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Showing posts from February, 2007

228 Reasons Why I Blog (or just 1: Sanity)

This is post number 228. I know, random number. I meant to mention it when I hit post 100, but forgot, which is also why I neglected to mention my blog was a year old, about a year ago.

I mention it now because Rachel at The Challenge of Life tagged me with that "5 reasons I blog" meme.

I think there are 228 reasons...obvious within each of my 228 posts over almost two years.

But I'll give you the history, as briefly as possible, and boil it down to five reasons.

My early entries were short (I know, I know, barely believable, but true), and usually featured a piece of artwork I did. I was really uninterested in blogging and had only done it because my husband wanted me to.

Kaliroz of Fortune and Glory, Omegamom, and a few others (some of whom are MIA these days) started a blog group...a sort of carnival where people suggested topics and we all wrote about that. Most of us had been members of a writer's group and our energy went there, instead of into blogging. But the c…

I declare February Social Justice Month

February was a time when many issues floated to the surface, for me, and seemingly for our society. I wrote what I thought and what I could about issues that I believe mattered.

Luckily, there are many eloquent and intelligent bloggers who also write about important issues. I feel my neural synapses building every day. Even more fortunately, Jen and Mad created Just Post.

When I contacted them about selecting a post from February, they came up with a great idea: instead of choosing one and skipping the others, create this portal post that introduces the myriad of topics I covered. That way I don't clog and hog their list. :) Or try to pick favorites. ;)

So, following is a brief list of the Social Justice posts from February, with a short synopsis of each. I hope you caught these already---I got so many great comments and such wonderful discussion---but if you missed one, I hope you have the time to peruse it. If you have something to say, add it on. I'll be reading.

Thank you!

The…

Third-person Mom asks, "Where'd I lose my First Person?"

Do you want to know one of the weirdest things I've noticed about myself as a mother?

It's how often I speak about myself in the third-person.

I have never, ever done that before. I have always been wonderfully liberal in my use of the first person.

I.

I.

I.

I.

I've always been really good at using my words to describe my thoughts and feelings.

However, since having children, I've begun oddly, and frequently, referring to myself as Mom. I do it to describe where I am, what I am doing and how I feel, such as:

"Hey kids, Mom will have breakfast ready in a minute so you need to wash up, please," I said cheerfully this morning.

"All right ladies, Mom's tying her sneakers, it's time to go in a minute!"

"Honey, Mom's a bit tired this afternoon so I'm not going to bake a snack...there are cheese sticks in the fridge, okay?"

Mom? This is how I speak of myself to my children? I don't speak like this to my friends. I've never said, "…

It was always Mission Lights

I don't know why. Color me hyper-responsible. It's a good color for me. Whatever the reason, I feel a mission within the world. I feel compelled to fix things, use my voice, my abilities, my time, in any way I can. It might be hubris, it might be good will toward mankind, it might be both.

My blog is a good venue for that. I can bring forth issues, present POVs. I can feel like I make a difference. However, I have to be careful because some days it might seem as if talking about it all is enough.

Of course it never is. For me, anyway.

Still my blog is a good spot for thinking out loud.

It's easy to fall into personal introspection and get stuck there, forget there is a big world beyond me. "There are people in China who've never heard of you or your troubles," my friend Tracy used to say to me when I got too angsty, "And even if they had, they still wouldn't care." He'd rub his fingers together to emulate a tiny violin, and would pout out his li…

Imprisoned children: Has the war on terror gone too far?

For those of you who were appalled at the idea of children in prisons, brace yourself.

I misspoke in my post The Parenting Prison when I said the prison in Spain was unique. It was, to the best of my knowledge and research, but I didn't google the right terms, apparently. And neither did any of the reporters.

There are other prisons in the world that host families. That imprison children.

And they are right here in the United States of America. Right here in the fantastic Republic of Texas. Right here, a nine year old Canadian boy (I've read conflicting reports about citizenship so am unclear about that, however, Canadian media appears to claim the boy) named Kevin* who is imprisoned in Taylor, Texas pleaded, over the phone, on the radio, "I just want to go to school...I just want to be free..."

This isn't any 5-star Disney-decorated prison either.

Kevin described sleeping on the floor of his family's prison cell, next to the toilet. He described having asthma, a…

Can the US elect a black president?

Can the media shut the *&$@ up about skin color?

Okay here we go.

Listen...men and women aren't the same. People of different races look different. Cultures have differences. This can't be a sanitized world in which we all try to pretend we are just! the! same!

We aren't.

I cannot retain a telephone number to save my life. It took me thirty years to finally grasp basic algebra. I'm white and can't go in the sun because I burn too easily. I'm tall and getting back to thin. I look like a total gringo but that's just my phenotype; my genotype is far more convoluted. I can read faster than anyone I know. I love public speaking, especially teaching/educating. I can hear accents in any language.

Are you just like me?

No?

Thank goodness.

There are days I can hardly stand myself. Don't know what I'd do with two of me.

The point is...who cares.

I'll tell you who cares how job candidates look and refer to them thusly: the media.

The media has fallen in love wit…

Chandra Wilson at the SAG Awards: YGG!

I usually like to leave posts up for a couple of days. It usually takes me that long, anyway, to write out and work through the next blog post.

However.

I was getting in my little exercise routine this morning-ish and I caught Chandra Wilson on The Ellen Degeneres Show.

And I need to highlight her for a moment. (But I did just post about Momming below so scroll down if you missed it.)

I do watch Grey's Anatomy. It's the show I love to hate. I keep promising myself to take it off TIVO. But just when they've practically lost me, somehow the show does something good and I'm sucked back in.

I've always liked the Dr. Bailey character, and the heart Chandra Wilson puts into it makes me suspect I'd like her too. She was so real, so one of us on Ellen this morning that I couldn't help but be charmed.

Did you know the Dr. Bailey character was meant to be a short, blonde, white woman? Can you imagine how that would work, now having seen Chandra in the role?

Anyway, Ellen sh…

"Momming" at home doesn't mean this house is open for childcare business

In my time, I have been a work-at-home mom (WAHM), work-out-of-home mom (WOHM), and stay-at-home mom (SAHM).

The truth is, I hate the labels. For me, they aren't mutually exclusive, and have merged, blended and overshadowed one another at different times.

It sort of depends on the day of the week and the season of the year, which one I am.

I like to think of it as the best of both worlds. I concede, however, that some might see it as "neither fish nor fowl."

My vantage point, though, rendered me able---or so I thought---to see all sides to The Story of Moms.

From the first moment I became a mom, I'd been regaled with tales about the mommy war between SAHMs and WOHMs. I never believed in it, probably because my knickers weren't too twisted up about many of the hotly argued scenarios.

I have heard a lot about the war, though, and have participated in a few debates. On the whole, I considered it an intellectual exercise: arguing sides of a scenario is an excellent way t…

The Parenting Prison

Today my youngest, Persistence, developed a new skill. She learned the fine art of the insult on top of injury.

She insisted on something verboten and my "nos" became more vehement, as did her insistence and protests. We stood there in the kitchen, arguing, each becoming more frustrated. Finally, she scrunched up her face and yelled, "BABYHEAD!" at me, and spit.

I deserved that. I was acting like a baby head. I was being immature. I was arguing with a two year old, who just hurled her latest, original insult at me, along with spitting, her new favorite injury.

Worse, I wasn't sure how to dig myself out of this sandtrap.

There are many times I feel trapped in a parenting situation like this. Moreover, there are times I feel trapped in parenting, in general.

A friend recently asked, "Do you ever check the available balance on your credit card and surf travel sites to see how far you can get with what you've got?"

I know what I have. I have $10,000. They j…

Over the Hedge: A Declaration of War

Ahhhhhh aren't raccoons just so cute and furry and fuzzy and don't you just want to give them widdle cuddles and maybe a nice doghouse outside, with a bowl of food of their own?

The answer is NO.

You do NOT want to do this and anyway, it will not work.

In a way, you've got to respect the persistence, resilience and courage of the large, hairy, disease-ridden rodent.

But then you recall, it's my damn house.

We had a meeting aka a party with my neighborhood friends last night in which my husband and I shared the raccoon story.

After laughing their asses off at me, and when they finished cracking jokes at our expense---which I'll admit I made it very easy for them to do, esecially after I threw in the haunted stereo and why I never call 911 story---our neighbors were very sympathetic, particularly the ones who live just across the street. The husband shared his own armadillo story, and reminded me that we live next to the Defender of All Flora and Fauna aka Daffy.

I like Daf…

Gentrification: Do the cons outweigh the pros for neighborhood revitalization?

As I undergo a weight and health revitalization, I'm paying more attention to other facelifts in my area. A real estate development company has bought up a large amount of waterfront land just on the other side of my neighborhood. They are putting up three high-rise mega-bucks condos. Tower One is up and framed. It's huge.

I live in a village. We have a nice municipal facility that houses our two-man police force, our mayor's office, space for elected officials, court, and town hall.

Since the village is so small, we use services from two nearby towns. For postal service, we use the closest town. It has less than 9500 people. So we are a small town surrounded by and abutted by many other small towns. You can blur through three towns on one road in about five miles. And we're really close to a big city, so we get the best of all the worlds. The sophistication and amenities of big city with the feel-good neighborliness of small town.

We appreciate that quality. Homes and b…

Valentine's Day is for lovers, so what do old married people do?

I belatedly realized---after Gwen asked me my opinion about Valentine's Day---that my last post completely left me out of it all.

What with all the "babyproofing your marriage" talk, I understand that keeping the romance alive and well in my marriage is essential.

I am, after all, a product of the Enjoli generation. I'm supposed to have it all, all the time. Women sacrificed! fought! committed their lives! to ensure I had the opportunity and training to bring home the bacon, fry it up in a pan, and never let my man forget he's a man. (Bolstered, of course, by perfume that is sure to last eight hours!)

The least I can do is take advantage of a holiday dedicated to romance.

So did we?

I think so.

The thing is after fifteen years your idea of what love is, what romance is, what makes good can change. My ideas have. Thankfully.

I like the little things. I like that my husband brought me a truly gorgeous arrangement of roses, and a really neat and sweet card.

But what I real…