"Everything that is really great and inspiring is created by the individual who can labor in freedom" Albert Einstein

"A dame who knows the ropes isn't likely to get tied up." Mae West

Thursday, January 29, 2009

Instant Replay - Valentine Story (from 2007 post)

When I was 40ish, I had been divorced for a year and thought it time to enjoy some male company in the little spare time I had. I wasn't lonely, desperate, or horny. I was financially independent and self-employed and had two young children, good friends, and several packs of batteries. I was never self-conscious going to restaurants or movies alone. I even took ballroom dance lessons. It was a satisfying life, but sometimes you need to jump out of your comfort zone.

I wasn't interested in getting married again; I just wanted some non-business adult conversation. Besides, I needed something to restrain all the married men that kept hounding me for dates.Since this was the time before the on-line dating surge, a good friend,who was a professor at the local university, urged me to post a personal ad in the local newspaper. She had had excellent luck in finding interesting datable men from personal ads, and she emphasized the confidentiality of the process. Since I didn't want my children exposed to temporary male visitors, I thought this was a great way to screen potential suitors.

It was a short, simple ad, but the letters began pouring in. Apparently there were a lot of desperate men out there. A majority of the letters had the same return address - a State of Illinois correctional center. Was this part of an adult education English class? They wanted "to see me naked, walking along a beach" and do things to me I would never repeat here. It did offer some interesting reading but these really weren't the type of guys I was looking to spend some quality time with. It was too long a drive to the prison.

After tossing out those and other notes that were from obviously married men looking for a toy, the few remaining letters were heartfelt and sincere from a teacher, a lawyer, a businessman. But another letter really stood out.There was a return address on the envelope that was from my own small town and I immediately recognized the address. The man who wrote the letter was also taking dancing lessons. I saw him twice a week as I was leaving my class and he was going to his. We always spoke because we had gone to high school together and had been good friends. He had even asked me to prom our senior year, but I went with a football player instead. (I really didn't want to go to prom with a friend.) We both went to the same university and saw each other occasionally there. He was also now a customer at my business.

His letter was short and sweet. He said it was refreshing to see a woman speak of herself in the negative, instead of self-absorbed adjectives like "beautiful" and "intelligent." He had been divorced about a year and was interested in meeting me. He had no clue to whom he had written and this was too much of a coincidence for me to pass up.

Using business stationery, I replied that after over 20 years I owed him a past due prom date and signed the letter with a quote from my ad. I put it in a business envelope and placed it in his car at his office, hoping he would think it a bill.

Sure enough, that evening he called me and we laughed about the situation and decided to meet for dinner out of town (so the local gossip mongers wouldn't jump to conclusions), and we would catch up with each other's lives. Then we did it again, and again, and again. After weeks of covert meetings outside the community, we finally went public to friends and family. His mother had been trying to get us together in high school. She was ecstatic and so was everyone else. We were married in January the following year - 17 years ago.

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

OMG! She's such a fat a**

A commentator on TV last night called Jessica Simpson full figured now that she has "ballooned" from a size 2 to a size 8. Call me old fashioned, but I think she looks exactly right. There is nothing that screams femininity better than curves.

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

One more reason to wash your hands often

Obesity is contagious.

Monday, January 26, 2009

And it won't come back to haunt him

You know you're married to a fantastic woman when you can go to a University of Illinois basketball game with some guys on your wedding anniversary and you don't even have to ask permission to do so.

I know, I'm one of a kind.

Friday, January 23, 2009

Roe v Wade Anniversary

36 years after the Roe v Wade decision, abortion remains a hot topic and those on both sides of the issue are steadfast with their opinions.

Before that decision in 1973, women had few options when they became pregnant. In 1969 my best friend got pregnant and gave her little girl up for adoption. In 1970 another close friend, also single, became pregnant and had to travel to California to get an abortion. Her fiance helped pay for the trip and the medical services. The only states offering legal abortions at that time were California and New York. Other alternatives these two had were raising a child society would then label bastard or getting an illegal abortion in unsanitary back rooms.

The decisions each of my friends made were difficult ones. Both anguished over how to handle the pregnancies and both took a great deal of time mulling over the consequences of the final outcome.

The one that chose giving up the child grieved every year on that birth date. The one that chose abortion still carries a feeling of loss and at one time blamed a subsequent miscarriage as God's revenge.

There are no easy answers with unplanned pregnancies, but women need to be able to have safe, legal options to do what they think in their hearts is best for them and their unborn child.

No government should have the right to tell any person what is the best decision for them or their bodies. That includes, not only abortion, but the right to die with dignity, the right to suicide, the right to refuse medical treatment, and the right to donate/sell their own body parts.

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Today's Food for Thought

Public bodies in Illinois must comply with the Open Meetings Act. It forbids private meetings of several persons who are on the same government board/committee from discussing public business behind closed doors.

However, one on one private meetings , i.e. between city council members and the mayor or the governor and board chairmen, are not forbidden. So backroom political deals/votes regarding public business can easily be accomplished, without public input (or despite it), as long as they are made individually on a one to one basis.

So the real questions is, what does the Open Meetings Act actually accomplish?

Making a difference

Rotary International has received an infusion of cash ($255 million) from the Gates Foundation to help completely wipe out incidents of polio throughout the world. Rotary has instituted a program pledging an additional $100 million from their members over the next three years. This program to eradicate polio has been a goal of Rotary International for a couple decades.

Our local Rotary Club, of which I am a member, was fortunate enough to have one of our members make a Rotary sponsored trip to Africa to help administer polio vaccines. As someone who experienced polio as a child, he has a personal interest in seeing that this disease never happens to another child. These trips to aid medical workers in other countries are paid for by the volunteers with occasional assistance from local Rotary clubs.

Rotary Club members are the perfect example that business people are not greedy and self-centered like the media makes them out to be.

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Age of Aquarius

I have a birthday next week and always enjoyed the fact that I am an "Aquarius." There was even a song written about us back in the 1960's in the musical Hair. MSN had this article about Aquarians which actually is a very good description of me (if you believe in this crap).

The article states that your anus is my ruling planet. So to all of you, as my birthday present, please keep the sounds to a muffle and the odor minimal.

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Our area delegates to Washington

The only reason to attend the inauguration in Washington DC this year:

Monday, January 12, 2009

Shrugging it off

Those of us, who consider ourselves libertarians and understand the warning predicted by Ayn Rand throughout her book Atlas Shrugged, hoped that we would not see the day that her ugly fictional world would become truth. Unfortunately it is now here.

Stephen Moore, senior economic writer for the Wall Street Journal, explains our dire circumstances here.

Streaming movies

As far as I am concerned, Netflix was the greatest thing to happen to people who live in small communities or rural areas, where dvd rentals are slim to none and the big video stores and movie theaters are miles (and several gallons of expensive gasoline) away. I thought the convenience of a movie queue and the speedy delivery of dvds through the mail couldn't be surpassed, but technology again has found a better way.

With Netflix offering unlimited movie watching (at least for now) via computer or tv, I seem to be taking more and more advantage of the opportunity. Several times in recent months I've found myself between dvd deliveries with nothing to watch and watching them instantly has proven a valuable alternative. In fact, the only movies that I now have in my queue are those that are not yet available on the instant menu.

The most exciting thing now is the partnership Netflix has developed with tv manufacturers to have the streaming capabilities built directly into the tv, with no extra attached equipment needed. I love technology; it's making life so much simpler.

Friday, January 9, 2009

Eli Stone Reporting

Newspapers are slowly dying, so many of these cash-strapped businesses are turning to their websites to get the news to the readers long before the presses can crank out the printed version and get delivered by the neighborhood kid. My local newspaper has begun doing the same, but with a twist. The reporters are psychic -they write the story before it even happens.

Here's the latest: I attended a city planning commission meeting Thursday evening. There was lengthy discussion regarding the subject at hand, with one commissioner who seemed suddenly well-versed, highly opinionated and quite vocal on the subject. This was in vast contrast to a previous meeting in which he fumbled with facts and groped for words. It was almost as if he had been given a script. Hmmm... Other public officials and myself were representing an opposing position.

Today I perused the local websites to read the media's report of the meeting. The local paper's website had an article filled with quotes from the vocal commissioner and a City Council member. Then I noticed the posting date and time: 9:27 am on Wednesday - 1 1/2 days prior to the meeting. It appeared to me that there had been a discussion the day before the meeting with quotes carefully scripted to be repeated at the meeting. Since the newspaper had just featured an editorial supporting these two men's positions, had there been collusion among all of them?

When I emailed the editor and pointed out the discrepancy of the time stamp, with the date and time of the meeting, and then questioned the accuracy and reliability of reporting the news before it happened, I got no personal response. However, I did notice that within two hours of my email, the article had been edited and a quote from the meeting by me was added. Perhaps they thought my quote would give their article legitimacy and appear less suspect - to somehow prove the article was originally written after the meeting.

I know better. Perhaps now that they have been caught, the newspaper will return to reporting news properly instead of manipulating it. It is unfortunate that financial desperation drives newspapers to stoop to such levels.

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Moon Over Vail & Champaign

By now I think everyone has heard about or seen pictures of the poor guy in Vail, Co. who was flipped out of his ski lift chair (and pants) and suspended upside down, clothed only from the waist up. It had to be humiliating enough without folks taking cell phone pics and videos and transmitting them around the world.

I can think of nothing quite so embarrassing as having one's bottom on full public display through no fault of one's own. I speak from personal experience, although not quite as revealing as his.

For reasons I cannot now remember, I needed to transact some business at the main headquarters of the area newspaper. Locals know that the building is fairly new and modern with a large expanse of glass overlooking a public sidewalk, a busy street, and the downtown business district. Although adorned in business dress, stockings and heels, I had my then 3 year old in tow, as we were killing some time before picking up her older sister.

Small children can get easily bored, especially when the mother's attention is elsewhere, and young daughter was restless. While holding my hand she decided that sliding up and down the wall of the reception desk was mildly entertaining. Somehow during the course of my conversation with the receptionist, daughter moved her vertical sliding around to the back of my legs. Before I realized what was happening, my dress hem had been slid up to my waist-line and was snagged tightly under my belt. I think the draft between my thighs was my first clue that something was amiss.

I looked over my shoulder to find a full presentation of my pantied rear end and a giggling daughter. Every thing else in the scenario was a complete blur, but I am certain there were people behind me and on the sidewalk and in cars driving by. Fortunately my business was finished and with hands faster than a speeding bullet, the hem was removed, the child grabbed, and never had I run so fast in high-heels. The only saving grace for me was that it was over in less than a minute and that this occurred long before there were cell phone cameras. I can just imagine the Internet blog post titles: "Child offers mother's buns to newspaper employees" or "Divorcee displays assets as dating lure" You can probably come up with even better ones.

Central Illinois Extreme Makeover

Tune in this Sunday when a Central Illinois family from Pekin gets an ABC Extreme Home Makeover. The Grys family are deeply involved with the Special Olympics program. Their makeover took place last October.

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

"...it belongs to me and no one else"

He thought the nice thing to do is share. She thought otherwise.

Off my wall

For lack of creative blog ideas, here are my favorite old comic strips I have kept for years to retain my sense of humor. Old and yellowed now, they still remain apropos today:

And finally, my favorite:

(that is my poor husband sitting there all alone on the sidewalk)

Saturday, January 3, 2009

Why celebrities come to Central Illinois

This is becoming a weekly event: first Doug Wilson of Trading Spaces and now actor/writer Sam Shepard. Yeah, we've got some good bars in this area, but we've also got some good cops.