365 Project – Day 314 – Finding More Than a Hero of the Day

Today was one of those days that just got me thinking. Not only was it Veteran’s Day, it was also 11/11/11 and National Metal Day. And yet, you turn on the news, and those things only got a nice little soundbyte while things like the Penn State sex abuse scandal and Justin Bieber’s alleged fatherhood dominated the headlines.

The way I see it, we’ve got our priorities a little mixed up here, and I think it’s time for a change.

These days, it seems like we are all so focused on things like money and fame and power and prestige. We idolize celebrities and athletes, worshipping them the way ancient cultures worshipped deities. We see them as heroes, even when their actions prove to be anything but heroic.

What does it say about us as human beings when we spend more time talking about people like Kim Kardashian and Charlie Sheen and the cast of the Jersey Shore than the brave men and women who are putting their lives on the line to protect our freedoms?

I’ll be the first to admit that I like watching television and movies  and listening to music as much as the next person. I like to be entertained. And, like my husband, I have started my own List of People I’d Like to Have a Beer With that includes several of the celebrities that I just think are cool (among them Carol Burnett, Lewis Black, Ellen Degeneres, Reba McEntire, and David Lynch). And yet, my appreciation of their talents has not turned me into a crazed fan or celebrity stalker. I don’t have to rush out and buy a brand new outfit to match the one Kate Middleton was photographed wearing yesterday, and I don’t spend my days analyzing the Brad Pitt/Angelina Jolie/Jennifer Aniston love triangle. Instead, I like to spend my time trying to be the best damn wife, mother, daughter, sister, friend, and all around person I can be. I want my time here to matter.

So, today, I would like to pay homage to the heroes that all too often go unnoticed. Tonight’s 365 Project entry is dedicated to the courageous men and women who have served, are serving and will one day serve in the United States military. The job that you do is a job that few of us ever could do. You give yourselves to your country and your countrymen, putting your lives on the line to save ours. You go without, so that we can have plenty. You leave your families and friends behind so that ours can be safe from harm. You are the true heroes. We love you. We thank you. And God bless you.

And in honor of National Metal Day, I dedicate Metallica’s Hero of the Day to our heroes. http://youtu.be/CBJey2dkiAI

365 Project – Day 297 – The Best and Worst Halloween Candy

As a self-proclaimed chocolate addict, it shouldn’t really surprise you that I would pretty much put any chocolate candy at the top of my list of Halloween favorites. Snickers, Milky Way, Whoppers, Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups, Baby Ruth, Twix, Kit Kat, Mounds, Butterfinger, M&M’s, Almond Joy, Milk Duds. At the end of the night, I would gladly trade just about anything in my trick-or-treat bag for something chocolate. Skittles? Take them. Starburst? You can have them. Nerds? Twizzlers? Smarties? They’re all yours.

The only non-chocolate item I would never trade is a Caramel Apple Pop. I am addicted to those suckers. All the goodness of a caramel apple without all the mess. I’m pretty sure there was a period during high school where I ate at least one Caramel Apple Pop a day. I’m still sporting all of my own healthy teeth, so at least my addiction hasn’t had any lingering side effects.

Yet, with all the good candy out there, Candy Corn somehow survives, and to me, that is one of the great mysteries of the universe because, let’s face it, that stuff is nasty. Eating Candy Corn is like eating lightly sugared candle wax, only sugared candle wax would probably leave you behind a slightly less offensive aftertaste.

The best description of Candy Corn I ever heard came from comedian Lewis Black. So, for tonight, I’ll leave you with his analysis of the great Candy Corn mystery.

Tonight’s 365 Project entry is dedicated to all of our favorite, and not so favorite, Halloween treats. Tell me, what tops your Best/Worst Lists?