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TechSoup Gets it Right

February 23, 2009

I was reviewing the eligibility requirements for donations of Microsoft software on the TechSoup website and came across this in those requirements.

Organizations that advocate, support, or practice discrimination based on age, ethnicity, gender, national origin, disability, race, size, religion, sexual orientation, or socioeconomic background are not eligible to participate in this program. Organizations must be willing and able to attest that they do not discriminate on any of these grounds in order to receive donations.

I guess I should expect that not discrimating because of size would be included in their requirements considering that TechSoup is based in San Francisco, but I was still pleasantly surprised to see it in the requirements for donations. Now if we could just get that standardized across the country. That would mean even more to cheer about. Yay for non-discrimination in the workplace.

Bah Humbug!

December 24, 2008

I hate the holidays.  To anyone who knows me this will not be a surprise.  I think the last time I actually enjoyed a holiday season was 1993–15 years ago–which is saying something.

I like the idea of a giving season, but what I don’t like are the societal obligations put on Americans, in particular, to spend, spend, spend until they are so deep in debt that they can’t dig out…then the credit card company raises your rate to 29.99% and you’re beyond screwed. 

I like giving gifts; I just don’t like being obligated to give gifts, especially to people I don’t like or only see once a year (and there are a couple of people that fall into those categories).  I’d much rather give donations to causes close to my heart or to people in geniune need than spend that money on gift cards and video games. 

This year, the Maryland Food Bank is getting a monetary donation from me.  Food banks can do a lot more with your money than they can with your canned goods.  They can buy a lot more food with your cash than you can.  They use their connections to get that same can of food for $.19 instead of the $.75 you might pay in the grocery store. If I didn’t have to buy/make so many presents this year, the food bank would be getting much more.  I hate that I am forced to spend those much-needed funds on consumerist gifts, especially this year when there are so many in need.

Another reason that I’m such a Scrooge is the glut of time that all of these holiday endeavours eat out of my daily life.  There is no ‘me’ time during the holidays and I am someone who desperately needs ‘me’ time to maintain my sanity. 

I am forced to make a lot of my gifts either through baking or crafting because I am not a rich person and my gift-giving list seems to get longer every year (it’s a whole page long now).  And while I am a very artsy/craftsy person and I tend to enjoy making things, there is something about the rush that takes all of the joy out of creating something to give.  And, to be completely honest, I’m sick of coming up with new ideas.  I’ve given homemade candles, soaps, herbal bath sachets (where I actually grew the herbs the summer prior), jewelry, baskets, herbal oils and vinegars, bath salts, iron-on t-shirt decals with rude sayings (for the nephew for several years running), black bottoms, challah, herb and cheese rolls, shortbread, brioche, truffles, and cookies of all types. 

These gifts are usually well received, but by the time I’ve given them, I’m so exhausted that I don’t really get to enjoy the recipients’ appreciation of them.

Another of the reasons I don’t like the holidays was well put by another holiday-hating blogger that I read regularly so I’ll quote intellectualbabe on this one as she said it so well:

Please refrain from telling me I should be grateful. I’ve discussed this before, but let me bring it up one more time since the “grateful” tends to go hand-in-hand with the whole “How can you hate Chriiiiiiiiistmissssssssss???”. For everything that I do have (friends, roof over head, employment, blah blah blah), there is always going to be a metaphorical hole in my alleged heart that is not going to be filled by friends, roof over head, employment, hobbies, blah blah blah. Platonic love, such as it is, will never satisfy me. Being the wacky asexual sidekick/third wheel doesn’t make me turn cartwheels of glee. I don’t “need” a partner/relationship. I want one. But because of whatever (anonymous commenters like to point out that I’m “angry” and that’s why I’m kryptonite to the male population of the universe), it doesn’t appear to be in the cards. […] I understand that I am not 99.99999 percent of the universe’s bag. I get that. But don’t tell me that I shouldn’t have moments of sadness, that I shouldn’t be a touch resentful, and I shouldn’t be ANGRY that I ain’t feeling too great about being alone. Mind you, I am perfectly capable of taking care of myself, I am able to function, entertain myself, travel alone and I won’t be sitting in the house every weekend and I will make do until I kick off. But I will rage about it and I will raise hell about it until the day I fucking die, and if that’s problematic for you? Tough titty says the kitty. If nothing else, feel free to use me as your own lesson in gratitude. (However, I do charge for the privilege. I have PayPal.)

Amen to that!

Five for Friday

December 12, 2008

Everyone has bad days. Sometimes music can help to pull me out of a bad body image funk or any kind of funk for that matter.

So here are five songs that help me fight the funk.

1. Women’s Bodies by Rebecca Riots–Check out the Rebecca Riots website for a listen. I prefer the live version just because I love the energy of the performance.

2. Mouthwash by Kate Nash

3. Three Little Birds by Bob Marly and the Wailers–just ’cause it always makes me smile

4.  Always Look on the Bright Side of Life from the Broadway musical Spamalot

5.  I Need a Miracle by the Grateful Dead (’cause there had to be a Dead song on this list!)

Another Meme

December 9, 2008
tags:

Bold the things you’ve done.

1. Started my own blog
2. Slept under the stars
3. Played in a band

4. Visited Hawaii
5. Watched a meteor shower
6. Given more than I can afford to charity
7. Been to Disneyland/world
8. Climbed a mountain
(it was a little one…but they don’t specify so I guess that counts)
9. Held a praying mantis
10. Sung a solo
11. Bungee jumped
12. Visited Paris
13. Watched lightning at sea

14. Taught myself an art from scratch
15. Adopted a child
16. Had food poisoning
17. Walked to the top of the Statue of Liberty (Been there, but never to the top)
18. Grown my own vegetables
19. Seen the Mona Lisa in France
20. Slept on an overnight train
21. Had a pillow fight
22. Hitchhiked
23. Taken a sick day when you’re not ill
24. Built a snow fort

25. Held a lamb
26. Gone skinny dipping
27. Skied a marathon
28. Ridden in a gondola in Venice
29. Seen a total eclipse
30. Watched a sunrise or sunset
31. Hit a home run
32. Been on a cruise
33. Seen Niagara Falls in person

34. Visited the birthplace of my ancestors (as of October 2009, I’ve visited all three birthplaces of my ancestors-Great Britain, German, and the Czech Republic)
35. Seen an Amish community
36. Taught myself a new language
37. Had enough money to be truly satisfied
38. Seen the Leaning Tower of Pisa in person
39. Gone rock climbing
40. Seen Michelangelo’s David
41. Sung karaoke (this will never happen after living above a karaoke bar in Anchorage!)
42. Seen Old Faithful geyser erupt
43. Bought a stranger a meal at a restaurant
44. Visited Africa (who knows?! this might happen in the next couple of years with two friends heading there for the Peace Corps…and they can have visitors!)
45. Walked on a beach by moonlight
46. Been transported in an ambulance
47. Had my portrait painted
48. Gone deep sea fishing
49. Seen the Sistine Chapel in person
50. Been to the top of the Eiffel Tower in Paris
51. Gone scuba diving or snorkeling
52. Kissed in the rain
53. Played in the mud
54. Gone to a drive-in theater
55. Been in a movie
56. Visited the Great Wall of China
57. Started a business
58. Taken a martial arts class
59. Visited Russia
60. Served at a soup kitchen (I did admin work for a soup kitchen–does that count?)
61. Sold Girl Scout Cookies
62. Gone whale watching

63. Got flowers for no reason
64. Donated blood, platelets or plasma
65. Gone sky diving
66. Visited a Nazi concentration camp (I’ve had the opportunity to do this, but didn’t because I just can’t face that people have the capacity to treat others so horribly.)
67. Bounced a check
68. Flown in a helicopter

69. Saved a favorite childhood toy
70. Visited the Lincoln Memorial
71. Eaten caviar
(yuck! I don’t eat any seafood and my mother convinced me to taste the caviar in cream cheese and it was horrible!)
72. Pieced a quilt
73. Stood in Times Square
74. Toured the Everglades
75. Been fired from a job (I’m assuming that being laid off doesn’t count)
76. Seen the Changing of the Guards in London
77. Broken a bone
78. Been on a speeding motorcycle

79. Seen the Grand Canyon in person
80. Published a book
81. Visited the Vatican
82. Bought a brand new car
83. Walked in Jerusalem
84. Had my picture in the newspaper (on TV news, yes, but not in the newspaper)
85. Read the entire Bible
86. Visited the White House
87. Killed and prepared an animal for eating
88. Had chickenpox
89. Saved someone’s life
90. Sat on a jury
91. Met someone famous
92. Joined a book club
93. Lost a loved one

94. Had a baby
95. Seen the Alamo in person
96. Swam in the Great Salt Lake

97. Been involved in a law suit
98. Owned a cell phone
99. Been stung by a bee

100. Ridden an elephant

 
 

No One Diets on Thanksgiving

November 26, 2008

What we’re really talking about is a wonderful day set aside on the fourth Thursday of November when no one diets.  I mean, why else would they call it Thanksgiving? 

~Erma Bombeck, “No One Diets on Thanksgiving”

Now, if we could just get them to stop dieting all together!

I Must Be Out of My Mind!

October 22, 2008

In addition to all of the things that have kept me from blogging recently, I decided to participate in NaNoWriMo this November. 

So, despite the full-time job, the 5 hours of physical therapy that I’m enduring each week, the weekly dinner with the folks, and the other assorted time suckage…I decide I’m going to challenge myself to turn off my inner editor (she’s really not happy about that) when I’m not at work and spend most of my free minutes trying to crank out 50,000 words in 30 days.

I’m doing this mostly so I can learn to tell my inner editor to shut up.  In my 9-5, I don’t have that luxury and she is a very important part of my day.  So when it’s my time, not my job’s time, my inner editor thinks she must scrutinize every syllable that I write.  I must be taught how to turn her off and she must realize that sometimes I need her silence while other times I absolutely rely on her to keep my words on point.

So, while I’m pretty sure I’m setting out on a losing proposition here…I’m going to give it my all and hope my inner editor learns something in the process.  Goddess help me.

Proud Social Liberal

September 3, 2008
You are a
Social Liberal
(93% permissive)

and an…

Economic Liberal
(6% permissive)

You are best described as a:

Socialist

Link to The Politics Test on Ok Cupid
Also : The OkCupid Dating Persona Test

Yup, I’d say that’s correct.