Volunteering After Action Report

So if I had actually published this post on Friday instead of letting it languish in my drafts folder for the weekend, you’d know that I spent my Friday afternoon helping out with the Boys and Girls Club. Oh well, you know now.

I really had no idea what to expect when our charter buses pulled up, but I filed off with 150 of my fellow yellow shirts. They warmed us up in the gym with the numbers game that got me hugged, snagged, and swept up by co-workers I hadn’t previously even met. It was hilarious. And then we proceeded to pummel each other in a ridiculous game of dodgeball. Good times.

And then the kids began to arrive. Oh man. These kids.

I found my way back to the music and drama room because, um yeah, we’ve met, right? I was in show choir back in the day. I’ve totally got this.

Dude. These kids had moves.

I know the video is terrible, but you get the idea. They taught me new line dances, new moves, etc. I didn’t get any more video because I was too busy dancing my stanky leg* off. One little girl even instructed me on how to dance to Dubstep. It’s quite..um…athletic. There was a push-up and some stomping. I skipped the flipping part. I’m still sore, actually. Another girl was very impressed that I actually knew the dance to Gangnam Style. Ha! Cool Adult Achievement unlocked! (Now to convince my just turned 15 year old son**.)

I got my face painted

She said it was a tree.

And made new friends and had much silliness

But really, it was a rare quiet moment that was the highlight for me. I got to sit down with a girl in the music room and just talk. She told me about how she loves to sing and is really looking forward to the upcoming talent show. She really loves being on stage and performing. I told her about how I sang in school too and loved getting on stage in front of everyone. I told her about how I would go to competitions and win medals much like the one she was wearing around her neck (She was Student of the Month). And then I told her how my singing paid for college.

Student of the Month: I wish I knew your people

Me: Sweetie, you just keep singing and working hard and those people will find you.

Her face lit up. It was like her options had opened up in front of her. I am so humbled and honored to have been a part of it.

It’s funny. When the volunteer opportunities were presented, we had the choice to either pack lunches for the food bank or work with the kids. I’m not really a kid person so my choice seemed obvious. Except for that nagging voice. The one that told me to get out of my comfort zone. I’m so glad I listened. Who knows, maybe our paths will cross again one day, mine and the student of the month.

*One of my new dance moves, The Stanky Leg. No, I’ll not be demonstrating. 
**Today! Wish him a good one.

Live! Nude! Girls!

In the battle between keeping this corner of the internet generally family friendly and my raw capitalistic desire for it to fund all my adventures, I’ve decided to feature some nudity.  And live nudity too.  You’d be all creeped out if I showed you the dead kind. Hey, I’ve got firearms to feed.  Ammo is kinda spendy lately.

In the interest of internet niceties, NSFW pictures below the jump.

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Non-Sparkly Vampires

Well, in spite of what the post office said, they actually delivered Monster Hunter International on Friday.  I even received an email notification before I got home to find my package.  Good show USPS.  I’ll give you points on this one. My shoes are still scheduled for delivery today.

I’m loving the thrill ride here.  I realize that as an American woman I’m supposed to be swooning over some teen aged brooding sparkly emo type, but I just can’t get into that.  I mean really.  Why would I get my panties all in a bunch over a guy that probably wears a pair that matches?  And I hear he drinks the blood of rodents or something.

In MHI, the monsters are monstrous and the beasts are beastly.  I’m only about half-way through the book, and already I’ve been on an adrenaline rush, nearly brought to tears, and then startling my cat with literal out loud laughter.  And that was in the course of 2 chapters.  It is also making me crazy that I can’t tell my husband about any of it because he wants to read it next.  We should have ordered 2 copies.

I am loving this book.  Not only does it make me want to go out and kick some monster ass, but it’s full of verbal gun porn that doesn’t include anything like “Glock revolver” or “high-velocity magazines.”  The good guys have big guns and the bad guys get hit with lots and lots of lead.  It’s enough to soak Sarah Brady’s pillow with her gun-fearing tears.

And the author is going to be on Gun Nuts Radio tonight.  Yep, definitely tuning in tonight.  Probably calling too.

I highly recommend this book.  I’m not compensated in any way for doing so.  Well, unless Larry Correia decides to send me an autographed copy out of the goodness of his heart.  I would accept it and cherish it until one day I sold it on eBay to put my kid through school.

Charity vs. Entitlements

My friend, beej, asked a very good question in my Welfare Zombies post.

so, i am starting the process of applying for assistance to afford my meds. while these programs are offered by the manufacturer, i am fairly certain it is only b/c of government mandate. am i therefore an entitlement zombie by definition or just overwhelmingly poor? would i be more noble if i ordered my meds from canada or worse for not just seeking assistance, but assistance based upon socialized medicine, another favorite of yours?

i know you personally know i’m not saying this out of hostility, but i wanted to make sure i disclosed that to your readers. this is an honest question and your reply will recieve my utmost respect, even if i disagree in thought or action.

I should point out that beej is a real life friend.  The kind of friend that has had keys to my house.

I am very pro-charity.  There are people with very real needs in the world.  My problem is not at all with organizations stepping in to meet a need.  These are noble things.  Many corporations do it for the tax write-off, and I’m fine with that too.  The difference between private charities and welfare is the choice.  I can choose to support a charity that is doing work that I feel is worth investing in.

Supporting a charity that is doing good work in line with my own values is an excellent investment.  I support charities that have a goal of moving people towards self-sufficiency.  I would not voluntarily support any organization that did otherwise.  If someone else does, that’s their prerogative.

Sure, in a perfect world, no one would need charity, but we don’t live in that world.  But charity is not the government’s business.  Maybe it makes me somewhat of an idealist, but I think if the government would get out of the charity business, private charities would be able to do a lot more actual good.  I know if I brought home more of my paycheck, I would be able to give more than I already do.  There are so many worthy organizations that I just can’t afford to support.  There are others that I do support.

No beej, I don’t think you seeking help makes you any sort of zombie.  You are seeking help in order to continue to be a productive member of society.  Every situation is different.  You are not a mindless drone sucking out of the system.  You aren’t suffering a delusion that you are entitled to anything.

Confession That Could Forever Revoke My Status As A Midwesterner

Otherwise known as Things You Already Know If You’ve Perused My Archives

or One Way Not To Win Friends and Influence Oklahomans

or possibly The Post That Alienates People I Really Do Like

I hate football.  That’s not exactly right.  It’s fine, really.  I don’t mind that it exists.  As long as it exists in a realm separate from me. I don’t even mind other people think it’s great.  There are people that I love and respect deeply that for reasons beyond my comprehension love it.  But that glazed over look you get when you start talking about ‘the game’ is my coping technique that keeps me from gouging out my eyes with the nearest blunt object.

Some of my favorite blogs even contain sport-centric posts this time of year.  Don’t you people understand that I’m trying to read these things at work?!  The catatonic stare could get me caught you know.  People might even notice the drool.  It’s very difficult to manage people from my happy place.

And then I get an email invitation to a tailgate party.  Complete with the NASCAR RV.  It starts out “If you like colder weather, football, tailgating……”  Sure!  I’m so there.  Right after I strip naked and roll in the rose bushes.  We’ve all got priorities.

And these people that I love and care about are saying, “But Jen, you’re a conservative!  You’re from the heartland.  You went to a state college.  You like guns.  You’re from a town inhabited by more cows than people.  You participated in a pig calling competiton in elementary school for crying out loud!”

Yes, it’s all true.  And yet, I’ve never tuned into the appeal of large sweaty men chasing a ball and throwing themselves on top of one another.  I’ve tried.  I went to my high school’s home games.  I watched while the corn fed farm boys threw around the pansy kids from that other school.  I was the one that sang the national anthem to start the game.  It’s just not worth freezing my butt to an aluminum bench even if the band kids snuck in beer.

If you’re one of those fans and you’ve made it this far, I applaud you.  I do not have the capacity to focus this far into a game recap.  Really, the hat I don’t wear is off to you.  And if you did, you’re probably one of those people that I love and respect and maybe even have shopped with.  And now you’re going to flame me.   I look forward to it because I know you are far more eloquent and educated than my usual flamers and assume that you will not suggest I off myself.  It should be fun.

Gift or Gremlin?

I got a surprise package in the mail on Saturday. It was a tube containing 4 posters. 2 copies of this one,

and 2 copies of a President Bush one. You can order them here. The surprise is that I didn’t order them. I thought about it, but didn’t. But they came anyway. $4.60 charged to someone else. I figure it has to be one of four scenarios.

  1. I have a secret admirer. If so, I assume that you are reading this. I know your name because it showed on the invoice, but I’m not going to reveal it. Thank you for the posters, I’m really flattered. I’m very much not available though. It was very thoughtful of you to send 2 copies because my best friend/husband enjoys them as well.
  2. I have a fan that sends gifts. Awesome! Really freaking awesome. Thank you, and you rock! I’ve never had a fan before and unless it is proven otherwise, this is the scenario I’m going to choose to believe and revel in the head swelling. I know your name, so no one else can take credit and therefore possession of the well deserved cool points you have earned.
  3. It’s a gag gift. If so, you think I’m a liberal and the joke’s on you. I don’t really think that is the case though
  4. There is a gremlin lurking in the servers at yaf.org. It is possible that Mr. Cool really just ordered them for himself and the ghost in the machine sent them to me instead. If so, and you just happen across my blog, I still think you are cool and would be happy to order these posters for you on my own bill so that you don’t miss out on the conservative goodness. That would still be acceptable, but I would rather believe that I have a fan.

So, anyone care to guess what the scoop is here? Are you the giver and want to come forward to receive your cool points? You can remain anonymously cool if you would like. I know your name, but the other people who read this won’t find out unless you come forward.

And yes, everyone who takes the time to read my blog is automatically considered cool. But there is a hierarchy. Readers are cool, those that comment are cooler, fellow bloggers that link back are awesome, and anyone that sends gifts is seriously amazing. Especially since any gift received is completely unsolicited. Welcome, but not solicited.

UPDATE: Well the people at YAF got back with me. Apparently their site got hacked. It was a gremlin. And I was really hoping for a fan.

Cat Pictures

I got the most reader response when I posted pictures of my cats. I guess you like them. Here’s another few pics

Ferrule has Frootbat Ears!

Looking all sweet and innocent

I have some really bad pictures of Ferrule that I took with my cell phone the day I rescued him. Maybe I will post that story sometime