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Thursday, June 24, 2010

Hands Washed

Anyone else think it is sad that people cut themselves out of my life and won't be my bridesmaids because they think a person cannot have an opinion? I do. I definitely do. I have plenty of friends who I disagree with but it doesn't make me love them any less. Apparently some people think otherwise.

Good riddance.

Oh, and please no comments. I will reject all of them. I appreciate everyone letting me know how they know what I am going through. It's just what growing up is all about, I guess. You win some, you lose some.

Photo from

Saturday, June 12, 2010

So much to do, in so little time

Summer School has made me feel like Willy Wonka on his factory tour, or the White Rabbit in Alice in Wonderland. I have to schedule my days just so when MJA and I happen to have plans for the weekend with his friends, etc. Plus he is really insistent that we go to this one park in Richmond on Sunday, so I had to block off basically 5 hours of normal study time for that as well. Not too sure why he wants to go so bad, he says it is because we haven't gone in a long time, even though we have gone twice in the past year! It is a beautiful park, however, look up Maymont and you will get what I mean! Tonight, we are going to a married couple's house to watch the UFC fights. When we do this the guys normally do jiu-jitsu in the gym/garage (which they have mats laid out in), us girls coo over their baby who was born about 7 months ago, play Wii, watch TV, we grill steaks and eat dinner and then have beers waiting for the fights to start. Its an awesome time, but we go over there at around 4pm and don't leave until 2am. Its a LONG stay, but they are good company. I just have SO MUCH reading to do so I may be forced to bring some with me which isn't the best manners but I don't really have a choice. I would like 2 more As on my transcript before the beginning of my senior year.

To do list:

For my European Lives class - just for Monday:

"Family and Friends" by Susan Brigden (pages 38-83)

Catholic Doctrinal Documents on the Seven Sacraments (7 pgs)

The Official Catalogue of Relics in the Wittenberg Castle Church (1 pg)

Tetzel: A Sample Sermon, A Contemporary Description of Indulgence Selling, The Robbing of Tetzel (3pgs)

"St. Margaret and 11,000 Virgins" by Jacobus de Voragine (pgs 162-164, 279-282)

George Huppert's "After the Black Death: A Social History of Early Modern Europe" (pgs 1-13, 67-79, 117-133, 134-148).

A one-page analysis on Brigden's "Family and Friends"

Final draft due on paper about marriage contracts from Gene Brucker's "The Society of Renaissance Florence" (they are primary sources, pretty neat actually) (3-4 pages). She mentioned to me in our paper conference that she had not seen anyone compare the daughter and daughter-in-law of this one Florentine family before, so I may try to do that if I can pull about enough ammo to defend my argument in an albeit short primary document.

I need to start reading a book I am going to review and submit at the end of the semester, journal-style. It is called "Domestic Violence in Medieval Texts" and it is secondary sources with some primary thrown in the mix. (341 pages)

For my International Relations class, here is the work I have to do by Tuesday.

Charles Kegley, Jr.'s "World Politics" text - Chapters 1-4, 9, 10, 5 notes and complete readings (about 200 pages of double-columned, double-sided text)

Readings on Chapters 6 and 7 is due on Thursday, so I may get cracking on that as well, even though its another 100 pages of text.

Additional re-writing of notes from 3 powerpoint presentations, based on readings 1-4, given to the class orally "Security Policy" "International Relations Overview" and "Theories of International Relations"

We also have a Map Quiz (woo hoo) on all of Europe on Tuesday. Not too bad, but would be embarrassed to get any of it wrong, wouldn't you? When I study geography I normally start and the bottom then work my way up and across... so, Portugal and Spain... off to a good start!

I need to start reading for the research paper due at the near-end of the summer term. It must be 10-12 pages and it is a cumulative project for the course. I think I may do women's rights and women as terrorist figures in international relations, as the professor instructing the course encouraged me to borrow two personal books of his - "The Demon Lover: The Roots of Terrorism" by Robin Morgan, and "Shoot the Women First" by Eileen MacDonald. This professor is a highly respected member of the faculty so if I exceed his expectations I know that will be to my benefit as I will be taking a few of his courses in the next year.

I always feel like when a professor says "I'd love to see you do this" they say it to you not just as a challenge, but also because they know that if you put the right amount of time into that assignment, they believe it will be a quality document. I always try to keep my ear perked up for the encouraging statements, or the "I've never seen anyone do this" kind of statement, and I like to rise to the occasion. It's probably the Alpha/Gold/Leo features in me.

What are you all up to this weekend?

1. White Rabbit from Lewis Carroll, adapt. Emily Thomson
2. Book cover of "The Society of Renaissance Florence" by Gene Brucker -
3. Map from

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Letter to President Obama

Dear Mr. President,

Please stop blaming the media so much. I want you to LIVE down there until this problem is solved. I want you to throw crude oil all over the Executive Management Board of BP and the Board of Directors homes in BP - in Europe - so they can understand what the smell, the heat, and the ugliness that this spill is doing to the mental, emotional, and physical livelihoods of millions of people on the Gulf Coast from West Cote Blanche Bay, Louisiana to Tavernier, Florida. I want you to YELL and be unprofessional because this IS the WORST ENVIRONMENTAL DISASTER that this country has even been through, and it may be the WORST the WORLD has ever been through, because it hasn't ENDED YET! I am pretty sure that by August, which is SO optimistic of BP by the way, who wants to sit on their asses and look professional and clean and neat as a pin in their coordinated outfits - not covered in slop and muck and waste like those they employ and DO NOT PAY, this spill will be much worse than any other man-made disaster that I can wrap my head around, excluding maybe Agent Orange ecocide in Vietnam, Chernobyl, Bhopal, or Minimata Bay.

I am an environmentalist. I am a economic conservative. This is not a time to be conservative financially. I want a Gulf Coast again. This is not the La Brea Tar Pits - but they WILL BE if we do not do EVERYTHING we can to fix this problem. Right now, we are not doing everything.

Visit for breaking news, world news, and news about the economy

Mr. President, I am disappointed in you. I am disappointed that you are not being emotional over the devastation, you are being emotional over the 24 hour news cycle that is this world today. We are a country, a world, of technology, so you need to get over that. You are supposed to represent our people, but you continue to appear unattached and distant. "I feel for you" isn't going to cut it in meetings anymore. You need to make things happen, and you need to GET RID OF YOUR SLACKS AND OXFORD SHIRTS. Put on some jeans, some coveralls from the Tractor Supply, and get your hands dirty. Connect with the Gulf Coast. Please.

How to help:

Numerous organizations are mobilizing to lend a hand in the devastating aftermath of BP's Gulf of Mexico oil spill.

For simple, safe ways to donate or volunteer to help affected areas contact one of the following well-established charities and beware of online scammers.

• Greater New Orleans Foundation: In response to the recent disaster, the foundation is opening the Gulf Coast Oil Spill Fund to make emergency grants to nonprofit organizations helping the victims of the oil spill and help address the long-term economic, environmental, cultural effects of the disaster, and strengthen coastal communities against future environmental catastrophes by investing in solutions.

Coalition to Restore Coastal Louisiana is joining with partners at the local, state and federal level to begin registering volunteers to assist with spill recovery efforts and collect donations toward those efforts.

National Park Foundation’s Disaster Recovery Fund: Give to the “National Parks Disaster Recovery Fund” online or by texting “PARKS” to 90999 on your mobile phone by July 1st. Your money will go directly to the parks impacted by the Gulf oil spill.

Gulf of Mexico SeaGrant Programs is supplying the most current information about the disaster and for volunteer opportunities in the region.

Coalition to Restore Coastal Louisiana is a group of organizations with a history of on-the-ground work in Louisiana, and combining efforts and experience to implement an effective volunteer response and make a real difference in the BP Oil Spill recovery efforts.

• The Ritz-Carlton New Orleans is working with Matter of Trust to collect donations of nylons, hair and fur, which can be used in making booms for containing oil.

Catholic Charities is providing food, rent and utilities aid and is currently in need of volunteers to help outreach to families who work in fishing-related industries affected by the oil spill.

Second Harvest Food Bank: is working in concert with Catholic Charities Archdiocese of New Orleans, the Louisiana Department of Social Services and others to ensure that men, women, children and seniors are afforded the meals they need during these trying times.

• The BP Volunteer Hotline has set up numbers if you need to report injured wildlife or damage related to the spill. You can also request volunteer information at 866-448-5816.

Oxfam America is working to help affected communities with financial assistance, as well as protect local wetlands and marshes. Oxfam also has an online form to "Ask your Senator to make BP clean up their mess"

Louisiana Serve Commission is helping mobilize and train volunteers in response to the Oil Spill in the Gulf of Mexico.

Mississippi Commission for Volunteer Service: All oil and oil-contaminated materials will only be handled by trained, paid workers and not by volunteers. To apply for these jobs, go to the MS Department of Employment Security website and click on Oil Spill Jobs. Registered volunteers will also be contacted as needed.

Volunteer Florida encourages everyone to get connected with a local organization. Volunteers can support these organizations throughout the oil spill and beyond through appropriate activities such as Coast Watch, pre-oil landfall beach cleanups, fundraising, and meeting other needs of responding organizations.

Alabama Governor's Office of Faith-Based and Community Initiatives provides information on volunteer and donation opportunities.