Author: Bekah McNeel

Moira Brings the News: MERS

There’s a new health scare, this time coming from the Middle East. As though Americans needed one more reason to be scared of the Middle East.

Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS) arrived onto US soil via a healthcare worker who had been in Saudi Arabia. According to this Reuters story, the man is improving and all exposed have been quarantined, but worldwide there have been 93 MERS-related deaths.

MERS is a virus-cousin of SARS, which came to us from China, another place Americans didn’t need another reason to fear. And just so you know, MERS is a coronavirus, and it’s spread through the air and through poop. So, two simple precautions for those taking the utmost care not to contract the deadly disease: don’t handle unfamiliar feces and don’t breathe.

For more on the precautions we should be taking to protect ourselves from MERS, we turn to Moira Sage:

Don't breathe on me

 

 

 

Something New and Good: We are Three

Moira is a month old. Five weeks, actually. It’s amazing how much each week of age matters at this point.

I’ve been hesitant to sit down and try to write anything meaningful, because life has not been marked by long stretches of uninterrupted thinking as of late.

It’s not actually entirely Moira’s doing. I often feel like she senses when we are about to have guests and decides to time her epic naps to avoid interaction. She’s an introvert. Or she obligingly naps through errands and restaurant meals. So I have lots of uninterrupted visits and meals…but that the time for reflecting and thinking is allotted to her 20 minute catnaps or 15 minute stretches of peaceful looking around. The rest of the time we are breastfeeding, changing diapers, and walking off my baby weight.

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And I’ll be perfectly honest. Sometimes I just use those catnaps and peaceful time to stare at her.

But, sometimes in the shower, or when we are driving (Moira is a champion car rider), I’ve given some thought to this first month. It’s in snippets, but in this case the form is the content.

So…in the first month of being a family of three, here were the things that surprised me. …

Moira Brings the News

Sex, drugs, and perjury. Congress is back in session.

NPR reports on John Boehner’s rough Monday as the House reconvened amid a dust cloud of scandal kicked up by various GOP Representatives.

Rep. Michael Grimm got busted for perjury (and 19 other things), and morally “boo!”‘ed for his hypocrisy on immigration.

Rep. McAllister got caught smoochin’ with the staff.

And it’s not too soon to forget that Rep. Trey Radel got busted for trying to buy cocaine. Apparently while on duty as a Congressman.

And now to Moira Sage, for her comments on the news…

Moira, in light of yet another round of scandals and misconduct, what’s your prognosis for the upcoming legislative session?

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Moira Brings the News

We here at Free Bekah would like to welcome our newest contributor, Moira Sage to the team. Moira comes to us from, well, my uterus, with a background in focusing her eyes, chewing on her fingers, and kicking her legs. She blew us away with her astute analysis of the daily news cycle, and so we thought we’d make it official, and welcome Moira to share a weekly news analysis with the readers here at Free Bekah.

Today’s news story (we’re going to start her off in the culture category):

Lupita Nyong’o was named People Magazine’s most beautiful person. Fashionista, Oscar winner, and all around girl-you-want-as-your-BFF, Nyong’o continues to, like the champagne bubbles that inspired her Prada Oscar night gown, float to the top.

Here’s the full list of beauties.

We here at Free Bekah think that it’s nice to see someone so obviously lovely on the inside, being honored for how it shines through to the outside, which is why we’ve asked our newest correspondent to make this her first official story. It seems strange to see a face so new to the Hollywood scene at the top of the list, but we find that, like everything else about Nyong’o, refreshing.

Over to you, Moira. Do you think People Magazine made the best choice for their most beautiful person of the year?

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The Theology of Woody Allen

“If you want to make God laugh, tell him your plans.” – Woody Allen

One would expect the neurotic, muttering, Woody Allen to say this. It fits with all of his fretful, eternally pessimistic movie-personas (or rather his one persona, reincarnate in every film he makes).

But what surprised me the other day was that this quote, more than any Scripture, had come to describe how I believe God relates to me.

We’re constantly being admonished to be careful what we pray for, to never say never, etc. Looking around, I think that we, the ironic generation, have come to believe that this is how God relates to us- ironically.

God is a controlling boss, who makes you work the weekend, just because he heard you had plans to go out of town.

God is an older sibling who takes the last cookie that you’ve been saving and saving.

God is like….”rain on your wedding day. A free ride, when you’ve already paid. The good advice that you just didn’t take. And who would have thought, it fig’rs.” (That’s the hymn for this theology).

Florence’s So-Called Life, Season 1, ep 9

In which Florence experiences her first bout of puppy love.

(read in the voice of Florence, which sounds uncannily like a 14-year-old Claire Danes)

Sigh…so this is love.

I guess I just…didn’t get it. I mean, it’s like, for your whole life there’s really just one human male that you trust and want to spend time with. Your Lewis.

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I love my Lewis. He plays with me, gives me treats, even takes me out running. I thought that this was the only human male I’d ever really need in my life. Like human girls think they are going to marry their dads. …

Lewis is Nesting

So I’m supposed to be frantically nesting, apparently. So far this has meant ordering things on Amazon and scheduling lunch dates with all the people I’m afraid I won’t see again for years once I have my constant companion.

Lewis, on the other hand, has taken to nesting quite earnestly. Or maybe he’s taking advantage of my lack of energy and slower speed to buzz around and get all of my crap organized before I can stop him. Either way, things are getting done around here.

In case you hadn’t gotten the idea yet from this blog, I think my husband is a total rockstar. And I’m pretty sure our daughter is going to share that opinion. …

Something New and Good: Hello 30’s

So I’ve said my good-byes to my 20’s. Tomorrow I turn 30.

I will begin this decade as a mother and wife. As a homeowner. With a stable job, and a side gig I really love. I have two dogs.

In one sense, none of that “external stuff” changes you or grows you up. You can still be a raving lunatic with all those boxes checked. Because who you are determines what kind of mother, wife, employee, neighbor you will be. The uptight kind? The scatter-brained kind? The generous kind? The faithful kind? That has a lot less to do with the hats you are wearing than the head underneath them.

However, in another sense. I do think that those things changed me. Getting married, strange as it sounds, made me more independent. Not independent of Lewis, but independent of all the people I’d looked to for approval. Someone trusts me with his life and his heart, and this has given me more confidence and determination than anything else I’ve ever done. Someone loves me for who I am, and the condemning world can kiss my well-loved ass.

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Something New and Good: Good-bye 20’s

I’m turning 30 at the end of this month. Officially out of my 20’s.

No longer can I assertively talk about fashion, music, or technology with absolute certainty that what I am saying is current and hip. No longer can I wear whatever I want to and assume I will come off as “young and carefree.” No longer can I decide willy nilly when to wear sunblock, concealer, and whether or not to take off my makeup at night.

I’m entering a decade that will likely include the advent of wrinkles, dress codes, and age-appropriateness.

Before I greet my 30’s, I’d like to look back at my 20’s and give them a proper reflection.

It was a great decade. Lewis entered the scene. I lived in London. It was actually in 2004 that I got my first passport, at 20 years old. I’ve been to 26 countries since then, many of them multiple times. And I enjoyed them greatly. I learned a lot. I grew a lot. God was faithful.

Amersterdam. Age 23.
Amersterdam. Age 23.