Information Sources – He Said / She Said (ep. 2)

My second question for the He Said / She Said was a tad harder than I though it would be. With all the wonders I have in my head on a regular basis, I just naturally assumed presenting topics would be easier. Turns out, it isn’t.

Come to find out, my wonders can get a bit overwhleming when I try to put them in a neat package idea with one concise and clear question. Becasue I am really attempting to be respectful of everyone’s time, I consider it to be a duty of sorts to present topics in that manner – clear and concise.

It doesn’t always work out that way. So I set out to find new ideas in my typical fashion – podcasts. And that got me to thinking, “How do other people get new information, expose themselves to new ideas, or stay informed?” The light bulb went off. I probably should ask the panel. Knowing where they get their information from is probably pretty insightful. It also lends itself pretty readily to asking you all how you stay informed and what that means to you in the first place.

Here are a few of the responses, and we would love to hear your thoughts as well.

How do you consider yourself “informed” or “exposed”?

I generally stay informed and available to new ideas by way of social media and the internet. Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, etc, are my Sunday paper everyday in real time. I don’t watch the news. It’s too negative. Someone is always getting kidnapped or shot. And I haven’t had cable in 5 years.

My general boredom and cruising of the different platforms (which I have tried to limit because it can be toxic, duh right?) side effect is reading different headlines as to what’s happening in the world. But unlike traditional news outlets like CNN, FOX news, and such that swing heavily to the right or left, and could allegedly be fake news, (HAHA), allow me to form my own opinion. You can find many different posts about any topic on all the platforms, and decide for yourself as to what you feel is going on.

That’s one of the things that makes net neutrality a very interesting and scary topic. Especially when you consider that the decision for 324 million people is decided by 5 unelected officials. Just regular ass people from the FCC who went against 83% of those 324 million people. But I digress.

The other way i get into new ideas is podcasts. I tend to be in my truck a lot on long drives. Nothing eats up time like listening to podcasts. I’d say conservatively I listen to 5-7 hours of podcasts per day. I’m constantly bombarded with different perspective, which I then take and formulate my own thoughts. Or at least I try too.

I’ll leave with this thought, I heard it from Denzel Washington. I’m not sure where he got it from and I didn’t do the time to research it further. “If you don’t listen to the mainstream news your uninformed, if you listen to the mainstream news, your misinformed” Quite the quandary we are in as Americans these days. And I thought propaganda was a NO NO!!



Actually, the way I get information and the way I’m exposed to “new ideas,” hasn’t changed at all because the world, in particular the USA, hasn’t changed that much at all. There is a saying that goes, “If you stay ready, you don’t have to get ready,” and the same holds true for information. If you stay informed, you don’t have to get informed.

I was blessed to have parents who always made sure we understood history..all of it. The problem is, too many people don’t seem to understand or even care about history, so many of the things that are happening now seem foreign to them. Couple this with the fact that too many people believe that the words “commentator” (opinion) and “journalist” (unbiased) are synonymous, and you end up with people who don’t know what to believe or worse, what THEY believe because they are ignorant to our history. So, they only seek out and listen to those commentators who regurgitate the same “truths” that they already believe.

People aren’t open to receiving new ideas because it’s more comfortable to hold onto their old ones, and that has nothing to do with social media, the internet or anything else. To anyone who knows and understands history, and who has been paying attention, nothing that is happening now should be surprising because we’re just repeating old patterns. Or, as my late grandmother used to say, “The years may change, but the days stay the same.”


This has been difficult for me to find the words to address, simply because the question implies that being informed or exposed is a priority.

I have to admit that I made the conscious decision to disconnect from mainstream news outlets in order to practice intellectual self-defense for my own well-being some time ago. In doing so, I’ve drastically devalued the concept of being informed or exposed to high amounts of information.

Through the use of social media, where I like to interact with friends and family, I can see many topics that are on the forefront of discussion and debate from a sociological and political standpoint, so I am never too far from knowing what is in the latest headlines or what many popular topics are. However, I tend to seek information in areas of interest rather than open myself to whatever is chosen to be broadcast.

I am a firm believer in the importance of societies learning history in order to keep from repeating past mistakes (there’s a clever phrase for this that I can never remember with accuracy, but I’m sure you’re thinking of it), so I enjoy podcasts and documentaries that highlight historical events that are relevant to today’s political and sociological climate. I also like to connect with other people and families that I meet and discuss big, heavy, controversial topics in a personal, face-to-face setting when the time is appropriate. Through these discussions, I am opened up to different ways that people see the world, interpret what they see, and apply what they see and know to their own lives. I have found that personal relationships with others is a much more rewarding and fulfilling way to be “informed” with the outside world.


There was a time I was a news junkie. That coincided with my “eat politics for breakfast, lunch, and dinner” phase. That can to a screeching halt after I had the opportunity to be a state delegate at the Georgia State Republican Convention in 2008. There’s something about watching the process up close and personal that forces you to come to terms with the way things do and don’t work. But that is a topic for another day.

The important thing is that it was then I realized the way I gathered and processed information had to change if I was going to create a real life with real ideas and real impact. I stopped watching the news. I instead began to look for different ways to gather new ideas. The truth is I was so burnt out that I buried myself in novels for a while and absorbed the world of make believe that was fiction, but at least didn’t pretend to be real life.

Now, most of what I do is chase rabbits. I’ll find a particular meme or shared article on social media interesting, either for it’s content or lack thereof, and hunt it down to it’s origin. It is astounding how often the original post is so far off from the actual truth or intent. It emphasizes to me how lazy we have become in believing what other folks put in front of us as fact.

Podcasts have become invaluable. The wide variety of topics is seemingly endless. Moreover, the diversity of perspective is one I simply can’t get in everyday life. Different belief systems, background, socioeconomic demographics, cultures, ideologies, etc. are all represented and available with a touch of a button. In truth, these ideas vary in truth and reliability as the internet has become the wild west of information. However, Hearing the idea and listening to the dialogue has been invaluable at broadening the wonders I had and creating a forest of new ones.



Intro Via Cereal – He Said She Said ep.1

A few weeks ago I encountered an article on a topic that isn’t typically discussed openly or in mixed company. The article invited about two dozen men to share their views on the topic. I found the whole article fascinating. I was able to look into the candid thoughts of a variety of men on a topic I would never discuss directly.

That gave me the idea for He Said / She Said.

I sent an email out to 7 people – 3 women 4 men. I asked them if they would care to participate, at their own discretion and in their own way, in discussing different topics. The topics will be all over the place:

  • who pays on a date
  • when does the Christmas tree go up
  • how many sexual partners is too many
  • Which candy bar is superior
  • is football too dangerous
  • gun control
  • favorite cereal
  • current events
  • If the title of the He Said / She Said is sexist because “He” is first

What follows is the first question and the reply. We hope you enjoy it and participate.

I know this question sounds ridiculous. But I promise it isn’t. If you answer it thoughtfully, it will be a great, non traditional, introduction of a little bit about who you are as a person before we tackle something a bit heavier.

What was your favorite cereal as a child? Is it the same now? Why or why not?

I was a weird kid. My favorite cereal when I was growing up was Life with Cheerios running a close second. I never really cared much for the sugary cereals as a kid. Occasionally a bowl of Cap’n Crunch’s Crunch Berries maybe but, for the most part, I was a Life and Cheerios kid.

As an adult I’d have to say Lucky Charms, hands-down. Then again, as an adult, cereal isn’t a breakfast food anymore. It’s more of an evening snack kind of food. I can’t remember the last time I ate cereal for breakfast.


In the pitch blackness of the early morning hours, I’d wake to sounds of Daddy getting ready for haul. Laying in bed, tucked under flannel sheets and handmade quilts and grannie squared afghans, I’d muster up the courage to slip out onto the cold floor. The hiss of the cast iron radiator would let me know the heat had been turned up. Quickly donning my pink terry robe and slippers from the Sears Roebuck catalog, I cracked open the door and scurried down to the kitchen.

Momma would be flying around, making coffee, packing his lunchbox, filling his thermoses with hot cocoa and soup. Two leftover meatloaf sandwiches and a whoopie pie would be neatly wrapped in waxed paper and tucked into the steel gray hinge topped box.

Daddy, larger than life…layered for the long day on the water in waffle weave long johns, wool socks, flannel shirt, a hideous hand knit gold and seafoam green sweater vest, and a pair of corduroys, would be prepping his cereal.

“Susie Q…what you doing up?”

I’d shrug.

Taking down a bowl from the cupboard, I’d retrieve the lone biscuit from the white paper which previously held three. Daddy would be ripping and tearing his two into his bowl. Daintily, I’d break mine into neat little uniform pieces.

“Honey, it’s all going to the same place.”

Sugar bowl in hand, he’d sprinkle some on mine, and tip the hand a little too heavy on his.

The milk poured, we sat together at the kitchen table, waiting for it to get just the right amount of soggy. With each sip, steam from his coffee would repeatedly fog up his glasses.

“Think we’ve got time for a quick game of cribbage?”

Beaming…”yes Daddy.”

A. Lynn

Favorite cereal:  Cheerios at first, and then Cap’N Crunch, who’s not even a real Captain, or Cap’N cause he doesn’t have enough stripes.  I think I read somewhere that he’s actually a commander. Hmm, Commander Crunch? Nah, not feeling it.  The fact that someone took the time to research a character on a cereal box is both funny and disturbing, as is the fact that I not only remembered that fact, but also shared it..with no shame.  Anyway, I don’t eat cereal now, and I haven’t eaten Cheerios or Cap’N Crunch since I was about 13. #TheThrillisGone.


My favorite cereal as a child was Fruity Pebbles. After pouring the milk, I would patiently wait a couple of minutes for the cereal to become a blissfully wonderful mix of crunchy and soggy pebbles as I proceeded to devour them one heaping spoonful at a time. I enjoyed both the texture and the taste as I ate each bite. Also, after I had chased every last stray pebble down with my spoon and consumed every one of them, I was left with a sweet, fruity flavored milk that I would drink from the bowl.

At age 41, Fruity Pebbles remains my favorite cereal for all the same reasons. I guess, when it comes to food anyway, I don’t grow tired of the same flavors and textures. I still indulge, on occasion, in a box of Fruity Pebbles that I will share with my two sons (9 and 6 yo). They have their own favorites, but they also enjoy my favorite when I go rogue and stray from the healthier choices that I typically try to consume on a more regular basis.


You can refer to me as “Cornflake Girl”. In addition to being my answer to your first question, it’s also a great Fiona Apple song, so instead of obsessing over what pseudonym I should use, I’m Just gonna go with Cornflake Girl.

Favorite cereal as a child was probably cornflakes. Or maybe Chex or Crispix, whatever my mom had bought at the time that was even relatively “normal”. My mom was older, and had fed into the whole organic gardening hippie health food movement of the ‘70s, so most of what she bought more resembled yard rakings than anything that would have a cartoon mascot trying to sell it to children. She refused to buy anything that had a sugar glaze, or frosting, or marshmallows, or toys, etc. “You don’t need all that sugar!”  Little did she know that we went to the sugar cannister on the countertop, the one she used when she was baking, and spooned no less than 1/4 cup of sugar directly onto her “healthy” cereal. So her strategy backfired in that respect. I only got to illicitly taste the other cereals, what I considered the GOOD stuff, when I was at friends’ houses on sleepovers. Hopefully none of *their* parents were having a crisis of health conscience and only eating Raisin Bran or something.

I really don’t eat cereal at all now. Trying to do low carb was the initial motivation with that. Whenever I do have a carb lapse it tends to be later in the day. I’m all about eggs for breakfast now. Maybe oatmeal was my favorite before I switched away from carbs. Or the Chex. Chex is and always will be pretty damn awesome.

Cornflake Girl

Fruity Pebbles, hands down, has always been my favorite cereal. Lucky Charms is great, but it’s just too much damn work separating out the marshmallows. I think I saw somewhere that they made a box of just the marshmallows, but that feels gluttonous somehow and I just don’t think I can get past that to actual enjoy it. So it’s Fruity Pebbles.

We never got them much as a kid. Mom always bought the economical cereals. Every once in a while, that beautiful box would show up. It never lasted long. But I appreciated it. And though my little girl brain couldn’t have articulated it, I know that cereal became equated with appreciation for the special things.

I moved out of my parents home the summer before my senior year of high school. I always had Fruity Pebbles, even if I didn’t have much else. It was walking distance from my parents’ house. One more than one occasion I woke up to find one of my sisters, usually the youngest, in front of my TV with a bowl of her very own. I did a lot of the things that most 17 year old kids would do if they lived on their own. My sisters always kept my secrets and I never complained about them eating my cereal. Back then, bribery is what I would have associated that box with. Now, I am able to recall how great it felt seeing my kid sisters enjoying something I was able to do for them all on my own – and the bribery.

Today, I could eat Fruity Pebbles any time I want. I don’t. In fact, I rarely do. I am always afraid I’ll mess up the nostalgia of the thing. It sounds bizarre to have such a crux of conscience over cereal, but I am a woman of many wonders and this is one of them. I wonder if keeping the nostalgia is better than enjoying the cereal. I wonder if I will still think it tastes as good as the last time I ate it. I wonder if I am over wondering all of it. So, unless the kids pick it (which they rarely do), neither do I. But the box still makes me smile.