What’s wrong with ‘Happy Holidays’ anyway?

I keep seeing these posts on FB about saying Merry Christmas instead of Happy Holidays or standing up for christmas because there’s a war on it and so on.  It raises some questions and confusion for me.

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Post from Facebook.

So, “Merry Christmas” may be the traditional greeting to some, but it isn’t for all. Many belief systems don’t, and not even all christian denominations, celebrate christmas.  Non-believers don’t either, obviously.  Are the Merry Christmas folks okay with being told Happy Holidays (apparently not or there wouldn’t be the posts I suppose), Happy Hanukkah, Merry Yule or Happy Kwanzaa?  If not, why?  Do they then feel the need to respond to these traditional greetings with your own to make a point?  And how does that make it okay then to force Merry Christmas on people who don’t celebrate the same way?  I just don’t see the logic there.  If you know that someone else celebrates and believes the same as you, then it makes complete sense to share the same greetings, etc.  But if one is assuming that everyone does, or should, do and believe the same, then that’s something totally different.

Religion is a personal choice and everyone is different.  Asking for respect and acceptance of those differences isn’t a “war” on anything.  It seems that differences like this divide so much and are so harmful.  So, instead of trying to push one’s own way, maybe having something universal and non-divisive isn’t a bad thing in our current society?  I’m not trying to start a debate, but just offer some questions and things to ponder.

Do What Thou Wilt but Harm None

How Everyone’s Bad Behavior is Turning Me Into One Angry Woman

“Silence encourages the tormentor, never the tormented.” or “The only way for evil to triumph is for a good man (or woman) to do nothing.” When we sit back and do nothing, or don’t LEAD BY EXAMPLE, we cannot expect people to do differently.

I agree with the author of this blog, although she offers no solutions.  We need alternatives other than judgment, because everyone has bad days (and I understand that these examples provided are much more than just bad days).  We have a serious problem with lack of emotional empathy, bravery and personal responsibility in our society and unfortunately, those who do care enough to try to make a difference are often labeled negatively and told to mind their own business or “live and let live.”  I’m a believer in “do what thou wilt but harm none” but if “live” is causing harm to yourself or others, no one is just required to let you, IMO.

The timing of this piece is excellent as just yesterday I was driving to work behind a car that was going slow and then speeding up, etc.  I tried to go around them and the driver basically cut me off and went even slower.  The driver started glaring at me in the mirror and saying something.  The passenger then proceeded to turn around and start waving at me and giving me the finger.  I just shrugged, smiled and gave her the peace sign.  Then we got to a stop light and the lady on the passenger side got out of the car, came back to my car screaming threats and profanities at me, giving me the finger multiple times, etc.  Again, I just stared at her and felt horribly sorry for this sad woman.  The light turned green, they were holding up traffic, I just honked and waited for her to finish her horrible display of humanity and get back in her car.  As we turned, they sped out of the area very quickly and disappeared into the sad world they live in.  This sort of display and behavior is sad, stupid, ridiculous and COMPLETELY unnecessary.  Did her behavior solve anything or make anything better for anyone?  Absolutely not.

I’d had enough of sitting on the sidelines and letting this sort of shit be tolerated and accepted as “normal” or okay.  I called the non-emergency police number and reported them.  The officer that took my statement said that there was more than enough there to issue citations for disturbing the peace, etc. and make them appear in court but that it was up to me.  I went with just having him make contact with them and issue a warning.  I’d like to hope that given the chance to see that their behavior was horrible and that there are potential consequences, will be enough to hopefully let them take a look at who they are and how they act and improve on that.  The police officer called me back after making contact with them and said that they admitted that what they did was stupid and unnecessary and apologized for flipping out.  So, hopefully this will have some sort of positive impact, if even just in a tiny way.

So, you can call me a bitch or a snitch or a “do gooder” or whatever you want to throw at me for turning these people in.  But I would much rather be someone who is trying to do the right thing and improve my life, as well as those around me, than to be one to does nothing and thereby contributes to the problem.

Life is Short, Drink Good Beer

I’m a beer snob.  I admit it and I’m proud of it.  Why on earth would someone want to pay to drink horrible, watered-down, flavorless beer? Really the only thing that I’ve seen from my years of experience is that people continue to drink cheap SAB (shitty American Beers – i.e. Coors, Miller Lite, Bud, etc.) primarily to get wasted.  I don’t drink beer to get wasted.  I drink good beer to experience the taste, which is why I prefer good beer.  By “good beer” I mean beers where you can taste the different flavors and notes that the brewers have artistically and carefully put together just like a chef perfecting a recipe!  I love local craft beer and some mass produced beer that hasn’t fallen victim to the mindset of just using cheap ingredients and watered down stuff to increase profits.   I thought all beer was like SAB and tasted horrible until just a few years ago.  

There seems to be this huge misconception that good beer costs soooooo much more than SAB and that only those with large amounts of disposable income can enjoy good beer.  In fact, a few days ago I was asked what kinds of beer I like.  I named a few – Empyrean Brewingg Co, Leinenkugel’s, Sam Adams, Zipline, Dundee, Stone, etc., etc.  And the questioner then turned to my fiance and said “You’ve got a good paying job right?”  Wow.  Seriously?  Not only was the comment rude and implied that I’m some sort of high maintenance gal who doesn’t pay for her own damn beer (which is incorrect), but it is also based on the idea that good beer is ridiculously expense (wrong again!).

As with most things in life, you get what you pay for and that goes for beer too!  Now, my fiance and I watch for sales and stock up on good things when they are on sale, but some of the stuff we buy is only $10 for a 12 pack of bottles and that doesn’t seem crazy to me.  Sure some imports and things are going to be pricey, but again, it’s about priorities and the reason behind drinking in the first place that makes a difference in this equation.  I’m willing to admit that my fiance and I take our beer a little more seriously than most (we recently started subscribing to beer magazines and have been experimenting with home brewing), but once you come over to the dark side (the good beer side!), you’ll never go back and you’ll wonder how you managed to drink SAB beyond the age of 22.

The Today Show has a nice section on their website called Beer Geek, which is a term that I love and may now use for myself instead of beer snob.  And for those of you who still think that good beer is too expensive, here is a great article to steer you in the right direct…..Enjoy!!!

Think craft beer is too pricey? Try these budget brews

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I applaud this mother!

I was going to just share this article on Facebook, but then I got on my soapbox a bit and decided this might be better……I applaud this mother and this article – An Open Letter to My Son.  She says so many great things!

I’m a firm believer that good parents can teach their teenagers to make better decisions.  Kids and teens will always, until the end of time, do some stupid things.  Their brains aren’t fully developed, so really, there’s no way around it.  Some are better than others when it comes to avoiding horrible decisions, but again, this generally is directly related to how they are raised and how well they can think for themselves.

However, I don’t understand or agree with letting kids under 21 drink at home because “you’d rather they do it at home as opposed to out at a party” and people somehow thinking that helps teach kids to drink responsibly.  How is leading by an example of complete disregard for the legal drinking age teaching anyone respect of any kind?  And how about teaching them to be able to have fun without alcohol or healthier ways to cope with life instead??

Now, I’m a beer-snob and I admit it.  I enjoy good craft beer (not shitty american beer though!), but being responsible with alcohol (and really with pretty much anything!) comes from learning to be a responsible adult.

Alcohol just wasn’t a staple in our household growing up.  That’s not to say that I didn’t drink and make horrible decisions.  Unfortunately, I did.  But I can honestly say, I never had more fun when I was drinking than when I wasn’t.  (If your friends think that you have to be drunk to have fun, or if the only thing you do when you’re with your friends is drink, then you need new friends!)

“Let me be clear that the fact that we love you and will stand by you does not in any way mean we will stand by while you do things that you know aren’t good for you.”  YES!

And she nails this one right on the head – “there is nothing cool about waking up in your own vomit, or having a DUI before you are 18.”  A DUI at any age is the complete opposite of cool….and smart….and responsible.  Plus one thing that worked in my favor is that I hate throwing up, so it only took one time for me to learn that’d there’s a million other things I’d rather do than drink until I throw up.  Plus, there’s nothing cool about a hangover….or being the drunken, crying, stumbling idiot that the rest of the people make fun of.

So here’s a tip of my hat to parents who teach their kids to make better decisions, who lead by a better example and who teach their kids healthier ways to have fun and to cope with the things that life will throw at them for years to come!

Throwback Thursday Poetry – 7/17

It’s time again for another Throwback Thursday and I haven’t really done much posting since the last one, so I apologize for that.  Work is crazy busy (in a good way!), I decided to take an online class to get back in the swing of this school stuff and that just started as well….and there’s wedding planning in there too….so things have been a bit hectic.

Anyway, I’d like to go back, again, to 1998 and share two more poems from my angst-filled, teenage self…..enjoy!

“The Night the World Went Crazy”
There was a pounding in my head
A buzzing in my ear
A twitch in my leg
And a spinning in the air
I lie alone
in a dark room
swirling through my thoughts or
Perhaps I was sitting at my desk
the boy in the corner
fidgeting about
Customers coming and going
The time slips slowly by
Is it a dream within a dream
Or a life within a life
The pain in my head
seems like the construction outside
I lie alone
shifting, turning, tossing
On the night the world went crazy
Or was it only me?

“Pale Faces”
Privileged –
You were born that way
You know nothing else
You believe in America
The government you trust
The system will always protect you
In the eyes and laws of this nation
You will always rein supreme
When you sleep
You see the “American Dream”
America the beautiful –
That concept died on the boat
So many souls lost
Only the “right” ones survived
Where sheets are not only for sleeping
and guns more important than food
The blood and hate that built the cities
and flooded the banks
In the end,
will destroy you, too

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Strive for better

Responsibility

Sure there are some things that are beyond our control, but so much of life, what we can achieve, where we are, our problems, our issues, our ability to improve ourselves and the world around us, comes down to personal choice and personal decisions.

To stay miserable, to remain struggling, etc. because that’s the “easy” way is tragic.  Making changes for improvement may be hard work, but I’ve never heard of anyone who regretted doing it.

I have made plenty of mistakes and more than enough stupid decisions, but I am willing to take complete personal responsibility for those mistakes and try to learn and grow from the experience.  No one is perfect and I’ve made the same dumb mistakes a couple of times before learning….but the important part IS to learn something from it, own it and not blame others or circumstances for who we are and where we are in life.  If you own it, you can change it and that’s personal power!

 

Throw Back Thursday – Poetry Edition

It was January 1998 and I was a just-over-18 college freshman.  I was taking an amazing Beatnik poetry class that included reading & writing poetry, along with espresso and coffee with the class.  These may not be award-winning caliber and are filled with teen angst, but it was fun and I learned a lot.  So, enjoy!

Afternoon Walk
I walk through a world
in endless struggle
Where searching is
disliked, frowned upon, rejected
Where different is
judged by look and not action
Where friends are friends
and friends are enemies
Everyone has one face
probably two or three
Alone is where I find myself
and where I choose to be

By Our Own Design
We occur and then vanish
without a second look
The chains that surround us
are by our own design
We built the empire
that closes in around us
Our creation is now so strong
it cannot be destroyed
Our actions developed evil
these demons we must now accept
The structures that withhold us
are merely what’s inside

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Think Happy

Happiness

We also seem to forget that happiness has nothing to do with “things” at all.

Happiness is a way of thinking and is all about attitude, outlook and a conscious decision (possibly several conscious decisions daily) to think a certain way, behave a certain way and to decide what affects us and how.

I have not mastered this way of thinking yet, but I’m working on it and hope to get there someday soon!