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Rutgers team: We accept Don Imus apology [13 Apr 2007|01:50pm]
Rutgers team: We accept Don Imus apology
By DAVID PORTER, Associated Press Writer

Rutgers women's basketball coach C. Vivian Stringer said Friday the team had accepted radio host Don Imus' apology. She said he deserves a chance to move on but hopes the furor his racist and sexist insult caused will be a catalyst for change.

"We, the Rutgers University Scarlet Knight basketball team, accept — accept — Mr. Imus' apology, and we are in the process of forgiving," Stringer read from a team statement a day after the women met personally with Imus and his wife.

"We still find his statements to be unacceptable, and this is an experience that we will never forget," she said.

The team had just played for the NCAA national championship last week and lost when Imus, on his nationally syndicated radio show, called the players "nappy-headed hos." The statement outraged listeners and set off a national debate about taste and tolerance. It also led to his firing by CBS on Thursday.

"These comments are indicative of greater ills in our culture," Stringer said. "It is not just Mr. Imus, and we hope that this will be and serve as a catalyst for change. Let us continue to work hard together to make this world a better place."

Imus was in the middle of a two-day radio fundraiser for children's charities when he was dropped by CBS. On Friday, his wife took over the show and also talked about the meeting with the Rutgers players.

"They gave us the opportunity to listen to what they had to say and why they're hurting and how awful this is," author Deirdre Imus said.

"He feels awful," she said of her husband. "He asked them, 'I want to know the pain I caused, and I want to know how to fix this and change this.'"

Deirdre Imus also said that the Rutgers players have been receiving hate e-mail, and she demanded that it stop. She told listeners "if you must send e-mail, send it to my husband," not the team.

"I have to say that these women are unbelievably courageous and beautiful women," she said.

Stringer declined to discuss the hate mail Friday. Rutgers team spokeswoman Stacey Brann said the team had received "two or three e-mails" but had also received "over 600 wonderful e-mails."

The team's goal was never to get Imus fired, Stringer said. "It's sad for anyone to lose their job," she said.

The cantankerous Imus, once named one of the 25 Most Influential People in America by Time magazine and a member of the National Broadcasters Hall of Fame, was one of radio's original shock jocks.

His career took flight in the 1970s and with a cocaine- and vodka-fueled outrageous humor. After sobering up, he settled into a mix of highbrow talk about politics and culture, with locker room humor sprinkled in.

Critics have said his remark about the Rutgers women was just the latest in a line of objectionable statements by the ringmaster of a show that mixed high-minded talk about politics and culture with crude, locker-room humor.

Imus apologized on the air late last week and also tried to explain himself before the Rev. Al Sharpton's radio audience, appearing alternately contrite and combative. But many of his advertisers still bailed in disgust, particularly after the Rutgers women spoke publicly of their hurt.

On Wednesday, a week after the remark, MSNBC said it would no longer televise the show. CBS fired Imus Thursday from the radio show that he has hosted for nearly 30 years.

"He has flourished in a culture that permits a certain level of objectionable expression that hurts and demeans a wide range of people," CBS Corp. chief executive Leslie Moonves said in a memo to his staff.

Sharpton praised Moonves' decision Friday and said it was time to change the culture of publicly degrading other people."I think we've got to really used this to really stop this across the board," he told CBS's "The Early Show."

Some Imus fans, however, considered the radio host's punishment too harsh.

Mike Francesa, whose WFAN sports show with partner Chris Russo is considered a possible successor to "Imus in the Morning," said he was embarrassed by the company. "I'm embarrassed by their decision. It shows, really, the worst lack of taste I've ever seen," he said.

Losing Imus will be a financial hit to CBS Radio, which also suffered when Howard Stern left for satellite radio. The program earns about $15 million in annual revenue for CBS, which owns Imus' home radio station WFAN-AM and manages Westwood One, the company that syndicates the show nationally WFAN.

The show's charity fundraiser had raised more than $1.3 million Thursday before Imus learned he had lost his job. The total had grown Friday to more than $2.3 million for Tomorrows Children's Fund, CJ Foundation for SIDS and the Imus Ranch, Deirdre Imus said. The annual event has raised more than $40 million since 1990.

Imus' troubles have also affected his wife, the founder of a medical center that studies links between cancers and environmental hazards whose book "Green This!" came out this week. Her promotional tour was called off "because of the enormous pressure that Deirdre and her family are under," said Simon & Schuster publicist Victoria Meyer.

The Deirdre Imus Environmental Center for Pediatric Oncology in Hackensack, N.J., works to identify and control exposures to environmental hazards that may cause adult and childhood cancers. Imus Ranch in New Mexico invites children who have been ill to spend time on a working cattle ranch.


Associated Press writers Rebecca Santana, Karen Matthews, Warren Levinson, Seth Sutel, Tara Burghart, Colleen Long and Hillel Italie contributed to this report.


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Imus - one more time [13 Apr 2007|12:55pm]
People of the lie -

People ask, where are Imus' fans?
No one can get through the phone lines.
The web pages are not working and no one can get through.

I recall one of the first reasons WHY Buddhism first appealed to me.

In Buddhism - stupidity is a sin.

Years ago we had "Witch Hunts" and later we moved onto KKK "Lynchings" and this week, we once more - used the proverbial guillotine.

I have watched Imus in the Morning for a few years and know that he is capable of saying some stupid things. He is human, who hasn't said something stupid?

I have watched people in this world say and do mean spirited things - two individuals come to mind: Rush Limbaugh and Dan Savage. Both say and do things so full of hate and ignorance without one thought of redemption.

This is where stupidity comes to mind.

Why are we decapitating a man who owns his sin, who has done nothing but apologize and who has made clear that he wants to right his wrong?

Why do hate-mongers go unscathed?

The Bible I grew up reading spoke about love, about forgiving and about learning from our mistakes. When I think of approaching a Minister, Reverend or Priest, I think of a kind hearted person who looks for the highest good in a situation. I don't conjure up the image of someone who leads a public lynching.

In any civil rights movement, you need the ears and eyes of others outside of your movement to move. Isn't the whole idea to change, to heal and to grow past hate? I think some leaders in the Civil Rights movement have lost the point in all of this.

I don't condone what Don Imus said, no one I know has. I don't agree with the manner in which he was lynched. I do agree with him when he says he is "a good person who said a bad thing." Why can't we grow up? Why can't we use this opportunity to grow beyond misogyny and racism and use Imus to reach the 12 million people who listen to him - to grow up?!?!

Another missed opportunity for the higher good on behalf of 2 "good" hearted reverends - neither of whom I have heard apologize for any wrong doing they have involved themselves in. People without sin ... cast the first stone.
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Imus isn’t the real bad guy [12 Apr 2007|06:14pm]
[ mood | cranky ]


Posted on Wed, Apr. 11, 2007

Imus isn’t the real bad guy

Instead of wasting time on irrelevant shock jock, black leaders need to be fighting a growing gangster culture.

Thank you, Don Imus. You’ve given us (black people) an excuse to avoid our real problem.

You’ve given Al Sharpton and Jesse Jackson another opportunity to pretend that the old fight, which is now the safe and lucrative fight, is still the most important fight in our push for true economic and social equality.

You’ve given Vivian Stringer and Rutgers the chance to hold a nationally televised recruiting celebration expertly disguised as a news conference to respond to your poor attempt at humor.

Thank you, Don Imus. You extended Black History Month to April, and we can once again wallow in victimhood, protest like it’s 1965 and delude ourselves into believing that fixing your hatred is more necessary than eradicating our self-hatred.

The bigots win again.

While we’re fixated on a bad joke cracked by an irrelevant, bad shock jock, I’m sure at least one of the marvelous young women on the Rutgers basketball team is somewhere snapping her fingers to the beat of 50 Cent’s or Snoop Dogg’s or Young Jeezy’s latest ode glorifying nappy-headed pimps and hos.

I ain’t saying Jesse, Al and Vivian are gold-diggas, but they don’t have the heart to mount a legitimate campaign against the real black-folk killas.

It is us. At this time, we are our own worst enemies. We have allowed our youths to buy into a culture (hip hop) that has been perverted, corrupted and overtaken by prison culture. The music, attitude and behavior expressed in this culture is anti-black, anti-education, demeaning, self-destructive, pro-drug dealing and violent.

Rather than confront this heinous enemy from within, we sit back and wait for someone like Imus to have a slip of the tongue and make the mistake of repeating the things we say about ourselves.

It’s embarrassing. Dave Chappelle was offered $50 million to make racially insensitive jokes about black and white people on TV. He was hailed as a genius. Black comedians routinely crack jokes about white and black people, and we all laugh out loud.

I’m no Don Imus apologist. He and his tiny companion Mike Lupica blasted me after I fell out with ESPN. Imus is a hack.

But, in my view, he didn’t do anything outside the norm for shock jocks and comedians. He also offered an apology. That should’ve been the end of this whole affair. Instead, it’s only the beginning. It’s an opportunity for Stringer, Jackson and Sharpton to step on victim platforms and elevate themselves and their agenda$.

I watched the Rutgers news conference and was ashamed.

Martin Luther King Jr. spoke for eight minutes in 1963 at the March on Washington. At the time, black people could be lynched and denied fundamental rights with little thought. With the comments of a talk-show host most of her players had never heard of before last week serving as her excuse, Vivian Stringer rambled on for 30 minutes about the amazing season her team had.

Somehow, we’re supposed to believe that the comments of a man with virtually no connection to the sports world ruined Rutgers’ wonderful season. Had a broadcaster with credibility and a platform in the sports world uttered the words Imus did, I could understand a level of outrage.

But an hourlong press conference over a man who has already apologized, already been suspended and is already insignificant is just plain intellectually dishonest. This is opportunism. This is a distraction.

In the grand scheme, Don Imus is no threat to us in general and no threat to black women in particular. If his words are so powerful and so destructive and must be rebuked so forcefully, then what should we do about the idiot rappers on BET, MTV and every black-owned radio station in the country who use words much more powerful and much more destructive?

I don’t listen or watch Imus’ show regularly. Has he at any point glorified selling crack cocaine to black women? Has he celebrated black men shooting each other randomly? Has he suggested in any way that it’s cool to be a baby-daddy rather than a husband and a parent? Does he tell his listeners that they’re suckers for pursuing education and that they’re selling out their race if they do?

When Imus does any of that, call me and I’ll get upset. Until then, he is what he is — a washed-up shock jock who is very easy to ignore when you’re not looking to be made a victim.

No. We all know where the real battleground is. We know that the gangsta rappers and their followers in the athletic world have far bigger platforms to negatively define us than some old white man with a bad radio show. There’s no money and lots of danger in that battle, so Jesse and Al are going to sit it out.

To reach Jason Whitlock, call (816) 234-4869 or send e-mail to jwhitlock@kcstar.com. For previous columns, go to KansasCity.com
© 2007 Kansas City Star and wire service sources. All Rights Reserved. http://www.kansascity.com

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Eight Ways to Spot Emotional Manipulation [03 Oct 2006|12:03pm]
Eight Ways to Spot Emotional Manipulation
Emotional Manipulation is Also "Covert Aggression." See: "Psychopaths: Wolves in Sheep's Clothing" Here is a list adapted from an article by Fiona McColl

There is no use in trying to be honest with an emotional manipulator. You make a statement and it will be turned around. Example: I am really angry that you forgot my birthday. Response - "It makes me feel sad that you would think I would forget your birthday, I should have told you of the great personal stress I am facing at the moment - but you see I didn’t want to trouble you. You are right I should have put all this pain (don’t be surprised to see real tears at this point) aside and focused on your birthday. Sorry." Even as you are hearing the words you get the creeped out sensation that they really do NOT mean they are sorry at all - but since they’ve said the words you’re pretty much left with nothing more to say. Either that or you suddenly find yourself babysitting their angst!! Under all circumstances if you feel this angle is being played - don’t capitulate! Do not care take - do not accept an apology that feels like bullshit. If it feels like bullshit - it probably is. Rule number one - if dealing with an emotional blackmailer TRUST your gut. TRUST your senses. Once an emotional manipulator finds a successful maneuver - it’s added to their hit list and you’ll be fed a steady diet of this shit.

An emotional manipulator is the picture of a willing helper. If you ask them to do something they will almost always agree - that is IF they didn’t volunteer to do it first. Then when you say, "ok thanks" - they make a bunch of heavy sighs, or other non verbal signs that let you know they don’t really want to do whatever said thing happens to be. When you tell them it doesn’t seem like they want to do whatever - they will turn it around and try to make it seem like OF COURSE they wanted to and how unreasonable you are. This is a form of crazy making - which is something emotional manipulators are very good at. Rule number two - If an emotional manipulator said YES - make them accountable for it. Do NOT buy into the sighs and subtleties - if they don’t want to do it - make them tell you it up front - or just put on the walk-man headphones and run a bath and leave them to their theater.

Crazy making - saying one thing and later assuring you they did not say it.If you find yourself in a relationship where you figure you should start keeping a log of what’s been said because you are beginning to question your own sanity --You are experiencing emotional manipulation. An emotional manipulator is an expert in turning things around, rationalizing, justifying and explaining things away. They can lie so smoothly that you can sit looking at black and they’ll call it white - and argue so persuasively that you begin to doubt your very senses. Over a period of time this is so insidious and eroding it can literally alter your sense of reality. WARNING: Emotional Manipulation is VERY Dangerous! It is very disconcerting for an emotional manipulator if you begin carrying a pad of paper and a pen and making notations during conversations. Feel free to let them know you just are feeling so "forgetful" these days that you want to record their words for posterity’s sake. The damndest thing about this is that having to do such a thing is a clear example for why you should be seriously thinking about removing yourself from range in the first place. If you’re toting a notebook to safeguard yourself - that ol’ bullshit meter should be flashing steady by now!

Guilt. Emotional manipulators are excellent guilt mongers. They can make you feel guilty for speaking up or not speaking up, for being emotional or not being emotional enough, for giving and caring, or for not giving and caring enough. Any thing is fair game and open to guilt with an emotional manipulator. Emotional manipulators seldom express their needs or desires openly - they get what they want through emotional manipulation. Guilt is not the only form of this but it is a potent one. Most of us are pretty conditioned to do whatever is necessary to reduce our feelings of guilt. Another powerful emotion that is used is sympathy. An emotional manipulator is a great victim. They inspire a profound sense of needing to support, care for and nurture. Emotional Manipulators seldom fight their own fights or do their own dirty work. The crazy thing is that when you do it for them (which they will never ask directly for), they may just turn around and say they certainly didn’t want or expect you to do anything! Try to make a point of not fighting other people’s battles, or doing their dirty work for them. A great line is "I have every confidence in your ability to work this out on your own" - check out the response and note the bullshit meter once again.

Emotional manipulators fight dirty. They don’t deal with things directly. They will talk around behind your back and eventually put others in the position of telling you what they would not say themselves. They are passive aggressive, meaning they find subtle ways of letting you know they are not happy little campers. They’ll tell you what they think you want to hear and then do a bunch of jerk off shit to undermine it. Example: "Of course I want you to go back to school honey and you know I’ll support you." Then exam night you are sitting at the table and poker buddies show up, the kids are crying the t.v. blasting and the dog needs walking - all the while "Sweetie" is sitting on their ass looking at you blankly. Dare you call them on such behavior you are likely to hear, "well you can’t expect life to just stop because you have an exam can you honey?" Cry, scream or choke ‘em - only the last will have any long-term benefits and it’ll probably wind your butt in jail.

If you have a headache an emotional manipulator will have a brain tumor! No matter what your situation is the emotional manipulator has probably been there or is there now - but only ten times worse. It’s hard after a period of time to feel emotionally connected to an emotional manipulator because they have a way of de-railing conversations and putting the spotlight back on themselves. If you call them on this behavior they will likely become deeply wounded or very petulant and call you selfish - or claim that it is you who are always in the spotlight. The thing is that even tho you know this is not the case you are left with the impossible task of proving it. Don’t bother - TRUST your gut and walk away!

Emotional manipulators somehow have the ability to impact the emotional climate of those around them. When an emotional manipulator is sad or angry the very room thrums with it - it brings a deep instinctual response to find someway to equalize the emotional climate and the quickest route is by making the emotional manipulator feel better - fixing whatever is broken for them. Stick with this type of loser for too long and you will be so enmeshed and co-dependent you will forget you even have needs - let alone that you have just as much right to have your needs met.

Emotional manipulators have no sense of accountability. They take no responsibility for themselves or their behavior - it is always about what everyone else has "done to them". One of the easiest ways to spot an emotional manipulator is that they often attempt to establish intimacy through the early sharing of deeply personal information that is generally of the "hook-you-in-and-make-you-sorry-for-me" variety. Initially you may perceive this type of person as very sensitive, emotionally open and maybe a little vulnerable. Believe me when I say that an emotional manipulator is about as vulnerable as a rabid pit bull, and there will always be a problem or a crisis to overcome.
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trauma [06 Dec 2005|09:49pm]
What is a traumatic experience?

According to the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual for Psychiatric Disorders criteria for Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder, a potentially traumatizing event is one in which an "individual experienced, witnessed, or was confronted with an event or events that involved actual or threatened death or serious injury, or a threat to the physical integrity of self or others" (see DSM-IV, APA, 1994). The DSM criteria also specify a subjective response that is characterized by fear, helplessness, and/or horror. Research and clinical observation indicate that the range of events falling under this classification (e.g., physical or sexual assault/abuse; witnessing violence to others; sudden, unexpected death of a loved one; severe physical and emotional neglect) evoke several characteristic responses from the individual: a) the experience of extreme, overwhelming emotions (e.g., terror, helplessness, horror, rage, shame); b) heightened, sustained physiological arousal; and c) the shattering and/or distortion of basic beliefs and assumptions that are necessary for us to function optimally in the world (e.g., that there is some safety and predictability in the world, that the self has some power and worth, that some people are good and trustworthy).

To be traumatized is, by definition, to have the untenable happen; a victim is left with the almost insurmountable task of making sense of and coping with something that is overwhelming, beyond comprehension, inherently unacceptable. For example, a boy who watched his mother being beaten and raped experiences debilitating fear, along with incapacitating shame and guilt at not having rescued her (even in the case where any effort on his part would have been futile). He may be left with a profound sense of danger and lack of meaning in the world, along with a malignant sense of self, that may preclude his ability to form mutually satisfying relationships, find meaningful work. The potentially devastating impact of trauma cannot be overemphasized.

How to Help a Friend Survive
by Dr. Doug
My work as a professional therapist brings me into contact with many survivors of sexual abuse. Usually, these men and women present me with some other problem which is disturbing their relationships or their health. Mary (not her real name) is a good example. To the casual observer she looks confident, capable, serene, happy about life. She comes to deal with a relationship problem and some physical symptoms. As treatment progresses, she slowly reveals a very different side of herself. Her chronic stomach problems and headaches indicate repressed feelings of fear, confusion and anger. There is continual internal conflict and excessive anxiety. She worries about what is ‘normal’ and about small details of relationships and especially about her conflict with her father. One day she has a flashback of an abusive scene between her and her father. Then suddenly, a large bag full of sexual memories floods her awareness. She is panic-stricken, confused, angry and depressed all at once. Besides professional support, she needs extensive support from her friends. What can her friends do to help? Here are a few suggestions:

TAKE HER SERIOUSLY. Refrain from saying things like, “It’s probably not as bad as you think.” or “Is it possible you just imagined it?” This recreates a part of the abuse situation and makes her feel doubly traumatized and confused.

DON’T BLAME THE VICTIM. Children don’t invite abuse and they are not seductive. They don’t have the power, nor the psychological or legal capacity to consent.

LISTEN CAREFULLY. Empathic listening is very helpful at all stages of recovery. It does not fan fears, minimize concerns, or try to solve problems. Just “be there”.

This is another form of minimization; it encourages further denial and makes the road to recovery more difficult. Forgiveness may or may not be the end result of a process of struggle/grief/anger, etc.

UNDERSTAND how abuse is related to other compulsive habits like alcohol, drugs, obesity. These are old ways to try to stop the pain. Don’t feed into them. They worked then, but not now.

HOLD OUT HOPE BUT NOT EASY FIXES. There is healing from memories of sexual abuse. Putting a time frame on it or making it sound easy will usually be counter-productive.

BE SUPPORTIVE BUT NOT CONTROLLING. Survivors are prone to guilt and control, but neither of these lead to healing, however well-intentioned.

DON’T ENCOURAGE SECRECY. Telling a survivor to keep quiet about it makes him/her feel like appearances or the comfort of others is more important than how he/she is feeling. Secrecy is usually a part of the abuse and should be broken at the right time within a therapeutic plan.

ENCOURAGE GETTING PROFESSIONAL HELP. This can be done in a way that does not say “you’re crazy”. It is not an admission of failure. Getting help is a sign of being realistic and a sign of courage.
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[ mood | awake ]


What follows are twelve useful guidelines for couples. They have been found to be of great importance to happy, intimate, passionate, and committed long-term relationships. They are derived from research on the 10-15% of couples who have been together for over five years, ...and who are, to a large extent, living the "happily-ever-after" we all hope for. If you can utilize these suggestions, you will be taking an important step toward joining this elite group of loving couples. Sit down soon with your partner and this fact-sheet and give your relationship a potentially wonderful gift by patiently working to improve those things that deserve your attention. If you find these tips genuinely helpful, we suggest you save this information sheet for reference for those inevitable times when things are not going well in your relationship. The following is a list of factors that are now known to be some of the important things that separate the truly happy from the unhappy couples.

1. PRIORITIES: The happy and satisfied couples make a very clear commitment to each other to make their relationship (including their sexual relationship) good. They give their relationship the time and attention it deserves. They place quality time together at the top of their list of priorities. Other things that demand their time are sometimes canceled or delayed. Dinners are sometimes put on hold while they talk or make love. They may be late for a party or work or a visit to relatives. They are careful to arrange weekends or vacations alone... without the children, or friends, or mother-in-law. They sometimes turn down invitations and they carefully examine events or tasks called "obligations."

2. TIMING: A good and satisfying relationship can happen only when there is time for it. The current structure of families and the American work ethic conspire to lead us into a predictable trap. Couples put off intimacy and conversation while they "get things done." Cleaning the house, washing the car, talking to relatives on the phone, watching TV, etc. replace the loving behaviors they used to engage in at the outset of their relationship. If anything good happens, it comes late at the end of a fatiguing day, or put off until the weekend or vacation. Happy couples don't stop making "dates" with each other and seize upon expected and unexpected times and opportunities. They make time, take time, and pay a lot of attention to each other.

3. RECOVERY: The happy couples are quite unique in that they quickly recover from arguments and hurt feelings. They have been found to use a method not often recommended by counselors and therapists of the past. They are often able to temporarily put aside relationship problems to experience something enjoyable together. They put off further arguments while they go to a concert, out to dinner, a party, or even to make love. Then, soon after having a good time together, they often use these good feelings to quickly resolve issues that unhappy couples spend a lifetime fighting about. The healthy couples try to work on important disagreements in this way ONLY when they are both at their best.

4. TOUCH: The happily satisfied couples touch each other a lot. Most of their touching is sensual and not explicitly sexual or genital. They hold hands, snuggle on the couch while they watch TV, hug, kiss, take baths together, give massages, etc. Couples who go days or longer without any prolonged affectionate touch are starting from scratch when they decide to be intimate. Unlike the affectionate couples, they have a lot of work to do in order to make something interesting happen. Sex is not that much different than daily behaviors for the fulfilled couples, but it is a major shift for the less affectionate pairs.

5. ROMANCING: Content couples know the importance of surprise, tenderness, compliments, and special little gifts. (Big, expensive gifts don't predict happiness in relationships, but regular little ones do.) They continue "until death do we part" to behave in a romantic, sexy, and seductive manner toward each other. Touches, unexpected phone calls to each other, candle-lit dinners, naked weekends together, extravagant compliments, flowers and little "thingy" gifts from the drug store, etc. are common events. The gifts and phone calls are especially important since they communicate clearly what words cannot …that, "I am often thinking of you when we aren't together." These couples avoid the deadly danger of taking each other for granted. If they have gone too long being busy with other things, they apologize and do something about it.

6. ANTICIPATION: A major feature of actually feeling "in love" is that wonderful sense of anticipation when thinking warmly about our partner. One day a busy executive received an envelope from a messenger. Inside was a note from his wife to whom he'd been married for 19 years. It said, "Wanted... handsome man for a grand night of passion! See you at 7:00 PM!" Also inside the envelope was a room key to a nice local hotel. The man said he got very little work done that day! Happy couples plan ahead and make invitations to their lover. They know the importance of keeping passion alive. They regularly create anticipation by, for instance, phoning their partner at work and making a "hot date" for that evening. They describe their passion and may even offer a "menu" for the anticipated loving event. Contrast this to the typical couple, where the only anticipation comes after he or she says, "Wanna do it?" This category requires regular thought and creativity, but the outcome will usually be more than worth the relatively small amount of effort.

7. PLAYFULNESS: Happy couples do "work" at their relationships and take them seriously,... but not somberly. They play at making their partnership fun and healthy. They understand the extremely high value of humor and laughter. What other couples react to as tragedies, these couples are sometimes able find humor in. When bed slats break, the telephone rings, it rains on your picnic, etc., these couples respond with "Wasn't it funny", not with hysterics, anger and anxiety. They just do the best they can and understand that they are merely human. They take loving and fun-filled care of "the child within" themselves and their partner.

8. COMMUNICATION: All studies show a direct association between the quality of a couple's communication skills and the quality of their relationship. The latest research studies tell us that NON-verbal communication may be even more important than strictly verbal communication to intimate relationships. These couples certainly don't always sit around talking about their relationship, but there is an open agreement between them that when something needs to be said, it will. And, they don't just talk about the problems in their relationship. They spend even more time talking about the things they love about their partner and partnership.

9. SHARING: As an important part of their communication, these content couples share the big, important issues such as dreams and fears. They often tell each other the stories of their lives, sharing their understanding of how their past influences the present. Sometimes the more courageous even share their fantasies with each other.

10. PARENTING: Every study on the topic has clearly shown that there is a reduction in several important areas of marital satisfaction from the birth of the first child until the last child leaves home. Ironically, children are an ever-present danger to the health of your relationship. This is more true today than ever before due to the high number of single parents and blended families, which add other potential problems to an already present difficulty. The happiest couples maintain a commitment that their children are not going to have a large negative impact on their love and romance. They do all they can to ensure that their partner doesn't often feel second to the children (or anything or anyone else). These parents make sure that their children respect their privacy, which happens best when the parent also has respect for the child's privacy. It is almost easy for some of these parents to minimize the negative impact of children on the relationship, because the children are comfortably aware that they are loved, and that mom and dad (or parent and partner) are very much in love with each other. With very rare exception, it is extremely helpful to the child's development to observe regular genuine affection between parents (or parent and partner).

11. EQUALITY: Modern studies have universally demonstrated that the only healthy long-term relationships are between people who feel and are equal. Couples who are attempting to have a 1950's type of relationship in which the man makes most of the big decisions and the woman gets to pick the color of the kitchen towels, are not working in the long term. Regardless of one's opinion of the women's movement, the revolution has already occurred. Those who are attempting to stop or turn back the clock are ultimately meeting with dismal failure. The extremes of relationship power imbalances in which physical and mental abuse occurs are the least successful today.

12. CONFLICT RESOLUTION: Recent research tells us that couples who deal with disagreements by withdrawing, ignoring their partner's feelings, and escalating the intensity of the arguments are heading toward a failed relationship unless healthier styles of conflict resolution are developed. It is vital that the woman send clear (mostly non-verbal) signals about her desires for distance or closeness; and, it is equally important that the man pay close attention to her signals, interpret them correctly, and respond as quickly as possible if the relationship is run smoothly.

As you look over these twelve tips for relationships, you may note that the big secret to a happy long-term relationship is no big secret at all. These things are generally common sense. But the research in this field indicates that, once again, common sense is not always so common. As mentioned at the outset, it is obvious that only 10-15% of couples are able to keep doing most of the things that seemed to come so easily when they first fell in love. For reasons that researchers don't completely understand, this small proportion of couples pay attention to these essentials and keep doing the things which result in fulfilling relationships. These people are exceptional in no other way that we can tell. They are not smarter, richer, better looking, "sexier", or more educated than you. This is encouraging. It says that anyone who is knowledgeable and attentive can have a happy intimate relationship.

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Thanksgiving [27 Nov 2005|04:59pm]
So much to be thankful for and so tired I can't seem to list it....

Motherhood is my greatest reward.
I love being Grace's Mommy.

I had a wonderful conversation with my "Christian" brother on Turkey Day.

I have a good life.

Giving Thanks.

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Holidays, Boundaries and Insanity [26 Nov 2005|10:13am]
It appears I have no way to express myself here when "someone" continues to violate me.

I know this is a strong statement, but it happens to be true.

Online you can make some pretty amazing friends and you can meet some terribly disturbed individuals. Most "disturbed individuals" will go away when asked to go away. There is a particular individual who, no matter what I say, feel they have the right to continue violating my privacy and peace of mind. This occurs despite MANY requests that they cease and desist from contacting me anywhere, anytime by any means.

Most women in this world, in this life are violated by men at some point in thier life. It is sad but true. When a woman says NO, says STOP, says LEAVE ME ALONE - it means exactly that. It does not mean contact me if you are drinking, using drugs or have a fancy to do so at inappropriate hours or otherwise. There was NO loophole in any of the requests to allow for continued abuse and profound violation.

I am angry that I am once more a violated woman.

I am upset that the disease of addiction (relapse) combined with mental disturbances and abuse of "prescription" drugs appears to be a rationalized excuse for continued abuse and violation of me as a human being! Read this: I don't want to hear from you for any reason, I don't want any contact, it is not appropriate for you to continue contacting me for any reason EVER. STOP - CEASE - DESIST or I will get an order of protection and will prosecute to the fullest extent of the law. I do not need to be afraid to write in my own journal, log onto messenger or answer a phone!

Its a terrifying experience; feeling this way is not something I wish upon anyone. Male, female or otherwise.
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Stress and Health [01 Nov 2005|01:42pm]
What can I say?
Stress...no good.
Health issues...

Sick again.
Going back to the Doc to discuss "elevated liver enzymes" - will wait to worry when I am told to worry.
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Porgy & Bess [24 Oct 2005|12:01pm]
Bess, you is my woman now (Gershwin)
Bess, you is my woman now,
you is, you is!
An' you mus' laugh an' sing an' dance
for two instead of one.
Want no wrinkle on yo' brow,
Because de sorrow of de past is all done done
Oh, Bess, my Bess!

Porgy, I's yo' woman now,
I is, I is!
An' I ain't never goin' nowhere 'less you shares de fun.
Dere's no wrinkle on my brow,
But I ain't goin'! You hear me sayin',
If you ain' goin', wid you I'm stayin'!

Porgy, I's yo' woman now!
I's yours forever -
Mornin' time an' evenin' time an'
summer time an' winter time.

Mornin' time an' evenin' time an'
summer time an' winter time.
Bess, you got yo' man.

Bess, you is my woman now and forever.*
Dis life is jes' begun,
Bess, we two is one
Now an' forever.
Oh, bess, don't min' dose women.
You got yo' Porgy.
I knows you means it,
I seen it in yo' eyes, Bess.
We'll go swingin'
Through de years a-singin'.

Mornin' time an' evenin' time an'
summer time an' winter time.

Mornin' time an' evenin' time an'
summer time an' winter time.

Oh, my Porgy, my man, Porgy.

Porgy: [simultaneously] My bess, my Bess.

Bess: From dis minute I'm tellin' you, I keep dis vow: Porgy, I's yo' woman now.

Porgy: [simultaneously]
From dis minute I'm tellin' you, I keep dis vow:
Oh, my Bessie, we's happy now. We is one now.

*Sung as Bess repeats her part from 'Porgy, I's yo' woman now...' through 'I's yours forever -'
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It’s Bush-Cheney, Not Rove-Libby [16 Oct 2005|06:56pm]
[ mood | worried ]

It’s Bush-Cheney, Not Rove-Libby
By Frank Rich
The New York Times

Sunday 16 October 2005

There hasn’t been anything like it since Martha Stewart fended off questions about her stock-trading scandal by manically chopping cabbage on “The Early Show” on CBS. Last week the setting was “Today” on NBC, where the image of President Bush manically hammering nails at a Habitat for Humanity construction site on the Gulf Coast was juggled with the sight of him trying to duck Matt Lauer’s questions about Karl Rove.

As with Ms. Stewart, Mr. Bush’s paroxysm of panic was must-see TV. “The president was a blur of blinks, taps, jiggles, pivots and shifts,” Dana Milbank wrote in The Washington Post. Asked repeatedly about Mr. Rove’s serial appearances before a Washington grand jury, the jittery Mr. Bush, for once bereft of a script, improvised a passable impersonation of Norman Bates being quizzed by the detective in “Psycho.” Like Norman and Ms. Stewart, he stonewalled.

That stonewall may start to crumble in a Washington courtroom this week or next. In a sense it already has. Now, as always, what matters most in this case is not whether Mr. Rove and Lewis Libby engaged in a petty conspiracy to seek revenge on a whistle-blower, Joseph Wilson, by unmasking his wife, Valerie, a covert C.I.A. officer. What makes Patrick Fitzgerald’s investigation compelling, whatever its outcome, is its illumination of a conspiracy that was not at all petty: the one that took us on false premises into a reckless and wasteful war in Iraq. That conspiracy was instigated by Mr. Rove’s boss, George W. Bush, and Mr. Libby’s boss, Dick Cheney.

Mr. Wilson and his wife were trashed to protect that larger plot. Because the personnel in both stories overlap, the bits and pieces we’ve learned about the leak inquiry over the past two years have gradually helped fill in the über-narrative about the war. Last week was no exception. Deep in a Wall Street Journal account of Judy Miller’s grand jury appearance was this crucial sentence: “Lawyers familiar with the investigation believe that at least part of the outcome likely hangs on the inner workings of what has been dubbed the White House Iraq Group.”

Very little has been written about the White House Iraq Group, or WHIG. Its inception in August 2002, seven months before the invasion of Iraq, was never announced. Only much later would a newspaper article or two mention it in passing, reporting that it had been set up by Andrew Card, the White House chief of staff. Its eight members included Mr. Rove, Mr. Libby, Condoleezza Rice and the spinmeisters Karen Hughes and Mary Matalin. Its mission: to market a war in Iraq.

Of course, the official Bush history would have us believe that in August 2002 no decision had yet been made on that war. Dates bracketing the formation of WHIG tell us otherwise. On July 23, 2002 - a week or two before WHIG first convened in earnest - a British official told his peers, as recorded in the now famous Downing Street memo, that the Bush administration was ensuring that “the intelligence and facts” about Iraq’s W.M.D.’s “were being fixed around the policy” of going to war. And on Sept. 6, 2002 - just a few weeks after WHIG first convened - Mr. Card alluded to his group’s existence by telling Elisabeth Bumiller of The New York Times that there was a plan afoot to sell a war against Saddam Hussein: “From a marketing point of view, you don’t introduce new products in August.”

The official introduction of that product began just two days later. On the Sunday talk shows of Sept. 8, Ms. Rice warned that “we don’t want the smoking gun to be a mushroom cloud,” and Mr. Cheney, who had already started the nuclear doomsday drumbeat in three August speeches, described Saddam as “actively and aggressively seeking to acquire nuclear weapons.” The vice president cited as evidence a front-page article, later debunked, about supposedly nefarious aluminum tubes co-written by Judy Miller in that morning’s Times. The national security journalist James Bamford, in “A Pretext for War,” writes that the article was all too perfectly timed to facilitate “exactly the sort of propaganda coup that the White House Iraq Group had been set up to stage-manage.”

The administration’s doomsday imagery was ratcheted up from that day on. As Barton Gellman and Walter Pincus of The Washington Post would determine in the first account of WHIG a full year later, the administration’s “escalation of nuclear rhetoric” could be traced to the group’s formation. Along with mushroom clouds, uranium was another favored image, the Post report noted, “because anyone could see its connection to an atomic bomb.” It appeared in a Bush radio address the weekend after the Rice-Cheney Sunday show blitz and would reach its apotheosis with the infamously fictional 16 words about “uranium from Africa” in Mr. Bush’s January 2003 State of the Union address on the eve of war.

Throughout those crucial seven months between the creation of WHIG and the start of the American invasion of Iraq, there were indications that evidence of a Saddam nuclear program was fraudulent or nonexistent. Joseph Wilson’s C.I.A. mission to Niger, in which he failed to find any evidence to back up uranium claims, took place nearly a year before the president’s 16 words. But the truth never mattered. The Bush-Cheney product rolled out by Card, Rove, Libby & Company had been bought by Congress, the press and the public. The intelligence and facts had been successfully fixed to sell the war, and any memory of Mr. Bush’s errant 16 words melted away in Shock and Awe. When, months later, a national security official, Stephen Hadley, took “responsibility” for allowing the president to address the nation about mythical uranium, no one knew that Mr. Hadley, too, had been a member of WHIG.

It was not until the war was supposedly over - with “Mission Accomplished,” in May 2003 - that Mr. Wilson started to add his voice to those who were disputing the administration’s uranium hype. Members of WHIG had a compelling motive to shut him down. In contrast to other skeptics, like Mohamed ElBaradei of the International Atomic Energy Agency (this year’s Nobel Peace Prize winner), Mr. Wilson was an American diplomat; he had reported his findings in Niger to our own government. He was a dagger aimed at the heart of WHIG and its disinformation campaign. Exactly who tried to silence him and how is what Mr. Fitzgerald presumably will tell us.

It’s long been my hunch that the WHIG-ites were at their most brazen (and, in legal terms, reckless) during the many months that preceded the appointment of Mr. Fitzgerald as special counsel. When Mr. Rove was asked on camera by ABC News in September 2003 if he had any knowledge of the Valerie Wilson leak and said no, it was only hours before the Justice Department would open its first leak investigation. When Scott McClellan later declared that he had been personally assured by Mr. Rove and Mr. Libby that they were “not involved” with the leak, the case was still in the safe hands of the attorney general then, John Ashcroft, himself a three-time Rove client in past political campaigns. Though Mr. Rove may be known as “Bush’s brain,” he wasn’t smart enough to anticipate that Justice Department career employees would eventually pressure Mr. Ashcroft to recuse himself because of this conflict of interest, clearing the way for an outside prosecutor as independent as Mr. Fitzgerald.

“Bush’s Brain” is the title of James Moore and Wayne Slater’s definitive account of Mr. Rove’s political career. But Mr. Rove is less his boss’s brain than another alliterative organ (or organs), that which provides testosterone. As we learn in “Bush’s Brain,” bad things (usually character assassination) often happen to Bush foes, whether Ann Richards or John McCain. On such occasions, Mr. Bush stays compassionately above the fray while the ruthless Mr. Rove operates below the radar, always separated by “a layer of operatives” from any ill behavior that might implicate him. “There is no crime, just a victim,” Mr. Moore and Mr. Slater write of this repeated pattern.

THIS modus operandi was foolproof, shielding the president as well as Mr. Rove from culpability, as long as it was about winning an election. The attack on Mr. Wilson, by contrast, has left them and the Cheney-Libby tag team vulnerable because it’s about something far bigger: protecting the lies that took the country into what the Reagan administration National Security Agency director, Lt. Gen. William Odom, recently called “the greatest strategic disaster in United States history.”

Whether or not Mr. Fitzgerald uncovers an indictable crime, there is once again a victim, but that victim is not Mr. or Mrs. Wilson; it’s the nation. It is surely a joke of history that even as the White House sells this weekend’s constitutional referendum as yet another “victory” for democracy in Iraq, we still don’t know the whole story of how our own democracy was hijacked on the way to war.

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hospice [11 Oct 2005|08:59am]
[ mood | drained ]

One year ago, Fran died.
My dear friend will have an unveiling on October 16th.

The Hospice Nurse will evaluate Hank's condition today.
Outlook: Not so good.

My mother in a ball of angst.

Searching for flights.
One more funeral ahead.

Baby and I have been sick this past week.
I am beyond exhausted, physically, emotionally, you name it; toss in a good head cold for measure.
Baby is teething and has a cold.

My sister calls to be certain "I" will be there.
When I am there, Grace is there.

With Grace, we go.


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om shanti [10 Oct 2005|01:42pm]
[ mood | contemplative ]

I’ve been hiding from the world, and from myself
Wanting love so desperately, oh so desperately
If you see all the hurt in my eyes
Will you laugh, will you run, will you carry me
If I tell you that I’m weak and I’m scared
Will that seem absurd
I’m the loneliest girl in the world

om shanti

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Elma Rogers Schwaiger [05 Oct 2005|04:20pm]
[ mood | melancholy ]

Elma Rogers Schwaiger, 91, of Memphis died on Friday, Sept. 9 at St. Barnabas Medical Center in Livingston, NJ. Mrs. Schwaiger grew up in Cordova and was a life long resident of Memphis until April 2004 when she moved to Upper Montclair, New Jersey to live with her daughter, Susan. She was also a lifelong member of Buntyn Presbyterian Church. She was a graduate of Memphis State University and an avid supporter of the Memphis Public Schools. For many years, she was a high school business teacher first at Messick High School and later at Melrose High School until her retirement in 1974. She was predeceased by her husband of 60 years, Francis M. Schwaiger. She is survived by her daughter, Susan Rogers Schwaiger and granddaughter, Grace F. Wolf-Schwaiger of Upper Montclair, NJ; her niece, Carolyn Bazemore of Cordova; nephew, Carl W. Rogers, Jr. and niece, Catherine Rogers Jonsson. Visitation will be held on Tuesday, September 13 from 5-7 p.m. at Memphis Funeral Home, 5599 Poplar Avenue. A funeral service will be held Wednesday, September 14 at 11 am. at Buntyn Presbyterian Church, 561 South Prescott, followed by a graveside service to be held at Cordova Community Cemetery, 8707 Fay Road in Cordova. In lieu of flowers, donations to Buntyn Presbyterian Church, 561 South
Prescott, Memphis, TN 38111, would be greatly appreciated. Memphis Funeral Home Poplar Chapel 901-725-0100

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GW Should be ashamed! [02 Sep 2005|03:56pm]
[ mood | bitchy ]

What's that!

People are dying.
We have refugees!

GW the "compassionate" man cut short his 5 week vacation to think about what to do for a few more days while people are sitting in thier own waste in a toxic wasteland.

National arrogance.
National incompetence.

I hope people in the "red" states wake up - vote accordingly!
Help those in need ...


(away at www.indiemusicon.com)

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Who are you? [13 Aug 2005|12:40pm]
[ mood | complacent ]

I "stole" this from another blog because it touched me deeply.
Actually, I am 2 of those people.
When you grow up Lesbian, Gay or Transexual, you learn a lot about society.



I am the girl kicked out of her home because I confided in my mother that I am a lesbian. (ME, but twenty some years later my Mother is one of my biggest supporters.)

I am the prostitute working the streets because nobody will hire a transsexual woman.

I am the sister who holds her gay brother tight through the painful, tear-filled nights.

We are the parents who buried our daughter long before her time.

I am the man who died alone in the hospital because they would not let my partner of twenty-seven years into the room.

I am the foster child who wakes up with nightmares of being taken away from the two fathers who are the only loving family I have ever had. I wish they could adopt me.

I am one of the lucky ones, I guess. I survived the attack that left me in a coma for three weeks, and in another year I will probably be able to walk again.

I am not one of the lucky ones. I killed myself just weeks before graduating high school. It was simply too much to bear.

We are the couple who had the realtor hang up on us when she found out we wanted to rent a one-bedroom for two men.

I am the person who never knows which bathroom I should use if I want to avoid getting the management called on me.

I am the mother who is not allowed to even visit the children I bore, nursed, and raised. The court says I am an unfit mother because I now live with another woman.

I am the domestic-violence survivor who found the support system grow suddenly cold and distant when they found out my abusive partner is also a woman. (Me, in what seems a lifetime ago.)

I am the domestic-violence survivor who has no support system to turn to because I am male.

I am the father who has never hugged his son because I grew up afraid to show affection to other men.

I am the home-economics teacher who always wanted to teach gym until someone told me that only lesbians do that.

I am the man who died when the paramedics stopped treating me as soon as they realized I was transsexual.

I am the person who feels guilty because I think I could be a much better person if I didn’t have to always deal with society hating me.

I am the man who stopped attending church, not because I don’t believe, but because they closed their doors to my kind.

I am the person who has to hide what this world needs most, love.

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Is that all there is? [11 Aug 2005|05:01am]
[ mood | sympathetic ]

What a song.
What a life.
I am awake - it's late - or early depending upon your perspective on things.

One thing comes to mind....
"go back to sleep."

Trying to...

Just restless inside.

Sandwich generation.
That's us.
We have an infant who will be one this month and another infant who will be 92 in two months. More trouble is the 92 year old.

Its sad watching her fade to grey.
She diminishes more each day.
Her body here but her mind gone.
She is angry and confused - most days - until Susan - my partner, her only child calls.

This is no life.
But she remains.

In the grand scheme of things I wouldn't begin to wonder the purpose in this type of extended suffering.


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Smoking Stinks! [08 Aug 2005|08:39am]
[ mood | discontent ]

Peter Jennings (67) passed away last night, from lung cancer.
Just a few weeks ago, my 57 year old Aunt Loretta passed from Emphasima.
It stinks.

I think of Susan and her struggle to stop.
My mother who no longer even attempts struggling to stop and her husband who will die because of smoking.

What a waste.
What a dirty shame.

File this under: Things that make you go "hmmmm."

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The "Dogdays" of Summer... [07 Aug 2005|10:48am]
[ mood | thankful ]

We have 2 dogs and 2 cats.
Sounds simple enough...
Until you add that pesky little 11 month old baby girl into the mix...
One of the dogs and one of the cats has made it clear that they are not happy with the short tyrant!
My last refuge...
Hiring a "behavorist" who visits us Monday afternoon.
Egads - next thing you know I will be seeking out a pet whisperer!

What has my life come to?

I am turning into a suburban (lesbian) mom!
We have the Mommie Mobile...(a SUV - I SWORE I would never ever drive one but we have one).
I just joined weight watchers - Now that's suburban!

What happened to my life?
Baby Grace
The light of my life happened!

Motherhood is the most wonderful thing I have ever endeavored.

But the suburbs...well....that takes some getting used to!
I live in a liberal well healed area where the moms don't get fat and they all cook pastries and gourmet meals from scratch. I am obese and I burn water, not to mention I am the "token" queer person at most of the mommy meetings. Anyway, I wouldn't trade it for the world.

Queer as Folk - whaaaaa!
I don't want it to end!
I am in denial!

More later....Grace is up from her nap and I am certian Susan is doing something she shouldn't be doing - do I watch the baby or my spouse? LIFE.


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August...sigh [04 Aug 2005|11:23am]
It's August...
On the East Coast that means NOTHING gets done.
I can't explain why, it just is what it is.
Therapists go on vacaiton in August, generally all of it.
If you are the leader of the largest and most powerful country in the world, you begin your August vacation in July and end it somewhere in September.

You heard it right folks, GW Bush is vacationing for 5 weeks!
That's 4 more weeks of vacation than I have had this summer.
His grand total vacation days during his administration are 319.
He will surpass all other Presidents in vacation time with his August vacation including his fellow slacker Ronald Reagan! What a proud day this must be for him

I guess that means that appropriate work ethic for a leader of a country at war with not one but two Islamic countries is to never work late, take 2 hours off a day for excercise and no weekends. Statistically, this President has recreated 20% of the time he is in office.


I guess if I worked as hard as the President - being a mother to an 11 month old infant that would mean I only work from 9 to 5 and take 2 hours off each weekday....
But wait, if I only work 80% of the time I get long weekends - to relax Friday, Saturday and Sunday.
I guess my daughter is out of luck should she need a diaper change after 5 pm Monday thru Thursday and don't bother me on weekends folks - its time off.

Does anyone get the drift here?

He does "read" the daily postings - like he read the posting on August 6, 2001 informing him of an emminent attack with a plane by Osama...(RIGHT!) He may have read it, or not, but he did NOTHING about it.

Why is it we can't find Osama? Are we even looking? I don't understand most of the general population in this country. How can anyone support this super slacker?

The list is long and I am about to be bombarded by the local "MOMs" tomorrow.
I have to get going - cleaning and buying freshly baked goods that resemble homemade (I don't bake and am lost among a sea of gourmet bakers!)

I also have to prepare for the IMC conference in Philly - Labor Day Weekend - going to relaunch SmartWomen Internet Radio....slap me now because I obvioulsy do not know what I am about to be dealing with!

Until then...

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