It seems hard to believe but sometime today, I reached 1,000,000 (yes, that one million) page views on my blog. This is pretty exciting, at least it is to me. Ic an only thank my readers for reading my blog and helping me to reach one million page views.
Monday, December 9, 2013
Yesterday, I spoke about negative attitudes toward religion. Today, I want to address the negative attitudes toward politics. Quite frankly, I have a negative attitude when it comes to politics. I have a quite simple reason for this: politicians are negative people.
Politicians love to tell people what they are against, but they rarely ever tell constituents what they are for. When they do tell people what they are "for,". It's generally a prohibition or a cut. They never seem to tell us, "I am for...." Instead, they tell us, "I am against...."
The political cartoon above is a prime example. (Thank you Sean for posting this on your blog Just a Jeep Guy.) Though it shows the negativity of Republicans, it could just as easily be any other political party in United States. The Democrats are not immune to negativity. It's too often the role of the minority party to be the most negative.
I have been discussing political parties a lot in my civics and government classes the past few weeks. When you teach about a political party's platform, and you list the many things that political parties are against, students will often ask, "What is the party in favor of?" When you say that they are for cuts in Medicare, food stamps, subsidies for farmers, keeping the minimum wage as is, etc., the smart kids in the class will ask, "Aren't those all negatives as well?"
When I teach politics, I do my best to remain neutral. It's the most difficult thing I have to do as a teacher, but I do my research so that I can present both sides of an issue. I believe in teaching my students that they should be informed citizens. If one is well versed in the issues and researches the politicians, then they are likely to be an informed voter.
I know that I am one voice among millions, but shouldn't we take a more positive attitude in life and hold our politicians accountable for being more positive. If politicians only tell us what they are not going to do, then how do we know what they will do. Politics in the United States has become so negative about what they will not do that our Congress is in a constant state of deadlock. Isn't it time we tell our politicians to be more optimistic.
I honestly believe that optimism can be contagious. Considering that most people dread Mondays, what better day to start with an optimistic view for the week. Let your optimism spread and maybe by New Years will be a more optimistic place.
Sunday, December 8, 2013
Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things.Philippians 4:8Let all bitterness and wrath and anger and clamor and slander be put away from you, along with all malice. Be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, as God in Christ forgave you.Ephesians 4:31-32
There are many people in this world who only look at the negatives of religion. They consider religion to be exclusive, not inclusive. They dwell on what not to do, instead of what should be done. Some of these same people are religious, others are not. However, this view of Christianity is as far from my belief as possible. This is a pessimistic view of religion, and as someone who decided years ago that a positive attitude is far greater than a negative attitude, I look to a far more optimistic view of Christianity.
The two verses above are just two of many examples in the Bible that shows the optimistic view of Christianity. More than anything, I believe in the inclusiveness of Christianity. God loves us all, and we are told that we should love all. This type of love is called agape. Agape often translated "unconditional love", is one of the Koine Greek words translated into English as love, one which became particularly appropriated in Christian theology as the love of God or Christ for humankind. In the New Testament, it refers to the covenant love of God for humans, as well as the human reciprocal love for God; the term necessarily extends to the love of one's fellow man.
Although the word agape does not have specific religious connotation, the word has been used by a variety of contemporary and ancient sources, including biblical authors and Christian authors. Greek philosophers at the time of Plato and other ancient authors have used forms of the word to denote love of a spouse or family, or affection for a particular activity, in contrast to philia (an affection that could denote friendship, brotherhood or generally non-sexual affection) and eros, an affection of a sexual nature. The term agape is rarely used in ancient manuscripts, but was used by the early Christians to refer to the self-sacrificing love of God for humanity, which they were committed to reciprocating and practicing towards God and among one another (also see kenosis). When 1 John 4:8 says "God is love," the Greek New Testament uses the word agape to describe God's love.
Anyone who proclaims that Christianity is a negative religion and focuses only on what not to do, need look only at the Sermon on the Mount (Matthew 5:3-7:27) to be proven wrong. The Beatitudes (Matthew 5:3-12) are enough in themselves to show the positive nature of what Christianity should be:
Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.Blessed are those who mourn, for they shall be comforted.Blessed are the meek, for they shall inherit the earth.Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they shall be satisfied.Blessed are the merciful, for they shall receive mercy.Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God.Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called sons of God.Blessed are those who are persecuted for righteousness' sake, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.Blessed are you when others revile you and persecute you and utter all kinds of evil against you falsely on my account.Rejoice and be glad, for your reward is great in heaven, for so they persecuted the prophets who were before you.
If more people would follow the teachings of Jesus Christ instead of focusing on the negatives, then I honestly and wholeheartedly believe that the world would be a better place.
Sent from my iPad
Saturday, December 7, 2013
I love a good comfortable pair of boxers, though I'm not one to ask "Are you a boxers or briefs guy?" Because it will be according to how I was feeling when I picked out my underwear that morning. However, I know this one, very wonderful, guy who loves to see a guy in his boxers (especially those from American Eagle), which I do as well. Anyway, I decided to do this post as a thank you for our friendship. This post is for him. I hope y'all will like it as well.
Friday, December 6, 2013
NBC's three-hour televised musical The Sound of Music Live!, starring country music star Carrie Underwood as Maria von Trapp and True Blood's Stephen Moyer as Captain von Trapp, aired live last night.
For the uninitiated (and if you're not familiar with The Sound of Music, then I am surprised that you are reading this blog), The Sound of Music tells the story of aspiring nun Maria's adventure to become governess for the widower Captain von Trapp's seven kids, but her romantic emotions for the Captain kick in and she begins to doubt her religious calling.
I will be honest with you, I didn't think there was anyway they could have improved on the original movie, and they didn't. However, I did come into watching it with an open mind. I was quite excited to see it, since The Sound of Music is one of my all-time favorite movies. To be fair, this was a televised version of the musical and there is a fair amount different, including the placement of songs. However, even though it was not a remake of the Julie Andrews classic, I felt that in a lot of ways it fell flat.
First off, I hate when a movie changes something that would have been too far fetched historically for the sake of political correctness. And The Sound of Music Live! did this in the first second of the production. Audra McDonald is a wonderful actress and she sings beautifully, but really NBC an African-American Mother Superior in 1930s Austria. (And yes, I am fully aware that the movie is nearly wholly inaccurate historically, but...) That's a smaller detail, and I did my best to suspend my belief on this. However, by halfway through the movie, I was ready to give up on it. I was a bit bored. I didn't give up, but I wanted to. Carrie Underwood is a fine singer, but she's not particularly a great actress. The descendants of the real Maria von Trapp would have preferred Anne Hathaway, though I don't necessarily agree with that either. Underwood did a decent job, just not a wowing performance like I had hoped for.
What I want to know is: did you watch it? what did you think? I would love to hear your opinion. I liked it, but I also didn't like it. The fact is, I'm a bit neutral when it comes to my opinion of The Sound of Music Live!
Thursday, December 5, 2013
I don't do these TMI posts from Sean at Just A Jeep Guy every week, but on occasion, I see a topic that I can't resist. Since I love to cook, this one was a no brainer. I had to answer the question. I hope you enjoy my answers.
1. How good of a cook are you?
I'm actually a really good cook. I've experimented a lot with different spices and how they taste, so I can usually eat something once and then recreate it. I can also cook a wide variety of food, such as Southern comfort foods, Italian cuisine, Creole and Cajun, Mexican, and various other types of dishes. I've never had anyone taste my food that didn't love it, even when it's something they don't normally like. As my aunt usually asks, "Did you doctor it?" My answer is always yes. I'm going to make sure it tastes good before I serve it.
2. Who taught you how to cook?
My grandmama taught me the most about cooking, and my mama helped out a lot as well. They both taught me how to cook good southern food. I learned to cook everything else I cook from watching the Food Network and experimenting with their recipes.
3. Who does the cooking in your home?
I do all of the cooking in my home. Usually, at least once a week or so, I also cook for my neighbors.
4. Do you cook more or eat out more?
I do more cooking than eating out. I enjoy eating out, but I love in a rural area, so eating out is not convenient. I cook what we have at home mostly. This also allows me to regulate the calorie and carb content of my cooking. I almost always make one meat, two vegetables and a bread. The only exception is when I make soups or stews then I only add a bread to that.
5. Are you more of a cook or dessert maker?
I am more of a cook. My mother and I together can make wonderful desserts, but alone, I'm not so good at it. I do make fabulous cookies, though. It's the one sweet that my mother taught me well enough that I can make cookies and brownies on my own. We used to make a lot of cookies at Christmas time. In fact, we still do, just not together. And I almost forgot, I make a wonderful peach cobbler, but I love to adapt it and use plums instead, which is beyond delicious.
6. What was your worst/funniest cooking moment?
My worst moment is any time I try to fry chicken. My mama can fry a chicken better than anyone I've ever known, but I've never had her gift, and good fried chicken is a gift.
I don't know if I've ever had a funniest cooking moment. Although I recently made a fake coconut cake for a friend: styrofoam for the cake, rolled-out clay for the icing, and fake snow for the coconut. It looks beautiful and delicious, but you wouldn't want to eat it.
7. What's your best dish?
My best dish is Scallopini al Vino, which is veal in a white wine sauce. Pair that with risotto, bacon-wrapped asparagus, some linguini, and a good loaf of Italian or French bread, and along with a good pinot grigio, you have a delicious feast. (The dessert will be in the bedroom.)
I do my best cooking with Italian food, but if you prefer Southern comfort food, I can make a delicious meal by frying some pork chops, cooking collard greens and pink-eyed purple hull peas, with some fried hot water cornbread, that as they say in the South "Will make you slap yo mama!"
8. Is revenge a dish best served cold?
I don't think revenge is a good dish at all. It's best if you forgive and forget. Why dwell on something when you should jut move on. It's best just to let anyone you'd want to take revenge on to just go their merry way, and let that be that.
9. Is the best way to a man's heart truly through his stomach?
Absolutely! Let me cook for a man with a good appetite, and I'm pretty sure I can have him not only for the rest of the night (I make fabulous French toast for breakfast), but for the rest of his life as well. People have always told me that I'd make a wonderful husband, I just haven't been given the chance to prove it. One day, I will though, and I have no doubt that my cooking skills will close the deal.
Have you made whoopee in the kitchen? Which foods have you used to spice up your love life?
Nope, I've never made whoopee in the kitchen, but it is a fantasy of mine. I've never used food to spice up my love life, mainly because it's nearly non-existent. However,that is something I would do if I had the chance. I will say though that Charles Anthony's Restaurant at "The Pub" in Montgomery, Alabama, has a creme brûlée for dessert is truly an orgasmic experience. I'm serious, take one bite and your dick gets rock hard, eat all of it, and you've had an orgasm in your pants. If you are able to resist the orgasm, then you will be so horny by the time you get home, that your significant other won't know what hit him.
Wednesday, December 4, 2013
I doubt there are many people who have not heard the news that the hottest little diver in Britain made a big announcement Monday. British Olympic diver Tom Daley revealed he's been in a relationship with another man in an emotional YouTube video. This video just warmed my heart. I've always had a special place in my heart for the incredibly cute and talented Tom Daley, this video just endeared me to him more.
Daley, 19, says in the video, "Come spring this year, my life changed massively when I met someone and it made me feel so happy, so safe and everything just feels great. And that someone is a guy.”
He then adds, "It was always in the back of my head that something like that could happen, but it wasn’t until spring this year that something just clicked ... My whole world just changed, right there and then."
Still, Daley stops short of using either the term "gay" or "bisexual." “Of course I still fancy girls," he says. "But I mean, right now I’m dating a guy and I couldn’t be happier. It makes me feel safe and just really does feel right."
The diver, who tweeted the video to his more than 2.4 million Twitter followers, concludes, "I’m still Tom. I still want to win an Olympic gold medal at Rio 2016 for Great Britain. I’m still as motivated as ever to do that.”
Daley's sexuality had been the subject of ample media speculation for some time. The diver, who won a bronze medal at the 2012 London Summer Olympics and was recently named the sexiest man in the world by Attitude magazine, laughed off the gay rumors in an interview with The Mirror earlier this year.
“I think it’s funny when people say I’m gay... I laugh it off... I’m not," he was quoted as saying. "But even if I was, I wouldn’t be ashamed. It wouldn’t bother me in the slightest what people thought." Still, Daley said he was "cool" with his sizable gay fanbase: "It’s great to have gay fans even though my friends gently take the mick.”
It appears that Tom is a new breed of man. He's not one who seems to like to be labeled. Isn't that something that would be wonderful if we didn't have to announce our labels and that we could just be who we are. Alas, the world seems to need us to label ourselves so we do, but I congratulate Tom in not bowing to the pressure of a label.
When famed Olympic British diver Tom Daley revealed to the world Monday morning that he is in a relationship with a man, some of the responses from the Twitter universe were, unfortunately, less than positive. However, Daley also received an outpouring of support from the public -- including a handful of celebrities who were quick to vocalize their pride regarding the athlete's decision.
Now, it looks as if Daley can also expect his family to get behind his decision to publicly come out. Though the diver's grandparents admitted they were a bit "confused" and surprised at first, the pair told the Daily Mail that they vowed to support their Olympic athlete grandson.
"We asked him if he was absolutely sure. He’s our first grandson from our son who died," Daley's grandparents told reporters. "We have always been supportive of him and we always will. We’re not old-fashioned, in fact we’re quite liberal. But I do think he’s too young to be making this sort of decision... But we hugged him, we thanked him for coming to see us, and we’ll be seeing him over Christmas. We’ll always be here for Tom."
Sounds like Tom has quite a supportive family and I couldn't be happier for him!
E! News and The Advocate are reporting that Tom Daily is dating Oscar winner Dustin Lance Black. Many may not agree with me, but I hope this isn't true. I've never particularly liked Black, though I've liked his movies. I guess, Black is just not who I pictured with Daley. Not that it really matters, but Daley is 19 and Black is 39. I don't mind May to December romances, in fact I think their fine, but honestly, didn't you picture Daley with a hot young man his own age? Maybe this is why his grandparents asked him, "...if he was absolutely sure."