Tuesday, March 31, 2009


So as a blogger, I have two choices: be someone who never talks about politics, controversial subjects or deeply personal messages, or be someone who talks about those things if so moved. And since I can't keep my mouth shut, I've decided to talk (write) about whatever I want.

So today's subject: Special Olympics is mounting a campaign to ban derogatory use of "retarded." There's a petition at www.r-word.org. I encourage you all to sign it and support this cause.

Why? It's just a word. It doesn't mean anything. Right?

Wrong. Singling out people with any type of disabilities and categorizing them as "other" takes away some of their humanity. It asserts that you are better than they are. And it brings already-disadvantaged people lower. And you don't need to do that. You may be able to make change or tie your shoe or write poetry, but I hope you don't think that defines you. Just as some people's inability to do those things doesn't define them.

I urge you to check out Special Olympics's page. If you're so moved, I urge you to sign the petition and/or support this worthy cause in other ways. And please stop using that word.

P.S. If there were a petition to stop using "gay" in the same manner I'd tell you to sign that too For the same reason.

Monday, March 30, 2009

No Stumpers

So Monday nights when I tutor, we sometimes kill the last few minutes of class by playing Hangman (or Hangwoman, Hangwitch, Hang-various-animals, etc.). I am the designated Vanna, which is what I call myself as the leader. And I never stump the group. Here are some of my latest phrases. Seriously, what is harder?

Peacocks are not purple.
Goldilocks ate porridge.
Silver crayons are shiny.
I went to the zoo and saw a water buffalo (I was sure I would have this one).

Next week is our last class of the year. Suggestions?

Tuesday, March 24, 2009


I live in the land of 10,000 lakes, and a number of rivers. And today I was able to do something I've never actually done before: I went to Fargo and sandbagged.

And it made me happy (some would say grateful). Happy that I am physically fit enough to help. Happy that my home has never been threatened by floodwaters. Happy to see so many people helping. To see the people who weren't able to help for whatever reason supporting the efforts with sandwiches and bottled water. Happy that I got a paid day off to help. And happy to be home and warm (and I'm hoping not too sore tomorrow).


PS: For more reading fun, check this out. Food for thought, anyway.

Saturday, March 21, 2009

Meet Them Where They Are

Once, my cousin (who is much younger and therefore maybe forgivable for this transgression) asked who Michael Jackson was. To the horror of my family, she just wasn't getting any Jacko incidents or milestones. Then I mentioned that it is his song playing at the end of Center Stage*. And she got it. As I knew she would. Then I suggested she invest in a Michael Jackson CD (this is when people still bought CDs).

And today, the importance of meeting people halfway and using something they already love to appeal to them was again driven home to me. For three years, I've been trying to convince Boyfriend of the joy of reading. And for three years, he's been insisting that his one date with the Boxcar Children is all the reading he needs to do.

Until today. Today I convinced him to stop at a used book store. And as usual, he walked away once it became apparent I was going to be there for more than 30 seconds. So I made my selection** and went to find him.

And find him I did. In the section about classic vehicles. AND HE WASN'T EVEN DONE LOOKING! So I got to go back and browse the fiction some more. And when we got back, it was couple's reading time. Which is pretty much everything I ever dreamed of. And since he got to learn about really old trucks and have my feet in his lap, I assume it was everything he dreamed of too.

*A movie I have seen way too many times, though that wasn't entirely my fault.
** I got a book of short stories by Joyce Carol Oates. Because I like short stories, and I find Oates to be the perfect cure for when I am just too happy.

Thursday, March 19, 2009

I Do Love Shoes

So I hate shopping. Because I generally don't find it fun, I am cheap, and I tend to feel guilt over using resources for things that probably won't bring me genuine enjoyment (I am trying to get over this last one, but not very hard). Honestly, I don't remember the last time I bought pants, and I think I bought a shirt this spring (I did get a few clothes as gifts, but I didn't actually have to buy them).

Until yesterday. I went to Target for TP, lip balm and deodorant (necessities I do shop for ... and I had coupons). And somehow a super cute pair of sandals that are appropriate with skirts or pants fell into my cart. And went through the check-out. And were charged to my debit card. Strange

But they're so versatile. And I didn't get the nail polish. And I just got a bonus. And savers are almost single-handedly ruining the economy.

And they're so pretty.

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

You Will Thank Me for This

Here's another recipe. I'm pasting in the link, because I am lazy and want to avoid all appearances of plagiarism. I will add my own endorsement. This is delicious. Easy. And it allows you to have a tasty meal and then many tasty leftovers. I cooked the chicken with potatoes and carrots.


Also, I know chicken skin is not healthy, but at least try a bit of this skin hot. Yum!

Sunday, March 8, 2009


I spent grades 7-12 in a small town (500) in North Dakota. Before that I lived in southern Minnesota, except for some short stints in my toddler years that I barely remember and don't count. I don't consider southern Minnesota home, since I was pretty young and was too young to really be formed at the time.

I've now spent more time living away from North Dakota than I spent living in North Dakota. And, although a lot of good things happened during my formative years there, I knew even at the time I wasn't cut out for small-town life in North Dakota.

Yet when someone asks me where I'm from, I usually answer North Dakota. And I know I'm not that far from the ND border, but I don't actually live there. And probably won't again.

So does that mean home is Alexandria, where I've lived for five years? Where is home? Does it matter? I'm not homeless, and rooted more in people and experiences than an actual place. And that works for me. So home is either North Dakota or Alexandria.

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Well Said

Those of you keeping track should know that I am in serious pain from my genius decision to run last night. But I haven't (totally) given up (yet). I walked today, which I am hoping stretched out the hurty parts and was slightly less cardio but still better than nothing.

And you should also know that my weight loss quest is not all consuming. Yes, I am overweight. I know that. But I will also rock a bathing suit if the situation requires it, etc.

In my online travels I came across this article that I think better explans the dichotomy: http://thegirlrevolution.com/fit-girl-series-accept-your-body/

It's a website devoted to raising healthy girls ... I don't actually have a daughter, but still many interesting reads. Enjoy!

Monday, March 2, 2009

Will It Really Be Easier?

It is now March. Early March. And I live in Minnesota, which means we got a blizzard last week and may or may not get another one soon.

The thing about blizzards is that they come with cold and slipperiness and bitter cold winds. So I've been inside a lot. And I don't care for workout videos or inside workout equipment I have at my apartment. Fortunately I have access to a free gym, otherwise I would just sit around and become a blimp all winter.

And I tell myself that I will naturally lose weight in the summer and I will be outside exercising. Too easy an excuse? I love my bike (I miss it now), but I tend to peter off on riding it as the cold starts to come. I frequent the farmers' market, which fortunately is near my casa.

So will I lose weight in the summer? Time will tell ... but I suspect I will have to work at it. Which is a bummer, but I can do it! I ran on the treadmill today -- maybe I will get over my hateration of running and start doing that this summer.

But there's no reason I can't start now!