Heads in the sand for our teenagers

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Posted by Candy | Posted in Misc | Posted on 25-05-2010

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I was reading the news after lunch today and ran across this news story out of Virginia. Today is also Tuesday which means I might get bonus points from Dynila for her Tuesday Tirade thing she does sometimes.

Let me first say that I don’t have a teenager, so maybe you can say that I don’t understand teeangers. Fine. Whatever. But I want to know why this administration thinks they can just go reprint the damn yearbooks? What was so horrible? Do you mean to tell me that you don’t know your kid might be getting high? Oh wait, you don’t know that some of them get abortions without your knowledge? You don’t know what they are aware of the rest of the world? What? Little Perfect Mary Sue would never do that right? And you don’t want that filth in your yearbook, right? Guess what? It’s out there. And your Little Miss Perfect has probably even gotten drunk and done something stupid. Most teenagers do (except for me, of course, mom, I was one of the few perfect teenagers! Really!)

The point is that this was a pretty neat project that the student body and yearbook staff took on. They asked for secrets. The administration had to have known they were soliciting for them. They probably even thought it was neat themselves given the current popularity of PostSecret (and if you say you’ve never looked, you are LYING). It’s the perfect thing to include for so many reasons. The least of which is that high school isn’t all cheerleaders and pep rallies. There are kids with real thoughts and real things to process and yes, some deep dark secrets to share. No one was hurt in doing it.

So I want to know why the administration is now taking all the yearbooks back? Because some parents got upset? Really? Because they knew it was going on and they HAD TO HAVE KNOWN the yearbook staff was doing the piece. Just once I want to see school administrators stand up and say “No. Our students did this. You may not like it, but it was published with our knowledge. I’m sorry it offended you, but this was their project done by them and their peers and we stand behind it.”

But no. They are too busy kowtowing to those few enraged parents. I bet those same parents are trying to get books banned too. Oh, that’s another rant.

Okay, so I feel better. What a crock.

Martin Luther King Jr Day

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Posted by Candy | Posted in Holidays | Posted on 18-01-2010

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Happy MLK Day. I wasn’t alive in 1963 when this amazing man gave his “I Have a Dream” speech, but listening to it, you cannot help but feel inspired.

This speech was given 5 years before he was assassinated. I think about it and it’s been 46 years since he gave that speech. Today we have a black man as the President of the United States. Change is slow, there’s no arguing about it, but it does give me hope for the future.

I’m a white woman, so I don’t pretend to understand the struggles. I grew up in the lowcountry of South Carolina where, unfortunately, I still see the racial issues are in full effect. In fact, someone said something totally inappropriate and so very rude when we were there that Tom and I were just appalled. You just don’t make racial slurs to someone you’ve just met. It really hurt my heart to hear that it still goes on.

I guess I live with my head in the sand. I moved to Hawaii when I was 18 and now live in Austin (where there are some issues, but it’s nothing compared to where I grew up). I don’t know why I’m always shocked when I go visit my mom and someone says something I consider offensive. I guess I keep hoping that things have changed.

I guess the point of this post is to ask everyone… before you say something, think. I don’t like it when people make fat jokes (cuz, well, I’m fat). My husband doesn’t like it when people make really nasty comments about smokers (he quit – again – he struggles – although this time I think he’s kicked it long-term). You can offend people, not just because of the color of their skin, but in other ways too. I remember someone asking a Japanese friend of mine where the best Korean restaurant was “because you people know about that stuff”. Oy.

Having said that, I think you can be too sensitive sometimes. It’s okay to ask your best Hispanic friend for her tried and true fajita marinade. It’s also okay when she asks me how the heck to make homemade tortillas. *laughing*

So today, Mr. Martin Luther King Jr, I thank you for your speech, for all you did for the civil rights movement. I think you helped bring about change, not only for the African-American folks, but in general too. Tolerance is one thing, but acceptance… that’s where we should all strive to be.

Disclaimer: I’m sure not all of the lowcountry has racial issues, perhaps I just notice it more or perhaps it’s just the people I know. *laughing*

A special comment on an old post

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Posted by Candy | Posted in Uncategorized | Posted on 27-09-2009

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I get comments emailed to me so I know when someone comments here. I got a touching one to a 9/11 tribute I participated in back in 2006. I remember doing research on the NY fire fighter I was assigned. I was honored to learn more about him and be able to acknowledge him and his (not to mention his family’s) sacrifice on that day. I am even more honored that a friend of his found our blog and took time to share a few memories with me. Check it out here – http://www.beauchampfamily.com/2006/09/911-tribute-louis-arena-ladder-5-fdny.html. It’s interesting and I think that project touched me in ways I wasn’t expected. I still think of him when 9/11 comes around or someone mentions it. Thank you, Eddie, for taking the time. Louie sounds like he was a true friend to many.

And now for a special annoucement…

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Posted by Candy | Posted in Uncategorized | Posted on 08-09-2009

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Lanel Taylor, who works with me and is a fabulous friend and lady, is doing the Komen for the Cure. Please click here to if you are able to help. Even $5 helps this worthy cause (and it’s tax deductible). Thanks much!

This has affected a few of my family members and I’ve seen friends go through a few scares as well. The risk factors are easy – you are female and you are getting older. Every year I try to give to breast cancer research in the hopes that we find a cure – if not in my lifetime, in my children’s lifetime.

If you can help, then please do so, otherwise, please take a moment to post a note of encouragement to Lanel – you can just comment here :)

Thank you!

Buy a hat, Save a house… #500hats

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Posted by Candy | Posted in Uncategorized | Posted on 28-08-2009

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I thought this was a really creative idea. There’s a lady trying to save her house, so she started a Squidoo Lens about her plight and selling hats. She needs to sell 500 of them.

I thought it was such an interesting and fun idea that I’ve purchased 3 of them. 1 for each of my children and 1 that she has offered to donate to a charity of her choosing.

She even takes photos of them and puts them on her Flickr account.

For those of you that like doing random acts of kindness (and in this case, my kids have been asking for hats for this Winter anyway), stop her buy her Squidoo Page and Order a hat. I gave her very loose guidelines – let’s see what she comes up with for my kiddos!

Fun!

On a serious note… So You Think You Can Dance

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Posted by Candy | Posted in Uncategorized | Posted on 26-07-2009

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Yes, I watch a lot of reality TV and most of it is silly, but sometimes something happens that touches me deeply. This is a beautiful tribute, a wonderfully danced piece of work. I know a few of you out there haven’t seen it, so I wanted to share… it made me tear up.

You can donate to the Susan G. Komen Breast Cancer Center by visiting http://ww5.komen.org/. Most of us have known someone that has been affected by breast cancer… anyway… enjoy this moving piece.

Rant: Stupid People

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Posted by Candy | Posted in Uncategorized | Posted on 22-05-2009

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I am constantly amazed by how stupid people really are. Last week, one of the parents was talking to Tom while waiting for the kids to come out from school. According to her, the principal has no right even being a principal. After all, she has no children of her own.

Let me give you a minute to read that bit again.

Yeah. Okay.

What right does this woman have to dictate anyone’s reproductive health? Maybe the principal can’t have children? Maybe she figures she already has 450 kids and doesn’t need any more? Maybe *gasp* she has chosen to NOT have children. Who says that you have to have kids to be an effective leader? Who says you have to have your own kids to love and appreciate other people’s children?

What a rude, well, bitch. I was floored when Tom told me this. This woman has no right being in anyone’s business and she obviously has issues.

I am biased in this issue. Tom and I weren’t planning on having kids. They just kind of happened. Oh, I’m glad now and cannot imagine not having my two monkeys, but I still liked kids, I loved being around them and listening to them (really, kids are pretty smart if you really listen to them!) and all that fun stuff. It didn’t make me weird or a child molester or something just because I didn’t have my own.

And you know what? Our principal is fabulous. She’s a wonderful lady with a heart of gold who truly loves what she does. And yes, I think she probably loves all 450 of her kids that attend that school.

To that mom, I want to say “shame on you”. But ya know what? It’s not worth it. Some people will never change. I just wish people would THINK. What a horrible human being to feel like that.

Rant: Banned Books / School Libraries

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Posted by Candy | Posted in School | Posted on 15-05-2009

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I have no idea how I ran across this information, but I figure I should post about it and get it out of my system and then send you back to your regularly scheduled (sometimes) cute family blog…

Tom and I both feel pretty strongly about this… it is YOUR responsibility, as the parent, to monitor what your kids watch/read/do. If there is some book you don’t want them to read because it has witches in it, then you get to step up and be the parent. Amazing how that works, right? I am constantly amazed that some parents think they have the right to pull a book of a school’s public library because they are too lazy to talk to their kids and monitor what their kids are doing.

As a parent myself, I think my children should have the freedom and opportunity to read any book that we choose. There may be some books I don’t want them to read and if there is, I will tell them and they won’t check it out. Yes, this actually works. It’s called communicating and trusting your kids. Where did that disappear to? When did we decide we have to micromanage every single thing our children do? Can they not read a book and then ask you questions about it?

Anyway… I was happy to read this about Round Rock ISD (which is our school district), “Round Rock ISD took second in this dubious competition with nine challenges, none of which resulted in a single ban or restriction.” (From page six of the Free People Read Freely 2008-2009 report.

I realize not everyone will agree with me. That’s the beauty of having freedoms. Some could say that if I want my kid to read Harry Potter, I could buy the books. And I do just that. But there are kids out there that can’t afford to buy any book they want. That’s what libraries are for. Some could say that you can’t control everything your children do, and that is partially my point. If your biggest problem is that your kid wants to read Harry Potter and sneaks off to do it… I’d say you are pretty lucky :)

For more information on banned books and other ACLU projects, visit their website.

(Political) A historic year… or Candy gets all sappy…

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Posted by Candy | Posted in Uncategorized | Posted on 06-11-2008

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As a rule, I try to avoid talking politics, but this is my blog and I feel like if I don’t write this down, I will regret it. So here goes… feel free to skip it :)

I grew up in a small town near the low country of South Carolina. When I moved to Hawaii from there in early ’93, racism was still very much alive. I always saw it and never liked it, but it was just part of my environment. I never felt like I fully fit in there. Moving to Honolulu changed me in so many ways. I learned a lot about people, in general. Looking back, I wonder who I would be today had I not moved. But I did. In late ’98, we moved to Austin. Again, more changes, but still the people were much the same as in Hawaii. Both are very liberal areas, I definitely feel more at home around different people and those that might be considered “freaks” (to my best friends reading this, yes, you are probably part of the “freaks”) ;)

Don’t misunderstand what I’m saying, racism is definitely not as prevalent (or maybe I don’t see it?) in South Carolina as it was 15 years ago. When I go visit, I don’t have to hear someone use derogatory names for people that don’t look like them. Someone did let one slip around my children once and I was proud of myself for standing up and telling them that it wasn’t appropriate, and definitely not in front of my children, who probably have never even heard those words.

Speaking of the kids, they don’t even realize the full reason this is so historic. They know about Martin Luther King and slaves, but I don’t think they really understand what it all meant. They are only 5 and 8. I wonder if they will understand racism as I understand it. I wonder if I really understand it as I wasn’t alive then either. Will it fade away much like so many other “old weird things” in history? I certainly hope so.

Several years ago, I was discussing race with a group of friends. We were talking about how slow things seemed to change, but were hopeful. Yes, we were a bunch of middle class white women, but this is Austin – we talk about stuff like that sometimes if you give us a drink and some chocolate :) I distinctly remember saying that I thought it was sad that we would probably never see an African-American as president in our lifetimes.

I have never been so happy to be wrong in my entire life. I woke up yesterday morning and this morning in some weird state of disbelief and amazement. It happened. Even if Obama hadn’t won, we would have had a female as vice president. Still, historic in so many ways.

I’m not afraid to say that I shed a good many tears on election night. I know that sounds silly, but it was such a beautiful moment – such an amazing historical event. I am still in shock that we got to witness that. But, it’s more than that. I truly believe that this man can change things for the better in this country. I know not all of you agree with me, that’s okay, everyone can have opinions and I completely respect those that don’t agree.

I really do believe Obama has this odd ability to bring people together. Folks out on 6th street were celebrating in the streets, pedestrians were high five-ing people in cars at they went by. That’s inspiration. Maybe that’s me being a daydreamer. Maybe I drank the Obama kool-aid. I don’t know, but I can’t say that I’ve cared this much in a long time.

President-Elect Barack Obama, make us proud. I believe in you and 52% of people that voted believe in you. We want change… and yes, yes, we can.

Okay, that’s all for me about politics until January 20. Every 4 to 8 years, Tom gets a new president for his birthday. This year, this is one present/president he really wants.

Now, to go take down my Obama yard signs. The magnets on my car are staying though :p

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Mermaid and Cake

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Posted by Candy | Posted in Uncategorized | Posted on 29-10-2008

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Random picture time!

Cassie has a mermaid costume… she came in here all dressed up with this straw hat (it’s Ariel Y’all!) and before I could get a picture, she started running from the camera. Still cute.

Mermaid running away

My friend, Dy, came to watch the debates with me… she showed up with this one night. *laugh* – it’s stuff like this that reminds me why I love her.

Main Street VS Mavericks