I have a group of friends who are shopaholics, always talking about "retail therapy" and brands I've never heard of. Sometimes, I don't even know how I'm friends with them.

I used to leave home with just my wallet. As I got older, my bags have gotten bigger. Carrying books, water, snacks, medications and any other item I deem necessary. I'm really more into function rather than form. Apparently they decided my black and brown bags weren't cutting it, so they pitched in and got me an early Christmas present. This red bag. Which they want a photo of, proof that I'm using it. Of course, one of them said they're not trying to make me over.

But isn't this the same as saying, "I don't mean to be rude/insulting." or "I hope you don't take this the wrong way."? Am I just ungrateful? Or lacked even more fashion sense than I thought? Or am I just reading too much into it?

C'mon my 2 readers...let me know what you think.

I was deeply touched by this photo from National Geographic's November issue. It shows how animals also feel, think and grieve. On the flip side, how people can be more inhuman than animals. Click here to read more about Dorothy's amazing life and her fellow chimps who loved her.

Saw this little ad on Facebook: Yes, We Cannabis, a movement to legalize and tax marijuana. I like their catch phrase: A change you can breathe in.

  • Caning works! And I think it's about time we did a little more of it right here... yes, we cane!
  • Will: Hold on a second, Sue. Sue: I resent being told to hold on to anything.
  • God, it feels good to finally pop that zit known as Will Schuester.
  • Principal Figgins: Let's hug it out. Will: I'd rather not. Sue: I don't see that happening.
  • Sue: When you hear your name called, cross over to this side of this black shiny thing. Will: That's called a piano, Sue.
  • I, for one, think intimacy has no place in a marriage. Walked in on my parents once and it was like seeing two walruses wrestling.
  • Will: Who's to say everything I do is 100% on the ball? Sue: No one would say that.
  • Will: I can't do a song with three people. Sue: Not with that attitude.
(photo from TV Fanatic)

Why can't Dick Cheney just shut up?

(photo from Allposters)

Another sign of the times: people so desperate for attention and fame that they'd stage the whole boy in the balloon hoax, wasting taxpayer money and resources, and tugging at the nation's heartstrings. The FAA has now joined the investigation. I hope they are punished appropriately.

The whole female line of my father's family is a bunch of busybodies who think they're always right. I have worked with people who like to show off their superior knowledge. I have control freak friends who always want to have the last word, always correcting or providing additional, yet unsolicited information about anything and everything. What does it say about me that I am bothered by all this? Is it because my own flawed tendencies are being reflected back towards me? What does it say about my choice of friends? Or am I just being insecure, petty or spiteful? Blogging, Facebook, and other social networking sites just add to the problem. Now they can pester you online, too.

Some days, you just want to crawl into a hole.

  • You're dealing with children. They need to be terrified. It's like mother's milk to them.
  • When I heard Sandy wanted to write himself into a scene as Queen Cleopatra, I was aroused. And then furious.
  • I'll often yell at homeless people: 'Hey, how is that homelessness working out for you? Try not being homeless for once.
  • Find your voice. Stomp that yard. All that crap.
  • I want my full budget restored. I want a fog machine.
  • That was the most offensive thing I've seen in 20 years of teaching — and that includes an elementary school production of Hair.
  • The way you use your mental illness to help these kids is really inspiring.
  • Sue: Iron tablet? It keeps your strength up when you menstruate. Will: I don't menstruate. Sue: Neither do I.
  • Emma: Since when are cheerleaders performers? Sue: Your resentment is delicious.
  • You think this is hard? Try waterboarding. That's hard!
  • Sue: We're gonna bring this club down. Quinn: And I'm gonna get my boyfriend back. Sue: I don't care so much about that.
  • I got a satellite interview. That's lingo for an interview, via satellite.
  • Not everyone is gonna have the walnuts to take a pro-littering stance. But I will not rest until every inch of our fair state is covered in garbage.
  • You think this is hard? I'm living with hepatitis. That's hard!
(photo from Backstage)

I saw this funny interview with the author of the parody What to Expect when You're Expected on The Colbert Report last week.

The Colbert ReportMon - Thurs 11:30pm / 10:30c
The Born Supremacy - David Javerbaum
Colbert Report Full EpisodesPolitical HumorMichael Moore

Poor Alex Lange. At 4 months old, he's already being judged based on his physical appearance. Rocky Mountains Health Plans initially refused to cover him for being too fat but has since reversed its decision. What would have happened if his TV news anchor dad Bernie Lange didn't bring media attention to the ridiculous case?

(photo from Momlogic)

Here's Jon Stewart's interview with Barbara Ehrenreich, who wrote Brightsided: How the Relentless Promotion of Positive Thinking has Undermined America. She had breast cancer and frequently received the usual pep talk, i.e., that she will come out of it a better person, etc. Which she did not find helpful at all. Having gone through a health scare myself, I do look back on it as some sort of blessing in disguise. Only because it woke me up to what kind of life I could and should be living. In my case, it wasn't that people were telling me all sorts of mantras and affirmations. Maybe it's a cultural thing, because Filipinos don't seem to resort to all that. We just laugh things off, or not say anything at all. It was me telling myself to think positive, reading books and articles on self-healing, searching and seeking comfort. Ms. Ehrenreich kinda pooh-poohs rah-rah speeches in times of a crisis, and says doctors/nurses think this approach is not productive. In my case, books and information were my source of strength. Was I delusional? Maybe. But on days when I felt like crap, it helped to say to myself that "I feel like a million bucks". I even said it out loud, probably much to my sister's chagrin.

One probably never knows what strength is in them until a crisis comes along. Positive thinking did get me through rough patches. Did the whole experience make me kinder and gentler? NO. At first, I WAS more benevolent, patient and forgiving. But Ms. Ehrenreich is correct: she said it made her a nastier person. Not that I turned evil, but it made me less tolerant of other people. I gained perspective. I became more self-indulgent, perhaps selfish in other people's eyes. And totally unapologetic about it. Now I've realized there's nothing wrong with looking out for myself. Life's too short to always be worrying about what other people are saying or thinking about me. Before, I always felt guilty when I was cross with someone or couldn't accommodate a request. Now, I know it's OK to be grumpy. Just like it's OK to let someone be grumpy, without trying to make them feel better. If someone wants or needs to wallow, let them wallow. That's the only way you can get through something---to actually GO THROUGH it. Maybe it's corollary to being present, living in the Now. Because a negative thought or emotion can't last indefinitely. Just BE.

The Daily Show With Jon StewartMon - Thurs 11p / 10c
Barbara Ehrenreich
Daily Show
Full Episodes
Political HumorRon Paul Interview

One of my new favorite television characters is Glee's tyrannical Phys. Ed. teacher Sue Sylvester, played by the brilliant Jane Lynch. She is the Cheer-ios coach determined to bring down the Glee Club, and always saying shockingly awful but hilarious things. So I'm compiling my favorite quotes. Thanks to TVFanatic. Of course, you have to see it for yourselves. Ms. Lynch's line readings are perfect. Here's a sampling:

  • I have been destroying your club with a conviction I can only call religious.
  • I empower my Cheerios to be champions. Do they go to college? I don't know. I don't care. Should they learn Spanish? Sure, if they wanna become dishwashers and gardeners.
  • I like minorities so much, I'm thinking of moving to California to become one.
  • Sue Sylvester's rainbow tent will gladly protect you from his storm of racism.
  • I can't stand the sight of kids getting emotional, unless it's from physical exhaustion.
  • I empower my Cheerios to live in fear by creating an environment of irrational, random terror.
  • I don't trust a man with curly hair. I can't help but picture little birds laying sulfurous eggs in there, and it disgusts me.
  • I can't wait to start singing and dancing and maybe even putting on the Ritz a little bit.
  • I always thought the desire to procreate showed deep personal weakness.
  • Every time I try to destroy that club, it comes back strong than some sexually ambiguous horror movie villain.

October of course is Breast Cancer Awareness Month. I went to my breast surgeon today for follow-up after my surgery last year. I got a little goodie bag when I left. I saw this very informative article posted on Facebook by a friend. Lots of links to other articles. I particularly liked this blog, The Assertive Cancer Patient. I love her shirt: F&$* Awareness, Find a Cure. It's so easy to get caught up with trying to help and support causes, with our hard-earned money. I never really thought about the business side of things, if my donations are actually going where they're supposed to. A little critical thinking and research is needed.

Now I support President Obama. But the Nobel Peace Prize? It's a bit too early for that, don't you think? It's a great honor and I'm happy for him. I just hope he lives up to the promise and becomes a true peacemaker.

Journey and Filipino lead singer Arnel Pineda on yesterday's Oprah.


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