Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Ch-ch-ch-ch-changes...

Much is changing right now, and oddly enough, I'm not too stressed out it about it. I'm in "check list - get it done, move on" mode.

And so far, so good.

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Bedrooms and Hallways... and faces you remember.

I watched the movie Bedrooms and Hallways. A good enough film about the fluidity of human sexuality - gay, bi, straight, there and back again - and it was an interesting enough flick that I watched the whole thing. And I knew that I had seen the two male leads before.

Bedrooms

And then I remembered why the looked familiar. I had seen them both in the same show, Rome on HBO. Kevin McKidd played Leo in this film, and then he went on to play Lucius Vorenus in Rome.

McKidd

And James Purefoy went on to play Mark Antony.



Rome looks pretty good to me. Just saying.

English-Only Group Can't Spell the Word 'Conference' -- Politics Daily

English-Only Group Can't Spell the Word 'Conference' -- Politics Daily

buchanan

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Shared via AddThis

Northern Iraqis Blanketed with 'Heart and Soul'

Sometimes, it just takes one person to start a stream of good things happening. Thank you, Specialist Steve Stephens, for creating this good news and allowing me to share your story with those in my little corner of the internet.


[caption id="attachment_825" align="alignleft" width="223" caption="Making a difference"]Making a difference[/caption]

Mail clerks in the 27th Brigade Support Battalion mail room have been noticing a steady stream of boxes of blankets being shipped to one of the Soldiers in C Company.

Combat medic Spc. Steve Stephens, a Portland, Ore., native, with the help of a blanket drive committee made up of fellow Soldiers in the BSB, has started a blanket drive to make a difference in the lives of the people living in northern Iraq.

"There are a large number of displaced Iraqis living in Mosul and the surrounding areas that don't have a lot and could use a blanket or two," Stephens explained. "Soldiers Helping Those in Need-Iraq is a mission of the heart and soul. Thousands of Iraqi people have no heat or electricity. It is our mission to make a positive difference in their lives; and as simple as a blanket may be to those back home, a blanket to those who have nothing is more of a necessity than it is a want."

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Stunned.

Feeling positive and motivated today, I posted this as my LinkedIn status:
Big day today. Time to make some real changes instead of just pushing ideas around.

And when I checked my RSS feed on Google, I saw this at the top of the Wiki How To of The Day:
How to Move on After a Life Changing Revelation

Little did I realize how these two unrelated items would crash into each other. There were some real changes today, alright, and they also involved a life changing revelation that still has me rocked. I trusted someone and he betrayed me. I'm just stunned. In a hundred years, I never saw this coming.

I worry that a piece of me was crushed today and I might not recover from it. More than anything, the thought that this has changed me forever is the most horrible part. I don't know that I will be the same person tomorrow that I was when I woke up this morning.

Monday, June 22, 2009

The Burning River, Now A Symbol of What Can Be Done Right

Congratulations, Cleveland, on transforming your "Mistake On The Lake" into the once-again beautiful Cuyahoga River. This makes you Flirting With Fifty's first "Good News" story.

 

From the Ashes of ’69, a River Reborn


By CHRISTOPHER MAAG



CLEVELAND — The first time Gene Roberts fell into the Cuyahoga River, he worried he might die. The year was 1963, and the river was still an open sewer for industrial waste. Walking home, Mr. Roberts smelled so bad that his friends ran to stay upwind of him.

Recently, Mr. Roberts returned to the river carrying his fly-fishing rod. In 20 minutes, he caught six smallmouth bass. “It’s a miracle,” said Mr. Roberts, 58. “The river has come back to life.”

Monday is the 40th anniversary of the Cuyahoga River fire of 1969, when oil-soaked debris floating on the river’s surface was ignited, most likely by sparks from a passing train.

The fire was extinguished in 30 minutes and caused just $50,000 in damage. But it became a galvanizing symbol for the environmental movement, one of a handful of disasters that led to the creation of the Environmental Protection Agency and to the passage of the Clean Water Act.

“The Cuyahoga River fire was a spark plug for environmental reforms around the country,” said Cameron Davis, who was recently appointed to become the special adviser to the E.P.A. on Great Lakes environmental issues.

The fire turned Cleveland into “The Mistake by the Lake,” a national punch line that would endure for decades. Meanwhile, the city worked to reclaim its river.

Today, the Cuyahoga is home to more than 60 species of fish, said Jim White, executive director of the Cuyahoga River Community Planning Organization, a nonprofit group that coordinates cleanup efforts. Beavers, blue herons and bald eagles nest along the river’s banks. Long sections of the Cuyahoga are clean enough that they no longer require aggressive monitoring, regulators said.

“We’re very impressed with the progress made in the Cuyahoga,” said John Perrecone, a manager of Great Lakes programs for the E.P.A.

Other rivers in industrial cities have experienced similar rebirths, said Matthew Doss, policy director for the Great Lakes Commission, which oversees development and environmental efforts in the region for the United States and Canada.

“The Cuyahoga’s progress is notable because of how infamous it was,” Mr. Doss said. “This 40th anniversary gives us an opportunity to celebrate the progress we’ve made nationwide.”

The 1969 fire was tiny compared with those that engulfed the Cuyahoga and other rivers that received large amounts of industrial pollutants from the 1800s through the 1950s. One reason it received national attention, including a prominent article in Time magazine, was that the problem of rivers catching fire was mostly solved by then, said Jonathan Adler, an environmental law professor at Case Western Reserve University.

The outrage caused by the fire was a symptom of a society starting to leave its industrial identity behind, Professor Adler said.

“In the 1930s, when most people in Cleveland worked in factories, a fire on the river was considered just a nuisance,” he said. “By the ’60s, there was a hunger for symbols of humans’ insensitivity to the environment.”

The cleanup of the river advanced on many fronts. A year before the fire, Cleveland residents voted to tax themselves an additional $100 million for river restoration. Since then, local industries and the Northwest Ohio Regional Sewer District have spent $3.5 billion to reduce sewage and industrial waste pollution, Mr. White said.

The sewer district built miles of subway-tunnel-size tubes beneath the city. The tubes hold excess rainwater until it can be processed by treatment plants, reducing the number of times that plants become overwhelmed and spew sewage into the river.

In the next 30 years, Cleveland-area residents will spend about $5 billion more on the wastewater system, said Julius Ciaccia Jr., sewer district director.

“This didn’t happen because a bunch of wild-haired hippies protested down the street,” Mr. Perrecone said. “This happened because a lot of citizens up and down the watershed worked hard for 40 years to improve the river.”

Local governments removed dams, which trapped pollution and impeded fish migration. In 1974, President Gerald R. Ford created the Cuyahoga Valley National Recreation Area, which became a national park in 2000. The park saved miles of the river from suburban development.

Problems remain, however. The E.P.A. sued the City of Akron in February for dumping excessive amounts of sewage into the Cuyahoga. Along the last 5 of its 100 miles, the river is enclosed by steel walls and dredged regularly for commercial ships, making it difficult for habitats to recover.

“The good news is that we know what the problems are, and we know what the solutions are,” Mr. Davis said. “Now it’s a matter of getting the funding, rolling up our sleeves and doing the work.”

On Monday, people who have worked for years to clean the Cuyahoga will celebrate at its banks. “It’s just remarkable,” said Steve Tuckerman, the Cuyahoga River specialist for the Ohio Environmental Protection Agency. “I never thought I would see in my lifetime, let alone in my career, such an amazing comeback of a river.”

Welcome back to the Library.

I have not read a book for pleasure in a very long time, and I decided that it was time to correct that mistake. I went to my neighborhood library, reactivated my long-dormant card, and allowed myself all the time I wanted to wander up and down the rows of books. I ordered two books from other branches and walked out with three mysteries. I read the first, "The Woods", by Harlan Coben, in one sitting yesterday afternoon. I had forgotten how great it feels to lose myself in the words of a talented writer.

Thank you, Mr. Coben, for the many hours of pleasure. It was good to lose myself in the lives of others, to truly see and feel the settings, the characters, and the twists and turns of the story. Thanks for the ride.

Sunday, June 21, 2009

I Just Call Him Mine

There's always that song, the one you hear and immediately relate to. This song is one of those for me. Everyone that knows Ric calls him amazing, but I just call him mine.

[caption id="attachment_802" align="alignnone" width="614" caption="Legally married, July 4, 2008"]Legally married, July 4, 2008[/caption]

 

[caption id="attachment_806" align="alignnone" width="630" caption="Wedding, July 4, 2003"]Wedding, July 4, 2003[/caption]

 







I pinch myself sometimes to make sure I'm not in a dream
That's how it seems
I close my eyes and breathe in the sweetest moments I've ever known
It feels like home
And here I am I want to be your everything
There you are
Turning winter into spring

And everyone who sees you
Always want's to know you
And everyone who knows you
Always have a smile
You're standing ovation after years of waiting
For a chance to finally shine
Everyone calls you amazing
Yeah
I just call you mine

I fall apart
Just a word from you just somehow seems to fix
Whatever's wrong
Oh, you reach into the weakest moments
And remind me that I'm strong
You've got to know
I'd be a fool not to see you even worse
To forget that you're more than I deserve

Cause everyone who sees you
Always want's to know you
And everyone who knows you
Always have a smile
You're standing ovation after years of waiting
For a chance to finally shine
Everyone calls you amazing
I just call you mine

Nothing makes sense when you're not here
As if my whole world disappears
Without you what's the point of it

Cause everyone who sees you
Always want's to know you
And everyone who knows you
Always have a smile
You're the dream that I've been chasin' after years of waiting
For a chance to finally shine
Everyone calls you amazing
I just call you mine
Everyone calls you amazing
I just call you mine

Saturday, June 20, 2009

Were The World Mine - The Song







I see their knavery.
This is to make an ass of me.
To fright me, if they could.

But I will not stir from this place, do what they can.
I will work, up and down here.

And I will sing, that they shall hear.
That I am not, I am not afraid.
I am not afraid.

I know not by what power I'm made bold.
But still you flout my insufficiency.
The more my prayer, the lesser is my grace.

My ear should catch your voice, my eye your eye.
My tongue should catch your tongue's sweet melody.
My tongue, your tongue, were the world mine.

And I will sing, that they shall hear.
That I am not, I am not afraid.
I am not afraid!

Faeries away! Fetch me that flower...
Up and down, and up and down,
I will lead them up and down

Faeries away! Swift as a shadow...
Up and down, and up and down,
I will lead them up and down!

Oh why rebuke, you him that loves you so?!
Lay breath so bitter, on your bitter foe.
On your bitter foe!

What angel wakes me from my flowery bed?
I pray thee gentle mortal, sing again.
I pray thee gentle mortal, sing again.

Mine ear is much enamour'd of thy note.
So is mine eye enthralled into thy shape,
I'll follow thee, I'll follow thee,
and make a Heaven of Hell...
I'll follow thee, I'll follow thee,
and make a Heaven of Hell...
And make a Heaven of Hell!

Faeries away! Fetch me that flower...
Up and down, and up and down,
I will lead them up and down.

Faeries away! Swift as a shadow...
Up and down, and up and down,
I will lead them up and down!

Faeries away! Fetch me that flower...
Up and down, and up and down,
I will lead them up and...

Faeries away! Swift as a shadow...
Up and down, and up and down,
I will lead them up and down!

My ear should catch your voice...
My eye should catch your eye...
My tongue, your tongue...
Were the world mine...

Were The World Mine

"If you could make somebody love you, would you do it?"

If the intent was to make me love this film, then the answer is yes, they did it. I adore Were The World Mine. It's a fantastic, clever and inspired blend of Shakespeare, Broadway, and every angst-ridden teen coming out movie. Somehow, it works. And the music, mostly Shakespeare's own lyrics, draws me in again and again. I can't stop watching this movie or playing the soundtrack.

WTWM 1

WTWM 2

WTWM 3

WTWM 4

WTWM 5

Vincent Corazza

I watched Leaving Metropolis. There was a lot I enjoyed about the film, especially an actor named Thom Allison playing Shannon, a transgendered friend of the lead. But, me being me, the best part of the movie for me was Vincent Corazza.

Original artwork from Leaving MetropolisVincent Corazza in Leaving Metropolis

Hot. Hot. Hot. That's all I'm saying.

Friday, June 5, 2009

It must be summer.

I don't watch nearly the amount of TV that I used to, but I still enjoy a well-written, fun show. This summer, I have two. Burn notice is back.

[caption id="attachment_779" align="alignnone" width="220" caption="Season Three, this summer"]Season Three, this summer[/caption]

And I have my new show, Royal Pains.

[caption id="attachment_776" align="alignnone" width="219" caption="New this summer"]New this summer
[/caption]

Sometimes, I just want to sit back and be amused. These shows do that for me. So bring on the fun TV, popcorn, and a relaxing evening!

Thursday, June 4, 2009

The bigger the decision, the easier it is to make.

Ask me about heading out for a beer and I will say yes. But ask me where and I will stumble. There are so many places, so many different options, and I want to choose correctly. But I end up overwhelmed by all the possibilities. It's not a big deal, and any of a hundred choices would be fine, but I still expend too much effort deciding.

Contrast that with the rather big decision of graduate school. Back in December, I made the decision that it was time to go back and I did. Just like that, no long internal conversations or pro/con lists to weigh my options. I just decided to go. And now, with the same clear head, I have made the decision to put grad school on the back burner. I'm not quitting, exactly, but I am definitely not going to continue right now.

When I started in December, I was working a temporary job that required little more than 40 hours a week. That job has since developed into a Corporate Controller position that requires much, much more of my time. More than that, my job allows me the freedom to do so manyof the things I have wanted to do professionally - teach, manage, organize, lead, create. It really is right where I want to be, and I would rather put my full talent and energy into that. Why work in classroom hypotheticals when I can do the same and more in a real world environment?

Ultimately, for such a big decision, it is easy to make. I am dropping out of graduate school. And I am doing so without a single negative thought in my head. The old me... the old "quitter!" "you never finish anything!" "sure, walk away!" me... has no power anymore. (Well, maybe a little. But I will no longer be emotionally controlled by old voices from my past.) The fact is, I am a college graduate who has worked very hard to get myself into exactly this professional position, and I am going to focus my efforts on doing the greatest job I can. There is nothing for me to be ashamed of for making work a priority over school.

And that is how big decisions are made.

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

A Message From Your Doctor


  • Do you have feelings of inadequacy?

  • Do you suffer from shyness?

  • Do you sometimes wish you were more assertive?


If you answered yes to any of these questions, ask your doctor or pharmacist about Margaritas. Margaritas are the safe, natural way to feel better and more confident about yourself and your actions. Margaritas can help ease you out of your shyness and let you tell the world that you're ready and willing to do just about anything.

You will notice the benefits of Margaritas almost immediately and with a regimen of regular doses you can overcome any obstacles that prevent you from living the life you want to live. Shyness and awkwardness will be a thing of the past and you will discover many talents you never knew you had. Stop hiding and start living, with Margaritas.

Margaritas may not be right for everyone. Women who are pregnant or nursing should not use Margaritas. However, women who wouldn't mind nursing or becoming pregnant are encouraged to try it.

Side effects may include:

  • Dizziness, nausea, vomiting, incarceration

  • Erotic lustfulness

  • Loss of motor control

  • Loss of clothing

  • Loss of money

  • Loss of virginity

  • Table dancing

  • Headache

  • Dehydration

  • Dry mouth

  • And a desire to sing Karaoke


WARNING:
The consumption of Margaritas may make you think you are whispering when you are not.

WARNING:
The consumption of Margaritas may cause you to tell your friends over and over again that you love them.

WARNING:
The consumption of Margaritas may cause you to think you can sing.

WARNING:
The consumption of Margaritas may make you think you can logically converse with members of the opposite sex without spitting

Please share this with other women who may need Margaritas.  Thank you.

(A joke received via email from Mel. Thanks for the laughs.)

True Blood.

Wow. Another winner from HBO and Alan Ball. I'm completely hooked after the first episode.

I don't care.

Heidi and Spencer. Jon and Kate. Bachelors and Bachelorettes and Real Housewives.

I don't care. Not even a little.

Regina Brett's 45 life lessons and 5 to grow on

Posted by Regina Brett September 20, 2007 14:03PM (and repeated here with gratitude)


Originally published in The Plain Dealer on Sunday,May 28, 2006

To celebrate growing older, I once wrote the 45 lessons life taught me. It is the most-requested column I've ever written. My odometer rolls over to 50 this week, so here's an update:
1. Life isn't fair, but it's still good.

2. When in doubt, just take the next small step.

3. Life is too short to waste time hating anyone.

4. Don't take yourself so seriously. No one else does.

5. Pay off your credit cards every month.

6. You don't have to win every argument. Agree to disagree.

7. Cry with someone. It's more healing than crying alone.

8. It's OK to get angry with God. He can take it.

9. Save for retirement starting with your first paycheck.

10. When it comes to chocolate, resistance is futile.

11. Make peace with your past so it won't screw up the present.

12. It's OK to let your children see you cry.

13. Don't compare your life to others'. You have no idea what their journey is all about.

14. If a relationship has to be a secret, you shouldn't be in it.

15. Everything can change in the blink of an eye. But don't worry; God never blinks.

16. Life is too short for long pity parties. Get busy living, or get busy dying.

17. You can get through anything if you stay put in today.

18. A writer writes. If you want to be a writer, write.

19. It's never too late to have a happy childhood. But the second one is up to you and no one else.

20. When it comes to going after what you love in life, don't take no for an answer.

21. Burn the candles, use the nice sheets, wear the fancy lingerie. Don't save it for a special occasion. Today is special.

22. Overprepare, then go with the flow.

23. Be eccentric now. Don't wait for old age to wear purple.

24. The most important sex organ is the brain.

25. No one is in charge of your happiness except you.

26. Frame every so-called disaster with these words: "In five years, will this matter?"

27. Always choose life.

28. Forgive everyone everything.

29. What other people think of you is none of your business.

30. Time heals almost everything. Give time time.

31. However good or bad a situation is, it will change.

32. Your job won't take care of you when you are sick. Your friends will. Stay in touch.

33. Believe in miracles.

34. God loves you because of who God is, not because of anything you did or didn't do.

35. Whatever doesn't kill you really does make you stronger.

36. Growing old beats the alternative - dying young.

37. Your children get only one childhood. Make it memorable.

38. Read the Psalms. They cover every human emotion.

39. Get outside every day. Miracles are waiting everywhere.

40. If we all threw our problems in a pile and saw everyone else's, we'd grab ours back.

41. Don't audit life. Show up and make the most of it now.

42. Get rid of anything that isn't useful, beautiful or joyful.

43. All that truly matters in the end is that you loved.

44. Envy is a waste of time. You already have all you need.

45. The best is yet to come.

46. No matter how you feel, get up, dress up and show up.

47. Take a deep breath. It calms the mind.

48. If you don't ask, you don't get.

49. Yield.

50. Life isn't tied with a bow, but it's still a gift.

 Now it's up to me to make sure I remember these tips, incorporate them into my daily life, and learn and grow from them.

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Now would be a good time to issue a statement.

Dr. Tiller was murdered by an anti-abortion zealot. Soon thereafter, the President issued this statement:
THE WHITE HOUSE


Office of the Press Secretary

___________________________________________________
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE                  May 31, 2009

STATEMENT FROM THE PRESIDENT ON THE MURDER OF DR. GEORGE TILLER

I am shocked and outraged by the murder of Dr. George Tiller as he attended church services this morning.  However profound our differences as Americans over difficult issues such as abortion, they cannot be resolved by heinous acts of violence.

On Monday, Pvt. William Long and Pvt. Quinton Ezeagwula were shot by another religious zealot outside of a recruiting center. As of today, there is no statement from the White House. While I understand the President cannot be expected to respond to every public act of violence, the shooting of two servicemen on American soil by a Muslim fanatic certainly deserves the public claim of shock and outrage.

I'm waiting, Mr. President.

Hello, it's my past calling.

I got a call yesterday from my old boss. Yep, the guy that laid Ric and I both off last October. (If you are expecting a tirade about how horrible he is, you're going to be disappointed. We worked in commercial escrow and title, so it was hardly a surprise that we got laid off. Business slowed to a crawl and the manager had to lay people off. It happens. And after five years of working with him, he really struggled with actually letting us go.)

Anyway, so he called yesterday needing some help on a project that I first worked on six years ago. And as nice as it was that he thought about me for the job, my response was that I am satisfied where I am working now, my job is a perfect match for me, and I couldn't be happier. And it felt really good to hear those words from my lips and know that I meant them.

And on a side note, he was genuinely happy for me and for Ric. He is a great person, he was a very good manager, and I hope things turn out as well for him as they continue to turn out for me.

Today's the day.

Today is my follow-up appointment with my doctor, part two of my annual physical. It was several weeks ago that I went for my first visit, weighed in at 220, and felt like a complete sloth. So today is the day that I weigh in again, can look my doctor in the eye, and say, "yes, I am on my way to a healthier life."

Monday, June 1, 2009

Flirting with Fifty

And the changes just keep coming. Out with "Falling into Fifty," since that is still a ways off and I am not falling, yet. In with "Flirting with Fifty," since I am close enough to it to do that.

Choices.

I woke up this morning, right on time. I even beat the alarm. I got up at 5:00am and was ready to start my day with a trip to the gym. Then Ric whispered to me - "good morning" - and suddenly the gym was not the most important thing. I crawled back into bed and enjoyed the quiet morning with my husband. In the hours before dawn, when the world was still and it was just me and him, I found strength the gym just can't provide. There is something so wonderful about stealing time with the one you love, unexpected moments together that feel magical. When that choice is before you, choose wisely. I did.

And more from a busy Monday

Just a quick note to remind myself - busy people get stuff done. I've had a few days where I felt rather listless and non-productive. Today, however, is not one of them. If anything, I am so busy today that the "to do list" items just keep getting knocked down like dominos.

Note to self: Get busy, stay busy, and get things done.