Lifestyle

Dear wedding photographers, I think you're swell but, as a whole, your websites suck. First of all, turn the freaking music off. Seriously. I'm probably looking at your site at work and it's hard to find the off button and I probably don't like the music you picked nor do I care since I didn't come to you for music. Don't do it — you're going to get a potential client in trouble! Secondly, it should not take 100 years for your site or gallery to load. The best way to ensure this is to NOT USE FLASH! And while we're on the subject of the gallery, how to move from one picture to another should be obvious to my grandmother and I should be able to peruse the thumbnails. I should also be able to use the keyboard or the scroller on my mouse to move through the pictures (...
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Dear Sexual Abuse Survivor, I don’t really like the word victim. Even survivor has a strange connotation. And I’m not too keen on victor. None of those words encapsulate what happened to you, the devastation sexual abuse enacted on your heart. But we’re strangled by language sometimes–even writers can’t adequately express horror. I much like the word BRAVE. Because it’s so darn brave to walk away from something like that. It’s brave to forgive. Brave to live your life in the wake of sexual trauma. Brave to hold your head high. First let me say I am sorry. I’m so terribly sad that sexual abuse is part of your story. It’s not right. Someone chose to take something from you–your volition and your body. That person (or people) violated you. They used their power and bully persuasion...
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Dear Thomas Patrick, On the occasion of your Confirmation I wish to offer the sage and time-honored advice of a saint. The Catechism of the Catholic Church, teaching on the Sacrament of Confirmation, quotes St. Ambrose, a bishop and theologian from the 4th century. His words are worthy of repeating here. My prayer for you, as your Godmother and Sponsor, would be that your reception of this important sacrament would mirror the words of St. Ambrose: Recall then that you have received the spiritual seal, the spirit of wisdom and understanding, the spirit of right judgment and courage, the spirit of knowledge and reverence, the spirit of holy fear in God’s presence. Guard what you have received. God the Father has marked you with his sign; Christ the Lord has confirmed you and...
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Dear Kids, I’m doing the best I can. I know I’m not always perfect, but please know that I’m really trying to do the best I can for you. It may not always seem like it, but I promise you I am trying my hardest to keep all things balanced—kid time, family time, work time…really, just time in general —balanced. It’s all just one big heap of minutes and seconds that are flying by me as you get older and move closer to the gates of college. While it’s whizzing past me, please know these things: Just because we have cereal for dinner doesn’t mean I don’t love you.
 I know it’s not the best thing in the world to make, but sometimes after dealing with clients all day, returning a plethora of emails and fulfilling every business need that hits the front burner all I want to do is...
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Dear Governor Cuomo: During your third State of the State Address on Wednesday January 9, 2013, we very clearly heard the urgency in your voice when you spoke of “Ending the necessity of high capacity assault rifles” and as you pleaded with us to “End the madness now!” You were very emphatic as well when you urged us not to bow to the “extremists” and for us to “set an example for the rest of the nation.” How disappointing then was the report filed by Karen Dewitt just one day later on Thursday, January 10, 2013 which stated in part, “Governor Cuomo now says there is no timeline, for “when or if” a deal on anti gun measures will be reached.” On Wednesday you led us to believe one thing and on Thursday your remarks left us wondering if we can ever trust what you say. Waiting sends...
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Dear Single Sistahs, I am writing this letter to all of you who are singly mothers by choice, by force, by divorce, or by other circumstances. I am writing this letter to all of my Single Parent Sistahs to encourage you to be the best mother and parent you can be to your child or children. I’m writing this letter to encourage you to be your child’s parent, particularly be your child’s mother because as the first woman in your child’s life, you set the tone for how he, she or they will view, treat and react towards women. You set the tone for how your child will view women because you are the first example of a woman he/she will see and know. For my Single Parent Sistahs who are mothers of daughters, you set the tone for the way your daughter will dress, the way she will speak, the...
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Dear Cardinal Sean O’Malley: In what has already become an infamous “60 Minutes” interview, you stated to Norah O’Donnell: “If I were founding a church, I’d love to have women priests. But Christ founded it, and what he has given us is something different.” As women born well after Vatican II, we are constantly asked: “Why would any young, educated woman choose to stay in a Church that purposefully denies her equality?” We stay because we believe that Jesus did give us “something different.” Jesus gave us the Gospel message of equality and social justice, where all people are made in God’s image and welcomed at the table. Unfortunately, the Catholic hierarchy has given the Church only misguided, theologically dubious doctrines that have been refuted time and time again. You may...
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Dear Lebanon, I wanted to write to say Happy 70th birthday. I know that in reality you have been around thousands of years, and were trading and writing long before my ancestors. But that moment of your birth in November 1943 was special, different – you took your first steps as a new nation founded on uniting principles rather than lines of division. I’m proud that my predecessor, Edward Spears, was there to support that, and that we believed as strongly then as now in the idea of Lebanon. The thing is, Lebanon, do you still believe in that idea? This is a question only you can answer. Without doubt, it has been a bumpy seven decades, with troublesome teenage years and plenty of midlife crises, to put it mildly. You now face another tough year, and rising anxiety that...
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Dear Roberto, My name is Steve Stobie and I warrant that you will not have heard of me, and unfortunately, I have to say that I am not a regular visitor to Goodison Park either. With a family of three children, all 7 years and under, and living down here in beautiful Berkshire, a trip up to the mighty Goodison Park is not on my radar at the current point in time. However, I have supported Everton since 1985 and have therefore seen some of the best teams in Everton Blue, including players the likes of Southall, Ratcliffe, Reid, Bracewell, Sheedy, Steven, Heath and Sharp, and also some of the worst, especially throughout my school years, with players such as Tiler, Ward, Thompson, Farrelly and Angell gracing the team. But there were always heroes as well, Hinchcliffe, Ebbrell,...
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Dear Community: Over the past four years, Hendrick Health System worked diligently to bring our Blue Cross Blue Shield of Texas reimbursement rates to a level comparable with rates provided to other Texas hospitals our size and similar in services. In 2014, Hendrick made numerous offers to Blue Cross for new contracted rates. Although we made every effort to accomplish a satisfactory outcome, to date, no resolution was reached and Hendrick was forced out of the Blue Cross network effective July 1, 2014. Blue Cross positioned our 2014 deliberation as a one-year negotiation, although we actually asked every year since 2011 for a medical inflation increase. Blue Cross refused to negotiate new rates over those years and brought us to the decision point that continuing with four-year old...
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