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Can you text me now?

A texting while driving ban has been put in place in Georgia.  I don’t really have enough time to  do a full blown analysis because I’m getting ready to leave for Indiana (Yea 4th of July!!)….Anyway, I think LEGALLY banning things while driving is stupid and you’ll never get rid of distracted drivers.  People eat.  They talk to people in the car.  They sing.  Change the radio station.  The put make up on.  They have bad days.  And yes…they use their phone.  Also, it should be noted that I talk on my phone all the time while driving…but if I’m having a bad day (not enough focus for both) or traffic is crazy, I don’t.  I also never text (let alone text while driving) so it doesn’t really affect me…or does it??

  1. The law in Georgia states that drivers under 18 can’t talk or text while driving.  That’s fine and good, but how are police officers going to pick out the teenagers?  By their hot topic-esc bumper stickers?  By a quick glance/judgment of their appearance?   By the loud Justin Bieber music?  (That’s what the kids listen to these days, right?? haha!)  Will I get pulled over if a cop is unsure and he/she wants to check my age?  (OH!  I know!  Just make those “Hows my teen driving?  Call 1-888-OverProtective!” bumper stickers legally mandatory for all teens!  Thats a perfect idea…)
  2. My phone requires me to glance down while dialing.  (It’s a touch screen so you can’t just find the buttons on feel alone.)  Will I get pulled over for that?

It just seems like a hassle to prove your innocence from texting.  I also disagree fundamentally with the notion that legislating more rules should always be the solution to all problems.  (It seems like it  is much more difficult to get laws repealed than put in place which therefore just adds levels of control and bureaucracy.)  I always found it stupid that in Indiana (way back when I got my drivers permit), a teenager could drive with anyone that was a legal driver with this permit, but then after he/she got the full blown drivers license, could only drive with individuals over 21 for the first 6 months.

I do also think that everyone on the road is too quick to blame the all powerful – “They“.  “They” are the crazy ones.  “They” drive too carelessly.  “They” are the root of all problems!  But in truth, we are all part of “They”.  Drive a little nicer.  Give a little more space.  Don’t push.  Don’t flip others off.  Use your judgment and minimize your distractions when needed…simple things that shouldn’t require laws but probably all eventually will.

It should be noted that drivers found guilty of violating the laws on texting (or talking if you are under 18)  while driving face a $150 fine and a point added to their driver’s license….so happy travels and happy 4th of July!!🙂

Um, not really—but it did put him in quite a predicament.

As you know, I’m currently working and going back to school.  It’s quite time-consuming.  (Have you, dear reader, noticed a serious lack of quality posts?  Oh yes.  That is the reason why.  And don’t let these recent posts fool you.  I created them all during my week off from school.   Sneaky, sneaky.)  Anyway, I have 14 weeks of school straight through summer.  It almost seems cruel and unusual.    But, if I survive those 14 weeks, I will emerge with 3 weeks off in August.

Cue the thought process….. —–>  End of summer.  3 weeks off.  Days off from work to spare……VACATION TIME BABY!!

So, I realized this a few weeks ago, but Joe and I are no closer to picking a destination.  The indecision is killing me! ha!  There are just so many great places to go that I don’t know where to start.  We also want to go to non-kid friendly destinations so we can do the fun couple traveling before we have kids.  MUST….FIT….IT….ALL….IN!!!!!!!!!!  (Don’t read too much into that.  We aren’t even close to the wee-ones.  But when you take a vacation once every two years, its something to consider.)  Budget is also something to consider but isn’t the limiting factor if a really cool trip came along.

Anyway…where was your favorite vacation?  Any recommendations???  HELP!!!!!  🙂

Nun excommunicated…

I heard this story on NPR yesterday on my way home.

Last November, a 27-year-old woman was admitted to St. Joseph’s Hospital and Medical Center in Phoenix. She was 11 weeks pregnant with her fifth child, and she was gravely ill. According to a hospital document, she had “right heart failure,” and her doctors told her that if she continued with the pregnancy, her risk of mortality was “close to 100 percent.”

A nun, after what was reported as going through an agonizing thought process, allowed the termination of the pregnancy to save the woman’s life.   She was excommunicated by the Catholic church which the article states is “the most serious penalty the church can levy.”

This is a sad story.   It should be noted that this isn’t an attack on the Catholic church in general…but this is just unacceptable.   The general public is wondering how can this woman who saved a life be so severely punished when the church is known to not punish those who have abused children.  What message does this send?

To me it still says….

1) A woman’s life is unimportant and she is nothing but a baby-carrying vessel.  If she dies too, so be it.

2) A woman of the church (a nun) is held to a different standard of actions than compared to the men of the church (the priests).

3) Intent to follow canon does not matter.  The nun and the hospital tried to do what the church would have wanted.

“But the hospital felt it could proceed because of an exception — called Directive 47 in the U.S. Catholic Church’s ethical guidelines for health care providers — that allows, in some circumstance, procedures that could kill the fetus to save the mother.

There is no way that the priests were thinking of following the church doctrine when they were abusing the children of the church.

4)  Hospitals and churches should not mix.

Another thing I learned from reading the attached hospital report (link from NPR as well) was that the woman who became pregnant was taking “great efforts to avoid it.”  She knew she had a health condition that would be very dangerous should she become pregnant.  But being the good Catholic (she already had 4 children at 27), it appears that she would not take any birth control measures.

There also was a statement by the Diocese of Phoenix.   I understand and can appreciate some of what they are saying, but really…this part summed it up (emphasis mine)….

What is the purpose of excommunication?
The purpose is to repair scandal, to restore justice and to reform the offender. It is a scandal to the entire Church that a woman religious would consent to and encourage an abortion.  It is also a scandal that a Catholic Hospital would perform such a reprehensible act. Furthermore, it is a grave injustice to the child who was killed, as well as to the mother who was told that it was permissible.  Finally, a person who has been excommunicated definitively knows that by their own evil action, they have removed themselves from communion with the Church. The action of excommunication is a call to repentance and conversion.

No priests have been excommunicated for their evil actions.   According to the church’s own words then, by not excommunicating the priests, they do not want to repair the scandal.  They do not want to provide justice to the victims.  They do not want to reform the offender.

I just don’t get it.

My love of groupon.

Just in case you’ve never used this before, I love this site.

www.groupon.com

I’m not one of those people who have to buy something at 80% off to feel like I’ve won, but I’ve gotten some pretty good deals on there.  We’ve gotten some groupons for restaurants that we love already, and places and activities that we would not have tried at full price otherwise.

It’s in lots of cities, so you should try it out no matter where you live.   (Nothing like free advertising, but just passing along my experience!)

A mutual friend of ours recently got engaged.  Since I’ve been through the wedding planning process once, she asked me if I had any suggestions or advice as they start this huge endeavor.   I wrote here a few points upon which Joe told me it would make a good blog and I should share this information with others…so here you go.  My advice for “phase I wedding planning”  for the newly engaged.

_______________________________________

As for the wedding tips, I won’t pretend to be an expert, but it’s not like you plan one of these every day!!   These were things that I remember or thought as helpful in retrospect.

1)  Before you jump into planning (unless you are thinking wedding in less than 6 months)…remember to just enjoy being engaged for a bit. It’s huge!! Relax and celebrate a bit first… :-)  (Look through magazines, at dresses…whatever is fun for you!)

2) Talk directly with you fiance and discuss what kind of wedding you both want. Family oriented? Destination? Small? Huge? Formal? Casual? Make sure you are on the same page because that scope determines everything else in the planning. Also, see how involved he wants to be. This will help eliminate disagreements down the road.

OR?


(Joe and I thankfully both really wanted all of our family there and we wanted it to be easy for out of town people to get to. This resulted in a medium sized wedding in Atlanta. Part of me would have loved the small beach wedding though!! ha!)

3) Create a budget and a rough guest list/how many people you expect to come*. These are the LEAST fun things to do, but if you find the perfect location but it won’t hold all your guests or is way out of your price range, it just leads to disappointment.  Also, doing the budget early allows you to see what kind of trade-offs you have to make. If you have $10,000 to spend, but want a $5000 dress, that means you’ll have to give up a lot of other things.


(*Early on, we did a rough count and figured out ~X number of people were in our budget. Later on in the planning process, we actually estimated the probability of an individual showing up. (my mom = 100%, distant cousin currently overseas probably not coming = 0% or 5%.  This also allowed us to say both our family, “You can invite Y number of  your friends…choose wisely.” haha!  Joe and I are also slightly more nerdy than others and organizing keeps me sane, so I made detailed spreadsheets for both the budget and the guest list.  Even if you don’t like this, it’s an easy way to keep track of it without all the information cluttering up your head!  I highly (HIGHLY!) recommend it!)

_____________________________

That’s all I have for now.  I may add some lessons learned through the rest of the process, but then again I may not.  :-)  Good luck!

Goals…

So, I have some goals for this blog.  Nothing lofty.  Just writing again is a huge step.

I’ve been taking a lot of pictures since I got my new camera.  I don’t think I’m going to post many of them, but I’d like to change the blog header to one of my own pictures.

I guess writing this down and sharing it with you to encourage some accountability.  If the header is the same in June…poke me with a stick. 🙂

Overheard in Wal-Mart….

Yesterday at Wal-Mart while waiting for my car’s oil to be changed, I decided to peruse the endless aisles of “everything under the sun but somehow, not exactly what you want.”

In the women’s clothing section, I overheard a mother and daughter (around 15 years old) shopping for a new outfit presumably for a family photo.   Now, how do I say this so I can paint you a picture without being rude to these strangers.   They looked like they were very nice individuals, but they were also average looking with a general disregard to popular trends.   Given that…this is the short snippet of a conversation I overheard…

Daughter:  (holding black summery dress) What about this?

Mother:  You can’t wear that dress like that.  You need to put a tank top underneath it.

Daughter:  (emphatically)  Oh…. of course!  With this?  (holding up black tank top)

Mother:  UGh! Noooo.  Black on black?  What do you want to looking like?  One of those emo-ee people?

Daughter: I guess not.  White?

Mother:  Nana is wearing white.  You would just blend in…we’ll look over here.

I don’t know why this conversation amused me so much.  I guess 1) because everyone’s fashion tastes are so clearly…different, and 2) there is no way that girl would ever be confused as emo….

Oh society…you never fail to amuse me.

(Yeah, I know.  Not a strong comeback…but I’ve gotta start somewhere.)