The United States owes a debt to you…

To the many military members and veterans I know and to the many, many thousands I do not, I thank you for your commitment to the ideals of the United States and your service to our country.  Although you are many when viewed as a collective, you are few when scattered about the whole of our society.  Your willingness to do the job that must be done to ensure the freedom and democracy that underpins everything this country stands for is noble.  You have put your country’s well-being above your own and many of you will carry a weight your whole life for doing so.

It is good that your service is honored today, but I hope for a time that your service equates with a more enduring respect that transcends the memorials and days of honor.  I hope for a day when when the systems that serve you, the communities that have benefited from your service, and the country that has endured based on your selflessness treats you continuously with a level of honor and respect that should be afforded those who willingly defend our country with their lives.  I believe this time is coming as we have seen a more dramatic focus on veteran issues as of late; alas, it is unfortunate that it has been so long in the coming.

Members of the military and our cherished veterans, I thank you today and every day for what you have given of yourself so that the rest of us can enjoy the freedoms we do. As the mom of a veteran I understand better than many that the protection and defense of our ideals comes with a cost.  I know the United States owes a debt to you – the brave men and women who serve and have served our military needs – and I, as an American citizen, stand behind repayment of that debt in the form of services and opportunities befitting a country’s heroes.

Day one thousand five hundred and eighty-eight of the new forty – obla di obla da

Ms. C

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Use your power…send the circus packing.

America is not the country it used to be.  Big money and partisan politics over the last couple of decades have left the majority of American citizens wanting.  The chasm between the haves and have-nots has grown dramatically.  Our government has become a three-ring circus – a circus no one feels good about.

Too often, folks wring their hands and lament the situation, but have no real inkling of the power and responsibility they have to change it.  I think we have forgotten as Americans that this is our country and we not only have the power to effect change, we have a responsibility to use said power with aforethought.  Let me be clear, when I speak of power I don’t mean the type of power that comes from pie-in-the-sky idealism, I mean the power that regular citizens wield with their vote and wallet.  If you want change as a citizen use your vote wisely – as if your quality of life depends on it.  Because let’s face it – it does.

By the same token, if you disagree with the practices in corporate America or local businesses, don’t give them your hard-earned money – go elsewhere.  Money makes the world go round and when corporations and businesses stop earning money they will either change to accommodate the consumer or die.  You have the power here folks and every individual action matters in the cumulative effect.

North Dakota has a number of elected positions and eight measures on the ballot tomorrow.  Are you informed of who the candidates are and what platforms they are running on?  If not, go here to find who the candidates in your area are and their contact information.  Call them (or their representatives) and ask questions.

As for the measures, there are some heavy hitting and far-reaching measures this time around that deserve your careful consideration.  Go here to get a very basic summary of the measures.  To learn more about these measures, go to the North Dakota Secretary of State’s page where the measures are listed (click here) and do some reading.  Do your due diligence and know what you are voting for or against.  Think about the benefits and/or consequences of passing these measures.  Don’t let your only education on the candidates and measures be the inundation of drivel that has been put out by the proponents and the opponents of the candidates and measures.  All the commercials and print ads have done is stir-up a dust cloud that makes it almost impossible to get to the truth. Take responsibility for the North Dakota and America you want to live in – don’t become a puppet in the circus we have all come to abhor.

If you do not know where to go or how to vote in North Dakota, go to the state’s voting information page (click here).  Every jurisdiction has a nearby, easy-to-access polling place. If you have school-aged children, sit down with them and use this opportunity to teach them about the power and responsibility they wield as citizens.  Let them know that America is designed to be a “government of the people, by the people, and for the people” (thank you Mr. Lincoln) and that requires that “the people” actively engage.

Let’s get our country back on track and send the partisan politic circus packing. I personally have seen enough of the juggling monkeys, balancing acts, and freak show to last me a lifetime.  Vote tomorrow and be a part of the solution.  Together, we can take back our country.

Day one thousand five hundred and eighty of the new forty – obla di obla da

Ms. C

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Rocky Horror and the virgins…

We went to the second to last performance of Rocky Horror last night at The Stage at Island Park.  The campy musical was put on by Music  Theatre Fargo-Moorhead (MTFM) and sought to offer the midnight movie theater experience in a musical theater offering. It was bawdy, funny, and in some cases, gleefully raunchy. MTFM, in staying true to the iconic film, maintained the familiar costuming of the movie; hence, a number of the characters were either scantily dressed or down to their underwear for a large portion of the performance.

Diehard fans of Rocky Horror know that the plot is carried by an almost constant message of sexual liberation.  The comfortable, stoic lines of sexuality and gender in polite society are decimated in every which way possible.  To its credit, MTFM did not shy away from all the overt sexuality – indeed, it romped through it with abandonment.  It was the most sexually-charged theater performance (times ten) that I have ever attended in the F-M area.  It was wild!

Audience members were provided with a series of audience participation items and with instructions to shout out prescribed “verbal abuse” whenever Brad or Janet’s names were uttered (I will not write the terms associated with Brad and Janet as they are considered profane by most).  It was a performance of almost constant audience engagement coupled with a cast that was well-versed in whipping the audience into a frenzy – in some instances, literally.  The quality and extent of the choreography, coupled with the fabulous costuming, delicious characters, and layered dialogue that was infused with double entendres created an experience like no other.

Bravo MTFM for a FABULOUS performance! The entire cast and crew were top notch!

I must say though, while I really enjoyed the performance,  I enjoyed almost as much the two nice ladies sitting next to us in the front row.  These ladies, both older ladies, had season passes and attend all the plays.  They came to Rocky Horror having no real idea what it was about.  It wasn’t until intermission when Mike was chatting with them that we learned that they were Rocky Horror virgins and that they were not at all expecting to see what they saw.  This made the fact that they were within touching distance of scantily clad dancers even more hysterical to me.  I can’t say that I would want my grandma at such a play, but now that I am one of the grandmas in the room I don’t know if I am the barometer for appropriateness.  But bless these ladies’ hearts, they stayed through it all with smiles on their face.  Through all the sexual content, profanity, and in-your-face freaky time fun – they stayed and smiled and on occasion, they laughed.

But the best part about these two was that when I asked the ladies their names they told me they were Marie and Janet.  So not only did the ladies make it through the entire play, but Janet made it through two hours of the audience providing verbal abuse every single time her name was uttered.  I laugh still at the thought of these two ladies sitting quietly in their seats taking in the spectacle that is Rocky Horror without a clue about the rich history of its cult following and all the interactions from the audience. One thing is for sure, they are no longer virgins. 😉