23 December 2016

Memorializing Maggie R.I.P

Maggie's favorite napping position
I am  so sad to say that Maggie has passed away. On Friday, I took her to the emergency hospital at the advice of our family veterinarian. My 13-year-old English bulldog had a prolapse or hyperplasia. Whichever it was, she had her insides hanging out of her vagina. It was very scary, so I won't bother with visuals.

The vet on duty recommended Maggie get spayed in order to decrease her estrogen levels. The following Monday, she underwent surgery and I brought her home. She was very groggy, but she came out of the anesthesia the next morning. After walking around the house a bit, she went back to sleep and didn't wake up.

It's tough to lose a member of the family at this time of year. Here are some of our previous Christmas photos.

Christmas 2010

Christmas 2014

Christmas Eve 2015

A very young Chelsey and Tenay. Maggie at a year old.

Maggie let the new puppy climb all over her (2016)

Maggie had the patience of a Saint! (2016)

New puppies are super exhausting. (2016)

She always loved a great butt scratch! (circa 2011)

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13 December 2016

Creepy Elf on the Shelf - Don't Do This!!

This is not a rant. I only have a few words to share. It's about this elf on the shelf motif used to get children involved in the spirit of Christmas. You know, the idea that Santa Claus is watching them so they better be good or else they won't get any presents? Yeah, that elf is a spy.

Some responsible parents like to get creative and spice it up here and there to keep there kids excited. I can imagine the awe in children as they discover the family elf has met a new friend and invited them over. Or maybe the family elf has decided to explore other areas of the home. After all, staying on the shelf in one position is just boring. This isn't an option in a family home where the parents are far from boring people, right? We can't have that!

Creative and well intentioned trends start off as simple competitions. I get that. But social media will be there to taunt folks into stepping it up a notch. Then we run into some serious issues. And you wonder why your millennial needs therapy.

Here are my ten inappropriate elf on the shelf displays and the reasons why I think they are inappropriate.

You think you're clever now, but one day they will be old enough to watch American Pie and they will never visit you again during the Christmas holidays. The grand kids will be off limits.

You would be better off to have the family elf kill off a giant stuffed spider or some other creepy victim. Never Elmo or any Sesame Street character for that matter. This is absolutely inappropriate. 

You know there is absolutely nothing wrong with this display, except for the fact that the family elf is capturing the scene for his own sick pleasure, further teaching your children that the objectification of young girls is okay. So inappropriate!

After the last three displays I shared, do you see how this is inappropriate?  

The family elf teams up with the infamous bad boy, Chucky. Together, they encourage children to commit cannibalism. Yes, Frosty the snowman came alive you ignoramus!

And you wonder why your kids seem to think everything belongs in the toilet. This, exactly this. Congratulations.

Suddenly little Johnny has stopped brushing his teeth? You don't say! Now he's a teenager and smells like shit all the time. You know they learn poor hygiene somewhere, right? Gee, I wonder where.

I'm all for encouraging kids to earn an allowance so they can buy themselves the things they want. But the family elf is sitting on a jar of baby food, so I think the kids are a little young for parents to start indoctrinating them into this sordid thing. They need to be old enough to actually work for their allowance, don't you think?

How to be Classy 101. Because a wine glass is commonly displayed with a roll of toilet paper and a can of Glade air freshener. The kid who grows up in this household is going to be a true romantic, I can almost guarantee it. 

Because breaking the law is so inappropriate. I don't know that this household has any children in it, but I'm guessing they didn't just go out and purchase a Barbie doll because this was just such a cool idea they had to spend upwards of $30.00 for that perfect display. No, they have children. And yes, this is inappropriate.

If you don't want to traumatize your kids, now or in the future, stay away from inappropriate displays with your family elf! Yes, kids are resilient. But they have memories like you wouldn't believe.

Do any of you have a favorite elf on the shelf display? Please share them in the comments below. I won't get onto you if it's inappropriate. There are no small children out here in the Blogosphere! 👀

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08 December 2016

More English Bulldog Photos - Macey!!

I couldn't resist!

Power puppy on couch

What happened to all the power?

She knows she's not allowed to touch the decor.

But she does it anyway!

Merry Christmas!  Or, Happy Holidays! Whichever pertains. Just be safe out there.


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22 November 2016

What Can Be Worse Than Turning 50?

I thought turning 50 would be devastating, but it wasn't. Not when compared to all the other things that happened the first thing in the morning on my 50th birthday.

Every morning, I ensure Macey makes it from the kennel to the back door in less than 15 seconds. This is the amount of time it takes for her to register a full bladder. That didn't happen this morning.

I had been so proud of her, too. She has never made a dropping in her kennel until this morning, the morning of my 50th birthday. Did I mention that I'm 50 today?

Not only did Macey make a rather large deposit, but it was a loose one. She was so distraught over it that she tried to escape it, trampling it again and again. I can only imagine from the looks of things, she must have made several attempts to rid her paws of the foul smelling goo.

This cleanup job would need some forward thinking. The longer I stood there and contemplated my first moves, the more Macey yiped with anxiety. I made a decision. I would clean the ten-pound puppy first, put her outside, and then tackle the rest of the mess in a methodical approach. I was not prepared for the sheer force of puppy power when I opened the kennel door. Macey sprang from her cage and plowed into my arms.

Fuck me, right?

So, I cleaned and disinfected everything, including her squeaky toy and tug rope. I placed a new puppy training pad in the kennel. I brought Macey back inside to feed her. I bumped the glass beaker off the table and it fell onto the ceramic floor, shattering it into a thousand pieces. The loud noise scared Macey. She sprinted across the kitchen to the other side and pissed on the floor.

Now, if you're having a bad day, cheer up! It could be worse. You could be turning 50.

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12 November 2016

Raising a Nation - The Working Class

Charles C. Camosy is an associate professor at Fordham University. He wrote an article at The Washington Post to which I responded with a comment that turned into my own article.

This was Professor Camosy’s headline and lead:

Trump won because college-educated Americans are out of touch

Higher education is isolated, insular and liberal. Average voters aren't.

My comment:

Hello Professor Camosy,

I am an educated U.S citizen and I consider myself in the working class, not an elite with an Us vs. Them stance on everything, including political views. During my undergraduate studies, I recall having to complete some rather diverse courses that clearly were designed to make my educational experience a well-rounded one. I'm not sure how Fordham University designs its programs, so I will just explain my experience and how I've managed to change my point of view on many different topics throughout my life, based on my experiences, and not on any prejudices.

From my undergrad studies, the courses that remained with me throughout the years were those which taught me the different world views of others: American Social Problems, Ethnic Literature, and Western Civilization. These courses taught us how to think about and rationalize other viewpoints which were vastly different from our own.

American Social Problems required the student to argue debate topics which went against their personal beliefs, and their grades depended upon thorough research on the pros or cons of whatever topic they were given in their assignments. We had to debate controversial subjects like affirmative action, welfare, abortion, capital punishment, the legalization of marijuana, and the legalization of prostitution.

It was not difficult to make arguments for abortion one week and then two weeks later argue against capital punishment. In this manner, students were encouraged to research the other side of every issue in order to prepare themselves for rebuttal.  It was not difficult to argue one side while my husband played "devil's advocate" to try and make me falter on my assigned position. In this manner, students were encouraged to argue productively and without feeling like they were being personally attacked. After all, it was the professor who made the assignments.

Ethnic Literature provided many articles and essays written by people of all different cultures, including ethnicity, religion, and sexual orientation. These stories were written by authors who tell of their own culture and from the perspective of one who experiences that culture on a daily basis. Through the lens of others, we as students could experience those same stories as we were encouraged to immerse ourselves in those roles.

I won't go into more, but my point is to share with you why I feel that my educational experience helped me to embrace differences of opinions and to respect those who do not experience the same as what I've had the privilege of learning - back before colleges became havens for sensitive elites. For this reason, when I see college protests such as those happening on campuses throughout our nation, where students are upset because of the outcome of our 2016 presidential election, it leaves me a bit concerned. Has academia been in such a decline that students have not been properly groomed to reason outside the boundaries of its institutions?

I’m not stating these things to be negative. It’s when I see news about students being given therapy dogs because they are so traumatized by this outcome, it does beg the question. Does it not?

Are institutions of higher learning seriously insulating our college students from the real world and are they not preparing them for the larger world view they will need for their future?

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09 November 2016

A New Member of My Family - Welcome Macey!

Hello Blogosphere!

I'm so excited to introduce a new member of my family today. But first, I want to acknowledge the end of a very divisive and painful election season.

To some, today is a day of somberness, maybe even despair. To others, it's a day of reckoning and joy.  But either way, it is the first day of another chapter in America. The days leading up to my decision to find Macey were filled with the anxiety of possibly losing America in an election that would make history like no other event in the world. We had the option to choose someone who served 30 years in public office, leading a campaign on steadiness and unity. We also had the option to choose a business man who never held office a day in his life, leading a campaign on cleaning up Washington and rebuilding America. I so wanted change and I was afraid it would not happen. I did my part. I voted.

No matter who you voted for in this election, you remain and will always be my American partners. We are in this thing together, as we were with all Presidents of the past. We will see what unfolds in our future, but I have trust in our political system and I believe hope is around the corner.

With the looming election weighing heavy on my shoulders, I scoured the Internet in search of the one who could make me feel confident and content with my choice, no matter the outcome of the election. When I saw her, I knew she belonged to me.

We had a few names to consider. Those names were carefully bounced back and forth between me and Charles. In contention, Baxter, Dallas, Bella, and Stormy rolled off our tongues.

Looks like a Bella here.

Definitely Dallas.

Stormy is so contrasting to this level of calm.

Baxter is so noble!

In the end, and during the hours that unfolded on election day, I settled on Macey. From the baby names site, and I quote:

People with this name tend to be quiet, cooperative, considerate, sympathetic to others, adaptable, balanced and sometimes shy. They are trustworthy, respecting the confidences of others, and make excellent diplomats, mediators and partners. They are often very intuitive. They like detail and order, and often find change worrisome. They may sometimes feel insecure or restless.

I think in these tumultuous times, I need something like this in my life, and Macey appears in all instances capable of bringing a balance into this family and into my world. What do you think? Comment below!

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28 October 2016

My First Ever Demolition Derby

You all know that I'm one to try new things, right? Get ready for this one!

Okay, so I wasn't sure what I was going to experience, but sitting in the stand and watching the showboating, careening of metal, and mudslinging of pure earthly product, was actually a lot of fun. It reminded me that not everything in life that you create must be kept hidden away and protected from damage. The things you create produce no glory if others cannot see it and challenge it with their own creations. 

Here's a 9-minute video of the last heat of the demolition derby. We were up high enough to avoid the assault of flying dirt and debris, but the air reeked of smoke and burning rubber. Somehow, it was nostalgic and comforting.

When was the last time you experienced something for the first time? I guess I need to get out more often.   :)

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13 October 2016

A Movement Mainstream Media is Ignoring - Part 3

I checked the media online to try and get some crowd numbers and see if the momentum is still going for the Trump rallies after the WikiLeaks and mainstream media October surprises. Apparently, the people are starting to realize the one-sidedness of the media because the ground game seems to tell a different story.

The first three photos are of the live speech in Ocala, Florida. Ocala is a small town of roughly 57,000 people. At the live event, there were approximately 15,000 people. That means 26% of the Ocala residents showed up to watch the Donald in 85 degree weather!

Just watch the numbers jump on the bottom
right of the screen...

See that jump? Watch for the next one.

These are people watching at work!

26% of Ocala residents showed up at Trump rally.

However, let's look at Orlando, Florida, where the population is roughly 255,000 people. Hillary Clinton held a rally there in December of 2015. A bigger pool of people wouldn't you say? 

You can pack a room tight, but it's not going to
make the crowd bigger!

Look at them, packed in like sardines! 

This is another shot of the Ocala rally for Trump.
The other two thirds are to the right and not in the photo.

This is Mike Pence, and he's only the Vice Presidential
GOP nominee.

This is the Mike Pence crowd at Liberty University. 

The two photos below are other Hillary Clinton rallies with poor turn outs. I'm sorry, but it was really hard to find photos of Clinton's full audiences. 

Granted, she's not speaking yet, but look how
they have it roped off.

That's it, pack em all into a small room so that
we look crowded.

I guess what I'm trying to say is that I don't like how the media tries to influence the public. Aren't they supposed to be unbiased and just report the numbers? Instead, we have to rely on these photographs to tell us what the ground game looks like. 

The polls that come out in the mainstream media show that Hillary Clinton is winning. With the exception of a poll that I took this afternoon. It was the first poll I took that I had to confirm my email address before I could see the results. I know, you're ready to see those results, right? They're at the bottom of this post. But first, some more Trump crowds.

This is what a winning ground game SHOULD look like. 

I know he's unrehearsed and a bit crude, but he's
for sure got a following.

This is a crowd of people who are fed up with the status quo.
Out with the politicians and let's rebuild America!

And now the latest poll results of those folks with confirmed email addresses (real people).

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