Archive for September, 2008

Photo posted by Vincént

Confused? Taken aback? Surprised? Disappointed? Scared? Economic failure, and what will the next president do to help us?

I warn you reader, whoever you are, that I ramble… I do. But, not as much as at least one of the candidates…

A lot of things have changed in the last 8 years, and we are just now paying attention. I actually will admit to a time when I found myself a supporter of, if only in a small way, George W. Bush. I am proud to admit that that time is past. I can chalk that up to inexperience, hope, and the belief that to support one, is to dislike the other. Or at least choose the lesser of two evils based on statements they make when exposed. But, we should base our votes on our beliefs of what needs to be done, and which man or woman will do those things. One place to see their own views is the presidential debate.

The Debate is an opportunity for us to see the candidates personally and without clouded and loaded speeches full of misdirection and contradiction. Instead we can see them contradict themselves without the help of written words. We see first hand how they respond, not only to each other, but also to questions they are not prepared for. I for one was frustrated with what I have seen and continue to watch over and over again.

We have to vote one of these men to be our next president. One speaks of the need of flexibility. One speaks of the need for security. One speaks of the need for health care increase through reform, and education. One speaks of long term change and growth. One speaks of quick fixes to boost economy. Both agree to agree… Both disagree to disagree… And yet, both do agree on some things and not on others although I am still not sure what any of them are. I found it ironic that McCain mentioned the need of flexibility then frowned on Obama’s own flexibility. Citing Obama’s change in position on spending over the years. Is it not flexible, whatever the reason, to acknowledge that your past advances did not work, or were no longer the priority so you will now choose a new approach? McCain remains vigilant that he will remain steadfast in many areas. That is not flexible. I will say that much of what both men said sounded, as usual, like a lot of talk with promise of action. But, I refuse to base my vote on their history and experience. Why? That seems silly Brian. What else can you go on? Well, let me tell… me.

We find ourselves in a completely new situation. COMPLETELY new. A situation we created (by WE I mean whoever has been making decisions these last 2 terms… er 8-ish years…) through mistake after mistake and oversight after oversight. For years we formulated tax programs and other economic strategies that rewarded greed and single-minded money making by the biggest of the big money companies. All the while, they made even more money sending jobs elsewhere, cheating and well acting irresponsibly. We entered a war without a focused plan. But, I digress…

NEW issues means NEW strategies. I am not interested in a conservative republican, liberal democrat or any variation thereof, if they are not willing to approach a NEW issue with NEW ideas. We don’t need a president who will continue any policy as is. An overhaul is needed. If your car were not functioning at all, and you hired someone to look it over and they told you, “it’s all wrong and that is why it is next to complete failure” would you do the standard tune up, and oil changes as needed? Or would you order a complete overhaul. Sure, the belts may all be ok, and maybe the fuel pump functions properly, but what good will it do you if EVERYTHING else broken?

Why is it that Obama had the audacity to answer most questions given, if sometimes in a round about way, and McCain had to begin nearly every answer with something negative about Obama and he couldn’t move on from previous questions? Flexibility? Their may be a lot of negative things to say about both running mates, believe me, I have plenty of negatives about those two, but the real issue should be the candidates themselves, and now, I find I have more negative feelings about McCain. Maverick or not, he scares the hell out of me when he speaks. He can’t stop attacking Obama. He can’t stop attacking. He mispeaks moore than any other, except maybe the father of the mispoken word… and he has no chance of reigning any longer.

Am I missing the point? I will continue watching coverage of the debates. I will watch the running mates embarass themselves and the presidential candidates. I will have more to say, and if I am wrong I will admit it. If only those we vote for could do the same.


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Lazy Days

Photo by sparktography

It is about 3:30 pm, and I just got dressed…if you can call changing from comfy pjs to comfy workout clothes “getting dressed.” I haven’t done much of anything today, and it’s been so relaxing. I did manage to get a few loads of laundry done, but mostly, I’ve just been hanging out.

There is nothing better than a nice lazy afternoon. It’s hot outside, but it’s pretty comfortable in the house. I do need to go grocery shopping, but that will wait until Brian gets home from work. For now, I am content to surf the web, listen to the kids playing happily together, and maybe I’ll watch some tv. And tonight, I will jump back into routine when we have dinner and then we’ll do baths and pack lunches and all of that stuff. Tonight, I have to make some salad for my lunch this week, and maybe I’ll bake some muffins. But right now, I’m just being.

It’s not very often that I have a day to just “be”. Usually, I’m so busy trying to get the house clean and doing the weekly shopping, and carting the kids around to dance and birthday parties and all of that stuff that I forget to relax. So when the chance arrives to have a day, an afternoon, or even an hour to do nothing, I’ll take it. It gives me the chance to recharge. It makes me a better mom, and a better wife. The only thing that would make this day better would be if Brian were home and we could just “be” together.

I think I’ll go watch some tv now……I hope your weekend was as relaxing as mine!

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Photo by SoundsGood

That’s right, 34 days until one of my favorite holidays! I absolutely love Halloween. And I am so looking forward to it this year. In Michigan, we had to be prepared for any kind of weather to include (just in the past 6 years) 75 degrees and dry, rain, snow, hail, or wind so cold your tongue will stick to your lollipop! Here in Southern California, I’m not sure what to expect, but I’m pretty certain that snow, hail, and below 30 degree temperatures are out of the equation!

Growing up, my parents did haunted houses as a fund raiser for my school. My dad played Dracula, and my mom, by default, was Dracula’s wife. Dad would lie in a real coffin, and Mom would stare down the scared little teenagers. When they would come close to the casket, Dad would jump up and scare the dickens out of ’em! I remember hearing the grown-ups talking after closing time…they would always compare how many “wet spots” they had at each section of the maze. My mom got punched so often that she would have bruises, and they did actually have people pee their pants when Dad would scare them. My parents were so into it, they even had our dentist make them realistic fangs that were made out of denture material, and they snapped on over their real teeth!

So, while I really miss the haunted houses, when I tried to volunteer in the past, I realized that you had to be there on halloween, and that would interfere with trick-or-treating. I absolutely love taking the kids trick-or-treating, or as my Grandma says, “begging”, and I’ve only missed out one year since The Girl was born, and that was because I was pregnant with The Boy. Maybe when they get older, we can all volunteer at haunted houses together.

In order to try to keep my excitement level down, the kids and I decorated the house today. Unfortunately, it seems quite a few of my decorations got lost in the move, which makes me pretty sad. I hope that’s not the case with my Christmas decorations, because that would be cause for a complete temper tantrum. Speaking of Christmas…only 88 more days till that holiday! I better start shopping………

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Photo by reso438k

Well, this is an age old question I used to pose to many an adult in my youth, if only to see them squirm around telling me that it is their right not to publicize that information. What was a 7th grade, pimple faced class clown going to do with that information? I may never know.

These days however, things are different. I receive dozens of emails explaining why one candidate is better than the others. I have received such information since the First George W. candidacy and will most likely receive such information for the remainder of my days. In truth, I welcome it now. I has opened my eyes. Not to what the senders hope to ‘open my eyes’ to, but to something deeper. I have realized that it bothers me when people make a claim about a president. Take for example: “Vote for (name of wonderfully inept, not and all suitably self-centered candidate) because he is a good christian man, with good christian morals. OK, just for a side note, I am a Christian. I believe in God, and read my bible and attend services (admittingly not as often as we’d like) we live our lives and raise our children in a manner we beleive is morally concrete. But, will I vote for a President because he holds the same religious beliefs as I do? Not in the least.

When someone makes a claim about a candidate I wonder, “How do they KNOW that to be truth?” Candidates make many claims, and Hitler himself claimed to be a Christian doing God’s work. I don’t understand why we pull such things into the equation. It’s confusing enough balancing the lies and slander.

The reason for this rant? Well, the emails and calls they keep coming. And, it seems more of a circus or high school class president race to me. People using popularity comparisons, grabbing a new and (improved?) gender card and of course the slander of past failures and lack of accountability. People are actually basing a vote on the fact that Palin represents hockey moms. “Hockey moms for Palin” the signs read. Really? Honestly? If the world were on the brink of utter destruction and one decision would save or destroy us all, would YOU seek the hockey moms for the answer? Sad but true. I know we all need to base our votes on something, and the candidates self contradictions and lack of ability to tell the whole truth (they train for years to learn that skill, just as the best attorneys do) make it difficult to choose that something, but her family? The fact that she has a kid who plays hockey? That makes her the best choice? Or on the other hand, DON’T vote for them because her daughter became pregnant before marriage? What, praytell, does that have to do with her ability to run this country, which, let’s face it, is not too unlikely to disregard.

Maybe the best thing to do is vote party then… yes, that seems to be a reasonable solution. Only, here’s the thing, we miss the point of our country. We have been missing the point for quite some time. It isn’t about party, and when it becomes that, NOTHING gets accomplished. We fight to have republican ideals met, or democratic ideals until the real issues build a shaky floor beneath the feet of the American people, the ones THEY are suppose to represent, and that floor collapses. Maybe a recession, or a housing crash, an economic crisis of some sort points out one major truth… Nothing has been being done to help or prevent it. If my basketball team had a problem with free throws and all I did was focus on an imaginary rebounding problem guess what? When the big game is on the line and it requires a free throw… not only will the rebounding problem not exist, we will lose.

I don’t know exactly who to vote for or how to come to that decision just yet, but I know one thing: WE have the choice. It is OUR vote, and allowing ANYONE to sway that decision is irresponsible. Educate yourself. Don’t take what others say as truth, especially much of the ads and slogans of the idio… er, candidates themselves. We have a say, allbeit a small one, we have a say, and the most we can do with that is say it.

I am really not sure where this was originally going, and less sure where it ended, but I know one thing, if you’ve read this far… well, I would vote for you any day.

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Without going into too much detail, suffice it to say that Brian and I were throwing about some business ideas, and I came to the conclusion that we might need organic iron on transfer paper…long story.  Anyway, I googled it.  If you get a chance, please google “wholesale organic iron on transfers”.  If you don’t have time, or you just want to get the punch line more quickly, scroll down.

Ok, so I googled it, and the first thing that came up was “Wholesale Lot 100 Grams Fossil Poop.”  Complete with the above picture!  I could not make this up!

I love that story…we laughed and laughed!

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First up, we have the most beautiful kids EVER!

Then there is the kids and Daddy testing out the ocean, with the lovely pier in the background.

The last pic is of The Boy.  Trying to hide from the ocean.   Because it’s so scary.  Agreed, Son.  Agreed.

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Photo by LA Duck

The Moms went back to Michigan today. It was great having them, but I’m exhausted. And my house is a mess. I’m actually excited to clean…and you know that’s bad! So, what did we do this weekend? Let’s see…

On Friday, Brian’s mom and I went to the mall for a bit. Then we picked up The Girl from school, and then Brian and I went down to Irvine. We had dinner at a nice restaurant and then went to see Counting Crows and Maroon 5 in concert. I can die happy now, having seen Maroon 5 live. (Hey, Adam….. 😉 ) Honestly, though, it was a great concert, but the best part was being able to go out with Brian without having to worry about the babysitter. And having the opportunity to critique not only Adam Levine’s outfit and tattoos, but also the outfits of those around us. Then there was the guy next to us who kept getting beer spilled on him…but that’s another story.

Saturday, we took The Moms to Beverly Hills. That was a good time, though we didn’t see any famous people…The Girl was pretty upset with that, so I told her that the guy we saw in the Bentley was probably famous. That seemed to work. On Sunday, we went to Santa Monica. It was very cold and windy, and The Boy was pretty crabby, but it was still a good day. Then yesterday, we all just recouped from the weekend, and I took my mom to lunch.

My favorite line of the weekend was said by The Boy, as we walked back to the car from the beach. For those of you who do not know me, I have very curly hair, and it tends to get out of control. Here is how the conversation went:

Me: “How’s my hair look?”

The Boy: “No. (long pause) Not good.”

Gotta love the honesty!

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photo by Tarcano

Let me start at the beginning. The Girl was not allowed to progress to this week’s math level because she did not finish her timed test last week. The teacher told me that she had 2 minutes to complete 25 math problems, and because she did not complete them all, she could not move on. The Girl completed 21 problems, and those that she did complete were all correct…..why must we time them, anyway? She’s 6!

So, I received this news just before trying to help The Girls with her math homework. I was frazzled and angry. I looked at the worksheet, and I swear, I had no clue what it was asking her to do. So I asked The Moms, and they too were confused. So we asked Brian, and even he did not know what the heck this stupid worksheet was all about! Finally, we all gave up and basically told her to do it however she thought was right. Keep you finger’s crossed!

Let me also say that I’m annoyed because she has a birthday party to go to tomorrow night. Who throws a birthday party for a 6 year old kid on a Thursday night??? Makes no damn sense. And it’s at one of those joints with the giant inflatable moonwalk things, and I despise those places! It’s like a huge germfest. I mean really…how do you clean those things? Plus her arm is still bothering her, so I might not let her go. Is that mean? I’m not sure. Works for me, though!

Who would’ve thought that 1st grade would be so annoying?

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Photo by Jenny Romney

The best part about moving to a new state is that you get to live like a “resident tourist” for a while. And if you move to a tourism mecca such as Southern California, you get to live like that for a long time.

We decided over the weekend that The Moms needed to see Hollywood. So, the kids, The Moms, and I drove down to Hollywood and planned to meet Brian down there (he was working). Well, the place where we were planned to meet was closed off, there was a concert going on in one of the main courtyards, and they were filming for what later turned out to be the VMA awards. It was very, very loud and busy.

We finally met up with Brian, took a quick walking tour of the Walk of Fame, and then decided to go to the Griffith Park Observatory. On the way through the park to the observatory, we almost ran over a full grown coyote! In broad daylight! Creepy…..I looked for a roadrunner, but didn’t see one anywhere…. Anyway, if you are ever in the area, I highly recommend visiting this place! First off, it’s free. Second, it’s at the very top of a hill, and the views are spectacular! We were there for about an hour, and only saw about half of it. Then The Boy started getting cranky, so we left.

We still have a lot of sites that we want The Moms to see before they leave, but we all needed a break after that! This weekend, we are planning on going to at least one beach (what would a trip to California be without seeing the ocean?) and to Beverly Hills (this is more for me than for The Moms, I think!). Hopefully I’ll have some time to figure out how to get the pictures off of my new camera. If so, I’ll be sure to post some here.

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Photo by Lumase

The Boy wanted to go with me this morning when I walked The Girl to school. Because he was so cute, I let him. The way to the school is pretty easy…it’s all downhill. Which, of course, means that the way home is all uphill. As we started climbing the hill, The Boy (who, let me remind you, is only 3 years old) says to me, “It is so difficult to get up this hill!” I agreed with him, and asked if he wanted to take a rest, which he declined.

About halfway up the hill, he spotted a snail, who happened to be travelling in our direction…uphill. The Boy squatted down next to the “nice and friendly” snail, gave him a thumbs up, and said, “Thumbs up, Snail! Great job!”

This small action reminded me that, no matter how small you are, a little bit of encouragement can get you a long way. Even to the top of the hill.

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