Christmas is here.

The United States is a melting pot. We have folks here from every which country in the world, of every religion. And many non-believers.

And yet, our holidays are so one-sided.

People complaining about not being able to say merry Christmas, in early November. But there’s no denying that Christmas is all around us. It starts around the first week of September in the stores. All the pine trees are decorated, not for Winter Solstice or Hanukkah. No one calls them pine trees – they are called Christmas trees.

I don’t get a day off work for Diwali, like we get at least 2 days off for Christmas and Thanksgiving. There’s a LOT of prep work (cooking, cleaning, decorating) to do for Diwali. No one gives us a single extra day off to prepare for this huge holiday. So much cooking needs to be done. Rangolis need to be drawn. But we’re expected to pull it off in our time after work, in sprints of 6-9pm leading up to the night. While still doing regular household duties. But you don’t hear me complaining about it. You don’t hear complaints from the almost 3 million Indian-Americans in the US.

Meanwhile we have stations & places playing 24 hrs of Christmas music for the 2 months prior to Christmas. So, calm down with the “attacks on Christmas”. There’s no war on Christmas.war-on-christmas-jkglolas

the history of Memorial Day

We are at a time where our nation is so divided. Today, on ‪Memorial Day‬, it gives me hope that this day of commemoration came out of the most divided our country ever was (the Civil War). The 1st Memorial Day was when “thousands of freedmen, including almost 3,000 black schoolchildren, gathered to decorate the graves [of Union soldiers] with flowers and beautify the graveyard.” ‪Still hopeful for this great nation.

Why do we celebrate Memorial Day?

I found this really cool page where I learned the history of Memorial Day. And had to share it.

You asked, we answered: Why do we celebrate Memorial Day? A Civil War military history researcher explains where Memorial Day celebrations came from. Pic above links to page.

I have children for Christmas

Guess what?
I “adopted” a 3 month old for Christmas!

OGC presents1
I don’t see or meet her, but I get to buy her (& 2 teenagers) Christmas presents! Her ppl (foster parents or DHS) requested a Baby Einstein cd, so I’m totally going to get that for her!! I’m so excited!

It’s a program called “Operation Good Cheer”, and you pick a child’s profile (I got 3), and they each have a wish list of 6 items. You get 3 items minimum, but can get more, and gift wrap them, and put their id # sticker on the wrapped package, and it gets delivered to them!!!

OGC presents2
My 3 month old was exposed to drugs/alcohol while in the womb, and in a home with parent(s) abusing drugs (so she was likely neglected). She’s 3 months and only weighs 8 lbs!!! She breaks my heart! 😦

The 2 teen girls also came from homes with substance abuse, and both were sexually abused, one also physically abused. They’re both in a residential treatment facility. The baby is in a foster home.
OGC presents3
My goal this year is to GIVE GIVE GIVE as much as I can. If I’m focusing on putting good out into the world, then there will be some good in the world, and maybe some of it will latch on somewhere!

If you’re interested in participating in Operation Good Cheer (it’s a program put on by Child and Family Services of Michigan, Inc.), check out their website.

Photos from the Operation Good Cheer Facebook page.

Winter Break

So, I’ve been on Winter Vaca for the last 2 weeks. My goals for this Break? To work on my résumé, & scan/upload old pix. I wanted to scan ALL our old family pix; some as old as 40 or more years. I also wanted to just do some of my old fun pix from before I had a digital camera. Now that I can share those online; you couldn’t do that in the 80’s & 90’s!

Anyway, I got nuttin done. But I had a great time!! & had such a busy fun Break!

Here’s just the last couple days….

You need to know that my sis flew in from WI on Xmas day, & we’ve both been staying at my parent’s w/ my bro since then.

On Thurs, we all (us siblings) chipped in & bought my parents a HUGE tv. I’m not exactly sure that they’re called tvs anymore. I’m pretty sure this thing isn’t called a tv, but I don’t know the new lingo. We had fam friends over for din-din, & so were up really, really late. My parents went to bed around midnight, so I got to work on this sugar-free dessert (my mom’s diabetic). Was up til 3 am doing this; then sealed it, & hid it in my car’s trunk.

On Fri, we found out that the tv may or may not be delivered in the next 24 hours, so we got to work on my parent’s entertainment center. This thing weighs like 300 lbs, it’s huge, & needed to be cleaned out. We were working on it all day, & planning on going out to din for my mom’s b-day that night. My mom’s b-day is actually Dec. 20th; my parent’s went to see the new Bond movie & the next week they went out to din w/ my bro. But my mom lives for us kids, so to her, it’s not really a b-day party unless we’re all there. So, I went out & snuck the dessert from my car to their car before we left for din. We got to din, & surprised my mom w/ my other sister meeting us there w/ her hubby!!! She was floored! Then, of course, the dessert that was snuck in (we had grabbed their valet key so we could sneak the cake from the car to the restaurant after being seated).

Sat was tough to wake up since we were all up til 4 am talking the night before. But we had to get up at 9 am for an old fam friend’s engagement party. We’ve known the girls since I was 5 years old. The older sis is married, has a new baby (8 mos.), & livin in Seattle. The younger sis lives in LA, & her & her fiancé had their engagement party here. So, fun times last night too.

That’s just the last couple of days, we’ve been running around doing stuff for the last 2 weeks!

Now, I’m so exhausted, & so not ready to go back to work tomorrow. I think I can go back as early as Wed, if nec, but would really appreciate not having to go in till Thurs. Wish someone could just snap their fingers & arrange that.

PhotoFriday: Self-Portrait

A friend of mine & I were IM-ing last Friday, & she mentioned that maybe I should get stilts.

And Friday’s Photo Friday challenge was Self-Portrait. That made me think of my visit to the Getty a couple years back, where I took this pic:

Funny lookin, no?

For more funny-lookin (& normal-lookin) PhotoFriday Self-Portrait submissions, go here & click on the names in the left margin.

am I just too sensitive?

This is kinda a lazy pic post; but there are a few things wrong. So, they’re wrong, but I’ve gotta admit, still a lil funny.

So, for my b-day, I had to re-register my cars. Who says ya don’t get anything for $50 now-a-days. Lookit… I got these 2 cute lil black stickers for $100! The lady offered to give me a sticker that doesn’t expire til May 2010 for just an extra $50. I declined.

Next up… I got this lovely letter in the mail to remind me that I’m now “of a certain age”. Yeah, it’s nice to save money, but couldn’t they just say that they’re giving me a refund b/c my “hair’s a bit longer”? Or, b/c they’re excited that shrugs are no longer in style?

I trust there’s one on the way to me for my 2007 Corolla too?
~fingers crossed~

And last up, I saw this on one of my MyYahoo! pages. I have multiple MyYahoo pages set up by categories. Anyway, I thought this was a lil inappropriate.

couples’ costumes: yay or nay?

I know, I know, y’all are in a state of confusion once again. There’s an election coming up, the US has pushed around our daylight savings time*, you’re worried about ppl poisoning the Halloween candy.

And there’s even more Halloween controversy. Couples costumes: in or blech?

I’m here to help out & say that I def think that if you’re part of a couple, you should wear couple’s costumes. I’ll go even further & say that if you’re just part of a group trolling around downtown or whatever, you should get a group ensemble together. Like the Scooby Doo gang or something like that. Have I just dated myself?

Maybe this stems from my neurotic need to have consistency, but whatevs. I still think it’s cute to have things that go together.

You know, like peanut butter & ladies.

father’s day, brought to you by…

Have you guys heard this commercial on the radio for Home Depot. It’s like a reg radio ad, then at the end the dude says:

Home Depot…. proud sponsor of Father’s Day

Really? Home Depot sponsors Father’s Day?

Like, they paid to create the holiday? Uh, no. So, do they sponsor it by buying random gifts for dad’s across America? Yeah, out of the kindness of their stock prices.

That could be a new cause. Like Hands across America; only they’d be all for “Dads across America”. What a joke. So, can I buy radio time & say I’m a proud sponsor for Recess at Work Day?

btw, if you go to that Recess at Work site, you have to check out that pick of the founder; just scroll down a lil.

In Remembrance

Today, we observe Memorial Day*. There was a time when Memorial Day was a big deal; not so much anymore. It was 1st observed in 1868 (officially); although it is noted that women in the south would form organized groups to decorate the graves of fallen soldiers before that.

Pres. Clinton did a lot for Memorial Day (as I believe he did a lot for many things). Before Clinton, the Presidents of the US did not routinely observe Memorial Day. In May of 2000, he put out a memorandum saying that while we should honor those who fought & gave their lives for us, we should especially honor them on Memorial Day. In December, he made it a resolution; that the entire nation should take a minute at 3:00 (local time) to honor those fallen defending our values.

In 2004, Washington DC held it’s 1st Memorial Day parade in over 60 years. DC, ppl, uh, the nation’s capital. Yeah. Bout time, huh?

This post is not supposed to be about Bill, it’s supposed to be about taking a pause in the day today. But I think my bias for Bill Clinton comes out whenever I say or write anything relating to him, huh? I do think he’s one of the good guys.

*actual Memorial Day is May 30th. It is observed the last Monday in the month of May.

my gay Christmas

So, I put a smile on some truck driver’s face this morn. Wanna know how? I was rockin out in my car to my gay Christmas music. Last night, I went through my cds & found what I was looking for. My fave Christmas mix that I made a few years back.

So, I was totally rockin out in my car. Dancin in my seat, boppin my head, shakin all around, & singin my own harmonies when their was just music & no words. This is ‘how I do’ when I’m by myself.

But it makes me happy. And I know this pickup truck driver was one of the construction ppl who’s having a hard time getting the project they’re working on done, b/c they keep getting bothered by ppl who know nothing (that reminds me of Schultzie from Hogan’s Heroes “I know NUTT-THING!”). Sorry, I’m just completely cracking myself up this morn. Anyway, what I meant to say is that the pick-up truck driver-dude saw me boppin around, & I know he thought I was silly, but at least for an instant he wasn’t all worried about his day. And that’s kinda cool.

Ok, so back to my Gay Christmas music. Now, don’t get all ‘huffy-puffy-whaddya-mean-gay-music’. I’m not sayin it in a bad way at all. There’s diff types of music. Let’s all face it. Esp w/ Christmas. There’s the breathy Christmas music (ie, ‘Santa Baby’, & any Christmas song done by Christina Aguilera). There’s the sentimental stuff (ie, Nat King Cole or Bing Crosby).

And then there’s what I was listening to this morn. Christmas music written by George Michael. Actually, it was 2-fold gay, cause not only is it George Michael music (which I love, love, LOVE; btw); but it’s also a version of his song that’s sung by 2 gay-homosexuals. Yes, I know it’s redundant to say gay-homosexual, but that’s just how I roll.

It’s the little things I do that crack myself up. I do tend to amuse myself. Like, one of my fave things to do is to mix up numbers & letters when I’m making lists. I’ll start off w/ the 1, 2, 3, then put down ‘d’. It cracks me up! I know, it’s silly, but I’m just a corny person who loves corny stuff. I also love Bob Newhart & his old funny records.