Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Why is Oprah so Popular?


Oprah has done something that few have ever done:  appealed to all of the various segments of people.  Rich, poor, white, black, Republicans, Democrats, and Others there.  Her popularity is, in fact, a phenomenon.

I can't say that I watch Oprah, but I have watched her in the past.  I am still surprised by the number of viewers who watch and follow her "religiously".  Perhaps "religiously" should not be in quotes...

She has some interesting qualities, no matter how insincere and annoying I personally find her draw, that make her uniquely of interest.

First of all, all of the "BIG STARS" and celebrities claim to be close and personal friends to her and are fired up about appearing on her show and performing especially for her.  While I didn't see the final show, I saw the headlines about all of the people who came to the venue for her finale.  It was a veritable Who's Who in 2011.  Everyone who is anyone wants to be associated with her.  It's phenomenal.  I don't know of anyone else in broadcast history with such a following.  Even Johnny Carson and Barbra Walters couldn't compete.

She also, honestly, is a good interviewer.  She gets to the heart of the matter, to the significant "deed" or issue in a person's past and that person tells all.  It's remarkable.  She sticks with an interview, demands an answer, and somehow manages to keep people from feeling attacked.  I have even seen her interview Skin Heads, all of whom kept their cool and composure while on the air.  In fact, she managed to keep her cool too, in spite of their racist jargon and slurs.

She manages to make people feel her warm and fuzzy side.  She shares her vulnerabilities and comes "out" with her own issues.  Rare, indeed.  She reassures the viewer that she is imperfect, struggling, and flawed.  I think people are able to relate to her struggles on a personal level.  She would share her weight struggles right with the audience; who can't relate to that somehow?  Regardless of how often she is on the "Most Wealthy" list, or dining with the princess of some country, or paying off hundreds of thousands of dollars in bills for viewers, somehow, she is also you, me, your neighbor, your friend.  She makes herself someone real.  She is your very own Gir freeeeen.  Somehow, though she is talking to millions, she is also talking to YOU directly.

And she must employ some of the best marketers, publishers, producers in the BIZ.  I don't know how much money she has or how many various things she is involved in financially, but her name and face are everywhere.  She is even the sole cover girl on her very own magazine.  With her best friend as the editor.  That is a GOOD GIG if you can get it.

I have always found Dr. Phil to be a HORRIBLE guest.  I've only seen a few shows with him, and these were years ago, but he was SO awful.  Don't contact him unless you want the male of the couple to be the culprit and the female of the couple totally validated and worthy.  It's unpleasant to watch him make money through his affiliation with her.  Consumers of his marital tripe advice didn't even skip a beat when he, himself, was divorced by his wife.
For me, she would be a perfectly fine role model out there if it wasn't for her pseudo-religion babble.  Maybe she claims to be a Christian.  Maybe she claims some other affiliation.  But her woo woo is just unpalatable as hell.  I didn't even mind it when she was psychobabbling the audience to death.  Well, not much.
But the spiritual bent to her shows in the later years made them unwatchable to me.

I dislike the fan base, actually.  They forget to think for themselves.  What to read?  Who to vote for?  What to wear?  Who to like?  Is it Oprah's fault?  Critics say she has negatively impacted the "Women's Movement" with her views on sexuality, spirituality, and health.  Having watched so few episodes in the past ten years, I couldn't comment on this.

So, her warmth, compassion, significant and continual philanthropy, and other qualities will probably be missed by the masses.  I, for one, won't miss her shows...not since Luther Van Dross died.  I would watch her show just to see him!

I am curious to see what she does with her money now...I know she will push the envelope and make the change she wishes to see in the world.

Friday, May 27, 2011


...The Homeschool Atheist?!?!

I love maps.  I really and truly freaking love maps!  That is why I can pass hours on GoogleEarth the way most people pass time on computer games and Netflicks.  I waste time on maps the way many people waste time on Facebook.
And still, on this map quiz website, I did AWFUL!!!!!  COOL MAP QUIZ WEBSITE

My goal?  I want to know the countries of eastern Europe and Asia.
I have been working on this for awhile now and I'm not ashamed to tell you that, possibly, my brain no longer works. 
I can't remember a single new thing!  But I am still trying.  Perhaps, one day, I will know EXACTLY where Lithuania is.

I have a friend who lives in Slovenia.  I can't find Slovenia!!!!
Okay, I can find it, I just can't remember it's location from one day to the next.

So, if I ask you where I am today, expect me to ask you again...tomorrow.

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Hey, THIS is Giveaway #1

In conjunction with Ramblings of a Dysfunctional Homeschooler, my site is a part of a cool Giveaway.  Here are the rules, as copied off of Rayven's website:

Inflatable Labeling Globe
Ok folks it’s time for the details of giveaway number one! This giveaway is being sponsored by St. Louis Homeschool Resources, Inc. They are a home-based homeschool materials supplier who also happens to be secular homeschoolers!

You can check out their website HERE, check out their blog Homeschooling Atheist HERE, and surf their Amazon store HERE.

So what goodies have Karen and her family offered up?

  1. An Inflatable Labeling Globe
  2. Building Skills by Exploring Maps: Ancient Civilizations, Grades 4-6, published by Creative Teaching Press
  3. Building Skills by Exploring Maps: United States and Canada, Grades 4-6, published by Creative Teaching Press
  4. Building Skills by Exploring Maps: The World, Grades 4-6, published by Creative Teaching Press

Are you all excited? I know when Karen mentioned to me the inflatable labeling globe I almost fell out of my seat! I didn’t even know they made those!!

Here are the ways you can earn entry into the giveaway:

1. Poll your children and determine which three subjects are your family’s favorite subjects to study, leave a blog comment with the results. If you have already done this and submitted the results to me, just leave a comment on this post with your name.

2. Blog about the giveaway on your own blog and then leave a comment with a link to the blog post.

3. Tweet about the giveaway on Twitter and then leave a comment with a link to the twitter post.

4. Share the giveaway blog post on your FB page, then leave a comment letting me know, if you have a non-private account leave a link to your page.

5. Like Ramblings of a Dysfunctional Homeschooler on FB, and then leave a comment letting me know along with your name. If you have already liked Ramblings… on FB leave a comment with your name as well.

6 Like St. Louis Homeschool Resources, Inc. on Facebook, and leave a comment stating you’re a follower and your name as well.

7. Follow Homeschooling Atheist, and leave a comment stating you’re a follower.

8. Follow Ramblings of a Dysfunctional Homeschooler on Twitter and leave a comment with your Twitter name, if you are already a follower leave a comment letting me know.

Every comment earns you a chance to win! The winner’s name will then go into the pot for the grand prize drawing!

The winner for Giveaway #1 will be announced June 1st at 8am EST!

Comments will be shut off on this post at 11:59pm May 31st EST, so you have until then to earn your entries!

Good Luck Everyone!!
*Oh and remember if you are related to me you can’t participate, sorry!* 

If you are participating, WELCOME here!


1.  We LOVE Music, MATH, and Science!

2. This is my blog post!

3.  I am not on Twitter

4.  My Facebook Page is here:  My Facebook Page

5. DONE!

6 . DONE!

7.  DONE!

8. Not on Twitter!

Sunday, May 8, 2011

More Than A Hallmark Day

Happy Mothers' Day to everyone who wishes to celebrate! I am thrilled to say that our day was WONDERFUL together. It was nice to see so many families out there with smiles on their faces.
I have found that Mother's Day has meant different things to me over the years.

During my teens, my sisters often gave me gifts and cards on Mother's Day...and I felt very inadequate and bereft, though they meant that to be very very loving. I took it that way.  But it always had a certain melancholia for me, not having Mom around.

After I had had Lindsey and she was adopted, Mother's Day was excruciating for me. I seldom mentioned it to anyone, but that's because I could hardly talk about it. Sometimes the pain would take my breath away, but who wants to hear me whine and feel sad all of the time? Certainly not my family...mothers were very difficult to talk about in those days.

Over many following years, I found myself celebrating the women in my life who were parenting me, in a way.

Brenda Hunter was an unwitting parenting model for me in the beginning. She was young and imperfect and loving and I will ALWAYS love her for providing me with her friendship and support at that difficult time of life.

The person who comes to mind first is Jean Hannes. She is the mother of a wonderful friend of mine. Jean never really did ALOT, but she was always interested when I would have something to say and she modeled good mothering to me. Mostly, I learned that a family loves and supports every member, whether or not we would make the same choices as each member does. I watched as no judging and lots of love was given to each child as they made choices and moved into their parenthood, adulthood, and more. That was a lesson I needed to learn.
I also learned that families celebrate together and make time for one another and create special times together. Therefore, FAMILY  is a deliberate act. I'm grateful to have learned that because I feel like Jer and I create those moments for our children.

When I became a stepmother I felt like I could, finally, participate as a parent. It was nice and the kids and Jer made it nice for me. So did their Mom, Mary. Mary has generously shared her children with me for most of their lives.

The year I had Elizabeth made Mother's Day mean so much more to me than it ever did before. I felt that I had finally and legitimately joined a special group of people who communicate MUCH and support one another with nods, chuckles, and winks.
Jer gave me a pair of diamond earrings for my first Mothers' Day and I wore them for five years without taking them off! I plan on giving them to Elizabeth one day...

Each year I ask for no gifts or anything special, because, Mothers' Day feels like every day to me.

To all of the men and women who support other women and men out there, Happy Family Day!