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This is debate in 2013. Which side is scarier?

September 26, 2013

Today a conversation was shared with me that truly, truly bothered me. This conversation has been edited only to remove bias from the messaged relayed to me. Any mention of “I” does not refer to me.

Person A and Person B are the only names I will use.

Without naming any names or pointing any fingers, I wish to divulge this conversation as unbiased as possible but with only one question at the end.

Which person makes you more frightened for your country?

________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

Background:

A woman Person A knows posted this parody of Green Eggs and Ham that bashed Obamacare (fine, whatever, hate the law) and before that, she had said that Starbucks banned guns, so Person A commented on the Starbucks comment that it was a request to not open carry in their stores, not a ban and posted the following on the Dr. Seuss thing:

Person A:  As a self-proclaimed democrat and progressive who wrote political cartoons for the far left, Dr. Seuss would have never offered this advice.

So, her husband responded and the following happened… Person A just copied and pasted this to me with “Person A” as him/her and “Person B,” the husband of the profile Person A was commenting on in the beginning. No puncuation or sentences have been changed. Only names have been removed and replaced with Person A or Person B.

Person B:   @Person A,  you do understand that in American politics the word progressive is the same as communist, right???  In keeping with the fact that you are self proclaimed communist, it stands to reason that you don’t like to hear or read the truth. It’s also easy to see that you don’t like guns from previous comments on my wife’s posts so I am wondering why you live in a country that you hate so much???  Instead of destroying the greatest country in the world, why don’t you move to Russia, China, Iran,or any of those countries that have so much going for them

Person A:  First of all, I said Dr. Seuss was a self-proclaimed progressive. As for definitions: A progressive in American politics is defined by a person advocating progress, change, or reform. A communist is a person advocating a classless society in which private ownership has been abolished. Hardly the same. As for guns, I gave the facts: Starbucks didn’t enact a gun ban. If the facts don’t suit your agenda, I apologize. Truth is truth. It seems that you are the ones that don’t like to read it.

Person B:   Getting awfully defensive aren’t we?? It’s amazing you can quote word for word from a dictionary written by progressives/ communists.  And as far as guns are concerned, you and all your communist friends should take a long hard look at reality before you want to completely cripple a nation, guns protect you and everyone else in this country EVERYDAY, and in most cases you weren’t even aware of it.   It is your right to not want or like guns but don’t infringe on my rights to want to bear arms which also keeps YOU SAFE.  If Dr Seuss is a communist then I send him the same invitation to leave this country that I sent to you.

Person A:   I don’t feel that I’m being defensive at all, nor am I trying to snatch your guns away by simply stating that there’s a firm distinction between a ban and a request. And, the dictionary is the dictionary… Not some piece of communist propaganda that’s out to get you. Sadly, your inability to fully read and absorb what I’m trying to articulate is what is tearing our country apart. Instead of communicating by listening and stating facts, you turn to the same overused talking points and tell me to leave because you assume I don’t agree with you. I will say I agree with you on one thing: we’re lucky to live in a country where people can say whatever they want about their government with complete disregard for facts like you do and suffer no repercussions. Annoying as it may be, it’s freedom at work.

Person B:   Wow, that was impressive.  Did that come from the Obama talking points hand book.  What is tearing our country apart is democrat/ liberal, communist ideology.   I use truthful talking points that you communists have yet to recognize is reality. This isn’t fantasyland honey no matter how much you want it to be.   The people and fantasies that you worship are a failed idea over and over again. Since you seem to have the dictionary memorized  why don’t you tell me the definition of insanity???  Of course with it being a communist propaganda piece it probably lists insanity as our constitution, or our bill of rights, maybe a picture of our founding fathers. Better yet, faith in Christianity.  Please tell me what it says genius,  I’m just a stoopid redneck that clings to god and guns

Person A:   Haha. I didn’t say it… I believe the quote goes, “Insanity is doing the same thing again and again and expecting different results,” so I would be insane to continue trying to have a debate with you. Your mind is closed and made up. Ignorance is bliss and arguing with it just won’t work. Sadly, I never said I was anti-anything you believe in. Facts are contradictory to your fundamental beliefs.

Person B:   Person A, I agree with you 100%. I just learned that you went to school for jouralism and that seals your fate, Journalists and especially the MSM are the worst violaters of our constitution. I am sure that at your hack, overpriced university you had to sell your soul to communism and promise to raise up the annointed one at every possible opportunity. How cowardly you democrat/communists are to support and fully back a radical kenyan muslim that his only desire is to destroy the greatest country in the world with his progressive/communist ideals. It is a sad group that doesnt want its citizens to protect themselves and tells the women in this country its ok to murder your unborn children. promises equality to men and women only to supress women behind the scenes( but that is the muslim way isn’t it), allow CRIMINAL ILLEGAL IMMIGRANTS to come into our country and steal identities to obtain jobs, commit violent crimes and be allowed to walk free on our streets to commit the same violent crimes again. allow these same CRIMINAL ILLEGAL IMMIGRANTS rights to our entitlement system that they have no rights to. guarantee health care coverage to these same CRIMINAL ILLEGAL IMMIGRANTS under OBAMACARE becuase its a constitutional right to have healthcare, right??? Or maybe next you will call me a racsit even though I have never made mention of it and have just used facts to prove how pathetic your kind is, because thats what your beloved leader has told you I am. If I don’t bow to your ways I must hate him because of his skin color, right??? Maybe im the insane one for trying to reason with a devout communist and make you see that your repeatedly failed ideology is not and has not ever been successful, but then again i was not indoctrinated at one of those fancy George Soros/ Bill Ayers Universities so if you could once again enlighten me to just wjere in the constitution it states that everyone is entitled to (FREE) healthcare. LMFAO over the thought that your worshipping group actually thinks its free. Once again, please use small words so I can better understand

Person A:  The great thing about all of this is that I don’t have to say a word for your true colors to shine. I haven’t said I’m anti or pro anything in this entire conversation. I present facts that don’t line up with what you’ve told yourself is the truth and you decide I’m against you. If the facts are against you, maybe you should reconsider where you stand. I didn’t tell you to bow to anyone or give up anything. You made assumptions. I pity you because it must be exhausting to hate so much and harbor so much unnecessary fear. My guess is that you know nothing about communism or the Muslim faith other than to use the titles as insults. You must put a label on everyone and everything because that’s the only way you can make sense of a world you are so paranoid is out to get you.  I don’t apologize for being educated or liberal or for not judging people based on political affiliation or faith. I do wish I’d never gotten in this conversation because it is very disheartening to see someone like you not only be so hateful but show it proudly, but I still hold out hope that people who feel as you do are few and far between. 
So…. which person makes you more frightened for our country? Person A or Person B?

I’ve Started Wearing Lipstick

September 13, 2013

When I was younger I thought lipstick looked very fake on my lips. In fact, I refused to wear it. I suppose it was really because I hadn’t found a great shade that worked for me, or the proper formula to make my lips feel soft instead of chalky and dry. But, I’ve started wearing lipstick. I have a few colors I’ve experimented with in recent weeks and I put them on and play around with colors. I put red on today on the way home from work. I felt fiery. I’ve started wearing lipstick.

Stay with me here, there’s a point to this story.

Recently (actually just five minutes ago) someone asked me what I’ve been doing with my life now. Well, it’s hard to pinpoint precisely what it is I do now, without sounding like an old person. I’m sitting on my couch, in my house with a fireplace, watching House Hunters while I update my blog. I drink wine with dinner and help kids with homework. I finish up work before I spend time with my family. I call my parents weekly. And I’m wearing lipstick.  When I thought about the answer to the question all I could think of was everything.

In just two years my life has changed so dramatically it’s very hard to describe to someone I haven’t known for years what it is I’m doing with my life now. Where should I begin with this answer?

There are two children that live at my house. Respectfully I can’t call myself a step-mother, although I do smell a proposal on the horizon, but I do help care for and very much love two beautiful children that are on their way home right now. I live with the love of my life and we have a beautiful home together, complete with dog and a privacy fence. Like I said, I’m sitting on my couch in front of our fireplace.

I have a great job, one that I love so much although it’s only been my job for just a short time. All day long I get to pitch stories, writing crafty emails and press releases with passion. I look at my to-do list and I’m excited about completing each item. Sure – it’s a little stressful come Monday and Tuesday, but there isn’t anything that compares with only doing precisely what you love every day, no matter how busy you are.

In just two years I’ve battled and fought for the things I have now. Although I can’t share those things with you, I can say that it was long, drawn out and well deserved for Nic and I to be where we are now. I’ve come farther than I truly give myself credit for completing.

I’ve found my faith. I found a church I love and an answer in God that I never knew as a child despite growing up in church, religiously. Pun intended.

Today, unlike any other time in my life, I have wonderful friends. I have friends that I know will stick by me, help when I’m down and truly be there. Never before have I had such mutual best friends.

I look at life so much differently than I did even just five years ago. I’m calm, collected and much more grounded than anything anyone has ever known me to be. I worry about bills and about grocery shopping. I  worry about foreign politics and watch the nightly news. I used to make fun of my parents for finding the news interesting.

So when someone asks me really, “What are you doing with your life now,” all that I can say is that I’ve grown up. It’s hard to really describe what it is I’ve been up to because what I’ve been up to is so much. I’m become an adult. I’ve come farther and done more in two years than most people do in five years. I’ve started wearing lipstick.

That time I went to Bonnaroo

June 19, 2013

BonnarooFor years I’ve said I wanted to go to Bonnaroo and couldn’t find a soul to come with me. It’s always been a bucket list item of mine (including running a half marathon – CHECK!) But Nic Martel, he’s such a winner that he volunteered his partnership for four days of no showering, 90 degree summer Tennessee heat and lots of music. The music totally makes up for it!

This year we decided to go before I knew the lineup or the dates for 2013. I saved up some cash and bought two tickets. For months it was all I could talk about and a colleague helped fuel the fire by going to Coachella just two months shy of Bonnaroo. We reveled in musical glory for months discussing swag bags and awesome perks of going to such a great musical festival.

Then came June and Nic and I prepared to leave. We were such newbies we packed our bags with everything from the Bonnaroo packing checklist I found online. It was by the book.

We left on Wednesday and drove all the way there. After 8 hours and being re-routed due to an accident, at long last we arrived at the farm! We went through security and parked our car next to our new neighbors for the next four days, one of which was from Bloomington! There were 130,000 people there and we parked near three Indiana cars! It was awesome. IMG_0332

I loved everything about the farm and the festival. Everyone was so nice, helpful and peaceful. Combine alcohol, music and drugs with 90 degree heat and you’d think there would be some fighting, but there wasn’t any at all! Everything was extremely peaceful. It was the closest I think I’ve come to world peace in my entire life. Everyone just radiated positivity and it was glorious. Just some first timer tips I didn’t consider that everyone should know and understand:

1. It is VERY hot during the day and VERY cold at night. You’ll go to sleep in sweatpants and wake up in a sweat. It’s gross. That brings me to #2.

2. You won’t see every concert you want. Sleep is much too important and should be taken during the nighttime hours. Although I definitely stayed up till dawn while Pretty Lights rocked it out – sleep is ever so important.

3. You’ll wait in line, for everything, which kind of goes back to #2. Decide what’s more important, Passion Pit at the Silent Disco or some band you want to learn about. (Go with the Silent Disco!)

4. You will get confused. I think Bonnaroo staff do it on purpose, but they named all the stages What Stage, Which Stage, That Tent, This Tent, and The Other Tent. Yes those are ACTUALLY the names.

And finally,

5. The water fountain is only awesome in the beginning of the week. Being that Bonnaroo is so green, they recycle the water in the fountain. With no showers and 130,000 people – well you guessed it, that fountain’s water is pretty nasty at the end.

My favorite part of the whole thing was probably seeing Xander Singh of Passion Pit do a DJ set in the Silent Disco. The Silent Disco is a tent you can go into where they give you headphones and a receiver. You listen to the concert through your headphones. It’s hilarious to take them off for a second and watch because everyone around you is jamming, dancing and having the time of their lives and you can’t hear a thing. Even more crazy is watching from afar if you aren’t sure what they are doing. The guy was awesome and finished with “Livin’ on a Prayer” which he asked us to sing. Now, being that it’s SILENT, all you could hear was thousands of us screaming the words at the top of our lungs, probably very out of key! It was magical, definitely.

All in all, the greatest part was being IN the farm. Bonnaroo prides itself on branding for Out There (the world we live in) and being In Here (at Bonnaroo). Disconnecting from the world with no cell phone or internet was the most glorious experience and truly freeing.  I had been so stressed from work and life in general and I was feeling like I needed to disconnect from everything and everyone and run away. I truly appreciated the opportunity to press the reset button. It was the first time in a while I’ve felt completely secure with myself no matter what. I could be comfortable to enjoy the music, life and myself. Moral of today’s story – there’s nothing live music can’t cure!

My First Half

May 5, 2013

IMG_0152I ran my first half-marathon. I never thought I’d say that especially since absolutely no one forced me to actually run it. I chose to run a half-marathon.

It was awesome.

I want to say it was one of the most empowering things I’ve done in my life. The entire run wasn’t empowering or fun, in fact I’d argue that the last 3.5 miles were probably some of the painful miles I’ve ever run. It was painful and my body wanted to give out. But as I neared the finish line I swear, I teared up a little. Not because I was in pain (because I totally was) but because I felt so proud that I did it. The pure camaraderie associated with runners has always been one of my favorite things during races, mainly 5k races. No one in a cross country meet is nice to you they want to beat you down and pass you. In fact they’ll stalk you from your blind spot, waiting for you to crumble at just the right moment so they can sweep past you like some sort of giggling banshee. But this race was different. It was magical. The people were absolutely lovely.

Everyone told me I would likely have trouble running this race for the sheer amount of people running it, but in fact I felt like everyone pretty much spaced themselves out. I didn’t really have any trouble at all, in fact I had to slow myself down throughout the race to keep myself from burning out too quickly. I met two girls who were actually cross country coaches who were running about 9:30 pace the entire race and gently speeding up. They were great, Jacki (the head coach) even checked on me and gave me a few tips through the race. However, they were a little more trained than me and slowly gained speed throughout the 13.1 mile race and finally I had to step back (I was pain, okay?!).

I chose not to wear headphones because a) you’re not supposed to and b) I wanted to experience my first half completely open. I’m actually really glad I didn’t have them; the entire race I didn’t even really think about not having them. It really helped me get into that meditative state I like about long runs. The pitter-patter of everyone’s shoes hitting the pavement, the rhythmic breathing and the sound of strangers reading your name tag shouting cheers for you is something you just will miss if you’re wearing headphones.

My final finish time was 2:12:14, but I think there are a number of ways I could have prepared better so that I would have felt better after the race. I’m just proud I finished the whole thing without stopping at a generally good finish time. I didn’t train near as much as I should have, so now I’ll know better!  I’m now looking for my next one!

Life updates

March 4, 2013

I haven’t been the most awesome blogger the last month, that I will admit. But February has proven to be quite an adventure in my life and it still has yet to come to a close. While I can’t share nearly everything that’s happened I will share some of the best things (who doesn’t like positivity anyway?)

The best news is probably that my dad went in for a check-up and the doctors discovered he’d actually had a heart attack, probably sometime back in August. He called to tell me the news and tell me that he was being sent to a specialist. I have to say in all honesty, I couldn’t decide if I should be very upset with him that he decided to work through a heart attack or if I thought that was plain bad-ass! (I settled with angry but supportive.) He told me he had experienced some odd pains in his chest that were very intense, left him dizzy and made his arm go numb. Concerned that his boss would kick him off the job (he’s in highway construction so there is no room for sickness, and he’s one of the oldest chaps out there) he chose to continue working. Anyone who knows anything about heart attacks knows that if you don’t seek medical treatment right away – your heart tissue essentially dies and is irreparable. We found out that he only had about one third of his heart working.

To make a very long story short, my dad was sent to the very best hospital for heart care, St. Vincent Heart Center. The URL is “bestheartcare” come on now. Anyway, he was transferred there because the one remaining artery not feeding to dead tissue was nearly completely blocked as well, so they gave him a stent. If in a few months he doesn’t feel better, we’ll need to consider more intense solutions. 

He told me he’s feeling great! He’s now seeing a nutritionist and really getting healthy. Maybe he’ll even run that half-marathon with me! (No, just kidding.)

We are just very blessed that he’s home and well. There isn’t anything else we could ask for truthfully.

The second biggest thing that happened in addition to (hopefully) a big move is that I’ve recently discovered my faith again! I have been church shopping with Nic and the kids and I’ve found one we all really enjoy. There are even some of Nic’s co-workers there! 

The best part about it is that I realized I no longer had to live with everything I’d been dealing with the past few weeks. It feels much better to let go and let God do the work. Amazingly enough, giving it to God has proven what it always proves to be, fruitful. He’s blessed my family in such important ways and harvested for us what we’ve spent so much time sowing. God will never forsake you and I’m only sad that it took such a hard fall for me to realize that. Perhaps that was His plan all along!

 

A Letter to the Love of My Life

January 6, 2013

A year and half ago I began dating the most wonderful man I’ve ever had the honor to date. That’s what dating Nicolas Martel is like – an honor.

Today is his birthday -and since I’m holed up in bed with a badly sprained ankle from my book club sleepover, I thought I’d take the liberty to do something a little different than the typical “Let me bake you something!” approach. Yes, today is his birthday and Nic has spent most of his day tending to me. Metaphorically of course, I’d like to take this time to scream from the tops of the mountains (or the very public internet) and let the world know exactly why and how much I love Nicolas Martel.

Dear Nic, (or Nicolas as I like to call you)

I know they say that there is a honeymoon phase and that it ends shortly after a relationship has lost its luster. You taught me that this phase will never end for us and you take considerable steps to show me I’m appreciated. Day after day, no matter how little, you’ve always done a little something to show your love to me. I’ve learned to read them, appreciate them and understand them more than ever.

When we first started our lives together, I was a cynic. I told you over and over that there was no fairy tale and no one could make me believe otherwise. You either struggle to love or not love at all. I couldn’t fathom I’d ever meet someone I considered worth the struggle and sacrifice. But I did. You are not a cynic when it comes to relationships – quite the opposite in fact. Your thoughts and beliefs about love are so beautiful, raw and real. You believe there is a person for everyone, and that I’m that person for you. I came to realize very quickly that you are that person for me, the love of my life.

I’d always believed that fairytales and love were a product of media sensationalism and the only reason women pine for such “luster” is because we’re told it’s what love should be. I never believed in that fairy tale as an adult. But you turned it upside down for me, giving me back something I thought I’d lost years ago — hope for love and faith that I’ll find it and deserve it.  You changed my life.

Your humility humbles me. It’s like I live with my very own version of Ghandi. You live frugally, you don’t overspend, you think critically and you choose to help others. In ever way. Your willingness to help others without want for anything in return is something I’ve simply never seen in another person. You’re gracious, loving and adoring even to the most perfect stranger. It’s something I wish I had more of in myself and I look up to you. I hope I can learn those abilities and give back the way you do.

The children love you. You are such a great dad. I hope that as they grow older they learn all the things that are so wonderful about you and have very beautiful, happy lives. I’m certain that with a beautiful person in their lives like you that won’t be hard for them.

I’ve never seen a problem you can’t solve. (And we all know how important problem solving is to me!) Even in our short time together so far (which I’m certain will turn into growing old together) we’ve dealt with a lot of trials that have tested us and each time we’ve come through seamlessly. Your ability to take crisis and calmly think through it is purely astounding.

Have you considered becoming a professional chef? If not, you should. I didn’t know what food was until you started making food for me. In fact I’m embarrassed that I almost considered cooking for you today. You would have laughed at my chicken dish and resounded to seasoning the crap of the mess I’d made. I just can’t cook like you. It’s brilliant and I wouldn’t trust my tummy with anyone else.

You make me feel so safe. I can conquer the world as long as I’m holding your hand. Your support in my every move in life has been unwavering and mystical. I can’t believe I have someone like you in my life and I can only hope that I offer even just a tiny bit of the support and love you’ve shown me. There’s no way I could ever return the amount of support you’ve given me as a woman, a girlfriend, a professional and potential future wife.

This is only the beginning of reasons why I consider you the most perfect man in the world. I say that not as an exaggeration, but as a true statement. You indeed are the most perfect man in the entire world and I love you. You are the love of my life. I am looking forward (very much) to growing very, very old with you.

Happy Birthday Nicolas. Know that I will stand by you every day.

Love always,

Brittani

The Day I got A Kitchen Aid Stand Mixer

December 29, 2012

Ever since my mom got her first Kitchen Aid stand mixer when I was a girl and I saw the rotating beater blade make the best cookies I’d ever tasted, I knew I had to have one as an adult.

However, throughout my college years I’d never owned my own kitchen and I didn’t have any room to bake in my dorm, or my sorority house. When I moved from college into various homes, the last thing on my mind was buying a stand mixer. I knew when I got older and settled, I’d bake the day away. I forgot about Kitchen Aid stand mixers until each holiday when I’d visit home and see it sitting lonely on the pantry shelf. I knew I could give it a better home and even threatened my mother I’d “borrow” it for a little while.

When I moved in with Nic and my baking tools included one hand mixer with only one working beater, I knew I’d reached a crossroads. Nothing can be made with only one working beater (although I did manage quite a fantastic Thanksgiving dinner). I began talking about having a Kitchen Aid stand mixer, to everyone and anyone who would listen to me. As Christmas quickly approached my yearn for the mixer grew and each time I spoke with my mother and she talked about Christmas I would quickly reply “Are you getting me a Kitchen Aid stand mixer?!” I asked her every day I talked to her. I’d asked my mother years before for a stand mixer and her reply was “Oh, hunny, I wish I could but they are just so expensive!” I agreed – which is why I’d never purchased one myself. I couldn’t reason spending that much on something I use to bake.

Every time Nic and I went Christmas shopping we would detour to the housewares section where I would gaze lovingly at all the mixers and think of all the things I’d make with one. I would say “Look Nic, this one is on sale!” or “Nic look I want this one!” I think Nic got sick of veering into all the housewares sections.

As Christmas approached and I wrapped all my gifts, I wondered what my family and Nic had gotten me. My mother had always responded to my “Are you getting me a Kitchen Aid stand mixer?” with “Oh you’ll like what I got you much better.”

She was crazy.

What could I possibly like better in my kitchen than a shiny, new, Kitchen Aid stand mixer?!

My mind was in wonder as we drove to my sister’s house. I inspected all the gifts and their sizes and debated whether one of them held a box big enough to hold a stand mixer. There were actually plenty of options.

I waited patiently.

Each year, one of the kids (usually me) plays “Santa” and passes out all the gifts which we open one by one. It allows others to see the pure joy on families faces when they open their presents. When we reached the last, large item under the tree, my sister and family instructed me to sit.

“What,” I thought, “they want me to SIT? No, NO, it can’t BE”.

Then my sister dropped the box on my lap. Yes, dropped. I have a big purple bruise to prove it. It was then I knew…

Surprise!

IMG_0123

 

 

 

I GOT A KITCHEN AID STAND MIXER!!!

Immediately I felt joy and then right after I realized how expensive this gift was and that my parents had actually bought me something big enough to break my leg when my sister dropped it on me.

I teared up and looked at my parents confused and happy. Nic thought I was having a heart attack.

And this is how my face looked for the rest of the day.

So far I’ve made brownies and chocolate icing and shredded chicken, but I have plans for sugar cookies with icing, chocolate mousse and more cookies for my parents who of course made this all possible.

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