Tag Archives: Eurovision song contest

Broth or Juice?

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I made the work kids ramen the other night for dinner – just the cheap packaged stuff – nothing to get excited about. Anyway, after all the noodles were gone the kids wanted to know if there was any juice left.

Shudder.

For whatever reason that totally grosses me out. It’s not juice it’s broth. When I told them this, they all looked at me blankly as if no one had ever called the liquid part of soup broth before. What are they teaching in schools these days?

I didn’t correct them again but every time they called it juice my stomach rolled, so gross.

Why this bothers me out so much I have no idea.

Is there something innocent people say that makes you shudder? Do you call it broth or juice?

Today’s Music Monday song is by Ivi Adamou ‘La La Love’ it’s Cyprus’ entry tot he 2012 Eurovison Song Contest.

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Alica’s OCD tips for Holiday Happiness (pat. pending)

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By now most of you have gotten all of the holiday decorations put away, new gifts have found homes, and at least one credit card statement has shown up in the mail; you may or may not have been brave enough to open it yet.

One thing I feel safe betting on is most of you have vowed to do things differently next year. But how are you going to do that? What can you change to make the next holiday season better and do you really need to think about it now?

I have become one of those people who shops for gifts year round, mostly because I am addicted to teefury.com they have one-of-a-kind tee shirts. A new one each day and only for the day. So if I see something that is perfect for my sister I have to buy it right then, or it’ll be gone.

Tee shirts might not be your thing, but there are simple things you can do now that will make next year’s credit card bills less painful.
If you are crafty, start now. I’ll be picking a new pattern for knitted gifts and start working on them now so I have plenty for next holiday season and I’m not up at 3am knitting as fast as I can while watching a marathon of Say Yes to the Dress.

If you have storage space start buying things as you see them. Would your cousin love that book? Your son that dinosaur? Your husband that new bedroom toy? Go ahead and get it now. I have a storage box I tuck gifts into as I get them. And if dinos have been replaced by robots by next year, give it to another child on your list or donate it to one of the many toy drives.

“But I don’t have storage space,” you wail. Fear not I have a plan for that too. Gift cards. No, you don’t have to give them gift cards as gifts, but buy gifts cards to the stores you shop at most for the holiday and spend them instead of using your credit card. This is great for those of us who don’t save well. Tuck them in a safe place that you’ll remember. Every time you go to one of the big chain stores pick up a gift card to the place where you shopped the most this year. Me, I’ll be colleting Amazon gift cards. If you’re worried about your money tied up in gift cards you can’t use, buy Visa gift cards.

I know thinking about the holidays now doesn’t feel right or takes the fun out of the season, but wouldn’t it be great to have the stress of gift shopping done by Dec 1st so you could actually enjoy all the parties?

For those of you who have vowed to “do things different” I encourage you to try some of my tips, a little bit of time and money now could mean a huge difference next holiday season.

While searching for a song I found that the 2012 Eurovison song contest has started!!!! I’m so excited, so I’ll post favorites, and weird songs, and whatever catches my fancy. Here is Switzerland’s entry this year. What do you think?

Music and Musings Monday

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Creating Diversity Tip Five: Don’t be afraid to offend people.
Redheads are often portrayed as sultry nymphomaniacs. No one minds writing us this way. Those of you who know me can just be quiet!

No one worries about offending redheads, and yet we bite our finger nails with fear about possibly offending someone of a different color, religion, or sexual orientation. Why? We are all people and while we should try not to stereotype people sometimes it just works.

Your bad guy could be any color, but when you close your eyes you see a skin head with a scar across his face. Your sexy black hero can dance if you want him too.

Whenever you say all X people are Y, you are stereotyping. When you say, Greg a Cree Indian raised by his grandfather in the mountains makes his living leading tours and tracking, you’re not stereotyping. Now if his cousin Paul who grew up in Cincinnati and is a lawyer can magically track, then we have a problem.

Some traits are true, and while not true of everyone can be true of some. Do all lesbians have short hair, bind their chests, and identify as male? No, but some do, and if your character does that doesn’t mean you’re stereotyping. Is your gay character flamboyant and a fabulous dresser? Maybe, why not. But his boyfriend could be a muscular cop whom no one would guess is gay and whose idea of dressing up is a button-down flannel shirt.

A good way to not offend people: be specific. Know your character, what drives them and where they are from. Is your Indian man third generation or eighth? What tribe is your Native American from? How accepting of gays is his family? These things make a difference, and the more specific, you are the fewer generalities you’ll use and the less chance of offending people.
Characters in stories are larger then life, and as long as you’re not saying this is how it is for all of “them,” then why not have your white southern belle scared when the guy in gang clothes comes into her shop. Then give him a teacup dog and polite manners to go with the tattoos covering his arms.

Remember you can’t make everyone happy, no matter what you do, so why try? Write your story, celebrate diversity, and be creative.

Tell me about a character you’ve thought of writing, but have been too afraid to because you don’t want to offend anyone.

Which stereotypes about you/people of your race, religion, or sexual orientation do you hate? Which ones do you encourage? Which ones are true about you or someone you know?

Drama Queen from Denmark, singer DQ

Monday Music and Musings

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Create Diversity Tip Three: basic research
I fear today’s tip isn’t very exciting, but basic research isn’t always very exciting. If you want to write about a place or people you don’t know, get yourself to the library and start researching. Now I will share a secret–get children’s books. While adult travel books do have some important information, children’s books have more sensory information: colors, sights, sounds, etc. This will help your book more than knowing the twenty top mid-range hotels in a city.

There is also a video series I like: ‘Families of the World.’ Each country has its own video, and there are two different families per country. You get to see a typical day in the household, including school, meals, and jobs.
My other tip for basic research: travel shows. You didn’t see that coming did you? I bet you’re shocked and amazed. But better then just any travel show, watch No Reservations and Bizarre Foods. Both of the hosts interact with the local people, go to local markets, and describe everything they are doing.


Don’t forget the food. I live in a college city, which means I’m lucky enough to have lots of different ethnic restaurants around. Check your local paper or phone book and see what options you have available to you. If they don’t have what you need, try cooking a dish from the culture you’re researching. Sunday’s at Moosewood is my favorite multi-cultural cook book, but head out to the library or search the internet for websites.

Find someone on the internet who knows the culture–either because they lived some place or have visited there. Reach out and ask, and those of you answering questions don’t get snippy, just smile and know that someone is trying to learn something new and answer the question.

For you Music Monday song I offer you a sweet sappy love song from Azerbaijan Running Scared by Eldar & Nigar

Music Monday

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Elitsa & Stoyan was the 2007 Bulgarian entry for Bulgaria. I love the older traditional music woven in with modern beats.

I have been reading We Are Not Alone by Kristen Lamb- it’s amazing and over the next few weeks I’m going to be adding to my blog, hopefully making this more interesting 🙂 So please chime in let me now what you like and what doesn’t work for you. Have a great Monday!

Music Monday

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I’ve spent a lot of time with the boys so the next few Monday’s will be dedicated to female singers. The first is Marija Serifovic who won the 2007 Eurovision song contest. She has a rich voice which is full of passion and I love that she sings in her native language. I also love that she is not a magazine beauty. Marija won because she is talented not because she looks like a Barbie doll. One of the things I like about foreign media is I’m more likely to find people who look like regular people- not all of them and not every time- but when I do find talented people being celebrated no matter what their dress size, or definition on their six pack it makes me happy.