Sunday, November 30, 2008

Adult stores and conservatives

As GG and I were driving to and from northern Wisconsin, we noticed a lot of billboards for pro-life advocacy groups and for adult superstores. The pro-life groups makes sense to me. This is a conservative rural area where it would make sense that pro-life and other socially conservative groups would be influential. But I have to admit the number of adult superstores that were not only advertised, but were right off the highway kind of surprises me. I noticed a similar trend when I was living and traveling in North Carolina and through Virginia. I saw a lot of billboards that were socially conservative or were religiously based like biblical quotes, but also a lot of adult bookstores or billboards for "gentlemen's clubs". I remember the first time my brother and I were driving around Greensboro, NC where I would later reside for a time and we noticed a lot of adult bookstores and a very large strip club. This mix of social conservatism and yet a blatant flaunting of sexual materials always struck me as interesting. It seems as though there are contrary thought, you should ogle women in various states of undress or masturbate to adult material, but if you were to have sex with a real live women it was a sin or less socially acceptable. This seems to say that sex is less acceptable than masturbation. Now I am not trying to condemn masturbation, but for an area that held families and family values in such high esteem, shouldn't they also encourage people, men especially to find families instead of masturbate? I have known of strip clubs and other adult bookstores in other areas like Chicago, Baltimore, and DC, but they seem to be more discreet entities. I know Baltimore has "the strip" where it is just one long street with strip clubs and adult bookstores, but they seem to be in concentrated areas, where the areas of North Carolina that I saw had the adult entertainment areas spread out, I guess this makes it seem like there are less of them or something, but I think there might have been more "dens of ill repute" in these conservative areas than in not as conservative areas. I am not sure why there seems to be more adult stores in socially conservative areas than in more liberal areas, maybe it is more about anonymity as GG postulates or maybe in the rural areas it is blamed on the those truckers who are passing through or other travelers and not the good people in that area or maybe because they are not having sex they need to masturbate more often in socially conservative areas, but whatever the reason, it is definitely a trend I have noticed and will keep track of as I travel. And I will leave you with one of my favorite Calvin and Hobbes comic strips that fits along the same lines of adult material.

Saturday, November 29, 2008

More random songs

Because I can only post so far ahead and it is now Saturday and I am writing this post on Tuesday night and I cannot think of anything else.

I am posting this purely because it is Richard Shindell and Lucy Kaplansky, both musicians I really really like.

Richard Shindell and Lucy Kaplansky- The ballad of Mary Magdalene

I just really like Jenny Lewis of the band Rilo Kiley (my weakness for redheads again). The new Jenny Leiws CD is really great and I realized I have not posted anything by her yet so here she is.

Jenny Lewis- The next messiah

Friday, November 28, 2008

YouTube Fridays

Since I am still not home yet, I thought I would do some Lucinda Williams. The first song because we will be driving on some gravel roads up in northern WI. I just really like the second song.

Lucinda Williams- Car Wheels on a Gravel Road

Lucinda Williams- Drunken Angel

Thursday, November 27, 2008

Happy Thanksgiving!!

Happy Thanksgiving!! I am always a fan of Friends, but this scene does make me laugh a bit.

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

My wacky names post

So I have been tagged for this or anything, but since I am currently out of town in the great north woods of WI with no internet, I figure that I can do it ahead and then you can enjoy it at your leisure.

Other Names Meme:
1. WITNESS PROTECTION NAME (mother’s & father’s middle names): Rick Ann
2. NASCAR NAME (first name of your mother’s dad, father’s dad): Nathan Peter
3. STAR WARS NAME: (the first 2 letters of your last name, first 4 letters of your first name): Hijosh
4. DETECTIVE NAME: (favorite color, favorite animal): Blue Elephant
5. SOAP OPERA NAME: (middle name, city where you live): Greenstein Waukegan
6. SUPERHERO NAME: (2nd favorite color, favorite alcoholic drink, optionally add “THE” to the beginning): The Green Jack Daniels and Coke
7. FLY NAME: (first 2 letters of 1st name, last 2 letters of your last name): Joll
8. GANGSTA NAME: (favorite ice cream flavor, favorite cookie): Coffee Chocolate Chip
9. ROCK STAR NAME: (current pet’s name, current street name): Logan Lincoln
10. PORN NAME: (1st pet, street you grew up on): Meagan Bragg

So apparently if I ever become a porn star I must have a sex change or be a transsexual.

Tuesday, November 25, 2008


GG and I are traveling up to the great white north of Wisconsin tomorrow. We are leaving early in the morning, like 5 AM. So I am trying to get all of my posts done already so that I can keep things going and also so that I can stick with my whole blog for the whole month of November commitment. I guess I could just say I have no internet so I will give up and not post, but I can play with when the posts appear, so I figure why not just post on a set schedule. So now I will keep the magic going day after day after day. It will be nice to get away for a few days and more importantly no traffic and no stupid Black Friday shoppers. Speaking of Black Friday, how black will it be this year I wonder. More people are struggling financially, more people can't afford their basic necessities so will they go out and shop till they drop on Friday. And even if stores report that numbers are down this year, would you notice this as you are fighting the crowds if you are stupid enough to go shopping on Black Friday? I am sure spending will be down, but how down and I am sure there will be a difference in the craziness of a mall versus a Walmart. I am sure Walmart will be jammed pack. So if you have to go out on Friday, make it quick and try to avoid the crowds.

Monday, November 24, 2008


I woke up to snow today. It was the perfect kind, too light to need to be shoveled or make the roads dangerous, but enough to be pretty outside. And by this afternoon when I left work it was mostly melted which is kind of disappointing, but at least hopefully this means it wouldn't be icy tomorrow morning.

Sunday, November 23, 2008

My lover of Rachel continues

FranIAm mentioned this article about Rachel Maddow and as anyone who has read this blog for a while knows, I have a crush on Maddow. So I had to go and read the article, it was a great article about her rise from Stanford to Air America to finally MSNBC. She talks about how intense her life is, the fact that she sometimes doesn't eat till 2 AM after she is done for the day and that is from a street vendor, she talks about her girlfriend and the importance of their relationship in her life and finally she talks about her role as an outsider as a lesbian and as a female in a male dominated profession. I know I am biased in this matter, but it was a really interesting and well written article. Give me even more reason to crush on her.

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Taking a movie too far

Apparently a Japanese man has seen The Terminal too much, he is now living in the Mexico City Airport. He has a travel visa to Mexico and has chosen to just hang out in the airport for a while. I guess it is safer than going out into the city and having to breathe the air which is notoriously polluted, but living in an airport does not sound like a great idea to me.

Friday, November 21, 2008

YouTube Fridays

Because these are really funny.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

In honor of World Philosophy Day

Hell, I didn't know it was World Philosophy Day today, but the BBC News says it is so I will go with that. So I am stealing two of the four questions they pose in the article with some of the explanation that they give as they actually made me think quite hard. I really think that these questions are interesting to contemplate. I have no answers and so I am not posting them here. I am challenging you to think about what is being posed and then come to your own solutions. I do have opinions and if you want to hear them, than drop a line in comments or by email, but that is not the point for me here. The point is to make you think, something I rarely strive to do on my blog or at least don't do enough of, IMHO.

Suppose Bill is a healthy man without family or loved ones. Would it be ok painlessly to kill him if his organs would save five people, one of whom needs a heart, another a kidney, and so on? If not, why not? Consider another case: you and six others are kidnapped, and the kidnapper somehow persuades you that if you shoot dead one of the other hostages, he will set the remaining five free, whereas if you do not, he will shoot all six. (Either way, he'll release you.) If in this case you should kill one to save five, why not in the previous, organs case? If in this case too you have qualms, consider yet another: you're in the cab of a runaway tram and see five people tied to the track ahead. You have the option of sending the tram on to the track forking off to the left, on which only one person is tied. Surely you should send the tram left, killing one to save five. But then why not kill Bill?

Consider a photo of someone you think is you eight years ago. What makes that person you? You might say he she was composed of the same cells as you now. But most of your cells are replaced every seven years. You might instead say you're an organism, a particular human being, and that organisms can survive cell replacement - this oak being the same tree as the sapling I planted last year. But are you really an entire human being? If surgeons swapped George Bush's brain for yours, surely the Bush look-alike, recovering from the operation in the White House, would be you. Hence it is tempting to say that you are a human brain, not a human being. But why the brain and not the spleen? Presumably because the brain supports your mental states, eg your hopes, fears, beliefs, values, and memories. But then it looks like it's actually those mental states that count, not the brain supporting them. So the view is that even if the surgeons didn't implant your brain in Bush's skull, but merely scanned it, wiped it, and then imprinted its states on to Bush's pre-wiped brain, the Bush look-alike recovering in the White House would again be you. But the view faces a problem: what if surgeons imprinted your mental states on two pre-wiped brains: George Bush's and Gordon Brown's? Would you be in the White House or in Downing Street? There's nothing on which to base a sensible choice. Yet one person cannot be in two places at once. In the end, then, no attempt to make sense of your continued existence over time works. You are not the person who started reading this article.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Can we have Thanksgiving first?

I know Thanksgiving is only about a week away and after that is the craziness that is the holiday season. And I know that everyone is supposed to love Christmas music. And I know I am probably just being a humbug, but the fact that a radio station has started to play all Christmas music, all of the time, annoys me. It is too early to start this shit. I am not a huge fan of most Christmas music, there are a few exceptions, I like Feliz Navidad, Little Drummer Boy is Ok and I can live with Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer, but not yet. I like to take one holiday at a time. I was annoyed when I was looking for Halloween stuff in Target and right there beside the Halloween stuff was the Christmas stuff and it wasn't Halloween yet, but this is ridiculous to start the music already. I hate to break it to the fucking fundies, but when you can start fucking decorating in the middle of October (before Columbus Day), start seeing wreaths and trees up decorating whole towns and fucking listen to fucking Christmas music before fucking Thanksgiving there AIN'T NO FUCKING WAR ON FUCKING CHRISTMAS so shut the fuck up about it already. Or maybe I am just grumpy about this shit, I have been accused of being a humbug especially about Christmas music before, but really how many fucking times do you need to hear fucking White Christmas or fucking Jingle Bells before fucking your fucking head will explode. And people wonder why I start fucking swearing at fucking loudspeakers in fucking public places when they play fucking Christmas music. It is cause I am tired of fucking Christmas music and it ain't even fucking Thanksgiving yet. Sheesh!!

Side Note: I really like the word fuck tonight, apparently, I used it 19 times in this post.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Two great videos

This first video is a really amazing octopus video that I found on GG's site.

This second video is of a Boxer playing with their owner because I love Boxers and this Boxer has a great blog.

h/t Cairo the Boxer

Monday, November 17, 2008

We found a fish we don't like

When GG and I went down into Chicago area to a great Korean market there was a great fish and seafood section. I adore seafood and GG likes much of it fine. So we decided to try a new kind of fish, milkfish. Neither of us like this fish, we now know. GG thinks it tastes like mud and although I don't like it is that bad and I agree it is a rather strong fishy taste, there are lots and lots of bones in the fish. I did not like it enough to try and pick out all of these really really small bones so that I did not choke on them. So now we know we do not like milkfish. That is what we learned for today.

Sunday, November 16, 2008

I have been torn, maybe no more

I have seen many articles, news reports and blog posts on Hillary Clinton as possible Secretary of State and I have been torn on this idea. On one hand, if Obama appoints her as SoS it will do a lot to heal the wounds that were caused during the primary fight, it may heal even some of the greater wounds within the Democratic party. Clinton does have a lot of international experience and she does seem to have some credibility on the international stage. She also is independent and will speak her mind thus giving Obama another point of view on international issues. I also understand the whole keeping your friends close and your enemies closer idea here as well. On the other hand, I am reminded of her unbending support of AIPAC, her support of our war in Iraq and her general hawkish foreign policy ideas, which all scare me quite a bit. I am also not sure her appointment to SoS continues Obamas claims to be bringing change to Washington and the general idea that he is supposed to represent the progressive arm of the Democratic party. This seems to be political business as usual. So I was split until I read this article. Apparently, Henry Kissinger is very in favor of Clinton getting the appointment of Secretary of State. And if someone who has been so conservative and hawkish in the foreign arena is supporting this maybe it is not the right choice. I also wonder if the talents and skills of Clinton are better served as Secretary of Health and Human Services or as a vocal and forceful voice in the Senate. I know Obama is trying to reunite the Democratic party after a rough primary season and I know he is trying to show that he is a true change agent by changing up the way in which Cabinet members are decided upon, but at what cost? Does an appointment of Clinton as Secretary of State on the heels of the Rahm Emmanuel appointment show that Obama may not represent the progressive arm of the Democratic party as much as we hoped? I guess I and we will have to wait and see what the rest of his Cabinet appointments are and how he acts as a President because as we all know actions speak louder than words.

Saturday, November 15, 2008

From Chagall to O'Keefe in one day

GG and I decided to take a field trip today to Milwaukee. We had been there one other time with my mom when she came to visit. We have been talking about trying to get back up there and go to the zoo or the art museum or a Brewers game (OK so maybe I want to go to a Brewers game and GG doesn't but same idea). So anyway, we decided earlier on this week that we were going to go up to Milwaukee and see the Milwaukee Art Museum and then today we decided to add the Milwaukee Public Market to our itinerary. Again, we had been to the Public market before with my mom, but we really liked it so we wanted to go back. We walked around and picked up some small items like tortilla chips and cheese curds, but the highlight of the day was the fried oysters we got from the fish market. They were really good, obviously fresh and hot. We were near a large family who had all kinds of food like calamari, raw oysters and finally mussels. The mussels smelled so amazing, we decided we had to get some of our own to make at home, so we picked up a 2 pound bag and they were nice enough to give us some ice to keep them on and now we have mussels to make this week. We also watched a boy who was about 4 or 5 who was inhaling the calamari and raw oysters, which caused GG and I to comment how our own children will be similar, they will be exposed to so many different types of food and rarely chicken nuggets and hamburgers that they will either gain a taste for it or starve.

Then it was time to go to the art museum. The Milwaukee Art Museum is simply awesome. The architecture is really interesting and modern. There is a long hallway from the ticket desk and entrance way to the museum into the the first floor exhibit halls which is all windows and looks out onto Lake Michigan. Although it was a really drab overcast day, it was still really amazing to look out onto the lake and watch the waves and some really crazy idiot try to go out on a sailboat. The museum itself is two main floors with a mezzanine in between and a smaller exhibit floor in the basement, so there is a total of four floors, but the mezzanine and the basement floor have only a few exhibits on each. We did skip large parts of the museum with the exhibits of the Renaissance and Romance period paintings, I get creeped out by the large emotionless paintings of royalty and the obnoxious religious paintings that seem to dominate these time periods in art. But there were a lot of other artists and art to see. I was incredibly happy to see that the museum had several Georgia O'Keefe paintings and they had their own little exhibit area. I also was able to see a Marc Chagall painting which was very cool for me. I had wanted to see artwork by both of these artists for a long time and this was a great opportunity to see both at one time. The museum also had art by Kandinsky, Picasso, Jasper Johns among many others. The Milwaukee Art Museum was impressive to me in its shear volume of art and different exhibits. Milwaukee does not spring to mind when thinking of art museums like Boston, New York, and Washington, DC, at least not to me and yet this is a great art museum. The special exhibition was called Act/React and was all art in which the museum goers participated in the art. It was a lot of lasers and lights that shifted as you walked around it or on it. Although, this was interesting, both GG and I agreed that it became a bit repetitive and boring, but there was one point in which a little girl was running around on one of the pieces and so it was mildly entertaining watching her react to the arts reaction to her movement. The only piece that was truly interesting was an old wooden table that as you touched it, voices spoke from speakers on the wall. There were sensors that triggered phrases to be spoken by both male and female voices. This was a very odd sensation as when you are interacting with the piece all you are getting sensorially is touching a table and then there are voices and of course more than one person is touching the table at a time, possibly and so there are more than one voices speaking at a time. It is a cacophony of noise and sound, mildly disorienting and definitely like there are voices in your head, but I thought really cool as well. I swore some of the dialogue was from movies I had seen as the voices were mildly familiar and the lines sounded like something I had heard in a movie, but I am not sure. Overall, this is a really good art museum and ranks up there for art museums that I have seen.

Friday, November 14, 2008

YouTube Fridays

I have been listening to Antje Duvekot lately and really like her. I have no idea where I first heard her, but I really like most of her songs.

Antje Duvekot- Judas

Antje Duvekot- Merry-Go-Round

Thursday, November 13, 2008

I got nothin'

I am trying to do the whole post every day for a month thing and I have done everyday, but today I got nothin'. I could talk about Hillary Clinton as rumored to be up for the Secretary of State job, but BAC does a great job of covering this. I could talk about what I heard around my house, but DCup has that covered and my house is not as interesting as hers. I could talk about the disgusting Prop 8 vote, but many of you have done a great job of that including Cunning Runt. I could try to be a really snarky, smart photo blogger, but Tengrain is amazing at this and well that is not really my thing. So I am left with nothin' and no post. Wait...I just did my post for today. If I didn't mention you in this post, well I still love you, but I can only mention a few that really stuck out when I am half-tired and trying to watch ER.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Happy Birthday!!

It is someone's birthday today. Go wish her Happy Birthday. This must be a good time of the year for birthdays, I have another friend whose birthday is toad and there were three kids at school today in two classrooms whose birthday was today. What a great time of year.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

I guess even the fuel industry is being affected

There is a one in the dollar section of that sign. This was taken just down the street from my house. Now to get the $1.95 gas you have to get a car wash too, but still, it is amazing to see our gas drop to below $2 under any circumstance. I just hope that soon I will be able to get gas for below $2 and not have to get a car wash. Who would have thought that gas would decline so much only a few months ago? We were expecting gas to hit $5 by the end of the year and now it seems to be going in the opposite direction.

Monday, November 10, 2008

Kids and the Obama election

We all know that the election of Obama will our lives. We will finally have a Democrat in the white House after eight years of an idiot in the White House. Obama has talked about changing out lives in many other ways too, changing No child Left Behind, higher tax refunds to the middle class and healthcare reform. But isn't it our children who will benefit the most from seeing Obama become elected. Children of all races will realize that you can aspire to become the President of the USA. You do not have to be a white male to become president. I know we have yet to elect a female president, but I am hopeful that the really good run that Hillary Clinton had combined with the fact that we have now elected an African-American man will allow us to elect a women in the very near future, hopefully 8 years from now, as long as it isn't Palin. I started to think about this after seeing this article in the Sun-Times. It discusses how at the school that Michelle Obama attended for a time, the whole school has begun to integrate the Obama election into all of the subjects from math to Social Studies to Language Arts. Furthermore, the teachers and principal have started to use the fact that Obama is now our president and looks like many of these children (it is a predominantly African-American school) to inspire these children to reach for higher goals. The principal has even asked children, when they misbehave, "How do you think Barak Obama would feel about this?" These children are seeing that their dreams are able to come true and that if they want to be president, it is now a possibility and not just a dream.

There was a further article that discussed at Bouchet Math and Science Academy in Chicago, the same school mentioned above, the ideas of what Obama should do first now that he is elected. Many of the children had great ideas ranging from stopping people from taking drugs or selling drugs to improving our educational system to getting the troops out of Iraq. These children are the future, they will take over this country when my generation is gone. Many of these children will be able to vote in eight years, so the hope I have is that they will have seen someone who governed this country and left it in better shape they he started with as opposed to our current president who is leaving the country in worse shape than when he started.

As amazing an accomplishment as the election of an African-American president is to those of you who lived through the Civil Rights movement of the 1960s, I was not even born yet, I think it is even more important to those children who will not have really known of a country that had not elected an African-American president. These children will grow up to want to be president and we will no longer telling minority children that they will be the first non-white president or that they can be anything they want even though they have no role models, now they have that role model. This was an important election for the whole country, but for our children it was possibly the most important one for their lives.

Sunday, November 9, 2008

When great minds collaborate or dinner with GG and BR

I had wanted to make Oyster stuffing for a while and tonight we (GG and I) decided to make it. Well, actually I made it, but it was part of our dinner tonight. It is a leek, mushroom and oyster stuffing. I used a mix of shiitake and portobello mushrooms. We had also found some frozen oysters at a new great Asian market that is sort of near us and I added some canned oysters to that. I also used sourdough bread from the grocery store that I chunked. It was very good, but maybe too moist. GG and I discussed some ideas on how to fix the moisture level, letting it set for a bit so that the bread soaked up more of the liquid and the flavors could meld more.

In addition to the stuffing we (GG made this) made roasted root vegetables. We used turnips, rutabagas, red onions, and garlic.

We did have an additional protein source, GG roasted a small chicken. This was also good, but I chose not to take a picture of it for three reasons. One, since I am primarily a vegetarian or working on it, I wanted to focus on the vegetable and non-meat options. Two, a big hunk of chicken with no legs or wings is mildly disturbing or maybe that is just me. And three, the other two components were the main pieces and what GG and I shopped for and took time to prepare, the chicken was just a side note.

Saturday, November 8, 2008

I swore I wouldn't do it and now I have

I joined Facebook today. I was curious about some people that I knew a long time ago in a galaxy far far away or when I was In DE working with Americorps, so the best way to see what they were up to was to join Facebook and try to friend them. So now I am officially on Facebook.

Friday, November 7, 2008

YouTube Fridays

It is Preschool music day. I have these songs in my head so I am sharing.

Thursday, November 6, 2008

Long Day

It has been too long days with parent-teacher conferences till 7:30 the past two nights. And I don't really have much to say as I have not even gotten a chance to look and see what is going on in the world. But I want to post everyday so this is the post for today.

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

The obligatory election results post

So as everyone else that I read, I am very happy that Obama won last night. I have been fighting a sinus infection and so I was able to stay up till about 10 or so here which was late enough to know that Obama had won, to see McCain's concession speech, which I thought was very gracious and well done, but not quite late enough to see the Obama victory speech. As I watched the results last night, I followed the national vote heavily of course, but I also really wanted to see what would happen in my former state of North Carolina. I knew that Elizabeth Dloe was up for re-election and that the Governor's race was a tough fight as well. I had also heard that Obama might have a chance of winning NC as well, which would be a bit of shock. Well, Dole lost her seat, YAY!!!!! Bev Perdue, the Democrat, won the Governor's race which means they will continue to have a Democratic governor, something they have had for the past few years. And finally even at this hour (9:33 CDT) the state of NC has not been declared for either McCain or Obama, this seems huge to me. According to MSNBC, the vote is about 50-50, but in reality according to the NC Election Board, the vote is 49.7% for Obama and 49.38% for McCain with all of the precinct's results in. So this is also very exciting to me that NC could really go to Obama. I know he doesn't need NC as he has won the electoral votes easily, but it is still awesome that a state that is traditionally very red is now turning at least purple if not blue. So congrats to the voters of NC for voting for your best interest instead of voting based upon race or fear.

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Another voting post

I couldn't help, but post this. I am a sucka for cute kids.

h/t Tengrain

I voted today

I voted today, it was so easy. GG and I watched the local news out of Chicago and they were talking about 2 hour waits, she went at around 8 and I went around 10 and neither of us had to wait at all. We both were able to just walk in and vote. It really was great to not have to wait in any line. As I put my paper ballot in the computer, I saw that I was the 175th person to vote on that machine. The highlight for me was that as I was waiting to check in to vote there was a women in front of me with her grandson. It is always great to see that kids are seeing how important it is to vote and do our civic duty.

Monday, November 3, 2008

The overmedicated child

I saw this article at the Chicago Tribune online about the dramatic increase in the number of children who are now on prescriptions for everything from diabetes to ADHD to asthma. Now all of the conditions are serious and I am sure they are increasing in children at an alarming rate, but it seems to me to be a bit of a chicken or egg situation. Are children on more meds because the actual numbers of these diseases are increasing or are the number of these diagnosis increasing because we have the technology? I would say that there are environmental factors that are contributing to the increases in asthma and diabetes. Children are getting less exercise and eating more unhealthy foods along with more pollution in our water and air and so the increases in these diseases seem to make sense to me. But the increase in the diagnosis of ADHD is something that I worry about. I work with kids all day long as most of you know and so I see active kids, I see kids who can't sit still for more than 5 minutes, I see kids who always seem to be distracted by something and don't focus well. I know they exist, but is this really an increase in ADHD or are we as a society just becoming lazier about things? Is it easier to give a kid a pill than to address their need for movement? As an educational system, is it easier to tell parents you need to get your kids on medicine or they won't pass school than to give them more time outside or more time for them to not sit at their desk? These same kids would not have been medicated in the past, even 20 years ago when I was in school, they would have been acknowledged as active kids and the adults would have been told they had to find ways to help these kids to focus or find ways for them to be less active. I think we over medicate children now. I think that it is easier for the parents and for the schools to just give little Johnny a pill than to address his need to move around during the day. Now part of the fault for these children is the increasing pressure for children to not be active, the expectation that all children are able to sit for 8 hours a day at a desk writing, reading or listening to a teacher lecture AT them. As someone who knows something about early childhood education, and I would say this part applies to all people, no child is able to just sit at a desk for long periods of time. They all need some time to get up, to burn off some energy and to get refocused. Most adults do not sit at their desk for the whole time at work, they get up to go to the bathroom, to have a coffee break, to talk to another coworker so why do we expect children to do what we as adults cannot do. So, to tie this back to what I was saying earlier we have to medicate kids more because we have unreasonable expectations on them as to their activity level. We are also lazier as to finding solutions. We give them a pill and the problem is supposed to be fixed whereas, I think, we have just created newer and more dangerous issues and that is that now these children do not know how to function without being on medicine. They cannot focus or operate in the world without medicine. We may not see this issue now, but in five to ten years when these children are out in the working world after high school or college we will realize that this over medicating of children has become a huge detriment to our workforce and society at large.

And then I saw this article, which discusses the fact that now there are more than 6 million children some as young as 2 who are taking medicine for series psychiatric conditions. These children are being diagnosed with things like bipolarism, depression and anxiety disorders. This, honestly, scares the living fuck out of me. Either we are seeing what have long been thought of as disease that do not strike children till at least puberty being diagnosed while they are still in diapers or we are over-diagnosing children. If we are over diagnosing children than we are setting up these children for a lifetime of struggles as they recover from being on medicines that they do not need and are possibly harmful to them physically and mentally. If all of these diagnosis are totally accurate and we are seeing this jump because of technology, than where were they children before technology allowed us to diagnose them? And finally, if they are all accurate and we are truly seeing this much of a spike in the psychiatric distress of very young children than what the fuck is going on? Why are we seeing such a spike in the number of children with bipolarism, anxiety disorders and depression at such a young age? Is it environmental or biological or...? I don't know, I do know that autism is also increasing in occurrence as well and that is yet another neurological disorder, or so we think right now. What is happening to us as a society that children are so fucked up (sorry for the phrasing, but it seemed appropriate) that we need to give them serious psychiatric drugs before they walk, talk or even enter school? I am baffled and as a teacher and member of society I am very very scared for the next generation.

Finally, I am not saying that some children do not need medicines for ADHD or for series psychological disorders, I am just wondering whether it is every child that we are diagnosing needs these strong medicines and if there are not other solutions.

Sunday, November 2, 2008

Free coffee just for voting

Starbucks is offering that if you vote on Tuesday, they will give you a free Tall coffee. Although, I do have some issues with Starbucks at times, I am getting to where I like them more than I used to. And I figure it is a good deal to get free coffee just for doing something that I was going to do anyway. This commercial, which was apparently shown at the beginning of last night's SNL, which I didn't watch, is actually a good ad about why we should all care about what our politicians do all of the time not just before election day, but even after it too.

Saturday, November 1, 2008


I know I haven't posted in forever (over two weeks), I haven't even really been reading the blogs like I used to. For a while I was still reading everyone, but not really posting much and now it has gotten to the point where I am not even reading blogs that much. Well, I want to change that. I participated in NaBloPoMo (National Blog Posting Month) last year and it really seemed to help me get into the habit of blogging everyday or at least most everyday. I started to view the things around me more analytically and started to think about if and how I wanted to make blog posts. That seems to have faded lately, so I am trying one last effort, I am going to try and post every day this month (November) and if I can do that and it re-sparks my energy, which I hope it will, than great and if not than this has been a great ride and maybe the need for me to blog has begun to fade. This is my first of hopefully at least 30 more posts. This may be challenging for me around Thanksgiving as upstate Wisconsin, where GG's family is, does not really have easy access to internet so I may have to post ahead or figure something else out, but that is a problem for then and is moot if I am not following my goal of posting everyday anyway.

h/t Blue Gal for the graphic