Books, History, Food, Politics, and Life

Books, History, Food, Politics, and Life
Things through a different light...

Sunday, December 30, 2012


I firmly believe in accepting people for who they are, even if I disagree with them... unless its to some level of extreme that makes their views wrong for anyone, like hating another person.

This disturbs me...

This person was probably insane and so I agree with my husband when he says, this doesn't make  a statement in some sense... but I know quite a lot of people who just now hate all Muslims because of 9/11 which I find horrible.  Not every Muslim is a terrorist, just like not every Christian is an oppressor... because at one point, they did a lot of that in some official capacity...but we cannot label a people based off of the actions of some... and we should NEVER hate an entire group we most likely have no understanding of.

I won't even go into the Hindu thing, this woman obviously has no clue what she is talking about....

Years ago, during my first attempt at college... yes this is my second (a much more successful effort this go around) I took a class on World Religions and cultures.  To me, that was one of the most beneficial classes I have ever had the opportunity to take.  The class introduced me to different cultures, religions and not on just a surface level... we read the texts, we learned traditions of each culture we studied and then performed some cultural ritual or activity like weaving, tea ceremonies, zen gardens, text interpretation.... these things opened our minds and eyes to understand the cultures better and realize that while it may not be my way, its another person's way and there is beauty in each distinct culture.

I think we as a society have a growing distrust and disgust for anything different...
We want to tell people how to live
how to act
how to do everything according to our own perfectly right model...
and that is causing a disconnect....

Just because you look at someone else's way of life and accept it, doesn't mean you diminish your own.  There is room on this planet for everyone's cultures and beliefs.  

I wish we all realized this... I really do.  That article hurts my heart.

(as you can see things are getting back to normal around the Wilson house, I am reading news again lol)

Saturday, December 29, 2012


So as it is obvious, things have been quite hectic as of late.  I am sure it could have been worse though, we have a pretty calm and happy baby.  To be completely fair, we have the most amazing support system of family members and friends (especially grandparents) who have been there for us completely.... making the experience a pretty joyous one.

I am glad 2012 is coming to a close...
With the election, all these nasty political debates that reduce grown men into screaming children (who behave worse than my baby on a changing table) who cannot even attempt to compromise for the betterment of the population... I just want to see some cohesive cooperation from people paid to govern our country.  I want to shake them and say, stop being stupid and do what you are supposed to do...which is act in the best interest of your country.  SO in 2013 I am hoping to see some adults in Washington, I saw Obama pretty much wants the same thing lol...

My semester ended with a 4.0 at SHSU.  I am proud of that, it was hard and I busted my butt.  I am feeling more and more confident in calling myself a Historian.

Friday, December 28, 2012

Happy Christmas... a bit late

Aiden Brann Wilson  Born: 12/20/2012  11:27 AM

So we have been a bit busy over this Christmas holiday.  Adam and I welcomed our son Aiden to the world on December 20th and its been amazing!
We are a bit tired, but it is worth it.  Things may be a bit sparse for a few weeks while we adjust.

Sunday, December 16, 2012

When is it OK to be serious?

Over the last year or so, when a mass shooting spree makes its way to the 24 hour media cycle, the first thing you hear is... "Now is not the time to talk about gun control..."
They said it when Gabby Giffords and others were shot, they said it after Aurora, after Virginia Tech, after this latest mall spree and now after 27 people are dead...20 of them under the age of 8 years old. I don't think any of those kids care when is the right time to talk about gun violence in this country... I don't think their parents care that this will spark a 2nd Amendment argument... I think the only thing they care about right now is trying to piece together a life that is shattered.  It is hard to move on from a child's death.  I am 37 weeks pregnant, and every day... EVERY DAY (no I don't talk about it, I don't spew on about it) but every single day I think about the child I lost.  She died in the womb and I never got to look into her eyes or watch her grow, but I held her in my arms and I felt that gut wrenching heartbreak of loss that I have never forgotten and I find it repugnant that 20 families now have to go through that never goes away.

So when I see someone immediately defend how every person who is responsible and law abiding deserves a gun, you will have to pardon my annoyance.  That sort of illogical refusal to talk about real problems IS a problem.  Yes, I have read the 2nd Amendment... I am a historian, I have studied the constitution quite a bit and while I do read the "right to bear arms," I also read "well regulated" and I do not see how one must be exclusive from the other.

A responsible and law abiding adult should have no problem dealing with waiting periods, ammo restrictions, or gun education... they should WANT IT...because they are responsible.

A waiting period does not infringe on your right to get a gun, it just means let there be some necessary checks to ensure the wrong people are NOT getting guns.  If someone is a felon, if someone has a history of mental they need a semi-automatic weapon and high capacity ammo clips... no.  If you think waiting periods, background checks, and logical limitations will infringe on your rights... I am sorry, I would rather 20 little kids get to see an adulthood than you pitch a fit because you had trouble buying your AR-15 to do what??? Hunt?  Protect your home?? From what?? paratroopers??
Military grade weapons and a handgun/shot gun to keep in your house (IN A GUN SAFE) are two very different things....

It is time for adults to be adults and have adult conversation about being responsible and look at why we have SUCH a gun problem in OUR country.  In 2009, we had over 10k gun homicides in the United States, most countries don't even top 100 so please explain to me how having more guns has helped????  One of the MOST absurd things I heard over the last few days involved arming teachers... yes...this sounds BRILLIANT.
Can we get real?

Just because I can own a semi-automatic weapon doesn't mean I should... it doesn't mean anyone should...
gun regulation, ammo regulation, better checks, gun education, proper access to mental health, these are all things that can contribute to lower gun deaths...
Its a fact that there were LESS shootings like the one in Connecticut when the assault weapons ban was in place (legislature let it lapse in 2004) and it is a fact that people who go try to get a gun and meet with waiting periods often get discouraged and turn away (unfortunately the Ct shooter's mom was a gun enthusiast and he took her weapons after not  getting a gun of his own due to a waiting period).  Regulation is not infringing on one's right to own a gun, it just makes gun ownership more responsible...and I don't see why a single person on this earth would not WANT that...

I cried a few times after that shooting, I cried because it was too horrible to understand why this could happen... and then I got angry.  We should get angry so we can talk about things that should be talked about... fine, dont ban guns... but lets be adults about it.

Friday, December 14, 2012

Catching Up

School is almost finished.  This excites me a ton, lol.  My last book that I have to read for the semester is on the Slave market in Louisiana and it is turning out to be a pretty interesting text.  It proves to be so alien to me to realize how a people looked at another people as chattel and treated them with such disregard and cruelty...not even 200 years ago in THIS country.  
Living in the South provides an interesting perspective on the subject and perhaps its why I get so agitated with anyone who still divides by race...and they exist, I know them.  I have spoken to them... I've looked at them with shock when they say things that are so anachronistic its not even believable...

I hope it is getting better, the last few years makes me question whether it really is getting better even though people say "let it go," "leave it in the past..."  but when a friend if mine writes a paper about a lynching in the 20s and gets a state award and people write hateful letters to the paper about her being a trouble maker, you feel like someone during Jim Crow fighting for equality.

Here is a link to the book I am reading.

Sunday, December 9, 2012


2009 / Rain Forest / Puerto Rico 

It is a little after 7 AM at the Wilson abode, I am the only one up and the sun is starting to lighten the sky, I have a paper due today so I am hurrying to finish the book and get some words down to turn it, it will not be my best work... but under the circumstances, I will accept it.

Things have changed over the last year.  While looking through some computer files on my laptop to transfer to my PC I ran across some photos I took of our Christmas tree, our dogs, etc right before the holidays last year.  I had a tightly cropped short haircut, friends were different, lives were different... and I am glad things have changed.

I had a moment this week where I literally felt like I saw clearly for the first time about some things in my life, perhaps its the fact that we are having a child in a few weeks, perhaps its maturity or the tempo of life, but I realized that some of the things I agonized over, the people I agonized over... were not worth it, for one reason or another.  We all have our paths, what we want to do/be, what we want out of life and I realized over the past year I want a happy life with my family and my few honest and good friends... 

So things will continue to change, and I realize that I like that change, I am not afraid of it, I think change is a good thing, its healthy and natural and the past is just that... things that happened before that have no real bearing or importance on the here and now.  

Over the next year I plan on raising my son with my amazing husband, I plan on getting closer to finishing Graduate School and moving on towards working on a PhD, I plan on getting things in order, preparing for the future, and hopefully going somewhere that my little family will thrive. These are all obtainable and good goals, they require work, adaptation, and a willingness to bend and change and I think I am up for that.... I think that holding on to shadowed remnants of a projected past that never really existed is a bad thing and I will not and would not do it.   
I would like to travel again, explore other worlds and other societies, I find that so invigorating and hopefully we can instill that sense into our son and he can experience the world, be open to different things and ideas and learn from them all...

I hope to be less pessimistic and negative and worrisome, which means letting go of some of the things that cause me stress, which I have been working on doing.  I will continue that over the next year.

In all honesty, this may all change, we never know what the world might present to us, but I am going to work towards these things with a positive attitude.  

Saturday, December 8, 2012

The Pity of War

I am in the midst of reading Ferguson's "The Pity of War," which has an interesting argument and approach in regards to who to blame...if there were one actual group....
I begin to stray away from that concept the more I read about the Great War because each player contributed quite a bit to raising suspicion, causing aggression, and just generally getting that side of the world into one of the worst (for lack of a better phrase here) cluster fucks ever...
Ok, well maybe not Belgium, they were pretty blameless....
Anyway, the book is odd, I do not think I agree with his premise and I do not know if I like the text...

Thursday, December 6, 2012

Just Confused!

I saw this article this morning.  Now, I already knew about it and the fact that the treaty got shot down was utterly confusing to me because I went and read the parameters of the treaty and nothing seems out of sorts...

Now for whatever reason, even after Bob Dole, who helped get the BILL WE HAVE INTO LAW THAT PRETTY MUCH SAYS THE SAME THING, visited the floor and implored the passage of the treaty (which initially was Republican backed and then those who backed it voted NO)... they shot it down.

This is not productive government, this is not what people vote these guys into position for (and perhaps they need to be educated on the fact that they did not get elected to get a nice salary and good health care and sit around and fuss all day and that perhaps they have a purpose).  

I am angry about this.

"Sen. James Inhofe (R-Okla.) argued the treaty would infringe on U.S. sovereignty, an argument echoed by other opponents." 

“This unelected bureaucratic body would pass recommendations that would be forced upon the United States if we were a signatory,” he said.

 -from The Hill website
(now I read this treaty and I have no freaking clue where on earth this guy gets his presumption.... its kind of loony and I wonder if HE read the treaty)

I have a hard time understanding how our elected officials cannot act in the better interest of the people that elected them... being contrary and refusing to work with each other, refusing to sign treaties because they don't want to get in trouble in a primary a year away... just annoys the mess out of me when people get hurt or suffer in the process.

I know this is age old, but it does not mean I cannot be livid about it.

Tuesday, December 4, 2012


I turned in another paper this morning... 5 more to go, not near as daunting as 9.  Today my goal is to at least get half way through "The Long Weekend" which is a social history of England during the interwar period between 1918 and 1939, I imagine the book will be very good, one of the authors, Robert Graves, I have read before and loved his personal chronicle of WWI.

Im going out for coffee today with a few friends, which will be nice... I rarely get out and I rarely get to talk to people so having some friends who take the time out to pick me up and give me a break is pretty awesome... I really appreciate it.  You start to view people differently as you grow, as your life changes, and I am pretty confident that the changes I have made and are continually making are for the best.

Still awaiting the arrival of Aiden, a few more weeks to go...just a few more.

Monday, December 3, 2012

Too Much Hype?

If there is one thing I have learned over the course of this very hectic and time consuming semester... it boils down to an understanding that men, regardless of how much we demonize or idolize them, are just men.  History often lends itself to make icons out of men and then deconstruct those men when we miraculously find out that because they were mere human beings, they had flaws.
A man can do great things and still make mistakes, and yet we tend to either go one way or the other... cast a blind eye or just brutalize someone for their actions without the context of understanding their decisions/lives.

Now, not all men who are made out to be bad guys need saving... there are some pretty nasty characters out there that regardless of the fact that they might have accomplished a good thing every now and again were hateful or disgustingly violent human beings... I'm looking at you Stalin, Mao, and Hitler....

But... what about those great men who did great things, but also made mistakes?  In the United States, we like to place the spotlight on some 19th century gentlemen who came together to create a pretty unique country.  We either make them out to be these almost godlike icons of democratic perfection or continuously point out their obvious flaws to discredit them.  We can't be in the middle in America, we have to be polarized... it must be in our nature.
After reading some pretty in depth texts on the founders, delving into the personal lives of men like Jefferson, Adams, and Washington, and realizing that while YES they did great amazing things, they also did not so great and not so amazing things.... I did not see the point in demonizing or idolizing them.  We need more honesty in our history.  We need to look at the accomplishments while acknowledging the humanity of these people who shaped our culture.  When we gloss over either way, we do a disservice to ourselves and those men.  Washington was a great man, but he was also overly self conscious, hesitant, paranoid, and a slave owner.  Jefferson had these innovative ideas and he truly was a creative and talented soul, but he was also petty, conflicted, and the ever present politician who would turn on a friend immediately if they dared to disagree with his views.  Adams was a lawyer, a fair man, but he also was pessimistic, held a grudge, and a bit haughty...not really trusting the people on almost any level....
Does that discredit their accomplishments, no... it just means they were three dimensional and not flat cardboard cutouts of men we read about in high school text books that  make us think they were all boring and loathe history.

Now, back to my article on Washington and his slaves...

Sunday, December 2, 2012

A link to other things...


Crazy Hectic

This week has been a blur of reading and paper writing that I am sure my fellow graduate students understand in a way no one else does...
end of term frenzy.  Ive written three papers in about five days and I just have 6 assignments to go!!!
Today, I am up before 6 AM to read about Quakers, yes!

I would not be as behind if I had not stayed in the hospital twice, but things are as they are and I am actually caught up date wise, though in one class I would like to have another week, which I think my professor is giving me.

18 days before Aiden, I am excited, nervous, ready....  I am in that, the house is not clean enough mode, which drives Adam insane, poor poor man.

Why is it that people who do not like something tend to get really snippy on a day when everyone else who likes something talks about it??
I know this is an internet thing, essentially a facebook thing....but honestly.
So you do not like sports.... some people do, making some snark filled anger button post about how you do not fit into the sports fan category does not somehow make you better or above sports....hey guess what??? people of all kinds like sports, people of all kinds don't and either does not matter.

I don't like situation comedies, you dont see me posting about it in some anger filled snippet....
OK my anger moment over, just had to vent, I think I loathe facebook to an extent... 

So complete girl moment and totally off any sort of relevant or important topic, had a girl in the grocery store tell her mom she liked the way I dressed yesterday (Adam overheard it), made my day...ok lol...done with that.

Have a good rest of the weekend.