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Showing posts from August, 2007

Hump Day Hmm for Weds, Sept 5: Values

In the event that you do not dedicate your days to returning to read carefully each and every comment made to my posts (and really, if you did? your life would be the richer for it) you might have missed how---in the Senators are Total Homophobes post aka "Is outrage over sexual propositioning ethics and morals, or simply prudery?"---Gwen oh-so-unintentionally-and-subtly suggested next week's Hump Day Hmm Topic:
Julie, you bring up a great point about values ("deeper, wider, more serious problems"), and one I've been thinking of writing about. But why not just do it here? lol.

I remember after the last presidential election, there was talk about how people made their choices based on "values" and there was scattered applause for the fact that "values" still mattered in this country. The subtext was that people were voting against legalizing gay marriage, since Rove had pushed that agenda so hard in the last days of the campaign. That reall…

Let the record reflect...Patience and I both trusted her independence today

I went through the car-rider line today to drop Patience at school. We talked about the hall and landmarks that lead to her hall that leads to her classroom. We reviewed the route three times. We talked about what to do if she feels lost or uncertain.

I reiterated my confidence in her, her ability to do this, to be fine. She agreed.

We pulled up to the drop off spot. She jumped out of the car with her backpack and identifier tag. She walked to the entrance, looked at my (paused) car, gave a little wave, took a deep breath, put on her Resolute Face and walked in to the school.

I only had to yoga breathe for five minutes.

I have not called the school. She is fine.

And this afternoon she will be very blase on the outside and very proud on the inside that she---on her own---achieved another Big School goal.

Patience was never a child for "I do it myself" or "No! Me do it!" or "Back away Mama, I indepewent!" like Persistence is. She preferred babying, help, someone…

Is outrage over sexual propositioning ethics and morals, or simply prudery?

By now, you've probably heard the story about Idaho Senator Larry Craig. An undercover policeman alleges that while in the airport bathroom stall next to Craig, Craig used silent signals and body language along with "stall peeping" that are "well-known" methods of propositioing for sex. Apparently men propositioning other men in the Minneapolis airport bathroom has become a problem, and the police began an airport bathroom sting four months ago.

Since then, they've arrested 41 men including Senator Craig.

The cause for the arrest? Peeking in a stall, placing one's luggage in front of the stall door, tapping a foot, and reaching a hand under the stall wall. This is exactly what Senator Craig did.

Senator Craig protested the arrest and stated his actions had been misinterpreted; he also cited his position as a senator. However, when the police did not dismiss the charges, Craig quietly---without legal representation or disclosure---plead guilty to the misde…

Cave liberum...the Hump Day Hmm for 8-29-2007

When we lead our shiny, trepidatiously excited little children to kindergarten in Big School for the first time, I think our real fear is what school will do to our children, what it will turn them into...what they'll learn outside of the lesson plans.

I think we fear this because every one of us knows exactly what else we learned in school...the things our parents probably never knew about directly (although I expected they figured it out to some degree, having been there, done that too).

I think we fear this because every one of us on some level spends the rest of our lives undoing at least one thing we came out of school with that we don't really like.

I've never heard anyone say this out loud, but I think we all realize that school will be, to some degree, both the making of and ruination of our children. And we know our job has transitioned from CITB (Chief Influencer of Thought and Belief) to PUP (Picker Up of the Pieces).

I'm not being melodramatic, friends. I'm…

No, really, I insist on it

Dear WordPad/TypePad/Whatevah,

You and your little "Are you human? Just one more step! Type in these tiny letters in bizarro font swimming under nearly 89% opacity freaky pattern and we'll hold a board meeting to decide whether your comment passes muster and can be posted!" routine?

It stinks, like rotten egg cat box level stink.

For the record, shockingly few of us have been through some bizarre accident in which a nuclear waste truck dumps its load on our car, rendering us capable of superpowers such as ability to see through solid surfaces or capacity to distinguish an 'rn' superimposed on one another from an 'm.'

I know this is surprising news. But it's true.

I don't blame your users. They are understandably wary of spam. Frankly, I'm tired of the, "From Geek to Sheik, Super Large for 36 inches and longer" stories that arrive in groups of 40 in my email.

So it's you. You need to change.

I'll try twice to post a comment, maybe 3…

I had a weird dream last night

Do you like it when people talk about their dreams? I go back and forth about it. I often have strange, interesting, bizarre, and vivid dreams so I always seem to want to talk about it, but as soon as I utter the words, "I had the weirdest dream last night..." I usually see my companion's eyes glaze over.

Every now and again I meet a Dream Interpreter. Sometimes these people seem to want to suck every dream from my head for examination and instead of my usual forthcomingness (call Webster's), I sink back into a shell and hide my dreams, saying something like, "Oh I never remember my dreams."

Other times these people are happy to listen to every recalled nuance, and deconstruct my dream as if it was just as important to them as to me. They often have books or knowledge of dream symbolism and meaning. The times when you wonder if you've gone nutters and missed the memo because you had a dream so bizarre, these people are blessings.

In case you are wondering,…

More about neighbors from neighbors and what about next week?

Two more entrants for the Hump Day Hmm about neighbors:

Mary-LUE wrote about being a Good Samaritan

Lawyer Mama wrote about My Neighborhood on DC Metro Moms

So what about next week?

I know, I know. I haven't been good lately about providing one week's notice. Ahhh if you lived my days you'd understand, LOL.

Next week, the Hmm is about school---any angle you want to take. Tackle the idea of public versus private education, the concept of privilege inherent in education due to socioeconomic neighborhood, a personal school experience, viewing school from an educator's POV or from a parental POV...any kind of exploration you'd like about school.

Remember, link to me here (http://theartfulflower.blogspot.com) and mention the Hump Day Hmm in your post, then email the link to it to me at j pippert at g mail dot com.

Copyright 2007 Julie Pippert
Also blogging at:
Ravin' Maven REVIEWS: Get a real opinion about BOOKS, MUSIC and MORE
Ravin' Maven RECOMMENDS: A real opinion abou…

Everything I need to know I learned...at kindergarten orientation

Last night was the Big Kindergarten orientation. We walked in with misgivings and concerns. We expected/hoped to have them appeased. We wanted to leave feeling ridiculous in ourselves, in our worries. We wanted the school to show us how awesome it is. We walked out discussing home schooling and wondering whether any private schools would still take on a charity student.

Let me ask: what does orientation mean to YOU?

How about this: an introduction, as to guide one in adjusting to new surroundings, employment, activity, or the like.

Me too.

Here's what it means to our local elementary school: Keep parents waiting outside in heat and humidity until 6:00 on the dot at which point you throw open the doors, herd them through the entry hall like cattle and then...that's it. We were ushered into the school where it was every man for himself.

We stood at the end of the entry hall and noted with dismay that the main corridor split off into two directions. We had no idea where to go, who to …

That Distance was between Us

That Distance was between Us
That is not of Mile or Main—
The Will it is that situates—
Equator—never can—

---Emily Dickinson

I like the back chair of the table in the corner, by the wall. I'm not a SuperSpy nor have I ever been trained as one; it's simply my natural inclination. I like a position from which I can see but not be seen, have my back covered, and keep my personal space protected.

Sitting at a table in the center of a restaurant, where servers and other patrons can surprise me and brush behind me---where my personal space is open and unprotected---is so uncomfortable to me that I will wait until a side or back table is available if at all possible.

In a situation of imposed intimacy, I do my best to protect my distance, my privacy.

I know both of my next door neighbors to nod and say hello to, but we are no closer than that. They are nice people, and I am glad to have these good neighbors. In fact, I can't think of a single immediate neighbor to complain about---not t…

Who are the people in YOUR neighborhood?

Your neighborhood matters. On the Today show this morning, a real estate expert explained how your home value is related to your neighbors, and bad ones can drag it down. In fact, she said, a major reason people move is to escape bad neighbors.

I know this can be true.

When we lived in Boston, we rented half of a two-family. It was divvied up with one small unit on the first floor (ours) and one larger unit on the second floor (theirs). When we first moved in, our neighbor was a nice single lady with a son, about ten years old. Great neighbors. She moved out a year later, and the New People moved in. Whereas our previous neighbor had respected the fact that she shared space, the New People didn't seem to at all. They hung out on the porch directly in front of our room, with no concern for the fact that they were loud, it was late, it intruded on our space, and they were using our furniture. One gorgeous day we had all the windows and doors open. I came in from outside to find the w…

Summer's almost out

Next week you'll hear half a sigh of relief from me.

The sigh of relief half is because public school begins next week, and thus ends my ridiculous attempt to juggle working from home with caring for children (or at least for one of them; preschool starts on September 5, after Labor Day...a mixed blessing since it means one week of still juggling, but also one week of adjusting to public school before adding in two schools each day).

If you wonder why I tried to juggle working with childcare, I'll be honest: it's because I can't afford to do otherwise. It's been an enormous strain on my entire family and has strung me practically to the breaking point. Taking the summer off isn't an option for me. But my earnings don't accommodate paying for childcare.

You might reasonably ask why not forget working right now, in that case. It's because my career is important to me, not as important as my children, but nevertheless, valuable and something I've investe…

Other than hurricanes dead-heading (no pun intended), what else is going on?

Although it seems hard to believe, the earth is still spinning and regular life is still ongoing even though there is a hurricane out there.

There are a lot of things in life I didn't get around to this week, and hopefully that's just a "yet" but I acknowledge some things will have to be dropped.

Here are a few that won't:

1. A big heartfelt thanks to Chani for awarding me the Blogger Reflection award.



This award should make you reflect on five bloggers who have been an encouragement, a source of love, impacted you in some way, and have been a Godly example to you. Five Bloggers who when you reflect on them you get a sense of pride and joy... of knowing them and being blessed by them.

Even with the blatant abuse of the word "impact" and the nebulous wording of "Godly example" I find this a lovely award. Even lovelier is what Chani wrote
Julie and I have very different cultural perspectives. She is also far brighter than me. Just the same, I am insp…

Hullo, Dean...where's the rest of the Rat Pack?

As of this morning, Dean had strengthened to a Category 5 hurricane, with some unusual properties such as hail in the leading edge.

Unusual properties + hurricane heading for Gulf of Mexico = Very Bad Thing

So far they have it heading straight at us. WOO HOO!

This story is slightly out of date for Dean (you know how dynamic hurricanes are), but: "Gulf States Mop Up After Erin, Ramp Up for Hurricane Dean"

National Weather Service meteorologist Matt Mooreland said Erin dumped the most rain on south and southeast Houston, where nearly nine inches were recorded at Hunting Bayou and Lockwood.
Hey! We got the most rain! An award! An award!
Texas Governor Rick Perry Friday declared Hurricane Dean an imminent threat to Texas, initiating full-scale state hurricane preparedness efforts.
I'm just surprised and impressed that Perry knows how to say the word 'imminent' much less what it means!

If politics was a frat party, Perry is Bush's slightly less intelligent, slightly less…

What's with the psychological need for the supernatural?

On Thursday night, some girlfriends and I gathered to go see a chick flick at the local dine and view movie theater. We saw Stardust. I suppose it's a sort of AdSense SmartSense advertising but every single solitary trailer was for a Chronicles of Narnia knockoff: young, idealistic person is "key" to some major adventure that involves passing from "regular life" into something supernatural, usually to save the world (or some world).

It's well-known in marketing that generics often do as well as if not better than originals. So when a formula for success is revealed, quickly rush to market with your version. It's trickier than that---sometimes you need to tinker with quality, dumb it down, make it cheaper, enliven it, take a fresh twist, etc. to better appeal to the masses---but that's the gist of it.

This affects any area of the market with a product or idea, but it is especially grueling in the creative world where instead of quality product driving …

Seven kinds of stupid: #1 driving in a tropical storm

At 11:15 a.m. right when I was driving home...

Driving anywhere nonessential in a tropical storm---even the edge of a sort of one---is seven kinds of stupid.

I? Am seven kinds of stupid.

For the record? The dentist is nonessential and not worth the twenty-five years I took off my life span driving to and from the office in this torrential rain.

I knew it was not good news when, as I backed out of my drive, rain band 1 hit, turning the sky gunmetal gray with rain slashing down at about a 45 degree angle. I had about ten feet of visibility in front of me.

I knew it was very bad news when, as I paid the dentist and prepared to leave, the sky turned black as night. That rain crashed down bone straight, and left about five feet of visibility. Everyone had to drive in the left lanes as the right ones were flooded.

As we drove, the radio made that ghastly shrieking noise and issued storm and flash flood alerts for...everywhere I am.

Then the sky and air got freaky weird. The edge of black cloud tap…