Books, History, Food, Politics, and Life

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

Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Holiday Vacation

We are in Florida for the first time during the Holidays and having a lovely time.
We've had sushi, visited the zoo, and spent some quality time with family.



Aiden really enjoyed the Gulf Breeze Zoo, but I made some friends as well...

I can take him home right???

And this llama side eye'd me like my boxer does....

I'm watching you....

And Bunny and I learned first hand what a giraffe tongue feels like...




Tuesday, December 24, 2013

Happy Christmas!!!!

It has been a pretty insane, awesome, stressful, and chaotic year.  I've had some really wonderful moments during this holiday season and some really not so wonderful moments, but looking back on 2013, I think of it as one of the most transforming of my life.

Of course, being a mother has pretty much changed everything.

How can you not love this guy?????
I have different goals, different wants, different priorities and yet, even with all the stress, I don't think I've ever been happier, this kid is amazing.  He makes me want to be a better person every single day and he makes me want the world to be a better place for him to live in...
That has been hard for me, learning that while I can maintain my strength of conviction about all of the things I believe in, but understand that petty political squabbles amount to absolutely nothing in the end. Avoiding caustic and unproductive arguments while also working hard to fight for things I believe in because I truly think that working to fight hate, poverty, and ignorance will make a better world for my son is difficult because while I do not want to just mindlessly argue with someone who does not want to even look at an issue from a different perspective... I do want to at least open a door to eradicate misconceptions and intolerance.  I know a lot of people who hold a great deal of animosity for the poor, for other races, for other religions, or anyone who is "different" and I just don't want to say I willingly lived in a world full of that and passed it on to my son without trying to make a change.  

I want to show my son that when he looks at another person, the only thing he should feel is compassion...not threat, not animosity, but understanding because no matter what, we are all the same.  Its not about if they get a welfare check or what they do with it, its not about what they believe, who they love, or how they feel...its about people accepting people for the flawed and amazing creatures we are.  

2013 has been a year of being closer to my husband, learning to deal with financial struggles to get what we truly want, and making our little family unit work.  In the end, although we have a large number of amazing people who love us and support us, we want to be us and happy with our choices.  I've had a hard time accepting the fact that currently I am contributing very little financially which causes us to have some really stressful moments.  Going from working full time and bringing home a decent check to nothing because we've decided that education and my pursuit of that education is paramount has caused me to continually become anxious about a lack of significant contribution.  I spend a lot of time reading and having to isolate myself to get a mounting pile of school work done in order to make the grades I feel I need to succeed. (A's) I feel guilty because at night I have to lock myself up in a room and miss out on family time...I feel even more guilty when bills come in and I know we are in such a tight spot because I am in school.  At the same time, I'm almost done with Graduate School and I've maintained a nearly perfect GPA (I've made one B).  I think I am producing some of the best work of my academic career and I think I am only getting better with time, my passion for history, my passion to keep going is growing and I truly desire to keep that momentum because I want my son to have an understanding and an appreciation for history that I fear is fading in society. 

2013 has been a time of change regarding other relationships in my life.  Most of my friendships have changed over the past year, some for better and some not, but I think all in a productive way, a way that will move forward and make everyone involved happier.  

2013 made me realize how much I miss traveling, or being in a bigger place... I want to move.  I do not want to move because I loathe the place I am, I've actually started to have an appreciation for some of the gems of culture and awesome in my small place on the planet... From Ocmulgee to the public Fishing hole a bit south of here... This is not a hopeless or horrible place, its just not for me.  I plan on working really hard towards my goal of moving to a city.  

London, England 2011
Ok the one above there... one can dream can't she....

I hope all of my readers (all 3 of you) and my friends and family have a Happy Happy Holidays and a roaring and awesome 2014. 




Monday, December 23, 2013

......

I really really really really need a stress free vacation

Thursday, December 12, 2013

I'm going to do something I don't usually do...

As I was reading facebook today I came across this article.

A woman is tired of violence against women in TV

(Warning there are TV spoilers in that article if you watch Sons of Anarcy)

I agree with her theme, that violence against women in Television has got a bit out of hand and its sometimes pretty disgusting... but this is a really really really bad example and kind of silly.

First... if you don't like violence in Television, it would probably behoove you not to watch Sons of Anarchy which is about a criminal biker gang.

Second... If you've watched Sons of Anarchy for any amount of time, you know the writers of the show based it off of Hamlet....which is violent and not the most friendly towards women....

Third... If you've read Hamlet, you know...that in the end...everybody dies.

OK...
That being said.
This is the end of the season before the last season....
And they are going to end it with something big to lead to the BIG final season where everything spins into chaos and Jax (Hamlet) loses his mind and destroys everyone in his path...
Including Ophelia (Tara)
So, if you lose your respect for TV all together because of a violent female death on television...why is it the one you knew was coming? Unless you don't really watch Sons of Anarchy or you've never read Hamlet.

I don't know...this seems a bit off to me.  There are a lot of other shows you can pull up if you want to pull the violence and rape of women is out of control...maybe the episodes of Sons of Anarchy where Jax's mother is Gang raped might be more appropriate...
But Ophelia being drowned  (and I know it was more brutal than that but this is for connection purposes) happened in the 16th century, I think our audiences can handle it.

Monday, December 9, 2013

And Then There Was Break....

I am going to celebrate this month I have off... a month without deadlines and books to cram into an impossible schedule while frantically scribbling notes on post-its in a futile attempt to remember everything from a four hundred page book read over the span of three days...

It was a hellish semester.

Now, I adore school...to a strange degree, I love learning, I love research, and I love writing... but I also love my family and watching my baby boy grow up into a little man who has managed to now point at Ewoks in Star Wars and call them izzzieeeee (Which is Aiden language for Lizzie, our three year old Boxer). 

I learned a lot this Semester though and I got angry a lot... that is what happens when your classes are:

History of the South, Contemporary America, and Seminar in History: 1963.

I've never had a more disturbing, depressing, and anger inducing reading list and in a way, it didn't change me, but it influenced me...

So what do I have planned over the Holiday besides spending time with the people I love and taking it easy?
A book on Salem, Doris Kearns Goodwin's new book, and some Howard Zinn (just to make my father in law cringe a little...he he he, its all out of love).

History is important to me. I always talk about it, I usually am thinking about it, and I want... I truly want people to know about it... they don't have to obsess over it or love it, but I want people to know it.

Only a few more classes and I will be done with my graduate degree...and I really hope I can get into a PhD program, I so want to keep going.  

Saturday, December 7, 2013

Quick Thought

I am reading a book on George Wallace for a paper.
I do not like George Wallace.
that is all.

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

No posts as of late, it has been a bit busy, but for the most part... a good kind of busy.  Adam's parents came up for a visit and Aiden was able to spend time with his grandmother and granddaddy.  
He was happy as always...


School is almost out for the semester!
I might have some great news coming, stay tuned!
I promise I will have a real update soon.

Saturday, November 23, 2013

Hating Someone Because They Believe Differently Than You : It is not always about teams....

People like teams, I've said it here before... either you are on my team and you are right, or you are on your team and you are wrong...
they can be aggressive, antagonistic, nasty...condescending, and hurtful over their team... and I am not talking about sports.


see where i am going here....

I dont get that... I never will.  I have one view, you have another and that is fine... I may not like it, I may not agree with it, but I don't think that if you disagree with me that you hate everything I stand for...thats childish, problematic, and it causes the horrible friction that I think as a society we suffer from.

Now if someone tells me something and it is factually wrong and I know that and have proof, I may try to talk about it, in a productive way... but im not mean about it, I dont see the point again...


we are humans, easily offended, nasty, snarky, prideful...but do we have to be hateful?  Is it always going to be about...this person disagrees with me so they must HATE me and I need to HATE them.

hate is a strong word.  I reserve that basest of all  irrational feelings for things like violence, racism, and stuff that warrants all out disgust.

Someone not having your same world view... is no reason to hate them or assume they hate you because they dont agree with you.

I try really hard to not be that person... I don't always succeed... but I cringe when I see someone being hateful towards another person simply for their world view without knowing anything about them, assuming, or just dogging them because they may not see things the same way you do...
it has led me down a colorful path... looking at people I instantly judge and trying to understand where they are coming from and at times it helps and at times, I fail...but I try, I really really do try and the more I try, the more it is upsetting when I see people resort to nasty, hateful, snark judgements of others just because they dont think the same way.

Hate is bad ok, just dont do it.

Saturday, November 16, 2013

Bad Form

Attention: This is not a place to discuss government policy failures... please dont go there...that is not the point. 

I had the opportunity to visit New Orleans, LA. in 2005, a few months before the devastation of Katrina and it was a lovely and wonderful place...the trip changed me in many ways because it truly opened up my mind to travel in a way and I look upon that trip with a great deal of affection.  
In 2009, I went back to New Orleans, and while the French Quarter was still amazing, I had the opportunity to see the aftermath of Katrina, I saw the FEMA trailers and I saw the decay and it was heartbreaking becuase New Orleans is such a special place.

Now... lets move to the present for a moment.
I watch MSNBC and in the mornings, even though I spend half of my time tweeting Morning Joe in anger... I enjoy the show.  
Until... journalists are so shallow that they think it is acceptable to call the rollout of the ACA "Obama's Katrina."

Let me get one thing straight here...
This is not about the ACA, this is not about its problems...this is not about whether or not you are a fan of the president....this is about a horrific disaster....where people, mothers, brothers, children...DIED.

Don't trivialize that so you can have a catchy phrase when you discuss some failing government policy launch...
because people DIED.

A few days after Katrina we had a displaced family come into our store, they lost everything, they had a little girl, it was...so sad, it is still SO SAD...
and to diminish that suffering is irresponsible and bad form.

Really bad form.  

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

City v. Suburbs....

It is important I think to say up from when you are going to be bias about something and I am about to let by bias flag fly here.

I love the city.  Every time Adam and I have the opportunity to go to the city, we do.  I want to live in a city and while it is not for everyone, it is for me for a variety of reasons.  

I read an article today regarding the announced move of the Atlanta Braves to Cobb County, which is about ten minutes outside of Atlanta's city center.  I found the move saddening.  We should love our city... we should be proud that we have such a city in our state, we should do what we can to maintain and better our city...and I call it our city because it is, Atlanta is an amazing place and while a lot of people who don't live there like to dog it, they haven't experienced it I do not think...and that is their loss and unfortunate.

Atlanta has potential, with an expanded rail system it would have reach and more economic value, it is growing with that anyway with the Film Industry bringing in millions of dollars pretty consistently now because of its diverse surroundings...
Atlanta is cultural, it has so many amazing places like the High, the Zoo, it is a center for creative and unique music and art scenes and again... we should CATER to that.

The move by the Braves to a suburb that consistently has voted against connection with the city, voted against rail lines that would open up the area for more people, and against well...progress (look at their leading political figures)... is a slap in the face to Atlanta as a city and its people.

There is an elephant in the room and its called white flight, and its a big part of Cobb County's size...and it should NOT be celebrated, but discouraged.
When stadiums, businesses, and economic opportunity leave an area, poverty sets in, decline sets in...and things break down.  We can blame people, but when they cannot get access to jobs and opportunity, businesses....there is only so much they can do.

I visited Turner field earlier this year for a Braves game, it was a wonderful experience, the Stadium was lovely, we had no problems getting in and parking... we enjoyed ourselves and it being on the South side of Atlanta meant it was easier to get to from our house an hour and a half away...
I am disgusted by the idea that a Stadium like Turner Field is hundreds of millions of dollars in disrepair, that is simply... just not true.
I think more of the truth lies in the fact that the braves ownership is getting most of the new stadium paid for by Cobb County tax payers...in a time when money is tight and they refuse to spend taxes in their community, their schools, or extending MARTA, they will pay for a baseball stadium... nice Cobb, real nice...
Strangely enough any lucrative travel guide that talks about great places to eat, go, see, visit in and around Atlanta, doesn't mention much about Cobb County... I wonder why.  

Monday, November 4, 2013

Adam Hates Photos of Himself...

My husband does not like getting his picture taken.  So much that... any time we do take pictures we have to coax him to smile after he makes strange faces or just looks angry.

So we did family pictures, its a rare occasion... and...well, he had one request from the photographer after seeing a trash bin...

yea... he is special.

Friday, November 1, 2013

UGGGGG....

These last few weeks have not been the most wonderful of my academic career and I see the error that I made because I decided that I could handle with ease three classes and an infant.
This is not the case... handle maybe...with ease, laughable.

When I made anything close to a B, a low A, I get nervous...and my grades this semester are low As and high Bs and it is upsetting because I am doing everything I can...but staying focused, on task, and getting everything done is impossible and its very hard and upsetting.
I have to sequester myself off at night just to keep my head above water and its miserable.

I want this semester to end and have the ability to breathe.


I need a break, like Christmas.  

Then I just want a few days, in the mountains, quiet...away from everything...

so I need to also somehow win the lottery, because being broke will not let that happen either.

OK....
sorry this was a whine fest.
It wont happen again. 

Thursday, October 31, 2013

Wasteland

It has been so busy as of late I haven't had time to really post anything...and boy have I read some books that merit attention...

Apparently revolutionary terrorist wannabes in the 1960s thought that in order to have a close order they all needed to have weird orgies, who knew right?  strange.... very strange...


Anyway,
I had a moment this morning, well it started last night and I thought to myself as I read something, pondering an old hobby I gave up because it took up way too much time and energy for what it was...

why the hell did I spend so much energy on nothing?  Was an odd moment.  I've never really grown to dislike something as much as I do this old hobby and I wonder why...like it really annoys me now.

I guess I am getting old.

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

WTF moment



So here I am, reading another book for class....when a history tidbit annoyed the mess out of me.
(as many of them do)

in January of 1866, after the Civil War ended and the Congress was attempting to put together a workable Reconstruction (since the happy nice, friendly one that Johnson attempted to do at first ended up with Black Codes and all kinds of idiocy)... A Civil Rights Bill was introduced to define freedom and give people their rights....basically giving everyone born in the US specific rights regardless of race... BUT OH WAIT...not everyone....
not everyone born in the US
That's right...
NOT NATIVE AMERICANS!!!!
You mean the people who were here first?  Yea, they didn't get rights.... W  T  F

Friday, October 18, 2013

Notice!

My Update on the October Birchbox is coming!

I am behind, I admit it, but the box has been awesome.
the chapstick they included as a bonus this month is Sooooo amazing.

If you want to join birchbox though, only 12 dollars a month...
follow this link  BIRCHBOX!

Thursday, October 17, 2013

Very Random....

These are not in any way organized... just things I thought today....
because I know you want to read them right?


...Why do I need a glass of wine after reading my textbooks to calm myself down... oh history of the South course, you are in no way relaxing....

The internet has made everyone experts on everything....

why are there more cute baby girl clothes than baby boy clothes?


I want pancakes

There are parts of the Ken Burns Civil War documentary that I know by heart

Alabama and Mississippi in the 1960s...WTF

Am I a mean old lady because I live on a corner and I get annoyed when people walk through my yard?

Why is baby formula so damned expensive????

 I need a weeklong trip far far away....in a cabin...in the mountains, away from others (well except Adam and Aiden of course)

A lot of kids shows are creepy and I do not like them.....

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Political Rant

     I am pretty political.  I try not to go on facebook tyraids or berate people who disagree with me because I do not believe that is in any way constructive, but it also does not mean that I am void of strong opinions.
Oh and by the way...this is not Facebook... I AM NOT  trying to debate you on the fine points of the argument, this is how I feel... This is my sounding board, thanks.

I have very strong opinions.

The government shut down struck a nerve with me for a few reasons.

1. Obstructionism is the bane of the democratic design.  Stomping your figurative political foot because a law went into effect that you did not like, does not mean you can lock the doors and ruin everyone else's day.  This is not a glowing review of the ACA (Obamacare), I am not satisfied with the Health Care law... I do not believe it will fix the inherent problems in the health care system that comes from the fact that health care for the average American is too expensive and the industry is too much of a profit making business to work properly for the health of all involved.  At the same time, I think that perhaps the ACA is a starting point, and we can move forward from it and perhaps work towards a system that will give affordable health care to anyone who gets sick.
My high minded pretentious self only says this...
Anyone who thinks a person's income should determine whether or not they should be able to go to the doctor when they are sick... needs to take some compassion lessons and stop being so heartless.

2.  You aren't doing anything for the betterment of the country when you sit on your ass and get paid 174k dollars a year while hundreds of thousands of federal employees are furloughed because you cannot find the time in your busy post office naming and vacation taking schedule to do your damned job.  If anything has actually pushed me to the point of ranting...it is the fact that congress makes WAY too much money to be so completely useless.  I do not see how anyone votes in any of these guys that voted to put people who make 1/5th of what these guys make just to make a point about how they dont like a healthcare bill.  Honestly guys... pass a bill...Your record is dismal, you are now historically the LEAST PRODUCTIVE CONGRESS IN HISTORY.  

3. Be Real.
Listen, if you are Ted Cruz and for some reason you are so insane that you somehow believe that Obamacare is going to ruin the planet and will lower us back into a state of serfdom or whatever spew you are trying to get votes with...perhaps you should stand beside your own decisions.  When you stood up and read Green Eggs and Ham or told everyone to shut down the government (yes I know those two things are separate) and that our debt default isnt a bad thing  (you are insane for that by the way dude)... you were standing up against something you say you believed in.  Well... just practice what you preach.  If you want to shut down the government like a grown up toddler, FINE...do that.  But do not have the audacity to show up at a veteran's rally in PROTEST against the government shut down because some monuments were closed because YOUR decision furloughed the employees.... 
IF you believed in what you were spewing to get more TV time so you could fantasize about your eventual dismal presidential run....then you would fully back the closure of those parks, because you were proving a point.  BUT noooo Ted.... you showed up, protesting the evils of shutting down that memorial...with SARAH PALIN...to do what, play to cameras and genuinely attempt to dupe people who support you into thinking you were on their side.... 
I know it is a lot to ask a politician to be honest...
but it shouldnt be....

So yea, I can be political and I try not to be bellicose about it or aggressive to people I disagree with, even when they post memes that are completely baseless and wrong....
but I do have opinions... and this whole shutdown facade to get more votes so people can keep their house seats and their easy pay or so people can keep their leadership positions all while literally screwing over the population riles even me up.  


Monday, October 14, 2013

Oh People...

Have you ever heard of "The Kissing Case"?

Here it is....  The Kissing Case

Now I read about it in a book on the Civil Rights movement... but this has to be one of the MOST INSANE things I've ever read...and it makes you wonder


what the hell was wrong with people.

these kids were 8 and 10 years old and they were arrested, put in handcuffs, taken to the jail, beaten..and held for 4 months on molestation charges because a little girl kissed them on the cheek....


1958... is not that long ago.  There are tons of people who are still alive from that period and you know what... this sort of deep down hate that puts little boys in jail and makes a person think its ok to beat them...
so odd to me.  

Friday, October 11, 2013

Why I Probably Will Never See "Breaking Bad"

This is not a blog about TV hateration.  I do not, can not, and will not hate on a person for their tv preference... I watch Downton Abbey and Vampire Diaries for goodness sake.  This is not a Breaking Bad sucks blog.... Many of the people I know and respect on a cultural level give the show a thumbs up and that means it must be good.  But at this point, I feel like the kid two years ago that was like... So what's this show Deadwood... I heard it was catchy...

I can't watch Breaking Bad... Even if an old x-files alum does write it... Because it will never be as awesome as it's been made out to be.  I know the end result, I know the inevitable downward spiral ends bad for Walter  White... I know he liked it...  We've all had shows, books, movies that end this way and it's always odd like... Guys I'm too late for this party, meet you at episode two of Orange is the New Black (which disappointed me by seasons end btw)

Monday, October 7, 2013

Do Not Beat The Help!

James Henry Hammond...not cool guy...

Remember that guy up there??  James Henry Hammond, the pro-slavery, states rights, once governor of South Carolina??

Oh man... we have to talk about him again because he just will not go away. 

First... James here had some depression/anxiety problems, we talked about it.   After he had some success in government, James had to quit and evacuate on a tour of Europe for his health.

(this was an excuse James gave quite often to get himself out of something he didn't like, and his first term in Washington was not exactly rainbows and moonbeams so he quit. To be fair... I do not think James feigned illness after he got caught messing around with four of his nieces...but that is another story entirely)




James had a hard time in Europe.  He didn't like the rich English people who looked down on him and he didn't understand all these working free ignorant people (I am not kidding here guys...not kidding).

Maybe he saw this...

But in his mind saw this...

Regardless of what this guy was thinking, this is what happened:

(shortened and such for blog entertainment)

James Henry and his wife Catherine (poor woman he married for her money), after touring England, France, and Italy...went on a German tour.  Outside of one area, they stopped at an Inn and James did not particularly like the service the staff gave him so he left without paying his bill.  Perhaps because in South Carolina planters believed themselves to be little gods or whatever, but James was a bit taken aback when suddenly one of the employees of the establishment went outside and attempted to stop Hammond's carriage from leaving before he paid his tab.  This would NOT do for 'ol James from South Carolina who was used to doing whatever he pleased in a world where the people who answered to had to or he would beat them...  James decided it was fine and dandy to beat the guy on the head until he was bloody, because of course...he could do that at home with insolent servants right (this guy really thought this!!!)???  Well, James landed in jail because in Europe, even peasants had some rights...how crazy.
I almost forgot, in the middle of all this crazy, Hammond's wife had a baby (that he did not name because he wanted a girl and he wasn't prepared for a boy).  In a rush to flee the country he was in before getting in trouble with the law again because James paid his bail but was expected to appear in court to face the charges against him, the baby died in the carriage.  

Oh James, I finished the book about you so sadly our time is done.

P.S.

At the end of the Civil War when the south began to lose and Hammond heard the shells hitting places like Savannah from his house in South Carolina (close to Augusta too), he was really shocked when his slaves didn't smile at him or adore him and instead looked hopeful and scorned at him...REALLY DUDE??  REALLY??  He wrote about it, like he was really taken aback because they didn't love him.  He sent them gifts from Europe damnit!!  

Adieu James, it was fun. 

Saturday, October 5, 2013

Why Government is Stupid

Beyond the fact that this is now historically the most unproductive congress... 
Beyond the fact that grown adults who are getting paid (even now) 174k a year to do their jobs and basically refusing to do it because they have no working knowledge of the foundations of our government and the definition of the word compromise....
Beyond the fact that almost a million people are out of work for absolutely no reason and these idiots cannot even stop their own egos to realize those people need their pay too...
(a few bright minds of congress complained about how hard it would be to pay for their nice houses and their kids' college tuition if they didn't get their pay)

Real people are hurting and things that I believe are foundations of our freedom...are unavailable to the public.


1. WIC - Yes I know a lot of people who I find heartless believe that the women and children receiving WIC should learn to do with less...and I say to those people, I wonder if you know what it is like to go hungry.  WIC provides food for women who meet certain income requirements for their children up until the age of two, and WIC is important.  I cannot even comprehend some of the horrible things I've seen people say about this program not working.
"Good!  Maybe they will go get jobs!"
"GOOD, I don't GET ANYTHING FOR FREE."
"Teach those lazy people a lesson for ruining our government."  Yes...someone said that in reference to people on WIC, not congress... who the hell knows what is wrong with these people.
I just have a really hard time looking at an infant and going...GOOD, starve now kid, learn what its like to go without...

2. The closure of the National Parks

Ocmulgee National Park - Macon, GA
 This really angers me ....
First... most of the people who work for our national parks make very little money.
Second...national parks were created for our citizens to enjoy the beauty and history of our country...to close them just seems specifically unAmerican.  But... it goes deeper than that.
Did you know the fall is one of the most important times of the year for National Parks?  They get a great percentage of their visitors RIGHT NOW.  That also means the towns that hold some of these bigger national parks, where the tourism to those parks mean a great deal of income in the area...get nothing... no tourists, no income...more people out of work.

BUT....
Do not despair people.... Congress is still getting paid so they can afford their nice houses and kids' college.  Don't worry because they have vowed to keep the government closed as long as it takes to defeat the evils of attempting to provide healthcare for people who don't get it.

In other countries...when the government does stupid, obstructive, and destructive things like this...they lose their jobs.

Will these guys?  Will we remember this??  I hope so.
I hope every single person that doesn't get paid remembers this and we have a really high turnover rate next time congressional elections come up.

Thursday, October 3, 2013

Melancholy and the Infinite Southerner....

This handsome devil...

and I am not being silly... people thought he was handsome


 is James Henry Hammond.  James had an illustrious career in the antebellum south.  He was a lawyer, a school teacher (if you want to talk about someone loathing a job), a newspaper editor, a senator, a governor...  This guy did it all.

He was also pretty weird.  This guy was prone to fits of depression that worried his father so much that he sent for him to come live at home.  He worshiped the Romantics, wrote poetry, but at the same time wanted to be known in the South and beat a guy over the head with a stick because he didn't appreciate the verbal war between the two going on in their respective newspapers.  
He relentlessly pursued women a few times, but also was rumored to have had a homosexual affair in college with a friend of his...there are letters between the two that pretty much lay it out there, but you know..... who knows.

This guy just is... well... different.

First, his father really did a number on him.  He didn't beat him, he didn't treat him like crap...he pushed him and always worried about his son failing because well, in truth... he kind of did, a lot.  Elisha Hammond could never really get to the success level he wanted and he tried through a lot of different avenues, like being the steward at South Carolina College which paved the way here for the first goth kid to get into school.  He tried farming, he tried teaching, he tried different boom businesses, but James' dad could never make it.
Strangely enough (and if you know me... really strange)
Elisha Hammond got a job directing a school in Macon, Georgia when he was really down on his luck in the 1820s.  He moved to middle Georgia, bought a place... and the school he worked for kept not paying him, so again he was in financial straits.  He died here... depressed and unhappy...WOW.  LOL..

cozy!

Fort Hawkins there (already out of use I think) might have been one of the only things IN Macon at the time when Elisha set up shop... LOL  

Second...this guy really thought he sucked.  I mean it didnt matter how many compliments, how many successes, what he did... he thought he sucked.  He wrote about being the most unhappy man on earth, he talked about leaving the state tons of times as a failure... and all the while the VP of the US is coming to his place and having a chat....uhh... OK guy... 

He did like slavery and nullification though, oh man... you get him talking about that and there was no stopping him. 
 

Wednesday, October 2, 2013

The illustrious Life of a grad student


It is 10:30 PM.  Early for a lot of people I know.  For me... It is past bedtime.  We stayed up a bit to watch the Bourdain episode from Sunday because we had to fit in the week's grocery shopping tonight  (family obligation Friday night when we usually shop).  Now, after a few distractions today... I am attempting to catch up via my fancy book light. Aiden woke up from a bad dream so, we've got him back to bed and I am learning all about James Henry Hammond.

Those Pesky Poor People

If there is one thing I do not find offense when I get called a name... it is "bleeding heart liberal."  I do not truly know when it became a weakness or a bad thing to care about those less fortunate than myself, but if it does place a negative mark on me, so be it.  I would rather be that than one who disregards those who suffer, or one who tries to stigmatize the poor to make themselves feel better when they do not care about them...

For class recently I've read books that address the poor in the nation, not just on a racial scale and not simply in our time period... but from the 16th and 17th century in England where many believed that the poor should be institutionalized or shipped off to another place and made to do hard labor because for whatever reason... they did not make enough to be successful.

While I do not attend church every Sunday and I do not believe that one needs any form of religion to be compassionate or caring... it does pretty much say, very clearly in the bible to take care of the poor, to not ridicule the poor, and to treat them with the love you would want to be treated with in return... and yet in America... well... we don't do that do we?


When a Conservative analyst today on television said that food programs being cut due to government shutdown wasn't the end of the world...he obviously did not think about all the kids who rely on those programs to get fed every single day.  Because he does not care.

Just like the English rich didn't care if the poor starved, or died, or whatever... they just didnt want the blight in front of them or to look at the reasons WHY the people were poor in the first place....

lazy, idle, brutish even...those were the words used to describe a people displaced during a huge population boom that resulted in the scarcity of jobs available to them to work and feed their families....

and today.... have we looked at the poor, or are we too fixed on the fact that you may see a woman with her nails painted and owning a cell phone in a grocery store line buying food with food stamps...because that is the excuse...

there is always an excuse to turn our eyes away and feeling ok about being callous.  

But it really is not ok.

What about those kids....what about the old and infirm...what about the disabled.... what about the mom working two jobs at minimum wage and cannot afford to get a third because she might lose the small amount of benefits she gets....

what about the people who've lived in poverty all their lives and know nothing else....who go to schools that are underfunded and are sent to high school dropout factories that just rotate them back out into the minimum wage working world where they get screamed at if they do not facilitate someone's burger order perfectly every single time...

I dont pretend to even know what that is like, nor do I want to to know... but if a few of my tax dollars goes to help those people...GOOD.  I wish we could do more, I wish we weren't so jaded and automatically angry, and so insightful about every single poor person's life that we just KNOW they are lazy and abusing the system.

Really really bothers me... 

Saturday, September 28, 2013

Quick Thought

Sorry, but today I have so much work to do it is not even funny.... but I thought about something.

I wonder if the prevailing sentiment of an utter disdain for the poor that we have here evolved from the English's complete hatred of the poor in the 16th and 17th centuries.  They often blamed the poor and unemployed for all the ills of the country and envied smaller countries who did not seem to have the same poverty issues (perhaps because they treated their poor differently or they did not have such a growing population in a limited space with limited opportunity)... but anyway... just a thought.

Friday, September 27, 2013

It is Friday!!!

The last Friday in September and it is the first day I've opened the windows and turned off the air.  There is a cool breeze out and as it flutters the curtains, I can hear the wind chimes hit against each other as I study (or type this during my brief lunch break).  

Have you guys discovered Trader Joe's Cookie Butter?
 
 This stuff is amazing... and you can only get it at Trader Joe's (or for an insane markup on Amazon).  I would drive an hour and a half for this stuff... really... it is that good.  If you like gingerbread and love the texture of peanut butter... this is for you.  I am going to lament the moment our jar is empty.

I think I wrote Trader Joe's like 5 emails telling them they should build a store in our area, but our population is too small (see I need to live in a city).  


Today, many many centuries ago William The Conqueror...well he wasn't called that yet of course because he hadn't done anything... embarked on the Norman invasion of England (and all rejoiced). 
I know what you are thinking...hardcore dude right???
He looks pretty badass with his funny shaped head and tiny pointed feet. And as you can tell, Photobombs existed long before Twitter....

Aiden has his 3rd and 4th teeth coming in and he isn't fussy, but he wants to chew on THE PLANET...tables, hands, coasters...the dogs.  He owns teethers, but they are no match for how awesome a rag is and while he likes it, it terrifies me so I have since purchased rag material teethers in the shapes of fruit so he can chew away with me feeling grossed out.  

Finally, this is my last day with American Slavery, American Freedom and I am going to really miss this book.  Found out today how much the early colonial Virginia government behaved like mob captains.  Every single dude down the line got a payment so you could ship your tobacco to England and guess what... pay them to sell your crap to foreign countries because they wanted a cut too.  They even outlawed the sale of tobacco to anyone else so they could make sure that they got the 5% of the entire English budget from the Virginia colonists (yea 5% of the whole budget)...now granted that included Maryland and North Carolina (kinda sorta since NC was still technically part of VA) eventually, but still 5% of the entire budget is a lot.  

I also have to read about the Black Power movement in 1960s and Affirmative Action this weekend, but I have taken a bit too much time reading my colonial book because I like it so much...

One Governor in Va (they were royally appointed at this time and often just went to Va for the duration of their term and went back home) made so much money off side extortion "fees" that he sent his entire salary home to his wife... Tony Soprano better watch out... 

These guys made NOOOO money...
 

Thursday, September 26, 2013

Do Not Try This At Home...

I adore doughnuts... I mean if I have a weakness it is a doughnut.  I want to eat doughnuts all of the time and I am glad that I have all this studying to do every day because there are two doughnut shops within five minutes of my house...

In my quest for new doughnuts... I heard of the Cronut, you know...that blissful sounding mesh between a croissant and a doughnut???  Some Dunkin Donuts across the country apparently carry a version...but not ours sadly...

I also saw two different recipes for cronuts online.  One, from Foodwishes (an amazing blog that everyone should check out) uses the good old fashioned croissant dough recipe... now if you have made croissants at all in your life from scratch... you know they are a devil to make and take a looong time.... so I understood how to make that recipe, but felt I did not have the time.
 The second recipe involved pilsbury croissant dough and a home made glaze... I can do that I thought....

I will not show you the results, I hid them to save the eyes of the innocent... but they were dark brown/blackish doughnut shaped crunchy on the outside / dough on the inside messes...

and I realized that whatever planet that recipe was on, the recommended temperature of the oil was waaaaaayyyy off... and sadly my cronuts are not happening.

Maybe I will just eat a dozen regular doughnuts to make up for it, this sounds like a good idea.

 

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Idle Hands...

Reading American Slavery, American Freedom still... I came across a passage that explained some of the labor problems in 16th century England that were insane.  

So apparently employment was so hard to find after an apparent massive population boom in 16th century England that the government had to move in and do something about it...

hence the Statute of Artificers

Now these laws did a lot of things and one of those things was pretty much to force a person to hire a laborer for periods of one year only...

A year of this... oh the joys!
  
I know what you are saying... that looks perilous, even with those nice clovers....

But according to some of the stuff I am reading, this toiling on the farm did not take very long because in order to maintain this insane system each person had a specific job they were trained for so see that one guy holding the wheat while those others picked it and the woman who apparently is floating on her own medieval ego is watching, this might actually be pretty accurate because the law meant to employ everyone 

Because IDLE HANDS LED TO THE DEBIL!

Anyway... so after everyone did their job, they sat around and did nothing and hence...were still idle so I don't see what it fixed but....


Is she not AMAZING!!!???!!!
Any law this amazing wonder of monarchy is alright with me, however much nonsense it is....

The Book talks about one Master who had so many people under his employ (oh by the way you could not fire them, you could not stop their terms early, if you did the courts would send them back to you)... he ran away from home because he couldn't handle taking care of so many people...

So lets be realistic here...these people were serfs, indentured servants, slaves who basically got "paid" because the government couldn't catch up with the amount of people the fertile English population were birthing every year.  

But its crazy because they thought being idle was ungodly so they made this law that apparently took care of the idle, but instead it specialized every single job to get people off the roads and stealing so they literally sat at someone's house who had to pay them and when they didnt have a job to do...they sat idle.
(now there were government houses that made linen and other materials where I am sure the days were long, grueling, and not fun at all)
And I would sit around and be idle too if I had to stay on some guys property and basically had no real power to leave... but I just thought this was pretty funny..

BTW.... read American Slavery, American Freedom if you want to know more.  I am really enjoying the book. 

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Oh Thomas More....

I read Utopia when I was a teenager, it is probably something I need to go back and re-read with a more sophisticated mind... but who has time??  While reading a passage from my current assigned text for my Seminar in Southern History, American Slavery, American Freedom, he uses a passage from Utopia to illustrate some common ideas amongst the English during the early years of the idea of colonizing outside of England (don't forget they kept trying Ireland)...

"The inhabitants who refuse to live according to their laws, they drive from the territory which they carve out for themselves.  If they resist, they wage war against them.  They consider it a most just cause for war when a people which does not use its soil but keeps it idle and waste nevertheless forbids the use and possession of it to others who by the rule of nature ought to be maintained by it."


First...Thomas... you cheeky fellow you....

Behind this icy stare and large nose is a hard headed war lover who gets beheaded when Henry VIII got annoyed with him
 First, you were supposed to be a HUMANIST... do you know what a HUMANIST is???

While Humanism was the predecessor of the Enlightenment on some levels and did a lot with reason (within religious bounds mind you, Sir Thomas here was a devout Catholic x 1000000)... There was apparently a weak spot for busting up anyone who did not agree with you...


psst... you should read this guy's stuff on Martin Luther, can we say noooot happy.

Anyway...

Apparently in Utopia you can attack and kill people who don't use the land in a way you find appropriate... the English will use this later a great deal, but I just thought it was funny that THAT was in Utopia, which I always thought of as a happy shiny bears dancing sort of place....

How did that whole Utopia feel here #dontloseyourhead
 

Monday, September 23, 2013

A Discovery

Lately I've been in a facial/make-up rut and that is one reason I enjoy the Birchbox subscription because I can find new products.  I like specific looks and I am more of a facial/skin person... moisturizers and such...

Because of this I've discovered I like Juice Beauty, its kind of one of those "natural" lines and after two samples... one a peel and one a lip gloss, I think I like the company.

So if you are looking for NON heavy stuff that is more along a natural regiment...

Try this...
Here they are - Juice Beauty  

I want to try the Hydrating mist!

Also, if you want to try Birchbox out, the place where I get all these samples monthly, I totally recommend it, I have really enjoyed my subscription.

Try Birchbox

Saturday, September 21, 2013

School Stuff...

This semester should be called Things Shonda Has Never Truly Studied...

Tonight I've been feverishly attempting to finish Elusive Equality, a book about the desegregation of the Norfolk, Virginia schools...but more importantly the continued struggle between race relations in Virginia throughout the period the book covers and how those relations were muted or minimized in order to present a community that endured the transition from Jim Crow to racial desegregation with little problem.  The truth of course lies a lot farther from smooth transition and close to heated antagonism.... especially when black effigies are hung in front of schools to intimidate students from transferring there... or entire schools are shut down in order to make sure no black kid was able to attend.

It is a good book, these books are often hard to read...hard to imagine that someone would think another person is so inferior that they dont even deserve to be in the same room.

There was one passage where a single african american girl attended an all white school and the teacher, to antagonize her, would wear gloves when she turned in her work so as not to touch her....
in our country.... in 1958 by the way, so within the lifetimes of a lot of people I know....

that was just.... hard to grasp...and infuriating.  

Thursday, September 19, 2013

Early Mornings

Someone decided to wake Adam and I up at five-thirty this morning and after about another thirty minute battle of him going back to sleep, I slept late, until about 7:15 AM.  Being behind drives me nuts because Adam didn't have lunch, I rushed to get coffee in my system, our walk is going to be much later and I have a book to read and a house to clean. 

I need this....


But... after my annoyance at the internet yesterday with people going nuts because someone didn't give them a discount or the fact that its imperative to your freedom to bring your handgun into Starbucks... I am giving the growing culture of disgruntled a break and working really hard to be positive and finish work I have to have finished in order to enjoy the weekend....

Oh, I would like to win the powerball... Adam I know you read this, go get a powerball ticket and we can move to the hills of Scotland.

First...
What on earth is in the Pumpkin Spice flavoring at Starbucks?  That stuff is yummy, now I don't get the big lattes with all the whipped cream or anything, but I had a bit of it put in my Americano the other day and it was really really good... well, anything with Cinnamon is really really good...

Now apparently...There is a syrup, I need to find this syrup and just bask in its spicy goodness.  

These Doughnuts  are also something I want desperately and I want to try.  Can you tell I am in the fall spirit.

Let's finish this yum fest off with the fact that in the next week or so I will be making a Pear Tartin now for those of you who do not know what it is, its similar to a pie, but gooeyer and more bad for you.... but soooo tasty and again, a taste of fall in my opinion.  My awesome friend Zoe is bringing me some pears so what better way to use them right?

Now, is this not a great deal better than my angerbucket rant of yesterday???

YES.

Also... I want a dark red, very thick, wool infinity scarf for the fall/winter and I have yet to find one that peaks my interest... still looking, suggestions are welcome!

Have a great Thursday guys, Friday is one day away and tomorrow...if all goes well, I will be at Ikea (also known as the place where my money goes to disappear)  


Going to Ikea WOOOOOOOO!!!!

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Rant for the Day... NO YOU DONT DESERVE A DISCOUNT ON EVERYTHING!!!!

Having worked retail for over a decade and dealing with aggressive and unfriendly customers who get mad because we do not offer their specific group discounts, I despise the sense of entitlement every single person who demands discounts has.

I worked for a bookstore, so we gave teacher's discounts on teaching material... which made sense...
I know some places do military discounts, good for them if they want to do that, but I wouldn't expect it... to be honest...


So recently a little cupcake shop in my town has opened up and they are pretty tasty, well made cupcakes...  
Today they posted that they give discounts to military, this is a base town so I understand... and then from out of the woodwork angry rude people start berating the new small business for not giving their specific group a discount...

talking about how they would NOT SHOP HERE AGAIN and TELL ALL THEIR FRIENDS...
just so indignant and rude and expectant....

you know what, if you cant buy a cupcake without demanding a 10% off pat on the back for doing whatever job you get paid for...then make cupcakes yourself and save the rest of the world your false sense of importance.


If I got a discount I would feel special, I would not expect it from every business I walked into.

in essence,
grow up.

This is Random...

More of a question rather than a post here today...

While I attempt to read about the school closures in Norfolk, Va to contest desegregation, I turned on Sesame Street for Aiden to watch while I read....

Why do the adults in Sesame Street, regardless of the year of the taping of the show, look like they are from the 1970s?