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J Bryant Writes | a work in progress

The Fifteenth Saturday Linky Love

Did you buy into the 11/11/11 hoopla? Because it pretty much seemed like any other day to me…

  1. in her shoes by Bianca Juarez. People have asked me why I have a key in profile picture on Twitter & Facebook – it is in support of the A21 Campaign. It is an organization striving to abolish slavery in the 21st century. Bianca works for the campaign, and in this post she tells a woman’s heartbreaking story. One that is far too common.
  2. Let Me Be Something by Sarah Markley. “If I never LIVED, I’d never have risk. Living, at it’s very nature, IS risk.” Is there risk in your life? If not, maybe you aren’t really living!
  3. we have a voice by Alece Ronzino. Alece compiled a list of awesome, influential women. It is so inspiring to see all these ladies together in this post. Check it out – did she miss anyone that you think should have been on the list?
  4. I Am The Vulture by Mohan Karulkar on POTSC. No, that isn’t a typo. I meant to write Vulture, not Walrus. Are you a vulture, waiting for the next scandal to pounce? Kim Kardashian, JoePa, Herman Cain…do you participate in the attack?
  5. It’s Not About Happy Valley by Megan Tietz. Megan calls for us to realize that the Penn State scandal isn’t about football. It is about sexual abuse. If you are a parent, how do you protect your children? And if you are an adult responsible for the care of children, how do you keep yourself above reproach?
  6. Sharing the Hallelujah by Mandy Steward on Deeper Story. I shared this post on my Facebook page this week, because it spoke to me so much. Her words are beautiful. “Grace is not about giving people what we want them to want.” – please, go read the post.
  7. I’ve Never Watched Porn But I’m Addicted To It by Brittany Turley on the Good Women Project. Brittany suggests that “It doesn’t even have to be explicit. If you are using something to feed into your sex drive and achieve sexual excitement, that’s porn. And it will destroy you.” Are you addicted to porn without even knowing it?
  8. He’s Just Not That Into You…Or Is He by Cory Copeland. Most of the links this week are a little deeper, so I wanted to add this one in last. Mostly because Cory uses two One Tree Hill references (one of which I don’t get) and a Friends reference. But also because it is good advice. Guys, do you agree with him?
Did you know that hipsters love triangles? And Tumblr? And old satchels formerly owned by old creepy men? No? Watch the video and prepared to be schooled on all that is hipster.

Giving Thanks For Our Veterans

Today I am so thankful for the men and women who serve our country, and for their families who support them. Words cannot fully express my gratitude…but here is my humble attempt.

To those still deployed: thank you for fighting for our freedom. We remember you in our prayers, and pray for a day when your services are no longer needed.

To those who have returned from duty: thank you for your service. We hope you are living a full and happy life with your loved ones after spending so much time apart. You deserve it.

And for those we have lost: thank you for making the ultimate sacrifice. May we never take your dedication to our country for granted.

A memorial inside the Normandy American Cemetery and Memorial in France

Penn State, JoePa, and POTSC

I fully believe in second chances.

But I also believe in justice.

Sometimes I don’t think the two can be reconciled.

This entire Penn State scandal is heartbreaking on many levels. I hate how quickly a mob mentality forms. People are calling for justice, for Joe Paterno and all those involved to be fired or worse. But no amount of punishment is going to change what those poor boys went through. Firing and running JoePa & clan out of town on a rail isn’t going to take away their pain. It isn’t going to lessen the emotional and physical trauma they endured. It is important to remember the victims of this scandal – to pray for them and not let them get lost in the drama surrounding Paterno.

That being said, I do agree that those involved should be fired. (And were fired last night.) The men who knew about this should not be allowed to maintain positions of authority at Penn State. The men who have known and ignored these atrocities for nearly two decades should face repercussions for their actions. And the man who actually committed these acts should absolutely go to prison.

Grace isn’t about giving a free pass. When something of this magnitude happens, there are consequences that must be faced. Joe Paterno and all those involved should stand up and admit that they screwed up. At best, they made the poor decision to ignore the problem. At worst, they helped cover up the abuse of at least nine boys.

I believe in justice for the victims. I believe men who have proven they cannot stand up for what is right should not be allowed to remain in positions of authority. But I also believe these men should be forgiven. I believe they should be given a second chance.

I don’t have easy answers. I don’t know how this should turn out. But I do know this: Grace is messy.  

Let’s stop throwing stones at JoePa & company. In fact, let’s stop putting all the attention on them period. No, this isn’t how Paterno’s 45 year legacy should have ended. But because of what he didn’t do, this is how it is ending.

Let’s take Kirk Herbstreit’s advice: Focus on the victims and their families. Because this is more important than football. And if Herbstreit says that, you know it is true!

What I’m Watching This Season

After I graduated from college, I pretty much swore off television. I would still watch Friends, How I Met Your Mother, or other shows I owned on DVD, but I refused to get cable. So I gave up on shows I had watched for years: Grey’s Anatomy, Desperate Housewives, Gossip Girl…among others.

There were a few different reasons. One was simply that these shows were starting to suck. After the Izzie/George dying debacle, I was over Grey’s. Desperate jumped the shark when they jumped ahead in time, and Gossip Girl was nothing like the books I had read and loved. But I had also recently started going to church and strengthening my faith. It was a lot easier to do that when I wasn’t surrounding myself with conflicting messages. I was able to read and think and pray, and try to discern what I really believed and what I had absorbed from culture.

Don’t get me wrong -I still watched Dexter, Law and Order SVU, and other shows on Netflix. But I kept myself from getting committed to new shows that I would feel compelled to watch week after week.

But this year, there were several shows I wanted to watch. New Girl and Up All Night were two that I originally planned to start – and then I got sucked in to so many! I catch some of them when they actually air, but the rest I watch online.

What I’m watching this season:

New Girl – I have a serious nerdy girl crush on Zooey Deschanel, so when I found out she was on a new TV show, I knew I would watch. It is, as advertised, adorkable. A little over the top at times, but I think it will find it’s feet and really take off. ( Fox, Tuesdays 9/8 C)


How I Met Your Mother – I have loved this show since May 2009. The guy I was dating introduced me to it. He owned the first couple seasons, and we spent the first days of our relationship watching this show. A month later we weren’t speaking, but my love for HIMYM remained. I own the first 6 seasons, but this is the first year I am watching it on television. Gotta say, I think I prefer waiting and watching them all at once on DVD. (CBS, Mondays 8/7 C)

2 Broke Girls – I had no intention of watching this one. I’d heard good things, but I didn’t want to start another show. Alas, Two Broke Girls comes on right after HIMYM, and I found myself watching this adorable sitcom! I love Max, because, let’s face it, I kind of am Max. You should totally check this one out. (CBS, Mondays 8:30/7:30 C)


Up All Night – Christina Applegate, Will Arnett, and Maya Rudolph. So much goodness happening. It isn’t the best show on television right now, but I love it nonetheless. Maybe you appreciate it a little more when you are a parent… (NBC, Wednesdays 8/7 C)


Whitney – I have mixed feelings on this one. I can’t stop watching, but I’m not sure I really like it. It definitely have funny moments, but sometimes it feels forced. And I really disagree with some of the themes and premises. But it also makes me laugh. See, so conflicted. (NBC, Thursdays 9:30/8:30 C)


Once Upon A Time – I just started watching this one. It’s weird to see Ginnifer Goodwin on network television, and I can’t look at the actress who plays Emma without seeing her as the girl from HIMYM last season…but it is a good one. It comes from some of the writers from Lost, and is brilliant. (ABC, Sundays 8/7 C)


Grimm - I was hesitant to watch this one and Once Upon A Time since they both are sort of fantasy, but they are nothing alike. Grimm is basically a crime drama with some fantasy elements. The setting is gorgeous; it is based and filmed in Portland. Very ethereal and lovely, with dangerous elements. I like this show so far, but I’m not sure it will last. (NBC, Fridays 9/8 C)


Criminal Minds – I’ve been obsessed with the show for awhile. It is syndicated on A&E, so I watched so many episodes this summer. I still haven’t seen all of them, but I am now watching the new season on CBS. I love crime/legal dramas and this is one of the best ones on television. Though it often results in me double checking the locks on my doors at night! (CBS, Wednesdays 9/8 C)


What about you? Any shows you can’t stop watching this season?