not slow your step.

Be careful of the path as it twists past Jose’s cantina.

Cover your ears,

lest your feet catch the rhythm of the rumba

as you pass,

for your journey does not end here.


Do not slow your step;

you will know when you have found her.



regain your strength

and then surrender to her music.

Know that she knows your secrets.

Do not be surprised;

she has been expecting you. 



This is my entry for the August Artsy Essay Contest. To compete, go to


The theme is squeezing every last drop of sunshine out of summer. To hear Carlos Santana's Africa Bamba, click here.

The odd looking flower is a result of me playing with the paint program on my computer. I found this video on YouTube where someone had done the Mona Lisa using Microsoft Paint. I have a long ways to go. (Note: There are some folks who insist that the video is a fake. If so, my flower isn't so bad.)

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

A Little Naughtiness

Here's what happened...I have a major project to complete for work. I'm writing an analysis of the North Carolina State Budget for a publication that will be distributed by my empoyer. I'm working under a deadline. Naturally, this means that I'm procrastinating as much as possible. I've completed my research, but I haven't begun writing my chapter on the budget. I also have to do a chapter on Community Development legislation and I haven't begun the research.

I've been successfully distracting myself by visiting journals. Yesterday, I picked up this fun little activity about what color crayon you are from Christopher's place. Today, I was over at Marc's and became enthralled with his entry on ads that you'll never see (warning: risque content). Clearly, they were both bad influences on me because the next thing that I knew, I was back at the crayon color site taking risque quizzes. I feel compelled to share my quiz results. If you take the quizzes please either post your results in a comment or in your journal (please leave a comment that you've taken a quiz or two). I promise to go back to work on my project tomorrow.


Your Mind is NC-17 Rated
You're mind is so filthy... you should should be washing every part of you out with soap. If your thoughts can go dirty, they do. Almost everything is NC-17 to you!
Your Kiss is Red
You are intense about kissing but easily distracted. You kiss for attention, power, and passion. It doesn't take a lot for you to want to kiss someone. If you see a kissing opportunity, you always go for it! Kissing Type: Kissaholic (admit it!) People See Your Kisses as: Seductive You Kiss Best With: An Orange Kisser Stay away from: A Blue Kisser
Your Seduction Style: Ideal Lover
You seduce people by tapping into their dreams and desires.
And because of this sensitivity, you can be the ideal lover for anyone you seek.
You are a shapeshifter - bringing romance, adventure, spirituality to relationships.
It all depends on who your with, and what their vision of a perfect relationship is.
Your Kissing Technique Is: Perfect
Your kissing technique is amazing - and you know it. You have the confidence to make the first move. And you always seem to know what kissing style is going to work best. Sometimes you're passionate, sometimes you're a tease. And you're always amazing!
Let's see...I have a dirty mind but I'm a good kisser (although, evidently I'm shallow and will kiss pretty much anyone), but I'm an ideal lover. I'd appreciate if some of my male friends could post this info on restroom walls throughout America and overseas as well. I've tried, maybe this will be a more effective way to meet men.
I tried to find the perfect song in my collection to fit this entry. It's a little ditty by Melissa Ferrick called Drive. Warning: this song is NC-17.

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

I am red

I found the link to the fun little exploration of self down below in Cathy's journal. It only takes a moment to find out what color crayon you are. This description fits me perfectly. How did they know? (Print is "Rhumba in Red I" by Alfred Gockel.) Click here for Smooth by Santana featuring Rob Thomas. I think that this is a red song.

You Are a Red Crayon
Your world is colored with bright, vivid, wild colors. You have a deep, complex personality - and you are always expressing something about yourself. Bold and dominant, you are a natural leader. You have an energy that is intense... and sometimes overwhelming. Your reaction to everything tends to be strong. You are the master of love-hate relationships. Your color wheel opposite is green. Green people are way too mellow to understand what drives your energy.

Friday, August 17, 2007

Learning new things

I have no idea if this will work properly. I've been so impressed with my friend Bea's videos that I decided to try it for myself. Of course, one has to have a subject for making a video. When I began this journal I promised to be totally self-absorbed and write about me. Not wanting to disappoint anyone, my little video is about me. It's a series of images that reflects the woman that I am. I'm not certain that it really qualifies as a video because it consists of a series of still images with a little background music. You have to click the play button at the bottom of the screen to view the video.

I've had an inquiry as to the artist who supplied the sketch in my little video. His name is Russ, he's a wonderful artist and has a gem of a journal, Inner and Outer Demons. The music is by Corinne Bailey Rae, click here for entire song.

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

Adult Education

I love men; I really do. I value my male friends. Really, I do. I don't want to hurt or offend any of you, but this is just too darn funny to keep to myself. I don't know its origins; a good friend (female) sent it to me today and I can't stop laughing. To the men of the world, please do not think ill of me and for heaven's sakes, don't blacklist me in every men's restroom across America. I have enough trouble gettting a date!

Fall Classes for Men at

by Monday, Oct 30,


Class 1

How To Fill Up The Ice Cube Trays--Step by Step, with Slide Presentation.

Meets 4 weeks, Monday and Wednesday for 2 hours beginning at 7:00 PM.

Class 2
The Toilet Paper Roll--Does It Change Itself?
Round Table Discussion.

Meets 2 weeks, Saturday 12:00 for 2 hours.

Class 3
Is It Possible To Urinate Using The Technique Of Lifting The Seat and Avoiding The Floor, Walls and Nearby Bathtub?--Group Practice.

Meets 4 weeks, Saturday 10:00 PM for 2 hours.

Class 4
Fundamental Differences Between The Laundry Hamper and The Floor--Pictures and Explanatory Graphics.

Meets Saturdays at 2:00 PM for 3 weeks.

Class 5
Dinner Dishes--Can They Levitate and Fly Into The Kitchen Sink? Examples on Video.

Meets 4 weeks, Tuesday and Thursday for 2 hours beginning
at 7:00 PM

Class 6
Loss Of Identity--Losing The Remote To Your Significant Other.
Help Line Support and Support Groups.

Meets 4 Weeks, Friday and Sunday 7:00 PM

Class 7
Learning How To Find Things--Starting With Looking In The Right Places And Not Turning The House Upside Down While Screaming.
Open Forum

Monday at 8:00 PM, 2 hours.

Class 8
Health Watch--Bringing Her Flowers Is Not Harmful To Your Health.
Graphics and Audio Tapes.

Three nights; Monday, Wednesday, Friday at 7:00 PM for 2 hours.

Class 9
Real Men Ask For Directions When Lost--Real Life Testimonials.

Tuesdays at 6:00 PM Location to be determined.

Class 10
Is It Genetically Impossible To Sit Quietly While She Parallel Parks?
Driving Simulations.

4 weeks, Saturday's noon, 2 hours.

Class 11
Learning to Live--Basic Differences Between Mother and Wife.
Online Classes and role-playing
Tuesdays at 7:00 PM, location to be determined

Class 12
How to be the Ideal Shopping Companion
Relaxation Exercises, Meditation and Breathing Techniques.

Meets 4 weeks, Tuesday and Thursday for 2 hours beginning at 7:00 PM.

 Class 13 
How to Fight Cerebral Atrophy--Remembering Birthdays, Anniversaries and Other Important Dates and Calling When You're Going To Be Late.

Cerebral Shock Therapy Sessions and Full Lobotomies Offered.
Three nights; Monday, Wednesday, Friday at 7:00 PM for 2 hours.

Class 14
The Stove/Oven--What It Is and How It Is Used.
Live Demonstration.

Tuesdays at 6:00 PM, location to be determined.

Upon completion of any of the above courses, diplomas will be issued to the survivors.

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

a little about mostly nothing

I love music. This is no surprise to my regular visitors who no doubt notice my prediliction for changing the music every couple of weeks. If you don't hear any music when you visit my journal, please let me know. My dear friend Bea (Wanderer) told me over lunch last Saturday that she doesn't recall hearing music when she opens my journal. I need to know if all of my uploading efforts are for naught. The song of the week plays only once and it may take a moment to load.

I have eclectic tastes in music. I like R&B, country, classical, reggae, opera etc. I'm not fond of most rap, but primarily because it's more talking than singing. It's also often misogynistic and homophobic, when I can understand the lyrics. I'm also not a big bluegrass fan, although I've heard a song or two in that genre that I like.

I like singer songwriters; folks who write and perform their own music really impress me. Currently I'm enamored of the sound of a young British singer songwriter by the name of Corrinne Bailey Rae. The song that I hope that you hear when you open my journal is from her CD.

When I was growing up, I would play a song over and over again, trying to learn the lyrics. This was a challenging process because it was the dark ages, BCD (Before CDs). If the song that I wanted to learn was the third track on the album, then I would have to gently drop the stereo arm so that the needle landed on the third track without scratching the record. Today's young people don't realize the trauma that we suffered in the old days.

In spite of my efforts over the years, I am guilty of mishearing song lyrics. Actually, it's not mishearing the lyrics that is the problem, it's my insistence on singing along with the song anyway. This happens most often when I'm in my car, riding along with the radio on or my newest CD. My friends and family can attest to this. My sister has told me that I sing the loudest when I have no idea what the lyrics are. Back in BCD, I loved the Supremes. One of my favorite Supremes' hits was Stop in the Name of Love. The chorus was:

Stop in the name of love

Before you break my heart.

Think it all over,

Haven’t I been good to you?

Think it all over,

Haven’t I been sweet to you?

I could never quite make out the words in the third and fifth lines, so what I sang was, Sling it all over. It didn't make much sense to me but I was a mere child. I didn't have any such excuse for my biggest misheard lyric ever. When Earth, Wind, and Fire hit the music scene, I was no longer a child. In my defense, I had only heard the song on the radio. I loved the beat, but the lyrics didn't make much sense to me. Nonetheless, I sang along everytime the song played. I thought that the name of the song was Turpentine Fire. The chorus was the same line, repeated twice and what I thought I heard was: Gonna tell a story moaning glory all about the turpentine fire. The actual lyric is: Gonna tell a story morning glory all about the serpentine fire and the title of the song is Serpentine Fire. Of course, I'm not certain that the actual lyric makes any more sense than my version.

Well, I have important things to do so I must go. Okay, I'm really signing off so I can watch Big Brother 8.

Wednesday, August 8, 2007

the pleasure of thought

Hallelujah! The North Carolina State Legislature has adjourned for 2007! I have my life back!

Okay, I'm being melodramatic but I did work 107 hours during the past two weeks. Our elected officials suddenly concluded two weeks ago that it was time for them to pass a final budget and close out the session. As my work is directly linked to legislative action, this resulted in on average, 12-hour days for the past two weeks. But it is done, the state has a budget, and a bunch of new laws. I am reasonably sane or at least no crazier than I've always been. I have survived, but I've missed Journal Land. I'm catching up on journals and promise to resume more regular entries of my own.

My dear friend Bea has bestowed a tag on my blog, the Thinking Blogger Award. I am so honored to be among those that she selected. BTW, if you don't read Bea's blog, you should! She writes with warmth, wisdom, and wit about a variety of topics.

The blogger who initiated the Thinking Blogger Award asks that when you tag someone that you pass along the origins of the award, so follow the link. Following are the rules that she asked be passed along to award recipients:

1. If, and only if, you get tagged, write a post with links to 5 blogs that make you think,
2. Link to this post so that people can easily find the exact origin of the meme,
3. Optional: Proudly display the 'Thinking Blogger Award' with a link to the post that you wrote (here is an alternative silver version if gold doesn't fit your blog).

Now, I must select my five award winners. It's a hard task. There are so many mentally stimulating blogs out there, but I must narrow my list down to five. I'm also electing to not repeat journals that have already received this award from others. These are my five blogs that make me think:

Raven's Lament--This journal always makes me think. Indigo writes eloquently with a rhythm that makes you feel and think; sometimes she makes me laugh and sometimes cry, but always she makes me think. She is a gifted writer, who takes her truth and fashions it into a work of literature that speaks of her sorrows but also of her joys and attests to the power of her spirit.

Sober Gay Poz Ex-Con--I love everything about this journal, starting with the catch line, "On a queer day you can read forever." What can I say, I'm a big Barbra Streisand fan and the parody tickles my funny bone. Marc is a writer and I do believe that he could write about the contents of a can of soup and make it interesting. I like the way he looks at the world, the ordinary, and sees the extraordinary. Marc also writes poetry that makes you think. Pleasure yourself and check out his poetry site.

Thoughts from the Headoc--The HeaDoc is a psychiatrist in my home state of North Carolina. His disclaimer makes it clear that he is not using his journal to dispense treatment, so I want to make that clear here as well. The Doc is a skilled writer and a fearless one as well. He takes on controversial subjects and always writes with honesty about his take on them. I think what I like most about this journal is the thorough dissection the Doc always gives to his topics. I'm breaking my rule with the HeaDoc; he already has received the thinking blogger award. However, I just can't leave him off my list. If you haven't visited his journal, stop by, you won't be disappointed.


Just Mary--Her journal title is very simple but Mary is a far from simple writer.  Her journal is thought provoking, by turns serious, funny, and often a wonderful combination of both. Her entries have the best subject lines in J-Land; a sample, "My rose bush isn't perfect, but at least I took my iron off the living room floor.


Prison's a Bitch--Steven, the owner of this blog, is currently incarcerated in Illinois. Marc (mentioned above) posts his blog entries. Steven's prose is well written but his poetry is extraordinary. Whether writing prose or poetry, he makes the reader think. He doesn't bemoan his current status but rather he is on a journey for truth and he takes the reader on that journey with him.


Okay, I'm done. I hope that you will check out any of these journals that you don't already read.