We've been listening to the new Kanye West album, and "Diamonds From Sierra Leone," which laments the high human cost of and irresistible urge to wear diamonds, has us bummed out. We know there are synthetic diamonds being made in high-pressure machines. Would you rock one?
Because it's not natural, a lot of people with money are going to feel like a synthetic diamond ain't priceless. They want the rarity, the naturalness, coming from the earth. If I had a choice, I'd go for the real one. Because I'd feel like I was wearing a cubic zirconia, just for the fact that it was man-made. Blender listened to Kanye's album, and they were like, We heard you were defending the warlords in Africa? And he started talking about De Beers, saying a lot of those people are dying the warlords are dying. But that goes deep, because if someone died over that diamond, the diamond could be cursed. With the gift always comes the curse, but I'd still have to go with the real thing.
I'm afraid Red Bull and vodka, my favorite cocktail, is making me fat. Do you know any low-carb drinks that will still make Friday night fun?
That is a very fattening combo. Cut those calories in half with sugar-free Red Bull and a splash of grenadine, then dance the night away. Work that cardio, baby.
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Bottoms Up, Kids
"Is it good for the children?"
Kansas City, Missouri's decision makers are always supposed to ask themselves that question and, apparently, answer it by checking boxes labeled "yes" or "no" on the fact sheets that City Hall staffers prepare for City Council members to help them understand the nature of proposed ordinances and resolutions.
But talk about empty gestures.
An ordinance relaxing liquor restrictions in Brookside, for example, was recently deemed to be good for the kiddies. In fact, city clerk Millie Crossland tells us she can't remember any circumstance in which the "no" box has been checked.
A number of area governments, organizations and businesses adopted the procedure after the "Missouri's #1 Question" campaign, a 1997 effort by local nonprofit Partnership for Children to fix hearts and minds on the well-being of children and youth. They're our future, you know.
But if more liquor sales are deemed good for tots and teens, it's obvious that no one is really paying attention to the No. 1 question.
Partnership for Children spokeswoman Donna Peck refuses to criticize, however. "We want the community to have the question, to use the question, but people have differing ideas about what's good for children," Peck says. "I think what we wanted to do was start a dialogue, so that people would consider that when making decisions."
Peck's wishy-washiness is essentially the house policy at the Partnership for Children, which began as a collaboration between the United Way and the Greater Kansas City Community Foundation. The Kansas City Star reported in 2000 that a former director, James Caccamo, left the Partnership after insisting that it speak out against a referendum legalizing concealed weapons in Missouri.
Instead, the Partnership opted for Up With People-style triviality. We hoped for some #1 Question success stories, but Peck couldn't cite any specific public-policy changes though she did mention a company (she didn't name it) that considered the children when deciding to change its working hours. "A lot of it is kind of anecdotal," she says.
As for selling booze in Brookside, the ordinance was designed to make the area more restaurant-friendly. The Bella Napoli deli on Brookside Boulevard hopes to expand and serve wine, and an unidentified restaurateur is eyeing the space next to the Baskin-Robbins off Wornall Road. Without the change, both plans would continue to be stymied by the city ordinance prohibiting alcohol sales within 300 feet of a church or school.
The change would hardly turn the neighborhood into skid row. Still, Judy Hadley, director of the city's Division of Regulated Industries, tells us it was an oversight for the staff to produce a fact sheet stating that the ordinance was good for children.
Hadley can thank Councilman Jim Glover for putting her in a position to have to admit error. Glover sponsored the recent Brookside ordinance. He also voted to include the #1 Question on fact sheets back in 1997.
We live about three blocks away from the Kansas State School for the Deaf and have seen students walking in the neighborhood Signing to one another. It's pretty cool. I've toyed with the idea of learning a few basic words in American Sign Language just in case I come across the opportunity to say hello or ask for directions. It seems neighborly and I enjoy the idea of supporting our local schools.
Yesterday, I was in the drive-through at our local McDonalds and the woman taking our order at the window sounded a little like she was one of the local deaf students think Marlee Matlin, but younger and with red hair. Her spoken English was pretty good and I thought she must have worked hard at that.
I ordered using clear facial expression and mouth movements. It can't be easy reading lips, I figured, and I should do all that I can to make things easier for her.
Our order arrived and she counted back my change. She looked up and I mouthed "Thank You" to her, confident that I was being as helpful as possible. "What was that?" she asked.
We had a moment where simultaneously I realized that she wasn't deaf and she realized that I was probably retarded. We both smiled and I drove off with my Happy Meal. From Tevis.net, the blog of Sean Tevis