Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Election '08, you're getting on my nerves.

It's amazing how many different opinions there are out there, and how boldly people will shove them at you. Trust me, I know. I've definitely shoved my fair share of opinions at people, and I know I've got more than one soapbox out there, but lately with all of the Campaign '08 business happening it seems like opinions and soapboxes are much more on the forefront.

I know politics gets more heated during election years. Makes perfect sense to me. I'm sure that this kind of thing stands out to me more because this is the first presidential election I'll be able to vote in (by the way, VOTE. You should vote. Really. I think it's an important thing to do.) so I'm more...actively participating, I suppose you'd say.

My close friends already have some idea of how I feel about the candidates and why, so I really see no point in going too far into it. Suffice it to say, I'm a Republican and I would bet you money I'm far more conservative than even I am aware.

Please don't think that 'conservative' has to mean 'close-minded' or 'stuffy' or 'severely opposed to any new idea, thanks very much'. I am, I hope, by no means unwilling or unable to listen to ideas. Every person has the right to mull over issues and decide where they stand. I'm sure there are some issues that I would stand on the liberal side of.

However, one thing I'm not particularly open to is all of the name-calling, insults, and all the rest that happen when one person says "I think this" and the other says, "You're wrong, you're stupid, and this is why." Well, sometimes there's not even a why.

I say, if you want to talk, debate, discuss -- then do it. I am capable (and usually enjoy) talking, debating, and discussing. If you want to announce what you think and remain undisputed (which, by the way, will rarely happen. Especially if you're a horse's behind about it.) then don't say that you want to talk about it. Because it won't be true.

(Back when I STARTED this post, on 9/11/08), I stumbled upon an article about newly announced VP candidate Sarah Palin--yeah, back when she was still "newly announced"-- which I thought was very well written and had a great combination of facts, personal opinions, all of that good stuff, while at the same time remaining polite, well spoken, and informative. I can't remember the link right at this moment, but I'll see if I can turn it up in my history and I'll post it. Basically it was written by a self-proclaimed liberal woman who admittedly disagrees with Palin's political stances but can acknowledge the qualities she does have. I guess you could call that the ultra-Reader's-Digest version, anyway.

Where I had my problem was in the comments. There were comments from all kinds of people, some of them agreeing, some disagreeing. Some disagreeing with venom and hatred. I don't have a problem with stuff like, "I see where you're coming from, but..." or, "I respect your opinion, but I disagree with you because..." That's all well and good. Because it's still a civil "You can think what you want, but since you shared your views so will I" conversation.

And then there are the "This is the stupidest thing I've ever read" comments. And the "You are pathetic" comments. And the "If you vote for Palin then I hope that the ghost of every girl who dies in a back-alley abortion haunts you and your family" comments.


I'm going to call the kettle black here, I realize that, because my initial reaction and opinion on those kind of insult comments aren't much better than the comments themselves. However, I don't think it's completely hypocritical because unlike the "You must be the dumbest person to ever walk the planet since you think that way" comments, I don't think they're garbage because they don't jive with what I think and believe. No, I think they're garbage because they offer no valid points, no reason for disagreeing, no actual substance, thought, wit, or any obvious signs of brain activity went into those statements. They're strictly emotional. They're "I-so-wholeheartedly-disagree-with-you-that-I-can't-even-abide-by-the-concept-of-personal-opinion" statements.

Don't get me wrong - I'm DEFINITELY not trying to say that I never have emotional responses. Or that I never want to say "You're so wrong!" or "Only an idiot would think that!" Let me restress that - I'm really not saying I never have emotional responses. (Those of you who know me, shut up! :-P )

However, I will follow that up with:

I don't honestly expect people to take me seriously
if the only thing I can come up with for rebuttle is
"You stink!"

"You stink!" is not quite the comeback it seems like when you're angry. And if your intention really is to sway me, or convince me that you're right and I'm mistaken, you're really not going to accomplish that by insulting my intelligence. That instantly puts me on the defensive, not only of how I think but also of me personally.

So there's one more soapbox, sort of related to politics, but also one that applies all the time.

I realize that there is no way to say this post is completely unbias because I pretty much mentioned my political stance. BUT bear in mind that this is in no way meant to be a "Go McCain, Screw Obama!" post. Because it's not. I promise, it's really not. I absolutely respect your opinion to think, feel, support, vote for whoever you want. This was merely meant to point out the fact that when you sling insults at someones' opinion and don't even offer a reason, you don't get your point across. You either irritate people (which I suppose could be the intent...but that's another story!) or look like a fool because you come off like you can't find any words to support what you're thinking.

50,000 words in 30 days. Spit in the face of writer's block.

Yep, it's that time of year again. November will be a hectic, glorious symphony of clacking keys, sips from coffee cups, taps of fingertips, and cries of frustration (or joy, depending...).

This will be my second year as a NaNoWriMo participant, and I'm already counting down. In fact, as of today, there are just ten more days left until NaNo '08 kicks off!

If you aren't signed up and want to join in the noveling fun, there's still time! And because I encourage everyone to sign up, yes even those of you who have never written much before but enjoy it, I'm going to include the "What is NaNoWriMo?" blurb right here! So you can check it out without having to take the time to click on link after link to find out. So here you are:

What is NaNoWriMo?

National Novel Writing Month is a fun, seat-of-your-pants approach to novel writing. Participants begin writing November 1. The goal is to write a 175-page (50,000-word) novel by midnight, November 30.

Valuing enthusiasm and perseverance over painstaking craft, NaNoWriMo is a novel-writing program for everyone who has thought fleetingly about writing a novel but has been scared away by the time and effort involved.

Because of the limited writing window, the ONLY thing that matters in NaNoWriMo is output. It's all about quantity, not quality. The kamikaze approach forces you to lower your expectations, take risks, and write on the fly.

Make no mistake: You will be writing a lot of crap. And that's a good thing. By forcing yourself to write so intensely, you are giving yourself permission to make mistakes. To forgo the endless tweaking and editing and just create. To build without tearing down.

As you spend November writing, you can draw comfort from the fact that, all around the world, other National Novel Writing Month participants are going through the same joys and sorrows of producing the Great Frantic Novel. Wrimos meet throughout the month to offer encouragement, commiseration, and—when the thing is done—the kind of raucous celebrations that tend to frighten animals and small children.

In 2007, we had over 100,000 participants. More than 15,000 of them crossed the 50k finish line by the midnight deadline, entering into the annals of NaNoWriMo superstardom forever. They started the month as auto mechanics, out-of-work actors, and middle school English teachers. They walked away novelists.

So, to recap:

What: Writing one 50,000-word novel from scratch in a month's time.

Who: You! We can't do this unless we have some other people trying it as well. Let's write laughably awful yet lengthy prose together.

Why: The reasons are endless! To actively participate in one of our era's most enchanting art forms! To write without having to obsess over quality. To be able to make obscure references to passages from our novels at parties. To be able to mock real novelists who dawdle on and on, taking far longer than 30 days to produce their work.

When: You can sign up anytime to add your name to the roster and browse the forums. Writing begins November 1. To be added to the official list of winners, you must reach the 50,000-word mark by November 30 at midnight. Once your novel has been verified by our web-based team of robotic word counters, the partying begins.

Still confused? Just visit the How NaNoWriMo Works page!

So there you have it! Join! Write! Revisit your coffee and/or Red Bull addiction! Pull out some hair! And walk away with something written that wasn't there before! Whether or not you manage the full 50,000 matters not! Trying is half the fun, and take it from someone who's been there before, it's a great way to get those creative writing juices flowing!

If you sign up and want to befriend me (as if anyone wouldn't!) my username is "get_skittled". Add me. I will add you. We can mutually discuss how good or bad our novels are coming. It'll be a grand old time!

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Don't you just hate empty promises?

I know I do. Especially when they're made by inanimate objects.



Maybe I'm just a cynic, but I'm thinking...if a bra can handle "back-fat" issues...then you probably don't actually have back-fat issues. Your current bra is just potentially a bit too constricting. In any case, I don't believe that by purchasing this bra, anyone will actually find themselves saying, "Goodbye!" to their extra back-ness.

So I'm thinking "Bye-Bye Back Fat" would probably fall into the "empty promises" category. Or, if you're one of those people who files lawsuits over ridiculous things, perhaps "false advertising".

Sunday, October 12, 2008

Memo: Check Document Spelling.

Yes, it's that time again. More "funny signs". 

Although this time it's really more of a funny memo. I found it at work, stuck dutifully to the lost and found drawer. I distorted the last name and phone number because I'm not that mean and I don't want to put people's personal information out for the world to see. But I couldn't not take a picture of it. Because it tickled me quite a bit.

Check it out. I hope it's legible enough for you to read. It's a memo concerning someone who lost a phone. It includes a description of the phone.


Did you see it?

The funny part, I mean.

Yep. It's a fully "whight" cell phone.

I've never seen a whight cell phone! A white one, sure. But never a whight one.

So there you have it. My funny sign for today. I hope you got a chuckle out of it. I know I did.

Monday, October 6, 2008

New Updates, Past Entries

That whole backdated entry thing can be handy, but then...if I update the posts, or...finish actually writing them...then they show up behind my newer posts (date-wise), and thusly are skipped over by the lovelies that are keeping up with this blog!

Here's a quick fix. :) These are the two technically-newest past-entry posts. And for the sake of convenience, I'll give a brief little...description of sorts. For both entries. That way you'll know if you want to check them out (or not).

First up in the farthest back newest entry, Do What You Feel.

This is a short little post + a funny little video! The best of both worlds, right?
 *nudge nudge*
The 'short post' part is a prelude to the video, which is a clip of my favorite show, The Simpsons. Coincidentally, it's also the show that taught me a number of valuable life lessons. And I can think of a Simpsons quote to reference just about anything you could say to me. But that's neither here nor there. Anyway, as it is a pretty short post, the title actually does sum it up pretty well. The clip is from an episode where Bart basically starts a movement, causing the town to "Do what you feel." The clip is of a newscast about the new so-called WayOfLife. Plus a little exchange at the end that always makes me laugh... :)

Second, a more...serious post, I am Pro-Life. You Have Been Warned.

This is a not-so-short post, probably falling under the category of "on the soapbox", so now you know in case you don't feel like reading it. 

It spawned from a different blog entry I read about Veep Candidate Palin, but it's not so much about her so much as what this other blogger called her; Anti-Choice. As opposed to Pro-Life. It is a stance post, and if you don't want to read it then don't. But in whole it's about how supposedly "un-biased" information can be so blatantly biased anyway. Example; it would be unbiased to state political figures' literal platforms. But by choosing "Anti-Choice" instead of Pro-Life, the bias sneaks in anyway. If you're going to be biased, you might as well admit it. Like I am now. My post is biased because I am Pro-Life, and I take offense to being called "Anti-Choice" by affiliation, because I would be jumped all over if I started calling Pro-Choice people "Anti-Life".

Anyway, as I was on the defense when I was writing it, it's hard to sum up the whole thing because it's a little more... erratic than it would have been if it wasn't an emotional topic for me.

So there, that's that. Those two posts have fallen under the radar because I started them but did not finish them before updating again. Read them if you want, I just wanted to make them stand out more.

You know, like they would if I had published them earlier. ;)

In OTHER news, Tucker has still been running me ragged. :)

He gets tired at a decent hour, but every now and then...just a little bit before he actually tuckers himself out, he'll get remarkably wound up.

He'll run circles around the living-room, and he's learned how to jump up on chairs. So he'll jump up on the sofa, run across it, jump down, run to one of our recliners, jump in that, wait, jump down, haul butt around in circles again... It's pretty fun to watch. It's crazy how much noise he makes, but I love listening to his little feet as he tears across the floor.

I recently bought myself a new digital camera. Time for an upgrade and all that. And it just so happened that the night I bought it was one of Tucker's get-hyper-get-happy nights. So I captured a lot of that on film.

Yep. You guessed it! That means *drumroll* a photo frenzy! See below! ;-)

"Is my yummy treet."

"Mah TREET! I dropt it!"

"Howd it git ovar ther??"

"Whatchoo lookin at?"

And now we're finished!

Now to go do my British Literature homework. So that I don't have to tomorrow. Peace, ya'll.