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You Went WHERE?

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Day 5 of the 30-day challenge is a picture of a place where you have been.

For many reasons, The Heidelberg Project has stayed with me. I saw it the first time in about 1998, but then went a year or so ago.

To be brief, it’s an art installation on what many consider to be a not-desirable area of Detroit. There are all kinds of political statements, but those are too difficult to capture in photos that are legible, with the camera I had when I went so I decided to show you the beautiful pictures instead. The beautiful pictures, and one of this house. I have no idea why the house struck me, but it did. So here you are.


Glass Art


If you want to see more of my Heidelberg Project pictures, go here


Where my girls at?

I need to write more: 30 Day Challenge Day 3

For the love of GOD people, please leave comments. Here, I mean. Don’t tweet me! Leave them here. (Shameless comment begging will continue until you get in the habit. Or til I get sick of doing it.)

Day 3: A Picture of you and your friends.

This is harder than you might think. I *have* friends, of course. But most of my friends are not friends with one another. And the group pictures I DO have are either old or I hate them, so that won’t work. So, what to do? I looked through my photos and decided that I had a few pictures of me with various of my friends, even though not a whole group of people. So, I’m using those.

First we have a picture of me and my lovely, BFF. This picture was taken when I went to visit her in 2009. She thinks this picture is hilarious. She LOVES to tell people that her friends got me drunk and I fell asleep on her kitchen floor. I did NOT, for the record, pass out. I FELL ASLEEP.

Checking out the girls

This next picture is of my friend Mel and our friend Jen. This was also 2009. I went to visit Mel and went to ATL Pride. Well, I went to a little bit of it. You can’t really tell in this picture but I was sick as a dog. I had bronchitis and, though I wasn’t contagious anymore, I felt like hell.

Mel, Barbara, Jen

Finally, this is me and my friend Andrea. I have no idea why I like this picture of me, but I do. It’s actually one of my favorite pictures of me. We are at a Western Michigan University football game. It was surprisingly fun.

Andrea & Me

Your Own Personal Holiday

I woke up this morning at 7 AM. Okay, I didn’t wake up of my own accord. I woke up to the dogs pawing at me to get up and take them outside.

We got outside and the dogs thought it was a miracle! There was snow everywhere! I didn’t have any idea it was going to snow (because I didn’t watch the news last night) so I didn’t take my camera outside to take a picture. There is not a lot of snow but enough for them to run around like crazy dogs and enjoy themselves.

And end up smelling like wet dogs, but that’s a whole other story.

Looking outside at the snow fall, reminded me of something.

My favorite days of the year is when it’s cold and snowy, really blowy and ugly outside and I don’t have to go anywhere. Not only do I not have to go anywhere, but I have nothing at all that I must do at home. So I can sit on the sofa, with the dogs and my lovely down comforter and read, with periodic breaks for naps and snacks. I never know when it’ll happen or how many times a year it will happen, but I LOVE it.

What about you? What are your own personal “holidays”?

Who is responsible when a person cheats?

All kinds of odd things catch my eye when I’m looking for shows to DVR. I like to have things recorded so that when I want to watch TV, there’s something good to watch. One of the channels I really like is Biography and the show also called Biography . This morning, I watched an episode called Celebrity Mistresses.

I came in here and googled “celebrity mistresses” and there are more than 2.5 million results. Mostly gossip sites like TMZ and RadarOnline, which all had the sort of thing you’d basically expect: celebrity gossip. That’s what they do, so no surprise there. But I kept going and I eventually found blogs. Oh, my. I’m not going to link to any of those blogs – they do NOT need the publicity.

I wish I could tell you that I was shocked by what I read but I can’t. I wasn’t shocked. Disgusted, yes, but not shocked. To sum it up: apparently, when a famous married man has an affair, the man himself is completely blameless. The person responsible for destroying his life (if that even happens, because often it doesn’t) is not the man, but his mistress.


Did SHE make a wedding vow to forsake all others til death do they part? I’m certain it’s the man who made that vow. Why do we not hold him accountable? Where is the outrage that Ashton Kutcher had an affair? Or Arnold Schwarzenegger? Or any of the famous men who have had affairs, for that matter. The anger and outrage and vitriol has been reserved for their mistresses.

There are only two types of men who get blamed for their own bad behaviors: religious men (such as Jim Baker) who have affairs and men who have affairs with other men. Other than that? They seem to have a free pass. At least if they are famous. Hell, they can have sex with their wife’s daughter (Woody Allen) and no one truly seems to care.

You know who broke up Arnold Schwarzenegger and Maria Shriver’s marriage? Arnold. The end. His mistress isn’t a shining example of virtue, but she wasn’t the one married to Maria. She couldn’t have “lured” him into illicit sex if he wasn’t willing.

Women are so quick to blame The Other Woman. She’s actually irrelevant. If it wouldn’t have been her, it would have been someone else. She isn’t that special – she was just in the right place at the right time and willing. I’m not holding these Other Women up as an example of good behavior or something we want to emulate. I have no respect for people who cheat – male or female. Still, the man has the responsibility to his wife and HE is the one who broke his vow.

The other thing?

These people are stupid. Do they truly think that in the age of cell phones, text messages and twitter that they can get away with it? They send their mistresses text messages and emails. For pete’s sake. Do they not know how easy it is to forward those messages? And voicemails? You can forward voicemails too. For the famous men, let’s not forget the ever-present paparazzi. Someone is going to see you and take a picture and that’s that. You’re busted.

Men like Arnold Schwarzenegger and Ashton Kutcher can flaunt their affairs but no one is questioning the right of men to get married. They are the ones making a mockery of marriage. They are the ones demeaning marriage. (And both their wives and their mistresses.) Of course, that mockery-making and demeaning has been going on since the beginning of time, so I suppose it’s par for the course.

What are your thoughts? Who is responsible when a person cheats? Is it the cheater or the person with whom they cheated? Or both?

PS For the record, yes, women cheat, too. But no matter how famous they are, they don’t get the pass that men to. If I’m wrong about that, leave me a comment with an example of who. I’d love to know!

Thanksgiving Thoughts a Day Late

Thanksgiving is a weird holiday for me.  It’s both my favorite holiday and I’m native American. 

When The Ex and I lived on the reservation, we heard a lot of talk about how Thanksgiving was the beginnings of genocide and colonialism.  The first Thanksgiving was nothing more than a harvest festival shared by natives and the colonists.  They each introduced new ideas to the other, which is always a Good Thing.  Europeans do not have a corner on the market for harvest festivals.  Cultures around the globe have thanked God for their bountiful harvests for as long as people have worshipped a deity.

Thanksgiving didn’t become a regular occurrence until about 1660 and it didn’t become a national holiday until 1863.  Before then, it was celebrated at various times. There isn’t even consensus on WHEN the first Thanksgiving actually was.  Some say it wasn’t the one in Massachusetts but one held earlier by the Spanish.

If we want to rail against the beginnings of genocide, we should choose a different date. Columbus Day seems like a good choice to me.  It was Columbus’ introduction of Europeans to America that started the whole thing.

I believe colonization was inevitable.  Natives weren’t all the warring people you see on television.  Sure, some nations were violent. Many were not.  None of them had the weapons the Europeans had or the number of men.  The nations weren’t all a united front any more than Europe is a united front.  People say they were savages but all they really were was Not Christian.  To anyone who wants to say things like “Well, but they scalped people!” I say, “and the French beheaded people.  Have you heard of the Spanish Inquisition? The Crusades?”  All savage practices.

Thanksgiving isn’t about colonialism or genocide.  It’s about being thankful for the blessings we have received throughout the year.  It’s about being grateful for all the we have been given, that we have earned, that we have received.  As a country, I believe Americans are short on gratitude.  We are so focused on what we don’t have that we forget what we DO have.

Like many of you, I forget to be grateful on a daily basis.  I remember more often than once a year, but I love the idea of a holiday that focuses on gratitude, on family and on food. I love the holiday whether I spend it with my family of origin, with friends or by myself. I spend the day thinking about all the things for which I have to be grateful.

I have a family who loves and supports me.  I have friends who love me.  I have an apartment filled with things, both that I need and quite a few that I just want.  I have a job to pay for the things I need.  I have two snuggly dogs who like nothing better than for me to watch television so that they can sleep in my lap. I have a truck to get me places safely. I have a computer so that I can do my work, but also so that I can connect to the world.  I am a woman who is blessed in so many ways.

I also like to be thankful for the sillier things and for things that wouldn’t seem like are cause for gratitude. I’m thankful for CBS who has given me several of my favorite TV shows: NCIS, NCIS Los Angeles and Criminal Minds.  Not to mention cable for all the reality TV shows that I can’t seem to stop watching.  I’m thankful for the Willard Public Library because they have every book I ever want to read. I am thankful for Facebook because it allows me to stay in much closer contact with people I love who don’t live near me.  I am thankful for Twitter for distracting me when I’m waiting for someone/something.  I’m grateful for every ex I have because each of them has taught me something that has gotten me closer to being the woman I want to be when I grow up. I’m grateful for the time I got to spend with my boys, even though losing them almost killed me. I’m grateful for the friends who tell me the things I don’t want to hear because I need them.  I’m grateful for Tater Tot Casserole because  … well, it’s Tater Tot Casserole.  I’m grateful I grew up poor, in one of the worst neighborhoods in Grand Rapids, because it gave me an insight into other races and cultures that I would never have had otherwise.  I am grateful that we lived in that trailer park because it showed me exactly who I did NOT want to be. I’m thankful for my microwave because I put off getting one for 2 months, so I truly appreciate it now.

Jan Karon, one of my favorite authors, has written a series of books about an Episcopal priest, named Father Tim, in a small town in North Carolina.  I’ve read every one of those books at least half a dozen times, some more. In one of them, Father Tim gives a sermon where he says, “In all things, give thanks.”  ALL things. Not just the good things.

For what are you thankful? Not just the usual things, but the things, both large and small, that make up your life? That make your life better somehow?