Really, America? (#1)

There are many things I don’t understand.  In fact, I may come up with a little series here on my blog.  I think I’ll call it the Really, America? series.  Every so often, something will come along that baffles me.  So here’s today’s mind-boggling issue.

Today a ruling was handed down in Colorado that permits a 6 year old boy who identifies as a girl to use the girls’ restroom at school.  They’re calling this six year old child transgendered.  A six year old little boy.  A psychologist labeled this child transgendered when he was four.  Four!  And now they’re ruling that he should be able to use the same bathroom as all the little girls.  Wow.

What about the actual little girls, who were born with little girl parts?  If I had a little girl at that school and they ruled that a little boy with little boy parts who wanted to have little girl parts could utilize the little girls’ restroom, I’d have a problem with that.  A big problem.  According to the article, the school had denied the child’s access to the girls’ bathroom, but was going to allow him to use the bathrooms designated for teachers or nurses.  I think that was very compassionate of them in this situation.  If this family was so against having their son use the boys’ restroom, then that was a reasonable and compassionate thing for the school to allow.  Oh, no.  This wasn’t good enough.  This was discrimination.

Now, they say, this clears the way for students – at least in Colorado at this point – to use the bathrooms that “match who they are”.  I’m sorry, what?  This is not difficult.  Public restrooms have always been set up for people to go to the bathroom that matches who they are.  Those with penises, proceed to the boys’ restroom.  Those with vaginas, proceed to the girls’ restroom.  Penis – boy.  Vagina – girl.   Why is this confusing?

I read some comments posted underneath the article.  One stated that what is to stop any man from going into a women’s locker room or women’s shower at a gym, because he “feels” like a woman?  Bingo.  Someone else said his son had been crawling on all fours and meowing like a cat all afternoon, so he was going to respect his decision and get him a fur coat, and then sue the school to put a litter box in the bathroom for him to use.  I have to admit, that one made me laugh out loud.

But wow.  This is where we are, America.  Really?  Wow.

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Reason # 165 I am glad to be Facebook free.

I’ve been Facebook free now for about four months and have no regrets.  Truth be told, most things I overhear people saying about Facebook only serve to remind me how happy I am to be away from that time suck.  There are many reasons.  But lately the reason that has come to mind over and over again is that I’ve had so much time to read books.  I used to read a lot, but then took to reading mindless Facebook status updates more often than an actual book.  Not anymore!  I’m loving it.  At least one or two nights a week, I’ll just curl up in my bed and read a book.  Often times, I will glance at my clock and realize I have to find a stopping place and get to sleep so I’ll be productive at work the next day.  It’s so much more fulfilling to me to get lost in a good book rather than short, pointless status updates.

Don’t get me wrong; I’ve met some wonderful people on Facebook.  I’ve had significant relationships with folks I’ve met on there.  But man, it’s nice to be away.  It’s refreshing to be away.

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again – if any of my friends are considering taking a break from Facebook, do it.  I predict you’ll be glad you did, whether it’s just for a little while or turns into a permanent, clean break from it.  It’s truly refreshing.

What’s the secret?!

I’ve concluded that I must live in a magical, wonderful town that is hiding secrets from me.  I am clearly not privy to something.  West Monroe, Louisiana is now on the map, thanks to Duck Dynasty, but this town is really nothing to write home about.  We have a lovely dog park.  Daily Harvest makes good haystack cookies, so they’re worth a visit if you’re in the area.  And yeah, while you’re here, check out the Duck Commander store.  It’s a pretty neat place.  Undoubtedly, however, the best things about this town are my parents, my sister, and my dog, and most folks don’t meet them when they come here.

Some hidden mysterious greatness can be the only thing to explain why housing costs are so outrageous here.  I am currently saving for a downpayment on a house.  While I have fun living with my sister, I don’t want to be a renter forever.  Probably in about a year, I will have a nice downpayment saved and can start seriously looking to buy.  But the truth is, I am having a hard time getting too excited about buying a house here.  All the reasons behind that are other stories for other times, but suffice it to say that I don’t think this is the place for me.  Unless some things change, I will be disappointed in myself if I look back in thirty years and find that I am still here in this same old rut.

Anyway, let me get back to the point.  A friend of mine has commented that housing costs are outrageous, but I assumed he meant everywhere.  Nope.  He meant here specifically.  West Monroe/Monroe.  The land of (secret, apparently) opportunity.

Out of curiosity, I visited trulia.com and searched several different cities in the southern part of the country, using the range of $75,000-$85,000, because, let’s face it, I work at the child support office.  I haven’t yet found that hidden pot of gold in this town.  I’d be looking at a realistic starter home.  Plus, I don’t want to be “house poor” and spend every bit of my income on my home.

Pensacola, Florida, with the beautiful Gulf of Mexico just minutes away by car had an adorable house for $75,000.  (They had several, but I focused on that particular one in my search results.)  Little Rock, Arkansas, which is a bike friendly town and offers fun stuff to do, had a charming updated older home with gorgeous hardwood floors and lots of windows for $76,000.  (Like Pensacola, they had several good options in that price range, but that one was my favorite.)  I looked at Nashville, Tennessee and Tuscaloosa, Alabama (although, I’m not sure Tuscaloosa has a lot to offer by way of fun things to do) and found nice houses just shy of $85,000.  Then there’s West Monroe.  This is so unbelievable, I have to post a link.  For a mere $82,500, you can call this beauty yours!  (Please, scroll through the photos for the full effect.  You must scroll through the photos.)

http://www.trulia.com/property/3116236497-2617-N-11th-St-West-Monroe-LA-71291

It also confuses me that the listing describes this as a “cute” house.  Really?  We’ve really lowered our standards, folks.  If this is cute, I’d hate to see ugly.

I don’t understand.  I don’t know what else to say.

Butterflies on the subway & bouquets of freshly sharpened pencils.

I used to enjoy watching movies.  Now there will be a movie in the theater that I’m interested in seeing roughly two or three times per year.  Redbox doesn’t get much of my business anymore either, because if I’m going to commit two hours to something, it has to be something I think is worth it.  But then there are a handful of movies I can watch over and over again and not grow tired of.

They just don’t make them like You’ve Got Mail anymore.  It’s just the most charming movie.  In fifteen years, there have been few movies as good as this one, at least in my opinion.

I love Kathleen’s apartment.  It’s so bright and happy and has so many bookshelves full of books.

I love the funny observations made and discussed by the characters, and the friendship Kathleen shares with her three employees.

I love the soundtrack.  It has such fun, interesting music.

I love all the New York City scenery.  (Seeing everyone walking along the sidewalks is so energizing to me.  It’s one of my favorite things about visiting New York City.  I love all the walking.  I wish I could live somewhere that I could commute by foot or by bicycle more.  There really is something exhilarating about it.)

I love Kathleen’s charming little bookstore.

I love all the funny lines – “People do really stupid things in foreign countries”, “Patricia makes coffee nervous”, “You are marching into the great unknown armed with … nothing.  Have a sandwich.”

I love that it’s not overrun with profanity and vulgarity.

I love that there are also so many profound lines that I can so easily relate to even though it’s just a romantic comedy.

They don’t make them like You’ve Got Mail anymore.  Films like that are a lost art.  What a shame.  Thank goodness for DVDs.