back from my blogging sabbatical

really it wasn’t so much a sabbatical as a computer virus and lack of motivation….

1. the mid-20’s :: of late i’ve come to realize that being out of college and in your mid-20’s is something like being in the middle school of adult life. you did the college thing and, between moving out and making some decidedly stupid decisions, kind of started figuring out the whole “grown up” thing. but after college and before you can get to the real deal of a legit career, family and a dog (which i will equate to high school, ha), you have to go through this passage that feels something like being in middle school all over again, very awkward and trying to maybe come across like you know what’s going on. instead of getting round squishy things growing out of your chest, you’re getting a taste of the real world and its basic disinterest in you and your well-being. i didn’t do those jr. high days very gracefully, and somedays i don’t feel i’m doing much better with the 20’s. i’m not, however, doing it with enormous glasses this time.

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2. running crush ::  until now, i’ve never really had an appreciation for running and have generally avoided the activity with its side cramps, quad cramps and calf cramps. i was forced on a treadmill, however, a few weeks ago. it was the boy’s birthday wish that i run a 5k with him, and a week out i realized that i should probably give 3 miles a go before running through the streets of minneapolis. i don’t know what happened in those 35 minutes, but at the end of 3 miles, i was hooked. a week later i did my first real 5k and came to realize that i have developed a bona fide crush on running. i spend my day thinking about that afternoon’s run. i joined an online running log/forum. i ice my sore ankles, terrified that i won’t be able to run the next day. it’s doubtful that i could get laid by running itself – as it is a verb rather than a noun – but i’m quite sure that if i could, i would.

3. a cause to pimp :: The Sugarplum Boutique : Handmade infant and children’s hairbows, clips, bands, crochet bands and beanies, flowers, bow holders, and more! All proceeds benefit the plight of orphans worldwide. Custom orders are VERY welcome! www.sugarplumorphans.com

4. things i love today ::

– barney frank throws down like a champ :  http://tpmdc.talkingpointsmemo.com/2009/08/barney-frank-confronts-woman-with-obama-as-hitler-sign.php

– an excellent and very relevant blog :  www.conversiondiary.com

– as always, maureen dowd : http://www.nytimes.com/2009/08/19/opinion/19dowd.html?_r=1&ref=opinion

– Michael Vick’s Contrition – Should We Forgive? : http://newsweek.washingtonpost.com/onfaith/catholicamerica/2009/08/michael_vick_and_the_act_of_contrition.html

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Joel’s Blog

Joel doesn’t blog. So, I am posting his update on my blog to shame him into starting one, please.

Hey all,

Just a quick note to let you know that I have arrived, in one piece, in the DC suburb of Alexandria, VA. Among the trip’s highlights:

1. Elko, NV (“highlight” is used loosely here)
2. Staying with Todd Murphy’s parents in Loveland, CO, discovering his high school photo wall of fame in the basement, and hearing of his high school exploits from his father 🙂
3. Seeking shelter in a Wal-Mart in McPherson, KS to avoid driving into a tornado (actually, 4 of them. The storm kinda sprung up on me. I’ve missed Kansas.)
4. Father’s Day with my dad + family in Wichita, KS – complete with the requisite BBQ
5. Realizing yet again how long I-70 actually is
6. Allowing my GPS to loop me endlessly around downtown Cleveland, OH
7. Realizing that one can listen to all of David McCullough’s “1776” bewteen St. Louis and Washington, PA. Even if one takes breaks for music and silent contemplation.
8. Being offered free drinks at a hotel bar in Washington, PA in exchange for a more expensive room (apparently the barter system is still a functional part of our economy)
9. Driving past the Alexandria, VA hospital in which Johanna Schaub was born, and realizing that I am staying but a stone’s throw from this hallowed place
10. Being sufficiently starved for mental stimulation after a week in the car as to comprise frivolous “Top 10” lists for friends from the lobby of a local Starbucks.

At any rate, the main takeaway here is that I’m alive and well on the East Coast. There’s no particular intended recipient list here, just getting the word out. Thanks for all the calls, e-mails, and travel safety prayers/recommendations. I’ll be in touch.

Joel

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Fair Trade Favs

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i drank my recommended 8 glasses of water already today. yay life.

A while ago, I plugged a great organization called Kiva, a non-profit focusing on micro-finance loans to entrepreneurs in developing countries. While I really only moderately care about fair trade agreements conserving endangered plants and the environment (bad person, sorry), there’s a fire in my belly for organizations that fight for fair trade practices that help workers of under developed countries get a foot up on the economic ladder and make a better life for their families.

Large corporation tapped into the work force of these countries decades ago. I’m going to go out on a politically incorrect limb and say that while these workers made (make) pretty below-fair wages, it was a good thing at the time as these were, in many cases, the only jobs available to them – especially to women who had historically always been dependent on men, and gave them a means to support themselves. It’s no longer acceptable anymore, and we shouldn’t settle for keeping them on the bottom wrung of the ladder. Corporations may not be able to foot the bill of higher wages, but there’s a lot to be said for expanding the market for these peoples’ handmade goods, allowing them to sell to the world.

FreeSet Bags – These handcrafted and customizable bags are made from jute by Indian women trapped in an oppressive sex trade. By giving them a means to sell goods and make money, the organization helps the women buy their way out of their enslavement. Seriously, with all the girls out there that look the same with their Coach and Louis Vuitton bags, this is a way better use of your money. Shoot, you could be a whole shipment of them for what your wallet cost.  (good idea: a church up here in Minneapolis bought a bulk order of these bags and sold them to members of its congregation)

Tom’s Shoes – I covet a pair, and when I quit being such a poor pants, I’m getting them. Yes, their made in the states by Americans, but if you’ve ever seen the AT&T commercial, you know that for every pair purchased, Tom gives a pair to a kid out there who has sores all over their feet instead of shoes.

 Anni Designs – Ok, these are also made in America, but this is another great organization. They design great t-shirts to raise money to help loving families afford international adoption, giving lots of hurt kids a shot. See also: Shoahannah’s Hope

 

in other news, i have a new life plan: travel the world

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Yay Joel

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While I was galivanting around a Minnesota lake this weekend (stupid recession and plane tickets), my brother Joel was graduating. Like for the 27th time in his life. But really, this was his second master’s degree from Stanford, the first being in Electrical Engineering and second being in Public Policy. From here, he plans to join us working scum and run for president or something. Mehler 2012. Get Excited.

Reasons I will endorse Joel Mehler in 2012

– When Joel was in Kindergarten, he stepped up and portrayed Psalty the Singing Songbook in a school play. If you aren’t so fortunate as to be familiar, please google it.

– Joel overcame childhood asthma, including several close calls at the dinner table where he’d laugh so hard he’d start wheezing and coughing in asthmatic arrest, prompting my father to put a ban on all things funny at the table. He spent all sorts of time in the Wesley ER, gaining a true understanding of the healthcare system. But really, he’s a survivor.

– Joel will pull the mom vote. A sizeable number of mothers over the years have requested that Joel marry their daughters. I’ve even entertained the thought of generating some cash by starting an online dating site: www.marryjoel.com. Joel’s intellectual crush on Kathleen Parker could hurt business and cause a stir in office, though…

– Joel is fit for the camera and has a face for political photoshoots. He has impeccable taste in all things photogenic and aggressive eye wear. On a side note, I have a scar on my face from where Joel kicked me. But really, he’s photogenic.

– Joel is the official Mehler Whisperer, speaking soothingness into every family conflict we have. He is the cheif mediator and voice of reason. This alone should be sole justification for an appointment to Secretary of State or Ambassador to North Korea.

Congratulations, Joel!!!

 

Some best bets for you:

Do we hold onto control too much in our lives, and would this recession buisness be easier for us if we didn’t have such a choke hold on control?

Two entrepreneur women find themselves using their business sense for a higher calling

Fun new yoga poses

 

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I try to give to the poor people for love what the rich could get for money. No, I wouldn’t touch a leper for a thousand pounds; yet I willingly cure him for the love of God.  – Mother Teresa (This is why i am fascinated by the catholic church.)

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Not For Sale – an international campagin to end slavery around the world, even into our backyards. this is really a huge problem, and not for sale

PostSecret – not really your traditional non-profit campaign, but there’s something connecting about getting a peek into complete strangers’ souls every sunday morning

Amnesty International – amnesty continues to be one of the front-runners for human rights around the world. personally, i deeply appreciate what they have done for women’s rights around the world. also, hillary clinton is growing on me for similar reasons

Kiva – a unique non-profit that works to enable entrepreneurs in developing and under-developed countries get financing and a shot at creating a better life for themselves and their families through small buisness. the money (loans) comes from private donors

International Justice Mission– a  human rights agency of lawyers and investigators laboring to bring justice to victims of sexual exploitation, slavery and other violent oppression

Blood:water Mission – a long-time favorite, an effort to raise money to dig clean wells for the people of africa. there are just so many ways you can easily get involved with this one

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photos and excuses

it’s been so long. i know. i have a million excuses why i haven’t posted in a month. none of them are legitimate.

photo montage to catch up……

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wichita times. friend times, etc.

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wedding #1, vanessa and jared (finally!), bridesmaid game face.

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wedding in dallas. second bridesmaid appearance in 24 hours. beginning of calvin-kristin-bff.

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brought corrie back to minneapolis with me. big bowl and chino latino good times.

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minneapolis times. das boot at gastofs, posing for derek cell pics at stellas, grand old day in st. paul

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Twitterering

i hate people who blog about blogging, or twit about twittering. but blogging about twittering is ok, i feel.

1. i don’t perceive myself to be a social media prude, by any means. i’ve done it all. was all over xanga before anybody else was, i was a charter wichita state facebook user (back when it was just college students, oh the days), i even hesitate to admit that i had (have) a myspace. twitter, however, is harder for me to accept, though. i even have the app on my phone, so it goes with me, but i just don’t have the urge to do it. it bores me. my few friends that are on twitter don’t twit enough to keep my attention. so i end up creepily following a bunch of famous people i don’t know — and yes, i feel like a creeper.

2. more frustration with technology: my blackberry keeps randomly erasing all my text messages and emails. also, while i’m cursing our societal conversion from paper and pigeon to binary and modem, i recently started using mozilla firefox at work because i was scorned by at least 4 people for still using ie . i have prepared below a pie chart indicating the proportion of time i spent working to the time i spent waiting for things to load:

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