"But what about Hillary," you say? Well, I loved her until she ran for president. I do not like how she is running her campaign, though I do see how she is making it work. Sorry Hil', but I am never ever going to vote for over a quarter century of Bushes and Clintons running my country. I think it's cool that you're powerful woman and all, but you're not the gal for the job. And if your own pandering wasn't enough to turn me off, that of your supporters is. Ugh.
I was looking at the big three's websites tonight and found it amusing that both Edwards' and Clinton's locked up on me - after asking me repeatedly to register with them. Obama's, however, invited me in to look around and stay as long as I liked - without requiring me to add my name to the mailing list. Oh yeah, and he sells t-shirts too! Got Hope? Great slogan!
Anyway, obviously I won't be voting for Hillary in the primaries. If she should win the nomination I am not really sure what I will do. *sigh* Like many, I am anxiously awaiting the Iowa caucus results and then I'll probably have a lot more to say.
Until then, I would just like to remind the entire political machine that asking someone about their position or pointing out a contradiction they have made is NOT an "attack". Stop acting like a bunch of whiny babies every time someone directly asks you something! Just answer the damned question and let's further the dialogue!
But the power came back on and we had The Most Patient cat in the World help us to get in the spirit.
Then, just to make it even more festive it snowed!!!
After that we were far too caught up in the excitement to take any pictures, so I will leave you with one final picture of Bojo, Little Dog and Furry dreaming of sugarplums....
Dear America in December,
If you are reading this you are not poor. You clearly have, not only the ability to read, but also a computer (or computer access.) Are you living from paycheck to paycheck? Congratulations! You are certainly not alone. Lots of people are out there busting their butts just to get by. Rather than making you needy, it means you have a work ethic. It also means you are blessed to have a job. You are not poor.
Do your kids want video games for Christmas? Congratulations! You have a home with electricity and a television. You are not poor.
Are you sad because there are no presents under your tree? Congratulations! You are wealthy enough to have a tree and a home to put it in! Yes, I said wealthy. Many people do not have the luxury of something so frivolous as a Christmas tree; many do not have a home to put one in.
Are your children disappointed because there will be only few, or no presents? Congratulations! You have the opportunity to teach your children that Christmas is not about the presents. Remind yourself of this also, and drop the “I’m a failure” because of it. I understand that as parents we want to give our children everything and to protect them from all hurt or harm. But neither of those things are possible. Our children will, and need to, experience disappointment and pain in order to understand the blessings life does offer them.
Christmas is a Christian holiday originally designed to celebrate the birth of Christ. Granted it has also become a secular “holiday” in that it is celebrated by many who are not Christian. But even a secular Christmas is about more than the presents. It is about traditions: the foods, the gatherings, the songs …the whole shebang. Presents are only ONE SINGLE ASPECT of Christmas, so why put so much importance on them? I wish we could just do away with the whole make a “Christmas list” of things we want and instead, make lists of the many many things we are grateful to have.
I am sorry if your son will not get a Wii; your tree will not be skirted by presents; your Christmas bonus was cut; you haven’t had a vacation in forever or you cannot afford a huge Christmas dinner. Things are rough all over. In case you haven’t noticed our country is at war and the economy sucks. The housing market is crashing; groceries are skyrocketing, and a minimum wage worker must use an entire day’s pay just to fill up his or her car with gas.
On Christmas morning consider gathering your family together and going to a homeless center to serve Christmas dinner; or to help do the laundry from so many people having slept there seeking shelter from the cold; or to play with the children who don’t have friends. Replace the time spent opening presents with time spent talking about how blessed you are.
Tell your family members you love them and celebrate as you can – not as you wish you could. Before you sign yourself up for the angel tree or charity list please ask yourself, “Am I really that poor?”
If you are reading this, then you are not.
1. I don't hate anything.
2. Would someone who hates Halloween do this to the Most Patient Cat in the World?
I seriously think I have broken all five precepts, which for you Christians out there is like breaking the commandments.
Do Not Destroy Life: Aside from the giant bug incident of which my hands, if not my Karma remained clean, I have been shamelessly killing ants in my kitchen. Not even just spraying bug spray to keep them away, but literally smashing them with my finger. There are just sooooo many of them. And they are getting into my food. I don't know what else to do. Sigh.
Do Not Steal: For a Buddhist stealing is not just tangibles, but also things like time and ideas. Aside from the fact that I have a new intellectual history hero who all but wrote the final version of some papers for me last semester, I also have been guilty of stealing everyone's time. I've kept Little Dog waiting after school; spent too much time visiting rather than working during the day; and kept my new friend on the phone late into the night.
Do Not Commit Sexual Misconduct: Well, considering Little Dog reads this (Hey my son!) I should probably tread lightly here. I guess I will just say it is untrue to accept the physical embrace of others if they are merely replacement for someone else. It's not about sex, but about intent.
Do Not Lie: Whoa! I think I am actually in the clear on this one. My honesty has been my downfall lately.
Do Not Take Intoxicating Drinks: Um.... well, twice in the past week alone I have been buzzed on wine. Not that there is inherently anything wrong with this. It's just that I drank seeking that irresponsible feeling of silliness. I have also smoked waaaay too much lately.
In addition to all of this I find myself thinking more of the past or daydreaming rather than living in the moment. Rather than increasing my meditation, I have skipped it entirely for a few days. I'm sure the freedom from school work has led to all of this, as for the first time in months I actually have time. But time can be a dangerous thing if one's mind wonders from the moment.
I need to make Katherine her CD (Holla Katherine! I haven't forgotten you!); write Keith a graduation letter; welcome the new neighbors with some sort of gathering; and spend some time with one of Little Dog's friends who deserves to feel special. Basically, I need to get outside my own head and practice a bit more compassion in my own little world.
I just have to figure out how to do get back on the path.
I'm not sure confessing is the right start, but apparently old Catholic habits die hard!
So, Saturday afternoon we were standing on the stairs, a good length away from this interloper, both of us wondering what to do. I had the phone in hand and was wondering just who was closest for me to call to come shoo the monster out when my neighbor, Ron, pulled in. I darted out the back door and explained the situation. He is not a big fan of the bug himself, but his chivalry is unrivaled. He grabbed a broom and a bucket from the garage and headed to my house. I felt justified when he saw the creature and was visibly astonished at its size.
"What do you want me to do with it?"
"Get it out!"
And with that, he dropped the heavy bucket smack on top of the bug.
Little Dog Shrieked and I must have exclaimed something to the effect of "YOU KILLED IT!" because Ron looked at me like I was crazy.
"Of course I killed it. Isn't that what you wanted?"
"NO! I just wanted it out. It could have lived outside."
"But then it would have come back in?" Ron was confused.
He swept the carcass out the door and into the grass. I thanked him and pronounced him a hero... though not so much from the bug's point of view, I'm sure.
Sometimes it is difficult being a Buddhist amongst heathens.
Until then, please read this article about a friend of mine and his family. I admire the hell out of these people and his wife has become my hero.
For the past three nights I have had dreams which involved me being the owner of a motorcycle - specifically, a red Harley.
Dream #1: I had taken my red Harley to the shop to have it painted black. When I went to pick it up they had painted it all hippie like with blue and yellow sunflowers. What the hell?! I was extremely pissed!
Dream #2: One of my best friends was telling me about how his wife had left him. My only concern was whether or not he would now let me take him for a ride on my Harley. (He has always been anti-motorcycle.) He agreed, but I then had to admit I did not know how to drive with a passenger.
Dream #3: I was happy to be riding my Harley to school, but when I got there I realized I had not been wearing my helmet and I was appalled at my forgetfulness. The school was also my grammar school and I was late.
What the hell do these freaky dreams mean?! In real life I could not care less about motorcycles. I have never driven one myself. The last time I even rode on one was over 10 years ago.
A coworker suggested the dreams mean I am looking for adventure in my life, but damn! The second 15 years of my life were pretty much nothing but adventure. Those days are behind me. Now all I am consciously looking for is some sleep!
So, if you have any idea what motorcycles in dreams mean let me know. These Harleys must somehow represent something that really does get my motor running.
It is wrong.
It is a flagrant violation of long-standing netiquette. It is annoying. It is painful to read.
And did I mention it is WRONG?!
See what I did there? I used all caps on the word "wrong" to emphasise it; to make it appear as if I am yelling the word. That's what the caps key is for: Emphasis (well, that and proper nouns.)
It makes me absolutely crazy to receive an e-mail typed in all caps. All lower case bugs too, but I can overlook that. All caps, however, turns me into a sort of Cujo type monster and I want to seek that person out to tell them what a fucking idiot they are.
Sadly, the offender is usually not an extremely educated person. So, can I still get mad at them?
Hell yes I can, because you don't even have to be the sharpest tool in the shed to know that all caps is wrong. It goes beyond just the fact that you are yelling at me. I mean, when you type in all caps you are basically telling me you're ignorant, you want attention, you have no idea how to follow rules and you cannot be bothered to take the time to type an appropriate e-mail. Not only that, but you must not even acknowledge anyone else's posts or e-mails because if you did you would clearly see that typing in caps is not the norm!
Spelling errors bug me too, but again, not to the degree caps do.
Some like-minded blogger once wrote that the Caps Lock key and the Shift key are less than a quarter inch away from each other. So, to not use one or the other and correct your hideous looking e-mail is sheer laziness at its worst. I mean, would it break your finger to just tap one or the other real quick-like?!
There are only two site forums I visit daily. One of them makes me crazy, as there are frequent all-caps posts AND repeated posts asking the same fucking questions. People, please read through at least the day's posts to see if maybe your question has already been answered. Or better yet, read the FAQ. FAQs are incredible things. They are very informative. Honest! I promise!
But no, apparently these people want to jump on the world wide web and start typing their fat lazy fingers off - avoiding the shift key as if it were burning lava and asking their own stupid questions that are probably answered about four posts behind the one they are writing.
The only other thing in my whole life that comes close to enraging me is the global disregard for the fact that "then" and "than" are two different words with two different meanings. They are not interchangeable and you can never have more then or state if, than.
You just cannot. It hurts me when you do.
Woe to the person who e-mails me in all caps AND fucks the then/than thing.
I swear I would end up in the bell tower over that one.
But back to my day, which was sunny and beautiful for the first time all winter.
I headed first to the car wash and after I paid for my De-Luxe wash the machine spit out 2 bucks in quarters for me. I paid with a credit card, so it's not like this was change for a ten or anything. I briefly considered the Karma on this one. It was not my money after all, but then, whose was it? There was no attendant on duty to return it to, so I went ahead and tossed it in my console.
Then I headed to the grocery store, where upon my arrival a lady was pulling out of the very first spot by the door! Not only that, but as she closed her trunk she asked me if I wanted her to leave the cart for me. Hell yeah! There are never carts available inside this store!
So I did my shopping and headed out to put my own groceries in the trunk. As I was finishing a man and woman walked by and offered to take my cart for me. Yes!
I decided to go through the drive through for some fries and counted out my change to pay. When I got to the window and handed the money to the guy he leaned back out and asked, "Do you have four more pennies?" Apparently I had given him the wrong change. I told him no, but that I did have another quarter. He smiled and said, "Nah, don't worry about the four cents." Not a big deal, by any stretch, but then again, it was, because to me it was an example of a positive human spirit. I would have been far less surprised if he had refused to give me my fries until the four cents was paid, while acting as if I had attempted armed robbery or something.
Anyway, I gave my thanks to the universe for a wonderful day and plan on throwing a couple of bucks in the next donation can I pass. Pay it forward!
Furry threw himself down the steps at his house and managed to obtain a gash in his forehead deep enough to require stitches. I figure this was part of his ongoing effort to assess our city’s emergency response services.
He arrived at the ER with his panicked parents and was quickly triaged and given a temporary bandage. While they waited for the suture room, Furry blew kisses to an adoring crowd of fellow ER visitors.
Once it was finally his turn, he bravely let them put three stitches in his tiny forehead without complaining. The only thing he did was ask repeatedly (about every 20 seconds) during the procedure, “All done now?”
Once he was “all done” he was released with a follow up appointment to have the stitches removed the following week.
He came to see me the next day, and when I asked if he had hurt his head he shrugged, as if to say “no biggie” and promptly proceeded to try and jump down the stairs.
This kid may be small, but he knows no fear!
What I've cooked this week: Chocolate chip cookies, homemade broccoli cheddar soup, Italian chicken with wild rice, a creme cheese coffee cake, my incredible Reuben sandwiches, spinach quiche, pumpkin cookies and a huge Mexican feast including fajitas.
Books I've read so far this year (with opinions) : Good Body, by Eve Ensler ( not as good a Vagina Monologues), Horse Play, by someone whose name I can't remember (An amusing quick mindless fiction read.) How it All Vegan and The Garden of Vegan, both by Tanya Barnard & Sarah Kramer (Cool gals who are really really into the vegan way of life. I didn't read every single recipe, but I did read all of the commentary.) The Gordon Ramsay Biography, by Neil Simpson (Loved it! I have such a crush on Gordon!) Several books by Thich Nhat Hanh, whom I admire greatly! (Little Dog has even been embracing Buddhism and letting Hahn's books guide him.) Women Who Eat, an anthology of essays about food, written by women (Okay book.) Mere Mortal's Guide to Fine Dining (A great book written for the lay person. I didn't think I had much to learn on the subject, but this book taught me a lot.) I've also read all the current issues of my favourite magazines, plus some popular mags while waiting in the doc's office.
Things that have provoked me to opine: The media frenzy and public judgement/speculation about Shawn Hornbeck. (Nobody has the right to judge him.) The announcement of Hillary's candidacy & Republican presidents vs. Democrat ones. (Duh.) People who can't seem to grasp the fact that being parent means modifying your lifestyle. (I won't mention any names.) People who pretend to be something they are not in order to impress someone else. (What work! I am what I am and I don't need anyone else's validation.) The importance of pool safety. (WS? I'm talking to you! Have a damned fence put in by Spring!) How we define conflict and how little of it I have in my life now.
Things I want to do this year: Take Little Dog to the west coast for his first view of the ocean. Finish my degree. Learn more. Eat healthier. Put the crown molding in the kitchen and perhaps lay wood floors in the living room. Pay off the car. Visit Muller in Detroit and drive up to Canada. Volunteer more with Little Dog. Perhaps spend some time in New York over the holidays so I can skate with my kiddo in Rockefeller Center.
That's enough lists for now. Happy New year!
He turned two this month and decided to put the T in Terrible, by locking his dad out of the house and seizing the opportunity to wreak havoc.
We have been having terrible ice storms here, and as such, WS (Furry's dad) has been having more trouble than most with the walking-on-the-ice skill. Maybe it's because, having grown up in England, he doesn't have a lot of experience with the kind of ice we deal with every winter here in the Midwest U.S.
Anyway, he was being particularly careful the other night when he took Furry home to wait for Bojo. He carefully carried him into the house and set him by inside the door before returning to he car for the bags. He had not made it down a single step when he heard, "Bye Bye daddy" and the distinct click of the lock.
Now, I have been the first to condemn WS for some of his past actions, but for this one, he has my complete sympathy.
I know I would certainly not want to have to call Bojo to tell her that her precious babe was currently "home alone." Heh heh.
But WS did make the call, and also the call to the fire department to break into the fortress Bojo calls home.
Meanwhile, ever the attentive and resourceful dad, he realised he could poke his fingers through the mail slot on the front door to hold it open, and therefore keep an eye on Furry.
Furry, however, was having no part of the fun new talk-to-daddy-through-the-mail-slot game. Instead he headed straight to his most sought after forbidden fascination: the china cabinet.
"Wow," he must have been thinking, "Now I can touch all those pretty dishes mummy never lets me touch!"
And touch he did! WS got to watch as Furry touched all the china. And by touch, I do mean picked up, dropped, and shattered.
Put yourself in WS's place for a moment now. You are kneeling on your ex-wife's front porch in sub-freezing weather with your hand wedged into a mail slot watching your toddler son systematically break nearly every piece of your family's generations-old-shipped-from-England family china.
On top of that, you know your ex-wife, who has the temper of a rabid dog, is on her way home to (presumably) kill you.
Meanwhile, your beloved blue eyed boy has only one word for you, "Uh-oh," uttered in your general direction after each shattering crash.
In the end, the fire department was able to break through a window and gain access to the house. When they opened the door, Bojo and WS rushed in to find Furry standing amidst shards of glass looking a bit confused as to why there were a firemen in his living room.
After bandaging some minor cuts on his hands the firemen posed for pictures with Harry, who kept repeating, "Firetruck? Uh-Oh!"
Uh-Oh is right my adorable little imp of a nephew! I now have an even bigger soft spot in my heart for the little shite. This is the stuff family history is made of! It is what childhood is about - the breaking of glass and the colouring on walls; the flooding of the bath tubs and the pudding spilled on the rug.
Each scar, every stain and all the chaos is evidence that he is a normal, healthy, inquisitive little brat!
But he is our little brat, and even though he is sticky and messy and constantly in possession of at least one bandage and "boo boo" I still would not have him any other way.
I should be elated. I have long been a huge fan of the Clintons. I think Hillary is brilliant. As feminist, the idea of a woman as President rocks!
However, I am surprisingly unmoved by her announcement.
I think timing is everything and I just do not think we, as a country, are ready for Hil'.
I have always believed Hillary to be an ambitious woman, so in that respect it does not surprise me.
I also know she is a powerful woman, with the friends and the finances to make this happen.
But I have also always believed her to put the well being of the party first and foremost and frankly, I just do not think this is good for our party.
I have already stated my reasons in other posts, but to sum up: I don't think she can win.
I may eat my words. Hell, I may even completely change my opinion and pledge my sole support to her campaign.
Right now though, I just am not sure.
He would make an excellent running-mate for Edwards.
But I think he, like Hillary, would be quite a long-shot for President.
He needs to start lower and work his way up. His press is good, but he truly does not have the experience to run the country. He also has no military background, which in this election, is going to be almost crucial.
Do not get me wrong. I like Obama, the man. I just do not feel he (yet) has the qualifications to run our country. The Democrats are pretty much poised to take the presidency in 2008. The public is disgusted by the Iraq situation and ready for change. Even many Republicans are ready to swing their votes over to the blue side. Even though all looks good for our party peeps, do not be lulled into a false sense of security. The position is still very fragile. Throw in a Clinton (any Clinton - Bill or Hillary) and they have such a polarizing effect on people it would push a lot of those swing votes right back to the republican side.
Hatred for the Clintons ran very deep.
Then there is the whole woman/black man as President thing. Is our country really ready to elect either?
Remember, this is the country that elected the Bushes three times, despite their sordid past. This is also the country that stood for the vote count scandal of2000 when a freakin' Bush was counting the votes! We still have a large Klan population and hate groups have been on the upswing since the 80s. Will America really elect a black man to the highest office in the land?
And frankly, though we laugh at the political pundits' jokes, the name is still a big problem. Not everyone who votes is a one of the sharpest pencils in the cup.
Though he is a black man, Obama is a very "white" black man, with very positive press, no known scandals, and a helluva lot of charisma. I think that could surely get him a great running-mate slot, which would then give him experience and the opportunity to prove his worth, character and abilities to the moderate public.
I am all about an Edwards/Obama or Clinton (or even Henry, which would be an awesome addition that could quite possibly turn our red state blue in 2008.)
But Henry has expressed no aspirations of such, and the Big B and Capital H both aspire higher.
So, for now, we just wait and see how this all plays out...
Since October I have been incredibly busy not doing school work. It has consumed almost my every waking thought. I haven not read a book, gone out to dinner, entertained guests or even taken a really long bath because... I have papers to write.
But have I written them?
I thought, when I decided to return to school, that the bad habits of my youth would be gone now. Rather than procrastinate about my papers I figured I would now manage my time so wisely that I would be turning papers in early.
The only thing I can say in my own defense is that when I decided to go back to school I did not know that the firm would decide to expand; therefore I could not have foreseen the increase in my workload.
I also did not know that I would end up having to have minor surgery, nor did I know that said surgery would turn out to be not-so-minor and take weeks to recover from.
I did know that Christmas would occur, but I did not foresee that it would sneak up on me like a parent outside a teen's bedroom. I mean, I was all relaxed and sleepy; groovin' on my own high and then BOOM! Christmas cards were arriving and the whole back-to-school section at Target had been replaced with lights and ornaments.
So, I auto piloted through Thanksgiving; experienced Christmas as though in a vortex; typed my way through the entire New Year's weekend and here I am.
It's January 15th and I am 3 papers away from finishing last semester's 15 hours.
Tomorrow I start 15 more.
Uh... Maybe I should go ahead and cancel Christmas 2007....
I learned to cook one reason: I was pregnant and I was hungry! I ate like an elephant, but thankfully never looked like one. I consistently lost weight and ended up weighing 2 pounds less when I delivered than I had when I conceived. I had tiny little bird legs and a big huge belly full of baby.
So, while my mom cooked me dinners, that still left breakfast and lunch unmanned. At the time my entire experience with “cooking” consisted of making nachos in the microwave, heating a can of Campbell’s and memorizing the pizza delivery number.
Nine months later I had become quite an accomplished chef! By the time RB and I were married I was putting a full meat-and-potatoes meal on the table every night. I was dazzling friends with my new found culinary skills. Of course since I no longer had a baby inside me who sucked away all the calories for his own nourishment, I also got fat. I considered it a small price pay for chicken cordon bleu with wild rice and steamed asparagus … for lunch!
I was also adamant that Little Dog would never eat processed baby foods. Nothing against the Gerber baby, but to me, if you are going to feed your baby that processed and preservative laden crap you may as well just go ahead and feed him or her little bits of plastic directly. Bojo tried to tell me that now they have “all natural” baby food with no preservatives. That, my friends is bullshit. You cannot steam some fresh green beans, puree them, slap them in a sealed container, ship them across the country and then let them sit unrefrigerated on a shelf until purchased and expect them not to be absolutely rancid unless you add a bunch of preservatives. It just cannot be done.
So, I simply pureed some of whatever we were eating for dinner to feed to Little Dog and it worked out great!
Little Dog was a vegan until he was about 1½ years old, and then he was a vegetarian until he was 7. Around then he discovered that he loved ground beef tacos and fajita chicken. Now that he is 14 he is once again thinking about choosing vegetarianism. He has always been a big advocate for animal rights and now he is questioning whether or not he feels okay about eating meat. I told him I would back him up whatever he decides. I am not a big meat eater myself, so no biggie to me.
What is a big deal, however, is the fact that despite my best intentions with regards to his diet, Little Dog grew into the pickiest eater in the entire world. He eats what I like to call the “beige” diet. If it is not beige, he most likely will not eat it. Chicken, cheese, breads, tortillas, potatoes…even hominy, are all on his approved list. Tomatoes (including ketchup) green vegetables and most fruits are most definitely NOT on his list.
When he was young I did the following things:
Asked his pediatrician if he could get scurvy. (She said no.)
Refused to let him have anything “special” for dinner. It was either our meal or no meal. (He went without eating on those nights)
Forced him to try “just a bite” of, say, carrots or spaghetti. (He gagged. It wasn’t pretty.)
Finally gave up and accepted the beige diet. I packed his lunch box with a bagel and Golden Delicious apple slices; bought him plain cheerios and corn flakes for breakfast; learned to cook chicken about 87 different ways.
So, when he suggested he might go vegetarian it did take a certain measure of control not to laugh. But in the end I am supportive. I have bought him books on the subject and stocked the larder with options. We will just take it day-by day and see how it goes.
It does not, however, bode well that so far he has rejected three different homemade soups, refused tofu outright, and thinks veggie burgers taste like "pieces of paper mixed with chewy stuff."
I do believe he thinks being vegetarian means eating cheese pizza every night.
I have news for him: I forgot the pizza delivery number back in 1992.