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Kalima On January - 7 - 2010

images-4Good morning everyone. We hope that this will be the place you come to when you wake up early before you leave for work. The place you visit when you wake up late or just a place to meet and chat in between breaks from serious topics and discussions.

Feel free to talk about your interesting news story finds, your funny stories, photos or a slice of your lives. This is your space, come here to relax and unload. We welcome you with open arms. Enjoy.

BTW this blog is open to one and all, not only the early risers. It will be moved to “Speakers Corner” at 9 am EST every day and return to the front page every morning at 5 am EST.

Bearing in mind that weekends are a time for catching up with family matters and a long awaited extra hour or so under the warm bedcovers, I’ve decided that “Morning Blog” will run on weekdays from Mondays through Fridays at the same time as stated above. Thanks a bunch.

Written by Kalima

Long time resident of Tokyo --- "Where is this woman I once knew so well? Memories fading or hurtling by like a howling wind at a speed I can't fathom or define. A star hangs like a teardrop from her eye, quivering but never falling. I search the empty corridors of my soul in hopes of catching just another glimpse of who she once presumed herself to be. Where is this woman who trod with such certainty, where is she now? I mourn her passing as another dawn breaks in my restless heart."

335 Responses so far.

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  1. abby4ever says:

    ‘Morning, friends…enemies too if I’ve got any here and I’m hoping I don’t!

    I just got about 8 hours sleep, so watch out.

    (“Omg,” says Adlib, “she’s hyper enough when she hasn’t had any sleep…”.)

    I woke up under a quilt that’s been in my hubby’s family for forever…sometimes we actually fight over which one gets to use it…, he must have put it over me when I passed out last evening.

    It’s 5 am on the button and I just opened the front door to see how cold it is outside, we’re in a deep freeze over here. I was met with the kind of air you get when you open your freezer at home. And it’s eerie out there, a thick fog…

  2. Emerald1943 says:

    Hi Javaz!

    I’m so terribly sorry to hear your news. One thing comes to mind…perhaps someone else has already said the same thing, but this makes me think of the fact that NONE of us are immune from these things in life. I don’t believe I have ever known of a family where there was not some kind of problem, even splitting families and dividing siblings. I have such a situation in my own family.

    Yes, it does hurt. It makes no sense. You question yourself over and over, and the answer just never comes. I have a sister that I have not seen or heard from since 1994. She only lives about 125 miles from me, and I know for a fact that she visits the area here. That really does hurt, but it’s okay.

    I have decided that I can only make decisions for myself. I am the one who controls my happiness. I have to give up the hurt. I cannot let it make me miserable. And so, I go on. I may never know the reasons…

    I wish I could wave a magic wand and make it all better for you. I am so sorry for your loss.

    I can only wish you peace!

  3. javaz says:

    Since no one else is here, except for 57 countries and a world wide web, and I am paranoid, but not that paranoid.
    My brother that died, we were estranged, but not totally.
    He was gay, and his partner can hold a grudge better than anyone in my family, and trust me, my family knows how to hold a grudge.
    I am so hurt, again, that my brother’s partner did not tell me the day of my brother’s memorial.
    What does that say about a person that cannot forgive whatever it was I did to hurt me so deeply?
    What did I ever do that is so unforgivable?
    I had to hear from a cousin about the service and that cuts me so deep.
    My brother’s partner actually paid money to find another gay brother, and I have/had 3 brothers, and they truly do hate each other.
    The brother that my deceased brother’s partner called had not seen him or heard from him in 17 years.
    I am so tired.
    I’m tired of always being there for them, but when I need them?
    They are never there for me.
    When our daughter died, my step daughter, and I was left back in France alone while my husband flew out for her service, I asked my brother if I could I call him and he told me NO.
    It’s been like that my whole life.
    They always call me but I can never call them.
    It’s not a 2-way street.
    57 countries, and yet, the brothers I have remaining will never see this and I am tired and my heart is broken.

    My spirit lives on, and I will overcome.
    As long as I have a breath left in my body, I will live on and continue to be me.

    • abby4ever says:

      javaz: I am so sorry to hear about all this…but Emerald is right about all families having some kind of problem. On my Dad’s side of the family I’ve got two aunts who literally cannot be in the same room at the same time, they are sisters and have been on the outs for about 12 years.

      You cheer up because you will indeed overcome… with your kind of spirit, nothing else is possible.

    • KQuark says:

      No one can figure out what motivates people to act the way they do but most of the time it’s born out of their own selfishness or other personality defect.

      What I do know is that it probably has little to do with your behavior or your feelings for you brother. Never blame yourself for people behaving badly because you don’t deserve it.

      I know it probably does not offer you much solace but I will be thinking about you.

    • Chernynkaya says:

      Javaz and Kesmarn, I feel sorely lacking in insight or wisdom tonight, but I do feel very heartsick that you are going through this tough time, Javaz. Something in your story Kes, resonated in me, even though I was brought up as an only child. But we all have our stories, don’t we?

      Anyway, what I want to say is that when you are a child, it is necessary to believe in the absolute goodness of our parents. If our parents mistreat us in any way, the universe becomes incomprehensible and we can’t let it be that way. We-- and again,when we are little--we will blame ourselves and never them. We grow up then believing that we have done something unforgivable, because it is easier than believing the universe (our family) is unjust. But it is.

      I have had to try to come to terms with that, and that is why your stories resonated. Neither of you did anything unforgivable or wrong. Others did, and you, in your childlike search for understanding, maybe you both believed that you were to blame. The world seems fairer that way to a little person. Anyway, I, of course, can be really off-base with all this, but please believe my heart reaches out to yours.

      • kesmarn says:

        Even though you may feel lacking in wisdom, Cher, that certainly isn’t the case! There’s so much truth in what you say. As you indicate, blaming ourselves, in a way, gives us the illusion of some control over the situation. Because, we tell ourselves, we can change “us,” while we can’t change “them.”

        But that really is an illusion of control. Recognizing that others have had their roles to play, too, in unhappy situations, is what eventually allows us a measure of liberation from them.

        Still, the whole “family thing” is never easy, is it? Casual acquaintances can be written out of our lives with relative ease, but family--sigh--well, it’s so much more complicated.

        Thanks so much for your kind words, Cher.

    • kesmarn says:

      Oh, j’avaz, I feel for you.
      It was only about three weeks ago that my sister (only sibling) told me that I was “an evil person.” Maybe I’m self-deluded and don’t see what’s obvious to everyone else, but I see myself as a flawed--but not exactly “evil”--person.
      Why do siblings do this to each other?

      You don’t have to answer this question if you don’t want to, but: how were things when you were growing up?

      Not to get into the area of TMI, but in my family, there was a sort of family “mythology.” My older sister had/has Asperger’s Syndrome, only people didn’t know what it was back then. She was just considered extremely “odd.” By everyone else, outside the family, that is. Within the family, the story was that she was a saint. That she was gifted by God with a very unique and perceptive personality which others would never understand because they were too shallow. “Still waters run deep,” was the phrase my mother always used about her nearly non-verbal child.

      My role was to be my sister’s caregiver and translator. We were required to go everywhere together, and my job was to take her sentence fragments and random uttering and translate them to others in the “outside world.” “What my sister means is:…..” “My sister needs….” I don’t ever remember being considered too young to perform this function. She would often do things that were incredibly embarrassing, like flying into a tearful rage if our piano teacher said that I could move on to the next lesson before she could. She could be loud and persistent, and, since my parents were convinced that not giving in to her would actually cause her physical harm (she was a preemie, and, hence, “fragile” they thought) she almost always dominated the whole household with her whims. If I objected, I was deemed “the one with the bad temper.”

      Well, enough of that. This isn’t about me.

      What I’m saying is that, sometimes, early on, the “rules” in a family say: this one is the reliable one. The one we can depend on. This other one doesn’t ever have to assume any responsibility. And so on… Who knows how or why these ground rules get laid down?

      It took me a long time to realize that these are myths. These are other people’s perceptions. They are not objective TRUTH.

      Almost a year ago, I lost a very close friend who was originally from my home town and then moved to South Carolina. Even though her family promised to let me know when her memorial would be, they never did. For whatever reason. But the one thing I do know is that my friend knew I cared about her and she knows now--wherever she is--that she is missed.

      That’s all that matters.

      • KQuark says:

        I’ve found usually the evil intent is within the person who calls someone else evil.

        kesmarn the life story you shared explains allot about you in a very good way and I only think more highly of you. I can’t imagine having such a huge responsibility at such young an age.

        • kesmarn says:

          You can’t imagine what your kind words mean to me, KQ.

          It surprised me, how much her words hurt, because I thought I had come to terms with the way things were a long time ago. But somewhere in my subconscious must have been that little voice that said: “Hey, The Saint just pronounced you “evil.” You better believe it!” (Don’t mean to make light of an, actually, fairly serious disability on her part. But sometimes, you just have to laugh at situations or they will drive you bananas!)

          Guess you can kinda figure out how some of us end up in the caregiving professions, huh?

          Thanks again!

      • javaz says:

        OMG! Kesmarn!
        How unfair for you!!!
        I cannot imagine, but I cannot thank you enough for sharing.
        Here I was, feeling sorry for myself and my role in my family, and then you shared your story.
        How unfair.
        I’d comment more about your parents placing that burden on you, but you already know that and have come to grips?
        I cannot thank you enough for sharing your story.
        You have helped me more than I can say, and I thank you.
        Think of the articles we could write!

        • kesmarn says:

          Hey, girl. You’ve got a knack with healing words yourself. I guess it’s really true that “a burden shared is a burden halved.” It worked that way for both of us!

          You’re awfully kind to feel sympathy for me when you have so much going on right now, yourself.

          Maybe we should collaborate on an article! “Our ‘SPECIAL’ Families!” (Gotta love ’em…..or do we? :o)

          Hugs back atcha, j’avaz!

    • KQuark says:

      I may be able to make this into a separate post in Speakers Corner and only Planet members can view it if you want.

    • AdLib says:

      Please never hesitate at being you, that is a wonderful thing to be.

      I’m so sorry you’ve had to deal with this loss and then the hurtfulness of this person.

      Perhaps, you should arrange an informal memorial for your family and your brother’s friends, a casual get together to remember him. That way, you can deny this spiteful person the power to prevent you from attending a memorial for your brother.

      • javaz says:

        You are the rational parent!!!
        I wasn’t going to toot his horn, but my husband, he’s preparing an article.
        I cannot believe the work he’s put into it.
        I will not comment on it, but I hope that when he’s ready, he’ll be met with debate or whatever.
        My husband is a master debater!!

        Thank you so much for your kind words.

    • Kalima says:

      Oh javaz, my heart breaks for you, I wish that I could reach out my hand across the Pacific and brush away your fears and your tears.

      Compared to families, other relationships often appear to be as easy as pie. It seems as if you have tried your very best over the years and although it’s easier said than done, I would suggest that you try to get on with the rest of your life from now on.

      In my life I’ve had so many “if only” moments, finally realizing that in worrying about others, I had totally forgotten about myself, who I was, what I wanted, was I even happy?

      From your written words here I gather that you have a warm and loving relationship with your husband, make it your “everything” while you still have the chance. We can’t stop the clock from ticking but we sure as hell can try to find happiness in the years we have left.

      Thinking of you and sending you all the good thoughts I can find.

      • javaz says:

        Thank you, and ((((hugs)))) back to you.
        Really, what can a person have done so wrong that can’t be forgiven?
        Obviously, I must have done something that is unforgivable.

  4. javaz says:

    I’ve begun writing the article about racism, AdLib and everyone and am taking my time with this one, but let me ask this question.
    In my memories the N-word is heavy, and I am using the actual word.
    Should I not use it?
    I hate it, too, but it’s part of what members have given me the confidence to write.
    I hate it, too, but it is what I grew up hearing.
    Would it be wrong of me to actually write the N-word?
    Thank you and I cannot tell you how much it bothers me that the N-word is a part of my past.

    • AdLib says:

      I am a firm believer in not censoring ones words when they are being used to tell a story. If you are writing an article about racism and describing what people say or said, I don’t find it improper to honestly report what they said or think.

      Words should not be outlawed but one needs to be very responsible with prudently using words that have been charged with hatred.

      Having an inkling of what you’d be writing, an anti-racism piece of course, I don’t see an issue with using any words that accurately portray or address racism.

      Lenny Bruce had a great bit where he’d use all the slang insults for every minority to make the point that by making words forbidden, you give them the power to hurt others but by talking about them, you disarm that power.

    • whatsthatsound says:

      Hi javaz,

      About a half hour ago or so I responded to a comment you wrote while I was away (probably snoozing halfway around the world from you). It’s easy to find if you scroll down, and I’d like you to see it.


    • kesmarn says:

      j’avaz, there was hardly ever a writer who was LESS racist than Mark Twain, and yet he used the N-word in “Huckleberry Finn” because that was the way his characters would have actually spoken. I don’t presume to speak for everybody here, but I know I would be completely aware of the fact that you were using the word in the context of it’s existence in the speech of many in the American past. (I certainly heard it when I was growing up--along with other pejorative and demeaning terms for other minorities, too, sad to say.) I think virtually everyone here would have the maturity to understand where you’re coming from.

      I’m just so glad you’re taking on the challenge. You go, girl!

    • Chernynkaya says:

      I am so glad for you and for us all! Thank you, Javaz! My vote is you should use it because it is spoken as a word and it has so much emotional power. Either way, though it’s not something I have a real strong opinion about--just my two cents worth.

    • bitohistory says:

      J’avaz, I grew up in an industrial Midwest town during the ’50’s also. It was used all to often. Using the word in your writing is a close call. My suggestion is if it is used is a quote and thy said it, use it , why hide the offense. It’s honest.IMO

    • boomer1949 says:


      Me too! All the time, my father was the absolute worst. It wasn’t until I was older that I understood who my father really was — a racist. I wouldn’t let him use the word in front of my kids and that just pissed him off even more. Gd this and Gd that. Just thinking about it makes my blood boil.

      Oh, and not only that, the man and all of my family wouldn’t vote for Kennedy because he was Catholic. Guess what my dad said when he found out I was marrying an Italian? No Gd Catholic church, blah, blah, blah. Then when they found out I converted? Oh brother…

  5. AdLib says:

    Kalima, start a brand new post tonight for MB and posting will speed up. There are many long (and good) sub comments on this page which may be a cause.

    Also, try rebooting your computer, that could help too.

  6. Kalima says:

    SOS everyone! It seems as if the EDIT button is not working at the moment, I think I’ll go back to sleep. :)

    • kesmarn says:

      Don’t go, Kalima! I was thinking the same thing, but I believe there’s just a slight delay of maybe 5-10 seconds between the time you submit your post and when the “Edit” option appears. At least, that’s been my experience recently.

      • Kalima says:

        I won’t. It’s still not working for me. Never mind, I’ll just have to pay more attention to my spelling. :)

        Nice to see you kesmarn, hope that you are well?

        • kesmarn says:

          Doing well this evening, Kalima. We’re getting about 5″ of snow this evening, so I’m staying snug at home. I made beef barley soup with nearly every vegetable known to humanity thrown in. Oatmeal cookies, too.

          • Kalima says:

            Guess who’s coming for dinner?

            • kesmarn says:

              You’re welcome any time, Kalima! Bring the kitties, too!

              (My “Big Boy” begging stray is still showing up at the door. Didn’t take him very long to munch through a five pound sack of dry food.)

            • Kalima says:

              Thank you for the kind invitation, one of these days…..

              Mine are eating me out of house and home, they are ravenous during the cold months.

              I hope “Big Boy” has found a nice warm place to shelter in during your expected fall of snow, I’m sure he has.

              There was a time that I couldn’t sleep wondering about where my strays were on cold nights. Now I know that they are in our garage, snug and warm in their houses, makes life a little easier.

    • bitohistory says:

      Wait a sec Kalima, let me say “hello, Dear!”

  7. Tiger99 says:

    Is this not a 2 sided coin? Is it racist to expect so much? The times call for extraordinary leadership… Am I not to expect that from my President? If I lower my expectations could that not be seen as racist?

    • javaz says:

      No, it’s not racist to expect so much, but Obama is who he is, and he’s always been a centrist.
      Obama is a very smart and clever politician.

      Let’s all face it.

      The time was right for a black man to win.

      Heck, the time was right for a woman to win, but Hillary blew it with her dodging gunfire thing.

      She so disappointed me, because being a woman, and I loved Bill, and overlooked his sexcapades in the Oval Office, but Hillary blew it and I do not mean that in a sexual, Monica Lewinsky way.

      I always thought Hillary was so smart and really admired the fact that for the first time in history a former first lady went into politics and ran for senator and won.

      She so disappointed me, because she lied and was caught.

      I had such high hopes for her and being a feminist, she had me all the way, until that moment, and then I knew it was over.

      Let’s face another thing.

      Do you really believe that McCain running with Sarah Palin was not a setup so that the Republicans would lose and they’d have another Jimmy Carter moment?

      It was a setup.

      The Republicans made a mockery of our elections, and sadly for McCain, or maybe not, but there was no way in hell McCain would win with a bubblehead.

      I’ve rambled and now have lost track of it all, which is actually a good thing!

  8. Chernynkaya says:

    Javaz-- Write it--Please. I know you can!!! and the gay thing is very very much a part of it!!

    • javaz says:

      I wish so much I could.
      Cher, every article you write is so exceptional, you take my breath away!
      That’s a song isn’t it?
      I am so damn honored in that voting thing AdLib has going on in that articles I’ve written have been nominated, but that was before YOU came on and Scher and Tiger and others.
      I do write, but my writing is rushed, and I never get it right.
      When I first logged onto this site, I was all gung-ho, and wrote, but then YOU and KQuark and Pepe, and AdLib and Nellie, well, the list goes on, whereby you all put me to shame.
      Even when I write what I write in my stories, I rush them.
      YOU and others take the time to actually get it out there with much more thought.
      I’m good for fun articles, nothing deep, because that’s how I am.
      Look at the main page.
      I wrote an article about job satisfaction, and it has 28 replies, and half of them are me replying to others.
      I so totally missed the point that I was trying to make.

      YOU write.
      YOU are a real writer.

      I wish so much that I could, but it would take me days, and okay, maybe I’ll try an article that takes me days to write before I click that publish button.
      Is that how you do it?
      Does it take you days and nights writing about your passion?
      Obviously, it must and DOH!
      Smacking my head.
      I am not worthy, but I’ll try to do this right and it’ll take me time.


      • Kalima says:

        Good evening javaz, your comment made me feel a little sad. We can’t all be Dostoyevsky or JP Sartre and it’s not all about how it’s written but more about what we feel, what is in our hearts that is much more important than winning a Pulizer prize.

        Heck, my English is sometimes so upside down, even I don’t understand what I’ve written.

        The Planet is not about competition, we are here to say what is on our minds, the way we see things affecting our lives, our hopes, our dreams for the future.

        I love your comments, and I love what you have written so far. The number of responses to a post is secondary and bears no reflection on what you wrote or how you wrote it. The fact that you wrote it means that you feel strongly about the subject and that is what the Planet is all about, a voice for everyone, about everything.

      • kesmarn says:

        j’avaz,you so underestimate yourself! I might have to smack your head, too! Just kidding.

        For one thing: not every article has to be done in a scholarly or research style. I think it’s great to keep a mix out there. The variety is what keeps people coming back.

        Your style is totally unique; and, whether you realize it or not, you are one of the main reasons I really took to the Planet right away.

        Remember at Halloween time? At your suggestion we all swapped ghost stories? That was one of the most fun evenings I’ve ever spent.

        You have a very natural and spontaneous writing style. It’s as though you’re right across the kitchen table from your readers.

        You have an amazing grasp of politics and are very widely read from a huge variety of sources. You have a whimsical sense of humor and a warmth of compassion that would be enormously missed if you slipped into the background because you feel there are “better writers” out there than you.

        Just the way you wrote about the evening that was fun until the racist comment was made…that was right from the heart. You not only told about what happened, but about how you and your husband felt about it.

        That is real writing. You not only can do it; you already have!

      • Chernynkaya says:

        Javaz, I am not being flattering when I say I know you can do it. All you have to do to start is to C&P all your comments and any replies you care to on this topic and it’s practically written. Maybe you just need to ask the questions and recall one or two of your personal experiences.

        YOU ALREADY WROTE IT! Because the secret is-- you are passionate about it-- and truly, that is the most important thing. Write from the heart and you will touch a heart(I can’t remember who said that- but it’s true!). You have the heart, we’ve already seen that.Seriously.

        Once you have C&P’d all your comments, you can refine them and organize them, and add to them if you wish. Look, I am not trying to pressure you, but if you want a discussion about this very important subject, you should start it and the comments will add to the discussion. Really though, you don’t have to--I’ll love you anyway! In all sincerity, I don’t think this needs to be the Odyssey, just start the conversation and we Planeteers will carry on. Or not. NO PRESSURE!

  9. javaz says:

    Thank you for responding, Nellie, and we agree again.
    We have a very near and dear friend who is older than us both -- he’s 72 now -- and we love that guy.
    But he is a true Reagan Republican, and even framed a thank you note from Reagan, because he donated 25 bucks for his election.
    This guy, we do talk politics with, and we’ve seen such a transformation in him and it’s amazing.
    Dick voted for Bush instead of Gore, but on the second election, he voted for Kerry and stopped listening to Limbaugh and O’Reilly.
    We really respect this man, because he actually bought both of Obama’s books, and that’s how we read them, when he loaned them to us.
    He voted for Obama, because he hated Palin and doesn’t think too highly of McCain.
    You are absolutely correct in that Obama has always been a centrist.
    The corporate media along with the Republicans paint him as a socialist, LIBERAL commie, but we know that he isn’t and never was.
    Dick is also a racist, and seriously, he really is, but yet he voted for Obama, and that means something, don’t you agree?

    We really respect Dick because he is a bigger person than we are in that he actually bought the ‘enemies’ books and read them.

    I must say though, that if the Republicans could get their sh!t together and accept a Mormon, that Mitt Romney would be their best candidate.
    Mitt was more of a progressive while governor, and then once he ran, he fell in line as Republicans do, but before he did that, I always like Mitt.
    I’m still going to vote for Obama, don’t get me wrong, but I feel sorry for Mitt because it’s his religion that makes him unsavory for the religious right of the GOP and that is sad.

    Grew up in Michigan, and Mitt’s dad, George Romney was our governor, and I actually met Mrs. Romney and Mitt and his brothers, way back when at a State Fair, and I was maybe 8 years old?
    But we never knew George was a Mormon.
    Back then, religion wasn’t an issue.
    George Romney actually served for 2 terms as governor and never once did his Mormonism become an issue.

    • nellie says:

      Your friend Dick is what Randi Rhodes would call “a real man.” I have so much respect for people who are willing to change their minds. It really takes a complete upending of one’s world view to do what your friend did. He deserves a hearty dose of respect.

  10. javaz says:

    Cher, the neighbors we are closest to, we have only discussed politics once, and that was during the upcoming election for BushCO’s second term and we didn’t talk about it long.
    We just don’t discuss politics, except for the occasional jab during games, like Apples to Apples of all things!
    But we simply do not discuss politics, because face it, we all know how we all feel.
    I did ask at that time, and they said that they vote Republican because they always vote Republican, and at the time that made me frown at them, but then isn’t that we do?
    I’ve always voted Democrat, except for two times and in local elections and both times, the governors were recalled!
    They are not shallow people, not at all.
    They are the absolute best neighbors anyone could hope for when it comes to us all helping each other and being there when we need each other.
    The key is not to talk politics, and it’s very hard for us, because so many of our neighbors do bring crap up and quote Beck, Hannity and O’Reilly, and my dog, they love O’Reilly.
    It’s just the way it is, and as long as we stick with normal things in life away from politics, it’s all good.
    For instance, when my brother died, neighbors sent us fruit baskets, flowers, and beautiful cards.
    And one neighbor had to put a dog down, and we loved that dog, too, my husband babysat their little girl while I went with our neighbor to put their dog down.
    We just never discuss politics, but we get our jabs in when it’s fun.
    I can’t explain it.

    • Chernynkaya says:

      Javaz, there is no need to explain. I only responded because you seemed conflicted. Heck, as I said, I cannot say how I would react if I lived in a Republican world. Also, please bear in mind that I am particularly intolerant. I admit it.

  11. Emerald1943 says:

    Good morning, all you beautiful PlanetPeople!

    Sorry I have been AWOL in the last two days. My son is here from his home in Tennessee and we are doing some repairs around my house…sorely needed. A new light fixture in my laundry room, a new motion-sensor for my driveway, etc. I never thought I would be so excited about a new light! Most of the enjoyment is because I never get to spend much time with my son. He lives about 3 hours from here and is busy but took time to come over to help out his mommy! :-)
    He’s a great son and I’m really proud of the man he’s become!

    Well, we just thought we were through with the snow…we’ve got another storm moving towards us now with heavy snow expected tonight. We still have about 8-10″ of hard snow left from the storm before Christmas.

    Enough drivel…back to work! I trust everyone is OK! I’ll be back later to give you another dose of drivel! Have a great day!!

    • boomer1949 says:


      “Let there be light!” :-)

    • Chernynkaya says:

      Emerald-- such happy news! Thank you for that.

      • kesmarn says:

        Em! So good to hear from you--and very happy news at that. Hope you enjoy every minute of the time you have with your dear son. How does it happen that one day we’re tying their shoes, wiping their noses and zipping up their snow suits and the next they’re installing light fixtures and fixing our computer woes?

        And they’re suddenly eight inches over the tops of our heads, to boot!

        • BigDogMom says:

          And now they are driving us to the mall and have real jobs, and real careers….didn’t think all my nieces and nephews would make it out from in front of the computer or TV….wierd, but good feeling to see them grow up.

          Lawd, I sound like my Mother again….

        • Emerald1943 says:

          Hey Kes! 8″ over my head?? More like TWO FEET over my head! My son is a big one…tried out for the Washington Redskins a few years ago..one heck of a defensive end! (They should have kept him…perhaps their record would be a little better!) LOL

          Glad to see you all here! :-)

          • kesmarn says:

            My goodness, you grow ’em big down there, Em!
            My dear son inherited a small dose of my “short genes!” Although he’s still much taller than I am. But he’s very athletic…more in the swimming/biking/running area, though. My daughter is a little peanut--five feet tall/100 pounds--but she says she likes being little. She’s never cramped--even on an airplane!

          • BigDogMom says:

            Morning em, scary ain’t it….

  12. BigDogMom says:

    Off to walk the dogs, temps up to a balmy 30 degrees and sun is out….should I forgo my long underwear this morning?

    Nah, getting used to dressing like one would when doing research on the arctic circle…..one can definitely NOT be a fashion maven in this weather!

    See y’all later, must try to get something done today…..then again, maybe not, much more fun here than cleaning house, paying bills, shoveling snow….

  13. javaz says:

    To nellie and wts --
    I agree with you, nellie, 100% and I do think it would make a very interesting article in addressing race and bigotry.
    I couldn’t write it, since I do not understand it all myself, but I can relate as a woman that worked in a predominantly male field, the similarities.
    A woman must also be twice as good at least, to be considered half as good, and she’s lucky if she rates that high in comparison.
    There are subtleties that speak louder than actual ignorance, and hope that makes sense.
    I often find myself in criticizing Obama asking myself if my criticism has anything to do with race, and ashamedly, some times I think it does, and I don’t consider myself a racist or a bigot, but I know deep down that I must be on some level.
    I grew up in Detroit during the late 50’s and into the 60’s, and prejudice was hard to escape and I went to a Catholic School, where one would think people would be more tolerant, but back in them days, people were anything but.
    When we were at a RW neighbor’s home for Christmas, a mention was made of Tiger Woods, and someone joked that even Tiger didn’t like blacks either -- but the ugly N-word was used.
    My husband and I winced and were uncomfortable, but we remained silent to maintain the friendships and party-atmosphere and out of cowardice, I suppose.
    I don’t know, but it’d make a great article if someone was so inclined to have an open discussion about race.

    (And good morning, Nellie!)

    • whatsthatsound says:

      Hi javaz,

      I think there are good, and important, points to be made all around here. What I find disturbing is some of the language being used, the blanket charge of racism. On Cher’s post on Israel, BernardMarx wrote;

    • nellie says:

      Hey javaz. I’m just now seeing your comment. A belated good morning!

      Thanks for your honesty about this subject. I know it’s hard for people to discuss. For some reason, it’s easy for me. I’ve had a lot of experience with prejudice, and I know people’s hearts can be changed. Bigotry is ignorance, and it makes people very stupid. It is learned behavior, but it is also biological behavior. And sometimes it has a lot to do with a person’s own sense of worthlessness.

      One of the points I try to make is that, when Mr. Obama was speaking during his campaign, a lot of people just didn’t hear what he was saying. Sometimes I think the only people who really listened to him were Hillary supporters — looking for anything to differentiate themselves from his platform.

      The man is a centrist. But some people saw a radical. There’s no explaining that except for distorted expectations. And those distortions affected both the right and the left. They both saw this guy as something he wasn’t, something he never pretended to be.

      And now the left is disappointed because he is exactly what he advertised himself to be.

      Expectations are a big part of prejudice, which is why I give the “racism on the left” idea some credit. For some, I think this is part of the picture. Your analogy with sexism is very on target.

      • Chernynkaya says:

        Nellie--Yes! That bit about racism on the left is what I was trying to articulate earlier. I assumed some things about Obama based on his race and his personal story--which was not only compelling, but unusual for a politician. especially for the usual, WASP pols from “picture-perfect” families or the Ozzie and Harriet kind.

        I assumed he was from the Left-- in my mind, how could he not be with that background? But upon thinking about it, he was also raised by his white Kansan grandparents, not only by his radical-appearing mom.

        One final point: I honestly feel many of his more publicized campaign appearances led many of us to believe he was left-of-center too. It isn’t imho, only my assumptions about him based on his race and background. Many of the things he said appealed to the Left--a lot.

        • nellie says:

          A lot of what he said was very idealistic, and appealed to me as well. But his policies, the paths he outlined for reaching those ideals, were always pragmatic, negotiation-based strategies.

          That’s why I started out supporting Edwards. Thank goodness his campaign tanked!

    • Chernynkaya says:

      Hi there, Javaz! I don’t know--and couldn’t find-- what you were referencing Nellie and WTS about, but that won’t prevent me from piping in!

      I had a thought about Obama’s presidency once (and these are only half-baked thoughts) it goes something like this: Maybe just the fact that we could elect a black man was enough-- that he doesn’t even have to do much, because merely the FACT of him says a lot about race in this country. And a corollary to that is that, being black has actually made him less effective. He has racism to overcome, and because of our latent prejudices he cannot do what needs to be done in the US. As I said-- these are only beginnings of an idea, but does any of that make sense/ (It’s perfectly OK if it doesn’t though!)

      • escribacat says:

        Cher, I think it’s the fact of him and the miracle of his election that created the astronomical expectations — and hence, the snarling disappointments from some on the left. His election was a miracle, therefore he is a miracle worker. When he fails to work miracles, he becomes a fraud.

        • Chernynkaya says:

          That is such an interesting observation, E’cat! I never considered it that way and it is definitely such an important fact.

          “His election was a miracle, therefore he is a miracle worker.” Perfectly stated.

      • javaz says:

        Hi Cher!
        Yes, it all makes sense and I really wish someone with a better firsthand knowledge would author an article about race so that we could open up the discourse.
        For instance, I would really appreciate advice for a response should someone say something like that again -- the N-word thing.
        We’ve known most of the people for 12 years and this is the very first time that anyone has ever said anything like that in front of us and I wish that I could have said something as not to spoil the party or strain the relationship, but what does a person say when something like that happens?

        We’ve had a super busy morning, don’t ask, but every thing is fine now and we’re back on track, or I would have replied sooner.

        • KQuark says:

          There’s never going back for me when that’s occurred in my life experience. I just can never look at the people in the same way. But that’s just me and I’m well aware I’m the one becoming prejudiced about people the utter such filth.

          You can only use your own conscience as a guide to how you react to the situation.

          • javaz says:

            Yes, my opinion of them has dropped, and I hate this, but our friendship is strained.
            And it’s not for anything we said, because we said nothing nor did we laugh, but I guess we were obvious in our being uncomfortable.
            I am saddened that we have a strain now on our friendship, as they were such very good friends, but that’s life.

          • PepeLepew says:

            I agree. I’ve changed my opinion of people based on that. There’s just zero excuse for it. A friend of mine’s husband once dropped the “spook” word in mixed company, then she later explained to me “he couldn’t help it” because he grew up in Texas. A friend of mine who grew up in Fort Worth was sitting next to me and said, “that is NOT an excuse. He CAN help it.”

            • escribacat says:

              I agree. When someone uses language like that, it’s not just a “slip.” There is an ocean of cultural belief and “low” thinking behind it. In my mind, the person is not worth talking to.

            • bitohistory says:

              j’avaz, Damnit! Write it!

            • javaz says:

              Someone write a dang article, or else I will, and I’m not very good at writing articles.
              We all should talk about this, as we face it everyday.
              And I don’t mean that I face it personally, but face it from other people.
              And another thing, and this is related, too, but I witness firsthand the anti-gay thing, and it’s all part of it, too, is it not?
              The gay thing is very close to my heart.

        • AlphaBitch says:

          Hey Javaz:

          For what it’s worth, whenever I have been in the presence of someone using such foul language, I (and I’m a happy-go-lucky kind of gal) become very quiet, very serious and say softly “Please don’t use that word again in my presence.” Walk away or change the topic immediately.

          No one has ever been stupid enough to start an incident over this, and heaven help them if they do. However, others have come up to me at some later point to say thanks for “handling it”.

          I now face all sorts of “questions” from working with my children from Afghanistan -- are they terrorists? How do I know? My response: How do YOU know I am not a terrorist? Can we ever REALLY know the mind of another? But do we let that stop us from doing what is right, or what is good?

          My advice is: Show class, stand up for what is right and then let it go. And use the word “please” -- it would have made my momma happy.

          • KQuark says:

            That’s a great way to handle it and most of the time that’s how I’ve handled it as well though a couple of times it did escalate into some shoving matches when I was much younger. I’ve probably handled it better since then personally.

            But I’m just curious how do you feel about the people afterward? Meaning do you eventually look at them the same way or not.

            Knowing what good work you do AB I hate that you have do deal with such ignorance.

            • AlphaBitch says:

              Dear, dear KQ --

              I believe in second chances, and redemption. I know through my own life that my own ignorance, stubbornness and badness gets in my way; and I find that when I am forgiven, I can truly appreciate that gift.

              That being said: if I feel this is really what they believe, and not just an odd attempt at “humor”, I don’t find myself feeling the same.

              I have backed away from my only sibling, the closest blood relative I have, because of comments made in the 1990s of this nature. I do believe she has made some changes, and her heart has softened up some. But the conversation was so deep and disturbing that I have to be honest and say that a part of me died that day, and I’m not sure it can be ever put back. Perhaps I now see her with much more clear sight -- and I accept her as she is. But the closeness and hero (heroine?) worship I had as a child has gone and will never return.

              That being said: I now have “families of choice” that I feel every bit as close to as blood relatives.

              As to my kids: I know the truth. They are wonderful young people, and they cause my heart to soar. I have patience with others in trying to understand something so new and different, as long as they are open minded. We are taught fear, but we know love.

              Half my families are liberal, half VERY conservative. We all manage to put aside differences of opinions, and have grown to love each other. I will defend their right to their opinions, even if I question them directly on those same opinions, because we do it all from a place of dialogue and respect.

              I have to say: I had my two Afghan boys, one of whom was to have had surgery (now postponed until summer) and who was INVITED to move in with a very, very dear family who has already “hosted” two of the Afghan students. This particular family is headed by a conservative (both religiously and politically) father, whom I feel safe in saying loves me now as much as I love him. Doesn’t mean we don’t argue -- we DO! But we respect where the other person comes from. We went to a New Years Eve party at their home; guess who else they had invited (besides all the other conservative neighbors)? A group of four Afghan soldiers that are here studying language and military training! It was this conservative family who ran into the group of soldiers (with their “handler”), who -because of their experience with the kids -- recognized them as Afghans; and it was this same “conservative” family who opened up their home and hearts to them for New Years! And then surprised me.

              So you never know how one life may end up touching another. It’s always interesting to me to watch it.

              We have a HUGE fan base for my kids here now -- in fact, one private school that has given two scholarships in the past has come asking for another Afghan student for next year. This is a Christian/military school, too. Not what you’d expect, but that’s the nice part of life.

              Take care. Off to take the boys out and then one flies out early early tomorrow morn.

              See you all on Saturday, Insh’allah. Stay safe, stay warm.

          • javaz says:

            My husband and I did not laugh, but everyone around us did, and you must try to imagine a neighborhood party whereby everyone and I mean everyone is a Republican.
            It always amazes us that these people appear to like us, even though it took years for them to accept us.
            It amazes us that we like them, because politically and even on other issues we have nothing in common, yet we have much in common.
            We sort of blew our cover by placing a Kerry/Edwards sign in our yard, and we actually took some flak from that and had a potential problem from it, but that’s another story.
            I will say that the laughter about the ‘joke’ was a nervous laughter and quite a few people stared at us expecting, I think, for us to say something, but then it was the hostess that recommended we all watch a fun movie before the gift exchange.
            I grew up with this type of thing so it’s not like it was shocking, but it was because this is the 21st century for goodness sakes and I haven’t heard that word in a very long time.
            I would have been uncomfortable saying anything, and I do know that it is cowardice on my part.
            I dislike confrontation, but it bothers me, because there were children at the party and sheesh, that’s why prejudice lives on.
            Oh, I don’t know.
            We need an article!!!
            I could tell stories about growing up in Detroit, in an all white suburb, and especially during the riots and civil rights movement.
            Believe it or not though, I think we’ve come quite far, but it’s the underlying issue that needs to be addressed.
            I’m rambling, but then, I’ve had a heck of a day.

            • AlphaBitch says:

              Javaz: See my reply to KQ above. You’ll get through it. I speak to being friends -- and good friends -- with those who differ from me. They don’t have to change you, but you might not be able to change them.

            • KQuark says:

              That really sucks. I’ve been out of the white people’s game since I married my wife. No one dares make explicit racial comments around me anymore.

              But I can relate to being surrounded my Republicans since I’ve lived down South for 18 years. The worse part is Republicans like evangelical Christians assume everyone is a Republican. We more liberal folks have to sneak around in the dark. During the 2004 election even some people that voted for Bush in 2000 became anti-Bush were I worked but for the most part Dems were silent. During the election even the volume of the conversations were much lower when people who supported Kerry talked as opposed to the raucous Bush supporters. When you were a Democrat you had to huddle in your cubical and God forbid management or someone else was listening to you but if you were Republican you were a part of the gang and they flaunted it and sent “swift boat” emails to each other. I was one of the very few that would stand up to the Republican garbage, especially on the Iraq War debate but that’s just me.

            • Chernynkaya says:

              Javaz, I cannot imagine living in a community of Republicans! I can’t tell you how I would handle it because I only know I could not be friends with them on other than the most superficial/cordial level. What I can share with you, for what it’s worth is something a spiritual teacher taught me, and that is you become like the people you hang out with. I know that sounds simplistic, but I know from my own experience that if I am around shallow but charming people, I tend to behave more shallowly. I don’t mean to imply that you would take on their characteristics! But I guess I would simply avoid them-- I don’t believe you can change them.

  14. Tiger99 says:

    “Freeze warnings covered nearly all of Florida with temperatures expected to drop into the 20s overnight. Freezing iguanas were seen falling out of trees in Florida; experts say the cold-blooded reptiles become immobilized when the temperature falls into the 40s and they lose their grip on the tree.”

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