Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Empire State Building's Lighting for China's 60th Birthday, Draws Criticism


Ya think?
Why in God's name would we light the Empire State Building to celebrate a country that is so incredibly backwards? Why would we help China celebrate 60 years of torture, rape and genocide?

I went to school in NYC and saw the Empire States Building light up nightly and sometimes different colours for different things. I was there during the first gulf war so it was often lit in yellow or red white and blue as a show of support. I also remember it being green for the 100th anniversary of the release of The Wizard of Oz book. This however, is different. Very different.

The Empire State Building has always been lit for as long as I can remember. I've seen it green, blue, red white and blue, but lighting the building yellow and red to celebrate China? What are these people thinking? It was red on September 24th for the 70th anniversary of the release of The Wizard of Oz and the ruby slipper collection. On October 14th, it will be lit in purple and white for New York State Coalition Against Domestic Violence, Domestic Violence Awareness Month. Those things make sense to me. Use it to celebrate good things that advance people or help those who need it, but China?

Construction began on the Empire State Building in March of 1930 and is a National landmark. It would be nice to always see it as such but that's been sullied for me. It is a privately owned building and the owners can do as they like. However, the visits to the city where I plan a trip to the top of the ESB are probably over for me. I'm not one of those "Freedom Fries" kind of Americans but can't we all just agree that China sucks as a country? They threat their women like shit, give us tainted formula and toys filled with lead and their food is filled with poison! Occasionally we get our shit together enough to catch these things, they shoot their Chinese inspectors and start over with new ones, but nothing ever really happens.
I've hated China since the whole Tienanmen Square demonstrations in 1989. I have often wondered what happened to the guy in the photograph above. People who protest in China, die. As I'm sure this guy did. They certainly don't have due process. I also loved when they had the summer Olympics there in 2008 and the torch was being carried through the streets, people protested, of course. The torch was surrounded by people who were just there to attack and beat down any protesters who got too close. Those aren't the only reasons to hate China, but I think they're enough.
I can't believe I got through this whole post without mentioning how stupid and inhumane their one child policy is..oops, almost made it....
This is the real tragedy:
In case you forgot how vile China was to it's protesters:
Tiananmen Square, large public square in Beijing, China, on the southern edge of the Inner or Tatar City. The square, named for its Gate of Heavenly Peace (Tiananmen), contains the monument to the heroes of the revolution, the Great Hall of the People, the museum of history and revolution, and the Chairman Mao Zedong Memorial Hall (with Mao's embalmed body). Mao Zedong proclaimed the founding of the People's Republic in the square on Oct. 1, 1949, an anniversary still observed there. A massive demonstration for democratic reform, begun there by Chinese students in Apr., 1989, was brutally repressed on June 3 and 4. It was initiated to demand the posthumous rehabilitation of former Communist Party Chairman Hu Yaobang. The government was tolerant until after his funeral; then Deng Xiaoping denounced the protests. The demonstrators were joined by workers, intellectuals, and civil servants, until over a million people filled the square. General Secretary Zhao Ziyang expressed sympathy, but lost out to Deng, who supported the use of military suppression. Martial law was declared on May 20. The protesters demanded that the leadership resign, but the government answered on the nights of June 3 and 4 with troops and tanks, killing thousands to quell a counterrevolutionary rebellion. Zhao was dismissed and a number of the student leaders were arrested.

Saturday, September 26, 2009

Larriland Farms




We took the kids to Larriland Farms today. Our friend Laura has taken her daughter there and she always says how much they like it so I thought it was a good outdoor activity we could all do together as a family. It's a farm and orchard where you can pick your own fruits, vegetables and flowers. Today we picked apples and red raspberries. I think they had 5 or so different kids of apples and two kids of raspberries. I'll be honest, I'm not really a big fan of apples and I wouldn't just sit down and eat an apple, unless it was Granny Smith and even that's a rare event. I went for the experience. I thought Owen would have a good time and it's always nice to do things on the weekend so Chris can go with us. Also, I really liked the raspberries.

They had everything separated into sections and you grab a bag or box and go pick what you like and then you pay for what you pick at each field. We saw people eating apples in the field. Grown adults basically stealing food. It was tacky, but you can't wish class on someone. I mean Owen ate some raspberries, but he's 2. We also told him over and over again not to do it, but like I said, he's 2!

I liked how everything was on his level. He could pick his own apples and berries and seemed to really love doing it. He would pick an apple and run over to me with a huge smile on his face and drop it into the bag. He might have had more fun if he'd put down his sippy cup and toy truck, but whatever. It wasn't a fight worth having. The weather didn't look like it was going to hold out but we were able to get our day done without getting wet. I dressed the kids warmly while forgetting to do it for myself, but I survived. It also gave me another opportunity to put River in her sock monkey outfit, which is just so friggen cute!
Next year I'd like to try to go earlier. We missed peach season by a few weeks and I just LOVE peaches! The only question that remains is "WHAT AM I SUPPOSED TO DO WITH ALL THESE FRIGGEN APPLES?"

Friday, September 25, 2009

The Family Schedule


I've been told by those in the know that I need to put Owen on a schedule. I mean, he's always been on some kind of schedule but we alter it daily as I am just not good at sticking to routines. They think it will help Owen thrive to know what is coming next at all times of the day. I can't say I disagree with them. I am trying to figure out a way to get him involved in his own day.

So, I started this morning getting a routine down for him and kind of keeping track of what we do all day when we don't have to be anywhere. I wrote down everything we did so that I could sit down, write out his routine and make a chart to hang on the fridge. Since he isn't reading yet, I think I'll get some pictures that he recognizes and Velcro them to the chart so we can track it through the day. Maybe this will also help him not completely lose his shit when I try to brush his teeth.

I looked online for charts and things and could find nothing. Everything I saw was for older kids. Owen isn't ready to put his clothes on and things like that. I'm looking for things like eat breakfast, nap time and time for a bath. I don't want to recreate the wheel, but I can't even find the wheel.

I want Owen on a more strict daily routine so that he can get the most out of his day and so that his sister doesn't slip between the cracks while I'm busy with Owen. I go out of my way to get one on one time with each of my children and hate it when one misses out on something because I'm dealing with the other. I know this is inevitable but I just feel like lately River has been getting the brunt of this. Hopefully I'll be able to figure it out.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Beach Bunny


We went on our first family vacation, with River, to Virginia Beach. My SiL lives there so we used the vacation as a reason to go down and meet her new daughter. While it rained most of the trip, we still had a nice time. If there is even a little bit of sun while you're on a beach, it is impossible to take bad pictures. Hell, you just need it to be a bright day. Overcast days are sometimes the best. I hate sand, but I love taking pictures of it!

It was River’s first trip and first beach vacation. Since she’d never seen the ocean before, it was nice to take her to see the moving water, which she didn’t seem afraid of at all. I dipped her little feet in the cool mini waves and she didn't even flinch! She also didn’t seem to have a problem with the sand. We weren’t able to spend the whole week on the beach because of the rain, but the time we did spend there was very nice and warm. Chris was able to take a swim and we were able to get Owen as close to the water as he would allow. River also sat in a resaturant high chair for the first time. Owen's first time sitting in a restaurant high chair was on HIS first beach vacation as well so that was kinda funny.
We bought Owen a Blue Angel jet, which he loves and the cutest sock monkey sweater, jumper for River. It got a little cool so we needed something warm for her. We were able to take some family pictures on the beach. On a rainy day, we took the kids to the Virginia Aquarium. They had a nice shark tank, which got us a little too close to the sharks. I think Owen thought it was pretty cool and we got to touch a sting ray. They're pretty slimy feeling in case you're curious. I thought it was gross and wasn't a big fan. It was nice to be able to spend the time away with the family. I know the kids like it when Chris doesn't have to leave for work. Yay for family time!
Also, today is our wedding anniversary! Happy anniversary baby! It never gets old.

Thursday, September 17, 2009

My Photographs


I started taking pictures in the 5th grade. I took it as an elective class at Ford Green Elementary and I just never looked back. Let's just say my love of photography lasted much longer than that building stood in Nashville. It was a lot different back then. I had to crack my film in a dark box with arms and develop it in chemicals that I can still smell. I continued to do this through high school with an excellent commercial arts teacher who was born to inspire and into college in New York with some of the biggest and finest enlargers I have ever seen.


I still take a great amount of pictures. It's almost a sickness. My husband bought me an excellent camera about two years ago and I just went wild. I always have my camera with me at all times and use it daily. Some may say I take too many pictures but I can't imagine thinking I've taken too many pictures of my kids. I have over 1200 pictures on my camera that I can't upload until I get this done so I'm in a rush before I fill up my card. I've never filled up my car and have had well over 1500 photos on there before so we'll see. I'm sure my mother is pissed she hasn't seen pictures of the kids in a while, but I'm working on it. So many photos! "One is too many and a thousand is never enough." Well, until your computer implodes.


It is time for a new computer. I have zero room for anything else to fit on it and have been copying all of my pictures and important things for weeks. I think I finally finished last night. 27 DVD+R's later and I'm finally finished. I'm also backing them up on an external hard drive this weekend so I'll have them in two places. I hate taking them from my computer but I feel like it has to be done. I like having them a click away and now they won't be.
On the upside, I'll have a new computer, a blank canvas if you will and I'll start filling that puppy up as soon as it's plugged in. My husband is making me wait til October for this new operating system that he uses at work to be released to the public. I'm waiting.........

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Racism at its best

If you look at this picture and can say that it isn't racist, you're a liar. The person who created this has a racist heart. This didn't come from a place that wants better things for your country. It comes from behind a white sheet. They may not still be hiding under sheets, but they're acting like this is in the name of love of country and not just complete hatred and disrespect for a black man. It is nothing more than racism. Just racism.

A racist will tell you, "Well, we have a black President now so I don't want to hear another word about racism. It doesn't exist anymore" A sane person will tell you, "Having a black President has brought racism to the for front and will make people think and discuss it more which can only help to end racism, but it still exists." Today Jimmy Carter was giving an interview to MSNBC and commented on all the signs at the "tea party" rallies and other protests against Obama and his policies. I'll be honest, I don't remember a President being protested against so much after just over 7 months in office. He was left with a bunch of shit that people seem to think wasn't there before he was. I haven't seen him do anything yet that is near as offensive as the load of shit the Bush Administration did. Anyway, Carter commented that the animosity of a lot of the protesters is because President Obama is a black man. I couldn't agree more. I don't even know how you can see it any other way. I've watched a lot of clips of the protesters and they seem to have many things in common. They hate everything about the new administration and THEY'RE ALL WHITE! It's a sea of white faces. I saw a 50 year old guy holding a sign that said "Whose looking out for me?" Are you fucking serious? We need someone to look out for middle aged white men now? WTF?

I love Jimmy Carter. It takes a lot of balls to say what he said. He's a good man.

Bellow is what he actually said:


“I think an overwhelming portion of the intensely demonstrated animosity toward President Barack Obama is based on the fact that he is a black man,” Carter said. “I live in the South, and I’ve seen the South come a long way, and I’ve seen the rest of the country that share the South’s attitude toward minority groups at that time, particularly African Americans.”
Carter continued, “And that racism inclination still exists. And I think it’s bubbled up to the surface because of the belief of many white people, not just in the South but around the country, that African-Americans are not qualified to lead this great country. It’s an abominable circumstance, and it grieves me and concerns me very deeply.”

My boy!


Owen is set to start school in January, so I want to use this time we have before then to do things with him that we might not have the time to do after that. I signed him up for some classes. One is a music class that we will take on weekends with his father. It's age appropriate and lets him run around, beat on musical instruments and sing. Things he loves to do. He also has his ballet class that he and I take once a week.

Because we were all sick, we missed the first music class so I took him this week to a makeup class. I wasn't a huge fan. I didn't hate it I just think it would be nice to find a music class with some balls. While I know kids love soft music and "being a tree" as it were, it would be nice to hear a beat. What is wrong with a drum beat? Owen loves to dance to music that jolts him a bit. I think most parents or teachers think that's a no no. Whatever, I know when he's a little older, I'll find a hip hop class for him to let loose in. We'll bide our time for now.


The ballet class was pretty much what I expected. There were maybe 12 kids and only one other boy. He had some friends in there, which was nice. I had to try his footless tights and slippers on earlier in the week to make sure everything fit and he was not a fan. I was supposed to tie his hair back but we was just not having it. Owen spent more time running around the room looking at himself in the mirror and throwing himself on the mat, but again, it's what I expected. I didn't expect him to leave this class on his tippy toes. Owen just never stops running. I'm glad we're taking it and I hope after a few classes he settles down a bit and learns to listen. A girl can dream, right?.

Saturday, September 12, 2009

Women are the worst


I often ask myself, sometimes out loud, "What is wrong with people?" I don't usually have the answer and I don't even expect one. It's really a rhetorical question when I see something so odd that I can't believe someone would do it. While on vacation in Virginia Beach over the last few days, I think I've finally found an answer that fits. People are assholes.




The weather all week was way less than desirable so we decide to go to a local mall where we heard there was an indoor play area. When we get there it was (of course) closed. This seemed to be a running theme for the week. Shitty weather, an aquarium that seemed to be under construction, everything closed and to top it off, those goofy Shriner's were having a convention and there were a million of them running around our hotel and up and down the street on those tiny bikes. I wanted to catch them in their Red Fezz hats but I never got the chance. My dad is a Shriner so I understand the goofiness of it all. A potentate from Jersey tried to indoctrinate my husband on the way out. It gave us a good laugh on the way home. Picturing my husband in that hat makes me giggle as I sit here. It wasn't all bad, we got to see my husband's sister and meet her new daughter, who is beautiful and so tiny. It is a misconception that all babies are beautiful. They are sweet and helpless but not beautiful. Marie is beautiful.




So we're at the mall and there is a kid there with her mother and she's probably about 9ish. She's wearing a big poofy skirt, pink cowboy boots and a red cowboy hat. Now I can tell at first glance that she is at that age where kids like to dress themselves. I don't think for a second that her mother suggested this ensemble. One of two things happened in their house on the way out the door. She either didn't feel like dealing with the argument that would en sew or she realized her daughter was trying to express herself and let it go. Letting your kids do this is very important. As cool as it would be, I'm not trying to raise another me. I want my kids to express themselves however they choose. As long as they aren't hurting anyone who cares?




As we sit there and I watch this kid with her mother thinking "in a few years, that's us," I hear the two women at the table near us commenting on what a terrible mother the lady is for letting her kid leave the house like that. WTF? I actually heard one of the chicks say, "that kid looks really stupid and all normal kids will make fun of her for wearing that shit." I think this is where I asked myself "What is wrong with people?" My assumption is that when this lady says "normal kids," she is referring to her own kids. I'm also assuming that since this woman is such a vapid bitch, that her children are terrible assholes who indeed would probably make fun of this girl for trying to be a little more interesting than the sheep she sees daily at school.




So while I have many thoughts, I'll keep it at how wonderful that a mother allows her daughter to be herself instead of imposing her own "style" on her. How wonderful that she gets a clean canvas and I hope I am free enough to be the same way with my own children and I'd also like to thank the evil skanks at the table next to me for showing me how much I've grown as a person. I may have wanted to pick up a chair and clock them in the back of the head, but I didn't do it. Yay me!

Sunday, September 6, 2009

The Wire


My husband and I like to find a TV series we both like and watch the whole thing. Before I met him I never watched The West Wing or The Sopranos. He suggested both shows and we watched all of the seasons in order one by one. Those ended up being two of the best TV shows I have ever watched and probably the best ever made. Needless to say, I try to be open minded about shows he chooses but it’s still tough for us to find a show we like and can agree on.

I absolutely refuse to watch Buffy the Vampire Slayer even though he really loves it and asks me to often. I just can’t stand Sarah Michelle Geller. She annoys the shit out of me and I can’t imagine she can carry a whole show. We saw The Grudge and I thought her acting was so bad that it was distracting. I also think she looks like Fival the rat from An American Tail, but that's another post. I can’t watch shows about the end of the world or things that are so depressing that it make me worry or long for my children as I just don’t consider that entertainment. I’m a tough sell for new movies and series television.

We finally decided on a show that we could watch together. It’s called The Wire and it was filmed in Baltimore. The show ended in March 2008 with 60 episodes over a 5 year run. It’s about police Detectives and the people they follow and investigate. It’s really, really good. It’s the kind of show you find yourself thinking about during the day and wondering what is going to happen to the characters. I've actually found myself thinking, "Oh, I hope he makes it. I like him" WHAT? They're all drug dealers and murders! I have to check myself often with this show. Most of it is related to the kids who stand on the corners and sell drugs in the city and the people they work for. The detectives follow them, listen to them on wiretaps and investigate where the money goes. It is interesting to see how new characters move in and ultimately leave the show one way or another. We are in the 5th and final season now and I’m sad it’s almost over but the politics and how really screwed up and cheap it can be and the way stories are told in the Baltimore Sun are interesting additions to end the series.
The character development in this show is interesting. They tell you just enough about each person that is relevant to keep it interesting. The detectives are actually really interesting and it helps that most people have good and bad things about them. No one is perfect. Even the good guys do some really stupid shit that they couldn’t have thought was going to end well. The main detective's name is McNulty and a British guy plays him, which is just fabulous. I love hearing a British guy using his best Baltimore accent, hon. He’s an alcoholic mess who enlists his kids to help him follow a drug dealer. He’s way off, but makes the show that more real cause most people are.

I can’t wait to see the end.

Friday, September 4, 2009

Speechless


When I was 8 years old, President Jimmy Carter visited Nashville. He was the President of the United States, back when that apparently meant something. All Davidson county schools were off that day so that the kids could go see him speak or at least watch his speech on TV. It was a really big deal. He hadn't been in office long and I remember people being very excited everywhere we went. Seeing the President speak is a memorable event to anyone, I would think. I certainly think that it is for kids.

President Obama plans to speak to the nations school children via a planned, recorded address on Tuesday September 8th, when they come back after Labor Day weekend. How dare he! Why is he unleashing this socialist propaganda on our children?


He is giving a speech on staying in school and working hard for what you want. He also has a worksheet that goes with it. It was originally supposed to be a "write letters about what you could do to help the President." People totally lost their shit over this as if Obama was using the school kids for his own agenda. It has now been changed to "write letters to themselves about how they can achieve their short-term and long-term education goals." Personally I don't think they should have changed it to make the far right whack jobs put a period on it, but I understand where they are coming from. Some school districts across the country are refusing to show the speech and others are allowing the children to stay home if their parents don't want them seeing the President. I think that's prefect. Keep your kid out of school while the President gives a stay in school speech because you can't keep your politics out of it. What kind of message does that send?

Think about what we're saying. We as parents need to sign a permission slip so our kids can watch The President of the United States on television.....What? It is a very sad day for us as a country when this is the case. The speech is about the value of education and the importance of staying in school as part of his effort to cut the dropout rate. Nationwide, 7,000 students drop out every day and only about 70% of students graduate from high school with a regular diploma. He makes an effort to do something about that and he gets shit for it? What the fuck?

I've made no secret that I think George Bush was the worst fucking President in the history of this country and I think history will remember him that way. He did a lot of shitty things, including getting us into wars we shouldn't be in while a generation of men and women die doing the dirty work. However, if he were the one giving the speech, my kid would watch. I wouldn't take him out of school because it might put a thought into his head. God forbid he have a thought! I'm OK with Owen hearing things that differ from what I teach him is right. If you don't see wrong, you don't know what it means to be right. You can't stand against opposing views if you haven't been allowed to hear any.

The bottom line, this is all about politics, just like it always is. The Democrats did it to Bush #41 in 1991 when he spoke at a school in DC, and they're returning the favor. Bush's speech was about basically the same thing and he should have been allowed to give it without getting a bunch of shit for it. Two wrongs don't make a right. Just let President Obama speak without grief and maybe the next President who tries to do something about the dropout rate won't have to face this same bullshit.

Asshole of the day award: Jim Greer, chairman of Florida's Republican Party ~ "Obama would "indoctrinate" school children with "socialist ideology," forcing them "to watch the president justify his plans for government-run health care, banks, and automobile companies, increasing taxes on those who create jobs, and racking up more debt than any other president."

Thursday, September 3, 2009

Twinkle Toes


I signed my son up for ballet. You'd have thought I signed him up for a weekend in a bathhouse. What gives? Why can't a boy take ballet without getting a lot of shit for it? Owen loves music and loves to dance. Some of his friends are taking the same class so it should be a lot of fun for them. Granted, the friends he's taking the class with are girls, but boys take ballet too.

I had to buy him black slippers, black footless tights and a white t-shirt. They also ask us to pull his hair back from his face, which he hates, but he'll be so cute! I can't wait to take pictures of him dressed for class and am very excited for his first day! I really think he'll have such a great time dancing and playing around with his friends.
Why is it that it's cute when a girl does boy things but people totally lose all perspective when a boy does an activity that is traditionally known as a "girl thing." I don't get the double standard. Especially when woman are the main ones keeping that crap alive. The looks I get when I mention Owen is in ballet are hilarious! Women look me up and down like they're smelling onions. Say something....I dare you.
Dance on my boy, dance on!

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Whitefish

Don't you think we've gone way off the deep end of political correctness? Is there anything that won't offend people?

Some things should offend you. Holocaust jokes, 9/11 jokes, someone making fun of your kids or criticizing your dead Grandmother, these are things that should offend you, but some things just aren't offensive and if you're easily offended by every day life, maybe you should just keep your ass at home, locked away where nothing can hurt or offend you. Message boards are one of these places where people just look for things to have a problem with. Unless your lifelong friends live in your computer, I don't see how you can take everything you read online as the gospel and get so bent out of shape by it.

If you feel like someone is going out of their way to offend you, get angry. I get that, but don't try to speak for others by saying "some people might get offended by this." Own what you're saying from behind that curtain. You're obviously the one who is offended, so say that. Also, is it really offensive if someone offers to bring whitefish when you have your son circumcised by a Moyel? Did I miss something?

I think the world just needs to grow a pair.

What is wrong with people?


A friend of my husband's posted this print ad on Facebook today. How incredibly offensive. It was so over the top offensive that I decided to call WWF to ask them about it. The lady who answered the phone told me it was a hoax. She then read a statement to me regarding the ad and WWFs response to it and how they had nothing to do with it and how they thought it was incredibly distasteful, which it is.
Not sure if I believed her or not. WWF could be backtracking. However, someone made this add and that someone who OKd this is a complete idiot and should be fired. It's been what, 8 years since 9/11? I don't know when it's OK to start making fun of something so horrible, but that time hasn't come yet. It certainly isn't time to use the lives lost and fear created on that day for your own needs and to further what you think is important. Using one tragedy to try to stop another will backfire. I wasn't even alive during WWII, but jokes about it just aren't funny.
Wildlife conservation and saving endangered species is important, but not more important than the almost 3,000 lives lost that day. WWF should do more than answer the questions that come in about it. They need to issue a release that is heard by the masses. If you had nothing to do with it, tell people that you didn't print this ad and that you completely disagree with it's message...also, find the person that did this in your name and sue him. If he works for you, FIRE HIS ASS!