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Musing #29: THE GRADUATE and The Evil of Censorship (Teach Your Children Well, Part III)

Musing #29: THE GRADUATE and The Evil of Censorship (Teach Your Children Well, Part III)

Jan 31, 2014

*** SPOILER ALERT!!! This post blows part of the gist of a film most kids don’t see. *** Welcome to the continuation of Musing #28: THE LITTLE MERMAID Is a Feminist Nightmare (Teach Your Children Well, Part II). First and foremost, some SSS&C housekeeping… I fear that I inadvertently disrespect my amazing mother in this space by so frequently referencing my cultural drill sergeant father. Make no mistake. I have nothing but the utmost respect (and awe) for my mother. She is a former teacher of deaf children, in which capacity she taught a school-age Marlee Matlin. Best Actress, 1987 She carried, bore and raised six children, all of whom are college graduates. Mommy took care of everything practical whilst loony Daddy put us through cultural boot camp. “Fadda’s Shtick” was only feasible because Mom held down the proverbial fort. I am eternally grateful to her for manning reality and facilitating all that quality time with Dad. Plus, she’s from Canada! And that’s just always cool. To be clear, I deliberately refrain from writing about my mother. She is, in her own words, “a very private person.” She doesn’t want her business broadcast. That’s not only legit, it’s something for which I hold her in the highest regard, particularly in this gauche era of egregious over-sharing. One more thing about my mom: She’ll rip you a new one if you cross her, my dad or one of her “chickens.” Do not fuck with my mom, health insurance companies and university bursars! Got it? Good. Now my house is in order. On with the show! As a kid, my favorite after-school refuge from the endless din of little siblings was the master bedroom. I’d shut the door, curl up in my parents’ comfy king-sized bed and watch TV until dinner. I was in fourth grade, channel surfing from beneath the covers, when I happened upon the familiar opening bars of Simon & Garfunkel’s “The Sound of Silence.” I have always loved that song. I chose it to be the first song I ever sang in voice lessons, which I had begun earlier that same year. So, naturally, I was curious to hear it emanating from the TV and...

It’s 5:00 Somewhere!

It’s 5:00 Somewhere!

Jan 31, 2014

This winter has made many of us feel housebound and stir-crazy!  If you add cooped-up children to the mix, turn up the crazy to 11.  Along with the cheerful personality of Vee Pope, from One Social Brunette, we have started a podcast to help ease the isolation. The Sippin’ Social Hour is designed to be a conversation among friends.  We’re your power hour before happy hour!  Ever Friday, we will talk about what’s going on in the news-feeds, what’s going on around us, and tackle a topic designed to make us all better people.  From body image to career enhancement, we will build each other up and help each other out.  That’s what a great community of women should be, after all, a support network! Pour yourself a drink, or grab a cup of coffee, and tune in!  Technology brings us all a closer together; write us and ask any question, suggest a topic, or comment on anything we discussed.  That’s what we’re here for. Invite your friends to listen too!  You can share our page on Facebook, e-mail us, or follow us on Google+.   Share this:RedditPinterestFacebookLinkedInTumblrTwitterGoogleEmailLike this:Like...

Why Volunteer?

Why Volunteer?

Jan 30, 2014

By Mo Breden If you take five minutes to be honest with yourself, you have the time.  Time is usually the biggest reason people give for not being able to volunteer.  So, lets just get that out of the way up front… Find something you love, are grateful for, or have received the benefits of and investigate what kind of volunteer opportunities are available.  You will be surprised how many opportunities there are. Get it through your head, it’s not work, it’s volunteering.  At work, I was always a take charge, direct people; “get ‘er done” kind of manager.  Volunteering, I take direction, complete projects perhaps nobody else wanted to do or had the time to do, but that is OK.  My purpose is totally different in volunteering.  I am there to serve, not to rule.  There is much freedom in service.  I arrive when I want to, I leave when I want to, and people are always very grateful that I showed up at all.  So much different from work, isn’t it?  You know what I’m talking about! If you are a regular reader, you know that I have found a cause in the YMCA.  So, one of the organizations I currently give my time to is my local Y.  Although volunteering is all about service, it’s also, all about me.  It does require an adjustment to not expect anything in return for your service, but that is OK.    I derive a great deal of satisfaction knowing that I am doing something to promote the good work of the YMCA in my community.  By serving the Y, I serve many people I will never meet in my community because the Y reaches out into the lives of thousands of people right here, where I live.  In the end I benefit by living in a healthier, stronger community. I like what I see at the YMCA, I like the people who use the Y, I like the people who work at the Y, and I love the volunteers.  Look deeply into the organization you choose to give your time to and that is where you will see the benefits of your service.  Attend staff...

On Losing and Embracing Praise

On Losing and Embracing Praise

Jan 29, 2014

A friend nominated me for Military Spouse of the Year. I received my nomination with equal amounts honor and horror.  I have not always embraced the role of military spouse, and I sort of wince when someone includes that in an introduction of me. At best, I was conflicted. But regardless of my reservations, it always feels good to be recognized and I didn’t want to be in last place, so I shared my nomination with others, gathered some votes, and promptly lost. Which was fine. What I hadn’t anticipated, however, was how wonderful it would feel to watch my friends and family, with no prodding from me, campaign on my behalf, share the voting opportunity with their networks, and toot my horn. It’s been a strange winter. The cold for us, like many of you, has been unrelenting due to the polar vortexing. My house has become infested with mice, a result of our property backing up to Kentucky, a state seemingly filled only with rodents. The kids passed around their winter illness for several weeks. Finally, a drunk driver rammed into our day care, rendering me without a place to put my children for one of the busiest work weeks of the year. In the midst of this, we endured the festive holiday season, and it was more difficult than I ever could have imagined. Holidays typically present logistic issues — do we travel? Which family do we visit? Should we stay at home? My husband being deployed made one decision a little easier; the kids and I went to visit my family, complete with an eight hour drive that took 12 thanks to a cold weather front and the entire state of Arkansas being under construction. Somewhere in the middle of the winter holidays, something clicked in my three-year-old. It was as if she suddenly realized that Daddy had been gone for four months, and was beside herself. When we got back home, Daddy’s absence was all we talked about. Temper tantrums were punctuated by bouts of crying, “I can’t do [insert task] because I am missing my Daddy!” One morning, she refused to get out of bed. After some not-so-gentle demanding from me,...

Inspiration

Inspiration

Jan 28, 2014

I know I usually focus on one character but this week we are going to mix it up a little. I am going to list a few movie bad girls that are not only self-empowered but really have a quality that I find inspiring and who make me want to be a better person by the lessons I’ve learned from them. I will give you the character, the movie and the trait I admire. I hope you’ll re-visit or watch some of these movies for the first time. Enjoy. These bad girls are a special breed.   Tracy Turnblad  “Hairspray” (1988) (2007)                     Tracy Turnblad is not your average teen. She comes from a family that doesn’t have much money although she isn’t really aware of it and this girl loves life. She is the girl that is not in the popular cliques but she doesn’t really notice this either. She isn’t envious of the other kids. The only thing some of them have that she desires is a spot on a local dance show that airs after school everyday. Tracy manages to get on the show and then the fireworks fly. Tracy being the girl she is (she likes everyone for being themselves) makes friends with some of the black kids in school and she realizes they are not being treated equally only because their skin is dark. Tracy wages a small war for equality in a city full  of prejudice and stands strong even risking jail time because she so firmly believes in helping people she knows are being oppressed.  She knows that it is a new day and it is time for change and fairness for all. She is about to break the line between black and white whether Baltimore is ready or not. In this day and age wanting fair treatment for all is something special and the subject is just as relevant now with the issue of gay marriage in the spotlight. In ten years the subject of people’s discrimination will be something different, but we will always find adversity in the world, sometimes in our own back yard. Imagine a...

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