Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Random thoughts for 2008...

The first random thoughts post back in August was entirely impulsive, now it feel like a chore. And to be honest, with the news lately, rather depressing. Besides, Uncle Jay did it so much better than I ever could ! I wonder if he's really an uncle?

YouTube - Uncle Jay Explains: Year-end! 12-22-08

Happy New Year ! Baby 2009 has some high expectations on those newborn shoulders, may we all do our part to relieve the burden.

Monday, December 29, 2008

Role models...

who were literally playing roles ! Some of us are lucky enough to have a plentiful supply of amazing women (and men) to emulate as we grow. Some of us aren't so lucky and it's probably best to just hide under the bed until we come of age. I managed to avoid dust bunnies most of the time and got to grow up with some incredible women (and men) but face it, some of those that influenced my formative years the most came courtesy of our 13" Zenith. So I got to thinking, who were my TV role models? And there were so many I started to get dizzy. So even though I'll never have super powers, or bio-robotic limbs, or have to face a snowstorm in the Great Plains while blind (well I hope not) I did manage to pick the top three !


Wonder Woman- 'nuff said.


The Bionic Woman- She was smart, pretty, could toss Steve Austin half a mile and tore a phone book in half.


Mary Ingalls- Laura was just another goofy kid, but Mary had it altogether, even going blind caused barely a blip on her calm demeanor radar.



There's more of course, lots, but those were the first three that came to mind. I wish I could say I wanted to be Eleanor Roosevelt or Madame Curie, but yea, nope. And then there was one I came to identify with quite by accident, Marilyn Monroe. My mom bought or borrowed her biography and I was stunned to find photos of a plain Jane in family photo whose own mother was as lost and mysterious to her as mine was to me. So Norma Jean became a somewhat kindred spirit, except I have to say I never went for the whole bleached hair, breathy voice persona. By the time I was engaged it was Jackie O, really Jackie Kennedy, I even requested my engagement ring resemble hers.

So many more, so many more. But today's musing really just went to the TV's influence. I once read a wonderful poem dedicated to the women in the poet's life who'd guided her, including those who showed the paths better avoided. I wish I could remember the author or the title but I can't. I do know it's probably in a literature anthology (Norton's perhaps?) from the late 80's because I distinctly remember reading it in a classroom. So that's that, if any come to mind do share, you never know !

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Homespun...

is so often the most cherished. CA Girl in 10-OC has a beautiful holiday post, this blog isn't nearly so poetic, but I couldn't resist the inspiration.

My daughter's Christmas stocking for her first four holidays. Made by her brother just for her and no fancy store stocking could convince me to replace it...until...






...she spotted this little baby.








Yep, it has twinkly lights. :sigh:



So I consoled myself with some new Christmas crafts...








...aren't they divine? Ky worked so hard, those are for her cousins, this one is just for her.







Storemade is full of wonder and love too. Our surprise Christmas Eve guest...




... fresh from Texas ! Thanks Laz and Andrea ! I know I said I'd get his pic in snow, but it just didn't do him justice.



Here's what you're missing ! Check out the fancy new shovel.



Is it too much to ask for Christmas that Texas be moved a bit closer to New York?

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

All I want for Christmas...

is to live the simple life. With prosperity in our past, recession in our present, and an uncertain future it really is time to get to basics. So here are some early resolutions to get back to basics and live simply...


Our family will get rid of most of our clothes. Two outfits each are plenty, combined with one bath a week (shared bath water of course) we'll never have to worry about the cost of entertaining.


No more elaborate dinners served on fancy Correlle, from now on we sit around the fire gnawing on marrow and then just toss the bones outside the cave, er, house.


Root vegetable are just that, roots, and if we want to eat anything green we'll just find some old bread on clearance.


No more expensive electronic music boxes, if my teen wants to get lost in music he can hit himself in the head with an iRock untils he hears ringing and sees stars.

And $275.oo for three months of contact lenses for my husband and son ! In the old days no one knew the word blur, who needs to see each leaf on a tree? They all look alike anyway.

If someone has something I want, and I'm bigger, I get it. If someone wants something I have they better be able to beat up my husbands. Yep,that was plural, we'll need all the protection we can get ladies. They should probably be really young and healthy too.

No more overpriced video games, from now on they can rent a war movie from the library and use their little index finger gun to shoot at the TV. Better yet go outside and play cowboys and Native Americans.

Have a great holiday and may all your Christmas wishes come true too :)


Thursday, December 18, 2008

Just say no...

to Caroline Kennedy's overt attempt to replace Hillary Clinton as our junior senator. She should be shame faced for even trying to squeeze by solely on her family name. There are plenty of unknown monikers that come to mind that have earned that coveted appointment. Kirsten Gillibrand is one, she ran one heck of a race to win her house seat and I bet isn't nearly as press/publicity shy as Kennedy. A Kennedy appointment is no better than Palin getting hand (of one, McCain's) picked for VP, and at least had to run in an actual election. It reeks of aristocracy and hasn't this country had enough of 3 families running our nation for generations through name recognition, corruption and favors? These stories make for great movies of the week, but lousy politicians.

Monday, December 8, 2008

Smoke and mirrors...

and sleight of hand. The entire nation watches as the media and congress focus in on the...........auto industry. Meanwhile out the treasury trap door drops hundreds of billions of taxes and new money into the waiting hands of greedy bankers, CEO's and other executives. Maybe it's time for the citizens to crush them instead and let an economy that truly encourages innovation and an entrepreneurial spirit to take hold. Boycott people. Everyone. Boycott them all. We can all ride out the winter on some sun soaked island with low living expenses and come back in the spring to rebuild. Seriously, aren't we all sick and tired of the Ponzi scheme we call the stock market and our best and brightest not standing a chance at patent rights? Much less a small business being driven out by the big guy who drops prices to nothing then takes a nice tax break on the loss. Maybe someday when we're all working for peanuts, beholden to the company store, and the only opportunities for our children are as cannon fodder we'll stop shopping.
Recommended reading: The Jungle-Upton Sinclair
The Grapes of Wrath-John Steinbeck
You'll need the information to navigate the new economy.

Monday, December 1, 2008

Random thoughts for...

the first day of December. I forgot to cap off November.

Obama won !!! Still can't believe it, but it's a nice thing to try to wrap my head around for a change.


Unlike the Walmart nightmare where a wild eyed mob, hopped up on the thought of spending their pennies on junk, killed a man.


After 2 years of incessant complaints and concern about Obama's lack of experience and judgement, he's surrounding himself with experienced staff. Now there are complaints and concerns that his staff are too experienced.


We got away with some great weather this season, that's over.



Hillary's back ! Maybe she should consider sending Bill off to the Iditarod for a while.



And the best thing about November after the election and a great Thanksgiving?
CHOCOLATE NEWS !! YouTube - Chocolate News Barack Obamas Wardrobe
Who said Obama was the death of late night political comedy?!

Sunday, November 30, 2008

Civics 101...

starts in the home. Read the following Bismarck Tribune - Bismarck News - Americans struggle with civics test and then consider what the root of the above problem might be. The article blames the schools and media, neglecting to mention the ready tools at our disposal to easily find information. What would I blame? The number one reason our citizens are resoundingly ignorant about our government and political process is manners. Yep. Manners. We're told it's impolite to discuss religion or politics, yes? Inappropriate dinner conversation, best to stick with Aunt Myrtle's gall bladder or cousin Bonnie's new BMW. Nothing helps the digestion like gallstones or Bonnie's ability to show off. So what are our children, our littlest citizens reared on? Materialism and ailments. Throw in some choice comments about another race, religion or nationality and you've covered family values in America. Unless of course everyone agrees, hell then, when we all agree we're political geniuses !! Discoursing about just how much WE love Bush, Palin or Obama ! Why the sheer brilliance of us all as we nod knowingly content in our little universe. Every problem is the result of the other guy just not seeing the world like we do ! So after a couple of generations of "politics and religion a no no" (not in Europe by the way, Europeans would never fall for that crap, your average Greek one year old could talk about what's going in the Balkans), we are now faced with a citizenry that doesn't know it's collective civics ass from it's congressional elbow. Unless of course, and this is rich, you go to church. Why where else is it FINE to discuss politics AND religion within the same hour? Why CHURCH, of course ! Duh. Now there's a place to go to really get to a broad working knowledge of political issues. Why just the other day our local bishop was saying how much he'd love to marry two guys but the Pope hasn't come around yet.
So let's recoup about what's missing among our citizenry, civics classes? Well yea, but really they include all that stuff in other subjects. An intellectual media? It's there folks you just gotta look for it, better yet reach your own conclusions. What's really missing is your least favorite cousin stumping the hell out of you at Thanksgiving dinner while defending his own candidate. So you, in a fit of piqued rage sneak off to Grandma's laptop to find out just what the hell Keynesian means and why did it make you feel like you're an idiot. Hence a new politics buff is born and suddenly, what's this? You realize there a whole world out there that matters and it's your civic duty to give a damn. For all of us that really don't want to send our children to war or over pay our taxes it's the least we can do.

Friday, November 28, 2008

Happy Thanksgiving Redux!

Better late than never. What a great time to spend appreciating our blessings and expressing our gratitude, why not carry it over to another day? Especially since I'm cooking an entire turkey today at home after a grouchy morning. So in honor of Thanksgiving Redux, our favorite simple prayer of gratitude :)

thank you for the food we eat,
thank you for the world so sweet,
thank you for the birds who sing,
thank you God for everything

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Rough day !

I tell ya, when it rains it really does pour. What a day ! I'm not one to complain but sometimes too much is just too much and a mother has to let it out, so forgive me and please don't let today make anyone fear for having children. I should've known things weren't going to go well when the nanny arrived AFTER my daughter woke up. Needless to say I had to hold her off with a banana until the cook could prepare a proper breakfast. Boy, after 10 minutes can I say my relief at her nanny's arrival was so great I decided not to dock her pay after all. After the chore of the morning I only had an hour to myself to shower and dress before the housekeeper showed up to wash the bathrooms. I loathe Thursdays, it's deep cleaning day and so draining to have the entire cleaning crew all over the place rather than just Rita happily vacuuming. She's such a dear too, she barely flinches anymore when a dust bunny frightens a scream out of me. I would've gladly gotten right out of the crew's way but once again I was held up for my spa appointment by the nanny ! OK, I can tolerate a lot of adversity but this was the breaking point. By the time she had my daughter dressed and ready to present to me for inspection I barely had time to warm up the Jaguar. Hate cold leather ! I'm rethinking her Christmas bonus this year. Oh well, perhaps some afternoon champagne and a decent pedicure will perk me up. Tommorrow has to be better, right?

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

My thoughts exactly...

Maybe now I won't feel so bad shouting "I AM NOT A CIRCUS ACT" at my kids.

Omaha.com Living Section

Saturday, November 15, 2008

4+1= I'm five...

There's something a bit poetic about having a baby at 36. When she's 4, you're 40. Five years old and you're 4+1, six and 4+2. The poetry isn't in the math so much as in the reawakening middle age can spark in a person. Forty is a huge milestone, half your shelf life is gone, face it who doesn't go for the fresh milk way in the back? Add still raising a young child and it's a faltering reawakening. You take stock in what's left on your shelves, but it's a halting, constantly interrupted, slower process than the unencumbered 40 year old with more self sufficient children. Or no children of course, but that's entirely another matter. I imagine their stock is filled with shelves of entirely different experiences and accomplishments, easily categorized by earned income, books read, movies seen in movie theaters, restaurant dinners, perhaps travel brochures?
Anyway not to digress, it's a much more twisted road back to coherent sentences 20 years after your last final exam. (In my case 11 years since my educational process has been long and still neglected today) Wander off path and suddenly you're reminiscing about some decades old crossroad with three still uncharted roads. So back to the poetry. Rather than flail around with frustration or (heaven forbid us mothers ever admit to feeling this so shhhhhhhh) resentment because I'm unable to focus on other accomplishments besides child rearing, I decided I'm going to have a do over ! While my little girl is four I'm going to be four ! Preparing to head out into the world of buses and elementary school without the comforting apron strings of home ready to snap me back within 3 hours. I'm going to play and jump and eat only when I really want to and if I'm not too busy, so as to keep body as well as mind healthy and young. When she's five I'm going to be five ! Dipping our toes in that great big bureaucracy of rules, schedules and learning we call public education, only mine will also include some reducation along with some new credentials. And six, oh six will be huge ! First grade, 8 hours straight with perhaps even an after school activity to keep us far from the advice and encouragement of each other as we navigate our days. And so on as long as our our ages are a symmetric equation ! By the time I'm 50 the poem will be over, she'll turn 15 and mom will be banished, only brought out for audience participation, hair emergencies and when some life event has given her visceral knots of doubt or fear worthy of dusting mom off for some guidance. From now on I'm choosing to be as freed up as my child, unable to predict what the future will hold or what direction will call out to us. The next decade is going to be such a wonderful ride :)

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Out goes the lamb...

in comes the lion. When I started this blog I intended to change the pic in the side bar to reflect our current season. I feel so blessed to spend my life with the seasons. I don't remember when it clicked billions of other people don't and get along just fine, thank you very much, but I know retiring to Florida or some such just wouldn't cut it without a lengthy visit with snow and evergreens. Despite never updating my home sweet home pic rest assured we've enjoyed our warmer seasons immensely, all the more knowing how quickly they'll pass. The four seasons are the perfect metaphor for our lives, the joy of rebirth in spring, the intense activity and growth in summer, the reflective beauty of autumn and the solemn, quiet, peaceful respite of winter. Even small children seem to hunker down and take life more seriously in the cold evenings of hearth and home. Winter is the time to process the experiences of birth, life and death during the rest of the year into wisdom, and gain a whole new appreciation of spring.
While well aware there's still a full month before the official start of winter, I won't be changing the pic. Just as I craved spring at the start of this blog I now find myself craving the first mystical snowfall of winter.

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

A new day and it's OK to pray now...

Today I woke up to the same messy home, the same dog banging against the back of my knees, the same daily errands ahead with no surprises, I figured of course it's too soon for the promised "change".

But then I thought about it, I remembered how I'd feel when the words democrat and liberal were invoked with scorn by our President and Vice President. I remembered the last eight years and telling my son it's OK to be "liberal elite" and earn money but still care about the poor,and it's OK to talk pretty and develop a decent vocabulary. It's OK to be articulate and well educated, even an intellectual if you choose and what they're saying among the RNC set is just wrong. And for eight years I've defended the best of conservative and liberal values by example and modeling our own chosen conservative lifestyle. Which in the conundrum that is life is really liberal since liberals embrace all healthy lifestyles.

Now I have another toddler entering her next phase of childhood. Just like her brother pulled the lever for Gore eight years ago, this little one pulled the lever for Obama. Unlike her brother she won. And within seconds I realized nothing feels different but everything has changed. The White House will reflect our values, our President will be held as an example of what can be accomplished with a healthy mind and caring family, even if the money isn't always there. And as those successes are accomplished to remember the less fortunate, and even less deserving but in need, as it's our moral responsibility to provide those basic needs and encouragement.

A few posts ago I stated I don't pray for politicians to win. Nothing less godly or christian in my book. To be fair though I have wavered and taken the more corporeal road on that one lately. I do however fervently and openly pray those politicians elected by the people stick to their promised paths and waver only in the best interest of their countrymen, not just themselves. I pray for them to be safe and may God keep them and theirs from those that would wish them harm. And that's not so bad since it's my general prayer for all people. Be the people your dogs and small children think you are :)

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Squeeze the middle class enough....





and you get a revolution.












We're here !

I have absolutely nothing to add to the blog voting frenzy out there. I just wanted this date in history on my blog. :)

Friday, October 31, 2008

Random thoughts for October...

It's Halloween ! The day the veil between the living and dead is the thinnest, muhahahhahah, something to think about when you feel a chill in the room !



It seems nowadays children are being raised in families with less strict rules and expectations than general society. When the reverse was true people just did better. No wonder our prisons are packed. I'm damn proud to be a strict mom and telling my kids what they don't want to hear sometimes.



Whenever I hear rich conservatives talk about pulling up the proverbial bootstrap, poverty breeds enterpreneurism/innovation and handouts encourage sloth, I wonder why they don't just encourage their children to marry poor people and then disown them more often?





Why don't more well off liberals just admit welfare benefits keep crime down and it's a great reason to help the less fortunate and be self serving at the same time. Sometimes it's just not all about altruism.



October is my favorite month of the year and it flew by ! I feel like I've been robbed by all this election hoopla, we should move the election to the dog days of August.




Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Between me and God...

David Sedaris wrote an excellent piece in the New Yorker about voting, well it was actually about undecided voters but he had a great anecdotal paragraph about his mother and the voting booth.

Shouts & Murmurs: Undecided: Humor: The New Yorker

I don't remember the first time I voted with my mom. And she may have let me switch the levers and pull the curtain handle but she sure as heck didn't let me make her choice. If it was my mom voting, it was for a Republican, just like her doting father served as in our city. Now, in hindsight, I think voting for her was like a cemetery visit or a trip through well worn photos. And despite being the least private person I've ever know, the woman made a public hallway announcement when my sister had her first period, she wouldn't tell anyone who got her vote. We'd get home and my dad would ask and every single time my mom would reply, "none of your business Joe, my vote is between me and God." I'd like to think the word damn was in there but I'm probably projecting.
As I did with my mom in my youth, until I was old enough to understand what each lever meant hence no longer welcome to share the moment with her, my children have accompanied me to the booth. And like Sedaris' mom in moments of utter ignorance about certain candidates I've let my kids play pick the lever. Terrible I know. And it may well be the case this coming Tuesday. But one thing for sure, God willing, my children will know that on that day we'll be pushing one little lever for Barack Obama. They'll know after centuries of non-citizenship for blacks to hard fought second class citizenship and finally a U.S. Presidential nominee, they shared a piece of history to hopefully elect a fine citizen and the first African-American President of the United States of America.

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Absolute power corrupts absolutely, or...

How Gore won the popular vote but lost the election, or...

Why Obama needs to win by a blatant, obvious landslide, or...

Why those silly exit polls claimed Kerry won the election, or...

Why a minority, yes a minority, of voters in this country would rather have our voting system entirely corrupted than pay a few more dollars in taxes.

How we got George Bush

Monday, October 27, 2008

When I grow up...

I want to be Margaret or Helen :)

Margaret and Helen

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Ron Rocks :)

OK, would I share this if they were plugging McCain/Palin? Probably !

Ron Howard's Call To Action from Ron Howard and Henry Winkler

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Old Generals Never Die...

they endorse Obama. It looked for a while like Colin Powell was going to "just fade away" into obscurity and philanthropy, but nope, he's come back into the public forefront with a sound, ringing endorsement of Barak Obama. Would that we see more of these shifts between parties in the future. I could live with a future United States for my children with two strong, healthy, intelligent, dueling parties. Maybe three or four ! During the Clinton administration I once had a rather sharp exchange with another student regarding Powell. His argument was that there are people in government above reproach, unlike Clinton. I presented the side of human frailty and the ridiculousness of expecting perfect integrity from anyone, especially politicians.My argument fell apart when he threw in the lofty name, Colin Powell. He challenged me to tell him who doesn't like Powell. Well, needless to say, my brain fogged up, my tongue slipped around in there and came out with, I swear this is humiliating but true, "I don't know, I'm sure there's something, maybe he insulted someone's mother." I know, right, wish I had a camera for the professor's face, he'd been enjoying himself until that point. I was a fan, a huge fan. Until pre-Iraq war, until a UN speech that made me say maybe we should go into Iraq. Maybe leveling Baghdad is the right thing to do. But it wasn't of course and Powell's incredible integrity took a huge hit. One truly hopes Colin Powell is dead on target this time and Obama will lead us into our global future radiating intellect and innovation.

Sunday, October 12, 2008

Currently reading...

The Feminine Mystique by Betty Friedan. Well to be honest I'm currently reading the much later added epilogue , and finished reading the part published in 1962. That's right, 1962. So is it relevant today? Well for sheer thought provoking fun it's most certainly relevant. And to be honest, I don't think anyone can claim the slightest comprehension of the feminist movement without at the very least perusing some Cliff Notes. Many of her theories and opinions could easily be written for today's 21st century woman. And I have to say, as I sit here typing with the four year old screaming out about the injustice of her 14 year old brother being a hell of a lot stronger than she is, I can't help but wonder, WHERE THE HELL was this book when I was 18 ! Or 5 !

One of the major criticisms of this book, besides the obvious anti-feminist jibes of course, is that Friedan focused mainly on upper middle class, privileged white women. And I have to agree, Friedan just blows right by the simple fact that most Americans, male or female, just didn't have the means or weren't qualified to pursue her assumption that self actualization, hence contentment, hence sexual fulfillment hinged on having a socially acceptable, highly admired, professional career. Nope, a job just wouldn't cut it. So if you were/are a blue collar wage slave who managed a great family you were a stunted, ignorant hack wallowing in the misery of unrealized potential. Yea, you know who you are !
It's a fantastic journey through 20th century feminism, although the Freud chapter dragged , like I'd imagine psychotherapy would, it felt like I was reading that one chapter for weeks. She is dead on about the onslaught of marketing tools herding girls into the housewife role. Shop mommy shop ! I'd already read how prescient her theory was on consumerism and the happy housewife and that woman had a crystal ball. I won't quote but the gist is a housewife's main role is to buy stuff for the house. And since I, and this is a major deep, dark secret I rarely share, am a non-sorter of laundry ( that's right, mix those whites with colors baby ! tattle gray is going to be big one day I tell you), I loved the parts about how women tend to over complicate housework. And totally agree. This answers the age old mystery why men seem to take two minutes to do something that takes the wife an hour. I think you get the idea where this book goes, housewives just biding time uselessly until we die versus the career woman earning her self respect and leaving us in the dust, literally. Do I agree? Nope, but only because the world has evolved to accommodate the late female bloomer. I could see how much more depressed I'd be if it was 1962.

So why is a 40 year old lover of bras suddenly taking an interest in feminism? Well for the most obvious of reasons, her 4 year old daughter. I already have a 14 year old who delights in telling me my Italian pronunciation sucks and gee mom, we ARE trying to get my math grade to go up, right? So I'll be darned if my daughter is looking at me with contempt someday because not only am I lacking a JD or MD but don't even know why. "Mom? Really? Like, you just what, met daddy and decided to wait for the grim reaper at home?" Seriously, I'm really lacking in some basic textbook knowledge of this stuff. I read Reviving Ophelia around my eighth month of pregnancy and then stopped cold and bought a sewing machine right after her birth. Let me tell you, that sewing machine is lucky it survived chapter 5.

The best thing about reading this book? I lost my grandmother when I was 13. I wouldn't lose my mother for another 20 years but my grandmother was a much bigger influence than my mother in many ways. Reading this book gave her to me in a way that I'd never had before. She was a product of the roaring 20's, the nurse, turned wife, turned mother, turned army nurse, turned political wife, turned widow, turned frustrated grandma of three who dreamed of moving on but got stuck helping to raise three grandchildren. This book was like reading the trajectory of her life. And, despite my misgivings regarding some of her theories, for that I thank Betty Friedan with all my heart.

Sunday, October 5, 2008

Why Obama?

Politician worship, in my book, is the ultimate blasphemy. Bush using the religious right to further his own agenda, and vice versa, was probably the most galling result of his administration. Obama's campaign has also been tainted by the perversion of obviously religious, holier than thou, support unable to transcend politics to preach the bigger picture. No one needs to see small children chanting Bush, Obama or Hannah Montana for that matter. So I say this knowing full well I'm on a slippery slope with this post. When Bush was elected I initially took the position I'd have to have faith that so many decent people I knew had faith in his agendas. I do admire and support Obama for his intellect and determination, but refuse to consider some Godly support or approval from the heavens. As my mother always insisted, we do not presume to know God or God's business, that simple. But when I see something like this video YouTube - Israelis For Obama inspired by a politician, a POLITICIAN !, I can't help but again have faith that so many decent people have faith in his agendas. Admittedly it's much easier this time.

Friday, October 3, 2008

Mixed Blessings

I have a diverse group of friends and family. Just like Palin, only I don't want to crush the rights out of them. Since I get emails from both sides of the aisle, OBAMA'S THE ANTICHRIST, PALIN'S AFFAIR, I usually don't respond since I think that stuff is stupid. That's right, I may not like her but if she got jiggy with the family friend it's her business. But the mortgage crisis is ugly, damn ugly and hurts every single one of us. So after weeks of information and misinformation here's my humble little take on it.

The 90's were all about community reinvestment, this is why you can walk around in NYC again and admire well kept neighborhoods, gentrification was just forcing all the poor people into the street. Interest rates were 11-14% when Clinton took office. NO ONE could afford that. So true, privatized FNMA and Freddie Mac were encouraged to take on subprime credit, and they did back a bunch of crappy loans knowing full well the loans were being sold like whores, over and over again. It got crazy and when more honest representatives and the states cried foul (look up Georgia Fair Lending Act), enough, BUSH made sure he blocked any attempt to rein it in so he could crow about his "ownership society". Under Clinton rates dropped to something normal, communities were revitalized and we all prospered, the Republicans get plenty credit and blame for the policies that got us there too. When Bush took office, checks and balances went right out the door and the greed took over. Look up "derivatives" not that it matters if you do because no one can f***ing understand them.

I was fine with McCain, just thrilled Bush was outta there. I didn't vote in the primaries, I wasn't thrilled with the blood letting that would ensue with either Obama or Clinton and my kid had a fever so it was easy to stay home that day. So I'm not some die hard Democrat who touts party lines. But then Bush, I mean McCain (oopsie), picked Palin. Drill baby drill, super secret media hating, Russian like propagandist, political iron curtain promoting Palin. She's Cheney without the Satan worship. I really hope there comes a day when Palin is in a primary election. She's a great politician, that's it. There's nothing else there people. Just like Bush. So no matter how you slice it McCain is nothing but a Bush lover (get your head out of the gutter). The odds favor McCain becoming at the least incapacitated during his presidency, the thought of Palin and Pelosi running things is the stuff of nightmares.

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

My View

The View has been around so long it's hard to remember a time when my TV didn't start blaring out shouts, shrill screams and laughter at 11Am. I don't even have to watch the clock, just stick the TV on channel 7 at some point after 10:30 AM and no problem, the whole neighborhood knows The View has begun. I admit it, nowadays I just watch to hear the political rants. Barbara Walters has obviously bet the farm on keeping that stuff as sensational as possible for ratings. It seems like The View may actually have "jumped the shark" with Sherrie Shepard, yea that could be spelled wrong, I don't care. Anyway here's what I got out of a decade of The View.

Meredith- miss you miss you miss you


Debbie- OK, Greek girls often scare me, especially now that I'm raising one, and Debbie was clueless, but they wanted young and they got it.


Lisa Ling- Obliterated the youth excuse applied to Debbie.

Joy - Cracks me up but actually reading up on a topic before trying to defend it might help.

Rosie- Never liked her on her own show, and at first thought "Ok, maybe I was wrong". Nope.

Barbara- A national treasure.

Star Jones- Definitely read up on EVERY topic, most intelligent View host ever, but holy cow, her ego was bigger than she was.

Elizabeth- Great for fitness tips, highlights and makeup advice, her fashion sense is way off, leave Joy and Whoopi the hell alone already with those stupid outfits, but politics? She's really the comedian, not Joy, right?


and Whoopi- there are no words. Loved this woman since first catching her one woman show a lifetime ago. "I'm, like, pg like Mary, except my baby, like, has a father." Please Whoopi, get off the sinking ship before barnacles start sticking.

Update= Whoopi you're still funny as hell and I guess mean well but that mortage bailout idea has got to be one of the most divisive, economy crushing, and misguided ideas I have ever heard in my life. However if you're so intent on it perhaps you could personally bail out some of them with your money. Maybe the other View ladies and Cindy McCain can chip in with their millions.

Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Random thoughts for September...

Try explaining autumn to a four year old when fall makes so much more sense.


Thank GOD for school.


Maybe a recession is just what we need to shake up this over fed, over pampered, apathetic country. Seriously, 700 billion so people can buy mcmansions and beemers and then face financial ruin if they need cancer treatments?


When I see young people cheering for Palin as she's pushing for more coal miner jobs I want to cry.


Obama needs to stop being so damn nice, he comes off as weak. I hope this is some Ali like rope a dope strategy.


Every year the irony of dozens of happy families apple picking compared to the grueling labor of migrant farm work never fails to get me.


We'll be getting our first oil delivery soon and I can't help but think about all the fun stuff that 2K could buy us. Such is the privilege of not freezing to death I guess.



October is the last month I get to be 40, I'll be officially on the road to 50 soon and highly ambivalent about this whole aging thing. It looks like I started out the first 25 years of my life clueless and will wind up spending the last 25 equally confused. I hope I won't have to spend any of it in diapers again though.






Sunday, September 28, 2008

Just a thought...

I honestly believe at this point it would be worth the risk to the economy to call the house Republicans on their bluff and not bail out the credit market. I know, I know, I said no more politics, but DANG, I'm only human. Really, wouldn't it be great. Call them on it, don't let them get away with more corporate tax breaks and their inane demands or grandstanding. Do it their way and let the free, deregulated market right itself right back up. Oh, yea ! It's not a free market ! It's as loaded as the craps dice in the sleaziest casino in town. Really, I'm for a lot of Republican principles but not a lot of Republicans lately and it just might be worth the risk to show these shysters up once and for all. What's next? Will the new populist Republicans dig up Hillary's old health care plan? Yea, I don't think their newfound concerns for the common man will last long. My heart truly goes out to the politicians on both sides of the aisle still trying to hang onto a bit of integrity, but they're losing sympathy points fast. Why not stand up, speak up, they might lose an election but they'll win something a hell of a lot more satisfying. No one knows if this bailout will or won't work, no matter how much Bush screams BOO tiredly into the cameras, so it's just as easy to do nothing. It just might be worth a tar paper shack and some hobo stew not to have to listen to this bull**it anymore.

Friday, September 26, 2008

Suspending my campaign,er, blog

It's been so easy to ignore this blog lately with all this news going on ! Collapsing economy, Palin answered a question, McCain parachutes in and rescues the economy while Obama does his best to not outright mock a war hero, Grey's Anatomy season premiere ! Really need I go on? I really don't want to turn this little piece of my world into some political rant so it's just easier to back off for a bit and watch my country get turned on it's head.
I will say everyday I'm in my (my being subjective of course, face it this house belongs to the bank and the whims of the economy) home with my two (80% of the time) darling children and my go to guy for everything wonderful life has to offer, I exhale a soothing breath (well thanks to allergies, any breath is a good thing lately) of gratitude that I really would still be perfectly happy if the US collapsed and we had to fight off brain sucking zombies together, as long as I'm in it with my little clan.

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

The Co-sleeping Battle.

The co-sleeping debate is quite popular nowadays. Some parents are adamant it's the worst thing for the child, the marriage and the mattress. Others swear it fosters security, and parents get more sleep avoiding bedtime dramas. This post isn't about any of that. This is about the co-sleeping battle of maintaining and holding ground against a growing toddler. We're on our second bed buddy and this one is proving to be quite the strategist in gaining territory. She maneuvers in sweetly with a request to cuddle, then hangs onto her dominance with careful placement of knees, elbows and feet. Even her head is assigned battering ram duties against our spines. She has to go.
Our son managed to hang in there until about 5 or 6 then decided his bed was far superior since his mattress hadn't ever been peed on. When he was about 8 we bought a new home and he started his campaign to invade our brand new king size bed. We'd had a full size previously which meant my husband spent more time on the couch than the dog. He made it clear if we were having another kid, he was getting a permanent space in a king size bed. Since we didn't just want to tell our son he couldn't stay with us and exile him to the opposite end of the hallway we worked out a compromise. He could come into our room anytime, with his blanket and pillow and sleep on the floor. He actually did this for a couple of nights, then I stopped dusting for spiders. Solved.
Now back to the girl. Unlike her brother, who willingly slept on the floor to spare himself the embarrassment of sleeping with his parents, Ky is so not ready to go there. But she really needs to go so I can wake up just one morning without a new bruise or bloody lip. Alex and I really have no problem with sleeping like farm animals, and I wouldn't trade the hours of bonding, cuddling warm baby bodies and security our children have felt snuggling with us in our bed, but I'm thinking it might be time to stop dusting the ceiling webs too.

Friday, September 5, 2008

Fahrenheit 451

Palin got her ignorant ass kicked by a librarian !


Ok, I was sure this one HAD to be false, but looks like this rumor is proving too tenacious to be false. She wanted to BAN BOOKS and fire the LIBRARIAN who refused to do it. Yea, vote for her, whatever. But she's crossed the line on this blog and I'm going to finally let go and say what I've wanted to say to Miss Cleavage since the first time I laid eyes on her. What a cheap attempt to tease with that skin colored undergarment she wore at the convention . Yes guys, she had on one of those weird scraps of material ice skaters, showgirls and strippers love to wear, you didn't really see her Aunt Bea bosom, just her Aunt Bea hairdo. Palin is the 50 student high school valedictorian who makes it to state university to find out she's a dime a dozen. Only McCain elevated her to dean. Nice, country first right! Also nice to see with all the infinite power Republicans have at their disposal they'll gladly use it to stick a Barbie figurehead into the White House.

Sarah Palin, if you have to move to sunny D.C. from frigid Alaska aren't you afraid all your plastic parts will melt? I'd stand far away from the fire at your book burning parties if I were you.

OOOOOOOOH, it feels good to take the low road.

The Modern Belly

In the old days, before blogs, celebrity sites and Nicole Kidman, you got pregnant, you got fat, you got pregnant again, you got fatter, you get the idea. Maintaining one's figure was much idealized, idolized and rare. We all know those lucky few in our social circles who didn't get strechmarks and balanced their babies on bony hips. Then everything changed and weight gain and stretch marks went from badges of honor to pounds of shame and scars of sloth. I'm not sure where it started but now pregnancy means a five pound weight gain and a 10 pound baby. It's become a contact sport with food, push that food off the plate ! fight off that second cheeseburger with hours on treadmills and in yoga classes ! And a competition among women to see who can earn the much coveted MILF title five minutes after delivery. So I have to say it isn't a surprise to that Palin looked like the Goodyear blimp with her first pregnancy, and the after pic in a weight loss ad during her fifth. Things have changed folks and I bet a lot of us mommies who've spread our pregnancies over the last decade have similar photo comparisons. I still can't stand her but I can certainly understand the pressure on the contemporary mother to make the expanding pregnant belly unobtrusive, the expanded boobs prominent as possible, and the appendages slim. The modern mommy in waiting is sleek, sheathed in black and strutting in stilettos. Palen still looks like her belly might have been bound, but I suspect that might not be all that uncommon nowadays and there might be a lot of swooning in the near future from the reemergence of the corset.

Thursday, September 4, 2008

It ain't over until McCain has sung !

Well at least ended his speech on a high note. I have to say I liked it, and I liked that this man who'd been through so much had his moment tonight. He deserved it, he deserved it eight years ago but was too busy dodging accusations of his wife's drug abuse and siring a black love child to beat Bush. It was the usual promises and pandering but he managed to throw some genuine sincerity in there.
I had the pleasure of watching 2 convention hours with a friend I've probably racked up thousands of phone hours talking about utter nonsense and laughing uproariously. She's an Independent who I don't believe has ever voted Democrat and she'll more than likely cast her vote for McCain. Or abstain this time. I expected the usual "I love her, she's a mom, and McCain loves her after a day of knowing her, give that woman the keys to the White House", but found a voter who is as turned off as I am. Why? Because of Palin. No, not because she hates women, hates kids, working moms, or new governors. Not because she believes the rumors and innuendos, she's barely aware of most of them, been busy moving and raising her own kids. But for one solid, simple, reason that makes this woman my go to girl when I need to hear some honesty. Yea, yea, truth is subjective and changes with the bearer, but at least it's sincere honesty. She's there even when I don't ask for truth, like about my hair, but I won't drag that into this right now. She simply does not know Palin. She understands that speeches and public appearances do little to really help make an informed opinion about a person. Choosing a stranger who'd barely been vetted as VP is not "putting country first". I can't wait until Palen finally makes her first unscripted press conference or interview because even though I know I'm unabashedly soured on her anyway, I just might get to watch it with the phone glued to my ear, the kids interrupting my gales of laughter, my husband shooting me withering glances as he tends to the four year old's nightime demands, and my friend. Thanks, I really needed that.

Comment on Mudflats.com

Or, you know, maybe someone needs to remind Sarah Palin that Jesus Christ was a community organizer and Pontius Pilate was a governor.posted by goodnewsfortheinsane at 8:54 AM on September 4 [25 favorites]
It’s from http://www.metafilter.com/74487/Sarah-Palin-as-McCains-runningmate
“Jesus was a Community Organizer, and Pontias Pilate was a Governor.”


Still hope Obama does the right thing and spends some bucks honoring those who serve their communities selflessly.

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Community Organizers

Do the people that make ugly speeches brush up on anything? Community organizers are the heroes of minority neighborhoods. People that build themselves up then return to help their fellow citizens. Many couldn't land traditional "white establishments" positions of power so they had to create their own. Often trading lucrative high powered opportunities in business, mobilizing the least powerful into one cohesive unit to work toward the betterment of the community. It's quite a lauded position in struggling communities and not to be mocked. I really hope Obama takes the positive connotation of this honorable position back from the hands of those that will never 'get it' and runs an ad honoring our strong, brave, and self sacrificing community organizers. It might not earn him votes but at least they deserve that much.

The Promises Have Begun.....

You don't have to pay taxes!
Healthcare will be dirt cheap!
You'll all "creatively, individually" get rich !
Your hair WILL grow back!
You will no longer feel the need to satisfy your sexual needs in the stalls of........... OK ,no one said that one.

Mudflats

OK , even if you're completely smitten with Palen just reading these Alaskan tidbits are worth the price of admission.
Mudflats

KRK (15:10:45) :
Great blog!
The “outside” bit always cracks me up. I spent the summer of ‘94 in Anchorage and it took me forever to understand all those odd headlines in the paper: “More Alaskans Go Outside This Year.”

The Bear

Obama and McCain are walking in the woods. In the distance a huge angry bear is coming right towards them. One takes off running, the other crouches down. The running man yells back "C'mon, run, what are you doing?", the crouching man replies "I'm putting on my sneakers, I don't have to outrun the bear, I only have to outrun you."

Floaters

In my late 20's I started getting floaters in my eyes. If you don't know what I'm talking about you're lucky, if you do then you know how aggravating they can be. They're always there but sometimes more bothersome than other times. This month has been particularly awful for my right eye, I mean if I'm looking at a white background I'm squinting Popeye-like awful. I was told years ago by an opthamologist there's nothing to be done, call if I suddenly have flashes, accompanied by a couple of horror anecdotes regarding what flashes can mean for the human eyeball. It ain't pretty. Of course I've googled and came up with all sorts of complicated solutions involving diet and surgeries. WELL, today I hit eye floater lotto ! It seems if you just move your eyeball rapidly side to side or up and down it can make those babies shift into the nether regions of your eyeball galaxy. I'm wondering did the opthamologist mention this and I was still stuck on "flashes and retinal detachment are not desirable". That's about about as scientific as I get. It's working ! Well for about 10 minutes at a stretch, but definitely an improvement and if you consider it cardio it's win/win.




Tuesday, September 2, 2008

The House That Jefferson Built.

Preferable outcomes for the election of the new White House residents?

Obama/Biden win the election, the Democrats get two years to turn back some of the Bush damage and the Republicans get back to winning a majority in 2010.

McCain dumps Palin for Romney, wins the election and in 2010 the Democrats have a 60 seat majority in congress.

The religious and liberal extremists are exiled to Cuba where they must all join the Catholic church and live under extreme socialism.


It's all about getting back to the basics of checks and balances.

Monday, September 1, 2008

Schadenfreude

All of us who've blogged about "Babygate" should feel a measure of guilt (well I do anyway) , especially regarding the guilty pleasure, about using the salaciousness of the scandal to pump up an opinion regarding the current VP nominee. It's an irresistible story and the cliched white elephant. However, blaming Obama and his supporters for rumors that started way back in Alaska before the VP announcement is ridiculous. If anything major kudos to him for comparing Bristol with his own mother and trying to protect her from the media. Class act all the way. Could you imagine if one of Obama's or Biden's underage children were trotted out on stage with a baby covering a distended belly? We'd have lame McCain jibes ala his Chelsea and rape jokes. What a wit ! I have to wonder if Bristol wanted to sit this one out and wasn't excused from the family table. One can only hope that when Bristol is/was/will be pregnant she inherited the kind of guts her mother obviously possesses and focuses on what's important, and it's not politics.

Head Spinning

OK, I'm lost. I've seen a nomination for VP right out of a Northern Exposure storyline. Kooky ex-beauty queen uses considerable manipulative/opportunistic skills to manuever into governorship. OK, great. Gets picked for VP by McCain based on one meeting, unvetted, tells a blatant outrageous lie in her first speech as VP nominee, and is wholeheartedly embraced by the conservative base. Let's not even get into the who's who and pregnant plot. Really people, what has to happen for any of you say, um, did something die under the porch? Meanwhile they're still in full attack mode regarding Obama's inexperience because he was too busy earning his law degree, practicing and teaching congressional law, working as a community organizer in CHICAGO, where the community actually surpasses the quadruple digits, to instead find some sweet little town in Illinois and spend his days fielding cow trespassing complaints at town hall. Sorry, no brainer there regarding intellect and experience. What Obama has is called the whole package , educated with enough life experience to make Palin look like the girl in the plastic bubble. Until a conservative can post a reasonable blog proving Palin's expertise in foreign policy, public education, health and security, and a little ole' paper called the Constitution, I'm just going to continue to enjoy this little political parody and pray our country really hasn't fallen this far. And seriously folks, if those bloggers who shamelessly and gleefully promoted the pregnancy switch rumors regarding the Palins are wrong then it looks like Palin binded her pregnant belly to hide it. Who takes that risk in this day and age? And why?
The biggest problem with Republicans nowadays is while they still wield immense power, it's mostly all about money and religion now. Logic, intellect, and substance have gone underground and for the better of our country it's time those who still possess those skills speak up or we'll all end up like Bristol Palin, dragged along as innocent, vulnerable pawns in the wake of of a few VIP's voracious appetite for greed, power and celebrity. This country doesn't need Palin, her daughter needs her.

Sunday, August 31, 2008

Random thoughts for August...

Prayers and thought to all the people trying to evacuate New Orleans in time.

I'd like to extend my sympathy to my southern still fried friends as cool summer breezes tickle my neck. Payback is a bitch though when we're under three feet of snow in January.

After spending the month with an unemployed, activity free teenager and bored four year old I can't help lament the injustice that they still get to grow up and older while I just get to grow old.

Maybe next time Focus on Family asks God for a favor like rain on Obama they should check their dates, God probably still operates on the pre-Gregorian calendar.

For the second time in my life, disregarding two summer pregnancies, I'm ending the summer heavier than I began. How did this weird seasonal weight gain switch happen? This September there won't be a new gym membership to get me going, but maybe I can rekindle the romance with the weight room if I shower first.

Saturday, August 30, 2008

Romney after all?

I have to say after reading about Palin nonstop for 24 hours or so it seems unlikely she'll last until her formal nomination. Maybe the Dems should just shut up and let it go for now or they'll be back to risking Romney in the VP slot. Personally even I could feasibly vote for McCain if he'd gone with Hutchison. The most outrageous moment in the last day? Palin's alleged lie regarding the "bridge to nowhere" during her introductory speech. Seems not only was she for it before she was against it, but only rejected it because the federal government wasn't offering Alaska enough money. Hardly the stuff "thanks, but no thanks" insinuated. And Alaska kept the tax payer's money, Palin just didn't use it for the bridge. Next outrage, these godawful rumors about the true mother of her newborn son. Even if such a thing were true the utter lack of proof should've been enough to squash it. The fourth is a tie. She's not sure what a VP does all day and doesn't follow the Iraq war. She better have a learning curve right out of The Matrix. Opinions may clash regarding the experience of Obama and Palin (she ran a town smaller than most school districts and left it financially crushed, allegedly) but one thing Obama is not is uninformed. He also earned his nomination from a hard fought election. When it's said and done I hope to eat my words and gleefully watch Ms. Palin accept the nomination of vice president of the United States. I'm considering going back to state university, entering a beauty pageant and running the PTA, it might be nice to run the USA in 10 years or so.
This guy/gal says it all.
Mudflats

Friday, August 29, 2008

Palin for PTA,er, President?

She seems nice enough and has the requisite gorgeous family, but VP? I'm not sure how she made governor of Alaska,much less possible President. I'm sure all of us, including Kay Hutchison Bailey who claims to know little about her, will be well informed over the next few days. It's sweet she's anti-gay rights but has 'gay friends'. I always wonder who these gay buddies are when people say this stuff. Does anyone else know they're gay but their anti-gay BFF? If McCain the Maverick really wanted to blow us away, he should've gone with a homosexual. Nope, not naming names.
Does anyone else think of Hillary (among many other more experienced Washington women) as the loyal wife, putting the husband (Washington) through school, raising the children, growing old, weary and wise then getting tossed out by hubby for the hot, young, new office executive?

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

A Feminist Lesbian...

even Pat Buchanan could love. She's cool, witty, pretty, unpretentious Rachel Maddow. Cool as in telling Pat (gays have no place in his America) Buchanan she went with the Clintons because they offered an America that wants her in it. Witty in that she did it in her succinct way that left Buchanan speechless. Pretty as a picture of an attractive woman minus big hair and overdone makeup. Thank heavens, for a while there she was going the bright blush/over plucked brow route but seems to have found a style that works. Unpretentious as in she's so obviously, charmingly still finding her way around her new status as gay media darling. Is Rachel Maddow the contemporary face of tomboy lesbians with fierce, liberal, feminist agendas? If she is it's without any of the post feminist movement's residual rancor, outrage, sense of entitlement and smug superiority towards women in more conventional roles, republicans and religious folk. Maybe someone could ask Mr. Buchanan how she could possibly harm America.




Photo credit: Lauren Victoria Burke

Saturday, August 23, 2008

Homecoming :)

What do you miss most about the good ole USA when "visiting" Iraq? Why BBQ of course ! Welcome home Mike. We missed ya :)



Thursday, August 21, 2008

Bob Hope's best line?

YouTube - Best Bob Hope movie line

I don't know, I've seen a lot of Bob Hope movies and found a whole lot of lines funnier than this one. It's a fave among conservatives of course, but I have to feel a bit bad for anyone that thinks this is the epitome of funny, or maybe envious of all the great lines they obviously haven't discovered yet. Anyhoo, that said this currently staunch Democrat (at least until Bush/Cheney is outta there. I used to be more this YouTube - Richard Jeni - Political Parties party) is hoping for a little voodoo on both sides of the aisle, at least enough to ward off the absolute evil that has gone on between opposing parties. Heaven knows this little roost has seen it's share of overheated political arguments. My line was drawn against Iraq since one of my favorite nephews was already in the National Guard. He's been home safe in MN :knocking on wood: almost a month now from Iraq and :waiting patiently: is on his way to visit his old NY auntie any time now. I'm still anti-Iraq war, but I've managed to quell the absolute visceral hatred I'd been feeling for the current administration ( I know, I know, welcome to the conservatives versus Clinton world or hello pot, meet kettle). It's a process, and while it's highly unlikely Obama or McCain is the cure-all, I do know it might be nice to remember the immortal words of Rodney King. Or Martin Luther King. How about the teachings of "if he lived today he'd be a liberal, conservative, fundamentalist, who supports Bush,Clinton,McCain,Obama" Christ the King? Or we can settle for the words of Elvis, can we all just bond over Elvis?

Regis Roost

I don't know why, but my Trekkie geek side finds this way cool dude.

Regis Roost - BattleTechWiki - Sarna.net Classic BattleTech Wiki

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Beach Pics

1,237 of these



for 10 of these


:sigh: I wonder how I can arrange 1,237 frames.

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

New York Timely Book Review

Reviews with moms in mind.

I managed to read two books this week. The Glass Castle by Jeannette Walls and Twilight by Stephenie Myer.
The Glass Castle is a quick, short, shocker. Imagine Angela's Ashes if McCourt had ADD. She manages to give the reader a quick tour of her unconventional, poverty stricken upbringing. If you want to read about someone who grew up rougher than you did, or if you could envision the worst childhood ever and still give it some competition, this one's for you. Walls sprinkles some childhood magic with extreme dysfunction and somehow comes out alive and well. This reader was left hoping her little sister Maureen writes her side of the Walls family saga.

Why a mom should read it? It's a great parenting style gauge, if you end up identifying with the mother than you should probably just leave your children on the nearest church doorstep.


Twilight is geared toward the young adult but has found a following from all ages. I found myself reading out loud to my four year old but only because we were on vacation and our one Curious George reader lost it's punch after a day. Need I say she's hooked so don't ask to borrow, I'm saving my copy. My first impression after hearing so much about this intoxicating bit of vampire lore was, dang, this book is big and I have the attention span of a gnat lately. But no fear ! The vampires are hot and the font is large. Smooth read, she's got a heck of an imagination. Something creepy as hell about a 100 year old guy seducing a 17 year old girl, but I don't think you're supposed to connect those particular dots. Bella's a shell of a gal until Lestat, er, I mean Edward touches her with his cold, hard, bony, (now, now) hand and exposes (now, now) a world far beyond what she's ever dreamed possible. OK, face it, he's hot. In a Paris Hilton way, not a warm blooded creature way. I'm still debating pursuing the other three books, I have to admit I couldn't wait for it to be over. But I'm 40 and the only thing sucking the life out of me, oh, well, let's not go there.

Why a mom should read it? Because thanks to Meyer your 13 and up fruit of your womb is probably dreaming of that sun starved, pasty faced geek in the basement next door bending her to his will. And you might want to understand the sudden interest.

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Today's PC moment


The premiere of Tropic Thunder was heavily protested by groups representing our mentally disabled citizens. From where I sit this includes the majority of us but I digress. Now this in itself certainly qualifies as righteous indignation. After all if a major movie is going to toss around insults then they deserve their free publicity, er, protesters. The main peeve is the use of the word retarded. It seems it was mentioned seven times in the movie, the "N" word however was only mentioned once, so I guess maybe we'll see some "N" word dubbing to appease our cerebrally challenged masses. Or whatever. Well anyway all this would be quite understandable except for one tiny, itsy, bitsy, teeny, weeny, little fact.
Somehow I find the organizers of this protest using obviously disabled people waving signs that read "ARC" to make their point a tad more offensive than some politically incorrect comedy. I have to wonder if they told their charges ARC is the acronym for Association of Retarded Citizens while convincing them of the massive damage one vocabulary word can wreak on an impressionable psyche. Yea, yea, I know, no one says that anymore, yet ask anyone what ARC stands for and they'll tell you "Association for Retarded Citizens", except maybe the people actually holding those signs. Gee, wonder what happens when a gutsy kid, proudly wearing his ARC Tshirt, tells a witless bully he shouldn't say retarded? Talk about tough love folks. I mean really, who's running the marketing department over there nowadays? On a bright note they've obviously come a long way mainstreaming their staff.


Rebel


No not the Canon Rebel, nor the Nikon D40, what I have is the Olympus E-volt 510. I'm the rebel, went against the majority, the black sheep, the maverick. Threw caution to the wind and revolted against mass market consumerism ! OK, I was cheap. Got two lenses and live view. The one time the live view would've helped I forgot about it. Well anyway it's a fun camera, fun of course meaning the auto sucks, getting a good pic takes works, so my husband will barely touch it. My son's game so I at least still get pics of myself with my daughter now and then. While I realize five people read this blog I'd still be interested in hearing from fellow Olympians :) There now, the title makes me feel better.


Sunday, August 10, 2008

Ruby



I realized there's no pic of Ruby, Rube, Rubella, Rooooby roooooooo, and the myriad names she completely ignores around here. And since she just ran off right before we're about to be hit by thunderstorms, I suppose now's a good time to get her in here while she's still officially our dog.






Saturday, August 9, 2008

Pasta for fools

So it's a gorgeous 85 degree, breezy summer day, the AC is off to conserve energy dollars and the living is slow. The kids have this wicked sense of entitlement when it comes to dinner so can't avoid that hook. What does one make on a warm, lazy, fan cooled day? Why a hot, steaming, cheesy bowl of pasta e fagioli of course ! Also known as pasta fazool and yep, pasta for fools around here. I knew I was on the right track when my son responded with "really?! you haven't made that in ages" Read: you've been depriving me of a major food group. So here's today's version since I'm short on the usual prosciutto or pepperoni I like to stick in there.
Rather than the usual cannellini beans I found just one can of small white beans and lots of red kidney. Just saute those onions and garlic, drop a couple of cans of beans in there, add a can of crushed red tomatoes, chicken stock (or water and bouillon like I just did), carrots (baby here) and season to taste. Red pepper flakes are awesome sauteed with the garlic and onions, but I have a 4 year old so no fun there. I know, I know, what about dried beans ! or a real carrot ! Well you go to the soup pot with the ingredients you have, not the ingredients you wish you have. So simmer that pot for almost an hour (well the carrots can take a while) add water as needed, taste, taste, taste, and then get that pasta in there when there's about 10 minutes to go. You could keep the pasta separate but adding extra stock the next day to the goo is half the fun. If you do cook the pasta separate the water makes a nice starchy base too. Well that's it, my ad hoc summer day, um, heavy soup. Don't forget the parmesan, crusty bread and salad or you're basically feeding the fam hot starch.
Next heat wave I'll tempt the kids with another childhood favorite, Pasta E Piselli. Just look that one up, I won't ruin the recipe for you like I did with the fagioli.

Friday, August 8, 2008

Expectations

We all have them. Especially for our children, we say we just want them to be good people or happy or even settle for self supporting. I give birth to future Presidents and now I'm thrilled if they pass social studies, can name all 50 states or can recognize the color of the White House. It's a given our expectations rise and fall with report cards, behavior, test grades, potty training. Straight A's and it's "Harvard's site looks interesting, sweetie, let mommy show you Boston on a map". Miss the toilet a few too many times and we start to wonder if leaving a larger inheritance is in order. But a parent's expectations can't compete with the bar set for them by their little drill sergeants.
Children expect the world of us. Add in an extra galaxy and a parent might make a dent in living up to their standards. If our kids don't live up to our expectations we take the blame for our shortcomings in rearing them and smugly think we've raised the wisest children for finding their own way. When we don't live up to their expectations they spend a lifetime musing how they could've been a major leaguer if only dad had played catch with them once more. Or would've aced their SAT's if only mom had worked 3 jobs and sent them to private school. If you cooked dinner every night they were deprived of all the fast food fun their friends got to eat. If you didn't cook enough they blame you if they can't kick their Big Mac habit. If a decent parent did things right the reward is their 30 year old reminding them every Thanksgiving about the time mom threw his comics away for not cleaning his room; or the prom dress that made her feel like a third grader. If a parent totally screws it up Thanksgiving is a solo dinner in a diner and, if they're lucky, an email or voicemail message. Our children consider us almighty parents, not people, we're destined to fail the minute we hold that baby in our arms for the first time. That's the point, to raise people better than we are so that they might judge us and find us wanting. The only goal is to fail without setting the future adult up for years of trashing us in therapy. Rare and blessed are the parents that hear "it's OK mom and dad, you're only human".

Saturday, August 2, 2008

Photo Magic







Thanks to my goto gal for photo editing,CA Girl in 10-OC, Ky looks even better, so does the butterfly, probably didn't appreciate being left out of auto focus. Dianne, you got mad skills girl !





Looks like my 4 year old isn't the only one impressed by a butterfly.





We visited the barn. What do you think 10 OC, can we pretty up this one too?




What's that smell mommy?

Thursday, July 31, 2008

Childhood Development 101

Ever wonder how obsessive compulsives get that way? Genetics, environment, trauma, just plain fussy? Well here's one way. Take one stubborn 4 year old thumb sucker, tell her she must not put her thumb in her mouth because of germs, then proceed to google images of germs to really cement home the imminent danger of putting them in her belly.






Watch said toddler excitedly rewind over and over a scene in iCarly in which a character obsessively cleans his hands with "blue germ stuff" while warning Carly of the insidious nature of the zillions of germs on her hands, and you have a bona fide OCD taking firm root in the fertile psyche of the 4 year old mind. I'm sorry Ky and no way am I buying you "blue germ stuff".



Wednesday, July 30, 2008

4 or 14...










What a summer it's been and it's not halfway through yet. Ky has fished, is swimming, begs money for snack bars and bake sales, and insists I stay yards away while she ponders brownies and Airheads. She shower all by herself now, cleans her room, and this morning cleaned the rest of the house. Better than mom I might add on some days. I don't where my baby has gone and I enviously eye the teeny toddlers running circles around the lake. But I have conversations now with other moms on my son's swim team for the first time in years, and they forgive I never had a chance to learn some of their first names before. So I guess I just have to suck it up my baby is growing up and leave the magic of toddlerhood to those sweaty, harried, tired, lucky moms chasing those precious babies. Maybe I should introduce myself.






Saturday, July 26, 2008

Weaklings and Whiners?

WOULD LIMIT FAMILIES.; Dr. Hamilton-Muncie Says We Are Becoming a Nation of Weaklings.
Special to The New York Times.
June 29, 1915, Tuesday
Page 5, 606 words
CHICAGO, June 28. -- Indiscriminate raising of children is filling the world with the unfit and undermining the stamina of the nation. Dr. Elizabeth Hamilton-Muncie of Brooklyn told members of the American Institute of Homeopathy in annual session today. She declared that families of degenerates were almost twice as large as those of normal persons, and unless remedial legislation were soon forthcoming Americans would wake up some day to the realization that they were weaklings.



The above article appeared in the New York Times almost 100 years ago. I have no idea if there was negative backlash or widespread agreement but in the next decades the nation would sorely be tested by a World War and the Great Depression. All this would culminate in the New Deal,which is not to be confused by the Old Deal, "bring us your teeming masses" so we might enslave and/or crush them in the grinding gears of industry. Some made it very well, some made it not so well, and some never got past their first OSHA free factory or construction site. Either way whatever your political or non-political beliefs, I defy anyone to deny they haven't benefited in some ways from these government social contracts/safety nets/bleeding heart liberal liberalities. We have corporate pensions, government pensions, private pensions, undefined benefits, defined benefits, and welfare benefits. We have the EPA, CIA,FBI,and even our schools have been completely federalized. It's pretty certain between Medicaid, Medicare, military insurance, and government insurance the last 20 of us should be on a national health care system any day now. So even I as a Democrat with a bipolar political childhood that would've turned Chris Matthews off politics is laughing a little at the beating Phil Gramm has taken calling us a bunch of whiners. I don't know how worse things might get, and really I don't want my wallet to suffer anymore than the next guy, but I do know somewhere mobs of unwashed masses who built this country with hands worn to the bone are laughing their hard earned heaven dwelling fannies off.

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Raising teens

Adventures of a Supermom has a wonderful post regarding raising our precious teens. Although the "I have 3 days to corrupt my niece so there" post to her sister is a whole lot funnier ! All I could possibly think to add is one of my mother's favorite bible quotes, it gave her some peace during some real trials. There's a standard path a lot of us Catholic girls take. We confess our sins around 13 years old at our confirmations and rarely see a confessional again until we take our wedding vows, convenienty skipping a decade of sin. :X Works for us !

Proverbs - Chapter 22:6
Train a child in the way he should go, and when he is old he will not turn from it.

Sunday, July 20, 2008

Uber weirdness or The Glass Isn't Remotely Empty

Three Minutes and a Rainbow posted some of her weirder traits, which by most standards really just consist of good hygiene. Well when she manages to wash her hair anyway. But I don't judge, my hair takes 3 minutes flat to wash AND dry, Juli's must take 3 days.
Anyhoo beat this , my glass must always be full. Until last year when I decided ice maybe really was making my chronic cough worse, my glass had to be completely full AND loaded with ice. Yep, the ice would melt when I went to bed and make a mess. I didn't care it had to be there. And in the days I'd leave it on our bookcase headboard (which I had to sand and refinish twice because of ice melt) the cat would knock the full, heavy glass right on my head. Now it's all about room temp. water because of the cough, which my family actually loves because they easily find me in stores. When my daughter was a newborn coughing instantly soothed her. Anyway, if I take so much as one sip I refill my glass. This particular quirk literally drove my husband nuts. "Honey? are you getting up, would you grab some more water", would earn me a look of utter pity, contempt and annoyance that I was actually asking the poor man to add an inch of water to my glass.
Next up, tea. I hate a small cup, I drink tea out of cups that could be a Disney World ride. Tea cannot be refilled easily people ! Really coffee drinkers, would it kill you to have a decent size cup in your cabinet? So between the constantly filled water cup always by my side and the triple D tea cups I pee. A lot. Like I can turn a 2 hour movie into a weekend mini series. Let's not even talk about when I'm pregnant, I look forward to the notorious newborn "sleep" schedule. A baby up every hour or two for a feeding is nothing compared to 1 AM pee, 1:10 PM pee some more. 1:20 PM , maybe just in case. 1:30 PM, shoot my water glass is low.

Saturday, July 19, 2008

The Omnivore's Wallet



Having just read "The Omnivore's Dilemma" and "In Defense of Food" recently I was primed for a Pavlovian response when I heard the words "is the chicken delivery put away?" while shopping for antibiotic and hormone free, farm dwelling cow milk at our local farm.
"Did I hear chicken?", ears perking. Now I just assumed these babies weren't Perdue but did I ask? Nope.
"Fresh from the slaughter" was the reply, she barely flinched! and 4 bucks a pound! (yep, with a straight face) Well after 4 1/2 hours chasing Ky around a hellish hot lake on top of my lost innocence regarding the brutish treatment of supermarket chicken I barely flinched and requested , get this, a 4 pounder. That's right folks, until about 1/2 an hour ago I was the proud owner of a 16 dollar deceased chicken.
She (he, is that even a possibility?) was the longest, leanest chicken I've ever seen. Gone were my illusions of fatted up happy farm hens baring their necks willingly to the slaughter in gratitude for wholesome pasture living ! In an ironic twist and probably the biggest marketing coup ever, store bought, barely mobile, crammed into a chicken pen chickens are fat, meaty and tasty. Farm chickens are lean, long, sparingly meaty (Keith Moon could've done justice with these drumsticks) albeit tasty.
But there's the dilemma, are they tastier than our usual abused, antibiotic riddled store chicken? Are they in other words, worth the price? The price of our hard earned cash, and the price of knowing our dinner was happy before the slaughter? I decided to serve up a lazy woman's idea of the dinner served in the Omnivore's Dilemma. The author's credo? The menu must be created from food he killed, slaughtered or foraged on his own steam. Well he tried, and it was an admirable attempt to say the least. Needless to say I ain't going there. I foraged for the chicken in the fridge, the dusty bag of brown rice long forgotten in my pantry (found a nice, fresh can of black beans too) and the mixed veggies from my freezer. We did however forage for dessert. Raspberries (did you know they were invasive?) are everywhere on my property,even the deer and birds cry uncle and beg us to pick them so there's some challenge.



Need I say the raspberries never made it until dinner?
So after my husband forgave me for spending a 10th of this week's gas budget on the chicken he stuck ( and really if you haven't tried this you must right this minute) a can of beer in it's carcASS and placed it, legs splayed for support, on our grill. Then he proceeded to head out the door to Walmart, on a busy Saturday, because he was out of soy milk. Apparently 3.99 for half a gallon farm milk isn't good enough for him. When the chicken turned a deep, dark, light sucking black hole shade of black I called to see how he was coming along.
By the time we all sat down to eat it was 2 hours past dinner time and I don't think anyone actually tasted the chicken. My son was the hungriest so he was noncommittal other than it "tasted like chicken". I thought it had a much meatier taste to it than say your average chicken tenement raised Tyson bird, almost like turkey. My husband declared himself the only diner experienced enough to make the final determination, the "decider" if you will. Having lived on a Greek farm until 8 years old where his most memorable experience with fowl was to have them peck his ankles while in the outhouse,he tasted absolutely no discernible difference. Yea right hon, and we're not thinking with what's in our pants with that one ! His wallet folks, get a grip. Needless to say our family breadwinner has decided cheap "chemical" chicken is the way to go. And if you ask him if the price of a farm raised chicken is worth it for a higher standard of chicken living? He has a few traumatic memories of his own abuse at the beaks of chickens and needless to say he's not sympathetic to the cause.