Wednesday, April 30, 2008

A Message to Rev. Wright and Barack Obama

OK. Rev. Wright? It's time for you to be quiet now. You've made plenty of points, rightly or wrongly, but now all you're doing is damaging a really good person that needs all of our support, most especially yours. Sometimes the most prudent and helpful thing is to SHUT UP...I don't mean to be rude to you in any way. I may sound strident, and I don't meant to, but the truth of it is you're wrecking a really good thing. You may feel that RIGHT is on your side, or TRUTH, but in this case, as it turns out you're doing more damage than good.

Sometimes, you have to let the children lead. I've learned that as a parent over and over again. I know you are the leader of your flock, but you're damaging one of the fold. You're hurting him a lot.

Obama, I'm so sorry you had to divorce yourself from your Reverend, but I'm glad you did it. That must have been supremely painful for you. More than that, it must be painful and surreal to feel that someone you've known for 20 years turns out to be a bit of a stranger.

I believe Obama. I find him to be filled with integrity to his fingertips. In his Philadelphia speech, most other politicians would have thrown Rev. Wright "under the bus" at that point. I think Obama's integrity and loyalty and sense of morality wouldn't allow for that, but he wanted to clarify where ideas came from and why his Reverend said the things he did, as reprehensible as they may have seemed. He gave a truthful context for Wright's words and tried to explain the grey to a black vs. white media. I think Obama did a great job, and most polls, at the time, showed that the Wright controversy didn't ultimately affect Obama's numbers. People were ready to get over it. And won't shut up.

Obama had to tell the world yesterday that Wright is a stranger, and he doesn't speak for him and he finds his words offensive and antithetical to all his campaign has stood for and all his public service has stood for. And, all of that is true.

Unfortunately, Wright, like many clergy do, looks at the world only through his own lens. They know their own truth. And they see it as THE TRUTH. Wright has a religious filter where he feels God's hand is involved in things and so therefore we don't need to worry about politics and words, because God is ultimately in control. We are His vehicle for action. We are His servants and He is working in our lives. In the Bill Moyers interview, Wright pointed out how the controversy over him led to Obama's Philadelphia speech in the first place and finally an honest discussion about race had begun in this country. Yeah...but, still...please be quiet now.

Maybe Wright is correct and some good will come of this. Maybe it is God's will, but mostly it is him clearing and defending his good name--which of course he has the right to do--but, in so doing, he needs to realize that Obama's succession to the Presidency would be an absolutely soaring and uplifting achievement for the American people. His presidency would be unifying and liberating for this entire country. We would all see each other a little differently. Skin color would melt away a little bit. Differences would fade. We would more easily pull together and find solutions for our shared problems.

Do you realize that we have a lot of shared problems? It's not about black and white any more. It's about water. It's about food prices. It's about bee colony collapse disorder. It's about torture. It's about war. It's about oil. It's about consumption and greed and closed eyes. We are all in deep shit and the more we amuse ourselves, the more we are missing the truth of it all. Amusement is the opiate of the masses at this point. As is religious fervor. Rev. Wright, it's OK if you know you are right in your ideas, but you could say them more quietly. Or you could say them on Sunday to your congregation to serve their needs. You really don't need to disseminate them in the mainstream media. The media which will twist and parse and cut and edit and split until there is no more context. Because, context is no longer important. What you say is what they shape you meant. It's how they split your words apart and shape them into something sharp and biting and cutting and not what you meant...shards of the truth you meant to say. Shards cut. Shards are scary.

Rev. Wright, could you please find the decency of quiet? Some battles need to be fought by other people. If you're hurting the cause, it's time to step aside. Sometimes battles are won by everyone standing up and shouting to the rafters "Enough!" or "No mas!" Sometimes raised, angry voices stop a war. Vietnam went away because people shouted, "Hell no we won't go!" They yelled, "Hey, hey, LBJ, how many kids did you kill today?" It was a time of yelling and shouting and fighting and it worked. It worked! We sent in our last choppers and got out of there. It worked.

That was then. This is now. All we've had in the last few decades is constant shouting and now a man has come who is speaking to us all as if we're smart and reasonable and appealing to our higher selves and his message is resonating because we are all intrinsically dignified. He is not shouting, he is not strident. He is reasonable and smart and wise. People are listening. If they're listening, we no longer have to shout. People are listening!

The revolution will not be televised...oh, but it is. Every day we can see it on youtube. They don't control that and you can see things in real time. You can see snippets of reality and realize that people get what Obama says. The man won Idaho for Christ's sake. Who has an electability problem? It's not about slicing and dicing any more.

You're hurting all of this, Rev. Wright. Please find solace in what you do for your own congregation and the ways in which you and your flock reach out to the greater world. Please stop upstaging Sen. Obama. This country desperately needs him and you're wrecking it.

Quiet is OK. Quiet is not defeat. In it is wisdom and truth and God. Go with God.

Find Peace.

Tuesday, April 29, 2008

10 Things to Know About McCain, From

10 things to know about McCain

Pass this on to a friend »

For all the coverage this week of Senator John McCain's background, there are some important things you won't learn about him from the TV networks. His carefully crafted positive image relies on people not knowing this stuff—and you might be surprised by some of it.

Please check out the list below, and then forward it to your friends, family, and coworkers. We can't rely on the media to tell folks about the real John McCain—but if we all pass this along, we can reach as many people as CNN Headline News does on a good night.

Click here to tell us how many people you can pass it on to—and to see our progress nationally:

10 things you should know about John McCain (but probably don't):

  1. John McCain voted against establishing a national holiday in honor of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Now he says his position has "evolved," yet he's continued to oppose key civil rights laws.1
  2. According to Bloomberg News, McCain is more hawkish than Bush on Iraq, Russia and China. Conservative columnist Pat Buchanan says McCain "will make Cheney look like Gandhi."2
  3. His reputation is built on his opposition to torture, but McCain voted against a bill to ban waterboarding, and then applauded President Bush for vetoing that ban.3
  4. McCain opposes a woman's right to choose. He said, "I do not support Roe versus Wade. It should be overturned."4
  5. The Children's Defense Fund rated McCain as the worst senator in Congress for children. He voted against the children's health care bill last year, then defended Bush's veto of the bill.5
  6. He's one of the richest people in a Senate filled with millionaires. The Associated Press reports he and his wife own at least eight homes! Yet McCain says the solution to the housing crisis is for people facing foreclosure to get a "second job" and skip their vacations.6
  7. Many of McCain's fellow Republican senators say he's too reckless to be commander in chief. One Republican senator said: "The thought of his being president sends a cold chill down my spine. He's erratic. He's hotheaded. He loses his temper and he worries me."7
  8. McCain talks a lot about taking on special interests, but his campaign manager and top advisers are actually lobbyists. The government watchdog group Public Citizen says McCain has 59 lobbyists raising money for his campaign, more than any of the other presidential candidates.8
  9. McCain has sought closer ties to the extreme religious right in recent years. The pastor McCain calls his "spiritual guide," Rod Parsley, believes America's founding mission is to destroy Islam, which he calls a "false religion." McCain sought the political support of right-wing preacher John Hagee, who believes Hurricane Katrina was God's punishment for gay rights and called the Catholic Church "the Antichrist" and a "false cult."9
  10. He positions himself as pro-environment, but he scored a 0—yes, zero—from the League of Conservation Voters last year.10

John McCain is not who the Washington press corps make him out to be. Please help get the word out—forward this email to your personal network. And if you want us to keep you posted on MoveOn's work to get the truth out about John McCain, sign up here:

1. "The Complicated History of John McCain and MLK Day," ABC News, April 3, 2008

"McCain Facts,", April 4, 2008

2. "McCain More Hawkish Than Bush on Russia, China, Iraq," Bloomberg News, March 12, 2008

"Buchanan: John McCain 'Will Make Cheney Look Like Gandhi,'" ThinkProgress, February 6, 2008

3. "McCain Sides With Bush On Torture Again, Supports Veto Of Anti-Waterboarding Bill," ThinkProgress, February 20, 2008

4. "McCain says Roe v. Wade should be overturned," MSNBC, February 18, 2007

5. "2007 Children's Defense Fund Action CouncilĂ‚® Nonpartisan Congressional Scorecard," February 2008

"McCain: Bush right to veto kids health insurance expansion," CNN, October 3, 2007

6. "Beer Executive Could Be Next First Lady," Associated Press, April 3, 2008

"McCain Says Bank Bailout Should End `Systemic Risk,'" Bloomberg News, March 25, 2008

7. "Will McCain's Temper Be a Liability?," Associated Press, February 16, 2008

"Famed McCain temper is tamed," Boston Globe, January 27, 2008

8. "Black Claims McCain's Campaign Is Above Lobbyist Influence: 'I Don't Know What The Criticism Is,'" ThinkProgress, April 2, 2008

"McCain's Lobbyist Friends Rally 'Round Their Man," ABC News, January 29, 2008

9. "McCain's Spiritual Guide: Destroy Islam," Mother Jones Magazine, March 12, 2008

"Will McCain Specifically 'Repudiate' Hagee's Anti-Gay Comments?," ThinkProgress, March 12, 2008

"McCain 'Very Honored' By Support Of Pastor Preaching 'End-Time Confrontation With Iran,'" ThinkProgress, February 28, 2008

10. "John McCain Gets a Zero Rating for His Environmental Record," Sierra Club, February 28, 2008

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Japanese Culture Night

Yes, it was a right good time!

The kids presented various topics: karate, the Japanese flag and how it changed after WW II, WW II and Japanese internment camps, Yakatas and getas (the platform sandals), rice bowls, children's books written in Japanese and about Japanese subjects, the significance of cherry blossoms, Zen gardens, origami, paper fish kites (carp--because they are strong), a world map and showing us all where Japan is and where it is in relation to Hawaii, and bullet trains! They can go 275 MPH. Take that, traffic congestion! Take that, carbon foot print!

We ate: sushi, chocolate covered Pocky sticks (even one marked "Men's"...what do you suppose that means exactly?), various crackers, rice and beef teriyaki, udon noodles with a peanut sauce (a personal favorite of mine--delicious. Yes, it is too!), Ramune soda and Calpico soda.

From 7:00 to 9:00 last night, we were immersed in Japanese culture and laughter with our friends and good conversations and good food.

What was that socialization argument again against homeschooling? Oh, that's right--our kids are maladroit loners. Last night, I guess they were all too busy listening to each other and talking and laughing together, while we adults were doing the same, to realize what a mistake we've made in homeschooling. God, we all better get a clue soon!

Monday, April 28, 2008

No Time to Post...Japanese Culture Night

I don't have time to post today. This will be short.

My kids are having a play date here, and then we are all going over to the pool for a swim, and then we're getting ready for Japanese Culture night at our library for our homeschooling group. My son is going to do a presentation on Anime. My daughter is going to bring in some children's books to show the writing. Also, she has a calendar with women wearing both kimonos and western bride's dresses.

We have to run to a local, huge, Japanese grocery store for Ramune soda in assorted flavors to share with everyone.

Do you know Ramune Soda? It is a drink, and it's a puzzle. Yes. Sudoku in a bottle. No, not really. Do you see the narrowed part of the bottle neck in the photo? That is the spot where a marble will rest once you push it down in there. It's how you open the bottle. The trick is to have the marble catch in that area so it doesn't block the flow of the soda. If you have the bottle tilted wrong, the marble will go to the mouth of the bottle, but not out, and block the drink. It's fun, especially in a drinking race at the Obon Festival. We never participated in a race, but we saw one, and then my daughter lost a loose tooth while eating some noodles. The same thing happened to my friend Unnamed's daughter a few years before.

I've got to go. Jaamataashita, tomodachi!

Sunday, April 27, 2008

Plaintive Cries in the Trees

I've been following a bit of a local tragedy here the past few days. I don't have all of the facts and all I can do is surmise. There have been bird related tragedies here in the past, and I'm guessing it might be the some of the same cast of characters involved now.

Every Spring we have a house finch couple who come and build a nest in this hanging basket we have out on our back porch.

We think it's probably the same couple who comes back year after year--some birds do that. We've had several nests and I can hold a mirror over the nest for the kids to see the eggs, and then the chicks when they hatch. It's very exciting and we all feel a certain kinship with our avian visitors. My husband and I are especially proud of their parenting and see how hard they work to safely and healthfully bring their kids to fledging. They are a great team and love those chicks. I may be anthropomorphizing, but still I believe it. There must be love involved somewhere with all of that work.

The house finch eggs are quite small, not tiny, but small and so it was puzzling for me the first time I looked in the nest and saw 2 house finch eggs and then a third huge egg. Did this come from the same bird? If not, how did it get here? Whose was it? What's going on?

My husband figured it out. He was sitting out on the porch and saw a cowbird come to the nest, grab one of the eggs and hurl it out.


It broke on our porch sliding glass door. Later, we looked into the nest and saw 3 cowbird eggs. They were obviously bigger than the house finch eggs. We didn't know what to do.

That season, the house finches took care of two baby cowbirds, the third one had been pushed out, or fell out. It was all so macabre. The babies of the bird who had destroyed their own eggs, now demanded to be fed, and the house finches fed them.

We were all heart broken. It was cruel and bizarre and awful.

The next year, I read up about cowbirds. They can lay up to 80 eggs in a two month period. That Spring, when the cowbird eggs showed up in the nest in our hanging basket, I meddled in. I felt OK about it, because some of the cowbird eggs will certainly survive elsewhere, and the house finches can get a break here. I carefully took some tongs, and took the eggs out of the nest and put them on the ground near a bush. We thought maybe an animal would come and eat them. The house finches had a good brood of 4 birds and they all fledged beautifully.

That has been our approach ever since. If there are cowbird eggs, we feel no compunction about getting them out of there. There will have to be cowbird chicks elsewhere.

There is no nest in the hanging basket, yet. There still may be. But, there has been a couple of cardinals who've built a beautiful nest in the bush next to our porch. I don't think it's in the best spot. It's at shoulder height, it's right next to the porch where we go in and out of the house. That has never bothered the finches, but their nest is also high above our heads.

I've been surreptitiously glancing into the nest as I pass the bush ever since we realized it was there.
Cardinal Nest

A few days ago, I noticed an egg! It was bigger than a house finch egg, obviously, coming from a bigger bird. There was only one egg, and I lifted the kids up to show them too. Thrilling.

The next day, we were racing around the house playing Ghost in the Graveyard (do you guys know this chasing tag game? It is a riot. My kids learned it from swimmermom and Neo-agrarian's kids.) I have to say here, that playing a chasing tag game with my kids where we race around our house across the front yard and into the back yard is a little embarrassing. I can see how some people would find an adult playing such a game supremely silly and somehow not respectable. I, however, mostly don't care. My kids and I are having a marvelous time and that's important to all of our happiness. Being happy, or at least having opportunities, is part of our schooling around here. There are a lot of paths to happiness and playing tag with mom is just one of them. Memorizing lines and learning a part for a drama group is another. It's not always silly happiness.

So, the next day as we were playing Ghost in the Graveyard, I noticed the egg on the ground, broken, a tiny orange yolk spilling out, a few feet away from the bush . There is just no way to know how that happened. I can't really imagine the cardinal flying away quickly, maybe startled by our play, and then accidentally kicking the egg out. That could have happened. But, birds fly away startled from nests all the time--they can't kick an egg out every time, or even a lot of the time--there wouldn't be any birds left if that were the case.

I don't know for sure that it even was a cardinal egg. I looked online, and found that cardinal eggs and cowbird eggs are remarkably similar. A light blue with mottled brown spots all over. They are about the same size. If it was a cowbird egg, could the cardinal have recognized it as not her own, and then she kicked it out? That's possible.

We don't know the answer to the mystery of the cardinal nest and the broken egg.

It now seems that the cardinals have abandoned the nest. I never see them near it any more, although I have seen the male come to the bush a few times and fly to different trees in our yard and the neighbors' yards. I haven't seen the female in days.

Last night I heard the distinctive cardinal call and I went out into the back yard to see if it was the male or female. It took a while for me to find him. He was at the absolute highest point in the area in the top most branches of a neighbor's maple. He was calling and looking, and calling, and calling, and calling. The female never came. I scanned all around too. She was just gone. He sounded heart broken. Again, I'm anthropomorphizing, but I think birds can love each other. I think they attract one another and they build a life together and share the work of raising their young together. That's love in my book.

The cardinal's plaintive cries went on and on and she never came. I couldn't stand it and went inside just as the sun was setting. He was no longer brilliant red silhouetted in the sky--he was dark and alone and calling for his love.

It is so sad. What has happened?

Saturday, April 26, 2008

When Life Gets in the Way

You know, I try and write here consistently. At the very least, this blog is a journal for my family and me to see how this year goes of living on the Compact. It's fun for us to re-read things here and will be even more interesting in a year. Beyond that, it is a conversation (sometimes one sided) about things that I find very important about life--compact and otherwise. It's a place for me to spill out to all of you my ideas and fears and hopes about our lives and the world.

But, guess what--sometimes life gets in the way of commenting on life. We're just living it here, and have been too busy for me to post this weekend.

Yesterday, we went to our weekly homeschool Park Day where the kids and the adults played and talked, respectively, for about 5 1/2 hours. We do this every week. We have built this amazing, supportive, interesting community and I think we all have grown to depend on the weekly get together as a means of connecting with people, perhaps for the only time during the whole week, who really understand us. We get each other. We get it.

We had to scramble home just as the rain started to come down. My husband had joined us in the park on his way home from work on his bike. He commutes to and from work on his bike almost every day, except when there's a lot of snow on the ground or if there's going to be a huge downpour. A little snow is fine and so is a little rain. My husband has a rain poncho that he drapes over himself and the handle bars which keeps him relatively dry. But, he didn't have it yesterday, and just as he was starting to peddle hard to go home, our friend Mr. B. offered to put husband's bike in his van and give him a ride home. I should explain here that we have a tiny 2 door Saturn. Do you know that it is possible for a family of 4 to live in a suburb without a van? Also, it's possible to only have one car. Except, when we need to get lumber and then we borrow our friend E's van. Or, when there's a downpour, and Mr. B. can give you a ride home. We don't have a van, but there are times when we really appreciate that our friends do.

At home, we had just enough time to get our kids ready for their show. They belong to a performance group and put on little acts about once a month that collects food for a local food pantry. As an aside, we visited a food pantry last year as a field trip for our homeschooling group. It is one of a few in neighboring communities. The one we visited served 600 people a month. Wow. That seems like a lot to me for a population comprised of mostly middle to upper middle income families. There's a lot of need out there and people slipping in between the ever widening cracks. The kids had a wonderful performance last night with their friends and were well appreciated by the audience and everyone brought in food for the food pantry.

Today, we went to my daughter's soccer game. It was very cold and my daughter really wasn't in the game heart and soul. She's at the point in her soccer career, as was my son at this age, where she's pretty comfortable with others hustling for the ball. She doesn't have a whole lot invested in it. She kind of thinks that she's just sharing the ball with the other team rather than being the shark she needs to be and insist that the other team never even touches the ball. She likes to notice how the other girls are all running and who is on the sidelines and interesting cloud formations may catch her eye. While she was goalie today, she did do a great job. To sum up, and no offense to those of you who adore it sucks. From the game, we went to the annual Bike Swap, where I got this suh-weet ride.

Check it out.

That's right. It is a Royal Scot which is really a Raleigh in disguise. 10 points bike lovers!

We came home, had lunch and then went to a community center in another town to see one of the kids in our group dance . She was wonderful! As was my friend M. who is the dance teacher and also danced today.

Then...we came home and then dropped the kids off at their friend's for a little while and my husband and I went to Half Priced Books and got a couple of books for M.'s son who is our kids' friend and we're going to his birthday party next week.

We all got home, had dinner and I read two chapters of On the Banks of Plum Creek to the kids and they went to bed to read to themselves.

I love it when life gets in the way.

Thursday, April 24, 2008

It's Only a Flesh Wound!

I don't really think Hillary Clinton has much of a sense of humor. She's stiff, occasionally she can get a good laugh, but she really is deathly serious most of the time and is fighting in really unbecoming ways.

She's fighting dirty: disingenuously injecting Hamas and Farrakhan during the debate (she knows there's no meaningful association with Obama there!), keeping questions about Obama's association with Rev. Wright in the forefront (even though we're not VOTING for Rev. Wright, and even though he was welcome in the Clinton Whitehouse to offer counsel during Bill's unfortunate Monica Lewinski affair fallout), 3 AM ads, suggesting that pledged delegates can actually switch their alliance and so should vote for her even though they're pledged for Obama, and so on.

She's also dismissing giant portions of the democratic base when it serves her: the black vote doesn't matter, caucus states don't matter, latte drinking liberals don't matter (um, yeah they do), democratic activists don't matter like the good folks at who started out as a group to urge the congress to Move On from the censure of Bill Clinton when he was embroiled in the whole Monica Lewinski thing...nice to turn on them now, Hillary.

Hillary wants to include things she really shouldn't when it serves her--Michigan and Florida now do matter (Obama wasn't even on the ballot in Michigan--at the request of the National Democratic Party higher-ups to punish Michigan's early primary--who's the team player?).

All of this energy from the Clinton camp is silly at this point because Obama has won in all of the ways he needs to to be the Democratic nominee for President. Hillary really should be joining in supporting Obama now to defeat McCain. Instead she is calling Obama chicken and wants to continue to fight.

After all, to Hillary's way of thinking, it's only a flesh wound!

Now, let's see a video of Hillary fighting the good King, I mean Obama.

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

The Perfect Spring Day

It is soooo beautiful out today. My kids are out in the back yard, and I'm going to join them in a minute.

They have already implemented prong one of the three pronged attack against the dandelions. My son really hated picking the few dandelions that he and my daughter found in the back yard, but then he thought that maybe we can put them in a vase and enjoy them inside or on the picnic table on the porch! Yep, we can--it's not all bad. It's a good thing that we all like dandelions, because I think my house is going to be overtaken by them.

I still don't get it. Who could really hate the sunshineyness that they exude? Look at these images and judge for yourself. If we really look closely, these common intruding things are actually sooo beautiful. Kids are so lucky and wise that they still see the magic more readily and no longer have to look closely to see the obvious. What silly adults we all are...

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Monday, April 21, 2008

Fluff Piece

On the left here, you see an adorable baby chick. I might even say a fluffy chick. This is some anonymous internet chick. My kids have known real chicks at a nearby working farm we visit that is run by a community park district. The chicks squawk and dart around the penned in chicken yard and my kids desperately want to touch them. They have touched chicks at their cousins' hobby farm, where my sister-in-law and brother-in-law have: 45 wooded acres, 6 horses, 2 donkeys, a rescued turkey (it was secreted away to them in the dead of night by some neighbor children to save it from the Thanksgiving table...), a couple of peacocks (so my brother-in-law can feel like the landed gentry of the 18th century Thomas Jefferson agrarian ideal) roaming and roosting directly over the parked cars (did you know peacocks roost, and then shit on the cars below?), a flock of chickens, a dog and several cats.

My in-laws get up early in the morning and spend the next hour or so feeding all of the animals and gathering eggs and maintaining all of the animals in the various ways they need to maintain them. They do this for fun. As I said they have a hobby farm--this is how they get their kicks. Different strokes for different folks, I say. I have enough problems maintaining a cat and a fish.

I say to daughter, "Daughter, do you want to feed the fish?" It's her fish. Daughter says to me, "No. That's OK. You can do it!" So, I am the fish keeper. I can't imagine livestock in addition to that.

Over here on the right you see a dandelion puff. It's a fluffy ball of seeds ready to scatter on the wind. Or, as my kids would see it ripe in the middle of our yard, ready to scatter on their blowing as hard as they possibly can to get every single seed out of there and spread fully across our own unkempt lawn and onto the neighbors' immaculately kept lawns. We don't have a lawn service. More than that, we don't do our own weed-and-feed application in the Fall and the Spring.

That's not to say that we haven't, because we have. Many moons ago, we did it a couple of times. My husband filled the hopper of our fertilizer/yucky chemical spreader and walked up and down the yard in neat, uniform rows letting the pellets sprinkle out all over. Our lawn didn't really notice the difference.

My kids love to blow the seeds out of the dandelion heads and they get a wish if they blow them all out. If nothing else, this practice is increasing their lung capacity.

They also like to take the dandelion stems and split them lengthwise into several strips and then float them in a bowl of water. The strips curl up--we don't know why--it's amazing to see.

I feel responsible to the other conscientious neighbors who do not let a single blade of grass go astray, and certainly do not have dandelions or even Queen Anne's Lace growing in their yard. One time, we let the lawn go and didn't need to mow it because it was so dry, and Queen Anne's Lace popped up in the middle of our back yard. That's a prairie flower. It knew it was safe to grow in our untouched yard. That would never happen in our neighbors' chemical laden yards.

As I said, I do feel a little responsible to the patches of pure green surrounding our house. So, I'm trying to implement a three-pronged dandelion removal system--the kids are to pick dandelions whenever they see them and not let them go to seed. I am to try and dig out the dandelion plants whenever I see them to not let them even flower. My husband is to sprinkle clover seed all over the lawn after he mows to help fix nitrogen and nourish the lawn, so the grass can crowd out the weeds. Or as we see them around here, the little spots of happy sunshine.

On the left here, you see a jar of Fluff. Well, someone was being smart-assy and did a satirical jar of Fluff. If you know the real Fluff, you know it does not say "what the Fluff?" on it.

I have fond memories of Fluff. My mom used to make us kids sandwiches with it in the early 70s before she realized that nutrition can effect people. A health food store opened up in our local shopping area and she never looked back. We started getting pita bread. Unheard of! We got granola. We got whole wheat bread. We stopped using margarine and stopped buying Wonder Bread! My mom was quite radical.

But, before the health food store came to town, my mom would occasionally make us fluffernutter sandwiches. Do you want the recipe? Here it is: Two slices of Wonder bread, Fluff, and peanut butter. Spread one slice of bread with the Fluff, and the other with peanut butter (preferably some peanut butter with additional salt, sugar and hydrogenated oil) and put together to make a sandwich. Delicious!

My poor, deprived kids will never know the wonder that is fluffernutter sandwiches unless they explore that culinary cul-de-sac on their own as adults. I can't in good conscience take them there. Oh, but those early 70s were good. I do remember the glue-like texture of the bread sticking to the roof of my mouth, and the fluffy feeling of the marshmallow Fluff and the creamy saltiness of the peanut butter. Heaven...

Those were three examples of fluff. Fluff is not always bad. Right? What fluff do you like? Tell me about the fluff in your life. Tell me your fluff memories.

Sunday, April 20, 2008

New Poll About Fluff Pieces

I just made my husband read my last post and listen to Incense and Peppermints, and he kind of was derisive, a little. He sort of thought I just called that post in. My husband feels that I am a good blogger--thank you--and thinks that I can skip a day if I don't have anything really compelling to write.

Yeah, I could do that.

The whole point of this blog is to chronicle how this year of living on the compact is working for us. That's our hook. It's our gestalt. It's our prime directive. I'm trying to raise people's awareness of what, how and when we consume and to suggest that there may be a different way for us all to live. I think I'm probably preaching to the choir a lot of the time. But, there may be some people who have stumbled across here and are curious and are nudged a little by what they read here. I'm not trying to enlighten any one--that's not my job. I know I always feel defensive when someone is trying to enlighten me. I don't like when they speak pointedly about something, like I don't realize how they're talking?! I really do get that you're trying to correct me. Come on!

I'm just sharing here. I think that's a little different. You get it, or you don't. You can go enlighten yourself, while I'm working on my own understanding of everything, and my kids' and therefore I don't have time or the arrogance to think to know where to steer you too. Go find your own path. And when you get there, maybe you could share with me what you've found out. I need all the help I can get.

I do want to have serious discussions about the serious workings of the world. I think we're all in trouble. I do. I look around and am seeing a whole lot of fiddling while I see flames. Other people see flames too. When you are concerned and sensitive to the world's problems, it can be a heavy load to carry. It's good to know you're not alone in your concern and it's good to lighten the load every once in a while.

Which brings me to fluff pieces. I've written a few. This, this, and this are all fairly fluffy pieces. I think they're fun. They're not ground shaking. You're not going to get blown away and inspired to go save sea turtles looking at those posts.

Anarchist Emma Goldman is supposed to have said, "If I can't dance, I don't want any part of your revolution!" I think it's good to have joy and happiness. It doesn't serve the world to be depressed. My kids are beautiful. I want a whole world for them and their progeny. In the mean time, while they're here, I want to enjoy my life with them. Yes, I see trouble all around me, but I can't possibly be sunken by it--not for myself, my husband, my kids or the world.

The poll at the left addresses this idea. Do you want fluff pieces here ever? Is it fun to have a break from garbage gyres in the Pacific and Condeleeza Rice OKing torture? Or, should we not have a break from that stuff? Should we know even more about it? These are worrying times and my posts should reflect that and not be silly.

Go vote! Let me know what you think.


Incense and Peppermints

I like this song. I was born in 1966, but I really think that that was about a decade too late. Oh well--I can dig youtube. And isn't Strawberry Alarm Clock a great name for a band?

When Gorbachov was temporarily overthrown, I thought there should be a band called The Coup Plotters...

Enjoy this freaky groove.


Saturday, April 19, 2008

Raspberry Plants

My good friend, M. gave me a raspberry plant a couple of weeks ago. I just now was able to tease out the separate shoots and plant 10 little earnest stems with stretching, reaching roots that look like thin bean sprouts. These guys are trying so hard!

The very cool thing about raspberry and blackberry plants is that when their canes arch over, fall to the ground and touch, the tip grows roots on the spot and gets even more nourishment coming up into the cane for more fruiting. So, my plan is to let the canes arch over, and just get a brambly area full of fruiting raspberry plants.

I looked up how to plant raspberry plants, and one site said that I really need to prep the soil for about 2 years. Um...that's not going to happen. I don't even have compost here right now. And, I'm not sure if I'm going to plant a cover crop in between the plants, as the site suggested I really should. The best I can say, is that I might weed, if I'm absolutely forced to. Also, I'm not going to put in a trellis to support the plants. Read my lips: Not. Going. To. Do. It. Not a "T" formation, nor a "V" formation. We're just going to let Nature do her thing and see what happens.

At Park Day, a bunch of us parents conspired to buy thornless blackberry plants from a catalog and we'll help each other plant those up and also prairie flowers and other native species. My friend, Neo-agrarian, told me I can weave the blackberry canes through my fence and get lots of fruit that way. Since I'll be planting a thornless variety, I can easily pull out the old canes as I need to, and prune any wayward malcontents.

Enough chit-chat here. My daughter is sitting in the tub, and when she gets out I'm going to prune her hair. It's Spring, we're busy around here!

Friday, April 18, 2008

Late Post Today

Sorry for this late post today. My kids and I went to our weekly open gym/park day today and we were so busy I couldn't post. We were at the park from 11:30 in the morning to 5:00 in the afternoon.

The kids played and talked together, the parents talked together, the kids and parents talked and played together. At one point the kids were playing "Truth or Dare", which for this innocent set of kids meant coming across the playground to the adults and singing at us, and then running away overcome with fits of giggles and guffaws from the rest of the kids.

My kids and I got to the gym first, which is rare, and we played in the gym with basketballs for a while. I also taught my kids all about the wonderful game of 2 square. It seems my son has game and now he really loves it. When we got home, my husband played Canadian 2 square, with him on one side of a line in our driveway and the kids on the other side.

I see a lot more red rubber balls in our future.

Thursday, April 17, 2008

Barack Obama Day After the Debate, April 17th

Here's Obama today.

Watch as he dusts off after the dust up.

The Debate in Philadelphia, or the Mickey Mouse Club

Bitter. Wright. Weathermen. Flag lapel pin.

That is all. For the first 45 minutes or so of last night's debate--those are the pressing issues that ABC's Charles Gibson and George Stephanopoulos pursued, complete with interruptions to really pin Obama down on these vital, vital issues.

Now, you may go back to your regularly scheduled lives. No hard questions or real issues here. Nothing to see--move along.

Sniper fire anyone? No, not even that. Not really. They didn't really hold Hillary's feet to the fire...sniper fire, that is. Obama could have, but he tried to steer the conversation away from the divisive, distracting silliness to real issues. The ABC people should have called her on it and didn't. And by the way, what kind of apology was that that she gave for her bold faced lie about Bosnia sniper fire? She speaks so much, it was a mistake?!

I talk a lot. When the kids are playing and my friends and I can have a few moments to string a complete sentence together and actually share it with each other, we all find a lot to talk about. But, it is amazing to me that not one of us has mistakenly said we were being fired at by rebels, or soldiers or insurgents. We've not told each other that. To my knowledge, not one of my friends has ever told me that she, or he, has been responsible for the successes of their spouses. They may have supported them in various ways, but not one of them has ever claimed their accomplishments as their own.

Like, I've never told my friends, just because I have so many words spilling out of me, that I can take apart a Schwinn bicycle, fix it up, and put it back together again. My husband can do that, blindfolded. I, however, can not. Also, I've never claimed that I designed a really cool thing of some sort for my husband's company. That scary, powerful electrical thing over there? Yep--I designed it. I have so much to say, I might sometimes lie, er, uh...speak in a mistaken way.

Someone should have called Hillary on that; instead, she was given a complete pass. You'd think that she wouldn't be able to get away with such a bold lie. She's been exposed! We all saw the poetry reciting, flowers holding little girl greeting Hillary with daughter Chelsea at her side right there in the heart of Bosnia at the airport in Tuzla. Then again, Bush recently admitted that he approved torture and absolutely nothing has happened, so what's a lie about sniper fire among friends and prospective voters? Unless the people vote for Obama in which case it will be the super delegates that are important.

What's a lie among friends and super delegates?

Where are people asking real questions that go to the heart of real issues that we all face?

Go here. Go, to see questions and reporting that the mainstream media neglects.

There are some things happening in the world that are important to all of us, but the Mickey Mouse Club won't show you.

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Is Torture OK With You?

How do we want to conduct ourselves with the rest of the world? Do we want to lead and inspire and help? Or do we want to bully, and steal and lie?

Condeleeza Rice lied. She said that no one condoned torture. The truth is it was known, encouraged and directed. Bush knew.

Is this America? Is this really the way to prosecute a war against terrorism? If it were not completely inhumane and unconscionable to torture suspects (who are mostly held without charge), still, does this help in any way?

Let your voice be heard. Sign the petition to call for Condeleeza Rice's resignation. Sign for a call for justice. I signed.

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

The Universe is Cool

Guess what we just saw at the Adler Planetarium in Chicago with our homeschool group.
We saw our closest star, the sun, through a telescope. We learned that it is 19 million miles away and is a third generation star (there being only three generations so far since our universe began). Also, the space shuttle, going 17,000 miles per hour, would get to the sun in 7 months...and then fry up into a crisp. So, it's not in the works at NASA. At this point. As far as we know. Maybe.

The kids loved pushing a button to blast a hollow glass marble downward at 500 MPH into a pan of very fine sand where it made craters with radiant marks. Coo-el. The kids also went down the history of astronomy hallway where they saw robes to don and become medieval scholars. They took turns pretending to read from a treatise written in Latin (or Greek) and spoke to each other about molecules, and gravity and the water cycle. You know, it's not easy to leave your Midwestern suburban reality and become a medieval scholar, but by God, those kids did it. I was convinced.

Back at home, on terra firma, we are having an early dinner and then it's on to soccer practice.

What did you do today? What was interesting, or new, or frustrating, or amazing for you or your family?


Monday, April 14, 2008

Uh Oh...

I don't like to shop. I don't like going in stores. I don't like the hunt. I don't like getting caught up in fashion and feeling compelled to keep up.

I want my kids to have simple, cotton clothing uncluttered with ads for the Gap, or Old Navy or anything else. I don't like cartoon characters all over kids' clothing. I don't like words like "Princess" or sayings like "I didn't do it..." or anything like that in glittery printing on the front of a shirt. I don't want my kids to be walking billboards or to look smart-assy or to look smarmy.

Having said all of that, it is with that set of sensibilities that has always drawn me to Hanna Andersson to buy a few things for my daughter. It is very expensive clothing, but it wears well and is simple and innocent without being cutesy poo and saccharine.

I've discovered that it's been difficult to find clothes for my kids at thrift stores. I don't like to shop and that's what you have to do at Goodwill. You have to really hunt for simple, clean, cotton clothing. The other day I was struck with the realization that I could shop at ebay and get my daughter used items from Hanna Andersson and I wouldn't have to drag the kids out to a store to paw through racks and racks of clothes!

I've never bought from ebay. It's new to me to sit here and surf through items and put in bids. I've kind of gotten caught up in seeing these great deals for my daughter and being fed up with things I'm finding in thrift shops.

So do you think it's a good thing, or a bad one, that I'm currently winning 17 bids?

Uh oh...

Sunday, April 13, 2008

I am Helen Reddy

You know what's awful? When you go up to visit your parents over the weekend with the kids to see a Peter Pan ballet (which was wonderful) and you're sitting there relaxed and unsuspecting on Sunday morning, and then the horn on your car in their driveway starts blaring for NO REASON at all and you don't quite know what to do right away. Yeah. That's what happened today.

You know what's great? That when you call your husband for help back home he tells you you can either unplug one of the terminals on the car battery, or find the fuse and unplug that for the horn, or crawl under the car and disconnect the wire for the horn. Really? I can do one of those things? I don't think I can crawl under and find the wire, but I'm sure with a wrench I'm plenty capable of loosening one of the battery terminals. I can do that. So, you know what I did? I got an array of wrenches from my Dad and did loosen the terminal on the battery and then the unbelievable loud horn, if I could find the fuse box, and find the horn fuse, and take it out---we'd be set! At least enough to get me the 2 1/2 hour drive to back home.

You know what you should always keep in your glove box? You should always keep your car manual there...which we do! So, I found out where the fuse box is inside the engine, and then I opened the box up and saw the schematic of the fuses on the lid and had to figure out which one was the horn fuse.

You know what threw me off? Yeah, the big word, "Horn" with no fuse had me confused for a long time. There was a horn space and no fuse was there. Then how had the horn been blaring? And by the way, when I say blaring, I don't mean that kind of sporadic, rhythmic, blasts of car horn that are the completely ignored security system for lots of SUVs. No. I'm talking about a continuous blast that must have disturbed the neighbors for the long time that it took me to figure out how to disconnect the car battery.

You know who came through for me? My Dad that's who. He looked at all of the words on the fuse box lid and found a much smaller one marked "horn" and that was the correct one that corresponded with the actual horn. Good eyes, Dad. So, I took out the fuse and then reconnected the battery terminal to see if I had gotten the right one, and there was no sound. Peace. Quiet. No blaring horn. Ahhhh.

So that was all right.

Another time, way back before I had kids, before my husband and I were married, I was driving into Chicago to visit with a friend and her kids at the Children's Museum at Navy Pier. It was a beautiful summer day. A little bit north and west of downtown Chicago, I discovered that I had a flat. I pulled off to the side and sat there for a moment. Oh. My. God! I've never changed a tire! I'm alone in the city. I don't have a car phone. I don't belong to AAA. What the ___! Damn it! Plus, I'm lookin' pretty cute in my kicky little mini summer dress (think 90s fashion) which is making me feel even more vulnerable than I really am and it's 3:30 in the afternoon...

I went into a local greasy spoon down the street, got on the pay phone, called my boyfriend (husband-to-be) crying and told him that he had to come and fix the tire for me. Yeah, except he didn't want to come all that way because by the time he got on the road, it would be rush hour and coming to me east on the Kennedy expressway would mean he wouldn't even be able to get to me until at the earliest around an hour and a half later. What?! Where's the shining armor? Where's the white steed? What do you mean "No."?!

Then my husband appealed to my intellect and explained to me that a car manual is written for morons. Well, it's written so even a moron can understand it. It IS in English. AND, he would totally explain to me over the phone right then and there how to change a tire. So he did. I got it. I was all over it. Jack on the actual frame of the car and not on the bumper or someplace equally stupid--check! Jack it up just a little, but keep the tire in contact with the road so it won't spin and take the lug nuts off--check! Lug nuts in the hubcap so you don't lose them--check! Take the tire off, and put the spare on--check! Reverse process to tighten the lug nuts back on--check! Put hub cap back on--check! Easy peasy!

Men, sometimes in small groups, or walking alone on the sidewalk coming towards me, did offer to help me. They saw a woman in distress and were willing to lend a hand. But, that freaked me out even more. What if they had nefarious designs on me? What would I do then, in my kicky little dress? Besides, I could change the tire. My boyfriend said I could--he had every faith in my ability--and he had walked me through it. I KNEW what I was doing. I just waved off every offer of help. I was fierce! I was strong!

Tire changing IS easy. It's no big deal. Do you know who felt empowered by her newly acquired tire changing ability? Me, that's who. I am hot shit when it comes to tire changing, or horn fuse removal too now.

I am Helen Reddy. When my kids are old enough, I'm going to teach them how to change a tire too. Or, my husband will teach them. My daughter will be Helen Reddy. My son will just be my capable son. You know, able to change a tire--just like his mom.

I am woman, hear me roar
In numbers too big to ignore
And I know too much to go back an' pretend
'cause I've heard it all before
And I've been down there on the floor
No one's ever gonna keep me down again

Oh yes I am wise
But it's wisdom born of pain
Yes, I've paid the price
But look how much I gained
If I have to, I can do anything
I am strong (strong)
I am invincible (invincible)
I am woman

You can bend but never break me
'cause it only serves to make me
More determined to achieve my final goal
And I come back even stronger
Not a novice any longer
'cause you've deepened the conviction in my soul


I am woman watch me grow
See me standing toe to toe
As I spread my lovin' arms across the land
But I'm still an embryo
With a long long way to go
Until I make my brother understand

Oh yes I am wise
But it's wisdom born of pain
Yes, I've paid the price
But look how much I gained
If I have to I can face anything
I am strong (strong)
I am invincible (invincible)
I am woman
Oh, I am woman
I am invincible
I am strong

I am woman
I am invincible
I am strong
I am woman

Saturday, April 12, 2008

My Husband's Post

"You know what? I have always hated writing essays. Hated it... Hated it... Hated it... There you go!"

Friday, April 11, 2008

It's Friday--Let's Rock Out

I like music--all kinds of music. I really like Rock from the 60s and 70s. I also like Classical music, sometimes. And: Jazz, Rag Time, Blues, Folk, Reggae, and music from now even, but I'm not cool enough to know if it has a label, or even what that label is. I'm not plugged in. I'm a homeschooling mom who is not too hip and never was even pre-kids. I know I'm cool, but not in the mainstream way.

I never got the mainstream--it doesn't make sense to me. It's mediocre and common and boring and often times wrong. What is there to like there? What is interesting there? It's just group think, isn't it?

My musical offerings here, therefore, will not always be from the haut monde, but I'm like that. What are you going to do?

Enough talk. Let's rock out.

Thursday, April 10, 2008

Homeschool Field Trip, or Look at What's in a Pond

This morning the kids and I went to a nature center with our homeschooling group where we learned about food chains and magfly nymphs and dragonfly nymphs (they're huge!) and snails and other sundry forms of pond life. And we learned that when the workers at the center scoop up a big bucket of pond life because it's raining outside and we'll just do the observing inside with trays and plastic lids and magnifying glasses, they end up with two little Blue Gills, the state fish for Illinois! We further learned that with perseverance and good balancing skills, you can scoop up the blue gill and put it in a big glass jar for better observation with nothing more than a plastic spoon.

We also learned that some of the kids can make great frog sounds. Also, that one of the kids had once seen a swan.

We learned that deciding whether a squirmy, skittering creature in the water in the plastic lid really is a magfly nymph is really difficult. It could have been another kind of nymph that I don't remember the name of now. Suffice it to say, we learned that the lakes, ponds, rivers, etc. are teeming with life right now. We also learned that sometimes one of the kids doesn't mind getting his hands dirty when he's mixing up compost in plastic buckets before filling pots and planting sunflower seeds to take home. And, sometimes, his mother reported to me, this same kid will freak out if a little yogurt gets on his hand at lunch.

I learned that my daughter loves to raise her hand and answer questions. I also learned that after the kids became various creatures in food chains my daughter thought it would be fun if everyone acted like the creature that was on their card for the rest of the time at the nature center. She politely asked the instructor if they could do so. She doesn't know that there's an agenda here. Homeschooler! I learned that my daughter knows about prairie burns and that they, in her words, "help the grass and plants grow quicklyer!" Yep. That they do.

I learned that my almost 10 year old son kind of felt insulted when the very nice instructor asked everyone if they know what compost is. There was a certain tone to his voice when he said, "Yes." that seemed like it would be followed by, "Duh!" Gotta try to soften that edge a little bit, I think. Smart kids don't like to be patronized, or insulted, or condescended to do they? Although, to give him some credit, he did not say "Duh!" So, we got that going for ourselves. He also shot his hand upward whenever a question was asked of the group with the same kind of Arnold Horshack zealousness that my daughter displayed.

I learned that the instructor was impressed when he noted that the group of about 16 children was quiet and was hanging on his every word. I also learned that a group of interested kids sitting on the floor and slowly encroaching on the instructor as he shows different kinds of nests can be a little overwhelming and Night-of-the-Living-Deadish, but in a happy, interested way. And then I learned that even though he asks them nicely to give him a little more room, they will back away and then will slowly get closer and closer again any way.

Lastly, I learned that the parents in our group really enjoy each other and like to talk at the end of any outing and that the kids do too. Socialization anyone?

Wednesday, April 9, 2008

Obama Everywhere!

Where's Obama? Here's Obama. There's Obama. Obama everywhere!

Tuesday, April 8, 2008

Chronicles of Narnia

We just checked out the Chronicles of Narnia DVD from the library. I get to go watch it now with my magical kids.

Go have a magical day yourselves.

Monday, April 7, 2008

The Sweet Smell of Success

I think people can easily ramble off a huge list of the attributes of babies that they love. Like I bet you could say, "They're so sweet! And they're so little, and they have wispy hair." Or you could say, "They have such clear, innocent eyes. They coo and love to reach for their toes. They reach out their little arms to be picked up and cuddled." You could say all of that, right? Some people would go on and on about how sweet babies smell. "I can just inhale them." I could say all of that too.

You know what I could never say? "I think my baby needs to smell like citrus and flowers...maybe like some kind of cologne instead of their sweet skin and milky breath. If only there was a product to mask the natural goodness of babies and instead make them smell like Fabreeze or something. Who can help us find this magical product? Who?"

Johnson & Johnson that's who. Look at their product...Baby Cologne!! I am not even joking. Look.

Doesn't this seem like it should be a joke? How exactly did that meeting go at Johnson & Johnson's? "You know Bill, we really could expand our baby care line if we somehow made people think an adult product of some sort was OK for infants." "Hey yeah, Jennifer you're right! Maybe like deoderant? Do you think we could swing that?" "No, I don't think so Bill. Babies don't really sweat like that...babies smell good too don't they? And they have wispy hair..." "Yeah, I like how they smell. God, if only we could bottle that..." "Are you thinking what I'm thinking?!" "Yes!" In unison they cry out, "BABY COLOGNE!! How great would that be?!" High fives all around!

Ah, the sweet smell of success. Well done Johnson & Johnson. Maybe you could have a whole Spa line. Think how teeny tiny the toe spacers would be for pedicures. Adorable! You could have sweet pastels, or fun primary colors. Maybe some fun graphics. Oh, think where this could all go!

Sunday, April 6, 2008

In Honor of Charlton Heston

Charlton Heston died yesterday. I didn't like his politics or his stand on guns. Also, his acting wasn't that great. But come on...

In a post-apocalyptic world, would an astronaut from thousands of years earlier who had traveled through space and time in suspended animation (And really, who hasn't traveled that way?) and who tried to free the now oppressed humans be so bad? I don't think so.

Travel well, Mr. Heston.

Saturday, April 5, 2008



My husband, my kids, my kids when they were my babies, homeschooling my kids, all kids, all babies, my friends, my family, the family of man (OK and womyn), roasted garlic, laughter, irony, wild flowers, thunderstorms, foreign films, cow bell...I have to have more cow bell, my wicked cool Romika shoes that I got pre-compact, my cat, when I catch my cat in pre-vomit mode and can get her out to the porch successfully, adventures, poignancy, crying at sad movies, the shape of certain water towers and not others, the way dandelion stems curl up when you split them and put them in water, Harold and Maude, chocolate croissants from Trader Joe's (the baked ones are good, but the frozen uncooked ones are even better!), stickin' it to the man and this magnet that I don't feel I can get and put up on my fridge until the kids are waaay older...

Oh yeah, and sunsets and rainbows too!


The white racist, homophobic, patriarchal, bullshit paradigm, lies, liars, and the lying liars who tell them, hypocrisy, arrogance, mean people, shallow people (although sometimes they can be fun!!), not catching my cat before she vomits all over our living room rug, or downstairs rug, or the rug in our bedroom, teasing of the kid-to-kid variety, not getting enough sleep, ABBA-really I can't even get into the very high camp factor there, ice berg lettuce, cheap plastic toys, the idea that formula is equivalent to breast milk, the idea that homebirth is dangerous, the idea that just because someone is a woman she is entitled to get all the women's vote and be crowned the nominee even though she hasn't won as many primaries or popular vote as another certain individual (wink, wink--I think you all know who I'm talking about here!), and drivers when they cut into my lane at the last moment to move over because of lane closures because of construction...HELLO! You got the notice 1/4 mile back just like everyone else that the lane is closing--move it over and don't insist that I let you in at the last moment, even though I will because I'm cool like that.

Friday, April 4, 2008

Mall of America!

My husband just returned from a business trip to Minneapolis. He was there for a few days and had some time to kill. Great! He was going to be able to take pictures of the Mall of America, one of the biggest malls in the world. He could show all of the excess and marketing and ways to show all of us how meaningless and awful our lives are unless we buy the things the stores are selling.

He could have done all of this except I didn't put the newly charged battery in the camera that he carefully packed.

That, and he never left the hotel to go across the street to check it out. He couldn't bring himself to do it.

That's OK husband. We'll all just try and picture store after store of shiny new beautifully, excessively packaged stuff that we don't need.

Thanks though. Welcome home!

Thursday, April 3, 2008

The Logic of Hillary '08

This seems like an accurate dramatization of what happened in Michigan.

What do you think?

People Doing Homecooking--Turn Away From Public Kitchens

Home Eating a Threat to Public Kitchens?
State Allows Growing Trend of Eating At Home

by Angela Paul

April 13, 2099
Reunited Press

After much heated debate on the house floor, legislation was passed today to allow a growing number of families to cook meals for their families in their homes. The children must have annual physical examinations to assure proper growth and weight gain. Attempts to require weekly meal plans and monthly kitchen inspections were voted down.

A spokesperson from the National Association of Nutritionists (NANs) condemns this decision. "These children are being denied the rich socialization and diversity that is an essential part of the eating process. Without the proper nutritional background, it is impossible for the average person to feed their own children. We, as child advocates, see this as a step backwards and speak out for the sake of the children who cannot speak for themselves."

Homecooking parents say the benefits of eating at home include increased family unity and the ability to tailor a diet to a particular need. Elizabeth Crocker, a home cook, states, "We started cooking and eating at home when we realized that my son had a severe allergy to eggs. The public kitchens required him to take numerous medications that had serious side effects in order to counteract his allergy. We found that eliminating eggs was a simpler method and our son has thrived since we began doing so."

After this experience, the Crockers decided to home cook for all of their children, and converted their media room into a kitchen. Elizabeth says, "We have experienced so much closeness as we have explored recipes and spent time cooking together and eating together. We have a dining circle with other families where we sometimes share ideas and meals together."

The Crocker children have done well physically under their mother's care, weighing in at optimum weights for their ages and having health records far above average. It should be noted that Mrs. Crocker, while not a professional nutritionist, has a family history rich with nutritionists and home economists. "Surely the success of the Crocker children is due to the background of their mother," responded the spokesman from NANs. "The results they have achieved should not be viewed as normative." Mrs. Crocker counters that her background was actually a hindrance to the nutritional principles she follows. "Our paternal great-grandmother was a home economist, but she prepared most meal from pre-made mixes. In our homecooking we try not to duplicate public-kitchen meals, but to tailor our meals to the needs and preferences of our children."

In a related issue, legislation is in committee that would provide oversight for the emerging homecooking movement. Says the Home Eating Legal Defense Association (HELDA): "We want to provide umbrella kitchens to aid parents in the complicated tasks of feeding their children. Many families lack the expertise of the Crocker family, yet desire to eat at home. As we have seen, the umbrella kitchens meet the needs of all concerned. We are happy to provide this service."

Wednesday, April 2, 2008

Tuesday, April 1, 2008

Hillary Didn't Support NAFTA...Uh, Yes She Did

I don't even know what NAFTA is. Is it some way for me to get really cheap things that I don't need? Oh. That's OK then.

Any way, Hillary says that she never supported NAFTA, but it seems there is video showing that she did. Whatever!!

If it's a way for us all to get the things we need and want, then what's the big deal?!

God! Just lighten up, people!

Ooooh! Pretty rings. Look--shiny!

Obama and Clinton Get Along

Look. I don't know what all of the fuss is about. I'm not very poilitical. I don't get that stuff--it's BORING!! All I know is I saw this youtube video of Obama and Clinton dancing together.

How angry can they be with one another?

What Were We Thinking?!

What were we thinking?! NOT buy anything new for a YEAR??!! That's crazy!

We were pulling all of your legs. It was a joke. God, you guys fell hard for that! Of course we're buying new stuff! Why wouldn't we? Seriously. Who in their right mind would deny themselves things ever? If you can get it--why wouldn't you?

We always buy this. It's a Ford Excursion. Every year we just go get a new one.

And this, our wii system. See our hands holding the remotes? We play with these all of the time. Well, we alternate between this and our other game systems--we have 5 of them.

And we especially appreciate these. We love our iPods and always want the newest colors--they're so pretty! We just throw them out when we want a new color. Hey, why not?!

And, I can't live without these. Dooney & Bourke (for Spring or with pastels--so feminine), or Michael Kors. I love those purses with my Hudson Jeans. I am hawt!

Really, it was all just a joke. Of course people in San Francisco stopped buying new things for a year--fruitcakes! What's new there? I just wanted to see people's reaction to such an insane idea.

You know what everyone needs to do? Just chill and relax and do whatever feels good for you. Life is short! Why worry about climate change (if there even is such a thing...), or the war in Iraq? I'm sure the powers that be know what they're doing--they've studied all of this stuff, I haven't. They're the experts. Why worry about stuff that I can't change and have no impact on?

The best we can do is just try to get as much stuff for ourselves and not worry too much about each other. Even poor people can afford things from Walmart--what's the problem?! If it makes ME happy, isn't that enough? I mean, then I'm one more happy person in the world and that helps everyone right? That doesn't sound selfish does it? Besides, what has everyone else ever done for me? Hmmmmm? None of this thinking is selfish.

I'll explain it to you this way. Here's my Story of Stuff:

  • An American company goes into a third world country (If they're not even first--why do we care? Don't you like winners?) and gives those people JOBS! You know what they do before American companies get there? Nothing. They don't even know how to extract every last crumb of mineral deposits out of their ground. Now, when American companies get there, they can eat our modern food--not that disgusting swill they've lived on for millennia. COKE is everywhere and thank God for that! That's a blessing to the world!!
  • The American company goes to China and gets really cheap labor, or slave labor from prisoners (But I say if they're in prison, they must have done something wrong--right? Slave labor in prison is OK!). They put together all of the cool stuff that we can buy here for a reasonable price! See? It's all good.
  • Walmart employs lots of people all over this country. We go there and get stuff and then bring it home and enjoy it...for a while. Then we throw it out and go get more! If we didn't do that, wouldn't the Walmart employees lose their jobs? What about the work force in China? They can't be doing much in prisons if they don't have a job. What about the people in third world countries? Don't they count? We need to buy and then throw out and then buy again. That's how our economy works and that's going great isn't it? There are no glitches in that, right?
  • If I'm really cool, I get really expensive things that I can't afford but that reinforce the ideas about what it means to be: a sexy, hawt, fabulous woman, a virile, successful man, a cool kid. We need these things. We DESERVE these things. My family deserves their happiness. These things will make us happy. Who is anyone else to judge what will make us happy?
See the ads over there, at the top of my blog? They pay me to run them here. That's a good thing. Why wouldn't I want to make money here? What would be the possible point of making all of these posts? Really, I don't get it. People only do things for money. That's what makes the world go round. Why would I sit here writing things for no reason? If I'm not getting paid, what's the reason then? I'm not tracking on that, really.

Go buy stuff today. Buy a bunch of stuff. Even better--go buy stuff and throw out stuff. When you go shopping for food, make sure you get the most over packaged excessive stuff. Go get a designer purse. Sometimes they cost thousands, but sometimes they're only a few hundred--it's a great deal. Go get a purse from these designers: Burberry, Chanel, Cole Haan, Dolce & Gabbana, Dooney & Bourke, Fendi, Hermes, Michael Kors, Prada or Yves Saint Laurent. Think how fierce that would be! Snap!!

I just thought you guys should know this April 1st, April Fools Day, that we think everyone should buy lots--all of the time. You can expect ads here from now on and maybe a feature or two on how to turn off all of the brain chatter--relax! Go have a bath. Tomorrow I'll show you all of the things I bought last weekend. It was fabulous.

Happy shopping on this April Fools Day today!
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