Saturday, April 10, 2010

Random things that make you smile

In the spirit of doing lists, here's a list of things that make me smile:

Waking up and not feeling tired.

Having your bath or shower water be the perfect temperature.

Waking up refreshed and realizing you still have three hours to sleep.


A message in your voice mail box that makes you laugh instead of just informing.

A real letter in your mailbox.

An email that isn't a forward.

Finding that song that has eluded you for months or even years.

Getting something free in a restaurant you go to all the time because they know you by name.

Having an old friend over for dinner.

Seeing someone in your local book/music/department store and hanging out for the entire afternoon or evening.

Being able to snuggle with your dog.

Having your nephew say your name for the first time.

Drinking or eating something you've been wanting for months.

Smelling something that reminds you of something from when you were eight.

Seeing someone from your youth who has matured and become a much better person.

Finding that candy that you used to eat when you were in sixth grade.

Opening a file only to find a prize you won when you were in junior high.

Finding a shoebox full of funny pictures.

Drinking the most delicious tea on a chilly day.

Putting on an album that makes you dance.

Cooking to Van Morrison.

Sharing a bottle of wine while listening to Miles Davis.

Calling someone by mistake and talking for hours.

Time makes you smile more than money

For the longest of time, people just wanted money, money and more money. You'd think they'd just want peace of mind, but the reality is that they just wanted different types of power be it acquisitive, social, influential, or any other thing that results from having mucho dinero. Slowly though, I see people who are more interested in quality time to enjoy with their families, to have to do their own thing or whatever. I'm not calling it a paradigm shift by any means, but I will call it the response to years of generating capital only to not be able to use it.

Think about it, some of the richest people you know (not all of them mind you), have an amazing house, a slick car, snazzy clothes and regularly work thirteen hour days. Then other rich people you may know have a broken home, are actually in debt and never get to enjoy anything because they aren't happy.

Then I see people who are making ends meet, make a decent salary but actually spend time with their loved ones or have a small art studio which they don't neglect or actually give themselves the opportunity to write the next great American novel. Those people actually seem to be better off than filthy rich people, though rest assured, some rich people are just fine in their lives because they are appreciative of their wealth and don't feel a need to compare themselves to anyone else.

Then you read polls in major magazines or just talk to people you know and though it's obvious that quite a few people could use more money, it's incredible how across the board the wish for more time is. And then you wonder if people could choose free time or a little extra money, which would they pick and something tells me that unlike the US dollar, time has not devalued and has actually sky rocketed in market value.

But you don't hear anyone ask for some spare time. You don't see anyone begging for a few minutes of anyone's time. That's because instead of being top of mind, it's actually burried deep beneath stratas of worry and stress.

So one day, just to find out how much you miss free time, might I recommend taking one of those 15 sick days you rarely use and simply do what you want to do... just a thought.


Oldschool has never been more stupid

To celebrate the release of the hot Tub Time Machine, Wisconsin's Mauston community has just defluxcapacetered itself into 1955 regarding their involvement with teen sex education. If you haven't read, click the title of this post to see yahoo's coverage of a wonderful little article talking about how sex ed teachers can now face jail time and a $10K fine if they actually show kids how to use contraceptives and other forms of birth control.

Juneau County District Attorney Scott Southworth last month sent a letter to area school districts warning that health teachers who tell students how to put on a condom or take birth-control pills could face criminal charges.

In a move that can at best be called ignorant, Southworth along with his conservative mob insist that teaching sexual education including the proper use of contraceptives is one of the leading causes for teen pregnancy and delinquency, since people under the age of 17 having sex can be tried on a misdemeanor charge. I'm not a huge advocate for offering opinion and judging people merely on what they say, but when it comes to this topic, I think people should really take a break from keeping their head where the sun doesn't shine.

Luckily, there are people that along with sex educators, feel that this law does not hold water:

Janine Geske, a Marquette University law professor and former state Supreme Court justice, said she didn't understand Southworth's legal logic. She said that if he tried to prosecute a teacher for adhering to guidelines approved by the Legislature and governor, the case would likely be dismissed.

"To be frank, I can't follow exactly what he's trying to get at," Geske said. "If a teacher is educating a student pursuant to state law ... I don't see how under any examination (that) could be criminal."

Just in case, I don't understand the logic either, though that doesn't matter because I don't live there. But Audrey Jensen does, and she has an opinion I highly agree with.

"Audrey Jensen, whose 16-year-old daughter, Justina, is a sophomore at Mauston High School, said Southworth is trying to censor what students learn, usurping the role of parents. Children will have sex regardless, she said, and they need all the information they can get."

Censoring education has never been a pretty thing and being told what people can or can't read or learn has simply been something nations have had to cope with for centuries since governments obviously don't want us to know certain things that can but thoughts in our brains and restlessness in our souls. But this isn't some refusal to distribute classified and anarchy feeding knowledge. This is basic teachings every teen should receive so they at least have some information to juxtapose with real life situations when faced with someone that is also responding to crazy hormones and wants to know what happens when you put one and one together. Without the proper education, they might actually find themselves getting a poor definition on synergy and see that one plus one can equal three or more without the proper birth control.

But alas, some people need to champion ignorance:

Matt Sande, the legislative director of Pro-Life Wisconsin, which opposes the new law, said every district attorney in Wisconsin should follow Southworth's lead.

"We commend him for his courage, his frankness in exposing the consequences of this irresponsible new law," Sande said. "If I were a district administrator, I would want to know the impact."

If you're confused as to what law it refers to, it's a state law that mandates that any school choosing to teach sexual education (which isn't mandatory) is required to teach teens about birth control and practicing safe sex. Yes I know, in a beautiful, pristine and pink conservative reality, kids would marry their high school sweethearts, would make love only after they get married, would have 2.3 kids and would never cheat on their taxes. But this isn't lala land. Kids nowadays are even crazier than when I was a teen and teenage pregnancy continues to rise and ages for pregnant teens continue to lower.

Just the thought of a law against teenage sex is ludicrous enough for me because to prosecute teens you'd need one of three things to happen: that a teen who has been conditioned to feel shame for having sex confesses because of the guilt they have inside, that an officer knocks on some steamed windows and actually goes through the prosecution or that teens become pregnant, which could then be debated because what happens if two kids were just masturbating on top of each other and one of those crazy pregnancy stories came true?

The fact of the matter is that more likely than not, teens are going to continue having sex and conservatives will continue to preach in their underwear since most of them since enough to make any messiah weep in disgust. I'm not usually this brutal when it comes to judgment calls because I sincerely do think people are entitled to their opinions, but I do have a problem when people insist on shoving and imposing their opinion onto others. Think of it as me rebelling against Jehova's Witnesses for their house visits offering me the path to Christ. I don't mind that you're a Jehova's Witness. Seriously, whatever gets you through the day without imposing on someone else, then bring it. But waking me up at 8:00 a.m. on a Saturday or Sunday because you're on a door to door crusade is butting into my life and I do resent it... as I resent being told what I shouldn't learn, especially when sex ed teachers are doing their best to help kids, not throw them to the wolves.

If you still think that sex ed is all about breeding curiosity, might I invite you to sit into one of those classes. That's because I STILL remember all the pictures of herpes, gonorrhea, syphilis and genital warts that put me in the mindset of never having sex without a condom. Oh and I'm about to turn thirty and I've yet to get anyone pregnant... so maybe, just maybe, I benefited from sex ed... or maybe God doesn't want me to have children, whereas I'd owe an apology to Pro Lifers who insist that we should be fruitful and multiply even if we don't have the means to properly support a child.

But hey, that's just me babbling.