Thursday Open Thread

It’s Thursday, y’all!

And today, I’m feeling a tiny bit hopeful. Yesterday my cousin, a male in his mid 20s who is a proud Republican, re-posted a picture on facebook titled “Liberal Logic 101.”

On one side was Sandra Fluke, with the caption: “Single woman who has so much sex she went broke paying for birth control: NOT A SLUT.”

On the other side was Sarah Palin, with the caption: “Married to the same man for 24 years: SLUT.”

Now y’all know this issue has awakened my inner raging feminist, so I wasn’t going to stay silent. My first post was: “Did you read Sandra Fluke’s testimony? Because she didn’t talk about sex at all. Do your homework. Sincerely, – Your Cousin the Slut.” Then, because I couldn’t resist, I added a link with the comment, “Here’s a link to her super-sexy slutty testimony! It’s almost like watching a porno!”

We then had a little back and forth where he argued that Sandra Fluke wasn’t the point, the point was the double standard that allows liberals to call Sarah Palin names and no one complains and blah blah blah Fox talking points.

I pointed out that you can’t make such a point when the premise is based on an outright lie, and that using Sarah Palin as a red herring in this issue is weak. But I kept it civil and factual after my initial snark.

A few minutes later he sent me a direct message:

Erika, as you may know i’m very conservative and really dislike the liberal stand on many things but i do know what i posted was distasteful to many and I am removing it. I do appreciate you calling me out on it and keeping me honest.

Well, you could have knocked me over with a feather. How often does that happen? No screaming match, no insults flying back and forth, just discussion and eventually, a change of heart. I explained to him how every woman I know is PISSED. How Rush might as well have called me, and every sexually active woman out there, a prostitute and demanded to see sex tapes. I told him I’m raising a daughter in this world, and I find this whole “debate” our nation is embroiled in unbelievable and scary.

His response? “OK. Now your wall post makes sense.” He was talking about that image up above, which I snagged from our sherishu.

I think it is important to make this issue personal. To explain to people that when they slam Sandra Fluke, they might as well be slamming their mothers, sisters, friends and daughters. That going around calling any woman a slut is not OK. I don’t know if I made a difference long term, but I hope that just for today, I made him think a little.

What say you? Is there hope? These are scary times, ladies. It warms my heart knowing that y’all are raising some kick-ass, smart, egalitarian children who will someday save us from this madness!

What’s on your mind today? Chat away!


Tuesday Open Thread

It’s Tuesday!

Have you seen The Lorax? The movie killed it at the box office last weekend with over $70 million in ticket sales. But it’s also getting slammed for the ubiquitous commercial and marketing tie-ins that seem to negate the movie’s message.

Viewers might wonder what’s eco-friendly about pancakes, home entertainment services or SUVs, and this is where companies could run into trouble. “Some of the companies may get more backlash because they’re just kind of promoting consumption, but they don’t have an environmental connection,” Strizhakova said.
“I think there has to be some affiliation with either the character or the main story,” Rahlstrom said.

What do you think?

And here’s a thoughtful and eminently sensible piece on the ongoing Rush Limbaugh fiasco written by . . . David Frum?

Seriously. It’s good. Read it!

Oh, and Maureen Dowd nailed it, too.

What else is on your mind today? Chat away!


Friday Open Thread

Happy Friday!

I have had the worst couple of days lately. For starters, I’ve been feeling…thick. You know the feeling when you put on a pair of your favorite jeans and the waistband is a little more snug that usual? Yeah, I hate that feeling.

Then, a couple of days ago I was woken up by a loud noise at about 3:30am. The noise came from my upstairs neighbor and included screaming, crying, and banging on walls. It lasted for about 90 minutes. It was so raw and awful that all I could do was stand in the middle of my bedroom and…wait. I wanted to see if I could help, but thought better than to knock on my neighbors door at 3:30am. My heart was pounding and my emotions boiled over and all I did was cry. I knew. I just knew that someone died. The cries just sounded too familiar. Instantly, I was back to the day I lost my father.

The following morning, after calling in sick to work, I called my landlord and explained what happened. I pleaded with him to find out what was going on and if there was anything we could do for her. He said he would follow up. Last night, my landlord called me and said that my neighbor received a call from her brother informing her that their mother passed away. What I heard was her reaction. I knew it. I just knew it.

So, I’ve been an emotional mess for the past couple of days. It’s going to be three years in May since my father passed away, and I still feel so raw from that loss.

In better news, Karina received her second acceptance letter from Pace University in New York! They’re offering her a $12K scholarship! I’m so very proud of her, but at the same time I am deathly afraid of tuition hikes and trying to figure out how I’m going to pay for my daughters education. Especially when I get ZERO help from her father.


How have you been doing this week? Any big plans for the weekend? And finally, who do you predict will win Best Movie this Sunday and why?


Thursday Open Thread

It’s Thursday!

And I need advice. My once even-keeled daughter is starting to exhibit an intense perfectionist streak that I have no idea how to deal with. This has led to so many tears on her part, and a lot of guilt and frustration on mine.

Her competitive nature first revealed itself when she started playing soccer. She was a natural, scoring goal after goal, but when she came up against a better team, or they dared to score a goal against her, she would stomp around the field, pout, even yell. We tried to be patient and explain to her that soccer was supposed to be fun. Still, we told her, it’s OK to get angry; just channel that anger into getting that ball back and kicking it into that net.

Now she has taken up competitive ice skating; last Sunday she participated in her second competition. I went into it knowing she was probably at a disadvantage as she has one 20-minute lesson per week. Most of the other girls her age spend a lot more time on the ice, but we’re trying to keep her activities varied. Still, this was something she wanted to do and she did spend a lot more time at the rink during open skate sessions, practicing on her own and trying hard to improve. She had a couple of meltdowns leading up to the competition, but we chalked it up to nerves and general exhaustion.

The other girls in her age level knew a lot more tricks (I did not expect to see 7-year-olds doing catch-foot spirals!) while Maya’s routine included only the mandatory moves. She also made a misstep on the ice and only did 9 crossovers, instead of the required 10, which docked her one point.

As soon as she came off the ice, her coach told her she had missed a crossover, which immediately brought her to tears. Her coach is a lovely young woman who loves Maya, so I trust that her tone and manner weren’t harsh.

We then waited for the results, and Maya came in 4th out of four. She was devastated, and immediately broke down in tears. “Fourth place stinks! What did I do wrong? I wasn’t any good!” Of course we praised her and told her we were proud and we just wanted her to try her best and have fun, but she was a wreck. It was a suckfest, my friends. Her coach had to come into the lobby to help us calm Maya down. In a stroke of genius, her coach told her about Michelle Kwan, who while widely regarded as one of the best ice skaters of all time never did win an Olympic gold medal.

She eventually calmed down and went in the opposite direction: “I want to learn how to do a triple axel! I want to be in the Olympics, just like Michelle Kwan!” Yesterday she went to her lesson with renewed vim and vigor, and DH says she looked great out on the ice, and even did her first little single-foot spin. After the lesson, her coach made a comment about how her crossovers had looked a little funny at the competition, and maybe she needed her skates sharpened. That brought on yet another crying fit, and claims that her coach said her crossovers looked “dumb.” DH sympathizes because he thinks he and DD are one and the same: they thrive on praise, and dwell on the tiniest criticism.

I am thinking that if the crying and misery don’t abate, it’s time to find another activity for her. DH thinks it would be setting a bad precedent if we teach her to just quit when things get hard or stressful. My argument is: SHE’S 7. I just want her to have fun. It could be that the 1-on-1 aspect of figure skating, and basically having everything you do criticized and fine-tuned, is just too much for her right now, or not a good fit for her personality. Still, she loves the idea of figure skating. She watches ice skating competitions on our DVR, and is currently tearing through a biography of Sasha Cohen. She sketches costumes and has already picked out the music for her next competition (Stravinsky’s “Firebird,” in case you’re curious). So . . . yeah.

We have decided to give it a couple more lessons and see how it goes. So I ask: WWMTD? Any insight, wisdom or advice would be most appreciated!

What’s on your mind today? Chat away!


Tuesday Open Thread

It’s Tuesday, y’all!

And I must share this story with you. Watch the video about a woman who tied the knot on her 100th birthday. SO sweet. I just love that she and her new husband are enjoying love and companionship.

I will also confess that I’ve had vows on the brain lately. DH and I will celebrate 15 years of marriage next year. I have always liked the idea of renewing our vows in front of friends and family, as we were young and broke when we eloped so many moons ago.

Our 10th anniversary came and went, but the timing wasn’t right for a variety of reasons (one of them: we were still kinda broke). But now that 15 is on the horizon, I am liking the idea of DD in a poofy white dress, DS in a tiny tuxedo, and one kick-ass party. One idea I’m kicking around: hire a trendy gourmet food truck to cater the party. Totally casual, totally memorable. Maybe one of those fun photo booths? And a bounce house for the kids (and adults, if they’re so inclined).

So help me brainstorm: if you could design the perfect wedding/anniversary celebration, what would it look like? If you could do it all over again, what would you add, delete or emphasize? Years after the fact, what were the facets of the celebration that you remember most fondly? What do you wish you hadn’t even bothered with? Why?

What’s on your mind today? Chat away!