Thursday, September 27, 2012

You Can Help Save Baby Casen

This beautiful boy from Puyallup, WA is suffering from a disease that's so rare, only 14 people in the world have it. For him to have treatment, his family either has to move to Belgium or travel there monthly. Either way it will cost them hundreds of thousands of dollars to keep their baby alive.

I'm asking all of us to chip in and help this family save their baby. Help him have a chance at life.

Read more on the story and donate here: Save Baby Casen

Skip the story and donate directly here: Donate & Save A Life

You're suspect!

Song for this post: "El Paso" ~ Marty Robbins

Sorry for not being around as much lately...and for being so obnoxiously serious! I'm letting this election consume my thoughts. Sorry ya'll.

Yesterday was my last day with the start-up I was working for. I'm taking a little mini-break before I start my new position with a really exciting tech association.

What am I doing with this free time, you ask?

Well, so far I've watched 2 sappy mid-90s movies about really smart people, caught up on laundry, pined over kittens, and requested feedback on how early is too early for putting up my Christmas tree. Really you guys. I think the end of September is fine! That'll give me a solid 4 months of Christmas in the house! I could just put Halloween decorations on the tree...

I'm still doing Friday Staff Meeting tomorrow. I'm actually taking a ferry to the mainland just for the sole purpose of having lunch and a beer with my now ex coworkers.

That's dedication to the team, right there.

There are things I want to tell you about our trip to Chicago (got back last week) but, honestly, I just can't. It was easily the funniest, most memorable work trip ever that resulted in 2 moments I will never forget and CAN NOT think about without laughing.

After struggling with it for a week, I decided it was best not to post about it. Kind of disparaging. But fuckin' hilarious. Just know that.

We set some records. That's for sure.

All day I've had that song that goes "Out in the west in the town of El Paso, I fell in love with a Mexican girl..." stuck in my head. Except my brain keeps saying "...I fell in love with a Mexican boy."

Support marriage equality. Marty Robbins inside my brain does. So should you.

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Who Am I Voting For?

Song for this post: "Heart Like Mine" ~ Miranda Lambert

Put your political hat on guys, we're gonna get fancy.

This post is an extension of this post.

This morning a statement about universal healthcare was posted on Facebook by someone I've known my whole life. And while she and I were never close as children, I've grown to respect her and care about her as an adult. I've watched her go through some tough life changes and she's come out of it shining. We differ GREATLY in our political beliefs. It's both of our foundations in Christianity  that seems to be our common thread.

I couldn't have disagreed with her more this morning. And that's okay. Democracy allows for that. Coincidentally, so does my heart.

This election seems to have polarized our country, as many elections do. I feel like this one, in particular has created a bit more contronymity because our two presidential candidates, while both wanting our country to flourish, have absolute opposite road maps on how to get there. Similarly, some of the political topics of this generation hit close to home and are very, very emotional. Because of this polarization, many are quick to anger, quick to judge, and quick to discard valuable friendships.

Just like many of you, my initial, knee-jerk reaction this morning was anger. Anger at what I saw as selfishness. "I don't want to pay for other people's healthcare." To me that's basically saying, "I like my money more than your life." When you boil it down to the root, that's true and there's no arguing it. Given, there was a part of her position that had to do with being forced to pay for healthcare. But I'm sure she doesn't have a problem with us forcing people to pay for auto insurance, or wear seat belts. It's for the safety of their lives and for the safety of those around them. We are a selfish species, by nature. All of us. So selfish, in fact, that it takes a government mandate to make us help each other out. And it makes me feel guilty and sad and, well, angry.

As someone who has a foundation in Christianity I see very clearly that it's our moral responsibility (although, I like to use the word "privelege" or "pleasure" or "fuck ya I'd love to!") to "love our neighbor as we love ourselves." Let me be clear here, though. I don't think you have to be a Christian to understand morality. I just happened to have had it shoved down my throat every day so it's hard to forget. If I want to be able to go to the dentist to get a painful tooth fixed, I MUST help my neighbor do the same. My money is NOT more important than your quality of life and your health.

I do well. I have a nice house, a good car, I'm going on an international trip with friends later this year just for fun. She has a pretty cushy life too, my friend on Facebook this morning. I used to think many issues didn't apply to me because, quite simply, they didn't. I've worked hard to get where I'm at. I didn't care about universal healthcare because I have a great job and great benefits. It didn't apply to me. I didn't care about marriage equality, because I'm not same sex oriented. It didn't apply to me. I didn't care about a woman's right to choose, because I would never get an abortion. Plainly, I was out of touch. This should be a familiar phrase to you at this point of the current election. It's attached to a certain republican presidential candidate.

All that has changed. It's changed because I love someone very much who's husband bailed and now she has beautiful babies to take care of as a single mother. She needs universal healthcare. It's changed because I love someone who is deeply in love with someone of the same gender and it's not fair to tell them they can't get married when I can. It's changed because, when I think about a man telling me what I can and cannot do with my body, whether or not I choose to get an abortion (which is so NOT the issue) I'm enraged. I have a brain. I have a heart. I have a right to decide what I do with my body and the cells within it.

It was difficult to talk about universal healthcare with her this morning. But I love her and I respect that she has beliefs, even though they may differ from mine. She's not wrong. She's just wrong for me. But she's right for her. And here's my point in all this:

I'm not voting for me. I'm voting for you. I'm voting for my neighbors, who deserve to have the same quality of life that I have. Sometimes shit happens that makes that really tough. That person close to me didn't ask for her husband to leave. She didn't ask to be in a terrible car accident that makes it tough to work. She didn't ask to have one shit storm after another make her path so So SO difficult. There are no guarantees in life. It's not her fault. She DESERVES a chance. And sometimes that chance takes all of us pitching in and helping out. 

THAT'S what I'm voting for. Her chance.

Sometimes voting for you means my vote may differ from my own personal beliefs. Sometimes it SHOULD. It should because, as a loving people, we have to put ourselves aside to do what's best for others. It's not about me. It's about us.

So am I willing to pay more taxes so her family can have healthcare without worry and stress and more financial burden than they are already struggling with?

Fuck yes.

My money is NOT more important to me than their health.

Stop voting for you. Vote for someone else.

Monday, September 24, 2012

When did anorexic become dazzling?

Song for this post: "Pocketbook" ~ Jennifer Hudson feat. Ludacris

This morning I caught up on the 64th Annual Emmy Awards. It was a good show and, for all the things I could talk about (the opening sequence, Tracy Morgan, Claire Danes...) there's really only one thing that sticks out in my mind as topic-worthy:

What the F#%$ happened to Kerry Washington?!?  All of the news coverage said she "dazzled." They said she was "glamorous," that she "shined" in gold.

Um. When did third-world-country-thin become glamorous?

This is not glamorous:

It's scary.

...and it sets a dangerous precedence about how women should look.

Let's face it. She's loaded and very easily has the resources at her fingertips for healthy meals, time management, childcare, weight training and just about anything else you can think of that would offer the leisurely lifestyle that leaves little excuse to be under-eating.

Don't get me wrong. Some women are naturally very thin. And that's great. I'm not saying you're not a "real woman" if you're thin. I'm just saying that THIS woman has lost a drastic amount of weight when she's been quite muscular her whole life. To say that being that unnaturally thin is "dazzling" is concerning.

Here's what she looked like for many many years:

You can see her in the Emmy's at the 96:36 mark at this link.

Thursday, September 13, 2012

Bang Bang

Song for this post: "Bang Bang" ~ Nancy Sinatra

So, a few seasons back in SYTYCD there was this male ballerina named Alex Wong. He was an INCREDIBLE dancer and probably would have won it if he hadn't have had to drop out of the competition early because the dance company he was signed with wouldn't let him out of contract.

This season, there's a girl named Eliana who also happens to be classically trained. Anyway, Alex came back for a guest appearance and the two of them were paired up. And. It. Was. Incredible.

Here's what made me fall in love with Alex Wong:

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

My neighborhood church has priorities

Song for this post: "The Impression That I Get" ~ The Mighty Might Boss Tones

Yesterday, on my way back from the pharmacy, I passed this church in the town I live in. This is about a half mile from my house.

Click to enlarge
For those of you who can't read it, it says:


I don't know about you, but I'm thrilled to see a church showing documentaries on sex and money.

I bet a lot of people are going to show up!

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Support Marriage Equality

Song for this post: "Macklemore & Ryan Lewis – Same Love (feat. Mary Lambert)"

So, I'm in love with Ben Haggerty or, as you might know him, Macklemore. He's the Kick. Ass. rapper from Seattle. You might remember him from this post.

Anyway, he put out a song a while back called "Same Love" and donated all proceeds to The Marriage Equality Campaign.

 As anyone who knows me can tell you, I am absolutely PRO marriage equality for too many reasons to list here. In my very humble opinion, if you're not, it's because you don't know what you're talking about...or you're just blatantly into bigotry...or you're afraid. It HAS to be one of those 3 reasons, because no one has been able to give a reason that doesn't boil down to one of those yet. EVER. The most common one we all hear is, "I believe marriage is between a man and a woman...because I'm a Christian." That's great! I'm happy for you! What the fuck does Christianity have to do with governmental policy?


Good. Glad you're with me.

Here's the thing: You can't support your own agenda for rights by denying the rights of others. It's an incomplete argument. Seriously. I'll explain why.

Look how easy this is:

Thesis: Gay Rights Should Be Legal
Major Premise: Humans should have the right to marry who they choose.
Minor Premise: Some humans are gay.
Supporting Statement 1: All men are created equal. Source.
Statement  2 : The Declaration of Independence says the legislature "shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion." Source.

Statement  3: Equality of rights under the law shall not be denied or abridged by the United States or by any State on account of gender. Source.
If all men are created equal and some men are gay, and if our body of government cannot make laws respecting specific religions, and MUST adhere to equality amongst genders, than it stands to reason that men shall not be denied the right to marry on account of gender, regardless of religion.

See that highlighted part? That's the part non-supporters are conveniently skipping over in their argument.

Now you try:

Maybe you could do one on the in-congruent argument that sex is made for procreation and that's why gay people shouldn't marry. Because, in America, we ONLY EVER have sex when we're trying to further our species.

Or maybe you could write about how humans are purely heterosexual, just like all mammals, and our laws shouldn't make exceptions for genetic mutations. You know...because humans, as the most intelligent, most successful species on the planet hasn't EVER evolved or matured or adapted to their environment. Ever. Oh...neither has just about every other mammalian species on the planet from fruit flies to sheep to whales.

Or you could make one about how homosexuality is a choice and preferences shouldn't be made exceptions of in law. Because, we all KNOW that we NEVER make exceptions for preference in all those tax breaks for people who's preference is to have children, or acceptance for anyone's preference to practice the religion of their choice.

Writing is fun!

Oh also, this.

 Anyway, "Same Love" is rad, as is Macklemore.

Friday, September 7, 2012


Yep. Crying.

Mia Michaels is consistently one of the most INCREDIBLE choreographers I've ever seen.

If you need a reference, this.

Presidential Candidates & Batman

Sometimes visual aids help...

Click to enlarge

Yes. I made this. You're welcome.

I'm TOTALLY related to the white house.

Song for this post: "September" ~ Earth, Wind, & Fire

OMG you guys I just really wanted to share this picture with you. You know, just a little bit more about me...

The other day my family and I went on this awesome picnic together and then got this great, totally unexpected, shot of all of us laughing and hugging. You know, like families do.

So then, Uncle Joe was all, "When I was a little boy..." and started tellin' one of his stories. He likes to tell stories. And Malia was all, "Aren't you like, really hot in that suit, Dad? It's like 100 degrees out here." And then we all laughed about how my mom, Michelle, has Madonna arms and dared her to pick both the girls up at the same time.

That woman is tough as nails.

Do you have any idea how many photos I had to splice together to come up with this? 
And it STILL looks all wonky. :/


Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Bella Hearts Cake

This is possibly one of the funniest things I've ever seen. Ever.

Thank you, Bad Lip Reading people, for finding something redeeming in a franchise I've struggled to tolerate.

An Open Letter to Michelle Obama

Dear Michelle,

I love you. You're fantastic. And your husband is the shit.

Thanks for bein' you,

An Average American

Full transcript of speech here.

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

No Means No - via The Daily Grace


If you haven't heard of this girl's You Tube Channel, know about it.

So. Funny.

Monday, September 3, 2012

I Love You So Much, Lori. RIP.

Song for this post: "Angel Standing By" ~ Jewel

9 years ago today the most amazing woman I've ever known passed through this world: My foster mother, Lori.

Her presence in my life is something I will always be grateful for. Who she was will continue to be an example to me of the type of woman I want to be. And the love she showed me is something that will live inside me for the rest of my life. 

In the seventh grade a new student came to our school. She was bubbly and funny and smart and independent. I met her in gym the locker rooms. My friend Kristina introduced us. And that was it. We were inseparable.  Coryn and I spent just about every waking minute together for the next 5 years. If one of us tried out for a sport, we both did. If one of us was in choir, the other was too. Cheerleading, pageantry, advanced classes, you name it. Coryn was better at math than I was and I was better at English so we couldn't do EVERYTHING together. But it was pretty close. We were so attached that I once spent 23 solid days at her house on summer break.

20 years later she's still my best friend and that will never change.

Her parents had moved her and her brother to our hometown when her dad retired from the military. Her father had been with the US Army for 30 years before receiving a Calling to lead a church. Her mother  worked for the NSA and had her Doctorate in Political Science. I tried reading her dissertation once. I made it 2 pages before I realized I had no idea what I was reading. Lori was outrageously intelligent. She was also the kindest woman I've ever met. She had a heart so full of love you'd think she might burst at any moment. But she was also silly and stoic and thoughtful.

A year or two after I met Coryn, my family went through some major changes. Things got unpleasant and it became a less than ideal situation for a child to be in. Things came to an apex one evening and Coryn came to pick me up. I had only intended on staying for the night. Then her parents asked me to stay a few days.

After a few days, they asked me to stay a few weeks.

After a few weeks, they said they wanted me to stay indefinitely.

Lori and Bill became my guardians. They also became a foundation of family and stability that I desperately needed at that time in my life. Lori became my template. She became someone I wanted to be like. Loving, honest, genuine, dedicated. These were all things I didn't understand at that age.  My own family was struggling with a lot of dysfunction and had pretty much fallen apart. I coped with that with a lot of dishonesty and selfishness. Lori was the light through all of that darkness. She taught me integrity and love and faith and the value of family. 

Lori loved to quilt. They lived in this big old farm house and they'd converted one of the upstairs bedrooms into a crafting room for her. I'd sit up there and help her iron and stitch squares. She taught me how to sew. 

They bought me my first bible. Bill had my name engraved on it and picked out my first baptism cross to go with it. Bill was the one who baptized me in our church. Lori was the one who wrapped me in a towel afterward and hugged me.

There aren't words to describe the gratitude and overwhelming love I feel toward them both. I love my family very much and, thankfully, we've all reconciled over the years. But Lori holds this special place in my heart. She represents a shift in my trajectory. She's an angel who came and pulled me out of a very dark place.

She had been struggling with cancer when I lived with them. She eventually passed a number of years later. I can't think about it even today without tearing up. She was a gift to this world and there is none who will ever compare. She changed my life.

Lori died at 49.

I love you.

I miss you.

And you are the most special person I've ever had the privilege to know.