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Tomorrow is a HUGE day for those in California (gay, straight, trans, and everything in between!) who believe in equal rights FOR ALL, in this case the right for everyone to marry the person they love. Of course it isn’t JUST for those in California since this outcome will send a signal to the rest of our country and the world. Fingers crossed it’s a signal of equality and hope. Please watch the following video and TAKE PART in tonight’s vigils across not only California, but other areas of the country.
This anticipation of change is exciting folks, it’s REALLY exciting.
From Eve of Justice:
EVE OF JUSTICE
The Eve of Justice: Lighting the way for the Supreme Court
Wednesday, March 4 is the day before the California Supreme Court hears oral arguments on the validity of Prop 8. That evening, we’ll stand together and send a unified message to our fellow Californians, including the Supreme Court Justices, that individual liberties like the right to marry are guaranteed by the Constitution to everyone and cannot be stripped away at the ballot box by a bare majority. Just as important, we will give our love and support to all the families headed by same-sex couples who are threatened by the recent electoral outcome, as well as same-sex couples whose hopes and dreams of marriage and family have been frustrated by enactment of Prop 8.
To read the parties’ filings and the dozens of amicus ‘friend of the court’ briefs filed on behalf of Civil Rights Organizations, Bar Associations, Academics, Women’s Groups, Faith and Religious Groups, and many others go to http://www.courtinfo.ca.gov/courts/supreme/highprofile/prop8.htm
March 5th – Supreme Court Oral Argument Hearing 9am to noon.
Television viewing: http://www.courtinfo.ca.gov/courts/supreme/highprofile/prop8viewing.htm
Local Public Viewings: Check your local city for viewing locations as they become available.
Equality should not be put up for a popular vote.
• Prop 8 is a radical and unprecedented change to the California Constitution that puts all Californians at risk.
• Prop 8 defeats the very purpose of our constitution, which is to protect minorities and to make sure the law treats everyone equally.
• This is the first time the initiative process has successfully been used to change the California Constitution to take away a fundamental freedom from a particular group and to mandate government discrimination against a minority.
• If prop 8 is upheld, the courts will no longer have a meaningful role in protecting minority groups or women, since any decision prohibiting discrimination could be reversed by a simple majority.
Nationwide/Statewide Sponsors of Eve of Justice
Hope everyone who celebrates Christmas is having an enjoyable Christmas Eve (more so than it appears my pooch Rudy did in the accompanying picture; rest assured his tail WAS wagging at the time), although for most of you it’s already Christmas. I’m coming down off of too much sugar, and a bit too much of the yummy Wilson Creek almond champagne, so thought I’d pop on over and post a quick blog.
My nephews and I have been tracking Santa Claus on NORAD tonight (really fun site I was turned onto last Christmas–thanks Donna!), and as pathetic as it sounds, even though they’ve just gone to bed I’m quite sure I’ll keep checking the updates and watching the videos. Hey, it’s fun to “be a kid” for a little bit. I suppose it’s that “wishful thinking” state which has me posting this video of Santa’s trip to Paris, France, since I’m hoping maybe one day I’ll be spending the holidays there myself. Hey, I DID say it was wishful thinking. Right now NORAD has Santa tracked in Tucson, Arizona, so at least he’s getting closer to good old SoCal.
Speaking of SoCal, thanks to WordPress I’m having a white Christmas without having to head up to the mountains. Until January 2nd, the good folks at WordPress are giving us the gift of blog snow. (Anyone else getting a visual from The Breakfast Club right now? lol)
We opened family gifts early since the Chargers were playing the Broncos on Monday Night Football. No way in heck we’d be focusing on what the kiddos were opening while the game was on, and the nephews had NO problems with being given a MUCH earlier gift opening time. I’m sure they’ll be hoping the Chargers play every Christmas Eve if it means getting at those presents earlier! I’m just wishing the Chargers had been playing as well all season as they did tonight in their dominance over the Denver Broncos (23-3). Always nice to pull out a win over a division rival.
Before I head off to “help Santa” with a last-minute request in a note my five-year-old nephew penned for the jolly old man in the red suit tonight (this is in addition to the note to the right asking for a guitar), I’ll leave you with a classic rendition of “Santa Baby” by the absolutely amazing, Ms Eartha Kitt. Thanks for sending it along to me, Janice–love it. Off to put on those elf ears!
Today, October 11th, is National Coming Out Day, so I thought I’d post a little information from the Human Rights Campaign web site. For those who have yet to come out, know that there is support out there, sometimes where you’d least expect it. And for those of you like myself, who have “come out” as straight supporters of GLBT rights, keep your voices strong. This is an issue of common sense, common decency, compassion, and most of all love.
T.R. Knight PSA for GLAAD
From the Human Rights Campaign web site:
About Coming Out as a Straight Supporter (from the HRC web site)
A straight ally is someone who is not gay, lesbian, bisexual or transgender (GLBT) but personally advocates for GLBT equal rights and fair treatment. Straight allies are some of the most effective and powerful advocates for the GLBT movement. These allies have proven invaluable personally and politically, and are increasingly important in the fight for GLBT equality. Indeed, their voices often have been heard while those of GLBT people have been ignored.
Coming out as a straight ally may be an extremely challenging experience, but many find that it is unexpectedly rewarding. Some may think that advocating on behalf of GLBT equality is solely the responsibility of those who are affected by the inequality.
But as straight ally Caleb Baker has put it: “U.S. Representative John Lewis once said that the next great movement in America would be the gay rights movement. His words make me remember there are white people fighting for black people’s rights in the civil rights movement. There are men fighting for women’s rights in the feminist movement. I would be greatly ashamed if there were no straight people fighting for gay rights in our movement.” (GLSEN’s Students and GSA’s Yearbook)
Like GLBT people, straight allies will find that coming out is not a one-time event, but rather a lifelong journey.
Opinion polls show that people who know someone who is gay or lesbian are more likely to support equal rights for all gay and lesbian people. Anecdotal evidence also suggests that the same is true for people who know someone who is bisexual or transgender.
A couple of reminders…
Cyndi Lauper on The View discussing True Colors Tour 2007
Cyndi Lauper on The View singing “True Colors”
While AB 8 (horrible compromise bill) and SB 840 (infinitely superior bill) are California-specific pending legislation, the ramifications of which bill is ultimately passed (if any) will ring throughout our country since insurance companies, the medical industry, and politicians will be watching to see what they can get away with in YOUR state. Please take heed and most definitely take action. The following letters are reprinted with permission from the “Health Care for All” MySpace blog.
TAKE ACTION to STOP AB-8. Everybody in California can go to: Legislator Search – Type in your zip code and call your Senator and follow up with e-mails no later than 9/11. And please forward this to all your e-mail lists off MySpace in California. Please see below the official Health Care For All opposition letter on AB8 for talking specific talking points.
California’s Unhealthy Bill: Fake Healthcare Reform A Victory for Schwarzenegger — And a Boon for Insurance Companies
Posted September 5, 2007 | 10:10 PM (EST)
In alliance with Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger, Democratic leaders of the state Legislature, led by Assembly Speaker Fabian Nuñez are rushing to enact a substandard health reform plan that will not reduce the health insecurity of California families.
They’re apparently even willing to jeopardize Sen. Barbara Boxer and their own party’s slim hold on the United States Senate along the way.
Here’s the deal: Nuñez and some other Democrats are actively working with Schwarzenegger to put together a “compromise” healthcare package.
Schwarzenegger, the main architect of that plan, gets to claim credit for supposedly solving the state’s healthcare crisis using “bipartisan consensus.” As collateral damage to Democrats, Schwarzenegger can tout this deal to boost his candidacy against Boxer in 2010.
Nuñez could then get the governor’s support for extending his term as speaker.
This constellation of events may be dandy for a career politician or two, but it leaves behind a lot of other Californians, who will have to contend with a poor healthcare bill full of holes.
AB 8 does nothing to rein in rising insurance premiums — up 87% nationally this decade — or rising co-pays, deductibles and other health fees. Which means that costs, already unaffordable for far too many, would continue to spin out of control.
The bill fails to limit rising prescription drug costs, especially notable at a time when Schwarzenegger has just eliminated funding for his “voluntary” drug price restraints that were so ballyhooed last year by the governor and the authors of AB 8.
It is not universal, as many of the currently uninsured would remain without access to care. It fails to assure uniform, comprehensive benefits, and therefore perpetuates an increasingly multi-tiered health system based on the ability to pay.
It fails even to require insurance companies to provide insurance. They would not have to offer coverage to those with serious medical conditions — those people would instead be dumped into a publicly funded high-risk pool, earning big insurance companies millions in additional profits while bankrupting the public pool with the sickest, costliest patients.
The bill does not even protect patients’ choice of physicians, hospitals or other providers.
And, most critically, the plan reinforces and expands an insurance-based system — the source of much of the present crisis — thereby subverting real reform for years to come.
At the center of the plan is a mandate on businesses to either provide health coverage or pay taxes into a fund to buy it for their employees. The new tax would fall between the 7.5% of payroll costs favored by Nuñez and the 4% Schwarzenegger proposes.
No matter where the compromise figure ends up, it will be far less than many employers now pay for health benefits. One-fourth of all California businesses that provide health benefits currently pay more than 15% of their payroll for health premiums, according to the California Healthcare Foundation. As a result, businesses that now provide health coverage to employees would have an incentive to drop it.
Moreover, the mandate on employers is unlikely to survive a legal challenge; a similar Maryland bill was thrown out by the federal courts for violating federal benefits law.
Schwarzenegger continues to push his proposal to force most uninsured people to buy insurance or face severe penalties. So far, Democrats have resisted this proposal, but many expect them to accept some form of individual mandate as the final price for Schwarzenegger’s blessing for the term limits initiative.
Last year, Democrats united behind SB 840, a single-payer-style, enhanced “Medicare for all” bill that would have provided guaranteed healthcare for everyone, controlled costs, eliminated co-pays and deductibles, guaranteed choice of provider, and gotten the insurance companies out of the way.
Similar systems are succeeding in every other industrialized democracy — including Schwarzenegger’s homeland, Austria. If the politicians in Sacramento are concerned about patient care, they will not now settle for a bad healthcare bill that will further degrade our healthcare safety net. A bad healthcare bill is worse than no bill.
Deborah Burger, RN is president of the California Nurses Association.
Health Care for All California, a statewide chapter-based organization, has led the movement to pass single payer health care since 1997. HCA sponsors both SB 840 (Kuehl) and the OneCareNow Campaign, a growing grassroots movement to pass single payer health care. SB 840, now called the “gold standard of health care,” would solve the state’s health care crisis by providing for equitable and affordable universal health insurance and a single standard of high quality comprehensive care while preserving the state’s health care infrastructure of providers, hospitals and pharmacies as private and competitive businesses.
We oppose AB 8 for the following reasons:
- AB 8 will expand the health insurance industry, not solve the health care crisis.
First and foremost, under the banner of moving toward universal health care, instead, AB 8 will leave millions uninsured or underinsured while strengthening and perpetuating an insurance system that currently rations health care by excluding those who cannot afford to pay the high cost of insurance premiums. Insurance companies decide what is covered and what is not. They deny care to the uninsured, the underinsured and the insured with preexisting conditions. Health insurance companies ration health care to secure profits.
The unsolvable issue for the status quo is that although health care is treated as such, it is not a commodity. It is a life-giving and life-saving service that is needed by everyone. Providing affordable and quality health care for Californians is not the mission of for-profit insurance entities. AB 8 will not alter the profit motives of this industry, nor will it change the responsibility insurance companies have to their stockholders. The reforms AB 8 proposes to place on current insurance practices will not solve the state’s health care crisis. Instead, they will result in higher insurance prices for individuals, businesses and governments.
- AB 8 does not provide for the necessary cost controls to achieve affordable health care.
Both state and national studies indicate that including all residents in a single risk pool that is insured by a government administered non-profit insurance trust fund is the only method that will save billions of health care dollars–enough to provide affordable and comprehensive universal health care. Although AB 8 provides for preventative health care, disease management and administrative cost controls, it does not do enough to control costs. With its piece meal approach, AB 8 cannot achieve the significant cost savings that a single payer system can. In addition to the above measures, a system as provided by SB 840 can control costs by establishing evidenced based standards of care and by utilizing capital investment management, consolidated budgetary authority, system-wide health care planning and the state’s power to negotiate lower prices for durable medical devices and bulk prescription drugs for 36 million Californians.
- AB 8 does not provide protections needed to guarantee affordability.
This bill leaves too many Californians vulnerable to health care reform that will be too expensive, will not provide enough coverage and for many, no coverage at all. AB 8 does not provide for guaranteed affordability and does not limit co-payments, deductibles or other out-of pocket costs. Although AB 8 does allow for premium subsidies for enrollees with household incomes at or below 300 percent of the poverty line, it does not provide a benchmark for cost sharing between employers and employees.
AB 8 requires that all defined employers spend 7.5 percent of Social Security wages on health care expenditures, which includes purchasing health care coverage for their employees and could include as well, contributions to health savings accounts and other health care programs that do not provide direct health care coverage.Many employers who currently provide health care coverage spend more than 7.5 percent of Social Security wages for the coverage they provide to their employees. AB 8 does not provide minimum coverage standards for the employer market, which could encourage some of these employers to reduce or drop the coverage they provide.
According to a recent Kaiser Family Foundation survey, premiums for employer-sponsored family health coverage have increased by 73 percent since 2000, while wages increased only 15 percent concurrently. AB 8 provides for no state oversight of health insurance rates.
A recent joint report by the California Budget Project and the UCLA Center for Health Policy Research finds that “many families spend a substantial amount on health care premiums and out-of-pocket costs, and could face financially devastating medical expenses if they are not adequately protected.” The report states that health care reform legislation should take into account the income needed in California to pay for other necessities such as housing, food, child care, and the risk of extraordinary health care costs. The report suggests placing limits on out-of-pocket costs as well as full subsidies up to 200 percent of the poverty line and partial subsidies “well above” 300 percent of the poverty line. AB 8 does not do this.
AB 8 will place many individuals and families in harm’s way.
Yesterday Mattel announced it’s THIRD recall in just over one month (8/2/07: Fisher-Price Recall Notice (Lead Poisoning)/Links to info/China involved AGAIN!, 8/14/07:Another Mattel recall: lead paint and powerful, loose magnets) due to “violation of lead paint standard”. The whole recall/China/lead scenario kind of makes you want to get back to having the kids play with your empty cardboard boxes and creating parades with pots and lids as musical instruments, eh?
- Marketplace: Another Mattel recall makes three-marketplace.publicradio.org
- Mattel recalls another 800,000 toys worldwide-businessweek.com
- Mattel recall timeliness investigated-insideretailing.com
Important Web Sites
- U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission
- Mattel Product Recalls web site
Added 9/6/07: Here’s the video clip I mention in my comment (3rd one below). Quite telling in regard to how the bottom line ($$$) is ALWAYS going to outweigh health and safety…sigh.
Will 2007 forever be remembered as “The Year of the Recalls”, with overwhelming numbers of them traced back to China? First the never-ending melamine-tainted pet food scandal, then diethylene glycol-laced toothpaste and cough syrup, and for this month of August lead paint showing up in the worst place: children’s toys. It is the lead paint scare that is striking at the heart of Mattel, once again, and this time powerful, loose magnets (if swallowed they can cause intestinal blockage) are added to the toy giant’s woes.
Here are some links to stories covering the issue, along with news of a law suit being filed in the case of the previous lead paint recall by Mattel’s Fisher-Price unit a couple weeks ago, and news of the suicide of a Chinese executive involved with the Fisher-Price recall.
- Mattel Recalls About 9 Million Toys-Wall Street Journal
- Mattel Adds 9 Million Toys to the Recall-knbc.com
- Florida Parent Sues Mattel Over Toy After Recall-Reuters
- Chinese Export Executive Commits Suicide After Mattel Recall-knbc.com
Here are recall information links:
- www.recalls.gov (Seems there are so many recalls constantly taking place that the government has created a “one stop shopping” location for all things recall. Anyone else find that somewhat disturbing? That we should need a government-sponsored web site for recalls instead of our government doing more to prevent recalls in the first place?)
- Mattel Product Recall page
- U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission
Here we go again, folks! We are now facing ANOTHER Chinese-manufactured items recall due to a lead poisoning hazard, this time nearly one million Fisher-Price toys. Below is a copy of the recall notice from the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission. This recall comes on the heels of the Thomas the Tank Engine recall, also due to lead poisoning items manufactured in China. Here is an interesting read from early July where China says the entire safety issue is being “hyped” by the media, and it seems they are parroting the same “Chinese exports are safe” line in this article posted today, yet softening their stance in this one. Here’s hoping that the US team currently in Beijing for talks regarding more stringent regulations with the food and drug trade between our country and China, will be able to come home with rules in place which will have us all breathing a bit easier regarding the safety of products we use for ourselves and our pets.
- 9/27/07: More items recalled today!
Here are a couple of links to Mattel pages:
8/1/07 Fisher-Price Toys with Lead Paint Hazard Recall
ALL Mattel recalls
NEWS from CPSC
U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission
Office of Information and Public Affairs Washington, DC 20207
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
August 2, 2007
Firm’s Recall Hotline: (800) 916-4498
CPSC Recall Hotline: (800) 638-2772
CPSC Media Contact: (301) 504-7908
Fisher-Price Recalls Licensed Character Toys Due To Lead Poisoning Hazard
WASHINGTON, D.C. – The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission, in cooperation with the firms named below, today announced a voluntary recall of the following consumer product. Consumers should stop using recalled products immediately unless otherwise instructed. Name of Product: Sesame Street, Dora the Explorer, and other children’s toys
Units: About 967,000
Importer: Fisher-Price Inc., of East Aurora, N.Y.
Hazard: Surface paints on the toys could contain excessive levels of lead. Lead is toxic if ingested by young children and can cause adverse health effects.
Incidents/Injuries: None reported.
Description: The recalled involves various figures and toys that were manufactured between April 19, 2007 and July 6, 2007 and were sold alone or as part of sets. The model names and product numbers for the recalled toys, which are all marked with “Fisher-Price,” are listed below. The toys may have a date code between 109-7LF and 187-7LF marked on the product or packaging.
Sold at: Retail stores nationwide from May 2007 through August 2007 for between $5 and $40.
Manufactured in: China
Remedy: Consumers should immediately take the recalled toys away from children and contact Fisher-Price. Consumers will need to return the product and will receive a voucher for a replacement toy of the consumer’s choice (up to the value of the returned product).
Consumer Contact: For additional information contact Fisher-Price at (800) 916-4498 anytime or visit the firm’s Web site at www.service.mattel.com
(PRODUCT LISTED REMOVED DUE TO FORMATTING ISSUES: please click link above for entire list.)
—Send the link for this page to a friend! The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission is charged with protecting the public from unreasonable risks of serious injury or death from more than 15,000 types of consumer products under the agency’s jurisdiction. Deaths, injuries and property damage from consumer product incidents cost the nation more than $700 billion annually. The CPSC is committed to protecting consumers and families from products that pose a fire, electrical, chemical, or mechanical hazard or can injure children. The CPSC’s work to ensure the safety of consumer products – such as toys, cribs, power tools, cigarette lighters, and household chemicals – contributed significantly to the 30 percent decline in the rate of deaths and injuries associated with consumer products over the past 30 years.
To report a dangerous product or a product-related injury, call CPSC’s hotline at (800) 638-2772 or CPSC’s teletypewriter at (800) 638-8270, or visit CPSC’s web site at www.cpsc.gov/talk.html. To join a CPSC email subscription list, please go to www.cpsc.gov/cpsclist.aspx. Consumers can obtain this release and recall information at CPSC’s Web site at www.cpsc.gov.
Thanks to a VERY generous and spontaneous friend (Thanks, Jackson ;)), I’ll be hitting the True Colors Tour 2007 when it makes its final stop in Los Angeles at the Greek Theatre on June 30th. Totally something to look forward to, for so many reasons (especially after finding out just today that The Cliks are rearranging their own tour schedule in order to add the last three True Colors gigs–woo-hoo!), but especially since it will be a incredibly memorable time spent with fabulous friends.
Btw, the LA stop is SOLD OUT (Not sure if more tickets have been released or what the deal is, but TicketMaster is no longer showing the LA show as sold out), so I would highly recommend jumping on tickets for the other remaining shows NOW!
I’ll let the following Cyndi Lauper interview on The View fill you in on what the True Colors Tour 2007 is all about, and I’ll include links to the MySpace pages of several of the scheduled performers. I do have to say, though, that I continue to shake my head in disgust, dismay, and ultimately sadness, over the fact that so many people continue to harbor such hatred toward others just due to one’s sexual orientation. Sigh. Life is far too short, folks. Appreciate the incredible diversity around you (who on earth wants to be just like everyone else?), embrace it, and for crying out loud just get out there and enjoy the heck out of life!
- Human Rights Campaign
- True Colors Tour 2007
- Cyndi Lauper
- Margaret Cho
- Debbie Harry
- The Dresden Dolls (Seriously obsessed with this fascinating duo over the past 24 hours!)
- The Gossip (What a powerful voice their lead singer has!)
- The Misshapes
- The Cliks (just added to the San Diego, San Francisco, and Los Angeles shows)
- Jeffree Star
True Colors lyrics
You with the sad eyes
Don’t be discouraged
Oh I realize
It’s hard to take courage
In a world full of people
You can lose sight of it all
And the darkness inside you
Can make you feel so small
But I see your true colors
I see your true colors
And that’s why I love you
So don’t be afraid to let them show
Your true colors
True colors are beautiful,
Like a rainbow
Show me a smile then,
Don’t be unhappy, can’t remember
When I last saw you laughing
If this world makes you crazy
And you’ve taken all you can bear
You call me up
Because you know I’ll be there
And I’ll see your true colors
I see your true colors
And that’s why I love you
So don’t be afraid to let them show
Your true colors
True colors are beautiful,
Like a rainbow
Happy Hallmark Day everyone! Okay, was that a tad cynical? 😉 As someone who isn’t involved with anyone right now, it’s not a day that’s really high on my list, BUT I am all about spreading some love and happiness, so figured I’d do so with this video which I ADORE! If you haven’t heard about the Free Hugs Campaign, check out the videos first, expect the warm fuzzies to overtake you, then head over to either Juan Mann’s website or his MySpace page and get involved. Hey, getting involved can mean just hugging the person (or pet :)) next to you. It’s a start, right?
Slight cynicism about this day aside, Happy Day of Love to all of you, and especially to my family, my poochie, and my good buds! 😉
Another beautiful, sunshiny day in Southern California, then BAM! Literally.
I was driving north on the 5 (Interstate 5 for non-locals ;)), heading off to meet some friends for a drink after having just had my hair cut and colored (yes, I freely admit to that), the sun was dipping closer and closer to the ocean. Then suddenly I experienced something I can only describe as being like what I imagine a sonic boom would be: a big boom in my ears and instant pressure all around me, but especially on my forehead and nose. I instinctively closed my eyes, then when I opened them it was much darker. I was looking straight at the front windshield and took a second to comprehend that it was dark because my car’s hood had flipped open and come careening smack-dab at me. I then realized the windshield was shattered into a million small crevices, yet amazingly (and thankfully!) still attached to the car. (Here’s an interesting article about windshields.) Keep in mind, all this is happening as I’m cruising along about 65-70 mph, but I was in the slow lane (someplace you’ll RARELY find me), so was able to pull over to the shoulder. Weird thing is that in the middle of all this instant chaos, I remembered to flip on my turn signal! Go figure.
As if all that wasn’t fun enough, the shoulder was extremely narrow, with each auto (and especially buses) practically pulling my car along with them, AND to top it all off I apparently did NOT receive my renewal notice for AAA, so was in a grace period! Thankfully the gal that assisted me on the phone was great and gladly took my credit card info to instantly renew my membership to the AAA Plus status. With the kind of (bad) luck I have with cars, I always like to have their extra 100 mile tow option. Sure came in handy tonight. Okay, it came in handy a couple of other nights, too.
It’s weird that even though the whole thing really shook the hell out of me (although it really didn’t hit me until about 4 hours later when I was finally alone and the reality of what “could have been” really sank in), there was also a reminder of just how amazing a connection with a stranger can be. The sweet AAA driver who came to save me from my twisted mess on the freeway ended up being such a calming presence, just by having an interesting conversation with me during our nearly one hour ordeal. Him just being “normal” and talking with me about people, life, education, helped keep me from having a well-deserved mini-meltdown. Thank you for that, Erwin!
So even though this day had a decidedly “icky” aspect to it and I’m still picking tiny bits of windshield out of my clothing, I can ONLY look at how lucky I am. I’m lucky that things weren’t much worse….they easily could have been. I’m lucky that no one else was injured…that would be unbearable. I’m lucky I have family who drops what they’re doing to come get me at the shop we towed the car to, then gladly forks over one of their cars to me so I can get around. I’m lucky I have friends who worry about me and delay their plans just to make sure I’m okay (did you get your decaf? ;)). But most of all, what I got from this big-time wake-up call was that you really never DO know when it just might be your time. Yes, this time I escaped with just some seriously shaken nerves, a crunched up hood, and a shattered windshield, but who knows what the future holds? All I know right now is that I plan on making good use of what time I do have. How about you?