Heather L. Barmore
No Pasa Nada Heather Barmore Elsewhere About
Heather L. Barmore
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Heather Barmore
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    Change In Action at Babble Voices


    A Question From Your Childless Friend

    "You can learn many things from children. How much patience you have, for instance." ~Franklin P. Jones

    When you find yourself suffering from terrible insomnia just 48 hours before flying across the country, you will find yourself in a no good, very bad, terrible mood. Keep that in mind before you read further:

    My flight was from Albany to Baltimore. Baltimore to Oakland. I was already Grumpy McGrumpypants when the gate agent decided that my bag was too big and proceeded to follow me around the airport - including into the bathroom - in an attempt to get me to check my bag. I was just as forceful in my saying ‘HELL NO’ as she was in her quest to get me to give up my luggage. I finally relented because, whatever. There were eye rolls abound and muttering under my breath and general unpleasantness because no one is happy at six AM.

    The second part of my flight - Baltimore to Oakland - is a six and a half hour venture across the country. I have done the NY to CA thing on numerous occasions and every time I know that I am going a long distance I make sure to check in 24 hours in advance so that I can get my prized window seat. When it comes to traveling 3,000 miles I become anal retentive because, like most people, I am all about being somewhat comfortable.

    There we were sitting on the plane but still at the gate a few minutes past the scheduled departure time. A woman and her three children are the last to board. I am barely paying attention as the flight attendants move the family, swiftly, through the aisle. An announcement is made that only middle seats are left and the front door is about to be closed. I go back to perusing Facebook where I am, somewhat ironically, reading through a friend’s page and giving side eye to mothers judging other mothers and then mothers judging people who don’t have children. Imagine my surprise when I look up and the mother who had just boarded with her three children was telling her young daughter - about seven years old - to sit in the seat beside me. I was at the window and there was an older/grandmotherly looking mother in the aisle seat. Before I can say anything the little girl is sitting next to me and her mother is sitting directly in front of us.

    Here is my question: What would you do at this point? Would you protest and switch seats with the parent who didn’t seem that concerned about not sitting with her child or would you do what I did which was to shrug and fall asleep?

    Actually, the first thing I did was to sigh and avoid eye contact with the mother in hopes that she wasn’t going to ask me to give up my seat. After it became apparent that she wasn’t going to say a word, I simply fell asleep. My brief moment of bitterness quickly went away and the girl was very good during the very long flight. When she needed assistance with opening something and getting her seat to go back, I was more than happy to help her because it takes a village and all that jazz. I wound up running into her in the restroom post-flight and then at the baggage carousel where she pointed me out to her mom and then enthusiastically waved at me. The mom ended up being pretty chill about the whole thing and thanked me for my diligence.

    I realize that I was quick to be offended because I am used to parents being quick to jump and tell others what to do and was pleasantly surprised to have a mother be so chill and not immediately demand my changing seats. I have to wonder if more people would be willing to be nice to kids/families if parents weren’t so prickly. I can honestly say that I am never offended by children but by the adults who are supervising or ‘supervising’ as the case may be.

    So, parents, what is the proper etiquette here: Offer to move or go about my business? This inquiring mind would like to know. 


    There Will be Yoga 

    "Like other parties of the kind, it was first silent, then talky, then argumentative, then disputatious, then unintelligible, then altogether, then inarticulate, and then drunk. When we had reached the last step of this glorious ladder, it was difficult to get down again without stumbling." ~George Gordon, Lord Byron

    Stop me if you’ve heard this one before: I like wine. I like yoga. But, since we’re all friends here, the thing I really enjoy about yoga is the clothing. I will do anything that involves an elastic waist. Nothing like call of stretchy fabric to get me out of bed. There is also a sense of satisfaction when I am out and about in my yoga clothes and I’m like, well, yes, I am dressed like this because it doesn’t cut off my circulation but because I really did just come from yoga.

    Apparently my whole yoga clothes and wine drinking vibe got to a few people because the next thing you know I’m being asked to host a…wait for it…YOGA (cothes) and SANGRIA party during the 10th annual BlogHer conference in San Jose. If you are at the conference please come? Seriously. I have this perpetual fear that I will host a party and no one will show up and so I’m going to need you to come. If you see me standing in the corner awkwardly, well, that’s just how I am at parties. Feel free to say hello. And as my friend Morgan said, get ready to enjoy some social media under the influence.


    But wait! There’s more!

    Prior to the actual event there will be something that is even more right up my alley which can only be described as the most magical Twitter party ever. Grab some sangria (I, obviously recommend the Eppa Sangria for it's deliciousness and it's organic which means that I have an air of superiority while imbibing), throw on your yoga clothes and sit in front of Twitter for an hour. Basically, what you were going to do anyway but do it with me and several other bloggers who garner far more name recognition: Heather Spohr of The Spohrs Are Multiplying, Morgan Shanahan of The 818, and Jenny Ingram of Jenny on the Spot.

    So, to recap:

    1. Twitter Party tomorrow @ 6PM - 7PM PT/ 9PM - 10 PM ET with Me, Heather, Morgan and Jenny
    2. The Eppa Sangria Sundown Soiree sponsored by Eppa Sangria, Whole Foods and Soybu on July 24th in San Jose.

    Got it? Good. See you then.


    Between Israel and Gaza


    On Friday, I had this to say about the current situation in the Middle East:

    “The unfortunate reality is that everywhere you turn there is not only bias but half-truths and unhelpful and inaccurate reporting coming out of the Middle East. I do know that the United States remains an ally to Israel and its peace and prosperity remain crucial. The current round of violence comes after a failed attempt at Middle East peace talks and the subsequent kidnapping and killing of three Israeli teens.”


    One of my oldest and dearest friends happens to be Palestinian. A fact I remained completely ignorant to until we were in our early-20’s and in college. Actually, it truly came to glaring attention after the September 11th attacks when one thing led to another and soon our conversations moved away from gossip about classmates and to the very real and mistreatment towards Arab Americans. My relationship with Jumana - that’s my friend - has never changed or wavered over the past 25 years except that we continue to cross this path of my necessity to move from a place of blissful ignorance when it comes to matters of the Middle East and she, thankfully, has no problem with education. We are both approach our respective roles with respect. There is no force to choose a side but simply facts because my struggle to understand issues of international concern is very real.

    I have Jewish friends as well and once again their religion and place of birth have no bearing on our relationship. Just as with any relationship forged between two people from very different cultures, as long as there is a sense of understanding and, most importantly, respect even through the most difficult of conversations.

    Having friends who lie on both sides of a decades old conflict does not mean that I know anything it just means that when I have questions - and lately, I have had many - I know who to go to and who will point me in the right direction of what is what. Which brings me to a realization that when it comes to this particular violence I find myself wavering when it comes to ‘sides’. My usual line of thinking when it comes to current events is that there is a more progressive side and then a conservative side. When it comes to deep rooted issues of race, religion and culture, I find myself stepping back because I am empathetic to the hurt from both sides but I also must acknowledge that as an American there is nothing remotely comparable.

    For the last two weeks or so, I’ve been searching for information on what is going on. You know, news? That thing that is supposed to inform you of what is happening around the country and globe? Instead I have come across what I think people on both sides can agree is absolutely abysmal when it comes to anything on the Middle East coming from US media outlets. I mean absolute crap. On Sunday, only one show - CNN’s State of the Union - even mentioned the conflict via an appearance by Senator McCain who referred to Israel’s restraint as ‘admirable’. Then today when a ceasefire brokered by Egypt on Monday was rejected by Hamas to which Israel responded by saying that it would use more force against Gaza. I would feel worse about my inability to understand what is happening between Israel and Gaza if it weren’t for a lack of helpful coverage coming from mainstream media.

    I spent an hour yesterday discussing my conflict over this conflict and pestering Jumana with questions because I am a person who enjoys knowing what is occurring in the world around me. Today I spoke with a friend who lives in Israel and asked her similar questions and made the same request for links because what was being shown here is not indicative of what is happening there. The only conclusion I have been able to come up with for myself is more education which has always been the crux of my quest to learn more more about the Middle East. In both conversations it is painfully clear that at a cease fire is needed, both sides want for the other to stop bombing. On both sides there is anger, deep heartbreak and a need for lasting human rights.

    Much of curiosity and questioning is to where United States responsibility lies. Do we play a role in any cease fire? And why the lack of coverage on the fate of a country and area of the world where we have always said that peace is paramount?

    Below are links to articles I have found most helpful in understanding the current situation in the Middle East. My hope is to pass along what I have learned from others and hopefully you pass it along as well and so on:

    Ten Questions About the War in Israel

    The Gaza Rules

    What it Feels Like to Live in Gaza Under Israel Strikes

    Is this Hamas’ Last War?

    Netanyahu Finally Speaks His Mind

    Numbers Don’t Tell the Mideast Story

    Bomb Shelters and Conference Calls: A Workday for Israel’s Tech Firms


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