Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Food for Thought on Presidential Policies

Someone on Boundless.org made an interesting comment about how governments seem to prefer making policies that help in the short-term with little thought of the long-term consequences...

I realized the following and put it on another post:
Maybe that's a consequence of our 4-year election plan. Clearly, it wasn't Clinton that got the backlash for his poor legislation in the housing industry - instead, its all Bush's fault. There's no repercussions for Clinton (or Bush, or Obama) to make good, long-term decisions in their term...because THEY won't get credit for it when the policies start bearing fruit. Better make the quick fix to keep people happy while I'm president and let the next guy take the fall for it.

You didn't have that with life-long leaders that cared. They needed economic prosperity LONG TERM to keep life good for them. Short-term was short compared to a life-time of issues later on. I know there are democracies out there that elect only at the death of a leader. At least maybe a longer tenure would be better...things seem to go by decades. 10 years seems enough...and no re-election after =p

Monday, January 26, 2009

Baby Name Repeated


So, a decision has been made. Rather easily and without much deliberation at all.

Baby's name is going to be Ethan Matthias.

I really like it. It is definitly not the traditional trend I was going for for my first-born son, but dad is adament he doesn't get his middle name. So James Edward was out and that was the only other one I liked.

So there it is :)

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

The Cost of Education

In this article, you find out just what a calamity borrowing for education is.

Ok. So I can tell my brothers to work for the best grades possible and attend a public university on a 100% scholarship.

I can advise them that if they need loans to study independently for certain courses and CLEP them (Spanish, Algebra, English...you'd be amazed at how many there are...).

Or I can advise them to simply choose a career that requires you to pass a test and study independently while living at home and working at Publix. Actuary, Pension planning, Insurance sales...even IT work if you pay for the Microsoft Expert courses.

But what about me? What do I tell myself now that I've accrued all that debt? What is the advice for me on how to pay it back? The best advice would have been to not get student loans. But in 2002, apparently the loaning industry hadn't been so Shylock-ish. So I have them.

What now?

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Rascism is not Dead

Rascism in America is not done with.

You see, the whole point of MLK was that we ALL be treated equal, right?

White, black. Man, woman. Disabled, Enabled.

Equality for all.

However, when we celebrate the elevation of one race to a platform, we are still being rascist. We have still made a big deal about something that we want to be treated as inconsequential.

So which is it...do we make a big deal about skin color or not?

Do we celebrate a president based on skin color or not?

Priceless Moments

Finally, the groom his home from his 8-day business travel!

We came to work together and he forgot to drop me off at my terminal. Pulled out of a great parking spot and I told him I could walk.

"No you can't...I know you. You don't walk, you waddle."

So in the 3 week span since the wedding, I've lost the graceful figure and replaced it with a soccer ball for a belly. I'm mildly amused by the memory of me in an attic when I was 7 years old putting a soccer ball under my shirt...

Anyway, it doesn't give much perspective, but I shoulda gained around 15-16 lbs already and have only gained 9. Which probably means I've lost a total of 6-7 lbs of my own pre-pregnancy weight. I feel round and heavy in only one area of my body and its been difficult to maneuver with.

Bye bye, center of gravity!

Sunday, January 18, 2009

Quote of the Day

Man will always be a man. There is no new man. We tried so hard to create a society that was equal, where there'd be nothing to envy your neighbour. But there's always something to envy. A smile, a friendship, something you don't have and want to appropriate. In this world, even a Soviet one, there will always be rich and poor. Rich in gifts, poor in gifts. Rich in love, poor in love.
~Danilov, Enemy at the Gates

Lets always remember the things that matter...the least of these is money.

Friday, January 16, 2009

A Covering (Revisited)

In a previous post, I started toying with what these verses could mean:
Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her to make her holy, cleansing[a] her by the washing with water through the word, and to present her to himself as a radiant church, without stain or wrinkle or any other blemish, but holy and blameless. In this same way, husbands ought to love their wives as their own bodies. He who loves his wife loves himself. After all, no one ever hated his own body, but he feeds and cares for it, just as Christ does the church— for we are members of his body.
-Ephesians 5:25-30

Now I want you to realize that the head of every man is Christ, and the head of the woman is man, and the head of Christ is God. Every man who prays or prophesies with his head covered dishonors his head. And every woman who prays or prophesies with her head uncovered dishonors her head—it is just as though her head were shaved. If a woman does not cover her head, she should have her hair cut off; and if it is a disgrace for a woman to have her hair cut or shaved off, she should cover her head. A man ought not to cover his head, since he is the image and glory of God; but the woman is the glory of man. For man did not come from woman, but woman from man; neither was man created for woman, but woman for man. For this reason, and because of the angels, the woman ought to have a sign of authority on her head.
-1 Corinthians 11:3-10

I've heard of the "Headship" theology, that I suspect finds its roots in these verses. A part of it, I recognize as truth. But other parts of it are false. The theology assumes much that ISN'T true and has been blatantly contradicted in scripture. I could never figure out where the truth was or how to explain it...I just knew it existed somewhere in that mess.

I realize that the covering referred to in the 2nd passage is largely about covering one's head. I realize that from some "theologians" and exegetes (in quotes due to students I've heard speak of this and, frankly, I don't know what to call him), these are not referring to a man as a woman's covering. I am no exegete or theologian, but the intertwining of man as head of woman and the woman being required to keep her head covered lead me to believe there's some paralleling going on here. If I had the education that those people had, I'd probably attempt to prove that...especially with the knowledge that Paul DOES use parallels a lot.

Its so odd, but prior to marriage, my pregnancy and the sins that have led me to where I am now were something I struggled with. I felt ashamed and thoroughly unworthy. Yes, I'm definitely unworthy of God's love and forgiveness and all the gifts he has bestowed on me, but there comes a time when I should be releasing that shame and embracing his healing and forgiveness.

I was struggling with that...but on the wedding night, something just happened. It was as if my husband was providing me a covering from the shame that the world would lay on my shoulders if they knew. Finally, I could rejoice in the life God planted in my womb without feeling ashamed of how he got there.

Does that make sense? I'm still the one at fault, and yet my husband is a tool that God is using to provide healing and protection.

Well, John Thomas at Boundless said something that kinda explains what I'm trying to get at in his Answer column (found here).
Marriage is not only embracing another person's present and future, but also his (or her, in your case) past. One of the most exciting parts of marriage is partnering with God to bring healing to one another from past hurts, often caused by our own sin. We embrace this person who looks great from the front, and when we put our arms around her we discover all the wounds in her back, and she discovers ours. Guess what? You and God get to spend a lifetime enjoying the thrill of healing and restoration and being healed and restored. And what better way than through the warm, flesh-to-flesh, spirit-to-spirit bonding with another person?

I don't know, but that seems to explain for me somewhat my idea of what the husband as a "covering" would look like.

More Hope for Change?

In this article from the Wall Street Journal, I have to admit I'm gaining a bit of optimism (though no loss of wariness) when it comes to our President-Elect.

I was mildly impressed that there was no "Bush Bashing" going on concerning Bush's financial policies.

I did love the last paragraph...
In putting it back together, would retirees be willing to accept that idea of having more prosperous seniors pay a monthly premium to receive their Medicare health coverage? Would liberals accept cuts in their favorite social programs? Would conservatives accept the idea of a carbon tax, to both raise big money for entitlements and prod the nation to move more quickly away from fossil fuels?

Its looking like Obama is not going to be a favorite president of anyone, after all. While he's very good with words and incredibly charming, he apparently has no qualms with imposing sacrifices on his own party to make the playing field even. I will not wax over the "carbon" tax, though - if we are, indeed, needing to cut back on programs, wouldn't it be wiser to leave energy in the hands of the private communities? There are enough people incredibly interested to donate to foot that bill to private insitutions that are quite willing to do private research on it. Why does government need to be involved on that one? And to be quite frank, with the rise of foreclosures, there's a rise of people renting - people that have little choice in the energy their land-lords have available are still forced to pay the bill to whatever energy company will service them.

I'm willing to give a little on other things, but creating taxes to fund new programs when our economy is in the state it's in is not a wise idea.

Am I being overly optimistic, or does it really sound like Obama is making some shrewd and wise choices here?

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Potential Baby Names

For those of you interested (which I know there are some girls out there that are curious), I've posted a list of potential baby names under the About Me section on the side-bar.

Perhaps closer to the delivery date, I may poll y'all for your own opinions on the top 3 or so choices, but for now these are just brainstorming. They're listed in alphabetical order so no ability to glean which ones I favor over others ;)

Feel free to leave your opinions on this post :)

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Feminism: Pride or Ultimate Humility?

Yes, I'm being facetious.

In a rather indirect way, I owe this finding to Elusive Wapiti. He is right that when the it truly feels like there's nothing left to hope for, you come across something that just gives you a tiny bit of hope.

Check out this piece.

I can't fathom how a society as narcissitic as ours managed to churn out such a group of self-haters. Check out the following (emphasis mine):
The gist of Les Knight’s argument is this: that the biosphere, for reasons of which we are all only too painfully aware but usually prefer not to dwell on too much, simply cannot sustain human beings in any way, shape or form; the only responsible action is to gracefully admit this and bail out now, through attrition, before we’ve completely obliterated what was once a pretty nice planet. As long as there remains a single breeding pair of humans, Knight avers, the danger of a destructo-human flare-up exists, so the only acceptable number of human inhabitants is zero..

So...what's the point of a "pretty nice planet" if there's no one to enjoy it?

You think the animals have the capacity to gain any aesthetic pleasure out of the planet? Actually, they probably do! After all, animal and plant life is far superior to human life!

Oh...and my ultimate FAVORITE feminist sentiment:
In response to [being a mother is a woman's highest calling], Knight delightfully suggests that holding such a view means you’ve been “beguiled into believing compliance is noble free choice.”

/sigh/ I truly do wonder how some people can be so incredibly WILLFULLY deceived by the master of all lies.

Morning Sickness Trigger # 1,353,268

I swear, there really are that many things to trigger Morning Sickness.

Those lucky women that only suffer through the first 12, 14, 16 weeks have absolutely no idea how many things can set it off.

Well, on to the point, already.

Computer Screens.

Apparently the flickering in the pixels that display the graphics on a screen can wreak havoc on an already sensitive "motion" detector in the brain...and causes dizziness and nausea.

Sucks to be a Software Engineer.

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Reproductive Health?

I'm curious how "abortion" translates into "reproductive health".

I guess I always figured that health was the optimal efficacy of the body and mind to function in accordance with its purpose.

Silly me.

I forgot that reproductive organs' purposes are not reproduction, as one young scholar attempts to illustrate.

I'm actually curious...is it possible that in the upcoming months when FOCA may be passed to convince our legislation that a post-viable abortion could actually end in the life of a child and that all the rights given to any living person outside the womb be extended to that child?

And I'm curious that if FOCA does, indeed, legitimize tax funding of the abortion industry, if we can twist language enough to OUR advantage and claim that the purpose of that tax money is to also provide neo-natal care to Born-Alive babies?

After all, the wording in FOCA says to terminate the pregnacy. Not to terminate the child's life.

I think it sounds do-able.

It actually kinda reminds me of Shyloe's Catch-22 in The Merchant of Venice. He had a contract that said he was entitled to one pound of flesh. Nothing at all was said about blood.

Absense or Simple Love?


So starts the conversation that makes my face break out in smiles.

Yes, we are probably the kinda couple that would make anyone sick.

Anyway, it was an odd conversation. Essentially, he said we're going to work on living on one salary and completely putting the other into a savings account.

Just to see if we can adjust and get used to it.

So that when I no longer am working, we're well adjusted.

Have I mentioned how much I love him?

He needs to come home soon. Absense may make the heart grow fonder, but I much prefer him home =p

Monday, January 12, 2009

Vows As Binding As Lint Thread

I remember when DH (yeay I get to use that) and I started planning the wedding, he asked me to write him a list of things to do.

1) Write our own vows or not?
2) Memorize our vows or not?

The answer we came up with for both was "no".

Trust me, it was a shocker when while at the Rehearsal, my Uncle made a rather shocking revelation to us.

"Do you have your vows memorized?"
"No" in unison with confused looks at eachother.
"Well, why not?"
"Uhhh..." How do you respond to that???

Apparently, my Uncle now requires those he marries to memorize their vows. Apparently, too many young men were marrying HIM when stating their vows...looking deep into his eyes (instead of those of the bride's) while repeating after him.

At least that's what he claims. I suspect another reason.

After another uncle's 5th divorce (I may be exaggerating that number), my uncle refused to perform anymore wedding ceremonies for family members because they all ended in divorce. Then he married his son - they've been married happily for 7 years (and expecting a baby this month!) I guess that gave him some more confidence and he performed the ceremony for my sister.

I guess the announcement to my mother about getting married and being pregnant were a real shocker. And I know it wasn't what she had planned for me, but I think that in many ways, planning my wedding and the now planning of the arrival of her grandson is kinda distracting her from what's going on with my sister's marriage - as my sister moved out shortly after I announced my engagement. And so, my Uncle required us to memorize our vows.

I don't know who has felt the keenness of the impending divorce more - my mother or myself. I'm sure my mom is wondering where she went wrong. Though posts like my "Discipline of Love" helped to keep her confident in her parenting abilities. I can not begin to explain the misgivings and torturous undertaking it is to memorize binding vows in a hotel room with someone you grew up with carrying on a licentious texting conversation with a man who you know is not her husband. And yet, the full purport of what was going on in those vows didn't fully hit me until 6:30 the morning of my wedding.

It took me 1.5 hours to memorize those words perfectly...well, nearly perfectly. I kept stumbling over "Til death do you part" because the Episcopal BCP reads "Until we are parted by death". What you always here vs what your supposed to say, when it differs even a tiny bit, can be SO hard to overcome. I remembered "part" had the past participle...so I'd get to "til death" and then realize I said it wrong cuz that doesn't go well with "parted".

Anyway, it was easy. And at 6:30 in the morning (after 4 hours of sleep), the ease at which I memorized those words completely devastated me. How easy it was to memorize 3 sentences. How easy it must've been for countless couples to repeat those words after a priest, line by line. Does the ease at which you repeat those lines translate into the ease of which you can break them? Does the ease with which I memorized them convey some sense of incongruity with what those words actually mean?

Tears. We'll blame the lack of sleep and the off-kilter hormones. But I won't regret them. In those early morning hours, it became more and more clear to me that those vows are going to have to be worked on to have the kind of strength that they were meant to have.

And I cried in the shower. I poured out all my grief for my sister. I poured out my heart in pre-nuptial vows to God, my son, my parents, my uncle...my fiance - I know what I am saying. I know how important these vows are.

I called my mother later that morning and told her I wanted her to give my post on the "Discipline of Love" to my uncle for him to read...I wanted him to know how seriously I was taking it - in spite of the giggling and goofing off during the rehearsal. She told me that he already knew or he wouldn't agree to do the marriage. I told her how easy it was to memorize the vows and how trepidatious I was over that. She reassured me. She said the strangest thing to me then. Something my uncle echoed in his homily. And it wasn't that it was a new concept to me, its just that it held new purpose. It echoed in my heart like a well known song long forgotten. When you say those vows and God is truly in it, there is a transformation by the Holy Spirit. When the Holy Spirit is truly present, the words you say are more than words and there is something miraculous occuring - something different...that gives those vows strength.

My uncle said in the homily that we are witnessing today the union of two. And with the blessing of the Holy Spirit, Christ is present...and in the midst of those two are three - in a blessed union of three (this is my own personal revelation here)...the trinity...

What he said evoked snickers from my bridesmaids as my sister said "or four", but I remembered a quote from a young 18 year-old girl at a camp in Alabama. She was learning to deal with being single, having never dated. And during her devotions, I guess she came across this revelation...because she told us her little ditty she made up during the devotion...she called it her "Carlyism" and I had it tucked in the pages of my Bible for the last 7 years...
"First, you must know who's one before becoming two because then you'll be three without knowing who's one."

At first, I thought she meant to know who YOU are. But during my Uncle's homily, it occured to me..."you must know who's one" should be "you must know who's One". You must have a relationship with God prior to the marriage for the binding to be complete. You must know HIM before there's the union of two blessed by Him.

The next day, I showed up at my grandmother's birthday party with my new husband. My Aunt asked me "Do you feel any different, Mrs. M?" How do you answer that when the answer is so elaborate?

Yes, I do feel different. Because with the repetition of those vows, something happened to me up at that altar. My heart has never more fully belonged to one person in my life. Even the moments before those vows, my affection for my husband wasn't nearly so profound. This is something different.

This has God written all over it.

This is the Holy Spirit turning words as weak as thread into a vow as binding as eternity.