Monday, February 27, 2012

Challenge #15

Something you miss…

Over the weekend Rick Santorum called President Obama a snob for wanting people to have the opportunity to go to college. He feels the President wants people in college so they will be indoctrinated by them damned liberal professors.

In my educational career had the good fortune to attend both a conservative religious university and a more liberal one. There are many positive things I gathered from the university experience. In addition to knowledge and friends, I feel I gained critical thinking skills. These skills are honed through passionate discussions with my peers in the dorms, around the table at mealtime, in the halls and in the classroom. I truly enjoyed sitting around the dorm arguing the merits of a particular line of thought on a topic until the wee hours of the morning. In my undergrad I feel my critical thinking skills were in their infant stage. I held onto the conservative views of my upbringing, so I was more likely to fall into line with popular opinion based solely on the authority of the speaker. I remember listening to Rush Limbaugh and believing… if Rush said it, it was RIGHT. Some of my friends from that era chuckle now to remember those days as I now espouse a more progressive worldview. As I moved through the years between undergrad and graduate school I saw my abilities to think critically about the beliefs I held grow stronger. I went from being a supporter of George W. Bush in 2000 to questioning his leadership abilities and ultimately switching party affiliations and supporting Barack Obama in 2008. In 2004 I asked several Kerry supporters to tell me why they were supporting him. I wanted to have a well reasoned, critical argument with them not to change their view, but to see if mine were valid. I’ve learned in the years between my educational experiences and since completion of grad school; most people don’t seem to have time to ponder the philosophical implications of a particular event or how a book impacted their lives; work and family takes up most of the spare brainpower we may have laying around.

I miss those intellectual discussions in the halls of the university with my peers. I miss sounding out my views and listening to the views of others to see if mine could stand up. I miss exploring a differing view and finding that it has merit over one I hold. It was easier to have those conversations in the university setting because that is what everyone is there to do, or at least it should be. I’m not saying that subscribing to the liberal political philosophy is right for everyone, but it’s right for me. Sen. Santorum and other conservative parents should be fearful of letting their fully indoctrinated children go to university because if they didn’t teach their child to hold onto their conservative or religious worldview using critical thinking; those poor children may have their minds opened to new ideas and perspectives and, perhaps worse… they may learn to reason for themselves and stop voting for ignorant, fear-mongering Republicans.

Sunday, February 26, 2012

Sunday Stealing: The Scottish Meme

Cheers to all of us thieves!

1. Where are you from and where do you live now?

From here…


Live here…


I’m slowly sneaking up on Portland… I hope to get there before I die.

2. Favorite childhood story/book/film?


3. If you could change gender for a day what would you do?


Why would I want to do that?

4. Do you feel you family is complete or would you like more/some children?

2011-03-25 10.49.26 

My family has achieved perfection… for now. I’m actually looking forward to grandkids, but I am in NO hurry for that to happen.

5. What do you do/Where do you work and do you enjoy it?


I’m a Social Worker and I do enjoy what I do. As one would expect, there are days where the challenges outweigh the victories. My eldest daughter has asked me to do a presentation at her high school for Career Day this Wednesday. I’m honored that she invited me, but I’m nervous about it too. I want to make her proud.

6. Which three words do you think sum you up?


7. If you were a fairy what magical powers would you possess?

Absolutely Fabulous: logo<br /><br />BBC/Lionheart<br />Source: Warner Home Video Direct

The power to make everything and everyone FABULOUS. If you think about it, is there anything or anyone in your life that couldn’t use a healthy dose of FABULOUS?

8. If you were invisible, where would you go and what would you do? Why?


I’m guessing there some pretty wicked shit in Rick Santorum’s closet.

9. What song can’t you listen to without crying?

 People have asked who I’m singing this song to… I don’t know yet.

10. Which book changed your life – or at least made you think a lot?


This is a travelogue written by Oregon author Donald Miller examining the religion he was taught growing up and how it works in the real world. I didn’t get to the same point as Mr. Miller, but I don’t think my journey is over yet.

11. Why do you blog?

**I just noticed I have 20 more of these things, so I’m going to skip the picture on a few.

In theory… I blog to process thoughts and to engage in debate. In practice… I don’t do it often enough to do well at either.

12. What is your top ‘me-time’ tip?

Close the curtains, lock the doors, put on some comfy clothes and just veg.

13. What can’t you live without?


… and the internet.

14. Which of all your blog posts are you most proud of and why?

I cannot link you to my best blog post because it no longer exists. I wrote a post in January 2009 describing the process I went through to conceal my sexuality for 20+ years and the coming out process. It no longer exists because it caused such an uproar from my (at the time) estranged wife, I deleted it in a fit of pique. I received such positive affirmations from most friends from that post. I wish it still existed so I can go back and look at it.

15. Have you ever met a famous person? Who and where?

bill_waltonDuring 2003-06 I hosted a daily community affairs talk show. In that capacity I was able to meet some pretty interesting people. Since it was community affairs, most of my “famous” guests were politicians such as Sen. Gordon Smith or Rep. Greg Walden. In my time as a radio DJ I met many famous artists such as Mary Chapin Carpenter, k.d. lang and Brooks & Dunn. But the famous person whom I am most honored to have met is legendary NBA player Bill Walton. Our local Indian Casino has an annual celebrity golf tournament. Mr. Walton came and I had the opportunity to have him on my interview show. I still have a recording of that show… it was an incredible experience for this lifelong Blazers fan.

16. When did you last have a full nights sleep?


I have no idea…

17. What would you think is harder: Going to work or staying at home with children?

I firmly feel that staying home, allowing the ankle biters to suck the hopes and dreams from your soul is a much harder task.

18. What are you doing for Easter?

The same thing I do every Sunday… make myself a nice Bloody Mary, watch the Sunday morning talkshows, do laundry and complete the weekly Sunday Stealing.

19. What is your favorite drink?


A well crafted Gin & Tonic

20. Do you play any sports?


I expect to take gold in London this summer.

21. What is your most embarrassing moment?

There have been so many they all tend to blur together.

22. How clever are you?

Wile E. Coyote got all his ideas from me… however there was a failure in execution.

23. Name a new favorite TV show?


I am loving Two Broke Girls, that show has several laugh-out-loud moments in every episode.

24. Any guilty pleasures?


25. If you could have chosen your own name, what would it be?

Indigo Montoya

26. Who do you most admire in life, and why?

Jane Addams was a pioneering individual in the field we know now as Social Work. She set out to examine the horrendous conditions in the mental institutions of Massachusetts. She did this in the early-20th century when people didn’t want to know what was going on in the “insane asylums” and they certainly didn’t want to hear about it from a sill woman.

27. What is your most treasured possession?

I have a number of things that belonged to my grandparents… a cast iron lion bank, a 1906 school book and a miniature gramophone. But my most treasured possession (if you can call it that) are the friends that have gone with me through the the changes my life has taken over the last three years360117-b.

28. Tell your favorite funny joke…

This guy goes into a bar and orders three shots of Jagermeister. The bartender is impressed and asks what the occasion. Our guy says, “I just had my first blow job”. The bartender is impressed and says, “If you can take three shots of Jager, the fourth is on me!” Our guy says… If three shots doesn’t get the taste out of my mouth, I doubt a fourth will.

29. What is your biggest fear in life?

Dying alone.

30. What is your favorite flavor of ice cream? What does it remind you of?

Ben & Jerry’s… Phish Food. It reminds me that sometimes you have to just enjoy life and say to hell with the calories

. phish_food ice cream