Once upon a time, I couldn't wait to be 18. Before I knew it, nearly three decades had passed. This is me, being me, with all that being me entails.

27 June 2010

I'm thinking Arby's!

And I figured as long as it wasn't raining, or blistering hot, or too late, what the hell!

Jamocha shakes rule! LOL

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It's not nice to imply that God swears...

On Friday, when I had all the boys except Marc (who was still at camp) over to help me move the rest of my stuff, we were just sitting around, talking about anything and everything that came to mind, when Daniel said something that caused me to remark, “God probably looks down here and thinks, ‘WTF!’” (except I said the entire phrase).

Next thing I hear is Jeff exclaiming, “BLASPHEMY!”

Scott said I’d have to confess that. “Confess what?” I asked.

“That you implied that God swears.”

“Oh, come on,” I said, “What am I going to say in the confessional, Scott? ‘Bless me Father for I have sinned; it’s been 30 years since my last confession’…?”

Jeff said, “Yeah, that’s a good start.” To which Scott said, “YOU HAVEN’T BEEN TO CONFESSION IN 30 YEARS?!”

“Oh,” I said, “Do I need to confess that too? And what kind of penance do you think I’d get?”

Jeff started out with “1500 Hail Marys, 1000 Acts of Contrition, 2000 Our Fathers…”

“My tongue would fall out first if I did that!” I said.

“Oh, and bring me your tongue as proof you did all of that!” Jeff said. Then he mimed handing over his tongue and started making vocalizations that sounded like someone who had lost their tongue.

And, I abso-fucking-lutely lost it!

I was laughing so hard I was holding my breath (“Breathe, Mom!”), my eyes were watering, and I had to flee to the bathroom because I suddenly had to pee! And I laughed hysterically while I was in the bathroom, too!

The thing that got me, even today, is that Jeff could still do that and get me started on a major giggle fit.

It’s not nice to imply God is human!

24 June 2010

Evaluate "Blogging for Journalists" Summer 2010

1. How would you improve this class?
The only thing I can think of is to have a daily topic to blog about. After that assignment is completed, then students can blog about anything else they choose.

2. What was the most valuable part of the class for you?
Learning that something that I've been doing for seven years could actually help me in a future career in communications!

3. What was the least valuable part of the class for you?
Though it's nice that we're able to post videos and music on our blogs, that, too, should have some kind of daily theme.

4. Would a book (Google Blogger for Dummies) help?
It couldn't hurt. I'm actually considering buying it some time in the near future.

All in all, I really enjoyed this class! I hope that I can keep up this blog now that the class is ending and use what I've learned in other pursuits on my way to that sheepskin!

23 June 2010

If it's going to be 103 degrees...

don't say it's going to be 95 and with the heat index it will feel like 103!

That's what I don't get about the weather people on TV. If it's going to feel like it's hot, then tell us it's going to be that hot, and not confuse people with heat indexes and other stuff.

Same thing in the winter with the wind chill... if it's going to feel like it's 20 degress, tell me it's 20 degrees, not that it's 25 degrees.

I know, that's just the way the weather is here in Oklahoma, but I've noticed other places I've lived, too. Like Norfolk, VA and Boston.

If it's hot enough to melt asphalt (like it was the one summer I was in Wyoming four years ago), or cold enough to freeze the water in your pipes, please just tell me now.

Or just fast forward to fall already!

22 June 2010

Congrats! You just became the mayor of...

I use this little app called Foursquare that follows me wherever I go (and I remember to update my location). It's a neat little thing, but then you become the mayor of someplace you've been to all of twice.

Like Pops in Arcadia, for example.

The first time I went to Pops, it was a few days after my birthday in February. It's where I wanted to go for the family party. I checked in with Foursquare and thought nothing more of it.

A couple of weeks later, Daniel (Number 1 Son) and I went after our respective classes, and again, I checked in with Foursquare. But this time, I found out I was now the "mayor" of Pops in Arcadia! And as far as I know, I'm still the mayor of Pops.

I haven't been back since that trip with Daniel, either.

If you check in at home, you become mayor of your house. Like "duh"? So I am the mayor of what I have called "Casa de Pera" (House of Pears). Of course you're going to be the mayor of where you live! I usually just check in, then "go off the grid" while I'm there. No one needs to know I named my apartment's location Casa de Pera.

So, I'm the mayor of quite a few places, and sometimes, someone checks in more often than I do and "steals" the title of mayor from me ("Sally B. has stolen the mayorship of IHOP from you" or something like that). Most of the time, I don't care. I don't go to IHOP that much.

I thought it was funny when I became the mayor of the Walmart Supercenter near where my friend Charles lives in NW OKC. I'd been there maybe three times. I soon lost the title to someone else. Charles has no clue about social networking, and could really care less about the internet in general, so he doesn't know why I thought becoming, then losing the title of, mayor of the Walmart he usually goes to was so freakin' hilarious!

BTW, I'm also the mayor of the Comm Bldg... but if you are on Foursquare and want to steal it from me, you're more than welcome to it!

21 June 2010

David Rhea visits the "kids" at UCO

On Monday, David Rhea came to speak to our class about the future of media and how blogging, social networking and video and audio editing skills fit into this.

Rhea was a print journalist for several years, but is now doing digital media for the Journal Record, a local business newspaper.

It's not a degree that will get you a job, Rhea says, it's what skills you have. If you can manipulate sites such as Facebook, Twitter, and Blogger; and like to tell stories not only with the written word, but with audio and/or video to back it up, then more than likely you will get a position with media outlets, public relations and advertising firms.

Breaking news easier in digital media than in print. A story in the paper could be a breaking story at the time it was printed, but if it's an ongoing story, then a newspaper's online presence can continuously update that story until its conclusion... or at least until the first televised newscast of the day. Before digital media, a story could be printed in the paper, but you'd have to wait until either a morning radio newscast, or until Channels 4,5 and 9 came on in the afternoon. Digital media is clearly the wave of the future of news, not just in the Oklahoma City market, but nationwide.

The future is here folks! Hone your skills now... you'll definitely need them later on down the road.

Last week... (insert sad face here)

There is so much I want to write about, but this being Oklahoma, the big story here is the weather.

Last Monday, we had the deluge from hell. Since then, it's been hotter 'n' hell!

Just stick around a few and we'll change it for ya!! Okay, maybe not today, or even this week, but it WILL change.

Triple digit temps are coming, and I don't like it one damn bit!

Please just let me get out of the old apartment first before you make me sweaty and hot and miserable... is that too much to ask?

Thank you in advance.

19 June 2010

It's hot and miserable and I wanna nap.

Does this look like a happy camper to you?

When I get back to the new place, imma gonna crank up the a/c and take a nap.

Wake me when it's time to leave for class on Monday.

That is all.
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17 June 2010

What's in a name? Plenty if you have the same name as someone else...

I have this friend in Massachusetts named Jeff Comeau. He's probably the sweetest and coolest man you'd ever meet. I haven't seen him since right before I moved from Massachusetts in the winter of 2002. He's a musician and an artist...I wish I had half his talent in either one of those pursuits!

Turns out that he has the same first and last name of about 40 other people on Facebook alone! If I didn't know what he looked like, I wouldn't know which one to pick (or pick one from Mass. and hope he's the right Jeff).

These two pictures are 1) what he looks like now (or thereabouts); and 2) what he looked like around the time we met (or thereabouts).

Miss you Jeff! (I hope you don't mind that borrowed these from your Facebook page)
My mother had the same problem before she married my father in 1962. Her birth name was Ruby Jean Phillips (she dropped Ruby as an adult). She was surprised that there was at least one other person named Ruby Phillips or Jean Phillips that she'd get mail for. Or mistaken for, or someone looking for a Jean Phillips that wasn't my mom.
She has gone by Jean Phillips Pera for the last 48 years. As far as she knows, she's the only one with that name. But you never know.
I thought my name was unique, but guess what? There are other people named Stephanie Pera out there. At least five of them, besides me, on Facebook!!
Hate to break to them other Stephanie Peras out there, but I'm definitely unique...and you can take that to the bank!

Another one of Stef's 20 second (or so) videos

Three hours of upper division credit is worth coming to class for. :)

Old North

I just love taking pictures of this building!

The first one was taken near my apartment (yes the new place is that close to campus, plus zoom); the second was taken from the sidewalk right in front of the tower.

The building simply fascinates me. I wish I could go inside and take pictures from there. That will have to wait until they finish the renovations on it (whenever THAT is LOL).
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16 June 2010

Unlearning 20 years of bad habits

Last week, I got contacts for the first time in 20 years, so now I find that I have to break two decades of bad habits. Such as...

*holding anything I'm reading about two inches from my face. With the type of contacts I have, I can now hold things about arms length and still read it.

*jabbing at my nose to push up the glasses that are no longer there.

*rubbing my eyes when they're tired. That could dislodge the lenses, and if I lose one, I'm in big trouble! LOL

And there are a few others, but those are the biggies.

All in all, I like my contacts. It makes buying cute sunglasses easier. Sometimes, shades can be too cute...but that could be its own post!

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An excerpt of the story I'm writing...

Warning: this contains foul language and violence. Read at your own risk.

They fanned out throughout the house, making sure they were truly alone there. While Julia was checking her bedroom, she heard a commotion in the living room. She sneaked out to the top of the stairs and saw several New Army soldiers, and the same leader who killed Peter and Kiera, holding the older boys and trying to handcuff them.

Julia wondered where Joe was, and saw that he was there with the others. She saw the leader smack Joe's face so hard that the thirteen year old nearly passed out.

“Where's the girl?” the New Army leader asked Jeremiah. When he refused to answer, the leader slugged Jeremiah in the stomach.

Julia knew she was the only one who could do something to save her brothers. She knew about the threat to force Nik and Jeremiah into the illegal government's army against their will.

She saw that the soldiers had their backs to the stairway, and Julia thought that she could take them out one at a time. She had a pistol and a small submachine gun, but she didn't want to injure the boys.

After formulating a plan, she made her way downstairs. On the bottom step, she said,

“Let them go!”

At the sound of Julia's voice, everyone turned around. Jeremiah saw a look in Julia's eyes he'd never seen before, and it scared him. What the hell is she thinking, he thought.

“Oh, you're kidding, right?” The New Army leader sneared at Julia; “You think you can tell me to let these deliquents go?

“Let them go, motherfucker, or I'll shoot.”

“What a mouth you have on you, little girl,” the leader said. “And I doubt seriously you could shoot me from where you stand.”

Julia pulled out the pistol and shot the soldier closest to the leader, killing him.

“Get her gun!” the leader ordered the remaining soldiers. As they headed towards Julia, she shot them one by one. They were dead before they hit the floor. None of them made it to where she stood.

Oh, my God, Jules, what has gotten into you, Nik thought. He managed to get out of his cuffs and helped Jeremiah and Joe do the same. By the time they did this, the leader was advancing on Julia, determined to take the pistol away from her.

“Gimme your gun, you little bitch,” the leader growled at her. To everyone's surprise, Julia handed it over.

But before anyone could think, Julia pulled out the small submachine gun and pointed it at the leader's chest.

“Oh, you think you're so smart,” the leader said to Julia. “Give me that one, too, and I'll leave.”

“You're not going anywhere, punkass,” Julia said menacingly. “You have to pay for your crimes.”
“Oh, do I now,” the leader said. “And what crimes are those, young lady?”

“Murder, rape, torture...shall I go on?”

“I've never done any of those things,” the leader said, fearing for his life. Julia could see the fear in his eyes, and didn't care. He had to pay for what he did to Peter and Kiera.

“I watched you shoot Peter San Marco, and slit Kiera San Marco's throat,” Julia said. “You will burn in hell for the evil that you have done to innocent people in the name of the illegitimate government.”

“They sure have you brainwashed, don't they?” the leader sneered. “The only witnesses to that are the men you just shot down in cold blood. Now who's the murderer?”

“I protect what is mine and what is right,” Julia said. “If that means an eye for an eye, so be it.”

Jeremiah, Nik and Joe watched this scene in disbelief. Julia standing up to an adult with a loaded gun, knowing that he could kill her at any second.

Then, Julia surprised them all.

She took the safety off the submachine gun, and pointed it at the leader's head. “Say your prayers, asshole. You're gonna need all the help you can get from St. Peter.”

“Who the fuck are you?” the leader asked, knowing that the young girl with the gun in front of him could blow him away.

“Oh, don't you know?” Julia asked. “I'm the one you're looking for.”

“You are Jordan Terranova's kid?”

“Yes. And you're not going to take me, or my brothers, anywhere.”

“Your brothers?” The leader looked confused. Joe sat on the floor and smiled slightly. In his mind, he was urging Julia to shoot the creep.

“Yes, my brothers.”

“Jordan Terranova had sons, too?”

“So much you know,” Julia said. Then, “I'm tired of playing games with you.”

The leader looked relieved. This little girl wasn't going to kill him after all. Then he made a fatal mistake.

“Give me your gun, sweetheart,” he said in a fatherly voice.

It was the last thing he would ever say, because Julia squeezed the trigger and pumped the leader full of bullets.

After he collapsed on the floor dead, she laid the gun on his chest and said, “Sure, here ya go.”

To her astonished brothers she said,

“Come on, guys, lets get out of here.”

Around the Corner...and up your alley

I got an especially early start this morning, so I decided to head over to Broadway to grab some breakfast at Around the Corner.

I go here mainly to people watch. Seems like that a lot of long time Edmondites gather here to eat and shoot the breeze.

And I've been there on more than one occasion so the wait staff knows who I am by sight, but probably not by name.

So this morning I'm in there about 8am or so having breakfast, looking at all the stuff on the walls (basically a lot of Edmond history), and see this picture of the old Edmond High School, class of 1928-29! The building is the same then as now, though now it's called Boulevard Academy, and Edmond High School is now on 15th Street and called Edmond Memorial High School (home of the Bulldogs).

I'm playing around on my BlackBerry, trying to get Twitter for BlackBerry to work properly, and Kevin Ogle from KFOR walks in the door...all 6' 8" of him (holy cow, he's a big guy!). You never realize how tall he is until you see him in person. He's obviously been there many times because everyone knows him there (and not because he's on the TV news, either). He is joined a little later by Jim Gardner, the "Bob Moore Chopper 4" pilot, and an older man whom I don't know.

Not that I'm going to make a habit of going to Around the Corner, but it's a nice little local place, and for a relative "newcomer" (7 1/2 years), it's a nice place to be.


The story I've been writing for the last month and a half just got more interesting last night. The twelve year old female character (her name is Julia), defended her way of life and her brothers by shooting and killing soldiers with evil intentions.

Basically, the story is one of what would happen if a group of people took over the government of the United States illegally, and they decided that certain segments of the population were "Undesirables". These outcasts then join together to fight for their way of life and restoration of the legitimate government. Julia is the second generation to have to deal with the illegal government, and she's pissed off. The illegal government's army have murdered Julia's guardians, and she's looking for revenge...even if it takes the rest of her life to accomplish.

That's a synopsis of sorts. I may post it at some point, but it will be after this blogging class is long over.


I better pay attention to Dr. Clark now...

15 June 2010

Yes, I'd like to know the answer that myself!

According to this article on the Huffington Post, scientists are testing Ozzy Osbourne's blood to find out how the hell the man is still alive after abusing drugs!

I'd sure like to know. [begin heavy sarcasm]Maybe abusing drugs should be in my lifeplan if they do figure out why Ozzy's still alive. Could it be that it just isn't his time yet? [end heavy sarcasm]

And this is news ...why????

Oh, I forgot...it's the Huffington Post.

The Great Flood of '10...?

I've never seen it rain so much as it did yesterday in the seven years I've lived in Oklahoma! I saw places on the news that I've actually been to (the pre-K thru 8th grade school my niece and nephew attend, for example) that got totally flooded...it looked like a lake!

People getting stuck because they think they can make it through 2-3 feet of water, boats out on streets only cars were on just the day before. It was weird! And then there's me, stuck at the new place without a jacket or an umbrella!

About 1pm, it stopped raining long enough to walk up to the post office to put in my change of address form and grab a bite to eat at Java Dave's on Broadway.

Then I went to the old place, with the intentions of cleaning, but I grabbed my computer, modem, a jacket and an umbrella and got the hell outta Dodge...and right into a deluge! Fortunately, the bus came and took me back to the spot on her route that is closest to the new place.

No actual cleaning got done. The road to hell is paved with good intentions. I'll go Thursday after class since there are no classes on Friday. Then I can spend the whole weekend there if I want.


I'm writing this story, just for the hell of it, and last night I killed off two characters. It kind of made me sad that those two had to die in order for the story to progress, but their deaths now give the pre-teen female lead character a reason to become an all out badass. Imagine a twelve year old girl who is a really good shot with a variety of guns getting revenge. Her progression from an infant being born in a prison to Annie Oakley on steriods at 12 amazes even me, and I created her!


Now, if my internet will just be hooked up at the new apartment, I can actually blog from home! Oh, and Andy...the move is going well. The big blue couch (or just "Big Blue" as my friend Larry calls it) made it up the stairs and into my apartment with a lot of effort on the part of my two oldest sons and my brother in law. I swear next time I do this (which I hope isn't for a long LONG time!), I'm going to hire movers.


A final note: my ex husband got married this morning in Massachusetts. I wish his new wife good luck. She's going to need it!

14 June 2010

NOW the sun comes out!

Why didn't it do this this morning?! Grrrr...
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Rain, rain go away (far away)

It is raining like there's no tomorrow out there!

I'm at the new apartment without a jacket or an umbrella, and it's pouring! The street in front of the complex is flooded and I'm glad my new apartment is on the second floor because there's flooding down at ground level, too!

Now I'm worried about the old place. Hope things there are okay.

I'm not sure if I'm going to make it to class this morning...

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13 June 2010

First night in new place

...and since I don't have internet here yet, I am blogging from my BlackBerry.

The whole moving of the furniture was an adventure of its own and could be a whole post by itself. It's the day before when Daniel, Jeff and Scott were helping me out that was the most interesting.

Then Scott girlfriend/fiancee Sarah wanted to help out. And she did some, but most of the time she wanted Scott's undivided attention...never mind that he's helping me move!

I should've paid more attention when Sarah said she was "a spoiled rich girl" and proud of that fact. When Scott did have to take his attention from her, she pretended to sulk.

Please tell me I wasn't like that when I was her age (19)...!

Still in all, I like Sarah way more than that Amanda chick Daniel was dating a couple years back. Now that girl was a mess!

At least she wasn't helping me move!

I'm still not done in the old place. Still a lot of cleaning, packing and throwing away stuff. But I have til the end of the month, so another two weeks.

I'm gonna be one tired mama when I get thru!
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11 June 2010

I got the keys... let the moving process begin!

Check out that goofy face at the end! LOL I'm such a ham!

09 June 2010

Off to see the wizard, um, eye doctor...

This will be the first eye exam I've had in four years. The last one I had, I got the glasses I currently wear. They're no line bifocals and they drive me crazy and always have.

So I am going to see the same eye doc my mom sees and see what he says about my eyesight.

I've worn glasses since I was 12 years old. For the most part, it hasn't been too bad. I was thinking about getting contacts this time. I haven't worn contacts in 20 years, and I'm sure they have improved immensely since 1990. If I can afford them, then I'll go that route. I'd love to kiss my glasses buh-bye! It'd be nice if I could walk into any store and buy a pair of regular sunglasses.

Let's kiss these suckers bye-bye!!

08 June 2010

Trying to keep it together in front of a bunch of high school kids... and failing miserably

During the summer of 2003, I accompanied the Edmond North High School marching band on a trip to the Oklahoma City National Memorial on the site of the Murrah building. North's marching band was doing a halftime show that fall that used the Memorial as a theme.

We toured the entire site, and let me tell you... if you don't shed tears while you're watching the archival news coverage, seeing the items that were salvaged from the remains of the building, or think about those 19 children who died, then you aren't human or don't have any emotions. Because I tried, and failed, to keep it together in front of the five students I was accompanying through the exhibits: my 17 year old son, two of his friends, and two girls I didn't know.

I still can't look at that picture of firefighter Chris Fields holding the limp body of Baylee Almon (She later died. She'd celebrated her first birthday just the day before) without tearing up. Hell, I can't even see the computer screen well enough to type this sentence... wait a sec--

Okay, I've got it together now.

I didn't live in Oklahoma in 1995, and I watched the coverage of the bombing on TV from where I was living in Chesapeake, Virginia. It still boggles my mind that two men with such hatred towards the government could blow up a building on a Tuesday morning without a care about the people inside. Men, women, chilren in the day care center... Man's cruelty to man simply astounds me. War is one thing, but this was no war as far as I'm concerned. I don't know what McVeigh and Nichols were thinking...maybe to them, it was war.

To me, it was and still is a national tragedy.

So there. Wanna argue with me, I can argue all day long.

I hope Timothy McVeigh is rotting in hell and Terry Nichols dies a slow painful death.

"Jesus Wept"

My son Scott, his girlfriend Sarah, and my niece Amalia-- Christmas 09

This is only about 20 seconds long, but check out the very end of the video for my niece's revenge...

Ain't family grand?

It's the environment, stupid!

Those morons at BP still don't get it. They say that they're going to restore the damage they caused to the Gulf because of the oil spill mess that's been going on for about 2 months now.

That's all well and good, but it's a little late for I'm Sorrys and Oops! It's going to take at least a generation to restore the Gulf Coast region back to the way it was prior to the oil rig explosion back in April.

Meanwhile, people's livelihoods are damaged; the ecosystem is damaged; the beaches and marshes are damaged... and for what?!


Gordon Geko from "Wall Street" got it all wrong. Greed is NOT good. Greed got us into this mess. And it's just not a United States thing or a Louisiana thing or a Gulf Coast thing. It's a GLOBAL thing. This will undoubtedly affect the oceans and the beaches and the land around the world for years to come.

BP's CEO has lost so much credibility that I seriously doubt he'll be CEO much longer after this debacle is over. I wouldn't believe him now, even if he said the sky was blue and the grass is green.

More than likely, the grass is brown and the animals are covered in oil.

(Read what Disturbed's vocalist David Draiman has to say about the oil spill tragedy...click here)

07 June 2010

I didn't get the memo, er, email...

that there wasn't class today. So I came anyway.

I should check my UCO email account more often than every once in a while.


In other news...

I signed the lease on a new apartment this afternoon. I am so stoked!

It's closer to campus-- I could walk there-- and close to a lot of other things. The public library. Various businesses on Second Street and Broadway. The post office. I'm centrally located, and that's nice.

And, I'm on the second floor.

I can start moving in on Friday!


The assignment we were emailed that is due tomorrow--

I follow two blogs that interest me. One is the personal blog of a friend of mine named Johanna. We met years ago when we were both working in a call center in Virginia for QVC. After we both left the company, we lost touch for a few years, but about 5 years ago we reconnected through our blogs. You can read "Hannie's Musings 8.0" here. She talks about local politics in her home state of Washington a lot, but there's stuff about her family and friends and surviving Hurricane Katrina.

The second blog is the one that's associated with the Disturbed forum I frequent. This one is called Morbus Rising. "Morbus" is the Latin word for "sickness". "The Sickness" was the name of Disturbed's first album that was released in 2000.

Since the band is getting ready to release their fifth album ("Asylum") in August, the blog has seen a lot more posting content, and a few new followers. It mostly contains news about the band, its members, their music, and tour information.


There was something else I was going to write about, but I can't remember. If it's important, it will come back to me.


It's a little late...

For me to be up.

I can't fall asleep.


Welcome to my world. Just call me Nocturnal Stef.
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05 June 2010

Creativity Rocks...whether they like it or not!

We saw this in class on Thursday, and it's worth watching, as Ken Robinson makes some valid points. This is from the TED conference in 2006. Give it a look see... you might be surprised!

I was a "bando" in high school (back in the pre cell phone, Twitter, Facebook days). I played the saxophone. I spent all four years of high school in the marching band, and most of the time, I loved it. But, even then, school districts were paying more attention to sports than the arts. Why was it, I wondered at the time, that the band had to have fundraisers all the time, and sports seemed to get a free ride.

Now I know why.

Years later, I was opposed to the "No Child Left Behind" law, that made it mandatory that schools prove that they are teaching their students by giving them tests, then grading them on how well they did. Now we have a whole slew of teachers who "teach to the test" and not actually teach math, or science, or history. Not only are these students being "left behind" academically, but they're not being allowed to be creative. How many kids out there were labelled "learning disabled" because they'd rather doodle on their homework than listen to another boring lesson in class? My oldest son ended up at Boulevard Academy after high school because he was one of those kids who'd rather do anything than listen to a boring teacher give a lecture on what was going to be on some required test.

My oldest son is an excellent artist. He was drawing cars on his homework instead of listening in class.

Personally, I think there should be MORE money set aside for the arts, and LESS for sports. Maybe the football team should sell cookie dough and candles, and not the marching band.

Just for a change.

(Oh, and this is what Daniel can do with imagination and some art supplies...© 2009 Daniel K., all rights reserved. Used with permission.)

Tony Hayward from BP is still an idiot, but this guy comes damn close to idiocy!

For eleven years, I lived in Hampton Roads, Virginia. Hampton Roads is the collective name for the Norfolk/ Virginia Beach area. I follow the television and radio stations, and the local paper, the Virginian-Pilot, on Twitter and Facebook. I have been gone from there eleven years now, but stuff that happens there still interests me.

So today, I was on Facebook, and read this article from the Virginian-Pilot. A Virginia Beach city councilman named Bill DeSteph wrote a letter to the mayor of New York City, saying "the citizens of Virginia Beach and the Commonwealth of Virginia"(1) are opposed to a plan to build an Islamic community center close to Ground Zero, to be opened on the tenth anniversary of the 9/11 attacks (view the article--and the actual letter-- here).

Even the mayor of Virginia Beach, Will Sessioms, opposed the action that DeSteph took soley on his own.

Then DeSteph, having taken quite a bit of flak for this, is going to introduce a motion for the entire City Council to oppose the community center's contruction.

DeSteph says in the article that he emailed the letter to about 4000 people and didn't get any negative feedback. Four thousand people in a city that has thousands more than that who live there full time is not a "majority", in my opinion.

First of all, why does some city official in another state care what they do in NYC? Isn't the contruction issue a New York City issue? Yes, it makes national headlines, and people can comment on whether it's the right thing to do or not, but ultimately, it's up to Mayor Bloomberg and/or the planning council to say yay or nay about the project.

It is NOT up to Bill DeSteph in Virginia Beach, Virginia, to say yay or nay. That this man overstepped his bounds is an understatement.

Oh, did I happen to mention that DeSteph is up for re-election in November?

I don't know what this man was thinking, or what he was smoking, or what he was high on when he got this great idea, but do the people of Virginia Beach really need someone like him representing them?

I'm all for thinking outside the box... I do it all the time. But when you write a letter to a public official in another state in such a way that implies that everyone agrees with your view is just plain irresponsible!

That would be like an Oklahoma City city councilperson writing to Arnold Schwarzenegger inferring that all of OKC thinks California was wrong to approve medical marijuana.

And I sit here in my living room in Edmond, America, thinking that Bill DeSteph has lost his rabbit ass mind!

Because it sure reads like he has!

(1)"Beach official objects to mosque plan, takes heat", Virginian-Pilot, Hampton Roads, VA; June 5, 2010

03 June 2010

I was too a kid once...

I had to post this picture. A friend from my childhood posted this on her Facebook page. It's from (I think) 1976.

From top, left to right:
Cynthia T., Cynthia F.,
my sister Tori,
a girl whose name I don't remember, Leila,
and me up front.

My how time flies.

Cynthia T., her husband and two young sons live outside of Dallas; my sister and her husband live here in Edmond with their kids; Leila lives with her family in Southern California;

Cynthia F., sadly, is no longer with us. She passed away two years ago at the end of this month from cancer. She is survived by her husband, her daugher, and her son.

I wish I could think of that other girl's name...

Sometimes, it bites to be a grown up.

I'm bound to tick people off, no matter what I say...

That's just the way I am sometimes. I speak my mind. A lot of times, I get flak for what comes out of my mouth. Sometimes it's deserved, sometimes not.

I read the news, so I'm not totally clueless as to what's going on in the world. I'm not quite a news junkie, but I am informed. I have several news organizations that I read regularly, both on my laptop at home and my phone.

I'm passionate about things that interest me. I've always been this way. When people are treated unfairly, it makes me mad. When people mistreat animals, it makes me mad. And sometimes, I wish there was more I could do to make things right.

I started reading newspapers when I was still quite young. My parents subscribed to a couple of papers: the Los Angeles Times and the Orange County Register. The Register, especially, was and still is very conservative. I grew up in Orange County, California, which is the hot bed of conservatism. My exposure to this POV shaped my early political views. Then I moved out of California and discovered other points of view.

It's these views that I now hold. And it pisses people off that I am so vocal about it. Not to the point of my friend, Johanna (see her blog here), but vocal nonetheless.

I don't expect everyone who reads this blog to agree with everything I write here. One of my favorite sayings is one from Voltaire: I do not agree with what you're saying, but will defend to the death your right to say it.

Ain't free speech grand?

02 June 2010

Dear Tony Hayward, CEO of BP:

You apologized for saying you wanted your life back, realizing that it was probably the wrong thing to say in light of the ongoing tragedy that is the oil spill/spew/leak currently going on in the Gulf of Mexico. You didn't mean to upset so many people with your deepest desire for all this to go away so you could go back to your life as a rich SOB, while the rest of us are SOL.

Guess what, Tony my dear...? The only reason you apologized at all is because everyone was calling you on the carpet about your ill-timed remarks that showed what a truly heartless, thoughtless, greedy jerk you really are.

Meanwhile, eleven men who worked on the rig that exploded six weeks ago are still dead, millions of gallons of oil are still fouling up the Gulf and the adjoining coastlines in up to four states, and hundreds of people who depend on the waters of the Gulf for their livelihood still can't work because of all your Mickey Mouse efforts to bring this problem under control for good. "Top Kill"? Fail. That big box that was supposed to contain any more leakage? Fail. Any number of other ideas to fix this problem? FAIL!!! According to the Associated Press, if this capping of the line doesn't work, the only other alternative is a relief well, which is another eight weeks away from completion. So this could take the better part of three and a half months from the date of the explosion on April 20th to finally fix this, if the current idea fails.

That's not acceptable, Mr. Hayward. You know it, and I know it. And if I know it, then others know it, too.

I don't even live in Louisiana and I'm pissed off about this! I have friends who live there who are pissed off about this. People from all over are pissed off about this. And you just sit there and twiddle your thumbs. Maybe in your mind "BP" means "Big Profits".

Even though you've apologized now for opening your big yap, you are still a cold, heartless, egotistical, unfeeling moron who cares more for the bottom line that for the damage, perhaps irreparable, your company has caused.

And you still suck.

Thank you for your time. I know I'm not the only one with a few choice words to say.

My boys

My four sons (clockwise from top): Daniel (26), Jeff (24), Marc (16) and Scott (19). This pic is about three years old. The ages are current. Their dad wanted a picture of the four of them, so they had this done. Don't know if he ever got a copy though LOL...

Oh the thinks one thinks...

Some things I read just boggle my mind.

Like this whole BP mess, for example. BP's CEO wants his life back, he says.

Nothing about how BP is going to clean up the mess they made, nothing about the environmental damage they have undoubtedly caused, nothing about the loss of livelihood of thousands of fishermen along the Gulf Coast... Tony Hayward just wants his life back.

Are you f'n kidding me?

How callous must one be to not care about the damage their company has caused?

I just have this to say to Mr. Hayward... you selfish, heartless bastard. You suck!


On the Disturbed message board I frequent, someone posted this story about this guy who advertized for someone to volunteer to be cannabalized. Some weirdo actually answered the ad.

The story goes into somewhat graphic detail about how this was accomplished.

I was so grossed out by what I read (and I didn't even read the whole thing!), that I had to ask why they had to post that in a forum where users as young as 12 and 13 can read it?

I realize it was late at night when this was posted, and maybe the younger members of the community like stories like that (why, I have no idea), but it was inappropriate. I hope that by this time, one of the admins locked the thread.



My mother, who I've said previously is 80 years old, thinks that I can just drop everything and buy her cigarettes because no one else will buy them for her.

In short, I am inabling my mother's habit-- one she's had since she was 16 years old (back when it was considered "glamourous"). I've had health problems my entire life because of it, but still, I buy the damn coffin nails for her because she's hell to live with otherwise. And since my two older sons live with her (because Mom shouldn't really be living alone), I'm just trying to keep the peace.

You'd think that after being diagnosed with emphysema she'd quit...but noooo! She just keeps on puffin'...

Did I mention she's 80 years old? She's a stubborn old broad (she calls herself that, so it's not being disrespectful)...


I better wrap this up... I need to follow the other people in my class now.

01 June 2010

Those who don't remember the past are condemned to repeat it

Therefore, I'll start at (almost) the beginning...

I'm Stef. I live in the Oklahoma City Metro area and am a Broadcasting senior at the University of Central Oklahoma.

I came to Oklahoma on a wet, snowy night two days before Christmas in 2002. Except for four months in Wyoming to take a job (a learning experience), I've been here ever since.

I am the mom of four sons, ages 16-26. No girls, sorry to say. I'm hoping for granddaughters. It's going to be a long wait. My oldest son is a freshman at UCO, and though he hasn't really declared a major, he'll probably pick graphic design. He's been an artist (and a damn good one...but I'm his mom, so what I say doesn't really count) since he was about 7 years old.

So what do I bring to this blog? Well, for one, I've been blogging since 2003. My current blog is over on wordpress, and it's called "where it's @ !~". If you want to check it out, be my guest.

Two, I think I'm a pretty decent writer. It's mostly poetry and short stories... and the aforementioned blog.

Three, I have definite opinions on a lot of things. Since my 80 year old mother doesn't like to hear me opine about the stuff that truly pisses me off, I blog. She doesn't read it anyway. She's computer illiterate and proud of it.

And lastly, I love music and always have. I've been a self described "rock chick" from the moment I heard bands like Led Zeppelin, Aerosmith, and Kiss. My current hard rock/heavy metal obsession (a decade strong) is the band Disturbed. It's from one of their songs that I took the name I chose for this blog. After all, I must be perfectly insane to be in college at this late date, like the music I do, and live the life I do. They definitely broke the mold when I came along, much to my parents relief.

So... this is me, my life, and my blog. Feel free to leave comments-- good, bad or indifferent. Oh, and follow me if you would.

Thank you for your support-- Stef