It’s Beginning To Look A Lot Like Stress Must

Annoying Facebook Reposts

Yes, I’m aware that I’ve ranted about this particular distraction before, but if people think annoying and stupid reposts bear repeating, then so do rants about why annoying and stupid reposts do not bear repeating. This is an awesome snippet from that discusses how easy it is to create and share one of these things.
It’s like a maddening MadLib. Sometimes, I join in the “fun” by using the find/replace feature to create my own hilarious repost. However, this recently caused an unnecessary upset between me and a few people.
A cousin ended up deleting me from her facebook because I did a find/replace on a popular Christian repost and posted several atheist vids and links the same day, some of which directly poked fun at Christian ideology.
A friend was upset primarily by the altered repost, but when I and several of my (Christian) friends informed her that I am not in the habit of directly attacking anyone for their beliefs, she realized that I was not attacking her directly and let it go.
This is also something I’ve discussed before. I refuse to do it online. In person, you will meet a disjointed part of me. If we meet in the academic world, I will most likely appear intelligent, eloquent, shy, groomed, and well-mannered. If we meet in a social setting, my personality will be chameleoned to the atmosphere of the social setting. This is also true if we meet in a family setting. Online, all of these parts converge. Even when I am only being a part of myself in person, though, it is not that I am lying about who I am or playing a part necessarily, I’m just omitting the parts of me that might cause unnecessary upset in that face-to-face interaction.
Some people seem to think it’s bad to be more open online than you are offline. Perhaps they’re right. But if you’re like me you tend to inadvertently soak up the emotions of the surrounding populous. If I were to, say, get into a highly controversial parenting debate with close relatives, I’d end up crying if they cried, yelling if they yelled, etc. Online, a person’s emotions do not impede my judgment or affect my persona. I can speak my mind without unnecessary stress. This is relieving for me. It is therapeutic, cathartic, absolving.
Religious Intolerance
I’m sad that my cousin felt the need to remove me from her facebook friend list which is, really, the only means of communication we engaged in on a regular basis, but after several back-and-forth messages (which she for some reason felt the need to CC to our grandmother) I gave up trying to convince her that I did not hate her for being Christian nor did I Christians in general. I let her go. She said she doesn’t need intolerant bigots like me in her life. I don’t need people who are too sensitive when their own belief system is under scrutiny.
Why is it okay for Christian people to say any of the following to a non-Christian…?
“You’ll come back to {God/The Church/religion/The Bible} someday!”
“This whole {pagan/atheist/agnostic/gnostic/scientology/et cetera} thing is just a phase you’re going through.”
“Well, I’ll pray for you to find God someday.”
“I just don’t want you to end up in Hell for all eternity.”
Are you aware that all of the above are forms of religious intolerance. You’re basically telling your loved one that while it isn’t okay for them to criticize you for your beliefs, it’s okay for you to do it to them because their beliefs are wrong.
You may think the above statements in your head. You may feel them in your heart. But to verbalize them is a form intolerance. I feel that it is akin to me posting jokes about Christians or posting atheist articles or posting anything else that indicates Christianity is not the one right true religion.
You and I both have freedom of speech and expression. Not only is this guaranteed in the Bill of Rights in the US Constitution, but it really is a basic human right. The US Constitution also guarantees the freedom of the press.
With the age of the internet, everyone is a reporter. With 140 characters on Twitter and 240 characters on facebook, we can all publish our own news, no matter how mundane.
“I just had ham and eggs for breakfast.”
“I’m going to the football game tonight.”
“I love {insert name here}.”
“{Random drivel I decided to repost because I do not research things before obeying the text-based command to repost something.}”
My freedom of religion is not impeded or impaired by your freedom of speech, expression, or press. You can say all day long that you’re 100% sure I’m going to Hell in a hand-basket. I can say all day long that the Egyptian god Min is going to punish you for picking the lettuce off of your hamburger last Tuesday. It doesn’t matter who’s right or who’s wrong or who’s bat-shit crazy, because we both have the right to say and believe what we do.
The line is drawn when I say or indicate that I will harm you or your loved ones because our beliefs vary. The line is drawn if I do harm you or your loved ones because our beliefs vary. Do not get up-in-arms about words, especially internet words. Well, there’s no need to, but I can’t order you not to be upset. You are free to be upset. I am free to not be upset that you’re upset, because this is the internet. In real life, I would get upset along with you because it’s my nature, but I wouldn’t change my mind.
Irish Lady Photography

In other news, a friend of mine is hard at work building her photography business and related blog. I actually have a lot of photographers among my friends, family, acquaintances, and contacts. I suppose this makes sense, given the old adage about birds of a feather flocking together (feel free to tell me where this actually comes from because I didn’t bother Googling it tonight). Anyway, this particular bird photographer has been a friend ever since I started back to college the year I conceived Luna.

The web address is She’s only got a few images up, but I’m confident that it will eventually be a flourishing gallery. This photo was reprinted with her permission.

If you’ve got the time, check the site out. You may also be interested in her other two blogs:

So, what are you trying to say?
My great-uncle is always sending me tidbits from around the web, primarily writing-related. I love reading the different articles about the art of writing and the art of editing, but I also sometimes wonder if he’s indirectly commenting on my editing skills. I shouldn’t, because I think he’d be more direct than that, but it’s like when people give you hygiene products for your birthday and you assume you must stink. Then again, I gave Luna hygiene products for her birthday and she does not stink (most of the time…). She got a $1000 bedroom (out of necessity) so I just needed to get her some small things to open.
Extreme Couponing
I got caught up watching Extreme Couponers this evening after I cooked dinner. Some people thing the show is fake. I’m certain it’s real, but I don’t think everyone can do what those people do. That said, I’m pretty sure that I could knock my family’s grocery budget down quite a bit if I really worked at it. And if we didn’t have to spend that much on food or other household items, I wouldn’t need SNAP benefits or WIC (assuming I was able to get the budget down significantly, formula’s pretty expensive, though).
I’ve been researching couponing online, browsing forums, checking out coupon policies at stores in Fort Smith…the people on the show say it’s a full-time job, and I believe them. I remember when I was little and Dad (by choice not conception) would gather up sale ads and coupons to make out the grocery list. My memories are fuzzy and patchy with a few vivid elements strewn throughout, but watching him clip coupons and compile the grocery list is one of the clear spots. I thought it was silly, at the time, to make a list based on the coupons and ads, and to go to stores all over town to shop, but we never went hungry. I suppose he was a couponer before couponing was “cool.”
I don’t have any particular brand loyalty, but I guess I’ve been Wal-Mart loyal for years now. Some products are cheaper there, others aren’t, but in the world of couponers, it seems that Wal-Mart’s coupon policies are more restrictive than the savings one might get from the ad-match policies. Walmart honors a lot of the same coupons, but only if they have exact price amounts and are for exact items, so if you’ve got a coupon that says “$10 off your groceries in April” or “$5 off your total purchase” you cannot use them.

Apparently they will apply overages (when the coupon amount exceeds the price of the item) to the rest of the purchase, but only if you’re using your own money. If you’re trying to use SNAP or WIC, overages disappear. Wal-Mart also will not double or triple coupons (where the store matches the coupon savings with an in-store coupon), they will not let you stack coupons (use more than one coupon on the same item), and from what I understand they also do not issue rainchecks (when an item is not available and you’re given a voucher to come back and get it at the sale price later even if the sale has ended).

Still, there are probably savings to be had at Wal-Mart and at other local stores. I would have to really do some research. I’d need to go ahead and buy that local paper (the Sunday subscription might be cheaper than the whole week) as well as using online sources for sale-ads and coupons. I would need to do like others do and go on reconnaissance missions at all of the stores in town to plan my shopping trips out (they usually do these at the beginning of the week when the sale-ads are first issued). I would need to come home and plan out a grocery list based on
  • what items everyone in the household needs and wants;
  • what items are on sale that week around town; and
  • what coupons I can find available online and in the newspaper.
Deviation from the shopping list is apparently okay if you just happen to see a really great deal (which can take many forms).
The people on the show and online that discuss their strategies like to buy in bulk quantities (50 bottles of ketchup, for instance) so they can build up a stockpile when the price is low for an item. I wouldn’t mind being able to go out into my garage and find twenty more cases of diapers when Freya is running low, but I don’t think I’m going to stock up on items we really don’t need (like a bulk purchase of pregnancy tests). It would be funny, though, to see the reaction on a cashier’s face if I showed up in his or her line with coupons to buy all of the Trojans they had in stock.
And for the rest of the evening…
I’ve been worrying about the Summer and Fall. I’ve been applying for job, after job, after job… I’ve even had a few phone or email interviews. I will possibly have to spend five days a week in Russellville in the Fall. If I’m going that route, I have to figure out if it would be cheaper to commute or to stay in town during the week. The husband is fine with me staying up there, assuming we can make cost-effective childcare arrangements when he needs to work at his business.

I don’t mind making arrangements, but if childcare is an added cost, that doesn’t help our situation. If I left the girls here with him, and knew they were not being watched by someone I’m uncomfortable with or have never met, then I could either stay in a cheap motel or in campus housing (if I got approved for that) but I think the cheap motel would actually be better. If I took the girls up there with me, there are no housing units on campus for families, so I would definitely have to find suitable off-campus housing that would be kid-friendly (so I’m thinking that’s a “no” for the roach motels), and I would also have to figure out the childcare situation.
Technically, I wouldn’t be in class all day each day, just for 1-3 hours at a time. Monday, Wednesday, and Friday I’ll likely be teaching two courses. Tuesday and Thursday, I’ll be taking one day course. Wednesday night and Thursday night would be class from 6-9p (two different one-day-a-week courses). The night courses and the ones I’m teaching are inflexible, but I could drop the Tuesday/Thursday day class and replace it with something else, but since that wouldn’t really make much of a difference, I don’t see the point.
This GA position (if I’m not counting my chickens before they hatch in one basket) is a wonderful opportunity for me. Not only will it cover my tuition for the 2011-2012 school year, but I will get a $4,000 stipend. Saving that much on student loans is a big bonus! Not to mention the teaching experience which I very much need. My concerns are merely logistics. Isn’t that what you’re supposed to do, though, get the job and then worry about what having a job does to your comfort zone? Or am I way off base?
Summer is still a concern because I won’t be working during those two months, unless one of these interviews (or more) lead to something. xxcrossfingersxx
I know I concern myself entirely too much with the what-ifs and the could-bes.
On a lighter note…
beloved pet’s name + street name from child-hood = stripper name
The above is trending on facebook again. It’s always good for a laugh. What is my stripper name? Well…I grew up on quite a few streets (and probably also threw up on quite a few streets, but that’s a story for another time…). I’ve also had quite a few pets. From pets and streets I could remember, here’s my list of possible stripper names:
Worf Highway 21
Mama Dochee Sycamore Street
Sargeant Jeff Little-Bit Bruckmüller Street
Socrates Mae Drive
Midnight Thayer Drive
Even if you remove those words that indicate it is a street, my names read less like someone you might pay to see topless and more like characters in bad fiction. But, looking at the names did give me an idea. I could try to remember exactly which streets, lanes, roads, drives, circles, courts, thruways, highways, byways, tolls…which transportation pathways my childhood homes (and even the adult ones) might have been located on, and I could try to remember the names of all pets that spent any length of time in one of my households. If I could use this silly method for picking out names and create a cast of characters, and then try to create character bios for them, that would be at least an exercise in creative writing. Who knows? Maybe Skittle Grand Avenue might be the heroine in the next New York Times Best Seller (written by me, of course…) with the aforementioned band of merry men {women/children/assorted aquatic mammals} at her back. 
Inspirational songs while writing this post:
Ryan Shupe—And when you dream, dream big, as big as the ocean blue, ‘cause when you dream it might come true. When you dream, dream big.
Chris Daughtry—Be careful what you wish for, ‘cause you just might get it all. You Just might get it all, and then some you don’t want. Be careful what you wish for, ‘cause you just might get it all. You just might get it all.
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