Well, I Guess Sleepovers Are Out Now…

As you may have heard by now, on Monday, two boys, ages 4 and 6, died at a sleepover when they were crushed by a 14-foot, 100-pound python. When the story first began hitting the news, my friends and I immediately got suspicious of what really happened. None of the earlier reported details made any sense. The man whose house the boys had been visiting claimed that the python had escaped from its cage in the exotic pet store (which he owned) underneath the apartment, that the python crawled into the ventilation system, punched a hole in the apartment wall, strangled the children, and then disappeared again without a sound. The owner allegedly found the snake in a corner after he discovered the boys had died. Something is just wrong there.

 
Somehow we’re supposed to believe that this snake broke off two locks [as were reportedly on all of the snake cages in the pet shop]… slithered into the HVAC system… made its way–all 100 pounds of it–through the HVAC system… punched a hole in the wall with its head somehow… made its way down to the boys… wrapped itself around both boys… strangled them… and then moved on? And no one woke up? Pop Culture Dad thought everything was believable except the alleged wall punching (particularly without disturbing anyone). My pals and I weren’t so convinced. Even if you can believe all of the details surrounding the escape and reemergence in the apartment above, there’s the problem of why would the python attack sleeping children simply to strangle them, but not do anything else? Pythons apparently attack in two circumstances: (1) when they feel provoked and (2) when they need to eat. It’s unlikely that sleeping children would have made a snake feel threatened [though Pop Culture Dad did point out that if the wall punching did occur, the snake could have landed and freaked out. That I can believe]; and if the python moved on after strangling the children, it certainly wasn’t trying to eat. Things that make you go hmmmm.

 
My friends and I [ever the doubting lawyers] suspected some sort of foul play afoot. More importantly, though, it raised the issue for us: under what circumstances would you allow your child to sleepover at another child’s house? Twin Mom (who was part of this Great Sleepover Debate) found this really interesting articles detailing “7 Reasons to Say No to Sleepovers.” Many of the reasons revolved around lack of sleep and the effects of that. Those reasons I (along with the rest of my friends) found pretty weak. Who are these parents having and allowing school-day slumber parties?? There was also a reason related to “Awkward Social Situations,” which is apparently what happens when you’re okay with one kid sleeping over or your kid going to someone’s house, but other kids or other houses are banned, and you don’t want to explain to the parents why. See… I don’t have that issue. If my kid isn’t allowed to go to your house alone, she’s not. And if you expect me to step out of my comfort zone to avoid offending you, then that type of parenting actually just justifies my not sending my kid to your house. My children and their safety are the most important things to me–damn your comfort level. I really don’t care. Nope, not socially awkward for me at all. There were some valid points, too, which generally boil down to “things that you don’t let happen in your own house will happen somewhere else.” Those to me are the most valid reasons. In fact, the only valid ones. And that is perhaps why, when my kids get old enough that we’re both comfortable with the idea of them having sleepovers, the list of families in that “approved sleepover” rotation is going to be very narrow and tight–like the VIP room at a very exclusive club.

 
I had plenty of sleepovers as a child and teen. I recall going to my first sleepover party in fourth grade. We saw [I’m dating myself here] Breakin’ 2: Electric Bugaloo at the theater and then had an all-girl sleepover where my friend’s (we thought at the time) super cool sister who was in (gasp!) high school made us all pancakes the next morning. My cousin (who was my best friend) and I slept over at each other’s houses all the time from elementary school through high school. I even had one co-ed sleepover [which I recall both my mom and I finding very odd] in middle school. Twin Mom and I had tons of sleepovers in high school–as she said, we would usually go to her house to eat, because there was actually food, but then my house to hang out, because we could pretty much do whatever we want [which, really, for us geeky girls was just staying up all night talking, singing, and playing on the computer].

 
The landscape has changed since the 1980s and 1990s, though. I cannot imagine letting my girls sleepover at anyone’s house unless I knew the parents really well and knew all of the kids who would be present. I would also have to lack the gut feeling that someone in that house is creepy [always trust your gut, even when it makes you feel guilty]. I used to think that the only pets I would wonder about are dogs and cats, because of how highly allergic Little Diva is to pretty much anything with fur… but now… Well… I think I’m going to need an inventory of every animal in the house or with reasonable (or unreasonable) access to the house; because a few hives and couple of swollen eyelids from exposure to a Cocker Spaniel seems pretty mild in comparison to Death-by-Python.

 
And what about guns?? I live in Texas, the Concealed Handgun Capital of the World. Even though I grew up around guns, I hate them, they terrify me, and I’m smart enough to know that statistically, we are more likely to be killed by our own gun than we would gain protection from it. So we don’t allow guns in my house. Period. Even my parents know that if they are in my home, the gun stays in the car. And Nonna has always been expressly instructed that the Pop Culture Girls are not allowed to be in her car if the gun is there [we don’t have that issue with my dad, who drives a two-seater convertible the girls would not be even able to legally ride in for another nine years]. Considering the types of precautions I take with my own parents, why in the world would I just let my children go to a house with some random gun owner, particularly when I don’t know what kind of precautions the parents take with securing their guns and, quite frankly, I don’t trust most gun owners to actually be as responsible with their guns.
 
So, yeah… I think I’m going to need a questionnaire before my kids can go to a slumber party. Or, ya know, just have a blanket rule that their social calendar is based on my intimate knowledge and understanding of the household, and anything that doesn’t pass mom’s smell test and thirty-point inspection is not getting approved.
 
As for those poor little boys in Canada… the Lawyer Guts were totally right. Reports came out today that this python had not escaped from the pet store in the amazing (and completely full of crap) story that the pet store owner expected everyone to buy. Nope. This snake was already in the apartment… in a glass cage… without a proper lock… and it wasn’t the first time it had gotten out. Others who had seen the snake before described it as aggressive and unused to people. The boys had played with a variety of animals that day, meaning they likely had the smell of snake-food on them. The pet store owner was known for his very lax approach to safety with these dangerous creatures. This was a very tragic and 100% avoidable event. It’s notentirely the mom’s fault for allowing her boys to stay at her friend’s house, seeing as it was her friend who acted (and omitted) with the gross negligence and pure stupidity that eventually led to the boys’ death. But perhaps mom should have [and I know she’s beating herself up enough, so it’s not like I have to do it for her] had a talk with her (dumb) friend about putting his pets away safely before she turned over her most precious belongings to him? Maybe she did? And maybe he lied to her like he (apparently) did to the police and the media. I honestly don’t know what happened there.

           NO!!!

 
But I do know that my kids will not be sleeping at any house over an exotic pet store or with any exotic/killer animals lurking around. I don’t care who the parents are.

Abigail Fisher and Their Ilk Need a Lesson in Humility

I have made no secret over the years how I feel about entitled, self-important teens and “adults.” The Supreme Court’s decision in Fisher v. University of Texas has just brought all those old feelings to the surface.

What I think about affirmative action is irrelevant to my feelings about Fisher.  The bottom line is that the SCOTUS never should have taken this case in the first place. In fact, no appellate court should have taken this case. Why? Because, quite simply, Abigail Fisher had no injury.

One of the first things we learn about standing in law school is that there must have been some sort of injury. Abigail Fisher could only prove injury if she could have proved that but for the policies she claimed prevented her admission into UT, she would have been admitted into the school. Here’s the problem, though: she wouldn’t have been.
In 2008, the year Abigail Fisher applied to UT, 81% of the school’s enrollment came from the State of Texas program where students in the top 10% of their classes are automatically admitted to the Texas university of their choices. Abigail Fisher was not in the top 10% of her class. Her GPA and SAT scores were on the low end of UT’s acceptance pool that year (including those of the vast majority of the enrollees, who were automatically accepted). That left Abigail Fisher to rest on her personal statement and “extras.”
Most of the students admitted to UT that year had better numbers than Abigail Fisher. Among those with lower numbers, many of them were white. Basically, this girl did not have a dog in the hunt. But she was pissy about not getting into her first-choice school, and she literally made a federal case about it. Literally. 
Why did Abigail Fisher think one of those 19% spots belonged to her? Why, because her parents (like 20% of Texan parents, it seems) went to UT. Basically, her argument seems to be that legacy affirmative action should outweigh minority and class affirmative action. This girl is the very definition of “entitled.”
Justices Sotomayor and Ginsburg were smart enough to raise the issue that the controversy was moot—homegirl had already graduated college, and, ya know, UT, had made it clear that she wasn’t getting accepted. Period. [Kagan recused herself].
I can’t help but think that if someone had told her a long time ago, “Sorry, sweetie, but the rest of the world just doesn’t find you all that special,” all this shit could have been avoided. 

Making Others’ Bad Grammar Work for You

I am one of those people who is a freak (and probably a pain) about good grammar. Sure, I make allowances for auto-correct or (in a casual or personal setting) mindless errors made by quick action and/or lack of proofreading. Heck, I’m not perfect; I realize (sometimes too late) that I make grammatical mistakes that I shouldn’t have because I know better. Heck, in some situations, I even use bad grammar on purpose. Those are not the things that bother me. What bothers me are the mistakes that people make because they just don’t know any better—and worse, sometimes because they just don’t care. That’s unforgivable. It makes me fearful of the educational system (both public and private), and it makes me weep for future generations, who are certainly on the road to proving that Mike Judge’s Idiocracy may be less fiction and more of a prediction (a sad, sad prediction).

What are some of the things that really grind my gears?

  • using an apostrophe to make a word plural. “Hey mom’s! I need some help!” is not correct. With some exceptions, “‘s” is used to denote possession, not number. Stop using it. Seriously. I got an e-mail yesterday that said “Get Dad’s What They Really Want.” I will never purchase from that company again.
  • not knowing the difference between “there,” “their,” and “they’re”; “it’s” and “its”; “here” and “hear”; “your” and “you’re”; “four,” “for,” and “fore”; “specifically” and “pacifically”; “ask” and “axe”…. Well, you get the picture.
  • “irregardless” used in a non-ironic way. It’s not a word. Stop trying to make it happen. It doesn’t make you sound smarter.
  • overuse of the phrase “such as” or any other term the writer/speaker thinks makes whatever mundane thing they’re saying sound more important
  • “alot” and “allot” — They are not the same as “a lot.” Really, they aren’t. One of them isn’t even a real word.
  • “ya’ll” — Okay, I know I shouldn’t be peeved about the misspelling of a slang word, but it bugs me. Why? Because it shows a lack of understanding of either the purpose of the word or how contractions work. “Y’all” is short for “you all”; thus, the apostrophe goes after the “y” as a replacement for the “ou” that is gone.
  • TXT-speak on anything other than text messages, twitter, or some other extremely informal and character-limited form of communication. If you send me an e-mail or letter that includes such gems as “Wat r u going 2 do 2day?” don’t get mad if I don’t respond. My lack of response is probably a lot more polite than the answer you would get back.
  • using “literally” in a non-ironic way to describe things that literally could not have happened

    Sigh… I could go on for days. But I’ll stop here, because the whole point of this post was to talk about making (note, not “makeing”) bad grammar and spelling mistakes work for you, right? So here goes…

    I recently started a job where I’m doing much more (almost exclusively) transactional type legal work than litigation. Switching practices like this has brought our my inner grammar geek in full force. You would think that my former practice (a litigation hybrid), involving a lot of memos and court pleadings, would have given me more encounters with bad grammar than my current gig (transactional work, for those of you that didn’t click the link, consists of non-litigation things like drafting contracts); but it didn’t. Don’t get me wrong, there was plenty of bad writing to be seen in my days as a litigator. However, most attorneys who are drawn toward litigation tend to be good writers [I’m not talking about those general practice lawyers who do anything and everything; I’m talking about people who are strictly in litigation or litigation-hybrid practices of law]. Also, those who aren’t good writers usually (but not always) tend to acknowledge their weaknesses in that area and leave the heavy drafting to the good writers. I suspect that I’m seeing so much bad writing in a transactional setting [not, mind you, coming from any of the lawyers at my current job, who are all as grammar geeky as I am], because when people start drafting things from a form, they get really lazy. And if they’re already inclined to be lazy or just don’t know any better, they don’t know when the things they are copying are wrong, and they also don’t know how to make their new additions to those forms look right.

    Today, I received a draft [not from anyone at my company!!] that had the word (rather, “word”) “interfear.” Seriously. If you don’t know what’s wrong with that word, we’re already starting at a deficit here. Honestly, I don’t even know how someone could have given me a draft with the word “interfear,” because the red swiggly line was clearly under that puppy. I mean, the only thing I could imagine other than pure laziness causing the person not to notice, is that s/he [not saying which] has written that word so many times, that s/he finally added it to his/her custom Word dictionary. If that’s the case, that’s just sad. Because if that happened to me, I would be inclined to do some Google research to see why Word hated my word so much.

    Seeing this patently wrong “word,” however, reminded me of an e-mail forward I got a long time ago about The Washington Post’s Style Invitational. In one of the contests, they asked readers to take any word from the dictionary; alter it by adding, subtracting, or changing one letter; and supply a new definition. The contest generated such awesome words and definitions as (my personal favorite) “sarchasm” (n.): The gulf between the author of sarcastic wit and the person who doesn’t get it.

    Taking a cue from the witty readers who contributed to the Style Invitational, I decided to make lemonade out of lemons and come up with my own definition for “interfear”:

    interfear (n) the terror one experiences when burying a corpse (i.e. fear of interring. e.g., “I was supposed to be a pallbearer at my grandmother’s funeral, but my interfear got in the way.”); (v) to be afraid of placing a corpse in a grave or tomb (e.g., “My grandmother’s funeral is Sunday, and I’ve been interfearing the funeral rites.”)

    I shared my made-up definitions with the co-workers who had commiserated with me this morning over the awful grammar in the document I was reviewing. We all decided to make this a “thing.” The next time we get some godawful, “they really should have known better” spelling mistake, we’re just going to make a new word out of it. Of course, this doesn’t help at ALL with the everyday grammar mistakes that don’t involve gross misspellings, but at least it’s a start. And if you have any idea how to put a silver lining on those monstrosities, please let me know.

    – Posted using BlogPress from my iPad

  • What is a "Real Woman", Really?

    This afternoon, The Huffington Post angered a number of fans on its Facebook page when it posted the following:

    The commentary contained a link to this article, which showcased a slideshow of real Huffington Post readers in bikinis. The angry commenters’ problem was that they believed HuffPost’s characterization of the women in the slideshow as “real women” was a statement that the only real women are women with curves and bigger bodies and that “thin, healthy women” are not in fact “real.” However, this wasn’t the commenters’ real problem. Their actual problem is two-fold: (1) a lack of reading comprehension [actually, a lack of reading, PERIOD, as they clearly did not read the article], and (2) a failed logic whereby they think thin automatically means healthy and thick automatically means unhealthy.
    Not reading the article is really a sad problem, considering it is only two paragraphs long. The article makes it very clear that HuffPost sought after photographs of real women in order to combat the extremely airbrushed images that assault us from magazine aisles, along with the notion that the only way a woman should ever don a bikini is after she’s lost 40 pounds. The article plainly says, We happen to believe that if you’re physically able to put on a bathing suit, you’re bikini-ready. It also plainly states that it wanted the pictures it received to be “unstarved and unairbrushed.” “Unstarved” doesn’t mean, “zaftig only.” Plenty of women are unstarved and thin, just as there are many women who are starved and thick [more on that point later]. The key here, though, is unairbrushed.
    Anyone who clicked through the ten-picture slideshow would easily see that the women included in the slideshow came in all sizes. There are plump women and thin women. There are tall women and short women. You know what kind of women you won’t find in those ten pictures, though? Airbrushed and Photoshopped women. Not one of those women has had dimples, cellulite, moles, birthmarks, or discolorations removed. Not one has had her lines smoothed and/or her body liquified [the Photoshop editing job of making someone skinny] to three times smaller than her actual size. These women, thin and thick alike, are “real” because they look the way any woman would look on the street. And if you think Kate Beckinsale or Snooki looks anything in person like what you see on the cover of a magazine teaching you how to look just like her [but ignoring the main tip of, “and then Photoshop yourself”], then you are exactly the type of gullible person to which these articles are marketed.
    Now let’s get to the second problem, the idea that thin means healthy and thick means unhealthy. BEEEEEEEEEEEP!!!!! WRONG!
    Look, I don’t dispute that someone who is morbidly obese is probably unhealthy. When Ruby Gettinger weighed more than 400 pounds, she was undoubtedly, not healthy. But where people often go wrong is when they make the automatic assumption that someone who is thin, whether naturally thin or not, is healthy and that someone who is overweight (not obese, but just outside the realm of their ideal weight) is unhealthy. There have been several studies that disprove this theory. What you see on the outside doesn’t necessarily indicate a person’s eating habits or exercise levels. Yes, people who eat right and exercise and stay or maintain a thin weight as a result of their healthy habits should be applauded for their discipline. Where we get off the rails, however, is when we assume that because someone looks “good” on the outside, this matches what is happening on the inside.
    This is what is so wrong with a thin-obsessed culture. The emphasis should never be on “thin,” it should always be on “healthy.” If “thin” is a level you achieve when you become “healthy,” then great. But there are far too many people, women especially, who develop very unhealthy habits (anorexia and bulimia being only two of these) in pursuit of “thin.” However, society is much better off when people are eating well and exercising–regardless of what size or forms their bodies take as a result of this healthy living.
    Here’s my “real” time….
    I have been my current height (5’7″) since I was 13 or 14 years old. Including pregnancy, at this height, I have been every weight from 80 pounds to 200 pounds. I was not starving when I was 80 pounds; it was the result of my natural metabolism, inherited from both parents. My parents should have been my cautionary tale. I should have known that my metabolism wouldn’t last forever. But because of partly acting out because of all the hurt I experienced when I was younger, when my peers had no problem making fun of my weight [“toothpick,” “anorexic,” “Olive Oyl” — I’ve heard it all] and largely having formed awful habits as the result of having no visual consequences to my lifestyle, I formed awful habits. By high school, I had actually started lifting weights, because I had read in magazines that doing so would help me gain weight. I was also eating ten times a day in an effort to gain weight–mostly junk food, fast food, and anything I could get out of a vending machine. I never did any real cardio until law school, because I found it “boring” and “I didn’t need it.” In fact, the only time I did cardio even in law school was during dance practice or when I decided to walk 20 blocks to go shopping (or, more likely, to a bar) because I couldn’t afford a cab and didn’t want to take the subway. Despite eating Taco Bell and other awful takeout nearly every day for lunch and dinner, my weight never went over 120 pounds until long after graduation, when I went on a medication that had the side effect of making me gain a ton of weight quickly. I didn’t just gain weight, I got “puffy.” To combat that weight gain, I basically tried to starve myself back into my size 0 clothes. I rarely ate breakfast and lunch. For dinner, whether or not I ate something healthy depended on my mood. But, hey, whatever worked to keep me within or under my “ideal weight” and BMI, right?
    Wrong. Everything about my old lifestyle was wrong. And it wasn’t until a few months before Pop Culture Dad and I got engaged–when I got a personal trainer who knocked some sense into me–that I realized how wrong my previous lifestyle was, regardless of how good I looked on the outside.
    Am I a picture of perfect health today? No. But, sadly, I am much healthier now, in my greater attempts to eat home-cooked meals more often, to buy organic fruits and vegetables (and even starting to grow my own), and in trying to incorporate more physical activity (even if it isn’t always “exercise”) than I was when I was back in my “hot” days in my early and mid-20s. Am I as healthy as I could be? Absolutely not. But I’m working on it. Although I would ultimately like to lose some weight and trim down from the healthy changes I continue to make to my lifestyle, in the end all that will really matter is that I have improved my quality (and length) of life by making these healthy changes. I will also have given my daughters the benefit of hopefully long and healthy lives by not teaching them–as I sadly had learned–that it doesn’t matter what they eat right now, because they have the metabolism that I used to have, and they can basically gorge themselves on anything and everything without consequence until they turn 25. That was a bad lesson to learn, and it has been a hard habit to break.
    In any event, I will continue to be a “real” woman. I’m not going to Photoshop my imperfections before posting pictures to Facebook out of fear that people will judge me if I don’t look “perfect” and skinny. If I ever again achieve what I believe to be my ideal body [not weight; weight tells you nothing] again, I will still be a “real” woman, because I will remain unairbrushed and true to myself.
    (L) High school and (R) law school. “Real” and unairbrushed, but an unhealthy version of skinny.
    Pop Culture Dad and I at our healthiest–on our honeymoon in 2008, eating well and being active (although 50 pounds heavier than I was in high school/college and 20-30 pounds heavier than my heaviest law school weight — both times living off fast food). Unstarved and unairbrushed.
    Me today. I’m still “real” and unairbrushed. Still not as healthy as I could be and have been, but 100x healthier than my college and law school skinny days (and noneyabiz how much heavier).

    So… Tell Me About Yourself

    “Tell me about yourself…”–four little words that seem so simple. But are they?

    We’ve all heard it before. Dates, job interviews, small talk at a party or professional event. But how do we answer it? And what does our answer say about us?

    Obviously the answer to “tell me about yourself” is going to depend in part on the setting and the audience. You’re not going to answer that question on a job interview or at a professional networking event with “On the weekends, I’m really into being tied up and beaten with small, light whips,” even jokingly [unless, of course, your business industry happens to be related to S&M]. Just like I’m sure your attachment parenting support group doesn’t really want to hear you laundry-list your resumé and all of your professional accomplishments. But even within a tailored setting, the way you answer that question can be tricky. Not to mention, there are those times when you are asked the question in one setting, when the intention is another altogether.

    I was recently asked this question in a professional context. As I usually do in a professional setting, I started answering it from a professional standpoint–what my practice area is, where I work, how long I’ve been doing it, etc. I was cut off. “Nah… I don’t want to know about your legal career. I want to know what you like when you’re not being a lawyer. What do you like to do? Do you have any  hobbies?”. Instantly, I relaxed. Suddenly, I no longer had that feeling of being “on.” But then where to go? Do I mention that I have an unhealthy obsession (as many other lawyers do, I’ve found) to trash reality TV? Do I talk about my children? Shrug. So I began where I usually do, “I really like to write…”.

    For most of us, who we are is multi-layered. You can talk about your children or your hobbies. You could talk about your background from birth to present day. Or you could just talk about the week you’ve been having. But where do you begin? “Well, I was born in a small town near Timbuktu to John Doe and Jane Smith-Doe. There, I attended Almost-Timbuktu Elementary, where my first grade teacher was Miss Know-It-All…”.

    This is why “tell me about yourself” with nothing more bothers me. I don’t know what information, if any, the asker is actually seeking. Not to mention, sometimes it feels like a trick: what do you prioritize about yourself? On a theoretical basis, the first thing that pops into your head should be the most important thing about you, right? But I suspect most people are like me, and within a millisecond, you’ve filtered your personality down to one innocuous thing about You© that you can share until you gauge who this stranger is and what his or her end game is. For any stranger who has used this question as some sort of personality or litmus test on me, sorry to burst your bubble, but you likely did not receive an answer that told you the things I feel are most important about me. We don’t know each other well enough for that kind of disclosure. For anyone who used it because they really didn’t know how to ask the right direct question to find out what it is about me they really want to know [which, I suppose in most cases is, “Do we have some common traits that can take this conversation from awkward introduction to a meaningful exchange?”], then I apologize if my answer did nothing but drag out the uncomfortable first-meeting scenario. But you’ve gotta work with me here!

    For the personality test, I feel like there are so many other indirect ways you can find out what values a person holds dear. For someone like me (the “semi-open book” type), maybe your best bet is to skip the beating around the bush and just ask me direct questions. If you want to know if I’m a religious person in the same way you are, asking me “tell me about yourself” and hoping that somewhere in my rambling answer some church activities come up is really not a productive way to go [particularly if this is in a professional setting, since, ya know, it’s usually best to avoid topics of religion and politics unless you have a reason to believe the other person is on the same page as you]. Why not just ask me outright, “So where do you go to church?” or “Do you go to church?”. Yes, it might be momentarily awkward when I answer that no I do not go to church, nor am I Christian; but at least then we can quickly move on instead of you asking me over and over to “tell me something else about yourself.” Because we will never get to anything close to that topic. We just won’t. If there’s something you want to know about a person, why not guide them in the right direction?

    If “tell me about yourself” is your way of making small talk and getting past an awkward introduction, you have actually failed in that regard, because you have now made me more uncomfortable by forcing me into a situation where I am taking a 30-second personal inventory, where I have no idea what bits and pieces of information would be remotely relevant or interesting. How about asking more detailed questions, such as the person who stopped me mid-rehashing-my-resumé-track: “What are things you like to do outside of work? Do you have any hobbies?”. In this particular instance, the pointed question led to skipping over my stock answer about writing [an area in which the asker had no interest], and into a nice back-and-forth about crafting, a rug I randomly decided to make, and an excellent kids’ craft idea she made up for one of her children’s birthday parties years ago. By focusing her general question on one particular aspect about me [hobbies], we were able to find some common ground which led to a pretty lengthy and mutually interesting discussion.

    “Tell me about yourself” is such a horrible stock question. Whether you’re interviewing someone, courting someone, trying to make a new friend, or just trying to fill some time while the person you really want to talk to is otherwise occupied, why not instead try something a little more direct or specific? You’ll be glad you did.

    Tell me: How do you all generally answer the magic “tell me about yourself” question?


    See? This Is Exactly What I Was Talking About

    Some lawmakers in Texas and the lieutenant governor are now working on legislation to allow teachers to bring guns to school and allow for gun training for those teachers. Even ignoring how absolutely awful that idea is, this is exactly what I meant yesterday when I talked about fucked up priorities.

    In 2011, Gov. Goodhair Rick Perry cut $4 billion from the Texas education budget, resulting in the layoff of thousands of teachers, larger class sizes, and, as a natural result, a worse education for many public school students in Texas.

    So we can’t provide the funding to keep all our teachers and reduce class sizes, but we can provide the funding to arm and weapons-train teachers (many of whom don’t even want the training)??? Are you fucking kidding me?!?!?!?!

    I need out of this state. Fast.

    Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone