Tree Hugger

a self portrait

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Weekly Photo Challenge | Carefree

jnix_1_1 by TheJeremyNix
jnix_1_1, a photo by TheJeremyNix on Flickr.

When we lived in Evergreen our neighbors got a new puppy. They named her Lily. Lily would come and play with our dog daily. When Mister Bo went missing, Lily would come around the house everyday obviously searching for our lost dog. As time went on, Lily continued to come by more and more often. She was a daily fixture on our porch, and to be honest, I didn’t mind the company. In the midst of the crazy things I have to do as a stay at home parent there are indeed plenty of carefree moments as well. My daughter and I used to take long, meandering walks down this hill and into the meadow below. On this day, Lily heard us coming and sprinted up to join us. A great memory.

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A particularly hard day has me wanting to reflect on the positive things in my life. Some days it feels as if the universe is conspiring against you. I was going to rant about the lady who cut me off on the freeway, or the refrigerator that is on the fritz, but instead I will choose to fill my mind with other things. My daughter Penny. Today, amongst all the angry thoughts, all the hustle and bustle of the world outside, all those adults racing around trying to make their meetings and lunch dates, we are all so oblivious to each other.

I glanced back at Penny in the backseat, she was bobbing her head to the music, staring at the world outside the window. She loves going barefoot, and kicks off her shoes whenever it tickles her fancy. To her the world is simple. She wants to watch some Handy Manny and go to the playground. She wants to play with other kids. I am an introvert and she is super outgoing. She has a soft heart, and loves everyone she meets.

Every parent knows that feeling of being bombarded in the supermarket by anyone and everyone because you are pushing around a little newborn, I loved and hated that all at the same time.  I just assumed that it would eventually go away, she would grow up, and people would stop noticing, and she would blend in with all the other kids and it would stop being such a big deal. Wrong. It is almost getting worse. I cant go to the store without having at leas three unwanted conversations with people that Penny puts me in direct contact with.

Penny is awesome. She challenges me daily and drags me out of my comfort zone regularly.  The routine usually goes like this: Penny finds a random family and just barges right onto their picnic blanket,table,tent, or whatever personal space you can think of. I rush in and apologize, a struggle ensues as Penny insists on hanging out with her new “friends”. Random stranger parent asks her name and age. Penny states her name and indicates she is three years old They reply: “Oh my, you are tall aren’t you?”… and Penny proudly agrees that Yes, she is growing really fast.

Half the time, I don’t even know what she is saying, I just let her go socialize until I get the vibe that the family doesn’t appreciate it, then I go and snatch her up. Today after a lady on the highway cut me off, almost killing us in the process, my brain went dark and I lost my cool. I cursed and shook my fists in anger. When it was all over, Penny asks me: “Daddy why did you say: Fuck?”, and I was just in shock. I never swear around her, I tried so hard to keep that ugly word out of her mouth, and here she is saying it with perfect clarity and pronunciation. I was so ashamed of myself. I instantly felt guilt and remorse. All I could think of to say was that is not a good word and daddy shouldn’t have said it. The cool part is, that seemed to satisfy her. She just dropped the whole thing and never mentioned it again for the rest of the day. Hopefully it doesn’t stick.

Being angry is no excuse, but I suppose that every once in a while in my life an F-word might slip out of my mouth when I am angry, I am a Marine after all. I guess I could try and train myself to say something like “You cotton-headed ninny-monkeys, you guys really get my dander up!” or something similarly goofy, but that just is not how anger works is it? It’s usually a knee jerk reaction that you instantly regret. I am grateful to have my daughter with me to remind me right away how pointless it is to let anger consume me. Yes, that lady on the highway cut me off, was driving recklessly, and put my family in danger. All of the terrible things that could have happened did not happen. I should just let it go, but some days that is more difficult than others. Penelope is my reminder to keep cool when adversity strikes. These are my thoughts of the day. Daughters are amazing, mean people suck, and life is beautiful.

 

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Declaration and Manifesto of the Occupy Wall Street Movement

The Occupy Wall Street Movement, also known as the 99 Percent Movement, has rapidly grown from a grassroots band of several hundred protesters marching in New York City on September 17, 2011 to, by October 1, 2011, energized protest demonstrations in ten major U.S. cities, as well as a powerful internet presence.
As of October 6, 2011, the fledgling movement had been directly endorsed by more than 50 organizations and labor unions, and supported by Democratic political leaders, celebrity-activists, and local officials across the nation.

Declaration and Manifesto of Occupy Wall Street Movement

“As we gather together in solidarity to express a feeling of mass injustice, we must not lose sight of what brought us together. We write so that all people who feel wronged by the corporate forces of the world can know that we are your allies.

“As one people, united, we acknowledge the reality: that the future of the human race requires the cooperation of its members; that our system must protect our rights, and upon corruption of that system, it is up to the individuals to protect their own rights, and those of their neighbors; that a democratic government derives its just power from the people, but corporations do not seek consent to extract wealth from the people and the Earth; and that no true democracy is attainable when the process is determined by economic power.

“We come to you at a time when corporations, which place profit over people, self-interest over justice, and oppression over equality, run our governments. We have peaceably assembled here, as is our right, to let these facts be known.

They have taken our houses through an illegal foreclosure process, despite not having the original mortgage.
They have taken bailouts from taxpayers with impunity, and continue to give Executives exorbitant bonuses.
They have perpetuated inequality and discrimination in the workplace based on age, the color of one’s skin, sex, gender identity and sexual orientation.
They have poisoned the food supply through negligence, and undermined the farming system through monopolization.
They have profited off of the torture, confinement, and cruel treatment of countless animals, and actively hide these practices.
They have continuously sought to strip employees of the right to negotiate for better pay and safer working conditions.
They have held students hostage with tens of thousands of dollars of debt on education, which is itself a human right.
They have consistently outsourced labor and used that outsourcing as leverage to cut workers’ healthcare and pay.
They have influenced the courts to achieve the same rights as people, with none of the culpability or responsibility.
They have spent millions of dollars on legal teams that look for ways to get them out of contracts in regards to health insurance.
They have sold our privacy as a commodity.
They have used the military and police force to prevent freedom of the press. They have deliberately declined to recall faulty products endangering lives in pursuit of profit.
They determine economic policy, despite the catastrophic failures their policies have produced and continue to produce.
They have donated large sums of money to politicians, who are responsible for regulating them.
They continue to block alternate forms of energy to keep us dependent on oil.
They continue to block generic forms of medicine that could save people’s lives or provide relief in order to protect investments that have already turned a substantial profit.
They have purposely covered up oil spills, accidents, faulty bookkeeping, and inactive ingredients in pursuit of profit.
They purposefully keep people misinformed and fearful through their control of the media.
They have accepted private contracts to murder prisoners even when presented with serious doubts about their guilt.
They have perpetuated colonialism at home and abroad. They have participated in the torture and murder of innocent civilians overseas.
They continue to create weapons of mass destruction in order to receive government contracts.*
“To the people of the world,
“We, the New York City General Assembly occupying Wall Street in Liberty Square, urge you to assert your power.

“Exercise your right to peaceably assemble; occupy public space; create a process to address the problems we face, and generate solutions accessible to everyone.

“To all communities that take action and form groups in the spirit of direct democracy, we offer support, documentation, and all of the resources at our disposal.

“Join us and make your voices heard!”

*NOTE – These grievances are not all-inclusive.

Source – NYC General Assembly, Official Website of #OccupyWallStreet

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