Move In The Right Direction

Last week I got in a heated twitter-debate about the proposed mosque on Park Place in New York City. Because months after this project was proposed the conservative windbags decided an election year would be a great time to denounce an entire religion and culture based on the acts of a select few.  And the crazy thing is that people are buying what they are selling and re-preaching what they are saying. And it blows. my. mind.  

I cannot believe that in 2010 we are giving credence to people who preach bigotry, hatred and intolerance.  It’s insane to me that in this day and age not only that a church is planning a “Burn a Quran Day”, but they are getting coverage from major news outlets as well.  [By the way, the lovely Karen Walrond is organizing a photobomb as an act of peace in response to this act of hate – please think about participating]. 

Look, I know that what happened on 9/11 was a tragedy of unheard of proportions.  I will never, ever forget where I was on that day or the feeling of fear and helplessness in the weeks that followed.  I can’t imagine what the families of the victims felt then or still feel now. So in the days after 9/11 I decided to arm myself with knowledge.  I didn’t take what the news outlets spouted as fact.  I picked up the Quran and started reading it myself.  I saw for myself that just like the Bible, anyone can piece-meal verses together out of context and come up with a rigid (and mostly wrong) interpretation of the message.  I observed prayer services at our local mosque and spoke with its members.  I don’t claim to be an expert on Islam, but I feel very comfortable in my assertion that it’s a peaceful religion.  

The way I felt on September 12, 2001 is the same way I feel today: it was an act of an extremist few who dislike the freedoms we enjoy in this country.  The way to respond to the unthinkable acts of 9/11 is not to start eroding at those freedoms ourselves, but to extend those freedoms even further. I am a fierce defender of the separation of church and state and this usually means fighting the Christian church to keep its dogmatic rules out of our governing laws.  But this time it means making sure the government protects the right for this church to be built anywhere it wants.  And for that reason I am so glad that the mosque is one step closer to realization.

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Happy Holidays

This morning I stopped at Starbucks on the way to my office, ready for the sweet thrill of a Peppermint Mocha.  As I was waiting in line (in a predominantly Jewish suburb, no less), I witnessed something I had only read about before.  No, it wasn’t the abominable snowman showing up for a half-caf quad-shot venti mocha with extra cinnamon and soy milk. But it was just as shocking.

The woman ahead of me in line actually scolded the barista ringing her up for saying “happy holidays” when she passed over her change.  The customer got all huffy and said “You know… you can wish me a merry Christmas! It is Christmas Eve after all!”

The poor barista looked dumbfounded and muttered a quick apology while the customer seemed to wait for the barista to correct herself.  After a few awkward moments the customer turned to those of us in line and, clearly looking to start something, loudly asked “Don’t you wish she would just say Merry Christmas instead of being all politically correct?”  Everyone kind of looked at their shoes for a second and the barista looked as if she wanted to crawl under the counter.

After a few silent seconds of the customer frantically searching our faces for support I piped up with the lie “No, I don’t.  I’m Jewish.  Can I order my coffee now?” That shut her up pretty quickly and she hustled out of the door.
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I am so sick of these self-righteous assholes pretending that December is all about Christmas and nothing else.  Last I checked December plays hosts to Rohatsu/Bodhi Day, Hanukkah, Christmas, Karthigai Deepm, Boxing Day, Kwanzaa, Winter Solstice, Sabarimala Mandala Puja, New Year’s Eve and the ever-popular Festivus. And as far as I know there is no way of visually figuring out which (if any) of these holidays a person might celebrate.  If you are pretentious enough to be offended by the word choice of a simple greeting, don’t take it out on the store employee who probably has no choice in the matter – take it up with the manager or the corporate office that sets the policy. Then maybe go get some therapy to find out why your panties are all in a bunch over something so trival.

And don’t get me started on the origins of the Christian celebration of Christmas…because if we are going to be truthful, it has nothing to do with the actual birth of Jesus and everything to do with adopting/stealing ancient pagan dates and traditions in order to bring more people to the church.

Happy Holidays not politically correct it’s just correct, so here’s wishing you and yours a very happy end of December and a prosperous new year.

Moving on

Thanks to everyone for your kind words…I’m trying to find some balance in this here life and I know it will take some time. 
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Moving on to some random updates…

The bedtime wars have settled down to a dull roar over the last week.  We’ve found that a combination of lots and lots (& lots) of after-school physical activity (i.e. the climbing cube and slides, dance parties, going to the store and pushing the cart around, etc.) and an extended bedtime routine has made for less screaming.   Thanks for the suggestions!

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My surgery is next Monday and it can’t come fast enough.  I haven’t had any major gallbladder issues in awhile but I’m tired of the impending surgery hanging out there. 

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Taxes suck.  I can’t believe we owe so much this year after getting such a big chunk back last year!  Isn’t there some rule about never having to owe if you have kids?  Something is royally wrong with this picture.

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This weekend will be a much needed getaway for Mark and me.  My lovely sister (the one featured over here) is taking M for the night so he and I can spend the night in Columbus.  Thank goodness for free nights care of the Marriott Rewards program because otherwise we couldn’t afford it right now (see above).

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Charter One bank is evil.  I’m so amazingly mad at them and their crappy customer service right now – let’s just say they owe me some $$ and I’m not done fighting for it.

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We are now proud owners of a dishwasher and garbage disposal.  Now we just need to figure out how to install them. The kitchen does not currently have a dishwasher so some of the cabinets need to be carved out to make room – should be an interesting project if we ever have time.  On a related note, Snow Brothers is a great place to buy appliances!

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Twitter cracks me up.  A post of mine cursing the snow which included the phrase “Jesus Christ!” prompted a “fellowship of Christian men and women” to follow me.  Oh, pour souls – you are so sadly mistaken on that one. 

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I’m so over the snow and today it was -4 when I got in my car.  I think we’ve gotten 3 feet of snow in the last month and it just won’t go away.  Mark keeps making fun of me because I’m worried our ice-filled gutters are going to snap off the house as I’ve seen happen to houses all over our neighborhood.  I had to use a hair dryer to open our frozen-shut front door tonight.  Spring, please hurry!

Why do you wear that stupid bunny suit?

If you haven’t read any of the blogs listed on the blogroll to the right yet, I highly recommend visiting Linda at All & Sundry.  Honestly she is one of the funniest writers out there, especially if you are a parent.  If not – well, she just had a baby so most of the recent posts are baby-heavy but not all.  Take a gander and she will have you spewing Diet Coke through your nose in no time.

Today she did a hilarious little post about her Easter plans.  Her brother calls Easter “Jesus Comin’ Out of a Hole Day” (JCOOAHD) and isn’t that really what it is?  If you tend to believe the Bible and the Church the holiday celebrates the rising of Jesus after his public death – the day he came out of that hole they entombed him in. If that is your belief, then have at it as that is one awesome thing to celebrate.

What I don’t get about Easter is the Easter Bunny.  For christ’s sake – adults in furry bunny suits really freak me out.  And trying to convince your kids that there is this giant rabbit lurking around that will come to your house at night and leave candy is a bit disturbing.  I don’t really get this holiday and I’m pretty sure that we will not do the bunny thing with M.

We will do a bit of a spring celebration and have a basket with candy and some gifts when she is older (this year the candy is strictly for the grown-ups, yea!).  I get the metaphor of eggs/rebirth/spring and so we’ll most likely do some egg related festivities.  Other than that it will always be a low-key affair. Because the Easter Bunny ranks up there with clowns on my “they really kinda scare me” meter and I’d rather not go there.

The other thing I find slightly disturbing is how the world SHUTS DOWN on Good Friday.  Um, I thought there was a little thing about the separation of church and state?  My bank closed at 11 today!  And with their opening time of 9 AM that gave you a convenient slot of two hours to make use of them.  And half the people I know had today off like it’s Memorial Day or something.

I get that the majority of Americans are Christians but that’s followed closely by the non-religious folks and, of course, those religions that don’t celebrate Easter. And I think that the practice of observing GF is rooted in the Roman Catholic church which accounts for less than 17% of the US population. So why don’t we all observe a day off work for the major Jewish and Islamic holidays that have more people practicing then 17%?  Maybe I’m just bitter because I had to work today.
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In walking news this week has been a bit of a bust.  No real walking to speak of because I’m tired as all get out this week.  And getting over a never-ending hacking cold.

In addition to the general malaise, thanks to the heals I wore to work on a day I did a ton of walking around the hospital I have a blister on top of my toe.  And it’s infected.  Yum.

I did get a nice little e-mail from the automated 3-Day trainer with the suggested training guide for this week and I will try to keep on track.

Happy JCOOAHD/Easter/just another day but with a little more chocolate to you all!