Wining Wife®

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Month: June 2011

Casey Anthony Who?

 

English: Casey Anthony has been booked into th...

English: Casey Anthony has been booked into the Orange County Jail and is being held without bail on charges of child neglect, filing false official information and obstructing an investigation. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

 

Theme Song: “Lump” Presidents of the United States of America

 

Projects: Too many to name, but happy to have them!

 

So, after much curiosity after seeing this name all over the place, I decided to find out who Casey Anthony is. Allegedly, she killed her daughter and tried to cover it up. No matter what the outcome of the trial, no matter what really happened, this is a very sad trial.

 

That’s why the media circus surrounding the trial particularly upsets me. The sensitivity of the events. Here are some of the things that concerned me with this trial – and with another trial that happened about 15 years ago – the O.J. Simpson trial:

 

  1. When such a sensitive topic – infantcide, domestic violence, etc. – comes into the media, it receives a lot of attention. However, the topic, no matter how important, often fades into the background shortly after. This tends to make it a “trend” to care about issues that happen all the time for people of all backgrounds and social statuses.
  2. When these trials happen, we make the person a celebrity – for committing a crime!
  3. I really don’t understand people’s reactions to the trial. This isn’t a made for TV movie, it’s a person’s life. No matter what happened, no matter what the outcome is, this woman has to deal with it. Her mother has to deal with it, her friends have to deal with it. We can make people into monsters all we want, but when it comes down to it, lives have been completely shattered, and unfortunately these people have to return to their lives. It seems to me that it would be much more difficult to go back to life when your face is everywhere.
  4. The money that’s being made off of someone else’s suffering is disgusting. These news channels accept money from advertisers. When we watch the trial, glued to it, and the ratings go up – then so do the profits that these companies receive from advertisers. This seems wrong to me.
  5. The actual issues get trivialized by creating pop culture references. One need only think of the recent “I Googled chloroform” debacle or “If the glove doesn’t fit, you must acquit” things…these make a mockery of the justice system, and I’m pretty sure that the people involved with the trials don’t have scripts like they do in made for tv movies. So yeah, some pretty goofy stuff is going to be said.

 

Please note, I’m not taking any sides here, I honestly haven’t been following the whole Casey Anthony thing at all – I just caught a glimpse of the trial on CNN the other day while checking my email in the morning. I just think that when this sort of sensationalism happens, then we miss the real point – not to point fingers or watch someone go down, but that what happened to a little girl is a very, very sad thing indeed.

 

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Firewalk Video Up!

 

Theme Song: “You Get What You Give” New Radicals

Behold the awesomeness that is me at 2:38.

 

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What Does Working for Habitat for Humanity Have in Common with Baseball?

 

Official Habitat for Humanity Ireland logo

Official Habitat for Humanity Ireland logo (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

 

 

Theme Song: “Let’s Go Higher” Jordan Knight

 

Projects of the Day: Set up for VBS at church, get some stuff done for Bright Hub

 

So yesterday, I had a double header. I worked for Habitat for Humanity in the morning and ten I took my son to the local ball team’s opening night. Our team won (Go Outlaws!) and my son won a t-shirt – yahoo!

 

As I was sitting in the grandstands, I was thinking, “What could I write about for my blog?” I figured a post on allergies would be excruciatingly boring, so I started to look at how I could connect my day’s activities.

 

First, both baseball teams and home builds require an enormous amount of teamwork in order to be successful. You cannot build a house by yourself. At least, not a house that meets all the building codes. You cannot have a baseball team with only one person. How are you going to run the bases? I mean, as a kid, I tried playing baseball against my younger brother as a solo affair, but it just was not the same.

 

Second, both baseball teams and home builds require good communication. On the team, people will let you know if you need to change your pitching tactics, you will need to call the ball if it will land between two people, and you’ll need to tell someone whether to run or stay put. In the build, it is important to communicate – “Hole!” or “Down a bit!” or “Let’s measure that again.” Yesterday, we put the gutters on the house. That required all 12 women there to coordinate their efforts and communicate what was going on. Six of us handed the gutter up onto the scaffolding, the other six took the gutter. It cannot bend. Once it bends, that’s it. We did not bend our gutters.

 

I’m sure there are many other connections that could be made, but those were the two most profound I came up with on reflecting on the experience. I put up gutters with the help of my teammates, I helped to take down the scaffolding (yay!) I teamed up with another woman to put up window flashing at the top of every window.

 

I got home and took a nap, woke up, and rushed over to the stadium for the game. Whew, what a day!

 

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Writing and Running (Running and Writing?)

 

56/365 morning run

56/365 morning run (Photo credit: kharied)

 

 

Theme Song: “Army of Me” Björk

 

Projects of the day: Finish up stuff for Bright Hub, cut my firewalk article down, revise my philosophy and the lover article, write up an interview and an article on sports activism, get my hair cut 🙂

 

Recently, I’ve started a couch to 5K training program.  Part of the reason I did this is that I was motivated to be able to take part in 5k runs for charity, part is that running is about as cheap as you can get when it comes to exercise, but the biggest part is that I’ve never been a runner (not by a long shot), and I want to be a runner. Runners are the people you see flying by your car as you sit at a stop light. I want to be that person. Runners are focused on a goal, and they can wear sweatpants or yoga pants in public (after a run) without seeming like bums.

 

I’ve set as a goal this year to compete in a 5k race. I don’t care whether I win or lose the race, I just want to finish the race without dying. I already did a 5k walk for CROP with Church World Service back in March. That was fun. I got to meet some cool people. For a long time, as it is often with me, I wanted to take part in a 5K.  This will be my year for that. I’ve still got 6 months – and it will  happen.

 

There are things I’ve learned along the way in the past 3 weeks. Here’s the original list I posted on Facebook:

 

  1. My shoes are awesome, and it makes a huge difference on the way running feels. Usually I wind up either with calf cramps or shin splints…not so in these shoes.
  2. If I drink caffeine before running (like the other day) it seems to be easier to push myself when running. I had a rough start this morning, and didn’t go as far as I wanted to, but nonetheless completed the plan for today.
  3. I’m really going to need new running pants soon (along with everything else…) so I don’t moon people. I bet I could have gone further had I not had to run holding my pants up. I’m also sure people were amused by the sight of such a thing.
  4. It’s hard to think about anything other than running while you’re running. I started plotting my day in my head and got distracted when I needed to make sure I did not trip on a sidewalk crack and fall on my face 😛 (And yes…that’s a total Ronda thing to do! In grad school in Illinois I perfected the art of falling on my butt without spilling my coffee on my icy walk to class.)
  5. At some point while running you no longer care what people driving by think.
  6. Running in the rain is kinda fun.
  7. I’m looking forward to my runs – it’s hard to wait for it to get light outside so I can get out there!

 

I have since thought of more things to add to this list:

 

  1.  “Whether you think you can or you can’t, you’re right.” (Henry Ford) – I’ve found that if I think, at all, “This is going to be hard” at any point in running, then that thought will take over and I’ll psych myself out and talk myself out of  pushing my body. I can’t think about the distance or time left to go. I just have to be in the moment. The mind is a very powerful thing.
  2. If I drink alcohol the night before training, as I had a pint of beer last week after a former coworker’s memorial, I will not do well, I will drag. It will feel as though I’m moving in slow motion. That will suck. Alcohol is poison to your body – that’s why you get foggy when you drink. It really messes with your ability. As much as I enjoy red wine and craft beers every once in a while, I can’t drink them if I hope to do well the  next day.
  3. If I eat crap the night before training, as I had a burger and fries last night, then I will drag. More than dragging, I will not be able to go for endurance or speed. Today I went 1.49 miles in 20 minutes. That’s a drop down to a 15 minute mile. For the last 3 runs, I was averaging  about 2 miles in 20 minutes. Today, I just couldn’t keep up the speed.
  4. Whatever you focus on will happen. When I started out this morning, I saw pollen on the ground. I thought “Oh, no pollen! My asthma!” Sure enough, my lungs cooperated with that thought and felt tight for the duration of training. The result was that I wound up walking 3 minutes, running 1 minute five times instead of the 3 minutes/2 minutes intervals I’d planned on.
  5. You’ve got to focus on the result. When I turned off my mind and just did – thinking about how triumphant I’d feel if I completed all 5 intervals, even if I was doing 3/1 instead of 3/2, I was able to finish all the intervals – even if I had gone slow at first. I pushed myself at the end, and more distance was covered in my last 2 intervals than in the first three.

 

A lot of the things I’ve learned about running can be applied to writing  (or anything you want to be successful at). Here’s how they translate:

 

  • You’ve got to have the best tools for the job
  • If you do one thing at a time (and not multi-task) and you’re present, you’ll get done faster
  • You can’t care what others think
  • You will perform how you think you will
  • If you drink alcohol or eat poorly, you’ll drag and the day will go on forever
  • If you focus on what-ifs, those what ifs will be more likely to happen. Your actions follow your thoughts
  • You’ve gotta focus on the result – it’s the only thing that will keep you going when you’re bored with the project, feeling stuck, or stricken by the urge to check Facebook. Just like with the Firewalk, if you stop in the middle of what you’re doing, you’re going to fall apart.
  • You’ve got to be patient with yourself and go bit by bit. If I tried to run 5K all at once without training, I probably wouldn’t go back out to do it again. If I tried to write a book all at once, I’d probably give up. You’ve got to do it in stages and have faith that all the stages you go through will add up to be something greater. A run is made up of smaller distances, a book is made up of chapters. You put them all together and you’re at the finish line.
Are you a runner? Is there something you participate in that requires you to reflect on routine? Is there a goal you’ve been making steady progress toward? What are things you’ve learned in the process?

 

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Right Moral Action – Returning a Stolen Wallet – Is…Idiotic?

Is returning a stolen wallet a really dumb thing to do?

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Theme Song: “What’Cha Gonna Do about It?” NKOTB (You’ll quickly realize that many of my theme songs are from this group…)

Today’s Projects: Consult at 1, finish the Firewalk article, work on website content for a client, write and edit for Bright Hub, contact the student loan folks, and work a bit on this old English online class I found

So…

 Today I was on Facebook and I saw this headline “Stupid Idiot Finds $17,000 and Returns It” courtesy of CafeMom. I was flabbergasted. The last time I checked, returning a stolen wallet was not a stupid thing to do – it was the right thing to do. This blog post was based upon the following story, published in the Chicago Sun Times:

A man from Arlington Heights was at an ATM machine when he noticed a bag with the word “Chase” printed on it. When he looked in the bag, he found that there was money and receipts in the bag. He then took the bag inside the Chase bank that was nearby. He was told it was not theirs, and it turns out after reporting it, it belonged to Loomis, the Armored car company.

 

Okay, so looking at this story it seems to me to be a clear-cut case of someone doing the right thing. Man finds bag, man ascertains the bag contains a lot of money that was not his, man returns bag to the bank and tries to find the rightful owner. I’m confused about where returning a stolen wallet becomes worthy of being called “stupid idiot.” In fact, I’m concerned about the fact that the man is being called a “stupid idiot” for performing in accordance with what many would consider morality.

When did it become dumb to do the right thing?

 What is it about doing the right thing that’s stupid? Let’s imagine for a moment that the man did not return the money, and instead kept it. If he’s the sort of fellow who would feel guilt, that would certainly eat him up inside. If he later returned it, then he would be suspect. If he spent the money, unless he has a complete disconnect with morality, it would seem that he would look at his purchased items and think “Wow…that’s not really mine.” If he gave it away to charity (think 80s movie classic Ghost) he might absolve himself of some of the guilt – but really, would that make his action any less wrong?

Returning the stolen wallet is both the moral and the smart thing to do.

 No, it seems that he did both the right thing and the smart thing. Considering some of the comments on his actions alluded to a call to do the right thing only because there would be video surveillance (ah…fodder for another post), then he was acting in his best interest. To take the money would have made him break the law, as at some point, you would think, Loomis would be looking for their missing bag. When they went through the video, and talked to people in the area, they’d have found that the man had taken the money. Now, $17,000 is a good amount of money, but it’s not enough to skate down to Mexico and live off of, in hiding, for the rest of your life.

My concerns about the original author

 It concerns me that this action is being called stupid – not only by the author of the blog post I originally read, but also by those commenting on the blog. If everyone acted in a manner fueled only by near-sighted self-interest, it would be difficult to hold society together. It appears that it’s more common for people to act in such a way. However, I’m more of an optimist. I would think that most people, contrary to what they might say, would do the right thing in that situation. If not because it was the right thing, then out of fear for the consequences of their actions.

 What do you think? Is returning a wallet a stupid thing if there’s a lot of money involved? Please share your thoughts in the comments. 

 

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Believe it or Not…I’m Walking on Fire

Here are my feet going across hot coals at the firewalk!

Here are my feet going across hot coals at the firewalk!

Theme Song: “Believe it or Not (I’m Walking on Air)” Joey Scarbury

Today’s Project: Rest and Relaxation

I’m not going to share the whole story here, because I’m writing about it for Equanimity Magazine’s  fall edition. Last night I had the opportunity of a lifetime. I walked on fire. No, there was no smoke or mirrors here. We watched the fire tenders light the logs, threw in our fears, and got to work on the seminar. I wound up walking not just once, but twice across the fire. If you asked me 10 years ago, would you ever walk on fire? I’d have laughed at you and gone my own way. Most who know me know that classically I’ve been…timid (to say the least) when it comes to taking chances and taking risks. Normally I fully research something, think about it, research it some more, and it takes some act of congress to get me to act on it.

 I was inspired by letting go of the past, though and I wanted to do something big to commemorate all the life changes I’ve been through. So…enter walking on fire. To read the rest of the story, you’ll just have to wait until the issue comes out this fall (is it time for a subscription?) Firewalking definitely changed my life.

 

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Sarah Palin’s Email

Sarah Palin courtesy of Wikipedia

Song currently listening to: “Praise You in This Storm” Casting Crowns

So, okay, I’m kind of confused here, and maybe it’s because I haven’t properly followed the news story. However, I’ve noticed that many people on Facebook have been talking about the release of 24,000 pages of emails. Man that’s a lot of email. It kind of makes me wonder how many emails I have stacked up should someone go through them…but that’s beside the point.  Who is going to go through these emails? The last I checked, the government had a lot of bills to pay back. I know that for me, when I have a bunch of bills I’m struggling to pay (ah…the life of the grad student/writer/philosopher), the last thing I want to do is rack up more bills.

Setting aside my commentary for a moment – I mean, after all, before I start to talk about something, I really ought to know what it is I’m talking about, what is this news story all about? So…I searched (like any good researcher). It seems that back in 2008 (oh so long ago…that was what, the dark ages?) journalists and citizens had their own version of the “birther” controversy. Only, instead of demanding to see the Alaska governor’s birth certificate, they wanted to see her emails after John McCain pulled her on board to be his running mate. Granted, after doing a bit more research, I found that the premise rides on the state public records law – but what do people hope to find in the emails?

Evidently, the emails weigh around 250 pounds when printed. Hmm…is that really the best use of that paper? I found it somewhat funny that she’s been criticized for her unfriendly stance toward the environment, yet someone is probably printing out each email and going through it with a highlighter…Also, evidently she received death threats. Now, setting aside my own views for a moment, I’m really bummed out that people would do such things. Politician or not, she’s still a person with a family.

I wonder who will be going through these emails and what will be found that will show more about her than has already been revealed. I suppose we’ll have to watch and see. Over at the Huffington Post, people are picking out passages of interest and sharing them with others (they actually have her emails available on their site).

 

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Not a Post about Weiner’s Weiner

Anthony Weiner (image c/o United States Congress – http://www.gpoaccess.gov/pictorial/109th/ny.html)

Theme song today: “Let’s go Higher,” Jordan Knight

Main project of the day: Firewalk

Ugh, isn’t the whole Weiner thing old? I mean seriously…you can’t turn on the news without hearing all about it. It kinda makes me wonder what’s going on in the senate. What bills have been passed recently? What foreign policy decisions have been made? I once took an American History class as a wee undergrad (imagine that) and the professor warned us to watch to see what was going on with lawmaking when there was a media circus. I think that this officially qualifies as such. So, without much ado, here are some of the things voted on this past week from OpenCongress.

 

  • Whether to further delay a law that puts a limit on what banks can charge retailers for debit (as opposed to credit) transactions. The vote went through, however, the limit will still go into effect due to the wording of the law
  • The proposed Economic Development Redevelopment Act of 2011 (S.782) received yet more suggested amendments ( a current total of 27 ). This act is supposed to create more jobs to stimulate the economy
  • The America Invents Act passed and changed patent laws from awarding the patent to the first person who invents the item to awarding the patent to the first person to apply for the patent.
  • Money was allocated in H.R. 2017 for the Department of Homeland Security

 

This, of course is not a comprehensive list…it’s just a list of things debated and voted on while our attention was diverted the other way. Kind of like the cheating spouse who accuses the other spouse of cheating in trying to divert attention.

 

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