Monday, March 09, 2009
Friday, February 27, 2009
Thursday, February 19, 2009
FOR PEOPLE READING THIS ON FBOOK-- be sure to click on view original post to get the full text.
okay. so i did five of these the other day whilst at work eating my lunch. i'm going to finish them all today as i am currently sitting in a hospital waiting for my boy to finish his neuropsychology exam. consequently, i have an extensive amount of time to "goof off" on the internet (the good natured folks at unc hospitals understand the importance of WIRELESS.)
19. as children, heather and i were a part of "Odyssey of the Mind". this is a group of supposed "gifted" children who solve problems and present them with creative skits. our group from good ol' lakenheath, england won its championship and headed all the way to des moines, iowa for the international championships. we thought we were hot snot. (we didn't win there, but i do have a large collection of pins from different places all over the world SOMEWHERE)
18. i spent the majority of my high school experience waiting for college, studying for college--- when i finally got there i was beside myself. carolina proud but not carolina driven. i didn't appreciate it, and over-worked myself with an almost full time job and two internships and blew off studying. ONE of my biggest regrets. i never fully committed to anything because i juggled so much; i made it that way so i wouldn't have to? (big scaredy cat.)
17. i weighed 3 pounds 9 ounces at birth. heather weighed 3 pounds 3 ounces. apparently i was a greedy hungry baby that almost made her sister die (she really almost did-- yay heather on this earth!).
16. in the womb "baby a" was mistaken for a boy. i was supposed to be a boy. surprise! (might be illuminate #5 more)
15. i feel unsettled if the dishes aren't done, if the bed isn't made, or i haven't swept the kitchen. i think it's catholic guilt + neat freak. (notice i didn't say clean freak. i may be neat but i am by no means the CLEANEST)
14. the warmth of my cat's small little body nestled between the frog-like angle of my legs in the middle of the night makes me more happy than one could possibly imagine.
13. i loathe condensation dripping on my bare legs. if i am in a good mood, it almost ruins it. i equally hate when you place a capped item (such as aveeno brightening scrub) in the shower and water collects in the cap and drips on you or the floor when you pull it out to use at the bathroom sink.
12. as a child, i would play calculator games with heather. we would time ourselves to see who could get the highest number the quickest. it was a stupid game, but the reason we (well, for sure i) enjoyed it was because i loved the sound and feel of mashing those buttons. it is likely while i still enjoy the calculator today despite my poor math skills, and also why i can spend hours upon hours happily typing at the computer, or why i love the clack of a typewriter soooooooooo. i just can't get enough of that sound.
11. i was a vegetarian and had a dream about eating a hamburger and threw in the towel. i had a bug juicy one at SPANKY'S. my dad welcomed me back to the meat-eating world with loving arms. sometimes i miss the constraints of such a diet.
10. i dream of work in the dying publishing field. silly, right?
9. my job has involved and revealed the world of local politics to me in a way that stomps on my eternal optimistic views and renders me pretty devoid of faith in our current governmental system at all. (and this is the best we've come up with?) silly task forces and snarky mayors.
8. i never thought i would end up BACK in fayetteville. here i am, and i am pretty happy.
7. i consider myself a film aficionado. i'm not sure i can say this without having seen: the godfather, scarface, west side story, annie hall, and citizen kane. kali and shannon can fill you in on other great or at least important-to-film movies i have missed.
6. i really miss working at starbucks. i do like the independent coffee shops out there. i guess maybe working at starbies was the zenith of my college career-- it was where i created my home... and man, i just miss that.
5. i check out females more than i do males-- and i'm not a lesbian. my mom is likely to disagree with this, but it is entirely true. i really admire the girls out there strutting their stuff with their own personalities reflected in their eclectic wardrobes.
4. even as a child i thought i was fat. i was a skinny kid, i just had one of those round bellies. talk about skewed body image.
3. the most creative halloween costume i've ever had was a dead prom queen and a zombie bride. i typically go as a cat. how boring. i love halloween. where's my creative spirit?
2. i'm not artistic in the slightest but won a coloring contest as a child. heather (who is the artistic one) was upset and got a barbie because she whined and all i got was a stupid stuffed pumpkin that didn't even have fur i could pick off.
1. okay. yeah. i do this weird thing where i roll "fur" between my fingers. i pick the material from stuffed animals, blankets, sweaters, coats and just roll it between my fingers. it relaxes me. i don't even think about it and am amazed after a movie to see a pile of fluff balls on the floor. i still sleep with my little foot (that i've had since i was six) so i can do that very thing. as a toddler i had a bear that i "exposed" because of my creepy little habit. toddler holding naked bear was a creepish site, i imagine. i apologize to all those who've had to pick up random little balls after me my whole life.
so yeah, that is it. interesting, right? (p-shah) a weird collection of things that don't actually tie together all that well. :/
Tuesday, February 17, 2009
25. It only recently come to my attention that I am not necessarily a good older sister. (well, by two minutes.) This is due to the fact that I spent a large part of my youth controlling my twin sister, Heather. I would torture her to wake up (she likes to sleep in, still does). Would push us to play Barbies, and when we would, well, after we dressed each Barbie for whatever glamorous and exciting event they were going to (think wedding, billy idol concert, etc.) would tell her that we had to leave them alone. Barbie must stay as she is. Everything looks pretty so let's leave 'em alone and go do something else. A tape recording of Heather and I in our rooms playing reveals me singing and being the generally happy person that I am. Heather is crying. Instead of consoling her, I drawl in my creepishly thick southern accent that no longer exists: "Chill out Heather, Just CHILL OUT." She continues to cry. ME = BAD SISTER. (Also, interestingly, Heather and I never had a Ken doll. Nor did we want one. I suppose we thought it gross... but I think we were making a bold feminist statement and just didn't realize it yet.)
24. In further continuation of item #25, it should be noted that this behavior continued as an adult. I, by no means, am as OCD as I once was, but still much prefer the preparations for a party rather than the party itself. I hate everything becoming all messy-- chip crumbs everywhere, leaves drug in by the guests to mess up the once pretty linoleum-- gah... I really need to learn to relish the fun of company as opposed to the fun of a nice clean presentation. I'm totally that girl that follows people around picking up their cups, etc, making them uncomfortable. Which is also why I really enjoy the pre-event part of my job, but not the during and post-event part.
23. As children, my sister and I would start a new club and it would disband generally within a week as a new interest arose. The clubs were pitiful and dorky. Some included: "Archaeology Club" and "Fitness Club" and "Save the World Club". Club members were usually myself, Heather, and Stephanie (a neighborhood friend.) Agenda items would include new fitness regimens or brushing off the ugly rocks discovered in the backyard. On the whole, I think this model well represents myself as an adult-- always loving the idea of something (flash cool image of an archaeologist on a dig ala Indiana Jones) but not having the gusto for the follow-through or the actual research and work involved and so ultimately never REALLY finding my OWN passion.
22. As a child, I fell into a sewer. I won't comment on how this might have translated into my confidence level as an adult. Ha.
21. I have an irrational and unscientifically founded fear of being sucked out of my car. I sometimes will randomly lock the doors so as not to be sucked out. I also have an ideal cell phone holder in the door handle of my car, but am generally hesitant to place it there for fear that it will be sucked out and crushed. I have visualized myself being sucked out of traveling car on multiple occasions, to great dramatic effect and untimely death.
20. As children, Heather and I played "Veterinarian". The name of our clinic was Olive Branch. We kept files for all of our stuffed animals on our computer. They also had matching index cards in the event that the computer was on the fritz. We would log the surgeries done, prescriptions prescribed, and the "OR" was a magically transformed bunk bed by blanket alone. We were organized, imaginative little freaks. To date, we never got involved withthose dreadful video games, and our desperate attempts to play them later in life are shameful at best. (no hand-eye coordination to speak of.)We were much happier inside our own minds.
Wow. Okay. I have work to do. Looks like this list will be presented in installments. Of five. Be looking for tomorrow's great (well, hopefully somewhat interesting) revelations.
Monday, February 09, 2009
Dear Ms. Gilbert:
On January 28, 2009, I joined 243 of my House colleagues in passing the stimulus package. This legislation, though imperfect, will effectively help jumpstart the American economy. The stimulus will save and create up to four million jobs, provide a tax cut for 95 percent of working Americans, and renovate our country's crumbling infrastructure.
By any measure, our country is struggling. Credit is frozen, consumer confidence is low, and the stock market has taken a deep plunge. Our country has seen 2 million job losses in the last four months. Ten of the counties in our district are suffering from double-digit unemployment as are more than a third of all counties across the state. These are dire times, and Congress must act swiftly.
In the face of the highest unemployment rate in 26 years and a deep state budget shortfall, North Carolina will benefit from billions of sorely needed dollars in the stimulus. Specifically, North Carolina will benefit from the following investments:
o $2.26 billion for additional Medicaid funding;
o $1.87 billion for "state fiscal stabilization funding" to help state and local governments fund education and other key services;
o $1.26 billion for education funding, including $361 million for school improvements;
o $117 million for additional funding for Supplemental Social Income (SSI).
The stimulus bill offers us a unique opportunity to create jobs while modernizing our infrastructure, making investments in weatherizing homes, retrofitting old public buildings to make them more energy efficient, and investing in smart grid technology. Further, we will rebuild our roads, bridges, transit, and waterways.
This legislation not only makes large investments, but also helps American individuals and businesses keep more of the money they earn:
o The Make Work Pay Tax Cut provides immediate and sustained tax relief to 95 percent of American workers through a refundable tax credit of up to $500 per worker ($1,000 per couple filing jointly), phasing out at $200,000 for couples filing jointly and $100,000 for single filers.
o More than 3.1 million North Carolina residents will benefit from the Making Work Pay Tax Credit.
o Allows businesses to improve cash flow by providing a 5-year carryback of net operating losses (NOLs). This would allow businesses to write off 90% of losses incurred in 2008 and 2009 against taxes assessed over the previous five years (current law limits NOL carryback to the previous two years).
Due to the size of this legislation, I have only enumerated a few of its critical provisions. If you are interested in a more detailed review of the bill, please visit my website, , and click on the link for the "American Recovery and Reinvestment Act" under the "Issues" category.
During the 110th Congress, I voted against financial bailout legislation because I believed it did not address the problems of Main Street America. The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act addresses the needs of average Americans who live in northeast North Carolina. Despite some flaws, it is the best method of reviving our economy, and putting Americans back on the path to prosperity.
Thank you again for contacting me. I welcome your opinion and appreciate your support during these difficult times.
Very truly yours,
Member of Congress
Posted by erica at 11:30 AM
I received an e-mail of this blog post, and I find it terribly fitting:
"In these times of economic crisis, it seems only rational that we should look back at our history to review what works if we want to create jobs and secure a strong economic legacy for future generations.
When faced with a collapsing economy, President Franklin Roosevelt tried to put Americans in all lines of work back on the job. Instead of singling out artists as somehow frivolous and unimportant to our nation's economy, he instituted a host of programs designed to put federal funds into the arts, employing America's creative talent and leaving a cultural legacy that endures still today.
The highpoint of this commitment was the Works Progress Administration's Federal One program, which put thousands of Americans to work in the arts. The government program was a lifeline for Jackson Pollock, Mark Rothko, Orson Welles, Burt Lancaster, Sidney Lumet, Ralph Ellison, Richard Wright, Studs Terkel, John Cheever, Saul Bellow, and thousands of other artists across the country.
These programs created much-needed jobs in the immediate term, but they did much more. They fostered great talents that otherwise may have been lost. The work of the many great artists supported by the government in the 1930s still benefits us today. Their contributions to our culture endure, and their successful careers resulted in employment for many others in the years that followed.
Today, however, many of our leaders apparently have forgotten this lesson of our not-so-distant history. Faced with an economic downturn of staggering proportions, some attack any help for the arts as waste, ignoring the millions of Americans who earn their livings and support their families through their artistic endeavors and arts-related enterprises.
The economic stimulus bill currently under consideration on Capitol Hill shouldn't neglect these Americans. The version of the bill passed by the House of Representatives contains $50 million in funding for the National Endowment for the Arts, which provides critical support for America's not-for-profit arts institutions. This provision has been attacked as "pork" by some, while the Senate bill currently provides nothing for the NEA. To make matters worse, this week Senators stripped out a provision intended to provide the same job creating benefits for the film industry as the bill provides for other industries.
Why is it so hard for some to realize that jobs in the arts support millions of Americans and are no less worthy than any other job that puts food on the table? Economic studies indicate that 2.98 million Americans are employed in the arts or in arts-centric businesses. Each dollar allocated to the arts not only supports those individuals; the benefits flow outward to their communities and to other businesses. Movie production doesn't require only actors and directors. Stay for the credits after a film ends and you can't help but notice the incredible army of workers required to bring a story to the screen. In turn, each of those individuals and businesses spends money and pays taxes in their communities. The economic returns and stimulative effects are clear.
Beyond the finances, though, investing in the arts during these tough times can ensure that America doesn't lose a generation of creative talent to our temporary economic woes. Somewhere in America today, there are individuals with the potential of Orson Welles and the artistic gifts of Mark Rothko. It is foolhardy to attempt to save our economy by ignoring our talent"
Wednesday, February 04, 2009
CONTACT YOUR STATE POLITICIANS TODAY!
CONTACT YOUR STATE POLITICIANS TODAY!
Here is a little paragraph you can copy and paste to each representative/senator:
Here is a little paragraph you can copy and paste to each representative/senator:
Greetings (Representative Butterfield --change the contact information for each one),
I write to you today to encourage your active support of the arts in President Obama's new Economic Stimulus Bill. President Obama is shaping a stimulus package that has talked about both infrastructure and jobs, and it’s unclear if all of his jobs creation will be within the infrastructure bill or if there will be an additional jobs bill later. Why not encourage the focus on the arts infrastructure, i.e. repair, renovation, expansion, and new construction of arts facilities and grounds? As we work diligently to be ready to act if these funds are available, let's be advocates for making art funding available to enrich our lives and cultural inventory. The arts can be a part of the solution to the economic dilemma our state and nation are in with your help.
DO IT TODAY!