Wednesday, October 18, 2006

People Should Know Better

I was forwarded an email today that I had to share. It was a vitriolic attack on Target Corporation as having an anti-veteran policy... oh, and that they were owned by a French company. *GASP* Of course, it was one of those things that had been forwarded a million times. It pulls on the heart-strings of people who want to stand by our military veterans, but who don't take the time to question the content. They read it. Get incensed by the content. And forward it to 20,000 friends.

And the beat goes on.

Here's the email. The words and punctuation are the same. I removed all of the colors, giant fonts and spacing to make it fit.

Wasn't it last Christmas that Target refused to let the Salvation Army ring their bells in front of their stores? Dick Forrey of the Vietnam Veterans Association wrote. "Recently we asked the local TARGET store to be a proud sponsor of the Vietnam Veterans Memorial Wall during our spring recognition event. We received the following reply from the local TARGET management: "Veterans do not meet our area of giving. We only donate to the arts, social action groups, gay & lesbian causes, and education." So I'm thinking, if the Vietnam Veterans Memorial Wall and veterans in general, do not meet their donation criteria, then something is really wrong at this TARGET store. We were not asking for thousands of dollars, not even hundreds, just a small sponsorship for a memorial remembrance. As a follow-up, I E-mailed the TARGET U.S. Corporate Headquarters and their response was the same. That's their national policy. Then I looked into the company further. They will not allow the Marines to collect for 'Toys for Tots' at any of their stores. And during the recent Iraq deployment, they would not allow families of employees who were called up for active duty to continue their insurance coverage while they were on military service. Then as I dig further, TARGET is a French-owned corporation. Now, I'm thinking again. If TARGET cannot support American Veterans, then why should my family and I support their stores by spending our hard earned American dollars! And,have their profits sent to France. Without the American Vets, where would France be today? "They, most likely would be speaking German and trading in Deutsch Marks" Sincerely, Dick Forrey, Veterans Helping Veterans. Please send this on to everyone you know to let Target know we don't need them either.


Now all of this crap didn't exactly ring true. So I took 3 minutes, checked into it and found this:

It's a page on Target's corporate site that addresses exactly what they do for veterans. And they do a lot. It also mentions this vitriolic email campaign in particular.

Of course, I copied everyone in the email that had been sent to me with the proof that it was false. It also happened to list the name of the person who had forwarded it to my sender. She's an executive assistant to a Chief Marketing Officer for a MAJOR U.S. CORPORATION.

It never ceases to amaze me that people, even those that should be smart and educated, will continue to propigate lies without question because it pushes their emotional buttons.


Tuesday, October 17, 2006

Campaign for Real Beauty

It's no wonder that women and girls have unrealistic ideals of beauty. It's nice to see that somewhere out there, someone wants to do something about it.

Check out this website,

It's All About ME!

More silliness to start my day. Why do I seem to always get these from MagicMarmot? I don't tag people (I was never good at that game anyway - couldn't run fast enough), so just feel free to cut, paste and tell all.

6 odd or weird habits/things/facts about yourself:

1.) I have hitchhikers thumb.
2.) My first major in college was Vocal Performance.
3.) As a kid, I liked mustard and mayo sandwiches.
4.) I also used to mispronouce TR as F when I was very young.
5.) I lived above a laundromat until I was 20.
6.) I didn't learn how to ride a bike until I was 10.

1. Are your parents married or divorced?

2. Are you a vegetarian?
Hell, no. I like veggies, but meat=good.

3. Do you believe in heaven?
Not in the clouds and angels way. I think there's something we can't possibly comprehend.

4. Have you ever come close to dying?
Not that I know of.

5. What jewelry do you wear 24/7?
My wedding ring and anniversary band.

6. Favorite time of day?
Early morning or late night.

7. Do you wear make up?
Yes, I do.

8. Ever have plastic surgery?

9. Do you color your hair?
All the time -- it's overdue now.

10. What do you wear to bed?
Mostly t-shirts and jammie pants.

11. Have you ever done anything illegal?
And been caught?

12. Can you roll your tongue?

13. Do you tweeze your eyebrows?

14. What kind of sneakers?
New Balance

15. Do you believe in abortion?
Yes, I do.

16. What is your hair colour?
Naturally? Kind of a dull, mousey brown now.

17. Future child's name?
Got all I want, thanks!

18. Do you snore?

19. If you could go anywhere in the world, where would it be?
First choice - London. But it's only a starting point.

20. Do you sleep with stuffed animals?
Nah, I have a nice warm husband and a poodle.

21. If you won the lottery what would you do first?
Call a financial advisor / accountant.

22. Gold or silver?
Mostly silver.

23. Hamburger or hot dog?

24. If you could only eat one food for the rest of your life what would it be?
A pizza with everything on it. It sounds silly, but my first thought was, "What one food can contain all four food groups?"

25. City, beach or country?
I love the beach, but the country would win out.

26. What was the last thing you touched?
The keyboard.

27. Where did you last eat?
At my computer desk.

28. When's the last time you cried?
Last week.

29. Do you read blogs?
Me? Nope. Never. (ha!)

30. Would you ever go out dressed as the opposite sex?
As a woman, it's not really a big deal. I steal my husband's sweaters all the time!

31. Ever been involved with the Police?
Nope. Sting asked me out a few times, but I just wasn't interested.

32. What's your favourite shampoo, conditioner and soap?
Shampoo / Conditioner - it depends on what I need - anything from the cheapest Suave to Paul Mitchell. Soap - whatever moisturizers, smells good and happens to be on sale.

33. Do you talk in your sleep?
Avindair tells me I do... when I'm under stress, especially.

34. Ocean or pool?

35. Window seat or aisle?

36. Ever met anyone famous?

37. Do you twirl your spaghetti or cut it?

38. Ricki Lake or Oprah Winfrey?

39. Basketball or football?
Football, if we're talking "soccer". Never could get into American football.

40. How long do your showers last?
As long as I have hot water, if I can get away with it.

41. Automatic or drive a stick?

43. Are you self-conscious?
Not terribly, no.

44. Have you ever drank so much you threw up?
Urp. Yes.

45. Have you ever given money to a tramp?
Tramp as in hobo or a woman in mini skirt with blue eyeshadow? No to both.

46. Have you ever been in love?
Yes. Most definitely.

47. Where do you wish you were?
On a retreat.

48. Are you wearing socks?
Yes. Cold toes.

49. Have you ever ridden in an ambulance?
Yes. Once. And it was an exciting, hair-raising ride.

50. Can you tango?
Never tried, but I'd love to learn.

51. Last gift you received?
Avindair brought me roses on a bad day.

52. Last sport you played?
Oh, hell. Does a game of pool count?

53. Things you spend a lot of money on?

54. Where do you live?
A northern suburb of Minneapolis.

55. Where were you born?
Grand Forks, ND.

56. Last wedding attended?
It was a cousin.

57. Favorite fast food restaurant?
Wendy's for the Fresco sandwiches.

58. Most hated food?

59. What's your least favorite chore?

60. Can you sing?

61. Last person you IMed?
Mom and Dad.

62. Last place you went on holiday?
North Dakota.

63. Favorite regular drink?
Tea with cream and sugar.

64. Current crush?
How about "always crush"? My husband. :-)

Monday, October 16, 2006

Happy Birthday, Avindair!

My wonderful husband, Avindair, just celebrated his 40th birthday on Saturday. The theme and guest list were a surprise, so I didn't want to spoil it here ahead of time. Yesterday was for recovery!

Since we are, indeed, the Nerdy Bunch, I threw a Star Trek-themed costume party. There was Star Trek trivia and the original series running on the TV. Our son, MonkeyDude, helped me with the cleaning, shopping and decorations - he even thought up writing NCC-1966 in painter's tape across the garage door. Our dear friend, MagicMarmot, came up with a very cool prop (you can see it on his blog) and extra rope lights for effect.

Our daughter took her dad out for the day to lunch and a movie so that we could prepare. When they arrived home, Avindair was outfitted with a gold captain's shirt and a phaser!

All in all, a great evening filled with great friends. Even the experimental recipes for Romulan Ale, Tranya and Aldebaran Whiskey went over well!

Special thanks to MagicMarmot and Artemis for helping with decorations!
Double special thanks to the kids for helping with cleaning and preparation and decorating AND for finding sleep-overs on Saturday night!

And THANK YOU to all our friends who joined us. It was a great 40th birthday party - we wouldn't have had that much fun without each and every one of you!

Friday, October 13, 2006

So THAT'S Where I Put My Desk!

It's no secret that I've been a stress-puppy lately. And, without the prospect of a 3-week retreat in the country, I figured I'd have to perform my own psychotherapy on the run.

I started yesterday by cleaning my desk... and it's helping.

First, I took one of those cardboard filing boxes. The kind you get from Office Depot. I filled it with all the stuff littering my desk: things to be filed, pictures, paid bills, check stubs, the general paper pile-up that I mentally label "stuff I need to take care of some day". At the same time, I filled a garbage bag with the junk that gets mixed in with the "gotta keep" stuff.

And you know what I discovered? The top of my desk! But more than that, the little bits and pieces I keep on my desk as reminders of what's important and why I sit there day after day doing my job.

Everything on my desk means something to me. I couldn't stand the thought of having a perfectly functional desktop space.

1. Pictures of the kids, my parents, grandparents, Avindair - Family is important to me. My family is my center.
2. A clay Star Wars Emperor Palpatine head - Alex made this in school. I keep my pens in it!
3. A 3-inch tall straw maid - A gift from a cast-member in a show I did - years ago. A reminder that am creative.
4. A stuffed toy frog - A gift from my (now deceased) Uncle Dale when I was a kid. It reminds me of his wonderful, positive personality, how much he believed in me, and frogs are a symbol of good in many cultures: luck, abundance, life and rebirth.
5. A purple, hand-made, mirrored box holding a Sakajawea dollar, a green stone, and two rings - The color of the box is a reminder of independence and free spirit. One ring, my Brownie ring from grade school, is a link to the past. The other, a gift from my daughter. The coin, is something quirky - not popular, but still valuable. The stone was something I chose to bring home as a momento from traveling; it's smooth, vaguely heart-shaped, and a beautiful shade of my favorite color.
6. Five little action figures - A chick in black holding a cup of coffee, Wonder Woman, a barbarian woman, another female fighter with a sword, and Wolverine... 'cause he's hot.
7. A 4-inch glass heart - A gift from my mom. That says it all.
8. A seashell - From a family trip to the Gulf Coast of Mississippi. Lots of symbolism in this one - family, nature, freedom and order -- and it's green, too.
9. A little toy lion - For courage and strength.
10. A small, silver, hand-made, heart-shaped box - From one of my best friends as she traveled the world to Oman in the military.
11. A tall, colorful witch - Light-hearted reminder that being mindful and spiritual is to make one happy and not somber.

If you could look around my office, you'd see books of every description stuffing three big bookshelves (and I need more bookshelves), more family pictures, comic book art, games, computer stuff, music, action figures, kid's art, starship models. One look at my surroundings and I'm reminded of why I do what I do -- and what my priorities should be.

It's easy to get off track - to stop seeing what's right in front of me. I realize now that my desk is like my "Work Altar", giving me encourage and perspective to do what I need to do. What I started yesterday isn't a cure... not by a long shot... but it's a start!

Wednesday, October 04, 2006


The number one word to describe me right now. Just plain weary.

It's the everyday things that are getting to me. The routine, the mess, the deadlines, the to-do list. The kinds of things that every person on this planet has to do every day - but eventually your soul has just had enough and you need a break.

I don't see that break coming any time soon.

Like a lot of people, I wake to the alarm, hit the snooze a few times, shuffle out of bed, fail to eat a good breakfast, and head off to work.

I try to ignore the everyday-life flotsam covering my desk, our kitchen counter... the floor boards of my car. I don't have the time or the initiative to deal with it. I'm on the treadmill with my shoe laces untied. Eventually, I'm going to trip.

Didn't take a real vacation this year because of repeated work woes. Haven't even been successful in planning a weekend getaway and I don't see that happening any time soon. Mostly because I just don't have the energy to deal with the headache it takes to plan and execute a vacation.

I am weary.

I wish I could be one of those sparkling people that gets up at the break of dawn with a spring in their step and a smile on their face. The kind of person that has a place for everything... and everything in it's place... and because of that doesn't worry like the rest of us.

Sometimes I wish I could be the kind of person who didn't give a rat's ass about anything. But that's just not within me.

Or maybe be the kind of person whose life is so simple, so uncomplicated, that issue never comes up.

Truth is, the same things that bring complexity and headaches also bring facination and laughter and challenge and love -- and those are things that I wouldn't... couldn't do without. What I could probably use is two full weeks off. The first week to play catch up and do all the things I'd like to get done - because I couldn't enjoy week two looking at the to-do's around me. The last week to just enjoy a week of nothing but getting up, taking a walk, reading, cooking a good meal, ignoring work and emails and phones, puttering around the yard, being with my family, not running to catch up with my life.

Hell, everyone has trouble just dealing with life from time to time. That's where I am today, but at least I have some of it behind me. I did manage to get up, get ready, write a whiny blog post and get my kids off to school. Now for the rest of the day.