Thursday, December 28, 2006
Well, Christmas was good. Long drive of course, there to Kansas and back to Iowa. But it was a good vacation...got to see some old friends from Grad school and hang out a lot with family. Was a little sad that I missed seeing other old friends, but I suppose it happens. So far, the only thing I have planned for New Year's is hanging out and working. I volunteered to work on Thanksgiving and New Year's to have Christmas off. Not that it's a big deal, but I will be ready for the holidays to be over so I can get back to a normal schedule at work. Am thinking a lot about New Year's Resolutions and what I should focus on. But that's basically all. Did I mention that I joined the ACLU? Nick and I also joined NetFlix and are having a blast picking movies out. So far, I can't wait to get this documentary on a girl in Texas who challenges the abstinence-only sex education at her school to fight the immensely high rates of pregnancy that occurs as a result of it. Looks interesting. I'm also reading a book about the history of experts advice for women, you know, like doctors who advised women who were menstruating not to swim or to get out of bed (in the 1800s) because menstruation was a "disease," that kind of thing. I've only just started, but it's been fascinating so far. Well, I guess that's all. Hope everyone had a merry christmas and has a happy new year.
Posted by Kathleen at 3:13 PM
Monday, December 11, 2006
Well, not too many things that are extremely exciting have happened in my life...but I did want to update since no one else has. My little baby cat Sophie has a stalker - our cat Leo is in love with her. Yesterday we found him trying to, ahem, show her how much he cares. He's been fixed, so technically he isn't a real man, but it was still disturbing, since Sophie is only three months old. We have a pedophile cat running around here, but Nick put the fear into him and he seems to have backed off and gone back to being her friend only! Some exciting news in my life: I am now a card-carrying member of the ACLU. I even have a fun decal sticker for my car. I was extremely excited to get my membership card today. Now, I feel like I'm not just mouthing off words that protect the Bill of Rights and those issues I find important, I am actually acting on them. Maybe once I have a more steady income and career I can even volunteer more than a few dollars and verbal support. I am going to get to see my sister and niece this week - I am quite excited, even if I haven't figured out what I want done to my hair. And, I get to be home for Christmas in two weeks. Soon, I will get to meet Sara and Brad's baby and hang out with some friends and in the summer I get to start taking classes to certify as a teacher. Today it feels like my life is on track. Just wanted to update all you guys and share my exciting news, my funny cat story, and my basic good feelings - oh, did I mention I also received a bunch of books I ordered too, so I have some great stuff to read! Life is great.
Posted by Kathleen at 1:07 PM
Wednesday, December 06, 2006
Well, it's getting to be Christmas. I have a lot to look forward to during this season and for the new year. New people to meet, new things to learn. I have heard much about the consumerism and commercialism of this time of year. I have never really felt that it IS a time of too much of it. Maybe materialism and perfectionism : kids want more toys than their parents can afford, women want jewelry, men want cars, whatever and everyone strives to make things perfect for their friends, family, coworkers, whoever. But whenever I think of Christmas, my memories are never of what I got - at least not the first, most precious ones. They're of decorating the tree, baking cookies, having school parties and programs, even going to church. Many are of family memories and traditions. And I think if you polled all the people you knew, they would have similar memories. And that's why I never think of Christmas as a consumerism based holiday, no matter what people argue. Yes, stores advertise and decorate way too early. Yes, kids want want want. Yes, credit card bills go up. But that's what stores do - people rarely start their Christmas shopping at the time the stores start their decorations - people will buy their presents early, or at the last minute, or when they can get that last paycheck, etc. I don't think people should start griping about Christmas being spoiled by too much commercialism/consumerism, because Christmas is what you make it. Agree not to buy presents if you think that it will harm your relationships with your family and friends - but I doubt that any of you think that the presents are what harms. It's the pressure to buy many presents, though not necessarily the best or most perfect present for that particular person. And if people who gripe about consumerism, and spoiling children, and encouraging selfishness and materialism would just think about that, than maybe credit card bills would go down and they could stop griping and have fun with it. I think that at one time of the year, however, it's fun to shop for the people you love, and find that present - and it doesn't even have to be shopping - volunteer some time if you don't have or want to spend money - give free babysitting services, or massages, or just movie watching time. Spoil the people in your life because, even if you should be treating them special everyday, that just isn't possible in the hectic lives that we all live. So use this opportunity of the Season of Love and Giving, to treat them special. To show them, I always care but sometimes I can't show it. Maybe I'm rambling and this makes more sense in my head, but I am so tired of reading and hearing about the bad things of Christmas: I don't like it cause it's so commercial now, people are so materialistic. They're only that way because they agree to act that way. Ignore the stores - who cares if they decorate early. Make some laughing comment and then celebrate your Fourth of July (hahaha). If you're religious, celebrate in those kind of ways (go to Mass more? Pray more? I don't know what do religious people do Kristi?) If you're not, celebrate this season as one where you can focus on giving of yourself, enjoying what others give you: presents or time, or love, or cookies, or whatever. And enjoy it as a family holiday if nothing else, something that pretty much forces you to look at your family in a different light, to spend time together. See, I'm an optimist and a Christmas lover. So stop bashing Christmas people!
Posted by Kathleen at 1:29 PM