Friday, December 30, 2005
The year started with a bang. While the world was reeling from the Tsumani catastrophe I was revisited by my old health nemesis, urinary tract infections. Why this year? Why the sudden recurrence? It seemed a bad omen to start the new year of 2005 in pain and discomfort.
Then I got for my birthday the absolute best gift ever, a red Corvette convertible, my dream car. Wow, now that was great! Unfortunately, only two months after getting it a woman ran a red light and crashed into it, nearly totalling it. I just can't have anything nice. But it could have been worse. If the impact had been on my driver side door instead of the front wheel I would have been hurt. Incidentally, it happened when I was leaving the doctor's office to make sure my urine was clear of infection.
Then in June I got shingles. Not the best way I can think of to start the summer break with the kids. I did get to the doctor in time to take anti-viral medication to alleviate it and keep it from getting as bad as it could have been without the medicine. But it did keep me indoors and out of the heat and therefore away from getting to some of the garden projects I had planned. Looking back now I can see that it wore me down more than I realized at the time.
Around that same time my dad was diagnosed with melanoma. He was getting several spots cut off his back and was having to repeatedly go and have more cut out. He had to have some lymph nodes removed and that was an ordeal. And since then he's been having to have more spots cut off. This has been ongoing and I know he's worn out from it. I'm a little worn out too.
Then there was Katrina. Although I didn't personally experience any of the destruction or its aftermath I did meet a few survivors who came up here. Whenever something of that magnitude happens we all are affected in more ways than we might realize. A disturbance in the Force, if you will. It reverberates all around us. There is a collective effect on us all, psychologically as much as economically or otherwise. We would be very wrong to try to diminish to importance of this event for us all.
After Katrina there were even more destructive storms that didn't get the amount of news coverage that they would have gotten if Katrina hadn't happened. It was a record breaking hurrincane season with the named storms exceeding the alphabet. The full list of named storms for 2005:
Tropical Storm Arlene
Tropical Storm Bret
Tropical Storm Cindy
Tropical Storm Franklin
Tropical Storm Gert
Tropical Storm Harvey
Tropical Depression Ten
Tropical Storm Jose
Tropical Storm Lee
Tropical Depression Nineteen
Tropical Storm Tammy
Subtropical Depression Twenty-two
Tropical Storm Alpha
Tropical Storm Gamma
Tropical Storm Delta
This has also been the Year of the Spider. I've had many dreams of spiders, and there have been lots of real spiders too.
And then this year we've been dealing with school issues with my fourth grader. This is the first year that I've had any kind of problems with what's happening at school. I think we've mostly got it worked out, but it has been a big source of stress in this latter third of the year.
And it seems like this last third of the year I've been sick with one thing after another. I had that terrible case of strep throat, and I've caught every virus/bug that has been around. On top of all that I've had several UTIs throughout the year too. I think that getting shingles somehow compromised my immune system so that I'm getting sick all the time. Just my theory, anyway.
And then most recently I ran over the puppy. She's doing okay. We brought her home on Dec. 23. She looks pitiful, but she seems to be getting better. I have had to fight feelings of guilt and regret over the whole thing. It has been just another thing that has kicked my ass this year.
Of course, this year hasn't been all bad. There have been many good things too. I would like to think that somehow I've survived all the bad by trying to keep the good in view. I started this blog this year, and through it I have made some really good friends, even if we haven't ever met face-to-face. This is where I've revealed some of my innermost thoughts and to have people still like me despite those I'm very grateful.
This year has kicked my ass in lots of ways, and I'm a little worn out from it all. I don't want to sound too whiny about it, though, because despite all of that I'm okay. If this had been a few years ago I couldn't have said that. But I really am okay. And that's a big thing for me. As that old saying goes, what doesn't kill you makes you stronger. I've been tested this year, and I think that I am stronger, or at least not weakened by it all (except for my immune system). Nearly everyone I know has been through a really difficult year. This has been the Chinese Year of the Wood Rooster (or Cock, hehehe), The Year of the Big Talk and the Big Reforms. I can't remember where I read it, but I do recall reading that the Year of the Rooster is often marked by lots of difficulties which gives us a lot of potential for growth. That does seem to fit with what has been happening this year, for me at least, more so than the previous few years anyway. Now that I think of it, the last Year of the Rooster was 1993, another difficult year for me.
Well, I suppose I've rambled on too long about it now. I hope we all have a better 2006. So let's all reflect on this year and what we've learned from it and take those lessons with us into next year. No New Year's resolutions for me except for a 'To Do' list of projects I want to complete.
So a Happy and Safe New Year to all!
Friday, December 23, 2005
All day Sunday I did laundry. It was time to wash all the bed linens, and I was in the right mood to tackle that task.
Monday- my two older kids and I got a terrible stomach flu that had us all in bed for about 2 days.
Wednesday- I had to force myself to go do some Christmas shopping despite wanting/needing to rest some more.
Thursday- More shopping. It is done now. But I still have a few things to wrap.
Between all of the sickness, shopping, and usual daily tasks I've tried to rest as much as possible.
And the Puppy comes home today! I hope she is going to have an easy re-adjustment (is that redundant?) to home. I will be picking her up this afternoon, but before I do I want to go by the pet supply store and get her a nice, soft, comfy bed.
I hope to post again before Christmas... maybe with some pictures if I can. I hope everyone has had a much better week than I have!
On a side note, today would have been my parents' 44th anniversary.
Sunday, December 18, 2005
Friday, December 16, 2005
1. I always have some strange nature-related experiment/observation set up on the bar that separates the kitchen from the breakfast area. Sometimes it's jars of caterpillars and chrysalises/cocoons. Sometimes it's some other bugs in a jar that I'm studying their behavior, etc. Once I had a baby black widow spider in a jar, and I fed it small bugs until it died. (I guess it didn't like confinement. Don't call PETA on me!) And right now I have a kind of terrarium set up with a snail (I named it Gary after Sponge Bob's pet snail) in it. I had two venus flytrap plants that I bought at Walmart and I had set this up to make it as much like their native habitat as possible. In a bowl were some snail shells that the kids had collected months ago. I put some of them in the terrarium as 'decoration'. The next thing I know there's a snail crawling all over the place. I guess they can be dormant for a long time.
2. Despite my lax and casual way of writing here I have strong pet peeves about writing. If I'm reading a 'properly' published article in a magazine, newspaper, or book I get very annoyed by grammatical and spelling errors. The kinds of things that really get to me are the confusion of there and their, whose and who's, it's and its, and so on. But the thing that really drives me insane is when people use "I" as a subject, a la 'do this for him and I.' AAAAAAAHHHHHH! You don't say 'do this for I' do you? I think people get confused by the rule that you are supposed to use 'I' after a form of the verb 'be'. Like, "it is I" or "it was she" and so on. But how hard is it to remember the difference? Editors should know these things. I know I'm totally anal about that. Sorry. But that's a weird thing about me.
3. I like a little (well, maybe a little more than a little) clutter. A completely stark, sterile, and uncluttered space makes me very uncomfortable. I need familiar and favorite things around me. Maybe it's because I'm such a visual person and because I orient myself by my visual environment. If someone moves my stuff it totally screws me up. Eventually, I'll clear out my space to remove the old stuff and start accumulating new stuff. David says that I really am like a mouse the way I'll gather stuff to build my nest.
4. Whether you 'believe' in it or not, I have a certain amount of 'psychic' ability. I just know things sometimes. The older I get the more it happens. Sometimes I think it's just that I'm very perceptive of my surroundings. But isn't that what ESP means anyway? Extra-Sensory Perception? I'm no John Edward or Edgar Cayce though. But finally after living with me for over 14 years David (a big sceptic) has acknowledged that I really do perceive more than the 'average'. Maybe it has to do with variations in individual sensory thresholds or something like that. But my kids think it's pretty weird.
5. And finally, I just like weird stuff. I'm not interested in the 'typical' things that society tells me to be interested in, like oh, I don't even know, stuff like Manolo Blahnik shoes and shows like Sex and the City and Desperate Housewives. Some of the weird stuff I like is somewhat dark and disturbing like Rob Zombie's music and movies. I love House of 1000 Corpses. I have a real definite dark side that I'm not too afraid to shine some light on. I like the Jolly Roger and skeletal images and bugs and snakes and bats and other things that are commonly seen as 'bad.' But I'm not all gothic or anything. Most definitely not because I also love the other extreme of frou-frou stuff like sparkly pretties and fluffy accessories that you'd imagine a typical 13 year old girl might like. My children know that I'm not like most other moms. But maybe I overestimate my weirdness?
Okay, so now "tag" you're IT... (apologies if you've already done this or if you don't want to, no pressure, of course!)
Thursday, December 15, 2005
If you read this, if your eyes are passing over this right now, (even if we don't speak often) please post a comment here on my blog with a COMPLETELY MADE UP AND FICTIONAL memory of you and me. It can be anything you want - good or bad - BUT IT HAS TO BE FAKE. When you're finished leaving your comment, post this little paragraph on your blog and be surprised (or mortified) about what people DON'T ACTUALLY remember about you. I think this will be fun for all; like a bowl of Skittles and M&M's mixed; a color and a flavor for everyone!
Wednesday, December 14, 2005
Tuesday, December 13, 2005
Monday, December 12, 2005
However, it is a long drive there, about 5.5 hours but usually longer for me since I stop at nearly every rest area along the way. But I'm not complaining about getting to spend nearly 12 hours in a Corvette. That was fine with me. And that was part of my relaxation. Except for the idiots on the road.
When will people figure out that 1) getting all up my ass isn't going to make the cars in front of me go faster? Hello, dumbass trying to buy the rear-end of my car, I can't make the people in front of me speed up, and I'm not about to tailgate them to try. So BACK THE HELL OFF! And wait for the flow of traffic to speed up. Your time is no more valuable than anyone else's.
When will people figure out that 2) just because I'm in a Corvette doesn't mean I want to race? Just about every jerk in a suped up Toyota thinks he wants to race me. Sorry, but in case you haven't noticed most people who drive Corvettes are older and more mature and don't need feel the need to demostrate their virility by driving 95-100 mph. I could blow your f*cking doors off if I really wanted to, but I've got the maturity to let you get the speeding ticket. I don't need to prove anything to you.
If I sound a little agitated, well, it's because this morning I ran over one of the kids' puppies. It ran right under the moving car (not the Corvette), and I coudn't stop before it was hit. I'm not sure if she'll make it. She's at the vet and they will call when they know what is wrong and if she can recover. I'm sick over it. I know the kids will be devastated if she dies. What a great way to start the week, eh? Kind of reversed any benefit I got from my weekend trip. Typical.
Friday, December 09, 2005
Here is my comment on her post:
Well, it is freedom of expression, but so is pornography which we have deemed unsuitable for children. People should be more sensitive on BOTH sides of that issue. A gagged (blindfolded, actually, but same difference) and hanging Santa could be considered harmful to children in the same way that certain books, films, games, etc. are. How are parents supposed to protect their children from violent displays if there are no regulations? Yes, we have Freedom of Speech, but it is regulated to protect certain groups. There are laws about not placing Adult stores, liquor stores, etc. within certain proximity to Schools, Day Cares, Churches, etc.
As for paint color and grass height, there are MANY neighborhood associations that regulate those things and fine homeowners for violations.
I have never seen a Halloween lawn display that is this gruesome/offensive. Not that there haven't been somewhere, but most people are more considerate of others than to do that. When exercising our Freedom of Expression we HAVE to be more considerate of other people, esp. children.
If my neighbor did this I'd go over and ask him nicely to take it down because it is too violent for my kids. Do you think that most cities would allow a billboard with this picture on it?
Again, I find it ironic that it's the same people who find this offensive (borrowed kristi's link to this picture- I'm not picking on kristi here)
but not this (borrowed suzie's picture)
who are the first to cite First Amendment rights of free expression to defend their offensive actions. The Freedom of Expression is not a free pass to say or do anything you want regardless of the consequences.
Would we tolerate a person passing out pictures to our children with this image? Do the people who have no problem with the Hanging Santa have a problem with pictures of aborted babies that protestors carry around? Do people not care about how things affect children?
Thursday, December 08, 2005
Speaking of Star Wars
I might as well see if I can put down my thougths about it. I loved it, of course. I've loved all of them. I'll start with listing my favorite parts.
R2D2 totally kicked ass! He was always my favorite and to see him in his prime was just the best. LOVED IT when he jumped around and stuff. Very cool.
Haden C. was totally HOT, HOT, HOT, especially in the shirtless scene. Thank you George Lucas for not cutting the gratuitous eye candy scene. And he has that evil, angry look down pat. What a hottie. But I did find myself feeling a little like a dirty old woman drooling over him. How old is he anyway?
I always wondered how the Emperor's face got all messed up. I was glad to see that it was shown.
The flying lizard thing that Obiwan rode was very cool. I do believe that many of the dinosaur species that didn't go extinct evolved into birds. Not every single dinosaur was killed by the comet or whatever that hit the earth. There have been fossils found that have shown 'dinosaurs' with feathers. I really like it when that kind of thing is incorporated into movies.
Likewise, Gen. Grievous was cool. I liked that he was an 'organic droid' with organs and stuff. I was going to be bothered by his coughing if it hadn't been shown that he had organic insides.
Now, moving to things that I didn't like that much. Natalie Portman, please, stop it with the lip collagen. You don't need it. Bleck. And what was with that crazy outfit that she was trying to sleep in (same scene as the shirtless Anakin)? No one could sleep like that. And the pregnant belly seemed to constantly be changing in size, shape, and location. And not in a natural way. I really hate when they make pregnancy look so fake. Oh well. I guess they have to scrimp on the budget somewhere. And what was with that delivery scene? With all their technology didn't they have any pain relief? Sorry to focus all my complaints on Padme, but that was the weakest part of the movie.
That's all I can think of right now. I'm sure there is more, but I had a big distraction throughout the movie with [my four year old at the time] squirming and talking and whining about 'where's Dark Fighter*?' I will definitely have to go see it again.
*'Dark Fighter' was what he called Darth Vader.
The previous post was His variation of Rock a Bye Baby...
"...when the tree breaks the baby will fall and get messed up and made into a robot..."
We did just see Star Wars on Friday night. I guess through all of his whining and fidgeting he did get the point about Darth Vader at the end. Ah, the mind of a four year old. Amazing.
Wednesday, December 07, 2005
Tuesday, December 06, 2005
As you walk up the steps to the building which houses the U.S. Supreme Court you can see near the top of the building a row of the world's law givers and each one is facing one in the middle who is facing forward with a full frontal view ... it is Moses and he is holding the Ten Commandments.
As you enter the Supreme Court courtroom, the two huge oak doors have the Ten Commandments engraved on each lower portion of each door.
As you sit inside the courtroom, you can see the wall, right above where the Supreme Court judges sit, a display of the Ten Commandments.
There are Bible verses etched in stone all over the Federal Buildings and Monuments in Washington, D.C.
Every session of Congress begins with a prayer by a paid preacher, whose salary has been paid by the taxpayer since 1777.
Thomas Jefferson worried that the Courts would overstep their authority and instead of interpreting the law would begin making law. An oligarchy .... the rule of few over many.
How, then, have we gotten to the point that everything we have done for 220 years in this country is now suddenly wrong and un-Constitutional?
Friday, December 02, 2005
I'm sorry that I've gotten behind on reading and commenting on all my favorite blogs. I will try to catch up this weekend. And I thought of a good post to work on. Fox and Friends were talking about the Separation of Church and State and how so many people don't understand what that really means. Well, I might as well go ahead and say what I was thinking since I'm here anyway.
Here's what the Constitution says:
Article I (First Amendment)
Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.
We have to remember that our founding fathers were reacting to England's struggles with the establishment of an 'official' religion. There was tremendous persecution done on behalf of religious differences. This was one of the main reasons that the colonists came here. This is why this issue is put first in the First Amendment. It was that important. It still is.
Let's look at what it says exactly. "Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion..." What that means is that there will be no law that establishes an National Religion of any kind. What it does not mean is that there can't be laws that respect religious establishments. But to hear some people talk you'd think that's what they think it means. They are totally misreading it. They want to think it means that the government can't have any religious expressions. But that's NOT what it says. People who object to "In God We Trust" on our money and "Under God" in the Pledge of Allegiance and any other phrase that mentions God or any other religious concept are actually VIOLATING the First Amendment. They want to conveniently forget that "or prohibiting the free exercise thereof" part. Hello? Free exercise thereof. That means that I have every right to say Christmas, and so does my kids' school and the courthouse and any other person or place that wants to. Calling a decorated tree in a government building a 'Christmas tree' is NOT establishing a religion. It is only the free exercise thereof.
I know some people will say, "Oh, but what about other religions? Why can't they have whatever to celebrate their holidays? If you have a Christmas tree then you should have a Hanukkah tree or whatever too." Well, no one is stopping someone from doing that if they really want it. If you have a town that is mostly Jewish then they would probably focus on their own traditions. If a Christian minority there felt left out then they could do something of their own. Big deal. With freedom comes the responsibility to respect other views. That's what the whole First Amendment is about anyway. And that applies equally to atheists, fundamentalists, and everyone else. If someone is offended by a Christmas tree then they need to reread their history and the Constitution.
Our founding fathers were very spiritual people. They believed in God, and they believed that Divine Providence guided them in creating our nation. People need to go back and reread the Declaration of Independence. For your convenience here are the first two and the last paragraphs:
The Declaration of Independence of the Thirteen Colonies
In CONGRESS, July 4, 1776
The unanimous Declaration of the thirteen united States of America,
When in the Course of human events, it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bands which have connected them with another, and to assume among the powers of the earth, the separate and equal station to which the Laws of Nature and of Nature's God entitle them, a decent respect to the opinions of mankind requires that they should declare the causes which impel them to the separation.
We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness. --That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, --That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness. Prudence, indeed, will dictate that Governments long established should not be changed for light and transient causes; and accordingly all experience hath shewn, that mankind are more disposed to suffer, while evils are sufferable, than to right themselves by abolishing the forms to which they are accustomed. But when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same Object evinces a design to reduce them under absolute Despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such Government, and to provide new Guards for their future security. —Such has been the patient sufferance of these Colonies; and such is now the necessity which constrains them to alter their former Systems of Government. The history of the present King of Great Britain [George III] is a history of repeated injuries and usurpations, all having in direct object the establishment of an absolute Tyranny over these States. To prove this, let Facts be submitted to a candid world.
We, therefore, the Representatives of the united States of America, in General Congress, Assembled, appealing to the Supreme Judge of the world for the rectitude of our intentions, do, in the Name, and by the Authority of the good People of these Colonies, solemnly publish and declare, That these United Colonies are, and of Right ought to be Free and Independent States; that they are Absolved from all Allegiance to the British Crown, and that all political connection between them and the State of Great Britain, is and ought to be totally dissolved; and that as Free and Independent States, they have full Power to levy War, conclude Peace, contract Alliances, establish Commerce, and to do all other Acts and Things which Independent States may of right do. And for the support of this Declaration, with a firm reliance on the protection of Divine Providence, we mutually pledge to each other our Lives, our Fortunes and our sacred Honor.
There is a lot of mention of God in there. In today's political environment if we were trying to establish our Independence from Britain it would never happen because of all the dumbasses who can't understand plain English and who refuse to try. That really scares me and bothers me.