Thursday, December 30, 2004

Disaster Aid Organizations
It is still too horrible to contemplate, but tens of thousands of people are dead or missing after earthquakes and tidal waves. Please check out this list of charities and give what you can to help others.

Friday, December 17, 2004

Words From a Play

I have many rants I would like to vent today, but it is just not in me. Tonight, I will watch adorable children perform a holiday program based on The Polar Express, the song Santa Baby is running through my head, and I am filled with cheer (or at least the satisfaction of knowing that the teacher gifts and goodie bags are delivered).

So, no rants for me today. Instead, I post a few bits from the play Golden Child by David Henry Hwang. Mr. Hwang was featured this week on Susan Stamberg's NPR series, Scenes I Wish I Had Written. These are excerpts from speeches from First Wife.

"What is this mania for honesty? What is family, anyway, but a loose collection of people with nothing in common but blood? Does blood cause all people to think alike, to love, or even like one another? Of course not. If we had wandered where our emotions might take us, we would all have murdered each other ages ago."

"The fact that something is new simply means it has not had the time to disappoint us."

I am especially trying to remember that second one as I search for the "perfect" gifts.

Wednesday, December 15, 2004

Click to Feed the Hungry

Today is Buck a Hit Day on Jack Bog's Blog. For every unique hit registered on his site meter (up to 1,250), he will donate US$1 to food shelters. Go ahead, click it!

Update - Jack met his goal!!!! Thank you, everyone.

Friday, December 10, 2004

Tuesday I Saw the California Governor

Yes, I saw Arnold live and in person. The better news is that he was, by his own admission, the opening act for his wife, Maria Shriver. On Tuesday, I attended my third California Governor's Conference on Women and Families. There was a definite change with the new first family hosting. There was a lot more flash and (IMHO) less substance than in previous years. There were also more attendees. 10,400 people plus exhibitors and presentors. I really don't like people that much!

There were lots of big names. Jamie Lee Curtis introduced Arnold. Queen Noor spoke at lunch and at a seminar session (she is amazing and gorgeous). Linda Ellerbee spoke at lunch. Oprah gave the closing inspirational talk (and ran 30 minutes over her allotted time). Sheryl Crow gave a short concert to close out the day. Notable seminar speakers were Dr. Laura and Dr. Wayne Dyer. I passed on both of those sessions.

I did a little bit of star-struck type stuff in that I now have autographed copies of one of Jamie Lee's books and Queen Noor's autobiography. I also wandered through exhibits on volunteerism. Unfortunately, my little stint of getting Jamie Lee's autograph meant that I couldn't get into either of my first two choices for the morning session. I did attend a session on women's health issues. There was a balanced review of the hormone replacement therapy study that was announced last year that scared everyone, but it wasn't the greatest session I've ever attended.

In the afternoon session, I attended a panel discussion on global change. The panel included Queen Noor, Sakena Yacoobi (an amazing professor who has been a leader in educating women in Afghanistan), Dalia Rabin-Pelossof (Yitzak Rabin's daughter and an Israeli leader in her own right), and Cynthia J. Warner (Regional VP for BP). It is always inspiring to hear such intelligent and articulate women speak about what they are doing to change the world.

Thursday, November 25, 2004

Giving Thanks

Here in the US, today is Thanksgiving Day. I have many things for which to be thankful today. I have a wonderful family and many great friends. I have my health and my son reads Harry Potter to me. Oh, and I live in a country where freedom of speech is still protected.

My gift to you are a few links that exercise that freedom of speech. The first is a super-sized rant courtesy of Clif Garboden. It may be a little over the top, but it soundly delivers a much needed dope slap to many deserving parties. Next is a tamer view with a reminder of the stages of grief from Susan J. Douglas. Let's all move toward Stage 6 and be ready for the next election. Finally, a link to do some shopping to proclaim your views courtesy of CafePress.

Enjoy, everyone! And thank you.

Sunday, November 21, 2004

So, George Wants a Yacht

Congress has been busy this week. Yes, they passed the spending bill, raising the debt ceiling and keeping the country going. I'm sure we all have our own favorite bits of this bill. My personal favorite is the wording to support repurchasing the Presidential Yacht. We sold it decades ago because it was an expensive, outdated, money sink. Now GWB wants to play with a boat so we are going to go and spend more money. There is a little sticking point in that the current owners are expecting more money then Congress has appropriated for the purchase. Details, it's always the details.

George, if you want to play with a boat, send someone out to a toy store, okay?

Monday, November 15, 2004

Small Rant on Children's Books

Why do books aimed squarely at young children have to include language that isn't appropriate? Last night, my seven year old was happily reading the third book in The Spiderwick Chronicles, Lucinda's Secret, when one of the children in the book says, "Oh, crap!" Now, I ask you, is that necessary? Other than this, the books are wonderful depictions of fantasy characters and children doing things that they certainly shouldn't, but make their intended readers happy. I'm not asking for artificial speech, but not all children are using epithets.

Wednesday, November 03, 2004

What Next?

Okay, I watched and then I slept. When I awakened I learned that it wasn't just a bad dream. Or maybe it is the bad dream that didn't go away. I've licked my wounds and now I am ready to determine what is the next step.

I am confused in that this is not the America that I thought I knew. There is so much hate and intolerance out there that I do not even recognize the country of my birth. Continuing with my own anger isn't going to help. Some have spoken of leaving the country. Not only is that impractical, I'm not willing to give up. This is my country and no one is going to drive me from it!

Nation editor, Katrina vanden Heuvel, has some excellent thoughts in her Stand and Fight article. Very good food for thought. We have a lot to do. It's time to roll up our sleeves and get to work.

Tuesday, November 02, 2004

Well, I try

You Are a Pundit Blogger!

Your blog is smart, insightful, and always a quality read.
Truly appreciated by many, surpassed by only a few.

Today is the Day!

Vote. That's the message for the day. Please vote.

Friday, October 29, 2004

Why "Stay the Course"?

Okay, so Osama is back. He's out there sending out more videos. Folks are quivering in their boots and thinking that we shouldn't make any changes to White House residency with all these scary people out there trying to get us.

Wait one minute. Think this through. Why is OBL still out there taunting us? C'mon, you know. Because GWB didn't follow through to get him. Osama ran and he did hide. So, OBL on video is yet another reason to oust Bush and bring in someone to shake things up.

If we really want to go out on a limb, why would OBL send out a video now when it could keep Bush in power? Maybe, just maybe OBL wants GWB to stay in power for another four years. Why not? Considering GWB's track record, OBL should want things to remain the same. Heck, if we go off and invade another country (Iran, N. Korea?), that would stretch our forces even further and make things even easier for OBL and other extremists to do as they wish.

Don't be scared. When you are in that voting booth, you can make a difference.

Tuesday, October 26, 2004

Do You Feel Safer?

GWBush and Dick Cheney are making a very big deal about how much safer we are with them at the helm of the US. I've always wondered how they could make that claim. Hmmm, weren't they in charge on 11 September 2001? The latest reports coming out of Iraq give another large blow to the President's credibility. Now that there are literally tons of explosives "missing" that were under UN seal and were reported to the US before the invasion. Somehow they were just left unguarded. In my mind, this is just another example of our misguided invasion that was executed without proper planning and without any real concept of what the mission would entail. I think I would prefer someone with a clue in charge.

Wednesday, October 20, 2004

Time Machine: Step Back to 2000

As we countdown to the 2004 election and hear GWB and his sidekick Dick tell us how well they are doing in the war on terrorism, it is interesting to see which party took terrorism seriously enough to address it four years ago in the party platform. No, it was not the Republicans. Here is an exerpt from the 2000 Democratic Party Platform:

Battling Terrorism. Whether terrorism is sponsored by a foreign nation or inspired by a single fanatic individual, such as Osama Bin Laden, Forward Engagement requires trying to disrupt terrorist networks, even before they are ready to attack. We must improve coordination internationally and domestically to share intelligence and develop operational plans. We must continue the comprehensive approach that has resulted in the development of a national counter-terrorism strategy involving all arms and levels of our government. We must continue to target terrorist finances, break up support cells, and disrupt training. And we must close avenues of cyber-attack by improving the security of the Internet and the computers upon which our digital economy exists.
As President, Al Gore will tolerate no attack against American interests at home or abroad: terrorists must know that if they attack America, we will never forget. We will scour the world to hunt them down and bring them to justice.

While fighting terrorism, we will protect the civil liberties of all Americans. Our justice system must guarantee fairness with procedures that protect the rights of the accused, even under the unusual circumstances of the investigation of threats to our national security. We must avoid stereotyping, for it defeats the highest purposes of our country if citizens feel automatically suspect by virtue of their ethnic origin. The purpose of terrorism is not only to intimidate, but also to divide and fracture, and we cannot permit that to happen.

Interesting, very interesting.

Thursday, October 14, 2004

Another reason why I will vote for Kerry

From last night's debate, John Kerry directly addressed one of my biggest problems with the Bush administration. Mr. Kerry said, "I believe that I can't legislate or transfer to another American citizen my article of faith. What is an article of faith for me is not something that I can legislate on somebody who doesn't share that article of faith."

I've always been alternately annoyed and flaming mad that GWB wants the entire country, no, the entire world to be forced by law to follow his beliefs.

Sunday, October 10, 2004

I'm currently reading American Dynasty by Kevin Phillips and it is really annoying me. Okay, there is the obvious annoyance of the entire Bush family. I knew that was coming when I picked up the book. I was just following the advice to know my enemies. No, what is annoying me is that this book could have been about 1/10 the length. The circuitous routes that Phillips takes to get to his points are getting really old. It wouldn't be so bad if the routes made sense, but he seems as though he has to throw in every mildly intresting or obscure throught that he has ever had and they don't even make sense together!

Friday, October 08, 2004

Today's random thought of parenthood: Even when doing something mundane like the homework that wouldn't have been assigned if dear son had been paying attention in class, a spark of why I became a parent shines through. The music teacher was out for a day and the director filled in. The children watched two scenes from Fantasia 2000 and then were to describe the music and what they thought about it. One of the pieces was Gershwin's Rhapsody in Blue. This is one of my all time favorite pieces and it was so fun to watch my 7 year old son's reaction to it. We didn't have a copy of the movie, but I played a CD for him and he was so into the music. He seemed as taken with it as I was.

Another memory of this music is that Fantasia 2000 was the first movie that dear son saw in a theater. He was only three years old, but loved the images and sounds. The only funny thing he did was to say "Oh! Dark!" every time the lights dimmed between pieces. Otherwise, he sat transfixed through the entire movie.

Friday, September 24, 2004

Since you've found my little corner of cyberspace, welcome!

Who am I? That's a bit hard to describe as my image is currently morphing. I create. I used to write and hope that working through my angst here may kick that urge back into gear. I make jewelry and art projects that are bit big to wear, but I do it anyway. I paint. I stitch. I sew. I can also be judged by the company I keep. I'm a mother of an adorable son and the wife of an wonderful man and I have amazing friends.

I love the world and the environment and finally made the huge step of adding a sticker (gasp) to the rear window of my car. It's an REI sticker that I received while cleaning up my local park on Coastal Cleanup day, 18 September 2004. I picked up many annoying bits of trash and more than a few disgusting ones. C'mon people, I'm not going to judge you for having sex, but throw your used condoms in the trash! (Yes, ewwwwww!).

The environment is one of the main reasons that I will NOT, I repeat, NOT be voting for GWBush this November. I am sickened by the way that he and his hoard of fratboys have made mockery of our Environmental Protection Agency. I suspect that GWB only knows the acronym and not its definition. This administration's policies have led to a very perverted sense of protection.

Tuesday, May 04, 2004

This is a first! We have a blog.