Sunday, May 27, 2007

Sunday Funnies

So true....
Click on the image and you'll be able to read the writing. Very funny!

Friday, May 25, 2007

Time Out

The last few weeks have been pretty feckin hard! I've been lied about, bullied, ignored, belittled, gossiped about, ridiculed and virtually assaulted. I've lost two friendships I care deeply about because of this crap. Tonight I realized that essentially, I've been emotionally battered by a bunch of people who claim to be loving and righteous because they say they have a relationship with the God of Love.

Well, I'll do without that kind of "love" and "righteousness" thank you very much!

The weird thing is it makes sense in a way because they represent the god I grew up learning about in church. The one that says He loves you and then turns his back on you at the slightest offense and refuses to hear your prayers any more. The god that is content to let people suffer here on earth and in hell for all eternity because, for whatever reason, he decided not to save them through his apparently random "election" process. The one that abandons you if you complain.

Because they were "busted", now they want to talk.

Well, for the next 3 days I'm not talking. I'm indulging in the luxury of taking care of my own bruised ego, bunged up confidence and battered soul .

I'll go back to being strong, loving and compassionate later.

They can wait!

Wednesday, May 23, 2007

Unfreaking Beliveable!

Today I re-discovered how much I HATE conflict! Oh, it's not the being involved myself in a conflict that bothers me, although, I sure as hell don't like that either. No, it's the being on the outside of a conflict and watching people I care about fighting with each other that I hate! I especially don't like it when I either don't get what the argument is about in the first place, or, I can see that both sides have equal validity. It's in my nature to solve problems or "fix" things and when I can't "fix" the conflict between friends I feel frustrated, angry and helpless and I hate that!

Usually, like today, I jump in the middle, make some jokes and try to take "control" of the situation because I want more than anything for it to stop. Sometimes that works. More often than not though, the reaction is what happened today. Neither party is all too thrilled that I decided to jump in the middle of their "battle" and then they are aggravated with me as well as each other! Instead of making it better, which is all I want to do, I just make it worse.

Recently, I took a project management class where we learned about communication styles. In that class, we learned that men tend to blame others during a conflict whereas women tend to take the blame on themselves. It's a weird, but true, gender-based reaction to conflict and one in which, I admit, I fit the stereotype. I would have preferred they both be angry at me for days rather than with each other for a couple hours.

In that class, we also took a personality test, a version of the Myers Briggs, where I discovered that for my personality type INFP (sometimes I score as ENTP) it's common to have two ways of dealing with conflict. One, in which I'm a primary participant and the other, a conflict I'm around, but not directly involved as a participant.

When I'm a primary person in the conflict, I tend to withdraw, shut down and avoid the other person for as long as possible. However, the way I deal with conflict involving others is to be assertive, firm and mediate the dispute. I'm never scared when I'm on the outside of a conflict, but I often am when I'm directly involved. The truth is, I like being involved in conflict resolution processes and because it's easy for me to see various "sides" of an argument without making judgements about the people, I'm often quite sucessful at it.

It's in the middle of the battle, like today, where I'm sitting by, helplessly watching my friends inflict pain on each other with their words, that it's tough.

Having everyone else in the group commenting on the "battle" makes me even more uncomfortable. So, I move into what I call my "Xena, Warrior Princess mode" where I quickly clear the room by taking control of the conversation and forcing everyone who remains to only discuss "safe" topics. It's not a good way to win a popularity contest by any means, but it does keep the argument from spreading,even if it does mean I sometimes become the new target of the group's sniping. It's probably not too healthy, but hey, it works. It keeps my friends from being hurt further by some late comer's unsolicted and unhelpful opinion. Besides, I'm getting quite used to the idea that I'm not going to be popular all the time.

The way I look at it, the group should just let the people involved have the space and grace they need to work out things between themselves. There's no need for any one to provide a "post fight wrap up" for crying out loud. In those moments, I feel like a traffic cop..." We all saw what happened. Now just move on and clear the area folks...that's it, go back to what you were doing...move along..." All the while I'm thinking "how unfreaking believable! I can not believe that just happened. Did you see that?" I just keep it to myself though. After all, it's my "job" to keep the group moving along, so I just start being funny or find some other topic to distract them for a while.

I want to protect the hearts of the people I love and I can't always do that. Even though I can often clearly see where the thing went pear shaped, I'm powerless to change it. That goes against my natural tendency to solve problems. Today, I've re-learned that lesson. And that is why I say again, I HATE conflict!

Monday, May 21, 2007

Bill Richardson for President

Bill Richardson officially declared he is running for the President of the United States today!

Richardson's qualifications include:
- US Congress
- Governor of New Mexico
- 4 time Nobel Peace Prize nominee
- Secretary of Energy under President Clinton
- U.S Ambassador to the United Nations

Learn more here:

A Special Path

When refusing to love for your entire existence
You block a path which could be graceful
Many reasons for your soul to be miserable
The only thing you find is sufferance
Searching for something better than misery
But your heart seems empty
The search suddenly feels hopeless
But not for I, for I am fearless.

©by Chantal Perron Aylmer, Canada 2002

Sunday, May 20, 2007

Sunday Funnies

Popular war protest placard created by UK marketing firm Karmarama.

Tuesday, May 15, 2007

Big B's Bloggin' Blues Boogie

“…it’s just a stupid blog, ohhh it’s just a stupid blog
And they can’t kick me like a dog
‘cuz it’s just a stupid blog…”

Sunday, May 13, 2007

Sunday Funnies

From the 2007 Red Nose Day show. Can you imagine "W" doing this?
Catherine Tate is a comedian in the UK who plays Lauren Cooper, a 15 year old school girl who is always in trouble with some adult. Her most famous line is "I ain't bothered"
Tony Blair is brilliant in this bit!

Saturday, May 12, 2007

Culture and Humour

Recently at a blog I frequent, there was a big brouhaha about some silly links a friend posted. In my opinion, the images are a bit goofy and immature, kinda like my friend, but certainly nothing to get all worked up over.

This got me to thinking about how so much of what we label "inappropriate" has to do with culture rather than content. You'd think in 21st century America, adults would just laugh off stuff like this for the silliness it is.

My goodness, if they ever went into any Toby Carvery ( a family resturant chain in the UK) these "delicate flowers" would just faint straight away. The walls of that place are covered with silly, old, cartoon postcards with drawings of nude people in all kinds of compromising and awkward situations.

Humour like that is everywhere in Europe, and no one's getting wound up about it as far as I could tell.

There's a much different idea of what is funny and what is obscene in Europe. They understand that human bodies are funny! Aw come on now....they are too! They are ridiculous really. If you don't believe me, just go look at yourself buck naked in a full length mirror. How can you possibly say that is not funny?

I'm posting those images here as a act of protest and solidarity with my friend, but mostly, because in that goofy, immature way, I think they're funny!

This one is not of a human body, but of a dressed up animal. Just how the heck offensive can it be?

I'll let you be the judge of that.

Sunday, May 6, 2007

Saturday, May 5, 2007


Recently, someone at another site told me about an online quiz called "Belief-O-Matic". They suggested I take the test so I could get a better idea of just what it was I believed and to help determine what religion I was "supposed to be".

Sounded silly yet intriguing. So of course, I just had to try it!

There's around 20 questions about your views on topics such as the existence of a deity, the origins of life on Earth, what happens after death, how does one obtain salvation and how important is it to avoid violence.

Some of the answer choices are a bit vague and jumbled but, all in all, it was worth the few minutes it took to complete.

The outcome was a bit surprising to me as my top 5 "best" matches were:

  • Unitarian Universialist - 100% match
  • Liberal Quaker - 97%
  • Shikism - 90%
  • Theravada Buddhism - 87%
  • Mahayana Buddhism - 84%

Mainline to Liberal Christian Protestants was number 9 and Mainline to Conservative Christian Protestant was clear down at 19. Having spent most my life inside Protestant churches, this was a pretty interesting thing to discover.

I don't even know a thing about any of the religions on my list except for Quakers. I do know it's an odd thing when you realize the label you've been wearing for so long, really doesn't fit your thinking any longer.

So what changes, the label or the thinking?? I'm not sure just yet.

Here's a link to the test so you can try it out yourself. I'd love to hear about your results and more importantly, your reaction to them. Have fun!

Wednesday, May 2, 2007

Cry Pain, Cry Hope

It is not what happens to us in any day that gives content to our lives, but whether or not we let its experience sink into us. ... It is one of the highest powers given to anyone. In reflection I come upon feelings that I had been too afraid to experience in the moment. In the quiet of reflection I take the risk and the time to let censored thoughts as well as feelings into consciousness, to discover what is causing the uneasiness in me.

- Elizabeth O'Connor from Cry Pain, Cry Hope

Just seems right tonight...

Your message is clear
you sound so sincere
your intentions are good
The forgiveness of sin
life without end
I’d believe it if I could
But I’ve watched from afar
and I’ve seen how you are
with the people you’re around
And I don’t see a trace of the love
and the grace you talk so much about

If you want to lead me to Jesus
you’d better find a better way
‘Cause your life is speaking so loud
I can’t even hear a word you say

If winning the duel is your golden rule
no matter the cost
Then you may win the day
but the price you pay
is the greater war that’s lost
You would not believe how different it seems
from the outside looking in
But the louder you shout
the more I tune out
and the less I am convinced

If you want to lead me to Jesus
you’d better find a better way
'Cause your life is speaking so loud
I can’t even hear a word you say
I want to believe
but I am going to need you to work with me here
Work with me here
Work with me here

If you want to lead me to Jesus
you’d better find a better way
‘Cause your life is speaking so loud
I can’t even hear a word
If you want to lead me to Jesus
you’d better find a better way
‘Cause your life is speaking so loud
I can’t even hear a word you say

Hear a word you say
Hear a word you say

- Gordon Levy