Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Mumford and Sons

My new music love?  Mumford and Sons.
I can has banjo?

umm of course!

Take a peek over at NPR and hear a LIVE recording of them.
No political approval or disapproval of NPR just linking a really cool recording.

Monday, March 14, 2011

Books I Love

One of the things that has been keeping me from blogging is reading.  Reading actual books.
Books are a funny thing, aren't they?  I sit down and watch a good movie and it leaves me the next minute, hour or day. I read a good book and it sticks with me forever.  I love books.

Here are a few of those good books I've read....
Swallow  by Tonya Plank

At first glance I didn't know if I would like this book.  No gimmicks, no mystery.  Just a woman facing big change in her life.  Those changes and past hurts manifests themselves into a physical aliment, the inability to Swallow.
I loved the main character and all her flaws. So many women character's, in modern day literature, come across as very weak and although the main character had issues you always felt an underlying strength.

The Dirty Parts of the Bible
The Dirty Parts of the Bible: A Novel  by Sammy Conner

I couldn't resist the title and cover.  Who could?  You know what they say, you shouldn't judge a book by it's cover, and it's true: this book was so much more than it's cover.  So much better then I expected.
Once you get over catchy title and cover, deep within the pages of this book is a wonderful, funny story.

The Overnight Socialite: A Novel
The Overnight Socialite: A Novel by Birdie Clark

A modern day Pygmalion, aka My Fair Lady, set in the social scene of New York City.  A fun weekend read or, as the weather gets warmer, a fun beach read. 
I love this new breed of smart "chick-lit". 

How I Learned to Love the Walrus (an Arctic Romantic Comedy)
How I Learned to Love the Walrus  by Beth Orsoff

Another smart chick-lit book, and one that will inspire you to take a chance, that leap of faith.  I loved LOVED the main character in this book, she was beautifully, wonderfully flawed and strong.  Do you see a theme here?

And I saved the best for last...
The Last Block In Harlem
The Last Block In Harlem by Christopher Herz

I don't think I can put into words here how GREAT this book is.  I mean SUPER great. This is on my list of favorite all-time books, somewhere around The Red Tent and To Kill a Mockingbird.
I know this is a big claim I am making here.  I rarely go all out for a book.  It's been years since I had the urge to buy every one I know a copy of  a book- but I do, I do, I so do wanna buy everyone I know a copy of this book.  
But alas I can not- you should have seen the husbands face when he saw all the Amazon digital charges on our statement last month.  Not good.

What is my favorite book you ask?
The Outsiders
The Outsiders  by SE Hinton

This is the book that started by love of reading.  For that I am forever grateful.

What is your favorite book of all-time?
and If you have any book suggestions?  Let me know.


Tuesday, March 8, 2011

How I Learned about Being Taken Advatage Of.

When I was in high school I never had the "normal" job of dishing out soft-serve or deep-fattening french fries.  I was socially inept at best and I didn't cling to those things my peers did.  My weekends were not spend out partying, they were spent out baby-sitting the children of the neighborhood, as their parents enjoyed a night off.
I was good at baby-sitting and the only time I turned down work was when I had another baby-sitting commitment.  I was the go-to girl for most of my mom's friends, and I enjoyed the money I made.  My success was that I allowed the families to set the rate, and most of the time I walked away with more than if I set my dollar per child I had considered.  For the most part, people were honest and paid accordingly.  They rewarded hard work and appreciated the service that I provided.
Notice I said for the most part.  Because sadly, someone is always ready to take advantage of another's gesture of good faith.
Entering the summer of my eighth grade year, "Desert Storm" began.  I was baby-sitting one of my regulars when the wife got the call that her husband was called to serve.  Serve as border patrol off the coast of Flordia. 
Okay so he wasn't n the heat of battle but he had to leave his wife and two young children, and there was no stopping him being sent overseas.  In our little microcosm it was a BIG deal and we all tied on a yellow ribbon.  We all played our part, and after a talk with my mom I decided to offer this family free baby-sitting services.  Being a one parent household was not going to be easy for this family and I was there when needed to make their live a little easier.
Or so we thought.
What started off as a gesture of good-will became any thirteen-year-old's worst nightmare.  Almost every day I was there.  Sometimes all day.  Suddenly more children entered the deal.  Instead of two, I would have four or five baby-sitting charges.  One hour here and there turned into eight to twelve hour days.  My Saturday's became their Saturday's and I came home tired and empty handed.  Not a penny. 
I found I couldn't say no, I was a kid and this family was far worse off than me.
I couldn't say no, but my mom did.
The last straw was when I started my day there at 7 am and didn't get home till 2 am the next morning.
My mom put her foot down.  This lady was suppose to be a friend and she took advantage of others' kindness.  And took advantage in worst way by doing it to a child.
Honestly when we started this my mom and I thought I'd be there if she needed to run to the grocery store, or needed a night out every once in awhile.  We thought that even though we were offering this service she would pass a dollar or two, or maybe a thank you card.  I got nothing.  My mom knew enough was enough and if I continued on this path I would burn out fast.
I walked away from that situation learning two things.  One, it is okay to offer your help but is equally okay to walk away if that help is taken advantage of.  And two, when someone offers kindness you should always, in your own way, repay that kindness.
Never take advantage of those who have come to help you.

Friday, March 4, 2011

A House Divided.

I have been struggling to write here lately.  I have a lot of half written posts in my dashboard that will never see the light of day.  Really life happens and goes on and I have come to the conclusion that I don't have to blog about it.  The passion left and it is sad.

I live in Wisconsin so you think I would have plenty to write about.  I do trust me.  But truthfully my opinions are mine and living it everyday wears on a person.  It is in my face 24-7.  Having family and friends affected by it makes it harder to separate the policy from the personal. 

Having a husband who has the exact opposite opinion as me makes life at home at times unbearable.  I don't want to always agree on things, that would make life boring.  But sometimes I want to be in my home and have it feel like a home.  I have passions and strong opinions and sometimes it's hard to separate my feelings for a policy and my feeling for another person. 

There are two sides to every story.  There is no way of knowing who's story is right.  Which story will lead us down the right path.  All I know is I hold my values close to my heart.  My value for equal rights and equal education and fairness for the richest of the rich to poorest of the poor shapes me into the person I was, am and always will be. 


I never knew much about my Grandfather's job.  I knew he was a police officer.  A Sergeant on the Chicago Police Force.  When he came ho...