Vote! (Just don’t vote for Rick Perry)

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I’m dwindling off-topic slightly, but bear with me just this once:

Attention American readers: Elections are next month and I’m reminding you to vote. It’s so incredibly important that you do. Even if you don’t like the politicians, even if you don’t think any of them will be any good, even if you think your one vote won’t count, vote. People fought hard for us to have the freedom to vote, and these elections matter. Yea, so you think all politicians are scum – at least vote for the lesser of two evils. It breaks my heart when people say they don’t care – because that’s how things got this bad in the first place: because people didn’t care and continue not to care.

Don’t just blindly vote, and don’t just vote for whomever your boss or preacher told you to vote for. Go find out today who is running in your local elections and do some research on them before election day. Then vote for someone who sounds inspiring or at least vote for someone who sounds the least sucky. Listen to the wise words of Bill Maher:

When it comes to voting… you gotta grow up and realize there is a difference between a disappointing friend and a deadly enemy.

Fine, so you find all the candidates to be disappointing, but realize that some of them aren’t just disappointing, they are down right dangerous. Vote for the disappointing guy so the dangerous guy doesn’t win.

Don’t just worry about the big elections – the gubernatorial or senatorial elections. There are a lot of smaller, local community elections you need to care about because those elections directly affect your neighborhoods and cities. If you don’t care about the governor or the senators, fine, but care about your local elections. Don’t bitch later if you didn’t bother to vote.

Go visit your local campaign headquarters and ask questions, get flyers and get informed. Maybe even get involved. Maybe even find out how you or someone you know can run for election next time if you think all the candidates are so terrible.

If you need an absentee ballot, order it now. For the rest of you, do your homework starting now to find out when and where you vote (some states have early voting, and I suggest you take advantage of it) so there are no excuses later.

I don’t even care who you vote for (although if you are in Texas and you vote for Rick Perry I might just have to come and kick you in the teeth), just get out and vote, and not just any vote: make an informed vote.

And next month, after the elections are over, don’t just stop then until the next time I nag you to vote. Get involved in your local communities. Get interested in local politics, get involved with various groups that help protect your rights, volunteer in your communities, try to help make the lives of people in your local area better. There are a plethora of opportunities that you don’t even know about and won’t until you start getting involved (and no, they don’t all involve kids). Find something you believe in and get involved. Check your newspaper or your local library or various local bulletin boards and you might just stumble upon opportunities. You’re unlikely to find those opportunities if you don’t start looking, though.

Working in your community can be a great experience. You’ll find it’s actually good for you and gives you a sense of pride, of being a part of something bigger than yourself. If you tried it once before and didn’t like it, try something different this time. Two years ago Obama told us not to believe in his ability to create change, but to believe in our own. Maybe you don’t like Obama much, but he’s right. We must believe in our own ability to create change. Change begins with individuals; change begins with you.

I often get tired of listening to the mommy crowd whine that “the community” doesn’t do enough for families (i.e. unemployed mommies), and I always find myself bitching at them that “YOU are part of the community. If YOU aren’t doing anything, YOU are part of the problem!” But actually, that applies to all of us. Too many of us just exist in our communities without trying to be a part of them. I’m asking you to be a part of your community. Look out for the best interests of the community as a whole, look out for fairness and equality for everyone, not just the mommies and their special snowflakes. If we do nothing, we let them roll right over us and then we have no one to blame but ourselves.

If you want a better community, you have to make a better community. In the wise words of Phil Collins and Genesis:

This is the world we live in
And these are the hands we’re given
Use them and let’s start trying
To make it a place worth living in

It begins with voting, but it doesn’t end there.

Whenever I hear people say they don’t want to be bothered with voting, it breaks my heart a little. I think of the women who fought so hard so I would have the right to vote today. And about the African-Americans who had to fight so hard to be able to vote without being lynched so that my husband could vote today. And all the soldiers who died believing in this country — in all wars, not just the recent ones that no one seems to believe in. After everything these people fought for, do I have a right to take my freedom to vote for granted?

Sure, I have just one little vote. But maybe in writing this I convinced five other people to vote, and maybe they’ll convince five more and maybe my “one little vote” and my “one little voice” can somehow make a difference (but I’m serious, if you vote for Rick Perry I’m gonna get you!). I owe it to everyone who fought for freedom to take the time to vote and to take the time to write this.

Forgive me for floating off topic briefly. I promise I’ll soon be back to my regularly scheduled rants. I have a good one almost ready, if only I can get the graphic right.

Weird Family Decals

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I’m not so much for decorating my car, so I don’t exactly understand why other people do. I mean, if I have to be bored in traffic, I think everyone else should be, too! I’m not going to provide you people with free entertainment while driving. Apparently that’s what your cell phones are for!

I think the weirdest thing people do is put those family decals on their cars, but apparently it’s the latest fad since yellow ribbon magnets went out of style. Who said people didn’t have children as some kind of fashion accessories? Now they are not only fashion accessories everywhere mommy goes, but fashion accessories for her mini-van or SUV, too!

Usually these dumb decals show Dad, Mom, two soccer kids and a baby, plus maybe a dog and/or a cat. So a family decal I saw on a car recently really cracked me up at it’s absurdity. It looked something like this:

Just in case you can’t see the image, it is a family decal depicting a dad, a mom, another dad, and two kids. We weren’t mistaken – the second dad wasn’t just a tall kid — it was the same image as the first dad, so apparently they were both adult males.

My husband and I have been speculating (and laughing) about what possible message this kooky family was supposed to be telling us. Maybe you can help me figure it out.

What do you think this supposed to mean?

  1. The two men in the decal were the two potential baby-daddies and this family can’t afford the DNA test (they had to spend all their money on back-to-school supplies and car decals!) and are still on the Mauryshow waiting list.)
  2. The first dad is the first kid’s father, and the second dad is the second kid’s father, but someone’s feelings might have been hurt if their dad’s picture wasn’t part of the family decal.
  3. This is one of those reverse-Mormon families, where the gal has two “husbands” (They’re trying out for a new show called Brother Husbands!) and the three of them are raising a couple of kids that, hopefully, belong to one or more of the adults involved.
  4. The second “dad” is their adult son that still lives on their sofa (and probably always will) and apparently they are proud of that.
  5. This decal depicts a Grandma and Grandpa with their grown son who still lives on their sofa (and probably always will) and his two children who visit one weekend a month, but no one wanted to hurt their feelings by not including them in the family decal.
  6. The first “dad” is Grandpa living with his daughter, her husband and their two kids. It’s like the final episode of King of Queens! (Oops, spoiler!)
  7. A gay couple, their two adopted kids and the “beard” that pretends to be the wife of one of them so that they don’t get kicked out of the Army.
  8. Someone just making a mockery of those stupid family decals.
  9. Something else entirely. (Share your interpretation with me. I’d love to hear it.)

You think that decal was weird? I’ve seen even weirder. I probably shouldn’t mention this, as it might creep you out a bit, but I once saw a window kinda like this:

If you can’t see this image, it’s two big fish and a whole bunch of little fish. No, it wasn’t the Duggar family. In this case, at least half of the little fish had halos over their heads. Apparently, this family is a death trap for children. Where are the pro-lifers now, huh?

So what the hell does this one mean?

  1. Co-sleepers.
  2. Cheap frequent flyers.
  3. People who “forget” their children in hot cars.
  4. Crappy drivers who keep getting into accidents and losing kids that way. (The person was driving pretty crappy.)
  5. Too much inbreeding and most of the kids were born with severe disabilities and didn’t make it. And these inbred hicks are PROUD of it, too!
  6. It’s a throwback to WWII when pilots would put the number of planes they shot down on the side of their plane. In this case, they mark the people they have run over with their car; halos mark the ones they got good!
  7. Obviously these are religious nuts, so maybe they were intentionally sending their babies to see Jesus. Some of those weird cults have weird ideas you know. Six down, three to go!
  8. Folks bragging about the number of abortions they’ve had to annoy pro-lifers and challenge the rest of us to catch up.
  9. Someone just making a mockery of those stupid family decals.
  10. Something else entirely. (Share your interpretation with me. I’d love to hear it.)

I’m SO tempted to start carrying a tube of bright red lipstick with me in case I ever see that particular car again so I can write “SERIAL KILLERS!!” on the back of it to alert the cops. Look, we have their signed confession on the back of their car! WHAT MORE DO YOU NEED? Obviously the cops aren’t pro-life or they’d be more concerned about this!

At this point, I’m thinking I want my own family decal on the back of my car and make it as ridiculous as possible just for fun, just to mock these damn decals. Any suggestions? I know you all are very creative!