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Showing posts from March, 2006

I could be a US Citizen! If I wasn't one already that is...

You Passed the US Citizenship Test Congratulations - you got 9 out of 10 correct! Could You Pass the US Citizenship Test? Could you pass it? Okay forget the questions on the written portion of the exam...could you afford to buy citizenship in the US? Do you understand why people are illegal here? What do you believe about it? Are you a bumper sticker toting member of Or are you more Anderson, Stuart - (Director of Trade and Immigration Studies, Cato Institute) "Throughout our history, immigrants have come to America, established themselves and been joined by other members of their families. That process has brought us energetic individuals and strong families who have enriched our economy and way of life." (The Los Angeles Times, February 1996) Do you disagree? Please, explain yourself. Really. Use facts, please. Everyone I know has spent years and thousands (or tens of thousands, depending on family size) of dollars. And those are just the Canadians, lured here by companies

The Joy of Parenting #1: When they stop breathing

This photo shows basically the same sort of setup we have now for the baby. Oh she just love love loves it. (insert sarcasm here) There is nothing in the world worse than watching your child struggle to breathe. The baby came down with a (so I thought) mild tummy bug over the weekend. We all did. Just a little nausea and some runny stool. Then my older daughter got a slight cold and I kept her home Tuesday...but she was fine Wednesday, which was the day the baby started showing signs of the cold. By 3 a.m. this morning (mind you Day 3 of No Sleep Whatsoever following Week Two of Frequently Interrupted, Poor Quality Sleep) the baby was seeming more than a little congested, had developed a fever, and seemed a little short of breath now and again. By 7:45 I was getting really concerned and called the doctor's office, "Hi my baby is pretty sick, she's struggling to breathe, sort of like stridor, but very wheezy and more intense." The receptionist said, "The doctor ca

Secret Agent Man...What do you do out of paranoia?

I've got my eye on you...but do I mean you or do you mean me? Okay this "what weird paranoid thing do you do?" has turned into a fun conversation with friends. First to mind, my largest weird paranoid thing I do is get all Maxwell Smartt secretive about using my debit card and PIN number. I pay cash (read: debit card) everywhere. This means I have to key in my PIN. There is no visual or sound privacy. Have you noticed that? BEEP BEEP BEEP BEEP BEEP it screams for each number I press. And what is with everyone crowding you in line? Are they trying to spy on me? Personal space people. Keying in a PIN is like voting. R-E-S-P-E-C-T the privacy! So like a junior at the SAT, I sort of cup my hand for semi-privacy and fake press numbers so in case someone is watching, or trying to snap a photo with a cell phone camera, they won't know the numbers I press. This is my security measure. I will continue to fake you out. I take pleasure in this game, apparently. Stick it to the m

Portrait of the Artist: Itzchak Tarkay

A painter, a watercolorist, a graphic my opinion, Tarkay is a fantastic example of contemporary figurative art. I progressed to beng a Tarkay fan sort of the same way art progressed from Impressionism to post-Impressionism to figurative art. In other words, I took the same journey. I started with the Impressionists, and for a while, Monet et al were my favorites. Then, my tastes changed and I preferred the brighter, more geometric styles of the post-Impressionists. Then I found Tarkay and learned about figurative art. My Monet-Matisse-Tarkay serigraphs hang in the same room, sort of in order of discovery. I think Tarkay is one of the softer, more gentle prodders when it comes to the expressive portion of figurative art. His work looks lazy and relaxed to me, in general. The ladies, posed lounging, often at cafe tables, remind me of the Sunday afternoon I'd like to have. I heard once that their somnolence is actually respect for the lost. See, Itzchak Tarkay, born in 193

Deliberately vague week recap

Usually I write these entries and imagine an audience. But often I feel like it's really just for me. So I want to use it to write out...just some things going on, thoughts about it, etc. SiteMeter is like my conscience, reminding me that I am, after all, posting on the Internet, openly, so anyone anywhere can read this. This requires a level of discretion. I have to be a bit deliberately vague. This has been a week of highs and lows. Does anyone remember The Story of Us ? I don't much, but I do remember one detail from it. At each nightly family dinner, Michelle Pfeiffer would briskly ask each family member to recount the day's high and low, briefly. One liners. They'd go around the table, fling out the high and the low and then I don't remember what else. I loved that idea, say the high and low. But then, then what do you do with that tidbit? How does it fit in? Do you discuss it? I'm more of a storyteller, but stories require details. So this week, I'm ju

Brick house...she's mighty mighty...lettin' it all hang out

Since having kids, my figure is what could politely be described as a brick house...only not 36-24-36, add a few (or more). I now get more attention chest-level than ever, and mainly from my own baby, who constantly likes to eyeball, or preferably reach down my shirt and check that the boobs are still there, haven't run off to seek fame nor fortune. They're there all right. Boobage on the chest, under the arms, hitting the old waistline muffin top. My 40D bras (parachutes really) are feeling very, very small and tight. I try to blame the dryer, "Evil machine, shrinks all my clothes!" But really, I think it's the baby aka my Siamese twin attached at the boob. Still I refuse to buy more bras, since I'm going to stop nursing Any. Day. Now. Is there a 12 Step Program? I have less patience with nursing this time. Less enjoyment. I feel irritated my babies never would take bottles or pacifiers. I get tired of "whipping out the boob" or fighting off my aggr

Love The Forest Lover

I didn't discover The Forest Lover by Susan Vreeland in any organized or well-researched way. I was visiting my mother, we ran to Wal*Mart for diaper rash cream, and by the cash register a pile of Discount Books beckoned from a table. As any bookaholic knows, a pile of books is utterly irresistable. I waded and dug through the pile, growing discouraged, until I saw Susan Vreeland's name. I had read her Girl in Hyacinth Blue and found it original, albeit a bit pale compared to the lush story by Tracy Chevalier that I read at about the same time ( Girl with a Pearl Earring for the record). It was sort of an Allende to Garcia Marquez. Allende grew on me, so I thought, let's give Vreeland another chance. I had liked her other book, after all. I'm glad I did. The Forest Lover is absolutely brilliant. It's about Emily Carr , "one of Canada's greatest and most loved artists. Feeling a spiritual connection with her subjects, Emily Carr painted both the landsca

Egging on Kevin Covais is just so....very

When I watch Kevin Covais on American Idol I think, "Isn't he cute, good for him," right along with, "Would you people quit voting for him already?" (Bear with me, we'll get back to the, "You watch American Idol?" in a moment. Actually, we'll save the whole "How I am addicted to reality TV" for another discussion if you don't mind.) Kevin Covais. How in the world did he get to this point? I honestly don't see whatever it is that others see, and so that makes me suspicious. Not of myself but of their motives. Perhaps he simply keeps exceeding Paula and Randy's expectations. Who would expect this gawky little kid to get out there and actually, with some degree of confidence, sing? And usually in tune and on time. But honestly? I think they've *created* the fascination. I think KEVIN COVAIS: SEX SYMBOL and AMERICAN IDOL is a paper doll. When I watch him perform, he sings "eh okay" and he dances "oh please