Wednesday, October 15, 2008

The Poor Always Among Us?

So here I sit...supposed to be blogging about poverty, when all that comes to mind is a recent conversation I had with a friend. The conversation started when he lamented that his colleagues weren't getting his humor. I told him that when I lived in Africa they didn't get sarcasm (which obviously drips from my tongue - if you know me you know this is true) and that it was a rough couple of years (from a humor standpoint). He wondered if the lack of sarcasm in Sub-Saharan Africa was a factor in agriculture and political stability.
He finally connected the two (okay MAYBE it was a bit of a stretch connecting the Sahara with lack of appreciation for sarcasm to lack of water, leading to no food.) but now that I think about it, I have to wonder. Why IS there so much poverty in the world? Why does it seem to flourish in some areas/countries more than others?

Perhaps sarcasm is not the answer to poverty, political stability, and food in Sub-Sahara Africa. Perhaps it all starts with caring about those in poverty, becoming aware of those in poverty, being so affected by it that you can no longer sit by and do nothing.

For more information about worldwide poverty check out

A little less talk and a lot more action? Check out

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Smalltown, America

As many of you know, I leave a week from Saturday to go to China. I'm visiting a friend who teaches English at a university. She asked me to bring a few items which includes, but is not limited to, the following:

Velveeta (let's face it, we ALL eat'd miss it to if you were denied the ability to purchase it!)
Reese's Peanut Butter Cups

I love her priorities!

SO- I wanted to make sure she had enough. I bought four boxes of Velveeta, four jars of Joe T. Garcia's salsa (if you have to buy it you might as well buy the best!) and four bags of Reese's, two of the regular size and two of the miniature's (you know, just to mix it up a bit...).

I decided to do the self-check out because somehow I thought it would be faster and I wouldn't have to pretend to be nice to anyone (yeah, it's just been one of those weeks I guess). I put everything on the conveyor belt and began to realize how strange it looked. I was actually embarrassed to have four boxes of Velveeta and the same number of bags of Reese's. All of the sudden I hear this voice RIGHT behind me saying, "Looks like you're gonna have a good time!" I turned around and there is a fairly large man looking at me like it's Christmas and he wants a feast at my also looked like he was bringing his wife...
I kind of laughed and said yeah, my thought? Better for them to think this is all I eat than to engage in conversation that is sure to lead to drivel (if you've read my blog before you probably already know the outcome of this post). Then his wife chimes in, are you having a party? I decided to go for the gold and tell them EXACTLY what it was for. If you can't ignore them, might was well confuse them!
I simply stated that where my friend lived she couldn't buy these items. She was living out of the country and I was going to take these items to her.
NO LIE, the woman looks at me like it was a crime to not be able to buy Velveeta and then says, "She must be in another state!"
Okay so if you're like me you're totally laughing...although I give myself credit for keeping it all inside and a serious face.
I re-stated that she was OUT OF THE COUNTRY...she lives in another country where you can't buy these things. I'm buying these things for her...and taking them to her, where she another country. Once I figured this had cleared things up she begins to tell me about her sister who lives in California and can't buy Ranch Style Beans.
-I'm sorry I just keep laughing out loud and am having a hard time finishing this blog...-
So apparently her sister buys large boxes of them while she's here and then takes them back to California. I kind of faded out at this point and finished my purchase which was taking WAY too long and left.

I left with these thoughts, whether they be wrong or right.
Most people in Smalltown, America have no clue about the world beyond their own. I'm so thankful for my experiences and the ability to see so much of the world.
Maybe it all begins with small steps. These people had insight of what it's like in California, perhaps their next step is global...

Thursday, October 2, 2008

Do You Find It Funny?

Do you ever wonder why we find certain things funny? I'm sitting here as I type this watching that show America's Funniest Videos. At least I assume that's still it's name. I was flipping channels looking for something interesting to watch while I do a little Internet stalking...I settled for this show. I'll admit, it's mostly a dumb show but from time to time there is a funny video on there...tonight there are several. Now, I would go into detail about what was so funny but that's what made me think of writing this. (Okay like I ever need a "real" topic to write about-this may be the "fluffiest" blog you've ever read) What is funny? Funny is subjective. Isn't it? There are a few people I know that I would classify as funny.

Josh Warthen - this guy is hilarious...just try playing Balderdash with this guy. You may know exactly which answers are his, but they'll have you laughing so hard you won't care about the rest of the game. Josh has random humor. I remember him renaming both dogs we had in college. He would spend all night calling Scout by another name until the poor dog actually believed that was his name.

Brent Sorrels - (though I'll admit, with his wife they are a dynamic duo) can make me laugh at absolutely nothing. Maybe it's not so much what he says as how he says it.

Zain Hakeem - Most of Zain's hilarity comes via Sheri Hull. However I would have to say his theory on One Child Left Behind, while making some sense, has me in stitches every time I read it. Yes, that's right, One Child Left Behind. While I had full intention of posting a couple of bits or pieces I wouldn't want to butcher the masterpiece that it is or suck the funniness out of it in anyway. (*For the full theory shoot me an email and I can share it with you.)

This is not a conclusive list of those that make me laugh. I bring these people up because their humor is perhaps subjective. While I (and many others) think them quite funny or even hilarious, some people just don't get their sense of humor, some people just don't find them funny (I'm actually quite sure these people have NO sense of humor but, whatever...). While I'm glad there is such a variety of humor in this world to satisfy everyone's funny bone, I'm most thankful for wit, dry humor, and the occasional practical joke...

*Pending approval from Zain. After all, it's his theory...