1. Do you think the world became a more dangerous place on September 11, 2001 or are we just more aware of the danger? How has your own life changed as a result of that day?
I think that 9-11, as sad and strange as the day was, didn’t increase the danger level in our world, but it did peel away a thick layer of the make-believe cocoon of safety that many Americans had been living in. Before that morning, we seemed to have the delusional idea that warrish acts of violence happened ‘over there,’ wherever ‘there’ might be. Anywhere but here.
As far as 9-11’s direct impact on my life, I suppose that it was minimal. I didn’t know any of the victims and sadly, reports of horrific violence have become a nightly news event, so their impact—as troubling as it certainly is—is less than it was when it wasn’t commonplace. That fact alone—that we’ve become somewhat desensitized to violence—is a terrible truth about our world and something that should be a huge wake-up call.
The after-effects of 9-11 have made me a bit more outspoken about human rights, although that’s a topic that I’ve always felt strongly about. I bristle when people try to lump groups of people together in tidy little categories, especially when the purpose of the grouping is to label ‘them’ as dangerous. Radical, extremist nutjobs come from all walks of life—they aren’t the property of a certain nation or religion, they don’t all dress alike or hold the same political views—so to excuse hatred and bigotry in the supposed name of public safety gets under my skin.
2. Did you think your parents were too strict when you were growing up? How about in hindsight?
As a kid, I thought my folks were over-protective. Not terribly so, but many of my friends had more leeway than I did. Even at the time, I understood and respected their rules, but would have liked them to be a bit more in line with what other parents were allowing. And really, I was such a goody-two-shoes kind of kid that I would have behaved, with or without parental guidelines. That’s just how I was wired.
My kids grew up with much the same rules that I had, and now their children seem to have similarly structured outlines. The beat goes on. :O)
3. Share one random but candid fact about yourself.
Is there anything left that you guys don’t already know? Let’s see. At my last house, the phone line seemed to have a magical ability to get through on radio station call-in contests. I’d dial and be caller #1, hang up, hit redial, and be caller #9, hang up, hit redial and be lucky caller #19 and win the loot. It worked so incredibly well that I actually kept a list on the side of my fridge with all of the stations’ phone numbers, details of their current contests, and the date that I last won something from them (because most have rules about how often you can win). Getting through from that line was such a sure thing that my friends and family members used to come over to call from my house so that they could win, too. We won lots of cool stuff—cash, concert tickets, gift certificates, and even a handful of trips. Cool, right?
4. Would your nearest and dearest describe you as simple or far too complicated?
My guess is that if you were to ask my hubby, he’d say that I’m a simple woman wrapped in a slightly complicated outer layer. ;O)
5. What is your favorite stadium or carnival food?
If I didn’t think it would kill me young and if fat were to become the new fabulous, I would live on junk food. If it’s fried, greasy, packed with sodium, loaded with sugar, sprinkled with powdered sugar, covered in cheese or chocolate, or topped with whipped cream, I like it.
6. Tornado, hurricane, earthquake...how many of these natural disasters have you experienced? Which do you think would be the scariest?
There was a big tornado in my hometown when I was a kid. I was young, but I can still remember how the sky looked and what the town looked like in the aftermath. Despite that, I love storms—I hate the destruction, but I love the actual storms.
Earthquakes, though I’ve never experienced one, sound to me like the freakiest of the choices. The idea that the earth can just open up and swallow big chunks of cities—without warning—well, that’s a little unnerving.
7. Labor Day weekend is approaching so a work related question seems appropriate. Growing up, did your parents assign you regular chores? Were you paid for doing those chores. If you're a parent do you assign chores to your own children? Why or why not?
I didn’t have specific chores, as I recall, but my parents created an environment where everyone was expected to help out, and we all did. I got an allowance, but it wasn’t chore-based.
When my kids were growing up, they did have specific chores, but the assignments rotated on a four-week basis. I had three kids, so each child would be responsible for a certain task this week, another task the next week, and a third on the week after that. Every 4th week, they had no assigned tasks except for keeping up on their own messes and their schoolwork—both of which were expected all of the time. By rotating the chores between the kids, we hoped to teach each of them how to be well-rounded and self-sufficient. We didn’t want there to be ‘boys chores’ and ‘girls chores,’ but simply things that needed doing, and as members of a household, we were all expected to do our part. It worked very well.
My kids were all given allowances, but theirs weren’t chore-based, either. I wanted to solidify the message that as a family, we shared the responsibilities as well as the gravy. :O)
8. Insert your own random thought here.
We’ll have to close the pool soon, which makes me a little sad. It is, without question, my summer happy place.
Because of the storm question (Thanks, Joyce!), this post will also qualify for this week’s BFF: Blogging for Fun inspiration: Stormy Weather, and it’s also the last day of the month, so I’ve officially completed the NaBloPoMo August challenge. Woo-hoo!