Monday, March 29, 2010

I caved...I'm on (shiver) Twitter

I'm not sure I can adequately explain WHY I've fought this for so long, but I have. Maybe it's the limited number of characters (that promotes bad spelling and grammar). Maybe it's the fact that I know very few people that I care enough about to want to know when they're picking their belly buttons. Maybe it's just another way for me to waste time when I should be writing.

Whatever the reason(s), they didn't win today. I joined the site of shameless self-promotion, the place where self-centered individuals can bask in their own greatness while their followers hang on every mutilated sentence. Ugh.

But it's also the place where every major publisher and agent says a writer should have a presence, so I did it.

Please don't expect much from me right away. It'll take me a while to learn the ropes. In the meantime, I'll check in once a day. Feel free to follow me. I'm really hard to find - search for "karin" and "beery"...if I'm not there, let me know.

Saturday, March 27, 2010

Caffeine Hangover

There was a time in my life when I tipped back a few too many adult beverages (on a regular basis). It wasn't exactly the high point of my life, but I did it. It was always fun to let loose and relax...until the next day. Tired, dehydrated, fuzzy-brained, nauseated - hungover. Today is so much worse - tired, dehydrated, fuzzy-brained yet jittery, headache, weak muscles.

No, I didn't have alcohol. It was much worse - caffeine.

Many, many years ago, while I still lived with my parents, they switched to a caffeine-free home for health reasons. I didn't mind. I had always rationed my caffeine in college - I never drank it until the second half of the semester so it would still keep me up for finals. Then I'd quit when I got home, have a headache for a couple of days, and get back to normal.

Since then, I really only drink caffeine in emergencies - on a Friday night at 10 pm after church when I've averaged 5 hours of sleep a night and still have a 35 minute drive home. I can handle some coffee then and it won't bother me. Generally, however, Matt has a rule about me and caffeine - whoever gives it to me has to keep me over night (that rule is the result of one fateful night when I kept him up until 4am because I was bored being awake alone).

Staying caffeine-free isn't usually a problem. We only have decaf coffee at our house, the majority of our tea is herbal, and I RARELY have a soda, so I've maintained my heart-friendly beverage routine. Every once in a while, however, I venture into public alone. I wander into a coffee shop. The aroma embraces me and invites me to the counter. I pick my flavor and order a latte. Yummy :) After the cup is drained and my belly is full, I relax...usually.

Twice in the last five years, my body betrayed me. Instead of relaxing, my legs got to twitching. My arms spasm. The skin across my chest and back tightens, begging to be ripped off so my heart and muscles can break free to run without restraint. And that's when I know...I forgot to order decaf.

This isn't a minor inconvenience for me - it's a 24 hour sentence.

Yesterday I accidentally drank 8 oz. of regular coffee at 1pm. By 3pm I wanted to do jumping jacks. By 4pm, I needed to jig. By 5pm, a half-marathon, two hours in a weight room, and 500 stomach crunches sounded good.

None of this would have been a problem, except I couldn't do ANY of it. I was at the oncologist with Matt (he's healthy!), then at dinner with friends, then getting ready for church. NOT the places to release the energy of a three year-old (unless, of course, you're three). I had to hold it together and stay in my seat, but the caffeine needed an outlet! It found the only muscle that could work while keeping my butt in the chair - my tongue.

Yep. As if I don't talk fast enough already. Pump a measly 8 oz. of coffee into my system and you might as well have a conversation with an auctioneer. I felt AWFUL for our friends at dinner! We hadn't seen them in so long, and my jaw wouldn't stop yapping.

Fast-forward through the night - I was up until almost 2:30 am, then had restless dreams about people running around like they were on speed. When I finally forced myself out of was 10am. My morning was wasted.

It's now 2:45 pm, and I'm starting to feel a little bit like myself again. My arms stopped shaking. My heart isn't on the verge of exploding. I can sit still for more than five minutes at a time.

Say what you want about the effects of alcohol, but I'll take a bottle of wine over a cup of coffee any day.

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Health Care: My End

Over the past week I've had some interesting exchanges with people regarding the new health care bill. In fact, I've spent hours researching it online, listening to podcasts, watching interviews...I'm trying to be informed.

But it's now 11:00 pm and I'm still wide awake. I need to get up in six hours, but I'm not even close to being asleep. As I laid in bed praying, I know why.

If I had spent 15 seconds a day in prayer for every 1 minute I spent thinking about/arguing about/researching the health care bill, then I could have had some amazing time with God :)

I've let my focus shift - I've stopped looking at God and have left myself look at the world. Don't get me wrong - I live here, so I need to know what's going on, but it can't be my focus. When it becomes my focus, it displaces God.

I looked these words up tonight -
Exalt: to enhance the activity of
Worship: to regard with great devotion

Wow...if you look at the activity and devotion I've given to understanding and debating the health care bill, it's pretty obviously become the object of exaltation and worship in my life this week.

God, forgive me.

Scripture is clear - love the Lord with all of your heart, soul, mind, and strength. Have no God before him.

While I've definitely not been singing praises to the health care debate, nor have I been admiring it, what I HAVE been doing is waiting for others' responses so I can share my side of the story. I've been thinking of ways to explain myself. I've been mulling over it for hours. By doing that, I have NOT been giving God all of my mind.

When it comes down to it, this bill won't affect me at all. It doesn't matter if it keeps me in the poor house, gives me $5/month insurance, saves or crashes this country's economy. None of that will affect me, because I'm a child of God, and this world is not my home.

God has proven over and over again that HE is my provider - not Matt, not the State, not the Feds, not insurance. Through His perfect timing, Matt was diagnosed with cancer and treated. During that time neither of us worked full time, but we tithed and gave faithfully. We also paid off our debts and saved money for a down payment on a house. When you try to figure it out logically, it doesn't work - there's no way for two people on our low wages to have accomplished that much. But when you put your understanding aside and put your faith in God, it works.

It doesn't matter what happens to this government. It doesn't matter who fails or who succeeds. None of this really matters because this is just a short part of our eternal lives. What really matters is your faith - where have you put it? Is it in man, or God?

My faith is in God. He loves us, cherishes us, provides for us in His perfect way, in His perfect timing. Matt and I have believed that since we were married, and we need to cling to it today.

I've spent so much time arguing health care - people know EXACTLY where I stand regarding it. But do these same people know where I stand with God? Instead of arguing about laws that will someday cease, have I taken the time to share the truth of the One truth health giver? Instead of worrying about our freedom within this country, have I shared with them the truth of freedom in Christ?

No, I haven't, and that's what's keeping me awake, because it doesn't matter if this bill fails or succeeds. Eventually we will all end up in the same place. Whether rich or poor, black or white, young or old, the cost to maintain our physical health doesn't matter if we've allowed our spiritual health to deteriorate.

I'm not just speaking about being a spiritual person. I'm talking about our eternal spirits which will survive the fate of our physical forms. And the Bible is clear about our spiritual fate - there is one way to heaven, and that way is Jesus Christ.

Some people will be confused by this, others will be offended, some will cheer, and some will ignore it. Honestly, I don't care how it is received. What I care about is that I said it. It might not be the most eloquent statement of faith, and I doubt that it's grammatically correct (at 11:30 pm), but it's my statement of faith in God. It's my decision to stop focusing on the health care bill and to refocus on my Lord and Savior. It's my determination to be informed, involved, but not consumed by this world.

My faith is in God for all things. He has never left me nor forsaken me. He has always provided. His promises endure, even through dramatic governmental changes. more health care debate for me. I'll probably ignore the conversations about it. I might "like" something on Facebook, but that's it. I don't want to spend another minute defending my believes. I want to refocus. I'm going to refocus. It starts now.

Monday, March 22, 2010

Dorothy LIVES!!

Not Dorothy Gale...Dorothy Hamill. This morning I saw a lady with the Dorothy Hamill haircut. Not the newer, updated style. I'm talking 1970s. It made me giggle.

Sunday, March 14, 2010

Stop Segregation - The Census

Did you know: the Census is taken every ten years to determine the number of seats each state should have in the House of Representatives?

That's it. That's the ONLY reason you should answer the big question - how many people in your household.

But that's not what the Census form asks. Oh, no...they want to know your gender, your age, your race, and, very importantly, whether or not you own your own home.

Why? Will it effect the number of seats in the House? Nope. Will it change the number of seats in the Senate? (If you don't know the answer to this question, then stop now, retake Government 101 and realize that you will always hate the government as long as you don't understand it).

The ONLY reason government wants to know these things about you is so they can use you as political pawns in their great battle for unlimited power.

95% of John Smith's constituents are Hispanic
47% of women dislike Bill Jones
Only 22% of people in New York own their own homes - disgraceful! Let's give them all loans they can't afford so they can default on them later.

This information isn't about's not for our benefit and will in no way help US. It's for THEM - politicians. They want to play the numbers, but they need to know what those numbers are first. They want to figure out as much as they can so they can separate us into groups.

It's not about being American. It's about being the right age, race, and gender to help Sen. Ima Krook raise money, manipulate emotions, and get elected to another year of the good life.

If you're all about women's rights - don't answer the gender question.
If you're all about racial equality - don't answer the race question.
If you're all about keeping politicians honest and bringing the power back to the people - tell them how many people live in your house, then close the mailbox.

**And please, PLEASE remember - if anyone comes to your door and says they work for the Census, ask for identification and don't give them ANY other inf0. There are people working hard to report for the Census...and people working hard to steal your social security number and your identification.

Monday, March 08, 2010

Capitalism - The Liberal Conundrum

Capitalism: (noun) an economic system characterized by private or corporate ownership of capital goods, by investments that are determined by private decision, and by prices, production, and the distribution of goods that are determined mainly by competition in a free market (Merriam-Webster Dictionary)

Tomorrow Michael Moore's newest movie will be released on DVD. It's the story of how capitalism failed America. I have not seen it. I will not see it. I know lots of people who have different opinions on that, some of whom, I'm sure, are chomping at the bit to get their hands on a copy.

Here's your problem: if you rent this movie at Blockbuster, you're participating in and supporting our "broken" capitalist system. If you buy it, you're a capitalist. In fact, do you realize there's no way for you see this movie, which Moore shot in a capitalist country, using capitalist means, and by which system he'll make a hefty profit, without yourself being hypocritical.

Does Moore A) find his own seeds, plant them, grow the food, harvest it, and cook it himself, or B) does he go out to eat? If B, then thank capitalism.

Does Moore A) grow his own cotton, harvest it, turn it into cloth, then make his own clothes, or B) does he buy clothes at the store? On behalf of those who don't wish to see him naked, thank you capitalism.

It goes, on and on - if you are enjoying any goods purchased from retailers, wholesalers, or directly from the craftsman, thank capitalism.

And if you want to rent or buy this DVD so you can revel in the evil that is capitalism - thank capitalism for making it possible.

Wednesday, March 03, 2010

Class of 2000

Early this morning I had some weird dreams. Just before I woke up I was dreaming about a vacation in Hawaii. Sure, that sounds great, but here's what happened.

I had just landed at the airport, which doubled as a busy train station, and couldn't find my group. When I finally did, we were all sitting around in the station because one of my sister's bags was missing. Instead of going to the hotel to wait for it, everyone thought it would be a good idea to stay at the airport (huh??). After two sweaty hours, I decided to go to the hotel, and most of the crew came along. The hotel, however, was cylindrical and spun every few minutes. Not only was I getting dizzy, but I could never find the room because the hallway was always spinning away from the door.


But that's not what hit me - it was the people in the dream. My college classmates.

I can't believe it's been 10 years since we graduated from college. Our senior year we took a trip to New Orleans and had so much fun that we agreed we should do something every five years...and then reality set in :) More than half of us have kids (not!), less than half of us are still in Michigan, and do any of us have a "vacation fund" we can tap into for another fun trip?? Not here...I need a new car!

And then there are those pesky schedules. Planning a vacation was a great idea when we were in school, but who really gets spring break or summer vacation anymore? Not many of us. And during the one annually schedule get-together (Homecoming), I usually have plans (how about you?).

I'd love nothing more to jump on a cruise ship with my gals from Hillsdale, but how easy would that be? We'd need 12 state rooms for six girls because some of us (I'm looking west to California) are regularly breeding :) Unless we wanted to leave them at home, there would be a lot more testosterone going with us. And no matter how hard I tried, there's no way I'd be up at noon and out until 2am. Put me on the Senior Citizen deck, because I'm in bed by 10pm. things change. And for as much as I'd love to join my sisters on another trip, I have to confess that I like where I am - with my honey and my kitties in my little yellow office. I love you and I miss you, but I'm also very happy where I am.