Sunday, April 5, 2009

I'm a SAHM-a term I use only for simplicity's sake.

I'm a career SAHM. That's stay-at-home mom for those of you who missed the acronym born during the height of the mommy wars. Basically, with no college education, or training, and 4 kids to raise, it never really made sense for me to work full time outside the home. There were some spurts during the last 21 years that I have worked full time-at a daycare with my youngest in tow, at a home improvement store the ONE year all 4 of my kids were in school full time, but for the most part it's been full time homemaker, and a few part time retail or babysitting jobs.

Anyway, I find the term SAHM quite ironic with all the places we must go as mothers-the grocery store, the errands, sports, dance, and other various activities. SAHM sounds like I'm in time-out or something. And what a passive them that is. "What do you do?" "Why, I stay home..." Forget all those years of hands on care when the kids were little-you know, the kind of care people pay others for when they go to work.

Monday, February 23, 2009

Welcom to Cambridge Mass-hope you weren't planning on parking

I went to Boston this past weekend with my family because my boys were putting on a concert with some Boston kids. The concert was actually in Cambridge, and thank goodness, during the daytime, because if I'd had to drive into there in the evening, we might have tossed the kids from the car and come back 3 hours later when they were done playing. What is up with this place and parking? It's not like I'm not used to city driving-hello-I'm from Philadelphia. I've been to New York City and Washington DC. Those places at least have some semblance of sanity in their traffic patterns and parking facilities.
If you dizzy easily, do not go to Boston. For some inexplicable reason, the city planners thought it would be fun for people to drive around in circles. Every corner has not just stop lights, but stop lights with arrows pointing left, and arrows pointing right, and two lines which would usually indicate where one stops and waits for the light, but were we supposed to stop at the first line or the second?
Then there's the parking. Cambridge is home to Harvard University, and has all the-ahem-charm of a college town, plus all the insanity of a major city, plus rows and rows of tightly packed residential streets. Every street we turned down was lined with signs telling us that we could not park without a permit. Some meters lined the street. For no small charge, we could park for up to an hour. Woo-hoo! Some rare spots said we could park for 2 hours-still not good enough; the concert was 3 hours, plus unpacking and packing up time, and walking to the car time. We couldn't even find a lot!
Finally, my husband and I relented and parked in a grocery store parking lot about a block up from the concert site because all the other parents and the music director were parking there. 5 cars with PA plates lined the fence facing foreboding signs that said in no uncertain terms that our cars would be towed if we were there for any other reason but to grocery shop. Of course the men all chuckled and said, "We'll all go down together". I did not see strength in numbers; I saw a Boston two truck driver laughing manically as he made 5 trips back and forth to hook up 5 cars with PA plates, and bellowing, "These people are SO SCREWED!!!"
So, one of the other moms and I decided that honesty was the best policy. We timidly approached a clerk in the grocery store and asked him to please not tow us. "We're from Pennsylvania. Our kids are doing a concert up the street. Could you please not have us towed?" The clerk called back to the store manager and answered back, "As long as you're out by 9." Whew! We were good to go! I sat through 3 hours of kids playing cover tunes with other kids from Boston, practically biting my nails, envisioning Mr. Boston Store Manager calling Mr. Boston Tow Truck Driver, and saying, "Guess what I told these out-of-towners!" Alas, in the end, all was well. All 5 of our cars were still parked, right where we left them when the concert was over, and my faith in the kindess of strangers was renewed.

Thursday, February 5, 2009

Top 10 Things NOT to say to a vegetarian

1. You need protein!
2. What's in this?
3. So, do you eat like a lot of tofu?
4. I'm guess I'll be brave and try this.
5.What about your kids?
6. I could NEVER give up meat!
7. You should have seen the size of pig on that rotisserie!
8. You know what would be good in this vegetable soup-a big old ham bone!
9. It's just pepperoni.
10. Don't you get a lot of gas from eating all those beans?

Blame Godlessness

An editorial today in The Oregonian:

Blame godlessness

I could not help but notice all the coverage about the downtown shooting. All this coverage got me thinking -- the shooting was just a symptom of a much bigger problem. America lacks God.
America was once a godly nation. Times were better. People were safer. However, we have stepped away from God. We have let humanist views slip into our lifestyles. This absence of God was one cause of the downtown shooting.
The young shooter did not know the God that I know. He was probably taught about evolution. He was probably influenced by atheism. This lack of God leads to dangerous things that even the strictest laws cannot prevent.
More gun laws may be a result of the shooting. Fewer gun laws may be a result. Whatever happens, we should consider adding God back to our lives.

My editorial response sent to The Oregonian:

This is a response to the editorial Blame Godlessness written by Russell Matthews.It's easy to make accusations such as that which Mr. Matthews has made, blaming humanists, atheists, and evolution for violence. However, I notice that Mr. Matthews cites no proven correlation between violence and any of these. The fact is that the USA is the most religious industrialized nation in the world, with the highest rate of violent crime. In my opinion, too many people assume they have brought their children up with morals because they have raised them on religion. The problem is that these people don't teach children to THINK and evaluate the real human consequences of their actions, but focus more on how displeasing things are to God. Instead of focusing on the Golden Rule, which is universal, religions get caught up in petty issues such as gay marriage, pre-marital sex, and "dangerous" movies, books, and music. Where are the lessons on valuing human worth for the inherent dignity of being human? Where is the lesson that hurting people is just wrong, not something one can just confess, be forgiven of, and walk away with a clean slate? Mr. Matthews, I am an atheist and a humanist, who supports evolution, and I am raising thinking, feeling children, who instills morals and ethics in her children, and teaches them not to make generalizations and look for scape-goats, but to make the world a better place from having them in it.

Thursday, January 8, 2009

What an atheist is

It befuddles me that in this day an age, there are still people that don't know what an atheist is. I mean, I thought we were living in the information age? Aren't we the ones all over the news with our frivolous lawsuits and waging war on Christmas? Well, maybe that's some other atheists but that's not me. Anyway, here is a short summary of what an atheist is and isn't.

The prefix A basically means "not". Theist is defined as one who subscribes to the belief that there is a god. Put the two together and an atheist is one who does not believe in a god, or gods.

On a side note, when one is referring to a god in general, one uses a lower-case G. God with a capital G is a name. It is the name of the Judeo/Christian god, who claims to be the one and only. It also seems to be the name of choice for the ambiguous God of agnostics and deists.

Atheists do not share a common belief system or creed. They don't have worship meetings. Some have polticial meetings. Some don't.

Atheists do not worship the devil. The devil is a figure made up by men who needed a villian to make the whole God story work. If we worshipped the devil, then he'd be our god, and once again, atheist-no gods.

Atheists do have morals, or they don't. It's really an individual thing. One does not need a religion to be moral, and one is not moral simply because he is religious. Our source of morals are varied, from our own conscience, to our upbringing, to the collective conscience of society. An atheist uses logic and reason as a base for morals and ethics.

Atheists are not all mad at God. Some might be, but not all are. I'm not. I can't be mad at something I don't even believe in. I am somewhat pissed at some of God's followers though.

Atheists generally do not believe in the supernatural. But some atheists do believe in aliens or ghosts, and things of that nature. Or they leave open the possibility of the existence of such. Some are skeptical, and some are not. It's that simple. Atheists are as varied as the people that adhere to any other shared belief.