Thursday, September 30, 2010

Break Away aka Thanks, Kelly! ~ II.



Part I.
My fingers gripped the wheel at their usual 10 and 2 o’clock positions.
Where was I headed? Oh yeah, the post office.
Kelly’s voice soothed, lifted my spirits even.
Thanks, Kelly!

Slammed by another bout of unemployment
I'll spread my wings and I'll learn how to fly
Mobility through paralysis

But I won't forget all the ones that I love.
Trauma and drama
Drama and trauma
Will it end before I do?

I'll do what it takes till I touch the sky..
Please! I really mean it: Pretty, lovely please!
No whipped cream. No cherry. No sugar on top.Just a straight dose of hot fudge.
Piping hot. I promise.

Out of the darkness and into the sun.

Rejection, rejection
From every direction, direction..

I'll take a risk, take a chance,
Where was I headed?
Oh yeah, the post office.
Turn right. Don’t hit the pedestrian. He looks like a nice one.

Make a change, and break away

Missing him, them,
So much to miss so much

Make a wish, take a chance,
Why did this happen?
Why did that happen?
Why did the other happen?

Make a change, and break away
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~Part II.


Grew up in a small town
And when the rain would fall down

I wonder who else will disappoint

I'd just stare out my window
Dreaming of what could be

Disappear?

And if I'd end up happy

Die?

I would pray

Can't I just wake up to a new and better life?

Trying hard to reach out

Please! Pretty, lovely please!

I'll be really, really good. I am
But when I tried to speak out
Alone

Felt like no one could hear me

and afraid

Wanted to belong here

Holding tight to what I know.

But something felt so wrong here

So much to miss so much

So I'd pray

I find myself standing in line.

A sweet old man walks into the post office, teasing that his cane gives him clout.

~Please come back for the last bit!

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Break Away aka Thanks, Kelly! ~ Part I.


My fingers gripped the wheel at their usual 10 and 2 o’clock positions.
Where was I headed? Oh yeah, the post office.

Kelly’s voice soothed, lifted my spirits even.
Thanks, Kelly!

Slammed by another bout of unemployment

I'll spread my wings and I'll learn how to fly.

Mobility through paralysis


But I won't forget all the ones that I love.

Trauma and drama
Drama and trauma

Will it end before I do?

I'll do what it takes till I touch the sky..



Please! I really mean it: Pretty, lovely please!
No whipped cream. No cherry. No sugar on top.
Just a straight dose of hot fudge.
Piping hot. I promise.

Out of the darkness and into the sun.


Rejection, rejection
From every direction, direction..

I'll take a risk, take a chance,

Where was I headed?
Oh yeah, the post office.
Turn right. Don’t hit the pedestrian.
He looks like a nice one.

Make a change, and break away

Missing him, them,
So much to miss so much

Make a wish, take a chance,

Why did this happen?
Why did that happen?
Why did the other happen?

Make a change, and break away

to be continued...

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

On Why I Choose Celibacy, Reason #23, aka Dweebs and Chemistry

My date-free streak ended yesterday. My celibacy-streak did not. My confusion – well- don’t get me started. You do know what a "dweeb" is. Yes? Good, no definition necessary. As far as "chemistry.." Well, perhaps you can explain this one to me.

We met at a local cafĂ©. He paid for my lemonade, after proclaiming with clarity and proud emphasis, “I’ve got it.” “Yes, dude. You got it. Surely, the $1.50 won’t suck you into bankruptcy,” I thought, feigning gratitude for his glorious generosity, with my charming smile.

We sat down, and he complimented my appearance. He gazed at me, mesmerized, resting his head on his hand and tripping over his words. It might have been cute if it weren’t so damn irritating. I mean, come on. It’s not like I’m Angelina Jolie. (I don’t have a dozen or so adopted kids!)

Next, we took a short walk. All the while, I was thinking: He’s a dweeb. He likes me. So it goes. Sometimes. Once per decade or so. The lemonade was alright. Will Jennifer Aniston have a baby? Who'll win the world series? What sports season are we onto anyway? Why do you care? I don't. So why do you ask? Oh, just quit bugging me!..
The awkward “goodbye” involved awkwardness. He didn’t suggest another date. We exchanged a quick platonic hug. Trying to salvage that minuscule fragment of my ego, I figured he got nervous. He surely wanted to see me again. Did I want to see him again? I didn’t know. He’s a dweeb. But desperate times and warm weather make dweebs look pretty hot, I tell ya. It really is all about my ego shards, anyway. He was supposed to jump on me. I mean, jump on the opportunity to date me. After all, he’s a dweeb, and I’m, well, not Angelina Jolie.

Thus, I decided to email him and suggest another date. As I went on-line, I saw his message: “..HOWEVER (Note that a person doesn’t read anything preceding the words ‘but,’ ‘however,’ ‘henceforth, ‘heretofore,’ or ‘Did Ashton really cheat on Demi?’), I don’t think we’re a match for each other..The chemistry wasn’t right.”

What a dweeb.

Perplexed, humbled, and wondering if Ashton really did cheat on Demi, I choose celibacy.

Sunday, September 26, 2010

Quirky (or Honest? or Quirky and Honest?) Quote


This weekend, my little neighbor friend, Trista (age 3), declared:
"Robyn, you are almost funny!"
Everybody's a critic!
Here's to an almost funny week for me, you, and the world. xo

Saturday, September 25, 2010

Saturday Centus, A New Calm

Jenny Matlock


Hi, friends. Here's my second effort at Jenny Matlock's Saturday Centus. The task is to work with a prompt, keeping the piece within 100 words (not including the prompt). This week's prompt - bolded below - is in honor of Tom's birthday.


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A NEW CALM


He never dreamed when he blew out the candles on his cake that things would get better. But they have. With last year’s frenetic energy lifted, he’s reached a new calm. Driven by a unique combination of humility and pride, he eagerly excels at intellectual pursuits, rapidly expands his social network, and welcomes new adventures without pause. Wherever he strides, the girls eye him shyly. He’s one handsome devil! I think he knows it, but not fully. After all, how much can a three year old actually know?

This one’s dedicated to my beloved nephew, Jeremy. (Sorry Tom. I do wish you a fabulous birthday!)

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Good Chocolate, Bad Chocolate, Evil Hershey's, Part II

continued from Part I:

Don’t fret. There are plenty of choices, though these choices are not your usual, easy to grab candies found at North American convenience stores.

The most assuredly exploitation-free chocolate carries a Fair Trade Label. This international monitoring system guarantees a minimum price for farmers, prohibits forced and abusive labor, and promotes environmental sustainability. We do pay more for this chocolate, but the excess dollars go directly into the development of community resources, such as schools and hospitals.

Cadbury Canada is a front-runner in the fair trade movement. Fair trade cocoa originates from Belize, Bolivia, Cameroon, Costa Rica, the Dominican Republic, Ecuador, Ghana, Nicaragua, and Peru. [To find out cocoa’s source, simply look at the back label. Fair Trade Certified products contain the label shown above.]
A second option is organic chocolate (e.g., Newman’s Organics). This is also a fairly safe choice, as organic farms have their own systems of independent monitoring that checks labor practices. Plus, cocoa beans are not grown organically in the Ivory Coast.

There’s a lot of guesstimating in this area. Here's my best effort, though, to delineate some of the “good” vs the “bad.” On the good team, I included companies that have moved toward enlightenment; they've begun socially conscious efforts.

Note also that there's  plenty of slavery-free chocolate, too, that is neither Fair Trade Certified nor organic. When in doubt, avoid Hershey’s (or just don’t keep giving them your dollars), and enjoy!

Good Chocolate: Ben & Jerry's, Starbuck's, Ah!laska, Endangered Species, Ithaca, Whole Foods, Trader Joe's, Newman's Organics, Clif Bar, Guittard, Green and Black's, Mayordomo/Mexican chocolate, European chocolate, Nirvana, Rapunzel, smaller mom & pop brands, and lots more.

? Unclear - info is mixed: Nestle, Godiva (sorry Sarah!), lots more.

Bad Chocolate = Hershey's and any chocolate from West Africa's Ivory Coast, Mars/M&M's, Dove, Dagoba (taken over by Hershey's, though they do have 1 fair trade chocolate bar), Scharffen Berger (also taken over by Hershey's).

Finally, and thank you for sticking with me through all of this, here are some folks fighting the good fight, and my sources of this information:

http://www.fairtrade.org.uk/
Fair Trade Labeling Organization
Fair Trade Candy Blog
http://www.visionursd.edu/
http://www.saveafricachildren.com/
http://www.globalexchange.com/
http://www.change.org/
International Federation of Organic Agriculture Movements

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

What Red Did, Gosh Darn That Marnie!




THIS ONE IS FOR RED, OUR MARNIE. THANK YOU, MARNIE!!

Last Friday was Yom Kippur. I was supposed to be in synagogue, pounding my bosoms and not thinking about food at all. Nope, I wouldn’t think about chocolate or other delectably satisfying edibles, necessary to assure my survival. Nope, nah, nah ah, and heretofore not at all. I would be focused instead on deep, introspective endeavors, not luscious cheesecake topped with caramel, or chilled chocolate chip cookie dough ice cream (in a sugar cone), or a singular but rather immense raisinette screaming to be eaten. No, no. I’d engage in no such blasphemous ideation.

However, I would ditch the temple gig. Who would know? Um, oh yeah. Well, I’d redeem myself by fasting. Maybe. See, I told me, I shall decide to fast. I’ll see if that bodes well with me. I’ll assess whether or not to make a new choice at that point. If I mess up, who will know? Oh yeah.

It would be fine. I planned some fun things, like blood tests and a mammogram, to keep me engrossed in sacred matters. Instead of pounding my boobs, I had them squished every which way between cold metal plates. I’d say that’s worth double points, in a big way. Wouldn’t you? (If not, you haven’t seen these girls.) Instead of repenting for my sins, I had a needle stuck into my vein and watched my blood leave my body. Fun times. Fun times.

For further soul enhancing humiliation, I interviewed with a temp agency. Do you know that I scored 83 percent on a stupid speling – er, spelling (?)- test!? Did you know that spellcheck does not approve of the word spellcheck? As I was saying, I won a spelling bee in second grade, for Christ’s (sorry, for goodness) sake! I demand a recount. (Is that how you spell recount?)

Alas, all this fun took me to 4:30pm. That’s when I reached my doorstep. I wasn't thinking about food. No, not at all. I was too weak and helpless and famished. I deserved just a nibble of something, especially since I wasn’t thinking about food. Ok, 5pm would be my break-fast time. I wouldn’t wait until sundown like the good Jews. Besides, who would know I cheated a little? Oh yeah. Anyway, I could survive for 30 minutes. Right? Did I really have to? No. Yes. No. Maybe. Who cares. It’s only half an hour. It’s a whole half an hour. I couldn’t do it. Come on. You deserve a cookie. You wimp. Wuss. Sissy girl. You’re almost there. Suck it up. Stick with it.


The dialogue continued, and I opened my mailbox. This is where Marnie comes in. Out of the goodness of her heart and for no reason whatsoever, except that she sensed I like chocolate, she sent a gift. It was the perfect solution to my predicament. My taste buds would be fully sated, yet I wouldn’t eat. Can you guess what it was? Time’s up. Now, slap your forehead with an “Of course, why didn’t I think of that? I can't believe I made a public spectacle of myself!” expression, as I reveal the correct answer: her wonderful homemade Bianca brand chocolate lip balm (plus vanilla plus mint). I was so happy to apply chocolate to my lips and attempt to eat my lips. Aah, who said fasting isn't fun? I continued this for one full hour. (Still, they ask me why I'm single. Idiots!)


I broke my fast at 5:36pm and 42 seconds, with a bite of a banana. I gotta tell you, though, her homemade lip balm tasted better than that banana. Marnie/Red makes all kinds of things: shampoo, toothpaste, soaps, etc. You wouldn’t know this because she never tries to sell her products on her blog. She’s amazing and humble. She’s gorgeous too. She does look like this picture of me (or someone else who does look like Marnie). Red's blog is pure fun, sweetness, and socially conscious tidbits. Thanks Marnie, for your kindhearted perfectness!

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Good Chocolate, Bad Chocolate, Evil Hershey's, Part I

I simply hate this! Two of my great loves – kids and chocolate – have been at a morbid impasse for years or, perhaps, centuries. While I previously enjoyed a blissful dose of cheap (i.e., Hershey’s) chocolate, I was ignorant of the true cost of this pleasantry. As one who lives and blogs a life by chocolate, and as a social worker addressing child abuse for over 15 years, I feel compelled to inform. Please be mindful of this information when purchasing your Halloween candy and/or when feeding a cocoa craving. Thank you!

Child enslavement plagues the chocolate industry. Every year, thousands of youngsters are kidnapped, trafficked, and sold to cocoa plantations. The average price per child: $1.20-1.90. The rate of pay: $.01 for chocolate that is sold for $1 in the United States. Sometimes, the children receive no remuneration. Often, they have no concept of a chocolate bar. Rather, these children are forced to endure 12-18 hour workdays, handle machetes without proper training, climb high trees – all the while exposed to hazardous chemicals in a treacherous climate. Should they rebel or perform “poorly,” they are beaten. Should they try to escape, they are killed.

A vast majority of these known abuses occur in West Africa’s Ivory Coast. Each year, 15,000 children between 9 and 12 years old are enslaved on cocoa plantations in the Ivory Coast. Recently, three reporters in this region were jailed for investigating the crisis. (They were subsequently freed on impossibly high bail terms.)

Hershey’s provides the dollars that fuel these brutalities. While Hershey’s claims moral outrage, it continues business with the Ivory Coast. In fact, Hershey’s refuses to disclose the specific suppliers of its cocoa. Meanwhile, other big chocolate companies, and many smaller ones, act to ensure exploitation-free products. Thus, Hershey’s singular priority remains clear: ever-improved wealth (at the expense of children’s lives).

Certainly, the world’s largest chocolate corporation can afford to take a stance. With 12,000 employees, Hershey’s continues to boast over $5 billion in revenue annually - despite harsh economic times. Americans pay $15 billion for chocolate each year, with nearly 43% of this for Hershey’s candies. This conglomerate acquired Sharffen-Berger in 2005 and Dagoba in 2006. It continues to produce a number of non-chocolate products, such as Twizzlers, along with countless non-food items.

I am further disheartened to learn that Mars/M&M and Dove (which now owns Mars/M&M) do not assure untainted chocolate. M&M’s are (were) my favorite, and I spotlighted them in several posts. I now enjoy other chocolate options, though.

It’s questionable whether Nestle is on the good or bad side, as information is mixed. Nestle appears to be making some socially conscious efforts, while Hershey’s does not. The bottom line is that any form of chocolate is preferable to Hershey’s.

..to be continued with good, good chocolate alternatives.

Saturday, September 18, 2010

Saturday Centus, A Bit of Whining

Jenny Matlock

Hi friends. For a change, and thanks to my buddy Tom's encouragement, I gave the Saturday Centus thing a whirl. The task is to work with a prompt, keeping the piece within 100 words (not including the prompt). My effort follows, with the prompt in bold. This wasn't ea***

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~


A BIT OF WHINING


Her hopes soared. Their first New Year’s Eve as a married couple would include a delicious meal, juicy wine, and romantic music. They would gravitate to the bedroom, apathetic about the hour.

Alas, he was a pill. She, a klutz. The chicken was undercooked, cd player broken, and wine too tart. Perhaps semi-accidentally, she spilt (red) wine onto the carpet. He glared. "Crap!" Now, she’d be lucky to get a lukewarm handshake at midnight. "This is never going to come out," she thought as she scrubbed at the spot on the worn carpet.
 He google’d a recipe for red wine stain removal. It worked. It was a happy new year's after all. For him.

Thursday, September 16, 2010

On Why I Choose Celibacy, Reasons #14-19

I don’t mean to be completely deceitful, only partially. Thus, I superimposed my face onto Sandra Bullock’s body, when she and Betty White share a moment. Note: I look happy about this rather celibate gesture. Betty does not.
Enough banter, onto more serious matters. No, no, don't go over to someone else's blog. Please, stay here and enjoy my reasons #14-19 for choosing a celibate existence. Taken directly from internet dating ads, I hereby further justify this upstanding choice.

REASON #14: I look better in person
And do you have a more appealing sales pitch in person too, dude? On second thought, relax. Don’t worry about it. With this headline, you won't get a date.

REASON #15: my job: union: Iron Worker Local #378 Oakland Steel Erection
Now, is it my dirty mind (The celibacy track does mess with my brain.), or is this man rather arrogant about his sexual prowess?
REASON #16: Enough about you. Let's talk about me!
Enough about you!
REASON #17:NOT LOOKING TA TELL MY LIFE STORY HERE.IT WOULD TAKE ALL DAY I AM AN ON HERE. Yeah, I got that much, buddy. What else are you on? I AM AN OVER THE ROAD TRUCKER! I imagine that’s a bit easier than being an under the road trucker or an over the hill driver! CAN YA DEAL WITH THAT? COAST TA COST IS WHAT I DO. NOT WHAT I WANT BUT ITS WHAT I DO SO IF YA WANNA KNOW MORE LET ME KMNOW What I would like to kmnow is: How ta do a coast ta cost, and do ya do this over or under ta road? Can ya tell me how much it costs? Is it cheaper ta coast all the way? Let me kmnow.
REASON #18: Looking for some real people no fake ass
Well, look no further, dude. See photo. Note: That ass can’t possibly be fake. Just ask Betty.
REASON #19: I LIKE WOMEN WITH FEW EXTRA POUNDS NICE BUTTS & THIGHS BEAUTIFUL SMILES AND NICE PERSONELITIES. I almost qualifiy, but I can’t find my nice personelities. I’ll have to check with Human Resources. AND FOR MYSELF I AM HARD WORKER ,WITTY, DOWN TO EARTH GUY NONE DRINKER None? Must be hard to stay hydrated. OR SMOKER I LIKE WORKING OUTDOORS, LOVE ANIMALS TOO I’d hate to find out more about your love for animals.

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Less Words Wednesday and an If Only Moment

Me, before chocolate was discovered, circa 1969, age 3-ish



If only we were back to simpler times, wearing fancy jewelry and fashionable clothes (with orange-red stripes), all the while enjoying tasteless healthy snacks and smiling innocently.



Feel free to add an "If only.."



Have a simple Wednesday! xo

Monday, September 13, 2010

Dear Rejecters


Dear Rejecters,

At the risk of jeopardizing our glorious future together, I’ve got a few things to say. What’s wrong with you?! Don’t you know how good I am? I mean, I’m good. I’m really, really good. Just ask me. I’m sweet and smart sometimes. Sure, I’m super short all of the time, but that really shouldn’t matter. It’s just not right to discriminate. I’m still fully capable, energetic, and quite flexible. Okay, I’m a bit older than you prefer, but I do have solid experience. I thought you want that.

But no. You don’t want me. Still, I persist. Yep, here I sit at my computer, night after night, expressing interest time and again. It takes courage and utter indiscretion, you know? The outcome of my efforts: nothing. Not a damn thing! Well, occasionally I do hear back from you weeks later. Once in a while, we actually progress to a phone chat. For that moment, my hopes skyrocket. I start planning to relocate, make a long term commitment, send out the announcements, say goodbye to the neighbor’s dog, and celebrate with European chocolates – none of that cheap Hershey’s stuff.

Alas, we meet face to face. You’re unappealing – to put it nicely. You bore me with your asinine questions, talk in circles about weird philosophies, act self-important and all. I can’t wait until it’s over, though I do well to hide my despair. Don’t I? I’m not sure why. I suppose I’m being strategic, until something better comes along. I’ll take what I can get these days. (Desperate times and all.) Oh, don't act shocked. We've all got our needs.

Still, even when it’s clear (to me) that I’m certainly way too good for you, I never hear from you again. This begs the question: What is wrong with you?!

On the other hand, when I’m excited by you, I never hear from you again. I'm back to begging and asking what the hell is wrong with you.

Yet, despite your obvious deficiencies in the face of my wonderfulness, I keep plugging away. I keep perusing the on-line ads. I maintain faith that I’ll find a match, at least for the time being.

I don't think you have any sense of what you're putting me through, dear rejecters. Did you consider for a moment that I might be frustrated? Did you think that this frustration could, in fact, enhance my performance? Do you have any idea how hard the search has been? It truly is challenging to find a job these days. So hire me, already! I’m good. I’m really, really good. Just ask me.

Saturday, September 11, 2010

Lifting Spirits and Heroism

Dear Friends,

This is Part II of the giveaway posted on 9/1 ($70 gift voucher for CSN stores), a tribute to our beloved blog friend, Lisa/Bumpkin on a Swing. Lisa was pure spunk, love, and generosity. Her blog continues to reflect her beautiful soul and spirit, much thanks to her best friend, Trish.

Many people in my life fought different forms of cancer: colon, lung (Note that many afflicted by lung cancer are non-smokers), breast, brain cancer, and leukemia. Please see my sidebar, too, with some of the blogosphere's children and families who face this disease daily. Sadly, it's rare to find someone who's life has not been touched by cancer.

While there are over 100 types of cancer, there are only a few specific screening exams for early detection (e.g., mammogram, colonoscopy). In the US, half of all males and one-third of all females develop cancer at some point in their lives. There have been successes in research and treatment, though our overall knowledge is quite limited. I'm frustrated and humbled in writing this, as so much more is needed to fight this monster.

Yet, many win the fight. Some even survive multiple fights. All who face this battle daily, with full heart and courage, are true heroes. Here are comments from you, my beloved readers, and here's to the heroes amongst us, and/or in our hearts, who've had to endure the fight.

Michelle Pixie said I want to nominate Lindsay and Jackson of http://themommarazziblog.blogspot.com/Jackson is fighting the battle now with a very rare form of pediatric cancer. I don't know if Lindsay is a follower but she is an amazing mom and an amazing inspiration to me! She has become such an important part of my life and it has meant the world to me to have another mom who has/is where I have been. She has been a lifesaver for me!

Cheeseboy said I nominate my friend at "Silver Strands" who cut off her hair in honor of her mother with cancer:http://lovely-silver-strands.blogspot.com/

Food According To Karen said My very good friend Penny was diagnosed with stomach cancer 2 years ago and I would certainly nominate her. After going thru two bouts of kemo, she thought she had it licked. Unfortunately, it had spread to her bones. She's gone thru kemo treatments galore now and can no longer receive any more treatments for awhile. She sits in limbo, her numbers just shy of being cancer free.

Marlene said I'd nominate my mom. She was diagnosed with breast cancer in late 1989 and underwent bilateral mastectomy. My firstborn was just 18 months at the time, and I was TERRIFIED. I thought my mother would not live to see my baby grow up.I'm happy to say that nearly 21 years later, she is STILL cancer free! I wish the outcome was the same for everyone who is diagnosed.

Belly Charms said I have 2 I want to nominate. My Sister Sandi who is battling brain cancer (http://www.sandisfight.com) and Daffy from BatCrap Crazy. She lost her sister suddenly from a brain tumor during the same time my sister was diagnosed.

Wreckless Euroafrican said USD70!!! mmm... lots of stuff I can buy with that money!!!! I nominate myself. Lost a kidney to the big C - then got bladder cancer, had 4 - 5 ops, one every 3 months, and managed to save it! been "clean" now for just over 10 years. Still spread the word that you can fight this thing with your mind!!!! Salagatle!

Bossy Betty said My friend Karen lost her husband Raul to brain cancer. I'll nominate her.

Jason, as himself said I nominate my youngest brother, Paul, who was 11 when our mother died of breast cancer.http://www.the3day.org/site/TR?px=3438831&fr_id=1469&pg=personal

Birdie said I'm not here to nominate anyone, I think this is a lovely gesture. Cancer has touched my family half a dozen times. My great-grandma and Grandmother died 2 weeks apart from different types when I was 10. I lost an uncle to kidney cancer, an aunt to ovarian and have a survivor of an Aunt (cervical & breast) My MIL also has been diagnosed. Kudos on the attention you're bringing to this fight!

Nellie said I would like to nominate Angela Getter who just recently lost her precious 6-year old daughter to Wilm's disease.

Lori said One of the girls that I work with has an incredible story I would like to share... Melissa and Dave were married in 2002 ~ young and in love they had one son and were looking forward to expanding their family. Dave had a scare with cancer in 2006, went in for surgery and they thought all was good. Melissa got pregnant again and then Dave was told that his cancer came back. With the stress of Dave's diagnosis we were afraid that she may not carry the baby to term, but then she was diagnosed with breast cancer! Two days after giving birth to the baby, she went in for surgery then for rounds of chemo and radiation. Sadly Dave passed away last year leaving a very young widow. She is now a single Mom of 2 boys, working full time and she is not yet 35. Now just 2 weeks ago she found out her cat has cancer ~ we laughed ~ not morbid but she was like what is it with me and cancer?? She has a great spirit and has been through so much ~ she is a trooper.

Plus, we all love Pat. Sorry for adding you, Pat, but we do all love you!

Now, let the games begin. I'm writing the nominees' names onto little pieces of paper, all the same size. Give me a moment..Ok, now I'm folding them and placing them into my special little pink box, as so, and scrambling them around. Can you tell I've never done a giveaway before? Watch, I'm closing my eyes now. Can you see? I can't. Let me try to find the box. Oops, that's my nose..Lower..Okay, here..I feel paper..Hold on.. Got one.

And THE WINNER IS: LINDSAY AND JACKSON NOMINATED BY MICHELLE PIXIE, A HERO IN HER OWN RIGHT!!! Congratulations, Lindsay and Jackson (his beautiful face is on my sidebar), and thank you, Michelle.

xo Thank you all. xo

Sunday, September 5, 2010

On Why I Choose Celibacy, Reason #13, aka Bigotry is Not Attractive


Here’s REASON #13:
NOT SCOTT PETERSON
Nor do I look anything like Charles Manson, or Ted Bundy, or the typical Catholic priest: Which means that I don't fit the profile of the typical serial killer or the typical child molester. This does set you apart from all of the other on-line daters. But! if you park your car in my driveway and leave the car door open with the keys in the ignition- I am genetically predisposed to commandeering it and taking it out for a joy ride; as has been empirically proven on the show "Bait Car". Thus, um, I should date you? But! Should I hide my key in my bra and not in the ignition, when I park in your driveway? Or should I park my car around the block? If so, shall I leave the key in the ignition or hide it in my bra?


His strategy further perplexes.. DISCLAIMER: It is a fact that every woman on every dating site failed miserably at maintaining their last relationship: because if you had been successful- you wouldn't be here. Thus, I should date you - you ass? I mean, you astute man?

He sent me this email after noticing that I viewed his profile: I see you viewed my profile..flattering b.s. here [i.e., “I just want some booty” talk]. Actually, you've misinterpreted my signals. I guess you don’t follow my blog. See, I put idiots like you up for public scrutiny and humiliation. It’s quite fun, really.. But I didn't say hello, because I also noticed that you are Jewish. And I didn't think Jewish women spoke to anyone except other Jews.

With every ounce of my Jewish blood boiling, I responded with the restraint and eloquence of my oppressed people: “Yep, we Jews have even been known to intermarry. We just don't enjoy speaking with people who stereotype us. Good luck to you. -Robyn”

#13 then got a clue (maybe), and apologized (I think):
..though in my heart I know that I was not stereotyping you--as much as I was expressing the 'stated sentiments' of the dozen or so women whose profiles I read and whom listed themselves as Jewish--in reality, for me to express surprise at the fact that you didn't think as they think: that is THE DEFINITION of stereotyping. Once again, I apologize..I now realize that I don't come across as the HONEST and FORTHRIGHT person that I am—but as a bigoted, insensitive, STEREOTYPICAL jerk. I don't blame you for not wanting to be my friend. We’re on the same page, buddy. But you still aint getting any from this gal.
Now, he launches into the “I did the apology, so let me try to score some booty by deflecting attention from me onto your unforgiving nature” maneuver.
But if you can understand that people make mistakes sometimes, a single mistake doesn't define that individuals entire character: do know that I would still like to be your friend..I'm as normal as they come…A truth which is actually borne out by my textual faux pas What the hell is a textual faux pas? in the regards that a 'normal' person becomes habituated to expect a certain action after having witnessed said action manifest.. admits when they are wrong- offers an apology- ..while seeking to turn what could be a negative into a positive. Say what?!


The home stretch, ‘let me try once more to score some booty,’ move: Be nice. Say hello. And you will be surprised at how 'normal' and not inclined to stereotype people that I am. I hope I hear from you. And if not, good luck, and do forgive me for being an idiot.

My response: “I accept and appreciate your apology. Thank you. Still, I don’t wish to pursue a connection. All the best, -Robyn”
His response in the subject line: “Very good.”

PS The kicker: He professes to be (1) a writer and (2) a comedian. That's kinda funny. Wouldn't you say?

All in a day’s work. Oy gevalt!

Striking a Pose for Laborers!



That’s me on the left of each photo. Yep, I was a hell raiser back in 1998 [and on a few occasions since. Okay, before then, as well. Alright, alright! It’s more than a few occasions pre and post-1998. Quiet down already, and let me continue! Would ya?] As I was saying before all the interruptions, sweet friends, I helped organize a strike against the management of a non-profit social service agency in Oakland, CA. I’d been a union steward, published a chapter newsletter, and was partaking in contract negotiations. Issues at play included the potential loss of our “flex day” (1 day off every 2 weeks), salaries, and lots more.

We had an amazing turnout on the picket lines, with nearly 100% participation. That is, close to 100 of us stopped traffic (or, rather, we got a few honks). Note that when a group of strikers is comprised of 90% women, including some rather attractive ladies in tank tops, spirited truckers will support the cause –whatever said cause may be.

This soiree occurred during the Clinton-Lewinsky scandal. I was quite proud of one of the strike signs that I created: “Keep Clinton! Impeach [Insert Name of Evil Director here]!” I figured I’d try to take some heat off of the poor guy, who had experienced plenty of – well, uh – heat. Anyway, we danced and sang along the picket lines. We also took delight in mocking the supervisors, who took delight in mocking us from their office windows. Clinton fared none the worse for our efforts. In fact, he was not impeached.

We were flying high, until the chapter abruptly sold out following 2 days of picketing. All was not lost, as it was truly a unifying, empowering experience. Plus, I wrote the warmhearted song to follow. It almost made the top 10 list (in my home), but lost the competition to a silly version of Row, Row, Row Your Boat. But that’s not important right now. We didn’t sing my song on the picket lines (I was too shy to distribute it then), though one of my colleagues anonymously emailed it to the Director. I’m guessing the boss didn’t appreciate it, but I could be wrong. To fully enjoy it yourself, you must know that (1) the evil Director had an unusual frame, involving big hips and a tiny waist, and (2) she was impeached by her own peers a year or so later. I’d already moved onto another job, exhausted by the entire experience.

Before I skip to this infamous song, though, I want to give a shout out to my (former) brothers and sisters of Local 535 and to laborers everywhere. Though I am now on the dark side (management), I remain committed to workers’ rights. Thus, managers who don’t have a high regard for ethical practices, and it’s shocking how many there are in social services, don’t like me much. I’m proud of this. I remain grateful to the laborers of the past who gave their lives for the cause of an 8 hour day and 40 hour week. Whenever I drive past folks on strike, they get my honking support.

We Will Survive
aka Ode to a Big-Hipped Woman
Sung to the Tune of Gloria Gaynor’s I Will Survive

When first we saw her hips, we were mystified.
Kept wonderin,’ “How could anyone with legs so small have hips so wide?”
We spent oh so many months just as polite as we could be.
Now we’re venting our frustrations for all the world to see
That her ego, we’ll stand no more! She’s power tripping, and her tactics we abhor!

XXXX is the one who deceives us with her lies.
Does she think we’re stupid? Does she think we’ll give up all our rights?

VERSION 1, BEFORE FINAL VOTE
No, no, we won’t! We’ve too much pride.
Oh, as long as we put up a fight, we’ve justice on our side.
We’ll show that big-hipped woman that we’re not afraid to strike, and we will fight
Until she does us right.

We’re unified. We are 535! Hey, Hey!

VERSION 2, AFTER FINAL VOTE:
Look what we did; we changed our minds.
We voted for the money and set principles aside.
We showed that big-hipped woman that she can buy us out.
And so we pout, ‘cuz we ain’t got no clout.
We broke our stride, and we got fried
By someone who’s really wide. Hey, Hey!

Happy Labor Day, to those who get the day off. Happy Monday, to you all! xo

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Lifting Spirits, One CSN Giveaway at a Time!



Sunset on the Cherry Blossoms, D.C., 2000, photo by me

The kind folks at CSN stores have given me the opportunity to award one of you with a $70 gift certificate! Did I mention that’s $70? Did I also mention that they are quite generous? With millions of products to choose from (kitchen tables, fitness equipment, pet supplies, children's toys and games, etc.), think about the fun you could have with this on-line shopping spree.

As a tribute to our beloved friend, Lisa/Bumpkin on a Swing, I’d like this to go to someone whose life has been touched by cancer. This may be because they have survived cancer themselves, or are close with a cancer victim or survivor. They need not be a blogger. I just ask that you be a follower (new, old, or young) of Life by Chocolate. I encourage you to check out Bumpkin’s blog, too, if you’re not signed-on already. It’s really beautiful and uplifting, as was she. Lisa was completely unselfish. I think she’d like this. In fact, I think she’s say: “Tink!”

You can nominate yourself, someone who is touched by cancer, or someone who is close with someone who is touched by cancer...You get the idea. Please just tell me about the person you’d like the gift to go to, and the gift you have in mind. You can start perusing the sites with a visit to http://www.csnstores.com/. Feel free to help spread the word. Thank you! Here’s hoping to lift spirits, and raise cancer awareness, in support of those afflicted by this horrid disease.