Archive for September, 2009

Sowing Hate

blasphemy
1 a : the act of insulting or showing contempt or lack of reverence for God b : the act of claiming the attributes of deity
2 : irreverence toward something considered sacred or inviolable

Go ahead and hate your neighbor,
Go ahead and cheat a friend.
Do it in the name of Heaven,
You can justify it in the end.
      ~From “One Tin Soldier”

I will start this short post by saying that I am a Christian. I am a humble, doubting, questioning, liberal believer who clings fast to one core belief and not much else: God is love.

‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength’. The second is this: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ There is no commandment greater than these.
      Mark 12:30-31

So, I ask this question: isn’t it blasphemous to claim the right to judge on God’s behalf? Isn’t it blasphemous to hate and wage war on your neighbor?

The Christ I follow consorted with tax collectors and sinners. He embraced lepers and fishermen, and lifted up prostitutes and thieves.

Mine is not a deity who hates sinners and nonbelievers, and I cannot respect those who claim to follow Him but sow hate on his behalf. That is true blasphemy. Instead, try:

Tolerance.
Inclusion.
Affirmation.
Mutual respect.
Ecumenism.
Service.
Peace.
Justice.
Forgiveness.
Love.

I wholeheartedly believe love is ever so much more effective a change agent in this world and beyond.

________________

Written in support of Blasphemy Day 2009. H/T to the always-insightful Janiece at Hot Chicks Dig Smart Men.

Posted on Wednesday, September 30th, 2009 by Jeri
Under: religion | 7 Comments »

Search Phrase Bingo

I’m going to swipe a blog topic and share my oddball search phrases with the world. Thanks, Google Analytics!

Can airport X-rays see a joint?
A knee joint, yes. Other types of joints, uh, I’ll defer to the experts on that one. Really, you can’t travel without your stash?

Free puppies that people can’t have
If people can’t have them, then they’re not available, and probably don’t technically qualify as free. I think. My head hurts.

Seattle nude housekeeping
Really? Is this a trend? Because, really, there are things that don’t mix well with vacuum hoses and caustic cleansers.

Work for puppies
So does this mean that the puppies would be your employer? “Hiya boss, want a bone?” Or does it mean that you get paid in puppies? “Nice job this week, Smitty, we’re increasing your pay from a beagle to a labrador.”

Xray porn
Since X-rays don’t really image soft tissue all that well, I can only assume that the searcher really likes bones a lot. A WHOLE lot.

My dad has gone crazy
Not to be cold and unsupportive, but how the heck is GOOGLE going to help you with this?

Miss Smug 2008
Wow, there’s an award? I never knew. What are the criteria – and is there a talent competition? I’ll make sure I’m entered for 2009.

Strip club UCF
Trollops, we’ve got a new gig!

Posted on Tuesday, September 29th, 2009 by Jeri
Under: humor | 3 Comments »

I Read Banned Books!

CensorshipWHEREAS, the freedom to read is essential to our democracy, and reading is among our greatest freedoms; and

WHEREAS, privacy is essential to the exercise of that freedom, and the right to privacy is the right to open inquiry without having the subject of one’s interest examined or scrutinized by others; and

WHEREAS, the freedom to read is protected by our Constitution; and

WHEREAS some individuals, groups, and public authorities work to remove or limit access to reading materials, to censor content in schools, to label “controversial” views, to distribute lists of “objectionable” books or authors, and to purge libraries of materials reflecting the diversity of society; and

WHEREAS, both governmental intimidation and the fear of censorship cause authors who seek to avoid controversy to practice self-censorship, thus limiting our access to new ideas; and

WHEREAS, every silencing of a heresy, every enforcement of an orthodoxy, diminishes the toughness and resilience of American society and leaves it less able to deal with controversy and difference; and

WHEREAS, Americans still favor free enterprise in ideas and expression, and can be trusted to exercise critical judgment, to recognize propaganda and misinformation, and to make their own decisions about what they read and believe, and to exercise the responsibilities that accompany this freedom; and

WHEREAS, intellectual freedom is essential to the preservation of a free society and a creative culture; and

WHEREAS, conformity limits the range and variety of inquiry and expression on which our democracy and our culture depend; and

WHEREAS, the American Library Association’s Banned Books Week: Celebrating the Freedom to Read is observed during the last week of September each year as a reminder to Americans not to take their precious freedom for granted; and

WHEREAS, Banned Books Week celebrates the freedom to choose or the freedom to express one’s opinion even if that opinion might be considered unorthodox or unpopular and stresses the importance of ensuring the availability of those unorthodox or unpopular viewpoints to all who wish to read them; now, therefore, be it

RESOLVED, that the Smug Puppies blog celebrates the American Library Association’s Banned Books Week, September 26-October 3, 2009, and be it further

RESOLVED, that Smug Puppies encourages all libraries and bookstores to acquire and make available materials representative of all the people in our society; and be it further

RESOLVED, that Smug Puppies and its author, Jeri Sisco, encourage free people to read freely, now and forever.

September 28, 2009
Poulsbo, WA

Note: this is copied and adapted, with permission, from the ALA’s Banned Books Week proclamation.

Top 100 most frequently Banned or Challenged Classics
I challenge you to read one – or more – this week!

Posted on Monday, September 28th, 2009 by Jeri
Under: reading | 3 Comments »

Senior Year

My son Zach is a high school senior this year. Lucky kid!

He appears to be enjoying it immensely. By my judgment, he’s not one of the super-popular kids at school, but still has a solid, genuine, positive and intelligent group of friends. He hangs with the geeks – they have LAN parties, gaming get-togethers and marathon Dr. Who sessions. I don’t think any of his friends drink, do drugs or sleep around; they may, however, get in trouble for trying to hack Microsoft someday.

This afternoon was one of many great small-town high school days. It was sunny, warm and beautiful. He and his friends met up at the school to play Ultimate Frisbee for a couple of hours, then variously piled into cars or hoofed it down the hill to Dairy Queen to hang out.

I remember my senior year, although it was an awfully long time ago. (My pet dinosaur hated being left home alone while I went to class.)

High school was not an especially happy time for me, although it got better as I got older. I was very young for my grade, just turning 16 at the start of my senior year. I didn’t have many friends, my family had issues, and I was quite likely clinically depressed. Still, I stayed busy – I was on a club swim team, in color guard, and an editor on the school newspaper – and got decent grades.

Being a senior meant open campus, and lunches at McDonalds or Taco Time with friends. It meant interesting classes – like Lifetime Sports, where I took rollerskating for a quarter, and racquetball for another. We had privilege; the closest locker assignments, the best lunch times and preference for the popular classes like photography and pottery.

In spite of my general malaise, I do remember a few wonderful times. We had awesome horror movie nights at friends’ houses, group trips up to Inspiration Point just to hang out together, a great night at homecoming with one of my best friends, ski trips, picnics, and a backpacking trip with my dad.

One night in particular stands out. Six of us piled into one car and drove up to Inspiration point. I did not drink, smoke, or date, and had a reputation for being straitlaced. A couple of the kids broke out a beer, and one guy – the driver, pulled out a pack of cigarettes and lit one up. Everyone groaned – no one wanted to deal with the smoke.

I said, “Hey, John*, let me see your cigarette!” He snickered, thinking ol’ goody-goody Jeri was going to try a smoke, and handed it back to me. I smiled, held it up to the group, then ground it out in the ashtray and tossed it out the window. Everyone cheered, except for John, who really was good-natured about the insult.

What do you remember about your senior year? Was it a good year – or was it painful?

*Names have been changed to protect the guilty.

Posted on Sunday, September 27th, 2009 by Jeri
Under: friends | 3 Comments »

Goads & Goals

Hot Chick Janiece posted today about her weight loss progress and our IM conversation, where she typoed “goad” instead of goal. It was too funny – and her goad is a beautiful little black dress.

My goal is a little more complex.

Jeri college

I was an athlete in HS/college. I never believed I was slim or fit enough, and in fact was told I was not, even at 19% body fat content. (I am naturally not a slim person – I’m large boned and tend to build muscle.) There were a few years back then when I was in great shape and should have left well enough alone.

Then, through the years I gained weight. A whole lot of weight. Sedentary lifestyle, compulsive eating, babies, knee injury, life.

jeri_dance

I woke up one morning in 2001 and decided that I needed to stop watching life and start living it. I gave myself the choice of losing weight the traditional way – diet & exercise – or having weight loss surgery. I was too healthy to consider the latter, so dug in.

Through a combination of hard exercise, low-carb dieting and obsessive focus, I lost about 85 pounds in a year. It was not a healthy or sustainable lifestyle, and in fact I hurt myself working out (rotator cuff injury), and when I hit a mental block I gave up. Because it wasn’t sustainable – and I was injured and couldn’t keep exercising – I gained most of it back. I am very ashamed of this; it’s hard to admit it in a public forum.

What did I do right? I had a great online and real life support system. I managed my blood sugar well. And I exercised regularly, if a bit over the top.

Now, several years later, I’m back at it. This time I’m just following an unstructured healthy eating plan – organic, high fiber, lots of vegetables & fruit, controlled portions, limited to no white flour & sugar. It’s very sustainable. I’m also exercising but more for enjoyment and less for cosmetic goals – and while I’m pushing myself I’m careful to avoid setting myself up for injury.

I think I’m near where I was before, at my 85 lb loss. I don’t know for sure because I don’t weigh or measure myself. Obsessive focus on those numbers is counterproductive for me. My clothing size is similar – and I look similar in photos, below.

jeri_years

What’s next? I’d like to continue improving my fitness level and take off that last stubborn 40-50 pounds. I’ll never be a bikini babe or look as svelte as I did in college – two pregnancies, forty-something years of gravity and the excess skin remaining after weight loss ensures that. Still, I’d like to be as fit and comfortable as possible in my own body; I’d like to make friends with this vessel I’m going to grow old in.

My goad? Not suitable for a family-friendly blog. Email or IM me and maybe I’ll share it with you. :)

Posted on Saturday, September 26th, 2009 by Jeri
Under: health | 3 Comments »