I have a new toy!

I got myself an elfin book form Amazon and I am loving it!  These are notebooks with special paper that, so long as you use the right pen, can be scanned onto an app, saved and wiped clear with a damp cloth.  I am lazy so I use napkins.  It’s great!  I have always preferred hand written notes- shopping lists, book notes, day planning…. everything.  My handwriting is atrocious, but it helps me think.  On the other hand, it’s super wasteful- right?  I mean all those notebooks, all that paper…

But what if one page could be used dozens or even hundreds of times?  That’s what the claim is anyway.  I have used my front page about 12 times now and the worst I will say is that there are slight indents in the page from past writing- but that doesn’t show up in the pic at all, so it that really a deterrent?  I have found the erasable pens at Office Max and Target, so I don’t even have to wait for them to come in from Amazon!  With Christmas coming up fast, why not consider this for your budding author, student, or artist (half the pages have no lines making them ideal for sketches).   I will say, though, that I didn’t care for the Elfin app- I went straight to Office Lense per my husband’s recommendation and it’s so user friendly!  I will be posting some pics, but please note that the hand writing is, as I said, really bad and has nothing to do with the app.

 

Just think what someone more artistic could do!  Lol

-Amber

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Please… just read this.

gonzalez        Picture courtesy of 10 News.

I don’t care about your political leanings, this should concern you.  No matter how one feels about the current problem with illegal immigration it has to be said: these are people.  They have a past, a future, hearts and dreams- and they had their reasons. Whether what they did was right, or their reasoning justified…. let’s table that for the moment.  Let’s just remember they are humans- friends, neighbors…. maybe your children even go to school with theirs.

So many are saying that we need to just let ICE and the Trump administration take care of things…. but have they really looked into what that entails?  I am leaving a link to a story I first read about in USA Today.  I couldn’t find the link for that story on their website, so I chose another news outlet that is also running the story.   Read it, and ask yourself one thing- what if this individual didn’t have friends to help?  What happens to those that have no one to fight for them?

10News

-Amber

 

I’m just going to leave this here……

So, I am in the library reading the papers as is my habit on days off when I found a very interesting piece my Michiko Kakutani about what Incarceration does to families (let’s not play- the separation of illegal immigrants from their children; that’s what this is.  Also, can anyone deny the similarities between now and another time in America.  I feel like this well written piece needs to be read no matter your political leanings so I am just going to leave the link right here.

Please read it and give me your thoughts.

All my love,

Amber

American dreaming

I was born in California, in a normal American household where I was allowed to, within reason, read what I wanted, listen to what I wanted and wear what I liked (so long as my parents were okay with it- let’s not go crazy). Words like hatred and racism really weren’t part of my vocabulary. I saw others that didn’t look or behave like me, but I was more curious. What did they listen to? What were they eating and, more importantly, where the hell could I get that? It never occurred to me to dislike anyone because of how race or religion- no, you cut people for bad behavior… basically for being a jackass.

Being American, though, means that the American Dream has always been my reality- oh, not the house with the picket fence thing…. no I mean the freedom that immigrants look for here. The safety, security, ability to change one’s station. You can come up from having nothing- you can work hard, go to school and become a professional. Nothing is barred from you! In so many places, these things are unimaginable yet we as Americans have always known them as our right. If I don’t like how I am treated at a job, I can quite- find a new one. If I want to pursue music I can. I can be any religion I want. That is the American Dream so many want.

Yet there’s also the darker side of my country- the people that are either misinformed or fear the unknown. Those that would see a hijab and only see terrorism instead of a woman invoking her right to freedom of religion. People are decrying that this or that person isn’t “from here” and need to go back- forget the fact that they did, in fact, come in correctly after waiting years or even a decade for the privilege just to be treated like an invader. Have we all forgotten that America was formed by immigrants? In my mind, the American culture was always meant to be a melting pot. A place where you could put down roots and still honor your past. You should be able to be proud of everything you are- that is my American Dream.

Everything in the papers these days are so scary for me. Pictures of children being kept from their families…. camps set up. There are stories of these children being mistreated, misplaced. Who knows what to believe?!? Yes, I know this isn’t just starting, and that it has apparently been going on for a long time. That’s actually what makes it even scarier for me. Forget what you think of the parent’s actions- the kids had no say. They’re scared, confused. How can we help them? Illegal immigration is an issue, but is this the way to handle things? What if, instead, we made it easier for people to immigrate legally? Offered online help- information on how to file paperwork, English classes, and information on where to get help when here? Having read The Newcomers by Helen Thorpe along with several other books and stories by immigrants I can’t help thinking that we have made The American Dream nearly unattainable. When bombs are going off in your village do you have five years to wait for a visa to approve? When you can’t find food, shelter or safety for your family? Are we really going to be the country too afraid to open our hearts?

Rant ended-

Ambert

My thoughts on the surge of resistance.

I hate getting political here, because I don’t want to turn anyone away.  I resist the current hatred, fear and bigotry by reminding everyone how I love them.  It doesn’t matter who you love, what “parts” you have, where you came from, what you believe or what you look like.  If you treat me and mine with respect, you can expect to receive the same.  My inbox is always open to anyone that needs to talk.  No judgement, no complications…. in the age of the internet there doesn’t even have to be names.  This is how I resist the current unrest.  I am one person, but sometimes all it takes is one calm harbor in the stormy sea of life.

These days you see more and more activists- rallies for and against everything.  You see marches on TV.  These people are brave, and giving a good voice to current issues.  But that isn’t me.  I would never be comfortable being out doing this.  I especially wouldn’t want part in the ones that, while the cause and the people aren’t bad, still result in violence.  There are other ways.  Calling congressmen, joining groups, staying abreast of the news is the very least we should be trying to be doing.  An uninformed mass is a dangerous thing.  And it’s hard anymore.  There are so many completely biased “news” arenas anymore that you don’t know if you have the whole story- or even a real story.  It’s enough to make my head spin and I am 35.

So how is a teen supposed to navigate these waters?  They are smart and caring and still young enough to be inquisitive.  They see the current unrest.  Their friends shot in school shootings, or the people they care about having to fight tooth and nail for the rights that they take for granted- the right to live as they wish, love who they wish, and freaking pee in a public restroom.  My niece sees a pretty girl her age, intelligent and kind, being bullied and hated because of a piece of fabric on her head.  These things don’t make sense!  It’s enough to make a young person, already struggling with the changes in herself, become furious. You want to make a difference.  You want to change the world.  How do you go about it?

Today a book released called How I resist: Activism and Hope for a New Generation by Tim Federle.  What this is, is a group of essays, interviews and other miscellanea edited by Federle and Maureen Johnson.  Now, I just started it; but so far it contains intelligent, well thought articles about either what others have done in the past, what can be done in the future, and what the phrase “resist” even means to them.  It has given me a sense of calm and purpose already, and if it continues in this vein I really feel like this book could be a game changer.

Another thing that always helped me is reading up on subjects that are becoming issues- not just news articles.  When the unrest about immigration really started ramping up I read a book called The Newcomer where I saw just one class room of immigrants discuss what their lives were like, what they hope for and what they fear, all while learning a new language and culture.  It helped me, seeing what they were up against and the small amount of help they got here, along with learning about the hoops they had to jump through.  These are two books I would recommend to anyone.

There are a million ways to resist, and there not just one right way.  Be informed, be inclusive, vote, care.  Thank you.

Happy Reading,

Amber

Can someone explain this to me?

Sometimes through the course of a work day I will come across something that just makes me stop and wonder.  Some times it has to do with one’s mode of dress (if you “sag” your pants at least wear underwear… just saying), sometimes it has to do with one’s actions ( a drunk man came dancing up to my lane to buy alcohol.  I refused.  Not only was he not mad, he proposed to me);  and sometimes it has to do with items we sell.  Today I sold two of these things in half an hour.  They are full-on furry animal masks and sell for $19.98.  You know the Mickey Mouse heads?  Yeah, this is it.  I tried to get info on these things through google, but got a lot of clips for a band and not much else.  Am I missing some internet meme or something here?

Mostly I just want to know if I will be ringing up a lot of people while they wear these.  Do you know what this is about?  Do you have one?  Post (an appropriate) pic in comments.

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