Manners: Blessings

Today is Easter. A notable Christian holiday.  The important Christian holiday. I will hear a lot of “Hallelujah” and “blessings” today – both digitally on Facebook and from live people. I don’t talk a lot about my faith. It is highly personal to me. I also have studied history – and I love church history. But it also breaks my heart. The Church (when I capitalize like this, I mean the “organized, hierarchical groups” – NOT the church which is the “body of Christ”) has done a lot of harm over the centuries. That harm is still being committed today.  People don’t like to think they are doing wrong, but that is exactly what we are supposed to do. I am fortunate that I am able to attend a Seder every year. The Haggadah is the story of the Exodus and a reminder to the Hebrew heritage (and Jewish faith) that they suffered in Egypt. This reminder is also a call (at

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Manners: A specific bumper sticker

After posting about bumper stickers here, I had a few conversations about bumper stickers – and realized something I hadn’t thought about before. I hate the “Baby on Board” stickers/posters/things on cars. Not because they are unreasonable, but because they are considered “necessary” for new parents to protect their child. Let that sink in for a moment. Most people put those on their car to communicate to the world. Not bragging like the “my child is an honor student” – but to protect their child. There is a necessity to communicate that there is human life in a car. Because drivers around them might not realize that the car in front of them on the road contains human lives. And even worse, they are making the emotional appeal to that terrible driver, because well we can’t expect drivers to respect adult lives – but maybe they will not try to kill a child. Not to say children’s lives are more important, merely that

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Manners: Personal v. Positional Authority

This is actually based on a conversation I had with a colleague, but it is something that flits through my life very regularly.  Some of this is because I have never been the person to naturally accrue either one.  There are people who do (I have known some of them for years and watched, it’s like a damn magnet of influence flows at them). I build it brick by brick, deliberate actions and choices to create the loyalty which seems to easy for others. Ok, to sound less creepy about it, think of that person who you know that you don’t know why people like them. I mean that person who everyone likes and admires despite being coarse or aggressive or blunt – or a combination of all three. They just have charisma (so jealous). They build up authority based purely on their personality. People follow them without knowing why or caring. Then you have people who rise to positions of power

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Manners: Snowflakes

Yes, you are a special snowflake. That was not sarcastic. I meant it.  I have yet to meet two people who are actually identical in every way. Which means, like snowflakes, they are each completely mathematically unique and amazing. Welcome to the blizzard. I live in Georgia. We count snow in flakes. Maybe inches. I can’t even process feet of snow in my world. But that is where we are. We are in a Midwestern six-feet-piling-up blizzard. There are 7.something BILLION people – and each one is unique. But there comes a point (for Georgia it’s more than 6 flakes sticking to the road) where you can’t care that they are unique and amazing, they are something you need to deal with. They might pose a danger of frostbite and the looming threat of illness. How to Approach the Snowflake/Blizzard: There are two sides to the manners here, what you can expect of yourself and what you can expect of others.

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Miss Manner: The Speed of Life

In the modern world, we run at a warp speed. There is no walking aloud.  As Audrey42 said, there is a crisis in leadership. I got my first Writer’s Digest magazine (subscription vs randomly-found-and-bought) and they talked about how editors don’t just edit. They make templates, create materials for sales & marketing and about eight other tasks. Ok, but how many books is each editor working on.  Every blog post I’ve read, every editorial has said editors have stacks of manuscripts to read/review; they are working on anywhere from 4-10 accepted/contracted manuscripts…  Multiply ALL of those tasks by 4 (lowest number I’ve ever heard). The more I process it, the more I think we’ve lost our collective minds. This is a perfect example of a problem. How can anyone think this is reasonable? My sister and I talked about the fetish (and yes that is the word we decided best fits) with startup-mentality. The idea of one person trying to do

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Manners: Nerds, Geeks & Dorks

I think most people are nerds in today’s world. But, nerd as term has been defined and re-defined a million times. This causes confusion.  Something that was an insult in 1986 (2 years after Revenge of the Nerds tried to redefine it) is today a badge of pride in many circles. It can make a workplace very awkward when someone “old school” tries to tease someone for being a “nerd” and everyone (a) thinks they are being rude for trying to demean a co-worker but also (b) nerd isn’t an insult anymore. I define Nerds as people with a casual depth of knowledge. A perfect example is sports. I am not a sports nerd. To illustrate: recently, my husband and I were watching Jeopardy and they had a category of naming a college based upon the quarterback who won some award for quarterbacks. They gave the player’s name and a hint about the school (I remember one mentioned “hurricanes”). My husband

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Manners: Insults

  When I feel the need to insult someone, I have decided I am going to call them a kidney stone. No one likes kidney stones. No one wants them. They are painful. They make you miserable. Everyone feels sorry for the person who has to deal with the kidney stone.  Doesn’t it sound like the best of all insults?

Politicis: NC’s HB2 (“The Bathroom Bill”)

How is this anything like a “commonsense” bill? It does not even make sense – as a lot of comedians have been saying. It is someone trying to hurt a group of people who they don’t like. It’s a Bully Bill. Let’s be really frank here. If I am in the bathroom and anyone tries to assault me or peek into my stall or whatever-it-is-that-the-folks-who-support-this-are-afraid-of; I don’t give a damn what gender their license says. They are a pervert and disgusting and need to go to jail. And I bet there are already laws on the books that take care of it. This bill isn’t about protecting me or anyone else. This bill is about hurting a population of people who are already disenfranchised. Like any bully, the writers of this bill are picking on someone they know they can hurt. They found someone smaller and weaker than themselves and threw a punch. What they didn’t expect is that the sports teams actually have some

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Manners: Everyone gets a vote in a Democracy

I had to type democracy three times in the title. I kept typing “democrazy” and my mind went “yeeeesss” and “No!” at the same damn time.  But it’s true, democracy is the most difficult kind of government. This political cycle is already showing signs of being ugly and demeaning to both parties. Here’s the rub I have with politics right now.  So much of the time, it doesn’t matter what political affiliations someone has, when I talk to them about the problems – we agree. Let’s take education.  Gallup Polls show that 70% of people think college education is important. That means there are almost 3 to 1 saying college is important. Then you start looking at why or who should pay for it… and suddenly everything falls apart. In my opinion – in my experience – most of this is because the discussion’s goal is lost. It quickly devolves to “us v. them” no matter the side of the argument. And at

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Manners: Constructive Criticism

“If you don’t have anything nice to say, don’t say anything at all.” I don’t like this phrase.  There IS truth here.  No one likes being told “oh my god – you are so ugly!”  BUT at the same time I really appreciate when someone leans over and whispers, “hey, did you know you have spinach in your teeth?” (and I totally just had to check my teeth to make sure there was nothing in my teeth). Another place I see this is gaming.  I don’t play a lot of MMO’s for a variety of reasons.  It might be my #1 that people will say to the newbie “God! You suck!” and then rant and rave about the newbie sucking.  And when that newbie is me… well it doesn’t exactly encourage me to continue playing that game.  Why do I suck? What should I do to get better? Where can I practice?  Some MMO’s are better about this then others. Some

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