Monday, December 29, 2008

Mozilla Rules!

I just wanted to pop on here with a public service message, ha ha. Do we have those anymore? Mozilla, as suggested by our esteemed Captain of Hogwash, is awesome. It remembers passwords for websites that you go on all the time, it doesn't have the autofill but a drop down box when you are filling something in which gives you choices you have used before in the same type of space. This is more versatile as with autofill you only had one answer it would fill in, such as email address. This way you can chose which email you want to fill in on which site, etc. I like it much more than the controversial Internet Explorer, which I always used because it was there, I guess. This Mozilla I suggest to everyone. When Internet Explorer gets its security issues straightened out, I for one am not going back.

I hope everyone has a Happy New Year!

Thursday, December 25, 2008

Happy Kwanzaa!

Happy Sixth Night of Chanukah

Happy Kwanzaa!

Below please find the seven principles of Kwanzaa, in case you needed to know!

The Nguzo Saba - The Seven Principles of Kwanzaa

Umoja (Unity)
To strive for and maintain unity in the family, community, nation and race.
Kujichagulia (Self-Determination)
To define ourselves, name ourselves, create for ourselves and speak for ourselves.
Ujima (Collective Work and Responsibility)
To build and maintain our community together and make our brother's and sister's problems our problems and to solve them together.
Ujamaa (Cooperative Economics)
To build and maintain our own stores, shops and other businesses and to profit from them together.
Nia (Purpose)
To make our collective vocation the building and developing of our community in order to restore our people to their traditional greatness.
Kuumba (Creativity)
To do always as much as we can, in the way we can, in order to leave our community more beautiful and beneficial than we inherited it.
Imani (Faith)
To believe with all our heart in our people, our parents, our teachers, our leaders and the righteousness and victory of our struggle.

*From -- Maulana Karenga, Kwanzaa: A Celebration of Family, Community and Culture, 2008, Los Angeles: University of Sankore Press (www.sankorepress.com)
Isn't this interesting: "Gifts are given mainly to children, but must always include a book and a heritage symbol. The book is to emphasize the African value and tradition of learning stressed since ancient Egypt, and the heritage symbol to reaffirm and reinforce the African commitment to tradition and history. " Must include a book, what a novel idea. Punny, I know.

Where the hell are the coats?

Speaking of charity, I have a big issue now with the winter coat charities. Now we are always donating our old coats to charities, there are boxes everywhere for old coats. I have never thrown out a coat; I either’ve given them away or donated them. Well, where do these coats go? My best guess is it is a conspiracy theory thing, and some quilt manufacturer is really getting all of these coats and using them for blanket stuffing. Why would I say something so crazy? Try to get a coat. I did. It can’t be done. Seriously.

A kid at school needed a coat, so I figured I would get him one. Easy? Not. The Salvation Army would not help without the family jumping through hoops, which wasn’t the point. It was to help the busy hardworking mom have less to do, not give her more to do. Then I went to Goodwill. Goodwill is an incredibly moneymaking venture; I will never donate to them again after seeing what they charge. Used coats $29.99, really? Add ten bucks and I could’ve picked him up a new one, but as his teacher, I wasn’t doing that. I thought of it at this point, but now it was the principle of the thing - where the hell are all the coats? The churches are wonderful but have limited hours, a working person really can’t get there, so I don’t know what a couple of the church thrift stores would have charged, if anything. I couldn’t get anywhere before 2:00.

So here I am, just trying to get a kid a coat, and I can’t. I called the places that you leave coats and no one knew where the coats actually went so people could get one. I called most of the people I know and no one actually knows where you would go to get one of the thousands of coats that are donated each year. Insanity. A dear friend’s boyfriend had a nice coat he wanted to give away she told me when I called to find out if she knew where to get a coat. So thank A. for the coat, this kid is warm, but what about the next one? Shouldn’t we know where our donations go and be able occasionally to go get something for someone who needs? Right, isn’t that the point? I thought so, but... I can just imagine how hard it is for someone to needs help to actually figure out who to reach out to, to get that help. How do they even know where to go or who to call? I still don’t know where the coats are but I do know where the caring people are, so it’s a leap in the right direction.

Happy Holidays!

Merry Christmas to Everyone Who Celebrates It! I hope something wonderful happens to everyone!

As a quick update, the neighbor I helped with her citizenship paperwork is now an American! Yay! I am so excited for her and her family. She also made me the best baklava ever! Yummy and fattening, but mmmm.

My friend C. was busy today running around trying to make Santa show up for three little girls she knows who were otherwise going to have no Christmas. We did what we could to help her efforts, but I tell ya, when she gets her mindset, she is a force to be reckoned with. (Are we all ladies?) It’s funny I heard once that people would help others more, they just don’t know who needs help. So bless you C. for seeing a need and filling it. I look forward to hearing how it went; I know she totally changed that family’s day and outlook on life too probably.

Thanks to the millions of people around the world who help make the holidays better for others. It is so appreciated, I have had help at the holidays before too – food basket, or toys and clothes for my child. I will testify that when you open that carton or whatever it is, the generosity and kindness of strangers brings tears to your eyes. You are so grateful that someone though of your loved one and whether or not he or she was smiling. It changes your outlook on the world and makes you positive, especially when you aren’t able to give your child what they deserve, like a new winter coat, boots or what have you. When someone else helps you like that, if firms up your resolve that someday you will help others like others have helped you. I am proud to say this year, now that I’m out of school, we were able to do some good things for others, and it felt nice. My child loves to help others too and doesn’t hesitate to run up to her room and bring something down for someone who doesn’t have anything. I am proud of her. Next year we will do more. Of course we always try to help, not just at the holidays, but the holidays there are more opportunities to help.

I might not celebrate Christmas, but I love it! What a wonderful time of year!

Sunday, December 21, 2008

It's the next day...

...and we are now getting 16 to 20 inches. Let it stop, let it stop, let it stop. :)


Happy first night of Chanukah to everyone! Peace, Hope and Love!

Saturday, December 20, 2008

First Big Storm of the Year

We got our first foot of snow last night. It's still snowing actually, but I don't think it is accumulating. Here I go trying to be "photographerly."

Let it Snow, Let it Snow, Let it Snow

Last week's ice storm

Grass

Branches

Heavy Baby Tree




The Meltdown

Saturday, December 13, 2008

Latka time

It is Chanukah time again! Yay, the celebration of fried food. I have to make batches and batches of latkes today and tomorrow, for Hebrew school tomorrow and public school on Monday. This year I decided since I bought a little food processor that I would use it to shred my potatoes instead of my grater. I went online to see if others are doing this and they are.
There was also quite a few comments about latkes without blood in them from the grater not being as good. My thought, ewww. To my dear friends who have had latkes at my house, I would like to assure you never have I bled from the grater! Yuck, my mind races back over the years to the probably millions of latkes I've eaten that other people have prepared, did they scrape themselves on the grater? Bllehh, I have to stop thinking about it – I’m grossed out!ANYWAY, I found a great website with pictures and a latke recipe from Chez Lewis in Jerusalem. Thank you! This is the link http://www.fonerbooks.com/latkes.htm. I'll put it over in the Links I Love column so you can just click. His tip with the starch and flour I am definitely going to do having had trouble holding the latkes together in the past. The only change I will make from his recipe is one potato at a time, my processor is tiny, and I will add in the bowl I put the shredded potato in some baking powder to help it not turn pink/brown as I process the rest of the potatoes. I really like his step-by-step pictures though. Check it out, I’m going to have his page up while I’m in the kitchen later! (I wonder why he has bricks on his stove though...)

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Just some thoughts...

We got out of school an hour early today because the rain was turning to ice. Winter is here! Argh. Strange even to me, but I wish it was snow instead of ice. Snow seems safer, if you fall on it, it can cushion your fall. Ice just hurts. Although the trees after an ice storm especially right before sundown are beautiful. But the trees right after a snowfall are beautiful too.

Well gas is exactly the same price as it was in 2001, weird. I just hope that people still know there is a need for green technologies and that this low gas price is only temporary. I figure the next time it goes up it will stay up like overseas.

I started my new nonfiction writing class, I am very excited although I blew my first assignment. I just submitted my second one, and I hope it is better than my first. All I want to do is write but in classes it just seems I have no idea how. Yet I teach it all day, what’s up with that, I do not know. I know I am helping this kids, I guess I just need someone to help me hone my skills.

How does that Bachelor show work, how do they have any idea that out of those 25 people the person will find a lifemate? Wouldn’t it be great if all we had to do was date 25 people and we would find someone to love? Reality television is so unrealistic.

I want to watch Will Smith’s new movie, Seven Pounds.

Have an incredible day.

Saturday, December 6, 2008

I hope everyone had a great Thanksgiving. I surely did. I’ve been too busy eating leftovers to post, because I was lucky enough to have Thanksgiving at my house with dear friends. It was so wonderful, this is the first year I had leftovers and yum!

There have been some freaky things going on in the world. The little boy at my baby’s class who likes her was actually a victim of a home invasion. Poor little thing, he had a gun pointed at him and was seriously scared. He was on the local news and all. These brilliant teens four of them got away with something ridiculous like $3 and half a Percocet. Let’s just say, not worth it, idiots! Well, turns out two of the idiots I know from the school, they graduated already but what a small world it is. One of them is not really a bad kid at all either, so it is sad. I couldn’t believe it when first I saw the seven year old in TV, and then the big kids, it really makes no sense. They will be on one of those stupid criminal shows. The family they were trying to rob is obviously quite poor too, so it is ridiculous. I guess that same night they tried another house too, but weren’t successful there either. All I know if they are going away for quite some time threatening a little boy with a gun, and an old woman in a wheelchair. It is nuts and depressing.

What isn't so depressing is however the gas prices. $1.64 today. I looked in my daughter's babybook and in 2001 gas was $1.57. The price of food isn't going down though, it's still going up and up. We are in a recession now, but I went to the main shopping area in my town this afternoon and it was packed, there was not indication of any recession going on there...

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Rock on Obama!

Economy -- Of the People, By the People
President-elect Barack Obama has directed the Transition's economic team to develop the details of a bold plan to save or create 2.5 million American jobs by 2011.

Watch the President-elect's Weekly Address, I'll put a link on the right so you can just click. If you go to www.change.gov you can also share your thoughts, questions, or ideas. This is amazing. He is going to start a 2 year works program, I'm thinking like FDR, and the jobs will not only fix roads, bridges and modernizing schools, but push forward green technologies, like wind turbines, solar panels, and fuel efficient cars, etc. Now this is what I'm talking about, and he is not only helping our fragile world environment, but helping the economy at the same time. Brilliant if you ask me. Apparently he is also going to be doing weekly addresses, imagine that, us knowing what's going on all the time.

Lawrence Summers has been picked to lead the national economic summary, he did work for Clinton, but he has no speaking filter, so we'll see about that one.
I wanted to put the Utube right here, but I do not know how! Grrr. Sorry. http://www.change.gov/page/s/economy

On a completely unrelated topic, did anyone catch the news about the whales in Australia that beached themselves. They were able to save 11 but 53 died. 53 that seems like so many. There isn't anything on the net yet about it, I'll keep looking. 53 seems like too many and then I find that on November 29 in 2004, 72 pilot whales and 30 bottlenose dolphins died after beaching at Sea Elephant Bay, Tasmania. This was on the coast of Tasmania too. Why are the animals doing this? Some say they are sick and so they try to go off but then their entire pod follows them. But that doesn't seem likely, I think we need to figure this out. It is so heartbreaking.

Captain Hogwash whales beach themselves in beautiful N.Z. too, any ideas over there why they do this?

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Happy Holidays!

Happy Holidays to all! In my town they have just decorated for the holidays and I was pleasantly surprised. On the lightposts there are banners, and this year the banners say, Merry Christmas, Happy Holidays, Tis the Season and you would never believe it but there are Happy Hanukkah banners too! Hurrah. We finally rate a banner. It pales in comparison to the 35 foot tree, but what the hey, we have a banner! Life is good. Happy Holidays to all, no matter what your holidays are. After we get through Thanksgiving that is. Yummy!

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

www.change.gov - The Obama Biden Transition Team

I wrote a letter to President-elect Obama. They want to hear from us, and have a website set up. I knew he'd be different! Well, it seemed to me that Obama is hearing from everyone right now, so he might as well hear from me. I thought I would share with you what I wrote: (Maybe you might email President-elect Obama too, let me know if you do, even those of you that never comment!!)

Dear President-elect Obama,

I am writing to offer you my sincere congratulations on your election to be President of our amazing country. I‘m glad my vote counted! I teach my students that no matter who we are or where we come from the most important thing we all have are our voices. When we join our voices with other likeminded voice, we are heard and we make a difference. I thought I needed to add my voice to the chorus.

I am writing to urge you to address our environmental concerns first. If we do not have a world that will sustain us, than what is the point of everything else? For instance, why is the government going to bale out the auto industry? These same people have been ripping us off with their gas guzzling cars for years. These are the same people who built an electric car that the drivers loved, but only leased them instead of selling them, and then took them all back and crushed them whereby setting back our freedom from dependence on foreign oil at least two decades. All of that to make the auto dealers and oil companies rich. Why not let them fail and make room for entrepreneurs and new companies to provide us with new technologies for our transportation that are green and do not rely on petroleum based products. I understand people will need to change jobs, but just like the blacksmiths found new careers when they built cars, so too will the auto industry employees. Clean energy pursuits can create millions of new jobs.

It seems change is only scary until it is done; things seem impossible to do until you finally just do them. This is our time to stop doing what we have always done - taking care of the consequences later. It is later, and we have to deal with the consequences if we are to survive as a race. Not to be selfish, but I am a teacher who is trying to raise a child on a teaching salary alone with no help, I have $40,000 in student loans, I knew I couldn’t afford a house so I didn’t (but it is our dream), where is my bailout? My retired father had to supplement his retirement by working at a retail store which just closed, where’s his bailout? The earth is being destroyed by human activities and carbon dioxide emissions, where is its bailout? We need to think about sustainable energy, we need to think about new initiatives to help us move forward, we need new ways to join the myriads of research and new ideas together to help develop environmentally renewable resources, and we need to think globally. We are hardworking Americans, we will get by, but our world may not without our help.

Now while you are getting us straightened out, could you help the mothers who can’t even go out of their refugee camps to collect firewood to cook for their families without getting shot or raped in Darfur? Please.

Thank you for listening,

Saturday, November 15, 2008

911 Holiday Shopping Tip! You must read:

When shopping for loved ones this holiday season, I urge you not to forget my favorite online stores, the greatergood.org. They are the The Hunger Site Store, The Breast Cancer Site Store, The Child Health Site Store, The Literacy Site Store, The Rainforest Site Store, The Animal Rescue Site Store. The stores are all linked together for more effective giving and shopping. You can shop by looking at the products and then benefit whichever charity the item is linked to, or you can shop by the charity and chose a product linked to that charity.

I go to http://shop.thechildhealthsite.com and then click on Global Girlfriends and when you purchase an item first, depending on what you spend a certain number of cups of food goes to help the hungry. Then best of all Global Girlfriends are items created by women in other countries, like Nepal, Maasai (in Kenya), India, Afghanistan, Pakistan, and others. These businesses were created to help women worldwide gain economic security for themselves and their families by earning fair wages for their handiwork, Global Girlfriend sources women-made, fair-trade imported, eco-friendly products. By supporting long-term partnerships with the artisans, it fosters equal employment opportunities, healthy and safe working conditions, technical assistance, and development strategies to help reduce poverty, one community at a time.


For instance, if you buy a Window to the World Messenger Bag for $18.00, you are not only buying a great gift for someone, especially in these times of reusing cloth bags to help the environment. But these bags are handmade by women rescued from a life of sex trafficking as part of Freeset Bags - a unique social enterprise in Calcutta, India. Each bag tells the story of one woman's journey to freedom -- from a life of rampant poverty and forced prostitution, toward a life of dignity, a living wage with decent hours, and the opportunity to become literate. What is more, it allows these women to lead by example -- providing a role model for their daughters and other young girls in showing them how to break free of cycle of poverty and despair. By purchasing this bag, you become a vital part in their journey toward freedom -- both economic and spiritual.

Check out this place to shop, help the world and shop from the comfort of your own home. There is something for everyone in these stores, clothes, jewelry, house decorations, holiday ornaments, bags, garden items, candles, and more. You can search for a place and get all of the items for that place, I search for Israel and get everything they sell that is made in Israel. Helping our global economic depression, those less fortunate, and getting your shopping done - it's all good! I urge you to go and look! Shipping is only a flat $3.95, and sometimes they have shipping specials and it is even less. You can’t beat that price for shipping, one book on Amazon.com is $3.99, just to put this shipping into perspective. I have been happy with every order I've received, I wear my T-shirts all the time! *Links on the right

While you are there add a dollar or two on to contribute to Habitat Preservation at the Rainforest Site. Since The Rainforest Site began in 2000, together we have funded the protection and preservation of more than 41,000 acres of rainforest habitat. Your daily click and your Rainforest Site store purchases, combined with those of many others from around the world, have helped protect vital parts of these ancient, complex ecosystems in Ecuador, Mexico, Peru, Paraguay and other locations worldwide.
Every bit helps, even an amount as small as $1. You can donate any amount over $1 by placing the $1 donation in your shopping cart and increasing the quantity -- perhaps a special number to honor someone's birthday. Your purchase is tax-deductible in the U.S.A., and you will receive a receipt from GreaterGood.org for your taxes. 100% of this gift goes directly to GreaterGood.org and is earmarked for habitat preservation groups.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Happy Veteran's Day


Happy Veteran's Day to all! We will always remember those who fought, and fight, to give us the freedoms we so carelessly enjoy. And we will teach our children to remember and honor too.
Do not stand by my grave and weep ... I am not there;
I do not sleep.
When you awaken in the morning's hush,
I am the swift uplifting rush of quiet birds
circling in flight.
Do not stand by my grave and cry ...
I am not there. I did not die.
-- Royster

They shall grow not old
As we that are left grow old,
Age shall not weary them . .
Nor the years condemn.
At the going down of the sun,
And in the morning,
We will remember them!
-- Lawrence Binyon


Yesterday, I picked up my girl from school early because the nurse called. On the way home we stopped at Michael's to pick up a craft for her to do in bed. While in the store we saw a man in his Army fatigues and boots. I have taught my daughter to say a simple "Thank you" to soldiers. She went right up to him, "Sir, thank you for keeping our country safe." I was so proud, and truly thank all of you sirs and ma'ams for keeping us safe...

For fun, I would like to put up a poem that my seven-year-old wrote today in the sick bed. I think she's gifted, but I might be slightly prejudiced. And it has nothing to do with Veteran's Day... or does it?

Sky of Doom

Doom
Sky
Mean
and
Nasty
and
Cruel.
Lightning
and
Thunder
Crash
from
the
Sky
at
You.

Saturday, November 8, 2008

24/7 - Not!

This is so strange, I have a new credit card because I am trying to get some credit going. I have a bill for $99.98 at Toys R Us at the end of September on there. And I'll tell you what I do not have hundred dollar toy in this house, or a bike, or a musical instrument. And I certainly don't give gifts that nice (I can admit it). One would think that I would remember spending $100. I have just wandered around my daughter's room and the living room and there is no evidence of any $100 toy, or even 2 $50 toys. Is my memory really that bad? I called the credit card people, they said to call Toys R Us. Toys R Us website says that they are open 24/7 to service their customers. So you call the 24/7 customer service phone line, and there is a recording that they can't help you and you need to call back during regular business hours Monday through Friday, what the Heck! That is no 24 hour customer service!! Who are they kidding? Ridiculous I say. Something funky is going on around here...

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Mazel Tov President Obama!!!

People who are unhappy about the leadership in America used their voices tonight with their votes, and they were heard! Mazel Tov President Obama. My hope for America is that now we can stand together, work together, and create a country that is united, ready and willing to create a better version of our America, a better version of our failing economy, and a better version of how we defend ourselves with all of our honored military forces. I hope all Americans will be better able to see ourselves as so much more the same that seeing ourselves as different. We are now not elephants and donkeys any longer, we are not not blue or red, we are red, white, and blue and together we stand!

Tonight Hope Ruled! Tonight people with the power of positive thinking ruled! Tonight History Was Made!

Senator McCain, I have to say although you did not win tonight, you went lost with class. Your concession speech was respectful and followed what America told Washington tonight, we want to be positive, we want to hope for a better future!

Mazel Tov President Elect Obama

Thursday, October 30, 2008

When were you born?


My folks were up for a visit this weekend, so we went to an Andy Warhol art exhibit. It was an exhibit of his political work. We enjoyed it immensely, and my daughter learned all about the assassination of JFK in 1965, three years before I was born. I told her that more than once. My parents told her all about where they were that day, and what a shock to the nation it was. Loss of innocence, I say. When my mother spoke tears came to her eyes a bit even today, about sitting in front of the TV for days and the world just stopping, our country anyway. It was all very affecting and memorable, I thought. My daughter was keenly interested.

Ok, do you have a Scholastic Children’s Dictionary? If you are parent of a curious kid like mine, or have to buy a gift for a child this $19 book is worth every dime. My daughter’s favorite part is the listings and pictures all of the Presidents of the United States; she is always looking through and telling me things. Great book buy it.

Anyway, to put these two things together: Two days after we were home from the exhibit she’s reading her favorite book and says to me, “Mom, Theodore Roosevelt was born October 27, 1858.”
“Wow, he was? That’s interesting honey.”
“Isn’t that when you were born?”
Aahhhhhhhhhhh, I think my head spun around three times on it’s own, as I was trying to turn around and look at her! Ha ha. I guess it’s close, 1968 – 1858. We’ve got to do a lot more math around here! Kids they keep you young, or turn you into a fossil...

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Thinking About Wrong Turns...

My friends, both professionals, just rounded off their families in a most delightful and significant way with a little girl from Vietnam who needed a home. I think that is so amazing. My other girlfriend and her husband adopted a little girl from Korea when she was little, and she is incredible. When I get to see her I like the chance to talk to her or play with her. She is so bright, but smart enough to be a bit shy. I think I might have missed the boat in this lifetime to be able to do some thing that amazing for a person. They also are giving those children's natural families a gift (if they had families alive), the gift of knowing that these children who they couldn't take care of will have a safe environment, all of their physical and emotional needs met, love and from people who will always respect the child's culture. Sometimes the best thing you can do when you love someone is to let them go, like my mother did me. Thank you to my natural mother, whoever you are. These families saved these children from lives in an orphanage, while not the most horrible thing if they are well treated, it is definitely not the same as being raised in a loving home. My friends new little girl is becoming acclimated to her new situation and isn't ready to meet a bunch of people yet, but I can't wait to meet her.

I am writing about his because I kind of feel left out. I am a very loving person, with a humongous big heart, and I would love to be able to help another human being like that. My daughter's heart may even be bigger than my own, so she would love it too. But all choices having added up to this moment in my life, as a single mom and a teacher it is not possible. I will never be able to make that big of an impact on the world. I'm saddened by that. Believe me I think back to the two times I was engaged and took off running (literally one time), and wonder what would have happened, and how things would be different. I do not honestly feel that if I had married either one of those individuals that anything like that would have ended up being possible either.

This is not regret for what I have done, and my whole life, because if I hadn't had a "challenging" past, I wouldn't have had my daughter and I wouldn't have gone to college at 33, graduated and become a teacher (which I love). There are no other children I could imagine instead of my daughter, and there are honestly no other children I could have imagined as my students. Especially my first class of Seniors when I was a student teacher, they surely did "break me in" well. I have no regrets about my past, except for now. Now I am not in a situation where I can save the world. I want to save the world. If I could adopt a child who needed love and a family, I would hope I could march right over to Darfur and adopt a child who has lost his or her parents due to brutal government sanctioned murder and show them a different world. A world where a mother is not scared or being murdered or raped just to go and find firewood to cook for her family. A world where genocide is not allowed. Why is that still going on?

I'm sorry I can't save the world, I've made some wrong turns.

My two friends and their husbands are saving the world with what they are doing, and they humble me. I think also because they already had their own children, and chose to help a child, it is so huge and so commendable. As an adopted person, I know these children are loved just like the other children are. Surely the parents can't see their own physical features on their adopted children, but they definitely can see their mannerisms, their teaching, their conditioning, it shows - I know it does. (Sometimes I sound just like my mother!)

There is an Jewish proverb, "Whoever destroys a soul, it is considered as if he destroyed an entire world. And whoever saves a life, it is considered as if he saved an entire world." Thank you for saving the world from the rest of the world. And thank you for saving the world from those of us who wish we could too. Bless you and your beautiful families.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

40 tomorrow!

Well this is my last day of 39, tomorrow I will be 40. I keep saying it, I can't believe it. In my mind I am only 28. I suppose I don't look 28 anymore, but that is how old I feel. This is my last post being 39. My last post of my youth. Am I going to be a grown-up tomorrow? It seems so, it seems weird. I wonder if I will wake up smarter!

No matter what you are doing tomorrow I hope you have a great day!

I know I have been a bit "poemy" lately. (Yes, that is why I became an English teacher, so I can make up words!) My Master's class is a seminar on poetry I am almost halfway through an eight week class, and I LOVE it! I wrote this birthday poem as an assignment of writing an ode or an elegy, it is kind of both! Enjoy

Ode to My Ass

Some things around here are changing,
if not around here, then surely to the rear,
some things around here are changing.

That big ol’ shadow is mine,
perhaps I should get a sign,
“low rider” or “watch out for the rear.”

My tush was a splendid thing,
“Nice ass!” the bold would say,
“I know,” I’d think and strut away.

You were high and mighty.
Smooth in spandex, rocking it at the gym,
particularly fine, when we swung out for a swim.

You always felt so right,
regal even, high, and tight.
You put up a good fight
(39 years), seems like you lost over night.

Gravity ruled
my good looks were fooled
Vanity was clearly overruled;

by physics, some property law
stating that my ass must now
drag around behind me, low and slow
while I constantly feel I am being
followed and no one is there,
butt you.

Saturday, October 18, 2008

Blue Hue

I am listening to my daughter play with a friend. They have out her microphone and are pretending to be broadcasters. Funny stuff. They just switched over to be meteorologists and I here my daughter say, “Tomorrow’s weather is tricky it could rain or snow, be cloudy or sunny, or we could have no weather at all.” No weather at all I had to go down and ask her what that would look like, “A plain day with nothing in the sky except blue sky.” I like it, I think that if we had no weather at all is should definitely be a beautiful bright blue skied day.

Monday, October 13, 2008

Missing Yogi

On the second anniversary of my dear friend Yogi's death, I wanted to post the words I read at his funeral. Yogi, my rock, my friend, you are missed everyday here. We all love you.





The Rock for Yogi




You stood still, unwavering, in every storm.
Unlured by even the whippoorwill,
merely noting their melody.
As you always knew mine, unsung.

Our friendship evolved as we did,
growing stronger over time. Time changes
us all, but you remained firm - steadfast, my rock.
The rock that held us all together
starting circles of friendship we would
otherwise never have known.

Your 4th of July parties were legendary.
Sunday dinners, Thanksgivings, forever changed.
You taught me so much about cooking.
“Hey Chil, are you talking or stirring the gravy.”

While I spun dreams, you saw it all clear.
It wasn’t me, you’d state with earthly knowing,
You believed in me, ‘cause we were friends.
That’s it, no absurd declarations.

When I was down, you lifted me onto your lap,
to count blessings and draw long lists of love,
always ending with, “And Yogi loves you to.”
And like a small child, my anger and sorrow would lift,
as I sat on the rock and watched the endless fields sway,
simply through your eyes.

When others were frustrated, you laughed.
When others were serious, you saw through their fake smiles.
When I acted like an impetuous child, you’d try to be stern
with a hidden grin shining in your eyes or
rippling beneath nonjudgmental words.

The greatest lesson you taught me was that things
aren’t as important, as they seem.
“Always make hay when the sun shines.”

No big day passed without your call, no matter what.
“Hey babe, where’ve you been.”
Yog, my rock, friends ‘till the end.
I wanted to call you when you died.

No regrets, as you move on, I love you and you love me, we
always said it, we always meant it. That’s it, as true as mad bulls
are crazy, and once a year each cow has her baby.

Love and friendship are the rock that you’ve left me to stand on
in any hurricane. If it all gets to much, if I stop believing in me,
I will hear your voice in my head, you’ll make me smile
from where you are, and you’ll laugh with me.
Now what do I do when the revolution comes?

No ill winds took away the strength of your clarity, smiling
regretfully, telling me what you knew and I denied.
But my friend, this is not the end,
I close my eyes, and we fish off a rock, truck bed or dock.
I close my eyes, and ride comfy in the tractor seat big enough for two.
I close my eyes, and hear you strumming the guitar.

Do you remember when I lost my shoe, or we took that
crazy ride in the snow. This is not the end,
are you riding now? I close my eyes, I’m with you,
a piece of your heart lives on in mine.
I close my eyes and hear your sage advice.
This is not the end, because rocks, like legends, don’t end…
we are now just d i m e n s i o n a l l y challenged.
This is not the end.

Friday, October 10, 2008

Yom Kippur

I hope everyone has a good Yom Kippur! We did!

Yom Kippur
He stands annoyed in his blue uniform
his lowly task is to keep us safe as we pray.
We’re glad he’s outside.

Inside standing at his pulpit, he surveys the crowd
like a proud father.
Everyone smiles brightly,
their expressions matching the best outfits,
while silently they atone for their sins.

The father stands strong like an ancient tree,
as the willowy teen leans on his shoulder for support.

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Weird Nonscientific Fact

Try this at home, weigh yourself regularly and then stand on the scale on one leg with the other one in the air and you will weight two less pounds. It not only worked for me, but it worked for my daughter too and she weighs much less! I don't know why this works because it should still be weighing the same amount of self, your foot is just in the air but it still weigh. Anyway for the record, I will be weighing myself on only one foot from now on!

For the record, I've lost five pounds. Darned if it isn't that same five I've lost twenty-five times now...

Saturday, October 4, 2008

Precious Rocks

We went to a Gem and Minerals show at an arena near our home. During this time of the year they have great stuff in there, we went to a craft show too. When I peeked in to see if I really wanted to pay $4 to get in it looked like a bunch of expensive jewelry. My girl wanted to go in so I told her don’t ask me to buy anything! The show was not just expensive jewelry. It had a lot of jewelry the expensive stuff was in glass cases, but really reasonable pieces were there too. It was a great learning experience though; they had gems and minerals for up to $5,000. We couldn't buy them, but they were interesting to see, especially the geodes with the natural rock on the outside so she could see where some of these gems come from. They also had tables where they sold little stones for 50cents. She got a few stones. I wish I brought a ring I have that the stone fell out of, one guy was selling little cut and polished gems and I could have bought one to fit. Oh well. I tried to buy an inexpensive ring but alas nothing fit my big fingers; too big too small, no goldilocks just right for me. Oh well, my daughter did get to buy a beautiful bracelet of little crystals on a elastic string.

I guess she loved the gem and mineral show because below is what I found outside the next day! Kids crack me up. Crack rocks up too.

(Who knew give ‘em a hammer and some rocks and they’ll stay busy for hours!) You had to ask? Of course I bought some - Buy One Get One Free! *Where does she learn these things... hahaha

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Porn in the City

Sex in the City was a wake up call for me. We can get away with some serious crap on an R rating. I’ll remember that when my child grows up. Sex in the City was actually embarrassing for me to watch. I’m glad I wasn’t out on a date watching that, I would have had to slink out of the theatre. And it wasn’t even Samantha, sex we expect from Samantha, but from Miranda? I don’t even know what to say. Sex from the random neighbors, I didn’t need to see it. It surely didn’t advance the story. The only relatable part of the movie was Samantha, eating instead of cheating until she broke up with someone she loved. That seemed real. If you haven’t seen it yet, save two hours of your life you can't get back and don’t rent it, file it under porno crap and leave it alone!

Sunday, September 28, 2008

Yes Joseph, that's the way!

Facing it, always facing it, that's the way to get through. Face it.
-Joseph Conrad

That Joseph Conrad, I wish I could have met him. He is right on. Have you read Lord Jim? If not you should it is the best book ever! It's like sitting down besides the fire leaning back and listening to Marlowe tell you a story. It is amazing. Of course some say Heart of Darkness is his best book, and it's really good too. But Lord Jim, it's short, kick back, and let Marlowe tell you a little story of the sea. Enjoy!

Saturday, September 27, 2008

Rest in Peace - Dreams in Pieces




Thank you Papa, we'll miss you forever.

Hells Angels touched by a mentor - Matthew B. Stannard, SF Chronicle Staff Writer Tuesday, September 16, 2008
Mark "Papa" Guardado, 46, was killed Sept. 2 outside a Mission District bar. At the time, he was president of the Frisco Hells Angels, royalty of the outlaw biker realm. He was shot to death, police say, by Christopher Ablett, 37, of Modesto, a member of the rival Mongols Motorcycle Club, whose bad blood with the Hells Angels goes back in history. Ablett is still being sought. But there was little talk of the Mongols as the Hells Angels gathered to remember Guardado at a vigil Sunday night and funeral Monday morning; little more than a passing, irritated reference to a Sonoma County prosecutor who had charges pending against Guardado stemming from a bar fight and who called him a dangerous gang member with an assault conviction on his record.
Instead, those gathered remembered their Guardado, the friend or surrogate father, the man who many said bought them their first Harley-Davidson - or helped them get the job they needed to buy their own."To me, and everyone that knew him, he was the epitome of Hells Angels," said Richard Goldammer, who rode from his home in British Columbia to honor the man he called his mentor."He set an example for a lot of people, being straight up, honest and respectful to everyone," he said. "People form their own opinion about our club ... we are who we are. We stand in our own social circle."
It is a circle with many intersecting rings that pulled together in Daly City for what many hailed as an event of unprecedented scale.Well over 1,000 motorcyclists gathered at Duggan's Serra Mortuary for the two-day memorial: Hells Angels chapters from Alaska to Maine, from Rhode Island to Hawaii, and from overseas - Norway, Germany, England, Australia, Italy and more. And not just Hells Angels showed up. Duggan's parking lot hosted a collection of motorcycle clubs rarely seen outside events in Hollister or Sturgis, S.D., - the Mecca and Medina of biker culture. Top Hatters and Henchmen, Vampires and Devil Dolls, representatives of large groups and small, they all slapped leather-clad shoulders and shared tears and tales of Papa Guadardo, or just exchanged stories from the road.
Overall, despite the continuous rumble of motorcycles arriving and departing, the farewell to Guardado was as quiet and thoughtful as any funeral. Police expected and reported few incidents. A few beers and flasks were raised in the assemblage, but most drank water and soda or coffee as they waited and mourned.As the vigil began Sunday evening, mourners packed the main room at Duggan's and several smaller rooms, where they watched on closed circuit television. Huge, grizzled men wept as one of their number sang Willie Nelson's "Angel Flying Too Close to the Ground," accompanying himself on saxophone. An emotional pastor described Guardado as a friendly, supportive man, a good son, father, uncle and godfather whose independent streak began with a runaway attempt as a 5-year-old. He described Guardado's good acts - donning a Santa hat to take gifts to children in the hospital at Christmas, or to children whose fathers were in prison; taking food left over after club events to feed the homeless. "When you do right they never remember," the pastor said. "When you do wrong they never forget."
The vigil ended with Guardado's goddaughter singing Alicia Keys' "Prelude to a Kiss." "It's a long long way to heaven But I gotta get there Can you send me an angel to guide me?" The caravan escorting Guardado's coffin to Colma's Cypress Lawn Cemetery on Monday morning went by way of San Francisco's Mission District, a river of thunder that flowed through the urban canyons for more than an hour. The caravan didn't stop for signals; it set its own speed limit. Some onlookers waved, some took pictures, some pressed hands to ears and waited for the end. And for a brief period on Interstate 280, as police halted all other freeway traffic, the mourners took over the roads. They buried Papa not too far from where former Daly City Hells Angels President Harry "The Horse" Flamburis is buried with his motorcycle. The Frisco Hells Angels and a sea of red-and-white-clad others formed a close group around Guardado's grave. A few words were spoken as a biker on the outskirts cranked Metallica's somber ode "Nothing Else Matters." The ceremony over, the Angels picked up shovels and buried their leader. Then they returned to their motorcycles and roared away.

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Teaching Sports

I never realized this but sports seem to be taught at school. We live in New England, but I am a Yankees fan. My daughter says she likes the Red Sox, so I bought her a t-shirt. She put it on for school today and said, “Mom, I’ve got my Yankees shield on!” What the heck is that? That is so funny. I didn’t teach her about the Red Sox at home, and if you know New England our sports fans are SERIOUS up here. I wonder if there is a class at school on this, or just the kids on the playground. Maybe they teach it on the bus! Funny stuff. I thought it was genetic. I guess the Yankees are out anyway, so Go Red Sox.

Sunday, September 21, 2008

Monday, September 15, 2008

For My Nana, I Love You

Did you ever wonder if things happen for a reason, or if we are guided from above? I wonder, I really do. Last weekend on our way fishing, I saw ahead a yard sale and pulled right in before the yard sale. This is unusual because normally I drive by a yard sale and then turn around, or drive by and return on my way back by after doing whatever I was doing. This one I saw some furniture out in a parking lot on the side of the road, thought yard sale and pulled over. This was such a wonderful yard sale. My Godson was looking for a table and chairs and I was charged with finding them. I found the table for $2. Good deal. Then I looked over and nearly lost my mind, although I had to act calmly or they may have raised the price. An old-fashioned croquet set with stand just like my Nana and Papa used to have at their cottage. I have been looking for a croquet set like that for over a year now. Believe it or not, they are over $100 on EBay and people are really looking for them. I entered three auctions during the last year for one and bailed out and $100 and they kept on going. That price doesn’t even included shipping. Last summer I searched all of the sporting good stores and no luck. My sister-in-law actually found a set at the toy store this summer and bought it for us, it is fun to play but wasn’t like the memory I was hoping to recreate. It is cheap and stows away in a little bag, nice but not the antique kind of artsy yet functional memory I wanted in my home. Here it was at this yard sale for $1. One dollar, my mind mentally blew. I sent my daughter for my purse out of the car and stood guard in front of it, so no one else should have it.

Then on the way to the car, I spied a box of games, “Oh what do you have here” I said and picked up the top game and underneath it was Rumikub, my Nana’s favorite game that I used to play with her, my mom and our whole family when I was little. We would sit on the back screened in porch at their cottage at the dining room table and play all night after supper. That game was also $1. The lady also gave us a cool hinged top box that serves as a bench and said she used to use it for her kids coats and hats and they sit on it to put on their boots. She also gave us an old lawn chair, which was great because we only had one fold up one and a kid’s one, so now my big girl has one like mine. Then they had a box of waffle ball bats and balls. They gave my girl a bat and ball too.

As we continued on to fishing, I couldn’t help but think that stopping at that yard sale and finding the croquet set I had so desperately wanted for so long and my favorite childhood game was a sign that my life is right where it needs to be, and I was supposed to stop at that yard sale and acquire those things. Those things were there waiting for me to drive by and pick them up, I really think so.

We played the croquet that day, and it looks great in my kitchen, like home. Tonight we played the Rumikub. Now I am not going to be odd and say I hear dead people, like that movie. But as we played we got to the end and in my head I could hear my Nana say my name, like only she did, and say, “Let me see your tiles, let me help you.” She had always helped me near the end of the game when she could see if was just taking and discarding tiles and not doing anything significant, because that is when the game gets hard. I remember her pink frosted long curved nails would move all of the tiles around on the table like it were nothing to get rid of my last one or two. She was a wiz at that game. I heard her tonight, maybe she was speaking in my head or maybe I was remembering very loudly. I don’t know, but even my child noticed my eyes suddenly well up with tears. When she asked me what was wrong, I just smiled at her, said her name and, “Let me see your tiles, let me help you.” I showed her how to re-arrange the tiles on the table so she could get rid of her last two tiles. She won her first game of Rumikub, and I won too I got to “hear” my Nana again, accent and all. Now I know for sure I am on the path I am supposed to be on in life, and I am getting guidance from above.

Saturday, September 6, 2008

Don't forget to PLAY!


I didn’t run today, I didn’t walk today – Today I played! And I loved it. We are having residual rains from a hurricane now, it’s coming down 3 inches an hour. For exercise, I decided to take my daughter out and jump in the puddles. Hey, it’s September and still warm, and it wasn’t thundering and lightning, I think for the first time this summer. We had such a fun time, my girls said it was better than fishing. Better than fishing! Whoa that’s a compliment. We haven’t run and danced in the rain since spring. We also curled up in the front yard, soaked to the skin of course, and then “grew” up like flowers turning our faces to the rain trying to catch raindrops on our tongue. Today, I played, and it was fun just like it used to be. It was so funny to see people hiding under hood and umbrellas and running to their cars and front doors, it’s only water! We are supposed to remember to stop and smell the flowers, I think we all need to remember to stop and dance, jump, and run in the rain. I had to write a poem for my Creative Writing class, so I’ll share it with you. It’s not polished, just a first draft...
The dance was freedom, as we ran
touching hands through the rain. Our
spirits welded fast by love,dancing in
hope of keeping now forever,dancing
for our dreams of happy tomorrows,
together. On the black asphalt, covered
with silver sheets of rain, splashing through
the puddles, our laughter chased us
between raindrops, heaven dancing with us
unifying our souls, playing together, jubilantly.
Our faces turned to the sky, free to dance,
our souls both young as we run, jump, and play
in puddles of freedom and rivers of hope.

Monday, September 1, 2008

Just THROW it!

Well, I just had to share; I saw the most blatant example of yuppie capitalism ever. A lot of people bring their dogs to the river to run and swim. It’s funny too because all of the dogs are off leash and they are all well behaved. Hmmm are leash laws really helping? Anyway, I saw two of these Saturday and one of Sunday. You will not believe it. Tennis ball throwers! Seriously, it's a plastic stick with a scoop on the end for the ball. I’ll find a pic. To make sure the dogs get exercise and the humans don’t I guess. You never have to bend down. Sure tennis balls get a bit slimy from the dog, but come on, how about just throwing the ball. Have you ever seen these things? I am astounded at the stupidity, yet of course, I wish I’d invented it because people are really buying these things. They are twelve to fourteen dollars, holy moly. JUST THROW THE BALL PEOPLE!

Thursday, August 28, 2008

Hello Out There!



Fishing Spot!

Hello everyone, I have received your emails and I am back. I apologize for leaving my blog for so long. I was out there living, well summering, instead of in here writing about it. I'm here now though, and I thought of all of you and took a bunch of pictures of where I've been this summer month. I am back to work now, it's been two days. My new classes are great. All together I have ten less students that last year, which is great. The smaller classes are truly easier to handle.


Swimming Spot (& broken dam)

Besides fishing and swimming with my daughter, I have started my journey to attain a Master's Degree. I am taking an online program to get my MFA in Creative Writing from National University out on Cali. It is a great deal of work wow. I signed up for a class right before it started so I didn't have too much time to prepare, huge mistake there were six books to read and seven films to view. Whew.
The books were: Utopia by Thomas More written in 1516 - it was hard to read, interesting but drawn out.
The Handmaid's Tale by Margaret Atwood written in 1986 - Great read
Looking Backward: 2000-1887 by Edward Bellamy written in 1888 - my favorite book from this class, not the best writing but really thought provoking
Anthem by Ayn Rand written in 1938 - didn't like this one although I had already read it, it is good writing however
Casear's Column by Ignatius Donnelly written in 1890 - hated this book moreso the ideas in it than the writing, no maybe the writing too just not so much
Herland by Charlotte Perkins Gilman written in 1915 - Excellent, very interesting utopian community with only women, women who can even procreate alone! Ladies would enjoy reading this novella.

Blade Runner (1982)- Good movie while watching it, forgot all about it shortly after, strange, it was a dystopia with a negative future for our world. The coolest thing was the street language, or slang, was actually all different languages mixed together, which I can totally see happening I think we all throw in a word or two in another language from time to time
The Handmaid’s Tale (1990) This movie was like the book, very interesting, another dystopia, but worth watching
A Man for All Seasons (1966)- This was my favorite of all, a historically accurate movie about Thomas More who was a Lord Chancellor of England, and who actually wrote Utopia. He was an interesting character, to say the least. Watch this and then watch The Other Boleyn Sister, they take place at the same time.
Metropolis (1927)- Weird, but actually worth a look, black and white with no words, some parts are missing so they write in captions, a guess as to what the machine age would be like
1984 (1984) - I've seen this before and I just don't like it, I don't know why.
The Time Machine (1960)- I liked watching this movie again, I had forgotten what it was really all about, fun flashback
The Stepford Wives The original is more interesting than the Nicole Kidman version

Not required but mentioned so I watched Gulliver's Travels. I had never seen this, I watched the one with the guy from Cheers, Ted Danzing?, anyway, I watched it with my girl and we loved it. It is a three hour movie, we watched an hour at a time and then talked about it as we did other things, and we both wanted to get back and see what would happen next. Great movie for a rainy day.

Okay, that is my utopian/dystopian book and film review. I loved the class, it is so interesting to read what other people think of what you just read or saw, and to see what different concepts it brings to other people's minds. Sometimes, I hadn't even thought of what someone in the class had noticed the most about things. There was quite a bit of conversation back and forth with quotes from the New Testament and Christian rhetoric, two of the guys were funny, but honestly I felt stupid as to what they were arguing about I did not even know. I think it was too much in a month for me. My next class, my first official creative writing class is eight weeks. That will be better, especially with work.



The Beach

Saturday, July 19, 2008

Thank you Heron

This morning was absolutely magical. We went to the river to eat our breakfast and take a swim. We were the only ones there, which was wonderful. It was an amazingly clear and sunny day, if a part of a day could be a gift then this morning was a gift from the Universe. The part of the river I like to go to has a broken dam and the swimming hole is the area right before the dam, there is a sandy beach right that is nice and clean and it is a great natural spot. I have actually been going there for twenty years, although until about 8 years ago you had to park about a mile a way and trek through the woods to get there. We always walked fast in the spring because there were so many caterpillars in the trees, we thought there were pooping on our heads. Even having to walk out, this place was worth it. Many years ago we would sunbathe topless, bring out coolers of lunch, beer or wine coolers, and whatever because we wouldn’t see another soul all day.

Then the State found out about it and decided to create a boat launch, and you know what they did… In the words of the old song, “they paved paradise and put in a parking lot.” They created a boat launch with a parking lot and then paved another road down the path we used to run down and created a huge parking lot at the end of that. So on the upside you only have to walk a short distance up and down a hill to get to the beach, and on the downside there is usually people there. Not that people are a bad thing, my daughter always finds someone to play with, etc. But I love the peacefulness of the place. When I was asked once to imagine my favorite place on earth and this spot is where I imagined. We see bald eagle, red-tailed hawk, turkey vultures, and when we are lucky, we see blue heron. Although the blue heron are actually thriving, one doesn’t see them too often. I always figure it is my lucky day, or that I am blessed, when I get to see a heron. (The pictures I put up are from Wilkipedia, I didn't have my camera.)

Well today, the Universe, God, the energies, whatever you like to call it, wanted to let me know that I am blessed and even loved. Not only did we see a blue heron, it was a mother and it had little heron babies. The babies were swimming around crazily in little circles and would swim around and around and area and then move upstream. The mother would walk around on rocks around them or on the shore keeping an eye on her babies, but wasn’t actually too close either. When they moved upstream she would fly to a new spot to guard, and walk aroud that spot. When they fly their wingspan is incredible. We stood in the river just watching, with the sun warming our backs, and the balancing breeze cooling us off, and the solitude wrapping around us like a quilt fresh out of the drier. My normally active daughter instinctively knew too that this was an amazing time and was quiet and we were just a part of the river with minnows swimming around our feet, and not the human intruders that we actually were. Peace descended on my soul, on my entire being, and we just were. It’s been a long time since I just was.

Then some people not so in tune with nature showed up, and I tried to maintain my peaceful state, there were two women and some teenagers. One of the women did not stop talking from the minute she arrived to the time we left. Nonstop, I doubt she even looked around. At one point, they were about three feet from me and I asked three times, “Do you want to see a beautiful bird?” And not only did they not answer, they did not hear me. It’s not as if they were ignoring me either, they honestly did not hear me. As if their own world is so loud and nonstop, they couldn’t even hear my voice from three feet away, couldn’t and didn’t want to. And I surely wasn’t going to yell. The three teenagers were going crazy and having fun in the water, when they were next to me, I asked them if they wanted to see a heron. Two of them just moved on, like teens do, but one didn’t she wanted to see and followed my finger across the river and saw the bird with her babies. She thought they were awesome, but what I thought was awesome was that she got quieter. She sat on the shore and looked around, actually seeing the amazing place she was. Of course, she went back to having fun with her friends, but her whole energy had changed and she was no longer yelling with them. There is such a huge lesson in that. I couldn’t get back to the inner place I was with the never ending voice in my ear, so we left. Not that people shouldn’t go to a place and have fun with friends, of course not, I’m not being negative. I suppose they couldn’t hear me because they weren’t ready to see. A lesson for me. It was so amazing. I hope you all had an peaceful day too.I had my gift, the beauty, the stillness. I had my time as a part of nature, and I was able to explain to my child that if we are in nature and God blesses us and allows us to see the miracles of his creation, and yet if God is everywhere including in us, then we are not only part of what? She answered God. I asked and what else are we a part of? She answered nature. Years of religious study and theology couldn’t teach my child what the heron taught her this morning at the river. Thank you Heron.

Blue Screen of Death!

I thought I lost my hard drive on my laptop. I was devastated because I hadn’t saved certain things, like the newest changes to my novel, I’m at 47,000 words. I was watching a movie and heard this horrible grating sound and then the computer shut down to save itself. And I got, for the first time, the blue screen of death. Ahhh. I called this place in the phone book Fast Teks and they sent a man over, a $90 an hour man. He came in with what he needed to fix a desktop not a laptop, so he couldn’t work at my house. Huge red flag I think. He says he can save my documents and it will take an hour. Great that’s what I want and I’ll but in a new hard drive myself. It only takes five minutes. Then he starts talking about reloading the operating systems, Office and everything else. I realize beyond Windows XP, I don’t have any of those disks. I agree with him that he will take it with him, recover my files, install a new hard drive if it needs it, 25% chance it won’t, and he will also reinstall all of the operating system stuff. We agree on $230 for the whole shebang minus a $25.00 new customer discount, and he leaves with my laptop.

He brings the computer back the next day, today, and has all of my stuff backed up on disks for me. Very good. Also my computer is working fine and all of my old stuff is in it, no hard drive, no operating system files needed. I pay him the $205 and ask him what was wrong, he doesn’t know. He doesn’t even know if it was a virus. Hmmm. Whatever the computer is working all of my crazy stuff is still on there, suck it up and move on with life. Good.

A couple of hours ago, I pop in Conversations with God, and begin to watch. Not even halfway into the movie, gggrrrrrrrrrr, blue screen of death. OMG, I am so mad and sad my poor computer. I am going to call him tomorrow and he had better make this right some how. The kicker is, for that money wasn’t I paying him to diagnose the problem? Really, I’m asking, was I? After speaking to my brother, who is too far away to help me physically but talks to me. He diagnoses the problem as the fan. Or the lack of the working fan. If this guy had the computer and worked on it for the 3 or 4 hours he said he did, it would have overheated and he would have figured out it was the fan, wouldn’t he have? Wasn’t it his responsibility to figure out what happened to the computer? After it had been cooled off, perhaps he started it and it just started – LIKE IT JUST DID FOR ME!!!!

It is so hard not to have a good team surrounding you. I need a computer person. A good one that I can trust. Like my mechanic, he is slow as molasses but when he fixes something it is fixed properly. I tried others over the years but paid to have the car fixed, and then had to pay him to fix it again. And when I say slow, I mean slow, as in I still don’t have my new car I bought almost a month ago which he is fixing the wheel bearing on. I know I said I wasn’t in a bind but… Although I know when I get in that car it will be save and fixed properly. After all he is the one who picked it out and handled the purchase for me too. So a good team member. I need a good computer person. I used to have one but he moved never gave me the new number, because you really don’t need a tech too often to require being in their Blackberry, file-o-fax, or rolodex.

So the laptop is on sabbatical. I am on my desktop, in my office chair, and it seems so formal. I love the lounginess of the laptop. No lounginess is not a word, but I’m an English teacher and I can make them up! No more typing at ya from the couch! My poor baby is blue and so am I, that must be why they make that error screen blue.

~One question while we are all here, when you check REMEMBER ME on websites where you have to enter your email and password to get in, why don't they? It is really chipping away at my self esteem, don't enough people forget about you in life, don't you sometimes just want to scream, "Here I Am Don't Forget Me?" And yet it taunts and teases with it's little question, REMEMBER ME, and you check the box off feeling good something will remember me. Then the devistation, it hasn't remembered you, they never remember you, you are just a bunch of numbers - please enter your email and your password, because we don't know and don't care who you are! Remember Me!

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Electrifying


I’m watching my Jersey boys on a PBS special, right this second they are singing, We’ve Got It Going On, and let me tell you what, they sure do. Richie Sambora darling, you are looking fine! He is looking healthier than I’ve seen him in a while. I hope he's licked that little alcohol thing he had going on. I don’t know when this is, it is the Lost Highway one, so it’s recent. Richie doesn’t look puffy like he was for little bit. His last DUI was before the tour, so I hope he’s straightened out. This tour is almost over, and of course, I didn’t get to go. I don’t often get to go to things as a single mom. I would actually have gotten a sitter for this one. That is how I rate things in life, sitter worthy events and events that are not worthy. (Unfortunately I haven’t had a sitter worthy offer of a date in forever.)

I think Richie’s switched guitars for every song so far. And Jon what can I say, beautiful as ever. He is so dreamy and every song he sings he puts into it real emotion (closed eyes, etc), which is why he is so popular, I think. I don’t know why there aren’t any more megastar rockers from Jersey besides my boys and Bruce of course. Growing up there was so much rock talent all over. Garage bands were so plentiful, and a lot of times they were really good. I wonder what happened to all the dreamers. I hope they still play and they still dream.

The boys played Central Park in NYC last weekend; I would have loved to have been there. Okay, Richie is switching the same two guitars off and on. Silly me. Jon’s teeth are so white, what an amazing smile, that is probably why he is the star he is. Not to take anything away from his musical ability, nobody sings a love song like he does. However, he is the total package, with a smile that could convince anyone to do anything. It is funny how his I Love This Town actually works in any town they are performing in, clever marketing.

I remember growing up my mother watching PBS and if she was on a PBS special at night, you had to leave her alone because interrupting her was never worth it no matter what. Now what am I doing, watching PBS and my music that used to be really cool is actually on PBS. Bad enough they call it oldies on the radio, now it’s on PBS. I remember when my parents would hardly let me listen to music. I wasn’t allowed to own or play any Grateful Dead when I was a teenager, now they have Dead shows on PBS. It’s so crazy.

“It’s okay to be a little broken.”

Enough about my growing older! I am still encouraging my child to be a musician and she has saved up $60 for her own electric guitar, which is hard to do at $2 a week. Thinking she won’t even like guitar anymore by the time she saves up enough, I helped her out and we bought her a real electric guitar from www.musiciansfriend.com. It was only $99.99 and it is beautiful. She named it White Chocolate. They had the kids’ electric guitars, mini ones, even a Hannah Montana, but I have had enough of the kid’s musical instruments. Her kid’s First Act acoustic guitar I can barely push down the strings, how is a kid supposed to, and it slips out of tune every song. I read a lot of reviews online and concluded it was a waste of money to buy another kid’s instrument and then a big one in a couple of years. The one we actually bought was $179 at our local music store and $149 on another website, so White Chocolate was a heck of a deal. I am amazed at how many different electric guitars are out there and how much they can be. We saw a hand painted one for $49,000, yeah right, that’s the down payment on a house. So now we have a little musical section in the living room, now that’s living! Pic of White Chocolate below. Well, Richie is done playing, and if I can’t go to bed with him, I guess I’ll just go to bed. Yeah, whatever... Rock on.“When you wonder why you’re breathing, know you're not alone.”

Saturday, July 12, 2008

Jersey Joke

As a former Jersey girl, I have to laugh at an episode of the Simpson’s: Marge tells Homer to stop kissing her in public on vaca in Jersey because people are watching. Homer, “Oh yeah like people in New Jersey have never seen a fat guy making out; it’s on the freakin’ state flag!”

Thursday, July 10, 2008

Swimming Lessons


I took my girl to the public pool today and there were a couple of boys from her class their friends there. One of the boys said he was her boyfriend and was so excited to see her. She looked right at him and said, “My name is Kaitlyn (not her name), I’m from Australia. I don’t know who you are talking to.” And walked away. This boy followed her around all afternoon, well as much as he could because he’s not allowed in the deep end. The older third grade boy who was allowed in the deep end came over introduced himself and off they swam. I sat on the side of the pool to lifeguard (because the two they have there are not enough - overprotective much!) and heard him ask her later, “Do you kind of like me because I kind of like you.” I almost choked. Then the other one got out of the shallow end and walked around the pool to come and talk to her. She talked to him for a minute and then swam right off.
The third grader swam up jealous, “Is he really your boyfriend?”
My sweet girl, “I’m too young for a boyfriend. Right mom?”
“YES” (whew, thank goodness)
Then he screams over to the shallow end, “No, you are not her boyfriend.”
Causing the boy from her class to get out and walk over to the deep end, “Are you mad at me?”
OMG are you mad at me, these tiny people are too fast, much too fast. The lifeguard was laughing too. It was craziness. She looked over at me and said, “You are in so much trouble when she’s older.” I know, I know. Perhaps I should tell her that boys have cooties. Whatever happened to cooties? They kept us away from boys for sometime in elementary school. They should be reintroduced; in science class would be nice. They can look at some under the microscope.
Bless my baby’s soul she told them both that she was going to swim with her mother now, alone with her mother. She didn’t even have to ask me to get in - I jumped right in. Wow, so much for chasing boys, she kept swimming away and they kept chasing her. Were we all born knowing that? Is it an art, the thrill of the chase? Will she forget when life zaps her self-esteem, gives her acne and puberty? I hope not. I wish my teenage self had known what she already does. All that time I wasted chasing boys, when I shoulda been swimming away...

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

Loving the new website

I love the www.sparkpeople.com. I have lost three pounds since I joined up. Although I lost that three pounds a couple of weeks ago too, and it came back, grrr. I hope now that my TSH number was a 1.7 that I can start to lose weight now. Because losing a pound for an hour and having it come right back, is not really losing it! You can join a bunch of discussion groups at sparkpeople and they actually have a thyroid group and a hypothyroid group. I joined both. People actually are very into this website and discussions are fruitful. There are not professional doctors just other people going through the same or similar things that you are. Or there are groups just by your age or occupation, I joined a teacher group too.

I’m such a joiner now, when I was young I never wanted to join in with anything. Interesting.

Thursday, July 3, 2008

Insomniac thought processes...

It’s 1:30 in the morning and I can’t sleep. I turned on my laptop to my blog to listen to my music. My music is awesome! I think it is a lovely mix. Props to playlist.com for allowing me to create my own playlists. If you want to listen to some classical flip over to my nothryoid blog, that playlist is great too but all classic classical.

I have joined another internet group www.sparkpeople.com. It is a weight loss, exercise. living right support website. It is free you can record your daily diet or follow the one they give you. You can record your daily exercise and they give you exercises to do. There are many, many discussion threads to jump in on. It is free because whoever runs it said on it that they made a lot of money on eBay when it first began and they wanted to give something back. So check that out too.

Okay the celebratory news for those of you who have been following my health. My synthroid thyroid medicine levels are finally level after 11 months!!!!! Yay! I am so excited. I hope I can lose weight now. I thank you all for your support. To put a damper on my great news, I spent the morning in the imaging center at the hospital having two mammograms and an ultrasound. They have found a bunch of cysts, which are fine, but one something that they found is not. They do not know what it is but it is there. I have to go back for a biopsy on the 11th. Crap biopsy, just the word is scary. Besides I did all of the “C” stuff last summer. I am not entirely ungrateful to the Universe however, I understand that I am lucky to be alive, I am lucky I even had a mammogram at all not being 40 just yet, and if it is something it is early. What will be will be, and I will deal with it. I have a little girl, I have to. I also know that what doesn’t kill us makes us stronger. The ungrateful side of me however would like to know just how strong I need to be and would like to jump up and down in frustration. It’s taken now exactly 11 months to get over the first tumor removal and I should be celebrating that my synthetic medicines are working not having my boob squished in a Lucite box. But those thoughts are ungrateful and unproductive. Counting blessings: life 1 daughter 2 family 3 friends 4

Okay, reality check. I’d like to send out a healing prayer to our friend Claudia, who is recovering from a triple bypass. We’re thinking of you!

If you read about my car exploding this winter, I finally purchased a new car! Well, new to me anyway. It is a 1999 Oldsmobile Intrigue. Candy apple red so I am screwed for more speeding tickets. I bought it for $3,000. It is not in my possesion yet as we are awaiting the title and my mechanic has to do some work to it before it is good to drive but it’s nice. And it has AC and a CD player, two novelties for me. I’ll post a pic.

Whatever happened to Loverboy? I remember Mike Reno was the lead singer. Just wondering. I should have been a rock star! I have the attitude I think I would love that. Too bad I can’t sing and I‘ve forgotten how to play the instruments of my youth, piano and trombone. I hope my daughter is a rock star or a famous actress, she wants to help people, and it seems to me that the only people who can afford to be philanthropic are celebrities.

Do you think that out there somewhere is a girl in court for property damage or vandalism on her cheating boyfriends car telling the judge, "I did it because Carrie Underwood did it to her boyfriend and wrote a song about it and didn't get in trouble, so I thought I would do it?" It could be like the Underwood damage defense on damning dear dogs.

Ok 2 am. Good Night all. Perhaps if I curl up in front of the AC I will be able to sleep. If I was a cartoon character I would bonk myself on the head with a hammer made by the Acme company and go right out like a light. What if I really am a cartoon? What if we all are cartoons and some alien planet watches us for entertainment like a cartoon soap opera? Hmmm.

Monday, June 30, 2008

Monster©

Just looking out the window, procrastinating, at my lovely neighbor at the playground and I thought I'd post a poem I wrote one hot night last summer:


Behind the flawless
hedges and flowers
that decorate the
lawn, lives the monster.

You can’t see it, just
lipstick and a smile.
But late at night in
the heat, screens open,

listen and you can
hear the monster rage;
shouts, insults, slammed doors
and smacks on skin echo.

If nothing’s said, does
it think we can’t hear?
Perfect mother,
perfect life.

Monster lies.

Walleee - Eevaa




We saw Wall E today at the movies. I noticed Stephen King’s name on the opening screens and got excited, but I can’t find that he had anything to do with it. The first scene in the movie is a city where the piles of garbage were higher than the buildings. What a thought. It was horrible, yet even though it was a movie, it was somewhat believable. King’s influence it would seem to me, although perhaps I’m nuts and it was someone else. It really was a good movie, and it made some serious points. Yes, we are a wasteful society. Then it had all of the humans in hover chairs drinking their meals, with computer screens directly in front of their faces. They were waited on hand a foot by bots. They did not see anything beyond their screens. Sound familiar? To me it does, I get lost out there in cyberspace. They were all so overweight and lazy that they couldn’t even get up if they fell out of their chairs. What a statement on our inactive overweight society. They had stopped thinking and just listed to the politician in charge, you can imagine where that leads.

I won’t give away the movie but it was really cute. There was hardly any dialogue. The robots only said each other’s names, but you knew by their actions exactly what was going on, wonderful characterization. I thought the lack of dialogue was beautiful. I kept saying to my daughter, “See that is what happens to people who don’t eat right.” “See that is what happens when people don’t clean up.” “See we need to take care of our Earth.” (I might be annoying to go to the movies with, haha.) In the end love wins, of course, it’s a kid’s movie. That is one of the perks of being a parent though, you get to go to all of the kids movies! Although I would say this was more than a kid’s movie. Don’t we all want someone to chase us across the galaxy?

Friday, June 27, 2008

Now I know what marvelous is...


I finished the Life of Pi and let me tell you the ending was the best part of the entire book. It was so amazing I want to read it again. My brain is dancing! I can’t even pick up another book now; I have to let my brain marinade in this one. It was so incredibly brilliant. When you read it, don’t neglect the extra chapter at the end, it will toy with your mind, make you wonder, and remind you why we read and why a story is a story. Yann Martel is a genius, an absolute genius.