What the hell is wrong with these people?

Ok. Weird blog morning. The first two sites I visit today have links to some pretty alarming stories.

The first I found on PBW's blog. It seems another crazy piece of legislature has made headlines, this time in Alabama. Luckily, it died rather quickly. In State Representative Gerald Allen's narrow, little mind banning books is not about censorship if they deal with immoral issues such as homosexuality. You can read a little more about his homosexual paranoia here.

I want to know how somone like this gets to keep his job. He's messing with the Bill of Rights, people. Perhaps a little recap of the First Amendment is in order.

Amendment I

Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the government for a redress of grievances.

See that little line in there about "shall make no law....abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press..."? Books, people. It protects our books. It protects the publishers' rights to print books which may not support any given political or religious agenda.

And now I feel need the need to address homo-paranoia. Let it go, people. It's not contagious. And I'm pretty sure reading about homosexual characters is not going to make someone switch sides, if that's your concern. But perhaps that's not the real issue. Perhaps the real issue is that it may enlighten a few readers, lessen the fear and ignorance. Perhaps the issue is about passing along our prejudices.

I could go on. Really I could.

But I need to mention the other odd-ball link I found today on Michelle's blog. How crazy is this story? Can you imagine being contacted by the government because some nutjob has adopted your character's name and more? Unbelievable.

Rough Draft Editing Tip

Now that classes are done and I don't have to worry about feeling guilty for ignoring my schoolwork, I'm back to writing. Because it had been so long since I'd been able to focus on the writing, I felt the need to rekindle my passion for the story.

This meant printing off the story--the idea was to force myself to read and not edit. The bad news is I can't stop myself from editing. The good news is I discovered a handy little feature for printing. Not exactly a moment of ephinany but something worth sharing for those of you who may not have discovered it for yourselves.

When you need to print a rough draft and want to save on ink and paper...look at the zoom feature on your print tab. You can print two pages per sheet! Totally readable, lots of white space for chicken-scratch, and totally cost effective.

Of course, I believe you can elect to print up to 4 pages per sheet but I don't think my eyes could handle it. And where would you write comments and how would you make proofreading marks? I don't know.

In any case, I made it through 5 manuscript pages (3 printed sheets) before running back to the computer. The passion is back and I'm writing already.

Maybe I'll try editing this way one chapter at a time in the future. It seems to work really well for me.

My husband put this yard stick into the snow accumulated on the back porch. 13 and a half inches! Unbelievable. Posted by Hello

Another picture of the winter wonderland I thought we wouldn't be experiencing again until next winter.  Posted by Hello

Can you believe we had 80 degree weather less than a week ago? Yeah...me, either. But I swear it's true! Posted by Hello

Busy weekend

I need to write my final paper. The toss up is between Dead Man in Deptford and Bridget Jone's Diary. I'm leaning toward Bridget Jones. While I can't find any literary sources to help support my opinions, I know I could tie in some principles of interpersonal communication. That's really tempting because I love the field of communication and tying it into a literary analysis sounds like fun. But what kind of grade would I get? Is this too far from the beaten path?

I also need to do laundry and clean my house. Not your average house-cleaning, either. We have family coming over tonight to celebrate my hubby's birthday. Pride won't allow either of us to let them come through the door if the house looks as bad as it does.

Of course, there's a complication. My sister thinks she's about to go into labor. I might not be here to clean the house or participate in the party! If she does call, I'm tempted to postpone the party until tomorrow or later.

Faith in Mankind, In Goodness

I have several blogs I visit daily. My addiction is a sad, sad fact. When I first sit down at my computer I wonder how Michelle is doing, how her stories are coming, how the battle with infertility is faring. I love reading PBW's blunt, unapologetic posts and appreciate her wit and willingness to share what others are afraid to admit about the publishing industry. Reading about Tam's rising star and looking at pictures of her lovely quilts. Laughing at Martha's series of unfortunate events and tongue-in-cheek observations. Keeping tabs on Wen's progress as her deadline for Tinker2 approaches. Reading about Lola's struggles with her writing, what mischeif her little ones have gotten into--Lola is perhaps the first writer I ever really connected with online; we met in one writing group and managed to keep in touch after we both left the group.

Tonight I had to get my daily dose of Holly before logging off--I'm always curious about her progress. You see, Holly holds a special little place in my heart. No...nothing stalker-worthy, people. Geesh.

I first became familiar with Holly when I discovered Forward Motion. Back then she was still the site owner and key administrator. It was her living room. She took the time to participate in threaded discussions, to drop by chat, to teach and mentor aspiring authors.

I was fortunate enough to be in the last BN class she taught (For those of you unfamiliar with Forward Motion and Holly's most popular class it the Breakout Novel Class inspired by Donald Maass's Writing the Breakout Novel) . During those weeks we spent discussing concepts, creating stories, and working out details, my respect for Holly reached a new level. She was blunt. If she felt something didn't work or that you hadn't reached down into the very pit of the abyss to find your answers, she told you as much. She wasn't trying to boost egos; she was trying to help us create stories worthy of publication.

So I'm never surprised by what I might find posted on her blog. She's never been shy about stating her opinion on any given subject. Tonight's post wasn't particularly spectacular but the link she provided to Heinlein's This I Believe was so very much appreciated. His words resonate within me and I thought it would be lovely to share it with those of you who visit my little blog from time to time.

My 4-year-old had mono!

Just got off the phone with the doctor's office. I had taken my youngest in on Monday because his lymph nodes have been swollen for three weeks. Now before you call Social Services on me, you should know I had called the doctor when I first noticed them and was told to wait a couple weeks to see if they went down. I'm not neglecting the welfare of my chidren--I'm much too paranoid to do that!

Anyhoo...the doctor did a physical exam. Of course, he couldn't miss the bulging glands...they pop out when the little guy turns his head. The doctor palpitated his liver and spleen to make sure they weren't enlarged and then had me take him to Quest Diagnostics a couple towns over for bloodwork. He ordered tests for Epstein Bar, Mono, and a full blood count. He even mentioned the L word (Luekemia) in passing. Talk about giving a paranoid mom something to stress over.

Well, the test results came in yesterday. The little guy is fine now but had mono.

Now I have to call the daycare, let my family know, and watch my oldest child for symptoms. Not fun but I'll take this over that L-word any day o the week.

Almost done with my class!

I have a paper to write and some discussions to finish up. Then it's all over but the grading! Wahoo!

I'm not taking a Spring or Summer class. I'm so excited I could sing! I won't. It would hurt your ears and then I'd feel bad. But, boy, oh boy, is it tempting!

These were the best drinks. Fireballs rock. In fact...looking at this picture makes me crave one! Posted by Hello

Back to Work


Need I say more?

We had just walked onto the bar...within seconds there were several more ladies and I was lost on the backside of the crowd. This is as clear a shot as we have of me up there.  Posted by Hello

A shot directly from the bottle. After a couple of these and a lemon drop or two, I was ready.... Posted by Hello

Terri, Me & Jessica--On our way to Coyote Ugly after eating at the 9 Fine Irishmen inside the New York New York hotel. Posted by Hello

I Danced on the Bar

Yes, I most certainly did!

After a couple of drinks and a few shots, my cousin, best friend, and I were feeling brave enough to do what we had said we were going to do: dance on the bar at Coyote Ugly. The first time was so fun, we ended up going up there twice more before finally leaving the bar to traipse across the street to the Tropicana where our husband's had decided to go gamble.

I'll post a few pictures later. They're not very good...but they're the only evidence I'm able to provide!

My only disappointment was I didn't stop to buy the t-shirt I could now rightly wear. You guessed it: I danced on the bar at Coyote Ugly. Plain black t-shirt with red and white lettering. I had purchased a cutesy little pink shirt earlier in the day because I wasn't sure if I'd really get up the nerve to get on the bar. I should have known better....

Blogger = PITA

I have a feeling this post isn't actually going to post. Blogger is acting all weird on me.

In any event....I'm counting down the hours, people! 8 hours until vacation. Can I get a "whooo-whoooo"? LOL

Where I stand Politically

Hm. I've always wondered....according to this test, I'm:

Economic Left/Right: -3.38Social
Libertarian/Authoritarian: -2.67
(A.K.A. Libertarian Left)

What does that mean? I have no flipping idea....anyone care to explain? If it helps any, it appears I'm more inclined to agree with Gandhi and the Dalai Lama. Oh, and Nelson Mandela, too. Hmmm...

Thanks to Holly.

I may or may not agree with Holly's stance but I certainly admire her honesty and daring. Maybe I'm a wuss. I don't want to deal with a backlash in my comments because I stand on one side of this fence or other so I'm not going to enlighten you with my beliefs. Arguing with people about this is not something I care to expend energy on.

However, I do believe in informed opinions.

If you're easily grossed out, please don't click on the following link. These pictures are very graphic. I thought I would post them here because I've never bothered looking for pictures of aborted babies. It's not exactly something I want to view. However, I can see the benefits in showing people exactly what is at stake. It certainly makes the topic real and not just about idealogies.


My Weekend

Did the work thing. Picked kids up from daycare. Fixed dinner, did some laundry. Hubby was gone to a Piston's game so it was just me and the munchkins. After dinner we scrapbooked for about an hour. All in all a nice, relaxing night.

Laxy morning (watched tv and did very little in the house).

Hubby had to drive his dad down to the airport to pick up my mother-in-law. Meanwhile, the boys and I had a birthday party to attend. My niece and nephew turned 2 and 4, respectively. However, we had to go empty-handed because the gifts were locked in the trunk of my car. How, you ask? My oldest had popped the trunk for me. After I closed the trunk, I see the driver's door closed and my son trying to open the passenger side door in vain. Yes, the child had locked us out. Do you think I could find my spare key? Oh, no. It's still MIA. Luckily, my husband and his dad had taken my in-law's truck and left the hubby's at home. The boys and I were able to go sing "happy birthday" and eat cake and ice cream. Felt horrid, though, about not having their gifts with me when I arrived.

Came home and watched Big Fish.

Watched A Knight's Tale again.

Took the kids to McDonald's before going shopping at the Outlet Mall. Hubby needed a few things for our trip. He got some t-shirts, shorts, swimtrunks, and a pair of tennis shoes. All for a reasonable price.

Took the boys to see Robots. Movies are expensive--$22 just for the tickets and it was a mantinee. By the time we got something to drink, popcorn, and candy I bet we spent close to $40 total. Not so sure this cartoon was worth $40. Cute but not that cute. It didn't keep the 4-year-old's attention and wasn't as funny as I expected it to be.

Dropped Hubby and oldest son off at home and then went to Walmart. Got a few more things for our trip (hey, I'll use them after we get back, too!) and picked up hubby's birthday gifts. After we finished shopping--remember, I had the little man with me--we had to go through Dairy Queen for a well-deserved treat.

Home for frozen pizza dinner. Wrapped hubby's gifts. Put kids to bed. Typed this. :-)