Friday, March 23, 2012

Fixing some green velvet cake for St. Patrick's Day

Guest post written by Brenda Stevens It never hurts to do something a little special for your family. One of my favorite things to do is to bake treats. So I like to bake desserts for my family to mark special occasions. I started planning what kind of dessert I should fix for my family for St. Patrick's Day after our big dinner. We're of Irish heritage so I really love to fix some straight-up authentic Irish cuisine to help promote the holiday.

But I wanted to make sure that I pick out some food that my kids will eat. They're kind of picky, so the super authentic stuff sometimes doesn't pass their approval. When I was looking for some kid-friendly Irish dessert I saw the website and after I looked through it a little bit I decided to finally settle our debt. We've had financial issues for a while and I'm ready to have our finances be much better.

I found a recipe for green velvet cake, a twist on red velvet cake and just decided to fix that because I think that the kids will love that a whole lot more.

Sunday, March 18, 2012

By what will I be Judged?

I have been in a slump. I suppose it is unavoidable. When I get just a bit too much in the brain, it tends to wander aimlessly—perhaps as a means of survival?
I have been busy with classes at the university, everyday obligations at the school and now preparing to move. This means packing, cleaning, and painting. We, actually I, am painting to make the place look “nice.” Which in and of itself is somewhat of a oxy-moron. The previous tenants used this pea-green Exorcist vomit color throughout the house. We were renting so the color didn't matter a whole lot to us. Though we were somewhat leery when the owners said they had only been in the house less than 4-5 times since the bought it 5 years ago. Not only was this said with a straight face, they were proud of this fact. They further clarified their commitment to the house when they added that they had invested practically ZERO dollars since they bought it as well. We want to say with pride that it obviously showed, but for the $650 we were paying, we just looked like we were truly impressed.
Anyways, I am again wandering from my intent. Like most of the planet, I have a FaceBook. In fact I have several. I wanted to make sure no logical human being could ever connect me to an account and I avoided posting pictures with faces of family members. I changed my birthday every month. I had friends sending me birthday wishes 12 times a year, how cool is that?
I even have the other gender box checked which created a few serious discussions with people I went to school with that I didn't even really know. But as I tell my students, it is a new millennium and we are allowed to be ourselves—unless you are a republickin then your true personality remains in the closet.
And make no mistake, FaceBook is tracking our every move.

You are being WATCHED

But still I am wandering. There are so many tangents, they are like small shiny objects that I just can't resist. Temptations...

My snark. That is what I started out writing. My snark is the “friends” we have on FB. I have become obsessed with my friends. Well, not the people per se, but the friends list itself. Every time I am on FB, I check my friends list. I am not looking for manes. Nor am I looking for a chat. I am looking at the number of friends on my list.
I occasionally go to other peoples FB and see they have hundreds, even thousands of friends. Can they actually know ALL these people? I suppose it is possible. I am not one to measure FB success by the length of my friends list. After all, I have gone to some pretty bizarre extremes to AVOID being found. My friends are typically those I have chosen to be friends with as opposed to them seeking to add to their cumulative total at my expense.
Like most of you, I am sure you get some strange shares from your friends. I mean if someone is my friend, they are probably kind of weird anyways, right? SO I either ignore the shares, sometimes I laugh and I might even share it myself—which is probably redundant as almost all my friends are friends of each other.
Lately I have been collecting some new friends on FB. People I have never met have sent me friend requests. I generally accept since I am always looking to expand my circle and stay outside the box. I had a friend who lived in Trinidad. She was anxious to talk. When I found out she was 16 I told her we could be FB friends, but conversation was off limits. I posted on a news article about the All-American Muslim Show and had another new friend from Malaysia. I even posted some comments on her wall. She rarely writes or either that she doesn't share? But she is on my friends list.
Lately I have returned to my roots, sort of. I have always been an advocate at heart. It is a very painful way to go through life. Speaking for those who have no voice, are terrified to speak or just generally uninformed about what they should be speaking out about. So I have found some pages on FB supporting various causes. The one I am really interested is is the We are Women March taking place on April 28, 2012 around the country. I have 2 or three new friends on my list from this great organization.
Like I said, I get all kinds of shares from this group and others, along with some from friends from the neighborhood. The annoying ones I hide. The really senseless ones that a person sends all the tome like apps and games, I just hide everything. No problem. I even had a friend from the place I taught at in Clinton, Michigan. He was a staunch republickin. Now I have no problems with political or religious opinions. Provide they are not crammed down my throat. I would see his shares and giggle. Sometimes I would comment. Then I started posting / sharing views that were contrary to his politics and religion. I thought he would hide them or just ignore the shares.
Now, I finally get to the point of this wandering snark. UN-FRIENDING people. I check my friends list everyday to see who has unfriended me today! It is an obsession. Suddenly FB has become a form of censorship? Post something someone does not like, and they will unfriend you? WTF?
I suppose it is like life everywhere. We tend to FB with those just like us. We fear the diversity. We are anxious about those who live, talk and eat differently from us.
So it is, with every pro-Obama post, every pro-choice—whether it be choosing life or religion—I am risking another FB relationship.
FB has really evolved into a replica of our society. I suppose it was unavoidable. Humans as a whole are terrified of each other. Sure we all watch the news and shed a tear when an innocent is harmed or dies. We get frustrated when the government is lackadaisical and we get screwed at the pumps or taxes get a bigger chink of our shrinking take home pay.
But almost without hesitation, we REFUSE to speak for CHANGE. We as a civilization have learned the ONE lesson authority has been cramming down our throats since the beginning of time. He who questions first is punished more severely.

Christ was crucified for challenging the authority of Rome, not because He claimed to be god, or represent god. He continues to be misunderstood today because people want to put Him on a pedestal as one of the three god-heads.

Listen folks....IT DOES NOT MATTER WHO CHRIST WAS, WHO He DOESN'T matter who Mohammed IS, BUDDAH, DALI LAMA, or even the BILLY GRAHAM. They matter little in the scheme of existence.

We all know what really matters (and it isn't the length of our FB friends).

What makes a difference is: