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Showing posts from June, 2007

Greedy and shallow...or just human...

At the wedding of Vasilii the Dark, Sofia Vitovtovna pulls the belt from Prince Vasilii Kosoi.

This work was painted by Pavel Chistyakov in 1861 and won him the Gold Medal of the Imperial Academy of Arts. Now it may be seen in the State Russian Museum.

The Great Feudal War in Muscovy started on the day of Vasili II's wedding, February 8, 1433. His mother, Sofia Vitovtovna, present at the wedding, recognized that Vasily the Cross-Eyed wore a golden belt which had formerly belonged to her father-in-law, Dmitry Donskoi. Accusing Vasili of stealing, she solemnly pulled the belt from the bewildered prince. Disgusted with such a greed on Sofia's part, Vasili's father Yuriy of Zvenigorod left the capital and declared the war. Source: Wikipedia
I want a lot of things.

I realize I ought to be appreciative of what I have, and I am. The two things---wanting and appreciating---are not mutually exclusive. Sometimes I feel an achy hunger inside me and I think, I was born hungry and will sp…

Because if you can't laugh at yourself...

This post is a little disjointed because, I think, this week has felt disjointed, no wait, I have felt disjointed in this week. I've been too many people going in too many different directions all at once.

So, in times like these I take my humor where I can get it...and I got it a lot this week. I decided to share, in honor of it being Friday, the day before the weekend...what I used to call the Last Day of Work before WOO HOO the Weekend but now I just call Friday. LOL

1. Dam Beavers

On Thursday I had to drive into the city using the highways. This is highly annoying for many reasons, one of which is the monstrously offensive bumper stickers many drivers here have---such as, "Don't like English? GO HOME!" and "Bush Cheney Let's Do It Again America!"

So I look for the Happy Messages that affirm my world view instead. Happy happy. All is happy for Julie in Julie's World. La La La.

That's when I saw it. The big white truck with huge message splayed ac…

More Secrets and Lies...with karma on top

Did you see? More people told us what they think when they think about secrets and lies...

This is the original list, plus some completely fresh links! And then...what I thought up for next week.

Emily wrote Bathe Your Children Well

She also wrote Lies All Lies

Chani wrote Hide and Seek

Did you catch...

Andrea wrote Digging

Sober Briquette wrote Taradiddle

NEW!! ALL NEW!!

Gwen wrote The Ruins

Snoskred wrote The choices we make

Sephyroth wrote Fear of Failure

I have checked comments and email but (a) it's 5 a.m. (b) my mind is in a million busy directions and (c) I can get too easily confused sometimes LOL...so if I missed you, I am very sorry and consider me slapped with a wet noodle. Email me or comment and I will add in your link with tremendous fanfare. If you still want to play, do the same and I will do the same. But please have patience with me. It will be later this afternoon or evening because I'm out all day.

(I am so very glad to see you guys, first time and new participants. Thi…

A post of actual value

I've been meaning to stretch my wings and find some new blogs. I got a little stuck in expecting Technorati to prompt me to go read my favorites, complete with convenient links and notices. But then Technorati let me down. I discovered it wasn't telling me when a large number of my faves had updated. So I was missing out! Sometimes by several posts! The horror! The drama!

Also---and this is no reflection on my favorites---I started getting a little interested in what else, and who else, is out there.

So I've begun clicking links and wowsa there's some good stuff. And I've noticed some familiar names commenting on these blogs so I see you've all been holding out on me in some way...like not taking me by the ear and guiding me around the blogosphere I guess. LOL

Okay so on my completely random link-following bloghunt/Webhunt today I've found:

1. Work at Home Mom Revolution---this blog is the answer to Her Bad Mother and Gingajoy's questioning comments at Blog…

Hump Day Hmm: Keeping secrets, telling lies

La Bocca della Verità (in English, "the Mouth of Truth") is a renowned image, carved from Pavonazzetto marble, of a man-like face and located in the portico of the church of Santa Maria in Cosmedin in Rome, Italy. The most famous characteristic of the Mouth is its role as a lie detector; since the Middle Ages, folklore has asserted that if one told a lie with his hand in the mouth of the sculpture, it would be bitten off. Source: Wikipedia, free license to distribute.

I've written four posts about this topic---I'm not kidding, and you'll know this because someday I might be in a bind and post a "variations on a theme of secrets and lies" series for a week, and you'll all be, "Umm, wow, wasn't that topic like so last week, Julie?" and "I'll say, yeah whatever, the old writer's block I claim I never get has kicked in, so...read it and like it, or weep, either way, but leave comments because mama needs some good lovin' rig…

It's always just a day at the beach

Hump Day Hmm Due WEDNESDAY (that's tomorrow) and it's a humdinger...

Have you kept a secret or have you lied, directly or by omission, about something big? How did you make your decision---did it bring about justice? How did forgiveness fit in (or not)? Would you do it the same next time?

OR flip it and have it be someone kept a secret or lied to you.

Or both.

Or neither, and just talk about it in general, in principle...for example, discuss a time an important leader lied to people he or she represented.

And feel free to give me feedback about this topic or suggest one.

And now a little meme fun first from TMI Tuesday:

1. If you were to face the Wizard of Oz, would you want more courage, more brains, or more heart?

Right now, I'd ask for more courage. I'd actually want more confidence and bravery, but I'd hope courage would be a package that encompassed those. I've spent the last few years having my rear soundly kicked by life, and lately on the inside---and unco…

Grand Canyon or small crack? The divide between cyber and corporeal life

In a game called World of Warcraft, players play live and form guilds (groups) to achieve goals within the game. They instant message one another within the game, and form personal friendships as well as character alliances. Although death in the game is simply a temporary setback that might cost points or winnings, in real life it is a permanent state. One guild sadly lost a fellow member in real life to a stroke. They decided to express their grief together in an online memorial.

A rival guild somehow found out about the plans.

As the grieving guild gathered, laying down their weapons and honoring their lost friend, the rival guild attacked, killing them all, while typing messages such as, "LOL! OWNED!" and other smugly triumphant words.

One player created a video of the entire event, messages and opinions flew around Internet boards, threats and retaliatory plans were issued, and a number of players were banned.

I heard about this on the radio news Friday morning while drivi…

NBC...any interest in interviewing a suburban mom after a jail stint?

Dear NBC Executives,

The rumor mill just spit out some grist to the alleged effect that you have won a network bidding battle for rights to interview Paris Hilton as she exits jail next week. Further grist has it that you are paying her $1 million (which is up from the $750,000 I heard on NPR this morning) for the rights (are they rights? Privileges? just wondering...). I hear it's not even exclusive, just first priority.

If a few days in jail---in an isolated VIP cell---can net a person close to a million dollars for one interview, allow me to express my willingness to serve some time.

Frankly, the thought of utter isolation for 5-10 days sounds like a vacation to this overworked mom.

Therefore, I'm here to offer you a one-time opportunity for the rights to interview me upon my departure from jail.

I prefer to not commit a crime---it goes against my ethics---but possibly we could frame it as "Undercover Mom Serves Time while Getting the Dirt on What Goes on Behind Bars.&quo…

What did you just say? Talking to parents about their kids...

If you were given to understatement, you might say it was indicative of a communication failure, wherein the destination person was overcome by communication noise of some sort.

The other day I had a conversation that was shocking and upsetting. Someone wanted to express concerns to me about my child.

"Hey, I've been wondering," the person said to me, "Did you ummm, you know, get all the tests done for Patience? Did you find out anything?"

"Tests?" I asked in confusion, thinking hard, "Oh, oh right, the hearing test. Yeah, yeah we saw the audiologist at the ENT and everything was fine."

"That's good news," the other person said, "But, actually, I was talking about The Tests."

I thought harder, and was silent for a minute.

"I'm sorry," I said, "I'm not sure what you mean."

"The symptoms," she said insistently, "The ones you were so worried about. So you were taking Patience to get ev…

Hump Day Hmm: Accident of birth

If I wanted to, I could call everything about me an accident of birth.

At birth, very little was known of me other than the fact that I was not a boy, as my parents had been repeatedly assured I would be. Gazing at their little girl, my parents wondered what to do next. They had only a boy name chosen, and all my baby clothes, blankets, decor, etc. were blue.

They observed that, in addition to being female, I was also

dark haired
blue eyed
fair skinned
gifted with a healthy set of lungs

Perhaps because the chosen boy's name began with J, they focused on girl J names, somehow settling on Julie which was only slightly less popular than Jennifer.

Armed with a trendy girlie name and blue accessories, I revealed more about myself:

decent sleeper although tremendous early bird
mainly affable
good appetite
all parts in working order

But who was I? What could I do? Where did I belong?

From that point forward, it gets murkier. What is developed and what is gifted? I am also

reasonably intelligent
better…

An ounce of snake is worth a pound of fear

Each time I approach my front door, before I put in the key, I hear scuttling in the bushes to my left, or to my right, or sometimes both. It makes me jump every time, initially up, then in the direction opposite of the noise, and finally as close to the door as I can get. I fumble my keys, trying to unlock the door and get in as quickly as possible. Luckily the kids are always too busy trying to find What Made That Noise to notice my strange tic-like behavior. I also hope the neighbors miss it.

It's most likely an anole or a gecko lizard.

But it might be a snake.

One time it was a snake.

Luckily I have a snake-wrangler friend, and she comes over outfitted and geared-up as if she just bounced over from the Australia Zoo.

She laughed at my terror about "a silly and sweet old something something snake" and picked it up with her bare hands.

She clearly had never been a six year old at Naughty Shelly's house watching a very scary movie about snakes and people turning into snak…

The big tragedy of the Duke Lacrosse Scandal

I was being cheeky when I said to my husband, "If you happen to be really dysfunctional and want to find a jerk, a frat house is always a good bet; you're sure to find a jerk there. In fact, rich, white, male, and frat boy or athlete in college is a pretty good list of qualifications for upping the jerk potential."

We were talking about the Duke lacrosse-Nifong scandal's latest update.

In reply, he snorted at me in disgust and raised his eyebrows at my audacity with such a blanket statement.

It's a stereotype---bordering on prejudice---and overlooks the fact that if you want to find a jerk (male or female) you can look in almost any socioeconomic class and location and find one, if you try hard enough.

But in my experience, there are certain organized groupings of people that foster really bad choices and behavior with alarming frequency, college athletic groups and fraternities among them.

And no matter how moral you are, it is disturbingly easy to get swept up with …

Everything I Need to Know I Learned from a Roly Poly

Patience is a scientist, no, strike that, a scientist extraordinaire. For example, she collects bugs for observation. However, it doesn't end there. In fact it doesn't even begin there.

Allow me to share the process:

Step 1: Observe interesting bug in back yard.
Step 2: Find Insect Guide and determine type of bug.
Step 3: Discover appropriate habitat for bug.
Step 4: Build bug habitat from personal design.
Step 5: Collect bug using tools from Insect Collection and Storage toolkit.
Step 6: Observe bug daily, multiple times, under varying conditions. Test light, heat, dark, and environmental responses. Take notes.
Step 7: Create chart of life cycle, daily routines, and reactions to tests, a la chinois (which means, begin writing bottom left, move right and up from that point---to appease mom write frontwards translation under backwards words).
Step 8: Cry while releasing bug back into wild. Console self with thought of bug returning to family. Console self further by writing and creatin…

The Smell of Popcorn Popping

Note: I added Mary-Lue's entry Hindsight to the Hump Day Hmmm Host Post below.

Happily my friend Roz saved me from becoming the newest incarnation of Dickensian blogging via her Happy Pink Fluffy Meme.

Ahem. Bring out the bunny slippers and bon bons and put up your feet because it's all art and little matter today.

1. Favorite bubble bath book -- A romance novel of course! Excuse me is that women's fiction now? Can I still be a feminist and (a) call it a bodice ripper and (b) read it? If you like to know, I am a big Suzanne Brockmann fan. Like, groupie level. Which is to say nothing of the time I bodyslammed Janet Evanovich in Boston and forced her into a photo with me and Patience. But that was in the Stephanie Plum heyday, so all can be forgiven. If you don't know what I mean by any of this, carry on. If you do, come sit by me and be my love novel buddy...

2. Best get your groove on tune -- Brick House and Dancing By Myself are dead heat co-winners. My husband has learne…

Yesterday, all my troubles seemed so far away...the Hump Day Hmm

When I posed the Hump Day Hmm questions, I wanted to make the first ones an either/or for myself. My brain went around and around, and I wrote countless discarded drafts about what I'd lose had I missed the last twenty years versus what I'd lose in the next twenty years.

If I forced myself to address the paradox (paradoxes, really) or admit that each is equally potentially tragic---which I think it is---I'm still left without an answer. So I pushed on.

It finally struck me last night that the twenty years ahead of me aren't mine yet. I have no guarantees of them, what they might hold or even whether I get them. It's like the lottery: you play hoping to win but accept that you might not. I realize we more have a reasonable expectation of having the time, but again, we don't know what it holds.

So if I had to choose, I'd say it's harder to give up what I have had, already know and have experienced, the twenty years behind me. And albeit reluctantly and with …