Linda Sharps


I live in Eugene, Oregon with my husband and our sons Riley (8) and Dylan (6). Prior to 2010 I spent many years as a software marketer, these days I work from home as a freelance writer. I enjoy high-quality ballpoint pens, exercise-induced endorphins, dark TV dramas, and things that smell like coconut.

Sipping on:

Sugar-Free Red Bull (mmm, chemical-y)

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    Is Centerplate CEO Desmond Hague the worst man in the entire world? Speaking objectively, I suppose he isn't, but based on the camera footage of him abusing the crap out of a scared dog, I'm going to go ahead and issue him the title of "Completely Despicable Excuse for a Human Being."

    Ten days ago, surveillance video emerged of Hague in a Vancouver hotel elevator with Sade, a 1-year-old Doberman Pinscher. In the footage, Hague is seen repeatedly kicking Sade as she cowers, and yanking her leash hard enough to lift her off the floor. Public backlash was swift, with a petition asking for Hague to be fired from Centerplate, a food vendor company who has contracts with many sports and entertainment venues in Canada, North America, and the UK.

    After days of Centerplate trying to do damage control over their CEO's actions, continued public criticism brought today's announcement -- which is a huge win for animal lovers everywhere.

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    Do you remember hearing about the 2012 rape accusations against CeeLo Green? The story was pretty strange, with the victim saying he'd slipped a drug into her drink during dinner, leading her to wake up confused and naked with him in a room. Last week he pleaded no contest to one felony count of furnishing ecstasy to the woman, but he avoided the rape charge, maintaining he'd had "consensual relations" with her at the time.

    Green (real name: Thomas DeCarlo Callaway) was sentenced to three years probation and 45 days of community service, but for some reason, he decided it would be a good idea to continue to defend himself on Twitter last week. In a series of bizarre tweets, which have since been deleted, CeeLo Green attempted to define rape -- by insisting that if a person can't remember the incident, they didn't experience it.

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    My children used to earn allowances. The 8-year-old got $2 per week, and my 6-year-old got a dollar. For a while the biggest challenge was finding the cash (this is the same problem we always face when the Tooth Fairy's presence is required), then I found myself wondering why I was just blindly handing out money each week when the recipients weren't exactly holding up their end of the deal.

    I don't do allowances anymore. This may change in the future, but here's what I ended up thinking: my kids shouldn't get paid for helping out around the house. Especially if they're continually doing a crappy job at it.

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    Local schools don't start until tomorrow, so it's been quite a while since homework has been part of our routine. I'm sure my kids' brains have been rotting in their skulls all summer like brown bananas, but I can't say I've missed dealing with school worksheets -- even though only one kid had homework last year, and compared to what I've heard from other second grade parents, his workload was relatively light.

    It's not the time involved in completing assignments that I dislike about homework, nor is it the fact that it exists in the first place. It's the spectacularly boring repetition of it, which seems almost custom-designed to make kids hate school and forget that learning can actually be fun and rewarding.

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    "Dear parent, due to increasing budget gaps, we seek additional funding to support your child's educational enrichment programs. This year, instead of asking your children -- and thus, yourself -- to hawk overpriced wrapping paper, high-calorie snack foods, and unwanted knickknacks, we're simply asking you to donate what you're able. Attached is a comprehensive spreadsheet detailing this year's budget, our funding goals, and how we'll use the money."

    This is the sort of letter I'd love to see from my kids' school ... but I doubt I ever will. Instead, my kids will come home with catalogues of garbage that no one needs, which we're supposed to foist upon our friends, family, and neighbors. Not only that, they'll be teased with "prize incentives" they can win if only they sell enough of this crap.

    I. Hate. School. Fundraising.

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