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Showing posts from April, 2008

Fool's Rules: A Hump Day Hmm for 4-30-08 about Rules, Fairness and Consequences

Bursting beyond the boundaries When she rides her bike, she'll amble along for a bit beside you, but then she'll thrust forward in a burst of speed, eager to be independent and out front. Her legs pump furiously, her bike a blur of pastel, the pink and purple streamers straight out from her handle bars. Her world is one of rules: stop and wait, look for cars, stay with us, don't get too far ahead, need to leave on time, sit quietly at your desk...a seemingly neverending list. But in that moment, she is motion and air and nothing more, boundaries are falling as far behind her as her parents. She already dreams of the day when she has her own house. She aches for the time that she owns her own life, and her mother aches to never tell her that this time--childhood---is the best she'll get of that. The freer you are, the more you owe elsewhere. Irritating injustice Her teacher says her greatest asset is her sense of fairness, and that this normally quiet child will spe

MOMocrats EXCLUSIVE with Barack Obama

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE Contact: Glennia Campbell, Managing Editor glennia.campbell@gmail.com http://momocrats.typepad.com/ Democratic Presidential hopeful Barack Obama answers MOMocrats "The Questions We Wish the Debates had asked" MOMocrats step up where mainstream media and traditional debates let the American public down, "Things we wish they'd asked in the debates..." Palo Alto, CA -- April 30, 2008 -- Recently, MOMocrats asked the Democratic Presidential candidates the questions we all wish reporters or moderators had asked in any interview or debate. Today, Senator Barack Obama sent back his answers to the MOMocrats' questions. This is the latest example of the influence political blogging groups are showing in the presidential campaign. The most recent debate between the Democratic candidates was disappointing to most citizens. We felt that the questions were directed more towards mud slinging between the candidate rather than substantive que

Provocative Hannah Montana? It's not about prudery, nudity or appealing to an older audience

Joy Behar is a sick, sick woman. She thinks that Miley Cyrus needed to drop and bare in order to appeal to an older audience. I heard her words myself. That's appalling. Miley Cyrus is FIFTEEN YEARS OLD. She doesn't need to appeal to anyone who needs to see suggestive photos of CHILDREN. Was it porn? No. Was it inappropriate? Absolutely. Miley is a lovely young girl and doesn't need to pose wearing a sheet wrapped around her apparently nude body as if...as if... I'm a mother of daughters. I know art. I even know nude art. I know beautiful photography. I'm a big fan of it for ADULTS. Of which Miley is not one. If that was one of my girls? The news headline would not be "Miley poses nude for Vanity Fair." The news headline would be "Star's mother wrings famous photographer's neck." Annie Liebovitz, you should feel ashamed. She is a lovely young girl, and you should have highlighted the youth, not the sexuality. It's not a

What's so special about today is...

1. My friend Kyla has taken time to go to Austin and speak before the elected representatives of the great state of Texas about the trouble with our existing health care system, and to implore them to choose conscientiously to ensure that all who need it have health care. She's there today on her own behalf, but also on behalf of others in her shoes. Yesterday a friend and I kvetched about rising food and gas prices, and she, despite working three jobs, admitted she's worried she's going to have to go back on food stamps. None of her jobs provide any benefits or health insurance. She's an individual, but there are a lot of people in a similar position. In fact, if you only count children, there are 1.5 million in similar position, without insurance. One point five million. Kyla rocks. Thank you, Kyla. You can read her speech at her site by clicking here , or at MOMocrats by clicking here . If you go over to MOMocrats, sign up for the fab giveaway! 2. It's the

A series of unfortunate events (with a fortunate twist)

The monkey, her wrenches, and the works. (Available here .) Today...monkeys are throwing wrenches into my works. It's 8:30 in the morning and already shaping up to be one of those days. You know, one of those days---like every other one, only for some reason today you want to bang your head on the wall because that seems to offer relief of some sort. * When I walked into the downstairs half bath, I could immediately tell the Smurfs had broken in to our house because they left little blue handprints all over the wall, sink, mirror, doorknob and door. I'm not sure what they were after in the half bath, but apparently it had something to do with the hand soap, which was mostly gone. So...I cleaned the bathroom. * The kitchen fairies must have been scared away by the Smurfs because when I finally made it to the kitchen, the dishwasher was still full of dishes (clean at least), and the sink was still full of dishes (dirty, sadly). Also, nobody cleaned the Whatever off the botto

Our town: the front end of beyond (with photos)

I make a lot of snarky comments about the city north of me. I've been called out on this. But, I am a bit of a square peg in a round hold here. For example... I don't like cars and driving in a place that abhors public transportation. I'm a blue in a red zone. I'm a winter person in summer land. I'm a liberal arts person in an engineering and medical job market. But of all the round places to land in, this one is pretty good. Houston is second only to New York City for culture and arts, including performing arts. In fact, NYC is the only city that has more theater seats than Houston. We have incredibly talented, world-renowned resident performing arts companies that perform in architectural masterpieces. A long time ago, the power elite of Houston decided to invest in the arts. That means our museums, zoos, and galleries are top rate, as well. Even my area has thriving arts. My area consists of a cluster of small towns, most of which have populations of about

Convicted for the seditious act of mommyblogging

It's true: I not only bought my kids this toy housecleaning set , but I also sometimes make them put it to good use. And then I blogged about it. Oh the exploitative horror. It's buzzing around the blogosphere again: oh ye hale and hearty mommybloggers, blogging so assiduously about your offspring, what harm do you do? HERE BE DRAGONS! I read the most recent mommyblogging article on the topic of the ethics of parents blogging. Although at first read the article seems comprehensive and contemplative, on second consideration, it struck me as stale. And hyperbolic. I suspect the writer reworked the material to fit her thesis. That's a no-no in science, but also in reporting. You can't---shouldn't---edit and force material to fit the headline you want. That's...dishonest. The problem in large, to me, is that word exploitative. It sours the reader, and casts a pall on the subjects covered in the article. Is blogging truly exploitative? By focusing once again

Truth is a many splintered thing---the Hump Day Hmm for April 23, 2008

The first thing I knew about truth was that it had many faces, was not exclusive of embellishment, and was invariably subjective and typically relative. It was also cause for more battles as religion and politics. That's because, I think, the real battle---even when it comes to religion and politics---is over what is true. For some, truth is solid, as hard as a diamond. To these people, truth is incontrovertible. It is a known thing, obvious. That four-legged, solid surface object in the kitchen is a table. This thing is true. For others, truth is slightly more malleable, self-evident, soft. That stuffed object you sit on is maybe a sofa, maybe a couch, perhaps a love seat, or a settee...it depends upon what you know, what you think, how you experience it. The first group is deeply offended by embellishment, unnecessary add-ons. They find this to be misleading, which is their softening how they feel, which is that you are lying. These people, whether they know it or not, subscr

If you could...it's Earth Day, and there's trees that need planting

Lined along my driveway are large pots with tiny little trees in them. We're growing them in the hope that they can become strong trees planted where trees are needed. I know one place that needs trees, and I know a group working to plant them. A billion of them. Would you like to help? The Atlantic Forest is one of the largest tropical rain forests in the world. However, after decades of clear cutting, expansion, development, and agriculture only seven percent of the original forest remains. Why are tropical rain forests important to the earth and to people? Forests regulate the atmosphere and stabilize global climate. They also store carbon dioxide and release oxygen. One billion people depend directly on the rain forest. In addition to the lifegiving attributes for the entire world, such as water, medicine, and oxygen, rain forests also provide livelihoods and even hydro energy. It's also home to one of the most diverse collections of plant and animal species.: 23 spe

Truth: rarely pure and never simple

If you ask Persistence how old she is, she'll tell you she's five. She can't quite bring herself to say six, her sister's age. Is it because her sister holds a claim to that number right now, or is it an inherent talent for hyperbole---knowing exactly where the line is that she shouldn't cross? On Saturday at a party several of us were laughing with a neighbor, my friend's husband, and he was spinning yarns about his upcoming trip to Italy. "You need to learn how to lie, Jack," I said, "You go one step past believable. If you'd said you were biking from Paris to Florence, some of us might have partially believed you. But walking?" And we all laughed harder. "Maybe it's intentional," he told me, "I get in trouble for teasing, so I try to make sure I'm way over the top upfront so nobody even starts to believe me." Someone reminded me that I must be a very good liar because everyone thinks I'm truthful. I

The world is somewhere between mad demented and mad awesome...a wrap-up of the week

It's been a wild week in nearly every avenue. Here's what I've seen that might intrigue, interest, disgust, enthrall and/or appall you: The good: Earth Day ramp up has motivated some really fantastic things. At Moms Speak Up, I joined The Nature Conservancy's campaign to Plant a Billion. One tree, one dollar...and every dollar counts. Click over here to check out the information and join in the campaign! Aimee Greeblemonkey launched a project near and dear to my heart (for those of you who know how I feel about art, kid art , and art in school , as well as the environment). Inspired by her son who hosted a backyard art auction and a reader suggestion, she launched Kid Art Auction for Earth Day 2008 . Izzy asked if I would take on Moms Speak Up as Editor-in-Chief, which I agreed to do. I'm currently seeking motivated writers who are passionate about the environment, dangerous imports, health care, food safety, media and marketing, education, politics and ma

Spring Green Hump Day Hmm 4-16-08: Talking about the environment

Thanks for participating in the "green talk" Hump Day Hmm. There's no limit to links here---old or new---and you can put in as many links to environmental-related posts as you like! Copyright 2008 Julie Pippert Also blogging at: Julie Pippert REVIEWS : Get a real opinion about BOOKS, MUSIC and MORE Julie Pippert RECOMMENDS : A real opinion about HELPFUL and TIME-SAVING products Moms Speak Up : Talking about the environment, dangerous imports, health care, food safety, media and marketing, education, politics and many other hot topics of concern. MOMocrats

What are you supposed to write about on Wednesday and the next week?

Earth Day 2008 on April 22! Are you struggling for topics to write about on your blog? Or have you got plenty planned and in the works? Either way, come sit by me and let's talk about hot topics for the next week: Earth Day 2008. This Wednesday's Hump Day topic asks you to share your views about caring for our planet. What do you believe about ecology---preserving and conserving? How did you come to those views? As usual, I'll leave the post up for a couple of days. Just write the post, link back to here, and come add your link in to Mr. Linky. I'm also scouting for great posts for Moms Speak Up . I'm looking for great information, news, updates, green tips and more. There is a lot of environmental and safe product news and information about there, as well as ideas for greener lifestyles, and crucial health care research and knowledge, and more. Every part of our life touches the earth in some way. Let's write about it! Have you written about the enviro

Visual highlights of the weekend and BOOKS! A meme

Photo of us with Congressman Nick Lampson after a luncheon. Photo credit: Colleen O'Brien, reporter, Friendswood Reporter News Brunch with the fab Liv and Jenny. And a ton of birthday parties. Our weekend was nonstop---which can be good, and exhausting. Also, it sets a bad precedent with kids, who will now think every weekend revolves around MegaFun. In brief: * As always, an interesting lunch with Congressman Nick Lampson. The Democrats are the truly family friendly party. It's not a euphemism for "live according to our morality or we'll make you by law." It means, "we know people have families and we want to be supportive of that." So keep that in mind, my friends, as the election draws closer. Mr. Lampson's chief of staff could not have been kinder or more helpful in accommodating me showing up with Persistence. Mr. Lampson could not have been nicer to her, even earning her trust and a smile. The other guests were also very nice, and

Whilst introspective and angsty, may as well talk about high school (again)

High school. To play upon Chris Bell's brilliant renouncement of Tom De Lay at the recent Senate District 11 caucus, high school is like herpes: the angst that keeps on giving. Lest I sound like some loser or moron who agonizes over something that was half my lifetime ago (or so), I didn't really think about high school for years and years and years. I'd add another 'years' but it just makes me feel old(er). But high school has resurfaced in my mind recently and there are a few good reasons. It's on my mind today because Her Bad Mother (who could use some warm fuzzies today, I think) started a writing prompt about prom. Yes, that's my prom photo above. It's the only one of me without the boy in it, and it would be no good to make him an innocent bystander victim by including him in this blog. (My prom, in brief, as if you care: Went with boy was dating at time; was broken-hearted because I felt ditched by good friend who went with her boyfriend'

You can't always get what you want

Weed? or flower? I guess it depends on who is doing the looking and what they're expecting out of that space. You can't always get what you want. Mick Jagger was bellowing this song around the beginning of my life, and I think it makes a pretty decent life theme song. I don't recall when it was exactly that I figured out that the song had an application to my life. In other words, I am not really sure when I figured out that the rules of life weren't applied fairly. Was it because I had something someone else didn't? Or was it because someone else had something I didn't? Because I was a young child, I figure it had to be something that basic. Maybe, as a child, I experienced too many large and powerful things that were completely out of my control. Back then, adults didn't care what kids thought or wanted, at least not on the whole, at least not like now. Back then, adults assumed that kids were resilient. They assumed kids didn't notice. They fig

In which the year's at the spring, the lark's on the wing and all is right(ish) with the world...

By Friday of last week, I was a wee bit stressed . In case the spinning head and shrill tone escaped anyone's notice. Luckily, Friday is followed up by that miracle of time known as The Weekend. Our weekend was healing. Other than a Sunday we dedicated to fun, I think the thing that stands out most are three women who contributed something along the lines of restoring my faith in humanity. Random Acts of Kindness Act I The woman was behind the Starbucks counter at Target. She was probably ten years older than me, at most. I'd been dragged into the Starbucks by a wailing Persistence, and I was exhausted straight through my spirit by incessant creative parenting, power struggles, and daughters on the edge. "That milk!" Persistence shriek-wailed, "THAT MILK! Nilla MILK!" Our circuit through the deli-produce-bakery area had been going badly. Persistence is always hungry and thirsty, and a carton of milk will keep her happy through the store. The cooler