Saturday, February 14, 2009

Valentine's Day Meme

I've been having a tough time coming up with things to blog about lately so I've borrowed this Meme from Leeann @ Is It Morning Already?

♥ How long have you been together? 24 years, married for 21.
♥ How long did you know each other before you started dating? A few weeks.
♥ Who asked who out? Bob asked me out.
♥ How old are each of you? 44
♥ Whose siblings do/ did you see the most? When we lived in CA we saw my siblings most but now that we live in WA it's about equal.
♥ Do you have any children together? Yes, Ian, 19, Zane, 15, Taylor, 13, Delaney, 10.
♥ What about pets? 2 dogs, 1 cat, 4 hermit crabs, 1 large lizard, 2 mice.
♥ Did you go to the same school? Yes we attended the same college briefly.
♥ Are you from the same home town? No, we are from opposite coasts. I grew up in San Jose, CA and he grew up near Boston, MA
♥ Who is the smartest? I think we are very evenly matched but we have different areas of expertise.
♥ Who is the most sensitive? Hmm.. I'm not sure.
♥ Where do you eat out most as a couple? As a couple we don't eat out anywhere. I don't think we have been out alone once in the last five years.
♥ Where is the furthest you two have traveled together as a couple? Pisa, Lucca, and Florence, Italy.
♥ Who has the worst temper? I do. I get angry over stupid little things all the time. Bob is much slower to anger but I think he hangs onto it longer.
♥ Who does the cooking? It used to be pretty equal but since his accident I do all the cooking.
♥ Who is more social? Definitely Bob! If it wasn't for him I would probably be a hermit.
♥Who is the neat freak? Hahahahaha! Neither of us.
♥ Who is the more stubborn? Bob. When he makes up his mind he is like a brick wall. Our son Zane is just like him.
♥ Who hogs the bed? The dogs! For 19 years we had a no dogs on the bed rule and then I lost my mind and let the puppy sleep with us.
♥ Who wakes up earlier? Definitely Bob. He has always been a morning person. I will never be a morning person.
♥ Where was your first date? I spent most of the evening sitting on the porch with his Mom and dogs while he helped his Dad set up a stereo. After that we went to Round Table for pizza. It was a preview of our exciting future together!
♥ Who has the bigger family? We have an equal number of siblings but I have a bigger extended family.
♥ Do you get flowers often? No but that's because years ago I asked him not to get me flowers. Every once in awhile he will and I love it. I guess it's more special because flowers aren't his automatic gift idea.
♥ How long did it take to get serious? Oh, he was serious before we even went out! He didn't ask me on a date he said he was looking for someone to build a life with. Pretty major stuff for a nineteen year old! I laughed at him and said I would go out on a date but I wasn't making any promises. I'm not sure how long it took me to decide I was going to marry him.
♥ Who does/ did the laundry? Me. ick.
♥ Who’s better with the computer? His life is computers but I get to say that I taught him how to use his first one. A week later he knew twice as much as I did about computers and he has been learning ever since.
♥ Who drives when you are together? Well, since his accident I do but before that he did most of the driving.

We didn't do anything for Valentine's Day. I'm sure that doesn't surprise anyone who just read my fascinating list! However, we did have plans to go out to dinner and the movies but Taylor, Delaney and I all have the flu so we stayed home and ate pizza.

I did have a Valentine's date though... yesterday Ian took me out to lunch! We had a very pleasant visit. He talked about his job, his cats, cooking... It was a very comfortable, adult conversation. I'm praying that we will have many more lunches like this in the future.

So that's all the news that's fit to tell tonight... I'm off to find some cough medicine.

Friday, February 6, 2009

We have a right to write...

A few weeks ago Kelly, of Don Mills Diva, was featured in an article at the London Times On-line. She wasn't interviewed for the article. The authors actually "borrowed" her interview from a Canadian paper and directly from a few posts on her blog and tied them together to make it look as if they had interviewed her. It's an infuriating story, and one that Kelly tells much better than I would, so I'm going to ask you to click on the link and go read what she has to say.

The article was about the dangers of blogging, the loss of privacy, the online predators, and the potential psychological trauma we may cause our families and ourselves when we choose bare it all and seek attention on the web. Some of it is true but most is overblown hyperbole aimed at denigrating bloggers. Because many journalists have the misguided opinion that what they do is write and what we do is wrong. As Kelly pointed out, there are a whole lot of journalists out there who think that Bloggers are ruining journalism. So, she has asked other bloggers to join the Respect the Blog movement and write about what makes us and our blogs worthy of respect. I'm going to do that... but first I'm going to take a few paragraphs to address what is truly ruining journalism.

Newspapers have been losing readership for decades and they continue to point fingers at other media sources as the root of the problem. Radio, television, the Internet, and now blogging, have been blamed for the fact that newspapers are faltering. Heck, if you looked back far enough I bet you could find some ancient newspaper editor complaining that the town crier was impacting his business! Unfortunately, the cause isn't simply competition. Journalists need to take a hard look at themselves and their industry to find the real problem.

Newspapers are unique. When done right they are a cross between timely reporting and measured evaluation. They could have a virtual lock on local news and the ability to connect global events to neighborhood issues. Unfortunately, most local papers have been swallowed up by large conglomerates which eliminated local reporting and centralized national reporting. Newspapers, which used to reflect the personality of their communities, now all look alike. The consumer has very little reason to value their local paper. With this generic focus newspapers are just another version of the TV, radio, and Internet news.. all of them reporting the same stories. Of course newspaper readership has dropped off, the only thing they offer that you can't get anywhere else is ink stains on your cuffs.

Once upon a time you could find everything; unbiased news reporting, birth announcements, a review of the high school play, city council meetings, Mr. Jacob's travel adventures, recipes for the green tomatoes that wouldn't ripen because of the early freeze, plus editorials and letters to the editor that made world news feel more personal, in the paper that waited on your doorstep every morning. Much of the content that made these papers unique wasn't written by the staff of the paper. It was content contributed by the community. Was it all important? Probably not, but it was the kind of news that held communities together. My generation has never had a good source for that kind of specific local news but we haven't lost the desire to connect in a more personal manner with the news. In the last few decades there have been many forms of media that attempted to fill the void, community access TV and radio, newsletters, websites, and now blogs.

A blog is news on a very personal level. It is narrowly focused and interesting to a small group of people. Much of it is trivial and opinionated but it fills a need that we humans have to connect with others. Bloggers aren't competing with journalists. A journalist (also called a newspaperman) is a person who practices journalism, the gathering and dissemination of information about current events, trends, issues, and people while striving for viewpoint that is not biased. (Wikipedia) A blog is often the opposite of journalism. The people who write blogs are creating a community with their words and it is a mostly positive and supportive community. Those words have value and their creators deserve respect and recognition. They deserve the same respect granted to other writers; credit for their work, proper citation, and protection from plagiarism. It is a very simple concept, one that every high school student has beat into their heads whenever a paper is assigned. You don't steal other people's words or ideas. Whether that person is a journalist, a novelist, a memoirist, or a blogger.

I write for myself, to help organize and solidify my thoughts. I write for others, because what I learn, or don't learn, might be helpful to someone else. I write for my family so that they will know me better. I write because I love writing. I write a blog because it's the most convienent and efficient way to do all of these things at once. I don't feel an urge to defend my choice to blog. I am a writer and this blog is one of the things I write.

Respect the Writer!