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Archive for the 'ChitChat' Category

Sunday Rap

Posted by Michelle Moquin on 19th January 2014

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Good morning!

Well, I had it in my calendar to wish FLOTUS, Michelle Obama, a very Happy 50th Birthday, but with all that has been going on with my blog, I got a bit sidetracked and forgot to mention it here this past Friday. However, considering it is her birthday weekend, and no doubt the partying is still going on strong, it is never too late to send good wishes to our fave first lady! Happy Birthday Michelle!! No doubt our beloved president is making your 50th memorable!

Lois: :) When I first heard this, I thought this girl is right on.

Brittany: My pleasure. Thanks so much for your suggestion that I print the text from Fabello’s video. I love the written word because it allow me to pause and ponder at points that I want to think about more deeply.

So for those of you who enjoy that too, here are “the words.”

Video Blog: Party Girl Pop – Empowerment Or Sexism?

Written by MissRep on Sep 19, 2012
Posted in MediaPop Culture

[TEXT: Melissa A. Fabello; Philadelphia, PA, USA] So, after my three-part mini-series on the relationship between men and the media – which, by the way, was super successful (thanks, Upworthy!) – I’d like to come back to talking about the media’s influence on women with a vengeance by discussing the girliest contemporary trend in popular music right now. And no, I’m not talking about really adorable, simple lyrics thrown against ridiculously catchy melodies [TEXT: See: Carly Rae Jepsen’s “Call Me Maybe” and Taylor Swift’s “We Are Never, Ever Getting Back Together”]. I’m talking about party girl pop music — the anthems to pre-gaming and morning regret – and more specifically, analyzing the façades of empowerment and liberation that they put forth and whether or not they’re legitimate — or just sexism presented in a different package.

[GRAPHICS. Melissa for Miss Representation. Party Girl Pop Music: Empowerment or Sexism?]

Disclaimer: I am not opposed to the listening to and enjoyment of vapid pop music. It’s entertaining. That’s what it’s supposed to be. Anything that makes me want to sing and dance in the car (to the amusement of the other people waiting at the stop light) is, in my opinion, awesome music. I love the stuff. I own Ke$ha underwear, for God’s sake. What I am opposed to is not using your all-powerful critical thinking skills to analyze what you’re enjoying and what effect it might have on society, as well as what effect society might have on the music industry.

[GRAPHICS. Media Literacy: What It Is – And What It Isn’t]

Let’s review. “Media literacy” is not a scary concept. Contrary to the beliefs of some of my beloved YouTube video commenters – [black and white] “You are a socialist, Marxist drone, and feminism is ruining everyone’s lives” – media literacy isn’t about telling people that what they’re consuming sucks and that they need to be more intellectual in their choices. And it’s not about banning and outlawing any- and everything that upholds patriarchal ideals. Media literacy advocates – like myself! – are not trying to create a warped, feminist version of Fahrenheit 451 – censorship, what!? – but instead, are trying to educate the masses about what it means to think about what you’re consuming. [TEXT: Media literacy is a repertoire of competences that enable people to analyze, evaluate, and create messages in a wide variety of media modes, genres, and forms (Media Literacy).] Think of media literacy as reading nutritional information on a box of packaged food. When you see things like “high fructose corn syrup” and “[word that can’t be pronounced],” you – as an educated individual – know that putting that product into your body is probably not the best idea, that there are better, more nourishing choices out there. But hey. If you know it and want to eat it anyway, more power to you! The important thing is looking, understanding, and making informed decisions. Similarly, when you consume your media diet, you should ask yourself: “What is the content of this product? Is it really selling what it’s advertising? Who made this? And why do they want me to consume it?” Then, proceed accordingly. [eating] Mmm. Delicious.

[GRAPHICS. A Lesson in Faux Empowerment]

In her 2005 book Female Chauvinist Pigs, Ariel Levy writes that “women’s liberation and empowerment are terms feminists started using to talk about casting off the limitations imposed upon women and demanding equality” and suggests that we have since “perverted these words” by applying them to contexts that are undeserving of them (p. 44). That is, because we (as a society) believe on a whole that women have gained equality with men, we’ve started calling things “empowering” when really, they’re actually very limiting. But because we’ve been conditioned to think of them in terms of liberation, rather than sexism, we’re unlikely to analyze them. A simple way to exemplify this is to look at strippers. Many of them (as well as other women in the adult entertainment industry) claim that what they’re doing gives them a sense of empowerment. Now, I’m not saying that they’re wrong or that I whole-heartedly disagree with them. But the question to ask is: Are they really being empowered if they’re subscribing to what’s still a patriarchal ideal, a new-and-not-so-much-improved script for what a woman should be? There is no right or wrong answer here. It’s just something to think about.

Take, for instance, The Spice Girls. In her 2010 book Enlightened Sexism, Douglas discusses a cultural phenomenon (which she dubs “enlightened sexism”) which The Spice Girls (and, God, I love The Spice Girls) manifest: “feminist in its outward appearance (of course you can be or do anything you want), but sexist in its intent (hold on, girls, only up to a certain point, and not in any way that discomforts men or pushes feminist goals one more centimeter forward)” (p. 10). Outwardly, The Spice Girls were all about “girl power,” spreading the idea that women could be anything that they want to be – sporty, posh, scary? – and kick ass doing it. But what my twelve-year-old self didn’t take into consideration was that The Spice Girls were, in and of themselves, caricatures of themselves, each of them representing a “type” of woman, falling into stereotypes themselves. And they did everything in short skirts and hot pants. Not that short skirts and hot pants can’t be feminist, but—[eyebrow]. “Thus, enlightened sexism takes the gains of the women’s movement as a given,” with the media suggesting to and convincing us that internalized misogyny [TEXT: “Internalized misogyny” is defined as misogynistic behavior committed by women (internalized misogyny).] can’t exist, since sexism is irrelevant in 2012, “and then uses them as permission to resurrect retrograde images of girls and women as sex objects” (p. 10). And in the words of Jessica Valenti (2007), “[s]elling a commercialized sexuality to women…as a way to be ‘liberated’ is pretty lame” (p. 42).

[GRAPHICS. Who Owns the Media – And Why Does It Matter?]

“Many producers insist that the mass media are simply mirrors,” Douglas explains, “reflecting reality, whatever that is, back to the public. Whenever you hear this mirror metaphor, I urge you to smash it. Because if the media are mirrors, they are fun house mirrors” (p. 19). The media often claim that they’re giving us what we want, that they are allowing art to imitate life the way that we expect and want them to.

Now, the easiest way to dismantle this myth is to take into consideration that 97% of decision-making clout positions in the media are held by men (Pugh Yi & Dearfield, 2012). Ninety-seven percent. That means that the media that are produced – yes, even (if not especially) the ones that feature representations of women – are produced by people who have no personal stake in making sure that women are represented well. If anything, [TEXT: “Men” as an institution, not necessarily as individuals.] men actually benefit from the misrepresentation, objectification, and sexualization of women: it asserts their position of power. Because if you convince women, by way of manipulating the media, that what’s normal, average, ideal behavior is to drink enough to lower inhibitions and then become a sex machine, who benefits?

So if we take a song like Katy Perry’s 2011 hit “Last Friday Night (T.G.I.F.)” and consider the lyrics “There’s a stranger in my bed / There’s a pounding in my head” combined with “It’s a black-out blur, but I’m pretty sure it ruled,” we also have to take into consideration that she didn’t write that song. Just like Ke$ha doesn’t write her songs. Or Dev, her songs. Or Rihanna, her songs. And on and on and on. The people who are writing those songs? Who are producing those videos? Who are scouting, signing, and representing these artists? Are men. And so it’s men, in turn, as representatives of the media at large, who are also selling us the idea that this is what we want to see, that this stuff is relatable, that this is what’s ideal. That’s a lot of power to have over society.

[GRAPHIC. Party Girl Pop and the Politics of Empowerment]

If you look closely at this new musical trend – which includes young, pretty, mostly white women singing the praises of drunken debauchery and questionable sex acts [TEXT: “Questionable” because of the circumstances surrounding them, not because of the acts themselves.] –what you notice is that the “empowerment” that it is selling (that women have gained sexual equality with men) might not be so empowering if women actually have nothing to gain from it. Although the media try to convince us that party girl pop is a simple reflection of art imitating life, it might really be just a fantasy of power.

“[The media] assure girls and women, repeatedly, that women’s liberation is a fait accompli and that we are stronger, more successful, more sexually in control, more fearless, and more held in awe than we actually are” (Douglas, 2010, p. 5). Think about it: a social stigma still exists that says that promiscuous women (or, really, just any woman who is control of her sexuality) shouldn’t be respected and shouldn’t be trusted, whereas (ohh, double standards) promiscuous men are generally considered to be—well—just men being men. Where’s the equality in that? Where’s the liberation in that? There isn’t any. Women aren’t sexually liberated in a societal sense. We’re sexually oppressed. And pretending otherwise, by buying into this bullshit, bubblegum notion of empowerment, is kind of irresponsible. Valenti posits that perhaps “the joke is on us, and that we’re really just fooling ourselves” (p. 47).

[GRAPHIC. Implications]

Now, I’m not saying that female empowerment and liberation don’t exist. I’m not even saying that they don’t exist in the very songs and genre that I just ripped apart. It’s not that sex can’t be empowering, or that adhering to these new “party girl” social norms can’t be liberating. The problem is when we assume that we actually came to these conclusions on our own, without the influence of the media telling us what we should believe and accept as truth. And that’s what media literacy is all about – reading between the lines (or, in this case, the lyrics) to find what’s there for us – and what isn’t.

In Douglas’ words, “Something’s out of whack here. If you immerse yourself in the media fare of the past ten to fifteen years, what you see is a rather large gap between how the vast majority of girls and women live their lives, the choices they are forced to make, and what they see – and don’t see – in the media” (p. 4). And I don’t think that it’s a coincidence that what we’re being shown in the media about women is a sort of faux empowerment revolving around a freedom to express our sexuality. Because we’re not being shown how to have healthy sexual relationships, how to make sure that we’re experiencing pleasure, how to love and accept our bodies – hell, even how to make sober decisions when it comes to sex. And all of that? Would be liberating. Would be empowering. Instead, we’re being thrown the same old boring stereotypes and contradictions about the relationship between sex and power. Levy asks, “How is resurrecting every stereotype of female sexuality that feminism endeavored to banish good for women?” (p. 4). And maybe it’s about time that we actually stop and think about it.

So, do I think that this nonsense is the devil, that it should be avoided entirely, or that we’re brainless drones with no ability to think for ourselves? No. Not at all. What I think is that it’s important for us to use our powerful critical thinking skills to analyze something really worthwhile – ourselves. And while I don’t agree with everything that Levy or Douglas says about their respective theories, I do think that it’s food for thought. So the next time that Ke$ha comes on the radio, should you shut it off? No. But you should listen responsibly.

[GRAPHIC: Connect with Melissa. Twitter @rev_melissa. Tumblr fuckyeahmelissafabello.]

*****

Jenny: So sorry about your husband, and happy to hear that you have “resolved not to compromise.” Yes, it does only benefit the man when you give in too easily and quickly. Be proud of that pretty, precious, pussy between your legs. It is a coveted gift that should not be given so easily to any man or they will most likely not see the great value that you are. Keep persisting and good luck!

Helen: I agree with ‘Olina- So true. Loved the way you expressed it.

Thanks to all the girls who posted lyrics from your favorite empowerment songs, and shared your stories too. I am familiar with some and some, not so. I really enjoyed your comments.

Victor: Thanks for sharing yours from a guy’s point of view too.

Ellen: Like, you I am in the dating scene myself, and I am really enjoying just dating – whatever happened to the romance of courting? I am loving this part. Before I give myself up to him I want to know all about him…including, is he worthy of me? What qualities does he have that I want in a man? So many questions need to be answered. And…Does he value me or does he just want to get under my skirt like most men?

To me it is a game of discovery, and I love being the woman in this game. Unfortunately I haven’t gotten much past the first date with very many men. But when I do, I get to discover a lot about the man, including if he feels I am worth it to wait? I can tell you one thing, if he doesn’t, it means nothing to me, and I have lost nothing. In my opinion, it is his loss and my gain. Just like if I sleep with him before 90 days, it is my loss and his gain, because most likely, my giving in too early means my value, in his mind,  has just been diminished drastically.

To me the dating process is pretty simple, and can be very illuminating. The words that I said to Jenny, I echo to you. :) I wish you the best of luck in finding your mate.

Shannon: That’s a hard lesson to learn. I wish all women felt the same way. Men would not be able to cheat on their wives if it were not for the women who said yes to them. Please don’t continue to beat yourself up though. Be gentle with yourself. We all make mistakes and it seems you are making up for it in so many ways that are supporting women. Thanks for all you do. And for being here with me for 4 years.

Steffi: :) I don’t have one fave song (see below), but I am certainly learning about a few more that I am liking. Thanks for sharing yours.

Jane: I have no idea who you are but I want to say thanks for all you do in the political world. I wanted to give a special shout out to you for posting your fave. – “Shaking the Tree”  - amazing song –  it is one of my faves too that I had forgotten about till you brought it up. Thank you!

Thana: That’s a good one. I’ve always liked the lyrics.

Social Butterfly:  Thank you! I was in SF yesterday and was loving it!! I HOPE you are enjoying your Sunday as well.

Happy Sunday to everyone else too! I am not a huge football fan but I do want to say to those that are, “GO NINERS!”

Peace out. 

Lastly, greed over a great story is surfacing from my “loyal”(?) readers. With all this back and forth about who owns what, that appears on my blog, let me reiterate that all material posted on my blog becomes the sole property of my blog. If you want to reserve any proprietary rights don’t post it to my blog. I will prominently display this caveat on my blog from now on to remind those who may have forgotten this notice.

Gratefully your blog host,

michelle

Aka BABE: We all know what this means by now :)

If you love my blog and my writes, please make a donation via PayPal, credit card, or e-check, please click the “Donate” button below. (Please only donations from those readers within the United States. – International readers please see my “Donate” page)

Or if you would like to send a check via snail mail, please make checks payable to “Michelle Moquin”, and send to:

Michelle Moquin PO Box 29235 San Francisco, Ca. 94129

Thank you for your loyal support!

All content on this site are property of Michelle Moquin © copyright 2008-2012

“Though she be but little, she be fierce.” – William Shakespeare Midsummer Night’s Dream 

" Politics, god, Life, News, Music, Family, Personal, Travel, Random, Photography, Religion, Aliens, Art, Entertainment, Food, Books, Thoughts, Media, Culture, Love, Sex, Poetry, Prose, Friends, Technology, Humor, Health, Writing, Events, Movies, Sports, Video, Christianity, Atheist, Blogging, History, Work, Education, Business, Fashion, Barack Obama, People, Internet, Relationships, Faith, Photos, Videos, Hillary Clinton, School, Reviews, God, TV, Philosophy, Fun, Science, Environment, Design, The Page, Rants, Pictures, Church, Blog, Nature, Marketing, Television, Democrats, Parenting, Miscellaneous, Current Events, Film, Spirituality, Obama, Musings, Home, Human Rights, Society, Comedy, Me, Random Thoughts, Research, Government, Election 2008, Baseball, Opinion, Recipes, Children, Iraq, Funny, Women, Economics, America, Misc, Commentary, John McCain, Reflections, All, Celebrities, Inspiration, Lifestyle, Theology, Linux, Kids, Games, World, India, Literature, China, Ramblings, Fitness, Money, Review, War, Articles, Economy, Journal, Quotes, NBA, Crime, Anime, Islam, 2008, Stories, Prayer, Diary, Jesus, Buddha, Muslim, Israel, Europe, Links, Marriage, Fiction, American Idol, Software, Leadership, Pop culture, Rants, Video Games, Republicans, Updates, Political, Football, Healing, Blogs, Shopping, USA, Class, Matrix, Course, Work, Web 2.0, My Life, Psychology, Gay, Happiness, Advertising, Field Hockey, Hip-hop, sex, fucking, ass, Soccer, sox"

Posted in Aliens, ChitChat, Love, Sex & Relationships | 12 Comments »

The Countdown Begins

Posted by Michelle Moquin on 31st December 2013

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Good morning!

Well, if you, like me, are in the United States, we just have one day left until the new year. And if you are living abroad or on our beloved Guam where you get to experience the new year first, the countdown is over. The New Year is here.

So for those, I want to wish you all a VERY HAPPY NEW YEAR!! I HOPE that you all enjoyed the pleasures of this planet as you were partying it big last night.

And for those who are celebrating tonight(!), there are plenty more pleasures for everyone and I intend to indulge in some of them myself tonight with my fave libation…

Champagne

What are your plans? Maybe I’ll see ya out and about. Please say hello if you do. The blog is open if you care to share your plans.

Be safe everyone!! Be courteous to those around you, and have lots of fun bringing in the New Year!!

As always…Peace & Love

xox

Bye Bye 2013…

Lastly, greed over a great story is surfacing from my “loyal”(?) readers. With all this back and forth about who owns what, that appears on my blog, let me reiterate that all material posted on my blog becomes the sole property of my blog. If you want to reserve any proprietary rights don’t post it to my blog. I will prominently display this caveat on my blog from now on to remind those who may have forgotten this notice.

Gratefully your blog host,

michelle

Aka BABE: We all know what this means by now :)

If you love my blog and my writes, please make a donation via PayPal, credit card, or e-check, please click the “Donate” button below. (Please only donations from those readers within the United States. – International readers please see my “Donate” page)

Or if you would like to send a check via snail mail, please make checks payable to “Michelle Moquin”, and send to:

Michelle Moquin PO Box 29235 San Francisco, Ca. 94129

Thank you for your loyal support!

All content on this site are property of Michelle Moquin © copyright 2008-2012

“Though she be but little, she be fierce.” – William Shakespeare Midsummer Night’s Dream 

" Politics, god, Life, News, Music, Family, Personal, Travel, Random, Photography, Religion, Aliens, Art, Entertainment, Food, Books, Thoughts, Media, Culture, Love, Sex, Poetry, Prose, Friends, Technology, Humor, Health, Writing, Events, Movies, Sports, Video, Christianity, Atheist, Blogging, History, Work, Education, Business, Fashion, Barack Obama, People, Internet, Relationships, Faith, Photos, Videos, Hillary Clinton, School, Reviews, God, TV, Philosophy, Fun, Science, Environment, Design, The Page, Rants, Pictures, Church, Blog, Nature, Marketing, Television, Democrats, Parenting, Miscellaneous, Current Events, Film, Spirituality, Obama, Musings, Home, Human Rights, Society, Comedy, Me, Random Thoughts, Research, Government, Election 2008, Baseball, Opinion, Recipes, Children, Iraq, Funny, Women, Economics, America, Misc, Commentary, John McCain, Reflections, All, Celebrities, Inspiration, Lifestyle, Theology, Linux, Kids, Games, World, India, Literature, China, Ramblings, Fitness, Money, Review, War, Articles, Economy, Journal, Quotes, NBA, Crime, Anime, Islam, 2008, Stories, Prayer, Diary, Jesus, Buddha, Muslim, Israel, Europe, Links, Marriage, Fiction, American Idol, Software, Leadership, Pop culture, Rants, Video Games, Republicans, Updates, Political, Football, Healing, Blogs, Shopping, USA, Class, Matrix, Course, Work, Web 2.0, My Life, Psychology, Gay, Happiness, Advertising, Field Hockey, Hip-hop, sex, fucking, ass, Soccer, sox"

Posted in ChitChat, Uncategorized | 11 Comments »

Merry Christmas!

Posted by Michelle Moquin on 25th December 2013

 

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images-1 22-06-10

Readers:

Twas the night before Christmas

I sat down to write my blog

The house was so quiet

as I sipped on some Eggnog.

I began to type out the words

and immediately felt relief

You’ve been here for years – You all know me so well

I knew I could be brief, and all would be swell.

So with few words needed, I will just say

I am so grateful that you choose to be here,

Have a very Merry Christmas

With plenty of LOVE and good cheer!

Love,

Michelle

Peace out.

If you feel inspired, blog me.

Lastly, greed over a great story is surfacing from my “loyal”(?) readers. With all this back and forth about who owns what, that appears on my blog, let me reiterate that all material posted on my blog becomes the sole property of my blog. If you want to reserve any proprietary rights don’t post it to my blog. I will prominently display this caveat on my blog from now on to remind those who may have forgotten this notice.

Gratefully your blog host,

michelle

Aka BABE: We all know what this means by now :)

If you love my blog and my writes, please make a donation via PayPal, credit card, or e-check, please click the “Donate” button below. (Please only donations from those readers within the United States. – International readers please see my “Donate” page)

Or if you would like to send a check via snail mail, please make checks payable to “Michelle Moquin”, and send to:

Michelle Moquin PO Box 29235 San Francisco, Ca. 94129

Thank you for your loyal support!

Michelle Christmas

All content on this site are property of Michelle Moquin © copyright 2008-2012

“Though she be but little, she be fierce.” – William Shakespeare Midsummer Night’s Dream 

" Politics, god, Life, News, Music, Family, Personal, Travel, Random, Photography, Religion, Aliens, Art, Entertainment, Food, Books, Thoughts, Media, Culture, Love, Sex, Poetry, Prose, Friends, Technology, Humor, Health, Writing, Events, Movies, Sports, Video, Christianity, Atheist, Blogging, History, Work, Education, Business, Fashion, Barack Obama, People, Internet, Relationships, Faith, Photos, Videos, Hillary Clinton, School, Reviews, God, TV, Philosophy, Fun, Science, Environment, Design, The Page, Rants, Pictures, Church, Blog, Nature, Marketing, Television, Democrats, Parenting, Miscellaneous, Current Events, Film, Spirituality, Obama, Musings, Home, Human Rights, Society, Comedy, Me, Random Thoughts, Research, Government, Election 2008, Baseball, Opinion, Recipes, Children, Iraq, Funny, Women, Economics, America, Misc, Commentary, John McCain, Reflections, All, Celebrities, Inspiration, Lifestyle, Theology, Linux, Kids, Games, World, India, Literature, China, Ramblings, Fitness, Money, Review, War, Articles, Economy, Journal, Quotes, NBA, Crime, Anime, Islam, 2008, Stories, Prayer, Diary, Jesus, Buddha, Muslim, Israel, Europe, Links, Marriage, Fiction, American Idol, Software, Leadership, Pop culture, Rants, Video Games, Republicans, Updates, Political, Football, Healing, Blogs, Shopping, USA, Class, Matrix, Course, Work, Web 2.0, My Life, Psychology, Gay, Happiness, Advertising, Field Hockey, Hip-hop, sex, fucking, ass, Soccer, sox"

Posted in ChitChat, Entertainment & Laughter | 18 Comments »

25 Gifts of Happiness

Posted by Michelle Moquin on 23rd December 2013

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Good morning!

I mentioned the magazine Live Happy. Today I am posting their pick for “25 Gifts of Happiness.” It might be a bit late to post but these gifts are not only good for last minute gifts but ones that you can keep on giving throughout the year…for no reason at all, except to be nice to someone. And when is it not an ideal time to be nice to someone?

Here’s the list. All of these are wonderful gifts. I gave comments to a few of my faves in RED.

PS: Anna of Guam…I almost forgot to say, your comment inspired me to post this. Hafa Adai.

25 Gifts of Happiness

Young people celebrating together at Christmas

The Live Happy team shares our list for happiness holiday giving

As holiday gift-giving approaches, we hope you’ll join us in giving the gift of happiness. A gift of one’s own time, talent or regard, a gift from the heart (instead of the pocketbook), or a gift that gives back creates lasting happiness for both you and your loved ones. To get started, the Live Happy team shares this—our list of 25 gifts of happiness:

1.  Give your family the gift of a best friend–with four paws. (Happiness truly can be a warm puppy or kitten.) ( I will just add that as much as I love a puppy finding a home  - Please don’t buy a puppy from a dog store.  Or a breeder if you just want a loving house pet. Adopt and make sure that the family has had a conversation about wanting a pet as well as a particular breed. As much as I love this idea, many pets are brought to the shelter a few weeks to a few months after Christmas because the thrill of having a pet wore off. A pet is not just for Christmas but a lifetime. Please be mindful about this decision. )

2.  Give the gift of charity to your children. Ask them to choose toys and clothing that they’ve outgrown and give them to a children’s charity, explaining that they have so much and others don’t have enough. (I love this idea!)

3.  Invite a friend, neighbor or coworker who would be spending a holiday alone to your holiday dinner. (It’s never too late to make that phone call when someone is going to spend the holidays alone.)

4.  Gift from your garden or the local fresh market. Making jam from the season’s produce is its own reward; giving it to others doubles the bounty. (more on this later)

5.  Pay someone a compliment. (Soo easy – do it!)

6.  Use your talents to do or make something special: Teach a friend yoga, a grandma how to tweet. Make a one-of-a-kind book of photos for your son, a collage of a friend’s selfies.

7.  Give a coupon book of favors that you’ll deliver during the year. For a husband, a car wash, his favorite pie and an evening with his buddies. For a friend, time with you, running Saturday errands and a latte at the office.

8.  Just be there. Make the effort to visit relatives, especially your grandparents. All they need is you! ( So simple huh?)

9.  Give together-gifts. Meals you’ll cook together, sunrises you’ll get up to see together, books you’ll read before bedtime together. (Time is precious – sometimes the best gift is some of yours.)

10.  Give the gift of talent. If you can sew—offer to sew on buttons, make new pillow covers. If you can paint—offer to paint a room for a friend. If you know IT, clean up your friend’s computer.

11.  Be an angel investor. Help fund a small loan for someone who is building or growing a business—it will improve lives. Kiva is a micro-finance website where your contribution gives again and again. Once a loan is repaid, your dollars can be lent again. (This is one of my faves and something I have been doing for years. This is a good reminder that I need to re-invest my original investment. For $25 you can help someone out big time)

12.  Give an experience off someone’s bucket list. You’ve always wanted to skydive, right?

13.  Give an experience for the future. Planning a trip together, whether it’s to the café round the corner or a more ambitious weekend in the mountains, means you’re giving your time and attention.

14.  Plan an unplugged weekend. No cells, no TV, no computer. Just each other. ( You know I love this one already. Again giving your time.)

15.  Give an experience in the moment. Call faraway friends with a surprise serenade of holiday carols. (I do this on birthdays for friends. However, this is a sweet thing to do for the holidays too.)

16.  Connect the dots. For example, give a friend a lasting memory of her beloved mother or father.  If the mother loved flowers, give a gift of flowers to your friend.

17.  Write an accomplishment list for your spouse (or child!). Read it to him or her. There’s nothing like knowing your special someone knows just how special you are! ( I love this idea. If I had kids I would do this.)

18.  For yourself: Pay attention to the moments that bring you the most joy for a week. As they happen, write them down. Commit to having more of those kinds of times in days ahead. ( I began to make conscious notes in my head awhile ago, but I like the idea of writing them down as “happiness reminders.”)

19.  Be a workout buddy. Sign up for an exercise class together and hold each other accountable to attend. Support someone who has a hard time getting active. Be ready with a quick SOS pep talk. (Oh, I could use this.)

20.  Adopt a relative at a VA hospital or retirement home for the holidays.

21.  Leave hugs. Before you say goodbye to family and friends, give big hugs. Everyone needs to stock up on hugs! (One of my faves to do and receive.)

22.  Start the day with a positive thought—pass it along. (It is amazing how starting the day this way can make a huge difference in the outcome of the rest of your.)

23.  Bring the show. Homegrown entertainment is appreciated by all. Encourage your kids to sing, play instruments, or put on a play at family and friends’ gatherings. No doubt others will join in.

24.   See someone who needs help? Be the one to offer it. (Someone always has a bigger struggle that we can be there for.)

25.  Look within yourself for happiness. It’s there waiting to be discovered! (Ah…yes, Happiness is a choice. Choose it, please. :)

From the premiere issue of Live Happy magazine.

*L*I*V*E*H*A*P*P*Y*!*

Readers: I could have commented on every one…but I ran out of time. :( :) Can you think of any others? Blog me.

Thank you Janet:  Merry Christmas to you too!

It is the day of Christmas eve for my international and Guamanian friends. So if you are celebrating this evening, I want to wish all of you a Merry Christmas!

Peace & Love to all!

xoxo

Lastly, greed over a great story is surfacing from my “loyal”(?) readers. With all this back and forth about who owns what, that appears on my blog, let me reiterate that all material posted on my blog becomes the sole property of my blog. If you want to reserve any proprietary rights don’t post it to my blog. I will prominently display this caveat on my blog from now on to remind those who may have forgotten this notice.

Gratefully your blog host,

michelle

Aka BABE: We all know what this means by now :)

If you love my blog and my writes, please make a donation via PayPal, credit card, or e-check, please click the “Donate” button below. (Please only donations from those readers within the United States. – International readers please see my “Donate” page)

Or if you would like to send a check via snail mail, please make checks payable to “Michelle Moquin”, and send to:

Michelle Moquin PO Box 29235 San Francisco, Ca. 94129

Thank you for your loyal support!

All content on this site are property of Michelle Moquin © copyright 2008-2012

“Though she be but little, she be fierce.” – William Shakespeare Midsummer Night’s Dream 

" Politics, god, Life, News, Music, Family, Personal, Travel, Random, Photography, Religion, Aliens, Art, Entertainment, Food, Books, Thoughts, Media, Culture, Love, Sex, Poetry, Prose, Friends, Technology, Humor, Health, Writing, Events, Movies, Sports, Video, Christianity, Atheist, Blogging, History, Work, Education, Business, Fashion, Barack Obama, People, Internet, Relationships, Faith, Photos, Videos, Hillary Clinton, School, Reviews, God, TV, Philosophy, Fun, Science, Environment, Design, The Page, Rants, Pictures, Church, Blog, Nature, Marketing, Television, Democrats, Parenting, Miscellaneous, Current Events, Film, Spirituality, Obama, Musings, Home, Human Rights, Society, Comedy, Me, Random Thoughts, Research, Government, Election 2008, Baseball, Opinion, Recipes, Children, Iraq, Funny, Women, Economics, America, Misc, Commentary, John McCain, Reflections, All, Celebrities, Inspiration, Lifestyle, Theology, Linux, Kids, Games, World, India, Literature, China, Ramblings, Fitness, Money, Review, War, Articles, Economy, Journal, Quotes, NBA, Crime, Anime, Islam, 2008, Stories, Prayer, Diary, Jesus, Buddha, Muslim, Israel, Europe, Links, Marriage, Fiction, American Idol, Software, Leadership, Pop culture, Rants, Video Games, Republicans, Updates, Political, Football, Healing, Blogs, Shopping, USA, Class, Matrix, Course, Work, Web 2.0, My Life, Psychology, Gay, Happiness, Advertising, Field Hockey, Hip-hop, sex, fucking, ass, Soccer, sox"

Posted in ChitChat, Entertainment & Laughter, Good Reads and Good See'ds, I'll drink to that! Let's eat!, Journeys within | 20 Comments »

Just Noticing: Observations Of A Blogger

Posted by Michelle Moquin on 8th December 2013

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Good morning!

“Just noticing…”

From the New Republic:

The Huge Obamacare Story You Aren’t Reading

 

Today it’s a few hundred thousand people. By next year, it will be at least a few million. Their health insurance status is changing dramatically: What they have in 2014 and beyond will look nothing like what they had in 2013 and before. For many of these people, the difference will be hundreds or even thousands of dollars a year. In a few cases, it may be the difference between life and death.

You probably think I’m talking about the people getting cancellation notices about their private insurance policies. I’m not. I’m talking about the people getting Medicaid. Both stories are consequences of the Affordable Care Act. But one is getting way, way more attention than the other.

It’s no mystery why. Stories of people losing something are more compelling than stories of people gaining something. The policy cancellation story is also newsier, because fewer people expected it to happen. Obamacare’s expansion of Medicaid was something the advocates of reform advertised. Reform’s effect on people with skimpy or medically underwritten insurance policies they liked was something that few advocates, including the president, even acknowledged. Had Obama pointed out, all along, that some people might lose existing plans or pay more for coverage in 2014, it would seem a lot less shocking.

But there is also a class element to the way this debate has evolved. By and large, the people receiving those cancellation notices and facing large premium increases are at least reasonably affluent. They’re not necessarily rich, particularly if they live in higher cost areas of the country. Many of them sweat monthly bills just like most of the country does. But, by definition, they don’t qualify for huge subsidies that would offset premium increases mostly or completely. By contrast, the people getting Medicaid are poor. They have to be, because it’s the only way to sign up for the program. And as political scientists have shown, the poor don’t command the same kind of attention from politicians that the middle class—and particularly the upper middle class—does.

And this fact, I suspect, is also magnifying the impact of those cancellation letters. The best estimates suggest that 12 to 15 million people currently buy coverage on their own—i.e, in what’s known as the non-group market. It appears that only a fraction of them will get to keep their current policies. The rest will end up having to get new coverage, or updated versions of their old coverage, that offers greater benefits and/or is available to everybody, regardless of pre-existing condition. That will drive up the price of insurance.

But when you take into account the subsidies, which for many people will knock the price of insurance right back down, and the number of people who would gladly pay more for insurance that offers real protection from financial shock, the number of people who truly end up feeling worse off ends up a lot smaller than 12 or 15 million. And even those people will end up with good health insurance, though they’ll be paying more for it and may not want it.

Meanwhile, the best available projections suggest that 13 million people will eventually sign up for Medicaid. That’s a much larger number of people, most of whom had no insurance—none—before. That doesn’t even include more than ten million presently uninsured people expected to get insurance through employers and the new marketplaces, assuming all of the websites start working better, or the millions of seniors getting extra help with their prescrpition drugs.

Of course, the story of the Medicaid expansion is also one of suffering. But that’s because Republicans governors and lawmakers are blocking expansion of Medicaid in their states. About 5 million people who would be eligible for Medicaid under Obamacare’s new guidelines won’t be getting it. Here’s a mental exercise. How many stories have cable news and the networks run about people with private insurance getting cancellation notices? And how many have they run about people who would be getting Medicaid if only their state lawmakers would stop blocking expansion?

You can find examples, usually from domestic policy writers in print. My colleague Alec MacGillis has waged a lonely crusade to remind people about this situation. The New York Times had a terrific front-page story on this in early October, and Politico‘s Jen Haberkorn wrote about it a few weeks later. In the Washington PostRuth Marcus on Friday wrote about Paul Tumulty, in Texas, who can’t get insurance because Governor Rick Perry has blocked that state’s Medicaid expansion. Tumulty, who is the brother of Post staff writer Karen, has kidney disease. Wiithout Medicaid he can’t get comprehensive coverage, because, as Karen put it, “he is, paradoxically, too poor for subsidies.”

But these articles are the exception more than the rule. Obama tried to draw attention to the issue last week, when he visited Texas. But the trip didn’t generate much in the way of new coverage of Medicaid.

Should the president have been more candid about the impact his plan would have on people buying their own coverage? Yes. Should we pay attention to those people, particularly when they must now pay more for equivalent coverage? Definitely. Should this put extra pressure on the administration and some states to fix their websites? You bet. But that’s not the only Obamacare news right now. The law is making life better for a great many people—and would help even more if only Republican lawmakers would relent. Those stories need attention, too.

 *****
Thoughts? Blog me. 

Helen: I can’t tell you how shocking it was for me to reach such comments when I first starting reading the comments on my blog years ago. So yes, not censoring works twofold. I don’t censor any comments no matter what. And, when readers can be anonymous here, they don’t need to censor themselves either. So we get to experience truly how people feel – and what they may not say to each other, but they can easily say here without having to fear being known or exposed.

Silvia: Really? Huh…If I remember correctly,  back in the day…it wasn’t me that said Doug was “hung like a porn star.” I don’t believe those would be words that would come from my mouth. I believe that it was Azza who had been “looking.”  I will speak for myself, and reveal things about myself, but it is not like me to divulge such personal info about my partner. But I could be wrong, and just hinted about it using different words. No biggie. However, if I did it was certainly “a moment,” and one that I won’t repeat here for obvious reasons. :)

But to answer your question, a lover can satisfy me in many ways. Yes, it is very important to me that I have an exciting and healthy sexual relationship. However, I am much more interested in the total package, and I am not just talking about the visuals. What I want from a man is far more than just dick size. So much more has to be revealed to me before he’ll even get a chance of getting a peek at seeing the juiciness between these thighs.

Trina: That’s a good question to ask when you’re applying. Let me know if you get and answer. I’m sure other girls would want to know too. :)

Eddy: Haha! Good for you for having a good attitude and working that asset!

Shelia: Now we’re talking. Good love comes in all sizes.

Brittany: I think you got played girlfriend. You thought you were showing her something. This girl was experienced. She knew way before you kissed her you were her bitch.

Evelyn: That is quite the family story. Yes, life is stranger than fiction. Happy to hear you and your sis made up and all is good. Too bad your parents are racist. They are missing out.

I miss Anna and Peter too. Where are you two? Howie? There are plenty of readers making comments  - how about coming back and saying hello?

I love that I have so many readers who visit this blog, but yes, without the longtime faithfuls spending time here, it would be pretty strange. No, ZL and Prism Princess hold their own all by themselves. I barely have enough time to be here everyday as moi. I certainly don’t have the time to be someone else, let alone two girls!

Speaking of…ZL: I’m so happy to hear you and your man are happy, and enjoying each other thoroughly. I could hear it in your voice on the phone. You can’t get any better when mind, body, and spirit are connected.

Troy: Thank God no one agrees with me all of the time, otherwise I wouldn’t get to experience another viewpoint to compare it too.  However, with all due respect, I am not sure our opinions differ as I haven’t really given a well-informed opinion yet, which is why I am asking what others think. Like I mentioned I like her, yet I know very little of her, spiritually and politically. What I said was mostly HOPEful thinking.

Dafne: I’m with you sister. My thoughts exactly.

Mike, TM: I am happy to see your comments here. I feel the same way about our president. And I always learn something from your posts. Be well and be safe.

Social Butterfly: Nice to hear from you. Thanks for taking the time to express your informed viewpoint. I agree with you about the need to rely on God – I can’t hang with that one. Although I am not sure that I got the same impression as you did from watching the video. Thanks for posting. With respect to Hillary Clinton, I am still a supporter, and …Elizabeth warren, like you, and ShellieI think she’s amazing too, and would get my support.

Erica: Thanks for your opinion too. Nicely stated. That was eye opening and didn’t occur to me earlier. I do not trust anyone who uses God to assist in the arguments either, especially in politics. I would HOPE that she would leave the God message out of politics but the truth is…well I think we may already know the answer to that one.

Silva: You’re welcome!

Readers: I am on a deeper spiritual path currently and I am looking to break some limiting beliefs of mine, so my mind is quite focused on the spiritual aspects that she addresses. Not necessarily appropriate for politics. I may have been blinded by the “Light” so to speak. :) So, thank you. This was personally a juicy topic for me. So happy that it spurred some insights for me to think about.

Happy Sunday Everyone!

Lastly, greed over a great story is surfacing from my “loyal”(?) readers. With all this back and forth about who owns what, that appears on my blog, let me reiterate that all material posted on my blog becomes the sole property of my blog. If you want to reserve any proprietary rights don’t post it to my blog. I will prominently display this caveat on my blog from now on to remind those who may have forgotten this notice.

Gratefully your blog host,

michelle

Aka BABE: We all know what this means by now :)

If you love my blog and my writes, please make a donation via PayPal, credit card, or e-check, please click the “Donate” button below. (Please only donations from those readers within the United States. – International readers please see my “Donate” page)

Or if you would like to send a check via snail mail, please make checks payable to “Michelle Moquin”, and send to:

Michelle Moquin PO Box 29235 San Francisco, Ca. 94129

Thank you for your loyal support!

All content on this site are property of Michelle Moquin © copyright 2008-2012

“Though she be but little, she be fierce.” – William Shakespeare Midsummer Night’s Dream 

" Politics, god, Life, News, Music, Family, Personal, Travel, Random, Photography, Religion, Aliens, Art, Entertainment, Food, Books, Thoughts, Media, Culture, Love, Sex, Poetry, Prose, Friends, Technology, Humor, Health, Writing, Events, Movies, Sports, Video, Christianity, Atheist, Blogging, History, Work, Education, Business, Fashion, Barack Obama, People, Internet, Relationships, Faith, Photos, Videos, Hillary Clinton, School, Reviews, God, TV, Philosophy, Fun, Science, Environment, Design, The Page, Rants, Pictures, Church, Blog, Nature, Marketing, Television, Democrats, Parenting, Miscellaneous, Current Events, Film, Spirituality, Obama, Musings, Home, Human Rights, Society, Comedy, Me, Random Thoughts, Research, Government, Election 2008, Baseball, Opinion, Recipes, Children, Iraq, Funny, Women, Economics, America, Misc, Commentary, John McCain, Reflections, All, Celebrities, Inspiration, Lifestyle, Theology, Linux, Kids, Games, World, India, Literature, China, Ramblings, Fitness, Money, Review, War, Articles, Economy, Journal, Quotes, NBA, Crime, Anime, Islam, 2008, Stories, Prayer, Diary, Jesus, Buddha, Muslim, Israel, Europe, Links, Marriage, Fiction, American Idol, Software, Leadership, Pop culture, Rants, Video Games, Republicans, Updates, Political, Football, Healing, Blogs, Shopping, USA, Class, Matrix, Course, Work, Web 2.0, My Life, Psychology, Gay, Happiness, Advertising, Field Hockey, Hip-hop, sex, fucking, ass, Soccer, sox"

Posted in ChitChat, Health & Well Being, Journeys within, Just noticing: Observations of a blogger, Political Powwow | 14 Comments »