Workbook completion and today’s news takeaway

Today’s news takeaway: Tax revenue from legalized marijuana could fund your local school’s new textbooks, computer lab, and football field… if you let it.

Awesome Dad Styles Daughter’s Hair, Breaks Internet

This is why we need feminism. I want to live in a world where it’s no big deal to stay at home, do the laundry, and brush your daughter’s hair… regardless of whether you’re Dad or Mom.

As a side note, I applaud this man for taking his available paternity leave. I’m sure many fathers wouldn’t even think to ask if they had any available through their companies, largely due to the societal roles (not) expected of them.

Meet the Lowest-Grossing Movie of 2013 (With a Box-Office Haul of Just $72)

Oh, Mickey the idiot! Noel Clarke plays Mickey in Doctor Who, for those of you unfamiliar with the name. He came up with a horror movie idea and filmed it, but apparently it was a flop.

That said, I’m very interested in looking up Storage 24 to see if it’s really that bad. I’ve watched some pretty lame movies on Netflix out of sheer boredom, and those didn’t include any actors I was familiar with.

Sony takes early console war lead with 4.2 million PS4 systems sold in 2013

My house is has two XBox 360s, a PS3, and a Wii. However, we’ve come to a group agreement (of sorts). We want an upgrade, but we don’t want to keep older generation consoles that won’t be used anymore.

The boys have agreed to trade in one of the XBox 360s for credit toward a new PS4; we reviewed the information available (so far) about both systems, and the PS4 won. My Wii will probably get traded in as well, since we don’t use it 99% of the time. Sarah’s also planning to trade in her PS3 toward a personal PS4, since she may one day move out and want to take her own system with her.

I think this is why we aren’t a heavily-laden household of consoles. We lean toward upgrades that involve trade-in options. The only loss is the lack of backwards compatibility in recent upgrades; however, we don’t have any must-keep titles to cry over. We’re light gamers.

American mom wants European M&Ms

I find it completely unfair that Europe gets the good stuff all of the time! They have a much stricter food additive system with E-numbers designating chemicals and additives, and ranks on how good/bad they are. I’ve used a European app to determine if an additive was something I was willing to eat, based on their red/yellow/green rank for harm.

If a company can and does produce a healthy, natural version of their product at approximately the same cost as an unnatural version… why isn’t the switch automatic? Does Mars Inc. not realize how much business they could get by being able to market all their candies as “naturally colored and flavored”?

Marriage May Not Help Single Moms Out Of Poverty, Says New Report

The incentive to get married is lowered further by the “benefits” of being a “single” parent. You qualify for more help, better tax cuts, and discounted child care based on income; as a married woman, you have to include your husband’s income, which often moves you just past the arbitrary maximum incomes of many programs.

It’s sad, but true. I qualify for the Texas Women’s Health Program (questionable in usefulness, but an example nonetheless) as long as you only use my income; if you included either of my boyfriends’ incomes, I’d suddenly be too “wealthy” to qualify. Programs don’t take into account the additional costs of living and debts introduced by a spouse, because they only use raw income figures.

The state of Texas is far more willing to eat the costs of me getting pregnant, giving birth, and raising a child when I’m single and “low income”. They expect far less of me, so why should I get married and give them the green light to charge me an arm and a leg?

The Dignity of Work: Katherine Hackett’s Story

I started to get into an argument yesterday. I was asked the following: “How do you feel about Obama handing out 2.1 billion dollars [or some similar number] to people who don’t work?”

By the gods, some people need to read more news! I explained that the “hand out” was a possible extension of unemployment benefits. Then I had to explain (politely, I’d like to think) what unemployment is like.

In Texas, it involves going to the workforce commission and applying to at least three different jobs each week to possibly qualify for (and continue receiving) unemployment. Seriously, look at the work search requirements!

Being unemployed doesn’t mean your lazy. It means no one’s hiring your skill set, or you were laid off after a decade of work only to discover young people outpace you in energy and skills, or you can’t afford to relocate to apply in better job markets.

Tokers React to High-Priced Legal Marijuana Sales in Colorado

I’d pay to play, so to speak. I’m not actually a smoker, personally; I have control issues, and drugs (including alcohol) just don’t make me feel good. Still, I’d buy a bit to support the new system, then give it to my roomies to enjoy.

I actually like the idea of allowing adults to grow a few plants. As a pagan, I use herbs in incenses, scrubs, soaps, etc. If I had the option, I  might consider creating a meditation incense with marijuana for the shift of consciousness it would bring (even in small amounts). I hope to see that option in the not-too-distant future.

Colorado Recreational Marijuana Sales Exceed $5 Million In First Week

Also, there’s the taxes. Colorado expects to see about $70 million in tax revenue from legal pot sales; this is money that can improve roads, improve education, and help the poor. As many asked on Facebook: “What if all 50 states followed suit?” Can you imagine the influx of revenue?

Israel Offers Free Abortions To Women Between 20 And 33

Women’s rights gets a win!… in Israel. Well, a win for anyone is a win for everyone.

I get jealous sometimes when I read about countries with paid maternity leave, (real) universal health care, and other goodies. America is awesome when it comes to free speech (for the most part), but we suck in the realm of equality for all. Thankfully, we’re working on it one bit at a time.

Tunisia Gender Equality: National Assembly Approves Constitutional Article Giving Women Equal Rights

It’s also lame that a country ruled by a dictator only three years ago managed to overwhelmingly agree on an equality clause (limited as it may be), while our democracy can’t agree to add an Equal Rights amendment after two centuries of elected rule.

There’s An Easy Way To Fight Obesity, But Conservatives Will HATE It

I could be down with a sugar tax. It’d suck sometimes, like when you really want something to drink, the only thing available is soda, and it costs as much as a latte at Starbucks. Water, please? But that’s the idea!

Also, it’d be nice to see us tax corn syrups in the mix, but exclude honey as a natural (and better for you) product. It could cause trouble, though, if manufacturers tried to make their products cheaper by using artificial sweeteners. Not only are they bad for you, but people like myself are allergic; I already read labels, but it’d be depressing to see an increase in chemical sweeteners in the few “junk” foods I can still eat (like Pop-tarts).

The Part of Parenting We’re Too Scared to Talk About

I appreciate her honesty. While I’ve made many goals for parenting, one of my fears is losing it. I have a bit of a temper sometimes (I’m redheaded on the inside), and I’m afraid of being That Mom.

I accept, though, that sometimes you end up yelling at your children. If they were told not to do something half a dozen times today, and they just did it again… if you’ve missed out on sleep thanks to a cold, yet they seem bent on driving you mad… if your day is overscheduled and behind, and they’re dragging their feet. BUT… it’s the violent, laying-on-hands part that’s my personal line. A raised voice can be quieted and apologized for with more words, gentle words. A slap can’t be undone, and a bruised arm can’t be un-bruised.

To be fair, my mom regularly threatened to beat someone’s ass (or break their arm if they touch ____ again) without ever following through. For us, getting her to the point of raised voice and violent words was a warning that we’d pushed too far; we learned to behave immediately after hearing that particular tone (well, for the most part).

Random Personal News!

My workbook is finally completed and posted on Etsy! I’m kind of proud of myself for completing a writing project. It’s the first time I’ve written something and put it together from start to finish in the same time period; my poetry books are a mix of poems that cover a decade of my life, so they don’t count.

I’m actually inspired by the project itself. I’d like to take the time to develop a workbook for Norse, Hindu, and Egyptian gods (separately, of course). The only catch is knowledge. I’m extremely familiar with Greek mythology, having spent the last few years studying it in depth. I can’t say the same thing about any other pantheon, and I wouldn’t want to short-change a buyer by creating useless worksheets (or leaving out important nuances).

We’ll see what I do next. I’d love to get into the business of creating worksheets for adult pagans, just  because I haven’t seen many out there.

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