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About livetoread

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    Hive Mind Worker Bee

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  1. I went to the mall fireworks when I lived there in the early 90s. It was the only time in my life that I got seriously unnerved in a crowd. The crowd on the mall was great, and then we all started filing towards the nearest metro station. The closer we got, the tighter it was. Everyone was still happy and all, but when, at one point I realized I could probably just lift my legs up and still keep moving, (only slight exaggeration) I decided to worm my way to the edge and then find another station. Crowds can go from happy to whatever quickly, and I was not going to risk it.
  2. We hung a jingle bell on a string by our sliding door to our backyard, and our pup learned to hit it with her nose to go out. It only took a couple of hours to teach her. Worked very well her whole life. She did learn that if she was bored and wanted some attention she could ring it and we’d come running. Once she even saw my daughter eating a sandwich at the table, went and rang the bell, and when my daughter got up to let her out, she ran back and snagged the sandwich. She was a quick study!
  3. I am not a nudist, and I don’t even walk around the house in my underwear, but I do wish our society was more comfortable with nudity separate from sexuality. If someone opened the door nude, I would automatically feel threatened, especially if it was a male. But I would prefer a society where nudity was generally not threatening. It seems healthier to me.
  4. Our son is also going to Italy on a study abroad trip for a week in early May. We have already paid for all of it, and it’s all through the school, including airfare. They are going to Florence and Milan. I plan on calling the study abroad office on Monday, but they probably won’t have any answers yet.
  5. Both husband and I grew up in upper middle class families. Parents helped significantly with launching. They have never loaned us anything, but have given us money over the years (without us asking) for various things like our first house down payment. In our families, giving is fine, but I would never think to ask for or accept a loan just to have a better interest rate or something. We are financially secure, but if we weren’t due to unfair life circumstances and not bad decisions, I’m sure either side of parents would help. Doubt it would be a loan, though. Also, even though we are financially secure (and maybe because of it), parents continue to gift us sums from time to time. If they were not financially secure, we would never accept it, but they are more than fine and say they like helping now. We have already continued that precedence with our kids, now in college and beginning the launching process. So far, they have shown signs of being responsible with money and are moving towards independence without taking us for granted. As long as that continues, we will be happy to help them financially in various ways. I would respect a spouse’s desire to reject that, but I hope they wouldn’t.
  6. I separate my individual efforts to reduce suffering and my collective. I think both are important. Day to day I try and do individual acts, but ultimately I think the most important is being aware of the structures that increase suffering and addressing those by, at a minimum, how I vote. When someone is suffering in front of you, you do what you can at the moment, but if you can address the cause of the suffering as well, you have made the world even better. I find the individual efforts more emotionally rewarding and the collective depressing right now, but I try keep plugging away at the latter because it is so important.
  7. I am the first to admit my economic ignorance, but I am baffled that the markets here seem to shrug this off. Usually any hint of major problems and people react, but the last few years it just seems like investors are wearing blinders and are just determined to keep driving prices up no matter what is going on. Do investors really think this is not going to affect our economy much? Apparently so. Either that or they want to wring out every last dollar before running for the hills, thinking they can time that. We’re buy and hold investors, so we’re not changing anything, but for awhile now I’ve been checking the markets and thinking, “Really?”
  8. I do the steaming and eating each leaf thing, but I prefer lemon butter sauce to mayo. They are a hit in our family.
  9. I attended a PCUSA church for awhile. It met in a beautiful, gothic church, had a huge organ and choir with classical religious music and hymns, and the congregation skewed older, well educated, wealthy, liberal-ish, and white. The highly educated pastor preached once on the evils of predestination, so yeah, the churches differ quite a bit 😄. I always thought the term “Frozen Chosen” came from their predestination views coupled with the stereotype of rigidity, piousness, and lack of warmth and expressiveness in the earlier congregations. I don’t know if it fit then, but it doesn’t now for the denomination anyway.
  10. A little off topic (since it’s not computerized voting), but still funny
  11. I disagree. I think there is plenty to stop them, though obviously not completely. Just because some manage to make it past the barriers doesn’t mean women are free from those sexual expectations. Things are changing for the better, though, and that’s good.
  12. There are certainly exceptions, which is why I said “by and large” and “more than men”. Editing to add, as for Ms. Eilish, her choice of clothing that hides her body is enough of an exception that it gets attention for that, which just makes my point. When a young woman decides not to choose outfits that reveal a lot of her body, it is discussed and noticed. It’s an anomaly.
  13. It would be a lot more empowering if women entertainers could choose to bring sex into their performances or not and still not have it greatly affect their sales and popularity. Yes, women get to keep more of the money being made off showing their bodies now, but I still think they are expected to use sex to sell. It’s not really empowering if they can’t freely choose otherwise. I think by and large women in entertainment are expected to use sex appeal (especially their actual bodies) to sell their music more than men, and as long as that is true, it’s not empowering.
  14. Hold on, so QFT is “quoting for truth”? And here all this time I thought it was “quite f* true”! That’s what I meant when I used it anyway, but I admit I’ve been a bit puzzled at some others who I wouldn’t have pegged for such language 😄!
  15. I’ve been to Rome a few times and to Paris once in the last few years. The dress of the men in those cities struck me as different more than the women. They seemed to put more care into their dress and appearance, especially the older men, compared to US men. Younger men in big US cities seem comparable though. Except for the scarves. Lots of men wearing scarves in Paris and Rome. Not so much here. Older women there seemed to wear less makeup than US women on average, but still seemed quite attractive. The uniform of leggings, skinny jeans, boots and/or nice shoes, was alive and well for women there which didn’t seem different from here in the US.
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