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PERHAPS WE LEARNED SOMETHING.....
…Perhaps we were only mildly entertained. Regardless, please enjoy these Reviews, Responses, Works of Fiction, and Retellings brought to you by one who hopes to someday join the ranks of those who have written something worth reading.
(Kaylia Metcalfe)

Then and Now


I used to write about colors
Especially Red
And I would add photos
To get your attention, make you pause,
Enjoy the ride.

I used to write about blogs
And leave comments
Peruse and beg to be perused
Tempt you over to my own space on the web
Entertain the masses

I used to write about adventures
In dating
Or the crazy thing that happened on a city bus
That funny thing that happened at lunch
Getting lost (a lot)

I used to write about random stuff
Just to have written something
To keep the numbers up
A testament to a boring job
And a lot of free time.

But now…
Now I write a minimum of 9 articles a month for other blogs and publications
I work 40 hours a week.
I sit on a Board and sever as Secretary
I sit on a Committee and serve as Go To Gal
I am helping to edit and birth an anthology which will hopefully go to the printer soon
I run a book club
A knitting / crochet / art club
And a Skeptics club
I volunteer at least 2 days a month at the community center
I hand write envelopes for the Rainbow Delegation
On Tuesday nights we game with friends far away
On Thursday nights we game with friends even further away
Once a month we run a DnD game for friends right here.
There is also our social life, our friends, our family…
And the need for quality time, snuggles, cuddles, kisses, and a weekly coffee date

Still trying to find time to work on the novel
Time to keep up on my exercise
Time to cook and clean and maintain a household (I thanfully don’t do that alone)

And to save money, I am attempting to hand make all the Christmas gifts this year.

Which means that I am not writing on this blog as much as I would like.

But, as your reward for reading this far, I have a gift for you…





There, doesn’t that make it all better?

Happy Friday!


Thank you, Mister President.

Sometimes I am proud to call him President.

While his views on gay marriage have been “evolving” and it doesn’t appear likely that he will move from his support of civil unions to support for same sex marriage, President Obama has, as he is proud to say, made a lot of progress for the LGBT community over the last two and a half years.

At the Human Rights Campaign gala dinner held Sunday night, Obama was a key note speaker and he reiterated his cause of helping the LGBT community move towards equality. After listing such important steps as the Matthew Sheppard Hate Crime legislation, his administration’s refusal to defend the “so called” Defense of Marriage Act, and the end of Don’t Ask Don’t Tell, he was all encouragement for the future. “[T]his fight continue now. And I'm here with a simple message: I'm here with you in that fight.”

Obama is a master orator. He had humor, he started off with a joke about meeting with “your leader Lady GaGa” and her 16 inch heels, but he also had time for a not too thinly veiled campaign jab at the Republican presidential candidates who stood silent at a recent debate when a soldier who posed a question about "don't' ask, don't tell" was met with boos from the audience. "You want to be commander in chief, you can start by standing up for the men and women who wear the uniform of the United States," Obama said.

His speech was electric. It hearkens back to the oratory skills of the African American preachers during the Civil Rights Movement. Like them, he encourages us to keep fighting, to know that this is a period of colossal change, and to change hearts and minds one at a time.

I believe the future is bright for that young person. For while there will be setbacks and bumps along the road, the truth is that our common ideals are a force far stronger than any division that some might sow. These ideals, when voiced by generations of citizens, are what made it possible for me to stand here today. (Applause.) These ideals are what made it possible for the people in this room to live freely and openly when for most of history that would have been inconceivable. That's the promise of America, HRC. That's the promise we're called to fulfill. (Applause.) Day by day, law by law, changing mind by mind, that is the promise we are fulfilling.

Here is a video with highlights…



And here is the whole transcript of the speech.

THE PRESIDENT: Thank you, everybody. Please, you're making me blush. (Laughter.)
AUDIENCE MEMBER: We love you, Barack!
THE PRESIDENT: I love you back. (Applause.)
To Joe Solmonese, who's doing an outstanding job on behalf of HRC. (Applause.) To my great friend and supporter, Terry Bean, co-founder of HRC. (Applause.) Representative Patrick Kennedy. (Applause.) David Huebner, the Ambassador-designee to New Zealand and Samoa. (Applause.) John Berry, our Director of OPM, who's doing a great job. (Applause.) Nancy Sutley, Chairman of Council on Environmental Quality. (Applause.) Fred Hochberg, Chairman of Export-Import Bank. (Applause.) And my dear friend, Tipper Gore, who's in the house. (Applause.)
Thank you so much, all of you. It is a privilege to be here tonight to open for Lady GaGa. (Applause.) I've made it. (Laughter.) I want to thank the Human Rights Campaign for inviting me to speak and for the work you do every day in pursuit of equality on behalf of the millions of people in this country who work hard in their jobs and care deeply about their families -- and who are gay, lesbian, bisexual, or transgender. (Applause.)
For nearly 30 years, you've advocated on behalf of those without a voice. That's not easy. For despite the real gains that we've made, there's still laws to change and there's still hearts to open. There are still fellow citizens, perhaps neighbors, even loved ones -- good and decent people -- who hold fast to outworn arguments and old attitudes; who fail to see your families like their families; who would deny you the rights most Americans take for granted. And that's painful and it's heartbreaking. (Applause.) And yet you continue, leading by the force of the arguments you make, and by the power of the example that you set in your own lives -- as parents and friends, as PTA members and church members, as advocates and leaders in your communities. And you're making a difference.
That's the story of the movement for fairness and equality, and not just for those who are gay, but for all those in our history who've been denied the rights and responsibilities of citizenship -- (applause) -- for all who've been told that the full blessings and opportunities of this country were closed to them. It's the story of progress sought by those with little influence or power; by men and women who brought about change through quiet, personal acts of compassion -- and defiance -- wherever and whenever they could.
It's the story of the Stonewall protests, when a group of citizens -- (applause) -- when a group of citizens with few options, and fewer supporters stood up against discrimination and helped to inspire a movement. It's the story of an epidemic that decimated a community -- and the gay men and women who came to support one another and save one another; who continue to fight this scourge; and who have demonstrated before the world that different kinds of families can show the same compassion in a time of need. (Applause.) And it's the story of the Human Rights Campaign and the fights you've fought for nearly 30 years: helping to elect candidates who share your values; standing against those who would enshrine discrimination into our Constitution; advocating on behalf of those living with HIV/AIDS; and fighting for progress in our capital and across America. (Applause.)
This story, this fight continue now. And I'm here with a simple message: I'm here with you in that fight. (Applause.) For even as we face extraordinary challenges as a nation, we cannot -- and we will not -- put aside issues of basic equality. I greatly appreciate the support I've received from many in this room. I also appreciate that many of you don't believe progress has come fast enough. I want to be honest about that, because it's important to be honest among friends.
Now, I've said this before, I'll repeat it again -- it's not for me to tell you to be patient, any more than it was for others to counsel patience to African Americans petitioning for equal rights half a century ago. (Applause.) But I will say this: We have made progress and we will make more. And I think it's important to remember that there is not a single issue that my administration deals with on a daily basis that does not touch on the lives of the LGBT community. (Applause.) We all have a stake in reviving this economy. We all have a stake in putting people back to work. We all have a stake in improving our schools and achieving quality, affordable health care. We all have a stake in meeting the difficult challenges we face in Iraq and Afghanistan. (Applause.)
For while some may wish to define you solely by your sexual orientation or gender identity alone, you know -- and I know -- that none of us wants to be defined by just one part of what makes us whole. (Applause.) You're also parents worried about your children's futures. You're spouses who fear that you or the person you love will lose a job. You're workers worried about the rising cost of health insurance. You're soldiers. You are neighbors. You are friends. And, most importantly, you are Americans who care deeply about this country and its future. (Applause.)
So I know you want me working on jobs and the economy and all the other issues that we're dealing with. But my commitment to you is unwavering even as we wrestle with these enormous problems. And while progress may be taking longer than you'd like as a result of all that we face -- and that's the truth -- do not doubt the direction we are heading and the destination we will reach. (Applause.)
My expectation is that when you look back on these years, you will see a time in which we put a stop to discrimination against gays and lesbians -- whether in the office or on the battlefield. (Applause.) You will see a time in which we as a nation finally recognize relationships between two men or two women as just as real and admirable as relationships between a man and a woman. (Applause.) You will see a nation that's valuing and cherishing these families as we build a more perfect union -- a union in which gay Americans are an important part. I am committed to these goals. And my administration will continue fighting to achieve them.
And there's no more poignant or painful reminder of how important it is that we do so than the loss experienced by Dennis and Judy Shepard, whose son Matthew was stolen in a terrible act of violence 11 years ago. In May, I met with Judy -- who's here tonight with her husband -- I met her in the Oval Office, and I promised her that we were going to pass an inclusive hate crimes bill -- a bill named for her son. (Applause.)
This struggle has been long. Time and again we faced opposition. Time and again, the measure was defeated or delayed. But the Shepards never gave up. (Applause.) They turned tragedy into an unshakeable commitment. (Applause.) Countless activists and organizers never gave up. You held vigils, you spoke out, year after year, Congress after Congress. The House passed the bill again this week. (Applause.) And I can announce that after more than a decade, this bill is set to pass and I will sign it into law. (Applause.)
It's a testament to the decade-long struggle of Judy and Dennis, who tonight will receive a tribute named for somebody who inspired so many of us -- named for Senator Ted Kennedy, who fought tirelessly for this legislation. (Applause.) And it's a testament to the Human Rights Campaign and those who organized and advocated. And it's a testament to Matthew and to others who've been the victims of attacks not just meant to break bones, but to break spirits -- not meant just to inflict harm, but to instill fear. Together, we will have moved closer to that day when no one has to be afraid to be gay in America. (Applause.) When no one has to fear walking down the street holding the hand of the person they love. (Applause.)
But we know there's far more work to do. We're pushing hard to pass an inclusive employee non-discrimination bill. (Applause.) For the first time ever, an administration official testified in Congress in favor of this law. Nobody in America should be fired because they're gay, despite doing a great job and meeting their responsibilities. It's not fair. It's not right. We're going to put a stop to it. (Applause.) And it's for this reason that if any of my nominees are attacked not for what they believe but for who they are, I will not waver in my support, because I will not waver in my commitment to ending discrimination in all its forms. (Applause.)
We are reinvigorating our response to HIV/AIDS here at home and around the world. (Applause.) We're working closely with the Congress to renew the Ryan White program and I look forward to signing it into law in the very near future. (Applause.) We are rescinding the discriminatory ban on entry to the United States based on HIV status. (Applause.) The regulatory process to enact this important change is already underway. And we also know that HIV/AIDS continues to be a public health threat in many communities, including right here in the District of Columbia. Jeffrey Crowley, the Director of the Office of National AIDS Policy, recently held a forum in Washington, D.C., and is holding forums across the country, to seek input as we craft a national strategy to address this crisis.
We are moving ahead on Don't Ask Don't Tell. (Applause.) We should not be punishing patriotic Americans who have stepped forward to serve this country. We should be celebrating their willingness to show such courage and selflessness on behalf of their fellow citizens, especially when we're fighting two wars. (Applause.)
We cannot afford to cut from our ranks people with the critical skills we need to fight any more than we can afford -- for our military's integrity -- to force those willing to do so into careers encumbered and compromised by having to live a lie. So I'm working with the Pentagon, its leadership, and the members of the House and Senate on ending this policy. Legislation has been introduced in the House to make this happen. I will end Don't Ask, Don't Tell. That's my commitment to you. (Applause.)
It is no secret that issues of great concern to gays and lesbians are ones that raise a great deal of emotion in this country. And it's no secret that progress has been incredibly difficult -- we can see that with the time and dedication it took to pass hate crimes legislation. But these issues also go to the heart of who we are as a people. Are we a nation that can transcend old attitudes and worn divides? Can we embrace our differences and look to the hopes and dreams that we share? Will we uphold the ideals on which this nation was founded: that all of us are equal, that all of us deserve the same opportunity to live our lives freely and pursue our chance at happiness? I believe we can; I believe we will. (Applause.)
And that is why -- that's why I support ensuring that committed gay couples have the same rights and responsibilities afforded to any married couple in this country. (Applause.) I believe strongly in stopping laws designed to take rights away and passing laws that extend equal rights to gay couples. I've required all agencies in the federal government to extend as many federal benefits as possible to LGBT families as the current law allows. And I've called on Congress to repeal the so-called Defense of Marriage Act and to pass the Domestic Partners Benefits and Obligations Act. (Applause.) And we must all stand together against divisive and deceptive efforts to feed people's lingering fears for political and ideological gain.
For the struggle waged by the Human Rights Campaign is about more than any policy we can enshrine into law. It's about our capacity to love and commit to one another. It's about whether or not we value as a society that love and commitment. It's about our common humanity and our willingness to walk in someone else's shoes: to imagine losing a job not because of your performance at work but because of your relationship at home; to imagine worrying about a spouse in the hospital, with the added fear that you'll have to produce a legal document just to comfort the person you love -- (applause) -- to imagine the pain of losing a partner of decades and then discovering that the law treats you like a stranger. (Applause.)
If we are honest with ourselves we'll admit that there are too many who do not yet know in their lives or feel in their hearts the urgency of this struggle. That's why I continue to speak about the importance of equality for LGBT families -- and not just in front of gay audiences. That's why Michelle and I have invited LGBT families to the White House to participate in events like the Easter Egg Roll -- because we want to send a message. (Applause.) And that's why it's so important that you continue to speak out, that you continue to set an example, that you continue to pressure leaders -- including me -- and to make the case all across America. (Applause.)
So, tonight I'm hopeful -- because of the activism I see in this room, because of the compassion I've seen all across America, and because of the progress we have made throughout our history, including the history of the movement for LGBT equality.
Soon after the protests at Stonewall 40 years ago, the phone rang in the home of a soft-spoken elementary school teacher named Jeanne Manford. It was 1:00 in the morning, and it was the police. Now, her son, Morty, had been at the Stonewall the night of the raids. Ever since, he had felt within him a new sense of purpose. So when the officer told Jeanne that her son had been arrested, which was happening often to gay protesters, she was not entirely caught off guard. And then the officer added one more thing, "And you know, he's homosexual." (Laughter.) Well, that police officer sure was surprised when Jeanne responded, "Yes, I know. Why are you bothering him?" (Applause.)
And not long after, Jeanne would be marching side-by-side with her son through the streets of New York. She carried a sign that stated her support. People cheered. Young men and women ran up to her, kissed her, and asked her to talk to their parents. And this gave Jeanne and Morty an idea.
And so, after that march on the anniversary of the Stonewall protests, amidst the violence and the vitriol of a difficult time for our nation, Jeanne and her husband Jules -- two parents who loved their son deeply -- formed a group to support other parents and, in turn, to support their children, as well. At the first meeting Jeanne held, in 1973, about 20 people showed up. But slowly, interest grew. Morty's life, tragically, was cut short by AIDS. But the cause endured. Today, the organization they founded for parents, families, and friends of lesbians and gays -- (applause) -- has more than 200,000 members and supporters, and has made a difference for countless families across America. And Jeanne would later say, "I considered myself such a traditional person. I didn't even cross the street against the light." (Laughter.) "But I wasn't going to let anybody walk over Morty." (Applause.)
That's the story of America: of ordinary citizens organizing, agitating and advocating for change; of hope stronger than hate; of love more powerful than any insult or injury; of Americans fighting to build for themselves and their families a nation in which no one is a second-class citizen, in which no one is denied their basic rights, in which all of us are free to live and love as we see fit. (Applause.)
Tonight, somewhere in America, a young person, let's say a young man, will struggle to fall to sleep, wrestling alone with a secret he's held as long as he can remember. Soon, perhaps, he will decide it's time to let that secret out. What happens next depends on him, his family, as well as his friends and his teachers and his community. But it also depends on us -- on the kind of society we engender, the kind of future we build.
I believe the future is bright for that young person. For while there will be setbacks and bumps along the road, the truth is that our common ideals are a force far stronger than any division that some might sow. These ideals, when voiced by generations of citizens, are what made it possible for me to stand here today. (Applause.) These ideals are what made it possible for the people in this room to live freely and openly when for most of history that would have been inconceivable. That's the promise of America, HRC. That's the promise we're called to fulfill. (Applause.) Day by day, law by law, changing mind by mind, that is the promise we are fulfilling.
Thank you for the work you're doing. God bless you. God bless America. (Applause.)
Source Here

Then and Now


I used to write about colors
Especially Red
And I would add photos
To get your attention, make you pause,
Enjoy the ride.

I used to write about blogs
And leave comments
Peruse and beg to be perused
Tempt you over to my own space on the web
Entertain the masses

I used to write about adventures
In dating
Or the crazy thing that happened on a city bus
That funny thing that happened at lunch
Getting lost (a lot)

I used to write about random stuff
Just to have written something
To keep the numbers up
A testament to a boring job
And a lot of free time.

But now…
Now I write a minimum of 9 articles a month for other blogs and publications
I work 40 hours a week.
I sit on a Board and serve as Secretary
I sit on a Committee and serve as Go To Gal
I am helping to edit and birth an anthology which will hopefully go to the printer soon
I run a book club
A knitting / crochet / art club
And a Skeptics club
I volunteer at least 2 days a month at the community center
I hand write envelopes for the Rainbow Delegation
On Tuesday nights we game with friends far away
On Thursday nights we game with friends even further away
Once a month we run a DnD game for friends right here.
There is also our social life, our friends, our family…
And the need for quality time, snuggles, cuddles, kisses, and a weekly coffee date

Still trying to find time to work on the novel
Time to keep up on my exercise
Time to cook and clean and maintain a household (I thanfully don’t do that alone)

And to save money, I am attempting to hand make all the Christmas gifts this year.

Which means that I am not writing on this blog as much as I would like.

But, as your reward for reading this far, I have a gift for you…




There, doesn’t that make it all better?

Happy Friday!

Pants!


This morning I put on a pair of pants. 
Not just any pair of pants, a pair of pants that are a size 6. 




This is a big deal. 


See, a while ago, I stopped wearing dress pants to work. I had a job that didn't need dress pants... I wore leggings or skirts or dresses and sometimes jeans. 
I was also gaining weight, even if I didn't' notice it. 




Back in February I had a short lived temp job and I went to put on my dress pants only to find, to my dismay, that they no longer fit. 
My 6s didn't fit. 8s didn't fit. I was back up to size 10. 
I was 159 pounds, a size 10, and unhappy about both. 



Okay, I told myself, You were 160 pounds at one point, you lost 35 pounds.... you just... you just sort of lost focus and crept back up there. 

I was confident that since I had lost weight in the past, I could do it again. 
I was wrong. 


See, last time I relied on a lack of meat, a lack of any decent food really due to a lack of funds, to help me drop the pounds. I had a diet of mainly peanut butter, yogurt, and booze. I walked 3 miles a day as part of my commute. I went dancing fairly frequently. I would buy a pizza on Friday night (and a six pack of beer) and make them both last all weekend. there was no need for silverware in my house, I didn't eat much and what I ate could be accomplished with my hands and the occasional butter knife. 

I was also stressed, unhappy, broke, and going through a divorce. 

And I lost weight. 
35 pounds in about a year. 




This time around I thought I would do it the healthy way. 
I cut calories. I ate healthy, I drank more water. I worked out. 

I lost... 4 pounds. 

I redoubled my efforts; I did sit ups every day. I had smaller portions, I started using SlimFast for breakfast, nuts and fruit and granola for lunch. I got rid of the Cookie Budget. 

The scale still says 155. 

Apparently my body likes this weight. 







As the weather started to turn cooler, I started to worry. I have a job... at least for right now... that needs dress pants. I don't know how long the job will last and I don't have the money to go buy more cloths. 






On a whim this morning, I decided to try on my size 6 pants... just to see how "not fitting' they were. 

To my shock, to my joy, they fit! 

So... the scale might say 155.8 this morning. 

But my butt is in a size 6. 
They might be a bit snug. 

But they fit. 


And that, I can live with! 



Skepticism and the LGBT Community

It is important to remember to be skeptical.

Skeptical of petition pushers who sound like they really are making the world safer.
Skeptical of ballot referendums that sound like they are being fair.
Skeptical of “natural transitioning” methods that sound easier and cheaper than Testosterone injections.

Critical thinking skills are more than just that section that you coasted through on the SATs. They are the little voices in your head that make you stop and ponder what you just heard, that make you fact check the Presidential Debates, that make you click on the Sources link in the news article you just pulled up off of Yahoo.

 At least they should

Let’s take a look at a few things that warrant a double take.

A few months back I was at the Fresno Community College Pride Festival. At the entrance to the quad where a dozen or so booths were set up celebrating diversity, a small table with petitions caught my attention. The two men working the table were gathering signatures for what they said was a proposed bill to make voting more fair in California.

Now, a non skeptical person might have assumed that a) they were part of the celebration and b) that what they said was legit. I am no such person.

It turns out that what they were gathering signatures for was for the formation of a political group backed by corporations, a political group that has a bit of a torrid past. The petitions clearly said “American Elect petition to participate in the primary election” but the men behind the table were spinning a different story… and preying on the happy touchy feely feelings of many of the FCC Pride Festival participants.

I was reminded of this recently as two other signature gathering storms arrived in my email box. The first was a no brainer. “Stop SB48!” the email cried! “It costs too much! It goes too far! Children as young as five will be taught not only to accept but also to endorse transgenderism, bisexuality, and homosexuality!” 

Otherwise known at the FAIR Education Act, the bill actually says that schools are no longer allowed to discriminate against homosexuals, Pacific Islanders, or people with disabilities in terms of historical impact and contribution. But why tell the truth when the spin is so much more dramatic?

The CRI, Capital Resource Institute, and its collations of pro-family (but only certain types of family) groups need 750,000 signatures by September 30th (according to their website) in order to put this referendum on the June 2012 primary ballot. Unsubstantiated sources tell me that they will most likely fall short of this goal due to the grass roots aspect of signature gathering. However, should the referendum be allowed to be placed on the ballot, there will a bitter smear campaign that goes along with it.

Either way, I trust that one wouldn’t have to stretch their critical thinking muscles too far in order to vote fairly on this one.

 But the second signature gathering campaign might not be as clear cut. The Love Honor Cherish grassroots organization is currently gathering signatures to get same sex marriage back on the California ballot, during the November national election.

Despite the fact that many many LGBT community leaders, and as of now EQCA as well, do not support going back to the ballot and asking for equal rights, the LHC people are out there working to do just that. 

And it sounds good, right? On the surface, going back to the ballot four years later when the population seems more in line with the idea, when professional sports teams have joined the “It gets better” campaign, when Jane Lynch hosted the Emmy’s, when Glee broke ground, when the President himself isn’t enforcing DOMA, when DADT has ended…. But still, no.

It isn’t a good idea to put the fate of the rights of the minority into the hands of the majority. Equality has yet to be truly provided by popular vote. It has always, in this country at least, been up to the courts to mandate equality and then enforce it. Now, maybe the general population has grown and changed in the last four years. But maybe not.

In fact, the statistics are still murky and just because someone says they are pro-LGBT rights does not mean they will vote that way. Considering who is likely to be running for President in 2012, and thus who is going to be turning out to vote, do we really want to muddy the waters with this issue? If the court system fails us, and as of right now we have no reason to believe it will, we can always try again down the road. But a defeat again at the ballot box would be more than heartbreaking, it could potentially set the cause back another decade.

So, if you get asked to sign the Love Honor Cherish petition… please think first. Think hard, and consider this. ( From the article I wrote back in June after the EQCA Town Hall Meeting: ) “{H}ere are a few statistics worth noting: In 2009: 47% approval for same sex marriage, 48 % opposed, 5% unsure. In 2011 the numbers had moved to read 45% in favor, 45% opposed and 10% unsure. Now, many people will applaud the increase of the “unsure/undecided” portion, but since that is more wild card than anything and it is usually better to count that as votes for your opposition and hopefully be pleasantly surprised, I’m not sure that these particular polling stats give us much to be happy about. The rest of the polling data that EQCA shared with us last night went pretty much the same way. There were areas were the support gained a few points, many cases where it simply hovered still, and a whole lot of increase in the “unsure/undecided” part. Yes, it is nice to see the opposition moving into the “unsure” category… but there seems to be plenty of supporters moving that way as well. Democrats that were polled, for example, moved from 65% approval with 4% unsure in 2009 to 59% approval and 9% unsure in 2011. You read that right.” 

Again, it isn’t anyone’s job to tell you to sign or not sign… to vote or not vote or which way to vote. The point here is that you must be fully aware. You need to ask the questions. You need to delve into the facts and figures and find the truth.

Last example: A recent post over at the Skepchick blog centered around a trans reader questioning the legitimacy of the process described in this book:. Natural Transitioning, an FTM alternative 

Debbie, a Skepchick with close ties to the trans world takes a very skeptical look at the book and the process and finds that it is not nearly as comprehensive, useful, or natural as it pretends to be. I won’t repeat her analysis here, but I do encourage you to read her post. 

Basically, she breaks down all the claims, does some research, and is able to draw conclusions based in facts: an excellent use of critical thinking skills and healthy skepticism.

 To sum up, because I’m pretty sure a few of you have zoned out by now, I want to encourage you to be skeptical, to be critical of “sure things” and internet stories, to take the extra four minutes to check the sources of the article that screams that soda will kill you or that Facebook is going to start charging you…. Be mindful of hyperbole and sensationalism. Be aware and be unafraid to ask ask ask and continue asking until you are satisfied.

Honing your skeptical skills takes practice, but it is well worth it.

New Job: Week One!


First Week

After a week of work at the new job, I can safely say that the novelty of waking up at 7 instead of 8 has worn off. However, I really like my job and the people I am working with.

A few highlights.
The broccoli in my desk: It is made of foam and squishy. But still.





(Also found in my desk…. 


Candy… 



a mini dental kit…


and way in the back of a drawer, two broken staplers.)



Also, there was the accidental phone call to the Sex Line…. From my office phone. I meant to call my Temp agency. Instead of dialing 1-888- XXXX…. I dialed 1-866-XXXX and got  a sultry woman’s voice calling me ‘sexy” and telling me how glad she was that I had called. She was quick to move on to the necessary credit card info that would be needed and I was quick to hang up.

Otherwise, the week has been relatively uneventful.

A slightly funny thing… Every Tuesday Kaiser employees are encouraged to wear turquoise as a symbol of workplace safety. Yeah, it makes little sense to me as well. Here is the blurb:

SUPPORT TURQUOISE TUESDAY:
By wearing turquoise, employees and physicians can make a public statement that they are committed to ensuring their own safety and the safety of others.  Turquoise Tuesdays is one component of a safety awareness campaign developed by the Just One Day committee.  It is the committee's goal to encourage employees and physicians to make that daily commitment to safety at work and at home.

The Just One Day Committee, by the way, feels we should wear turquoise every Tuesday... which means more than one day, but I guess it is just one day a week....

I don’t have very much turquoise in my wardrobe, and the whole thing seems a lot like that “Change your FB avatar to a cartoon character to promote the idea that child abuse is wrong!” thing, which also made little sense.

But because I am new, a team player, and look good in certain shades of blue… I did indeed wear a turquoise-like color today.


Not the best phot, but the right color... right...?


LEt's see... I finally got my badge. It took two trips to the security office (not on my campus, which means a drive after work) and many phone calls. But I have it!


It opens all the doors in my building except the doors to the HR Department.


Did I mention that my job is in the HR Department?


Well, I'm sure it will get fixed soon.


Again, liking the job; I hope it will get extended.




And that about sums up my work recap!

The Red Tent






The Red Tent by Anita Diamant

Not since The Mists of Avalon has a book taken the history of men and transformed the story into a beautiful history of women, woven like a fine tapestry with threads of loyalty, intrigue, ritual, and a mother’s love.

Many of us know the story from the Bible of Jacob and his sons. How Jacob married both Leah and the beautiful Rachel… how his son Joseph, who wore a coat of many colors, was sold into slavery by his brothers but rose from prison and ended up ruling at the right hand of the Pharaoh. Fewer might remember the story of Joseph’s sister Dinah whose honor was defiled leading her brothers to exact bloody revenge.

It is Dinah’s story, in her own words, that the Red Tent tells. Though the details of the lives of the larger than life characters are strongly fictionalized, the historical details of life in Biblical times are told with authority and accuracy, most notably the aspects of “women’s culture,” The Red Tent (the seclusion area that where women rested once a month) plays a large role in the tale as it is the place where the women come together to tell stories, share loads, and remember their own secret rituals.

Here are the often overlooked voices of the women, the bread makers and child bearers, the ones who divine dreams, stand on the bricks, and weave the cloth.

Dinah’s story, and the stories of her mothers and brothers, is haunting. It will make you think, make you ponder the rituals of the past, make you long for your own mother’s lap. Starting with the story of Jacob’s arrival and ending only after all the other players have left the stage; the book retells an old familiar tale with enough new twists to keep the reader avidly turning the pages. 

A masterpiece of historical fiction and retelling, this book shines with the echoes of the past, sparkles with passion, and dazzles with a story that is still new and exciting.

I strongly recommend this book!