Friday, February 24, 2012

And on the Third Day...

Three days ago I gave up Facebook for Lent.  This should be easy, I shouldn't be dependent on an internet social network, I can go 40 days without knowing who "likes" who or what.  But it's not, I am and I'm just a little curious.

For me, Facebook is a quick check-in with friends and family.  I spend a lot of time at the computer each day, so it's easy, between entering invoices or paying bills, to log into to Facebook and see what everyone's up to.  It reminds me of my college days when I shared a house with four other women and spontaneous group study breaks took place in the kitchen over a pot of cheap coffee.  You're still up?  Did you finish that paper?  What are your plans for the weekend?

The past couple of days have been mostly about breaking this habit.  Sometimes I find myself bored and restless, looking for something online to entertain me.  Yesterday I actually clicked on the article titled "Kourtney K Reveals Sex of Her Baby."  Yes, I have sunk that low.

But on the positive side, I have had bouts of increased productivity, undistracted by status updates or the new "Timeline."  Wednesday I completed all the paperwork needed for both our personal and company income taxes--this usual takes me several days, what with questions for the accountant and finding the right paperwork.  Done!  Yesterday I drove all the paperwork to the CPA, went grocery shopping, came home to complete the health insurance updates, paid bills and completed invoices. 

Then I found out Kourtney Kardashian is having a little girl.

Only 37 more days to go...

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

You Can't Make Me

"You can't make me", the four words most likely to drive a parent to drink.  Some children seem to come out of the womb with these words forming in their mouths, just waiting for the muscle control to make it intelligible.  My son is just such a child.  By the age of two we had to try all sorts of tricks to get him in the tub, putting pajamas on required stickers, and getting him to eat anything but peanut butter resorted to out right falsehoods. (I once told him the fish sticks were french fries--it worked for the first four bites.  I considered it a success.)

Now that my children are older (and taller than me), the dreaded phrase has taken on new meaning.  They are right--I can't really make them do anything; not physically anyway.  So I have had to resort to more devious tactics, akin to psychological warfare.

My son, now a sophomore in high school, has played soccer for years and years, and seemed to really enjoy playing on the school team last year.  Now, one week before the beginning of the season, he's announced he no longer wants to play.  Had he been busy with challenging classes and other sports up until now, I could understand, but he's been sitting on the couch playing Xbox and pulling C's in two classes.  I am not feeling very understanding.

It could be that he's decided he really no longer has a passion for the game and wants to spend his energy elsewhere (I just hope it's not getting the high score on Xbox "Modern Warfare").  He says he'd like to go out for track, instead.  But I suspect a large part of this is his "you can't make me" personality.  He likes to say things that he knows will push his parents right over the edge and then turn around and act like it never happened.

Which ever it may be, I have given him an ultimatum:  pick a sport, get a part-time job, or work like h*ll and get straight A's.  His father and I are pretty sure it won't be the last option.

My soon-to-be teenage daughter is proving to be much more pliable.  After a tough couple months with a hard-to-please, quick-to-yell band teacher, she had told us she wasn't going to do band in 8th grade.  The tension in class just wasn't worth it, so she and her best friend had decided to pick a different elective next year.  Again, it's hard to watch them just drop something they're good at and, up until now, have enjoyed.  So I broke out my rah-rah, when-the-going-gets-tough speech and laid it on thick to her and her friend.  I explained that if they wanted to be in band in high school (the high school music teacher is wonderful and the band goes to Disneyland), it wasn't a good idea to take a year off.  I told my daughter if she really, really hated, I'd let her quit, but asked her to think long and hard about it first.

Oh, I am good. 

A few days ago I asked her what she'd decided.  She said she and her friend agreed to stick it out another year with the difficult teacher so they'd be ready for high school.  "Oh," I said, "I changed your mind!"  No, it turns out her friend talked her into it.  Well, at least I'm very persuasive to other people's children.

A week will tell what my son has decided is or isn't his new passion.  Honestly, I really don't care.  As long as it's not Xbox.

Monday, February 20, 2012


Our state governor just signed a bill legalizing gay marriage in Washington state, making some people happy and others very, very angry.  The whole thing leaves me a little perplexed.  If the people fighting for gay marriage really knew what marriage was like, would they be fighting so hard for it?  Why are those other people angry?  Do they need a law guaranteeing their right to marry?  (Wait, they already have that).  What the heck is going on here?  To help me understand this conundrum I will take the situation step by step and see if I can't figure it out.

It seems those fighting for gay marriage want to be able to marry the people they love.  Hmm, seems reasonable.  It seems homosexuals are people who get up every morning, go to work, pay taxes, and want to know that if the person they love gets in a horrible car accident,  they will be allowed in the hospital room to say goodbye.  So we have established that gay people work and love and die. ( Hey, just like straight people!)

For the record that I am pro-marriage.  When done right, marriage can be a very good thing.  I am also pro-sex.  Again, when done right, it can be a very, very good thing.  Apparently the stumbling block for some people is the "same" part.  I have to be honest and admit that I cannot fathom marrying someone of my own sex.  Living with a woman would drive me crazy (I don't know how my husband does it).  I really don't get the whole homosexuality thing, but I realize one thing:

Just because I don't understand something does not make it wrong.

Take, for example, calculus--I just never understood it (Imaginary numbers?  What?!).  Be that as it may, many people assure me that it really does exist. It's not just something they decided to try out because it was "cool." I also don't understand why God gave men nipples or why He lets little children die of cancer, but I trust He knows what he's doing. He made some people gay and some people straight.  I don't have to understand it--I just accept it and move on.

Many of those angry over this issue argue homosexuality is forbidden by the bible.  I don't know how many you have read the bible, but it is chock full of all sorts of things we're not supposed to do that plenty of church-going Christians do every day.  Putting aside the very obvious political candidate who has broken at least two of the Ten Commandments, all good Christians should refrain from eating pork (Leviticus 11), getting tattoos (Leviticus 19:28) or live in glass houses. (Or was that throw stones?)
Some say that allowing homosexuals to marry will threaten the institution of marriage. I am currently serving time in that institution and I don't feel threatened at all. This might change if another man wanted to marry my husband, but otherwise I feel pretty safe.  (Actually I'd feel pretty safe anyway--my husband doesn't understand calculus, either.  And he's used to my cooking.)

It seems to me that some people react with fear and anger to things they don't understand.  If they can't fit a something into the framework of their own lives (or holy books), they think that thing is wrong.  What they don't realize is that it's just calculus and no one else understands it, either.  It's just time to accept it and move on.


(Thank you to the website,_But_You_Do_Anyway)