Same job, different uniform.

Monday, March 31, 2008

"It Can Be Done!" Part Deux

After several days of neglect, my clean, unfolded laundry was able to be formed into a mountain that almost reached the ceiling. The picture is of the north face of the pile with a Nalgene bottle placed at base camp for perspective.
Also, Sen McGee may want to use this photo (notice the west face of Mt. Laundry) in future campaigning. I'm thinking something like, "There won't be any dirty laundry aired while I'm in office. What you will be able to anticipate is large stacks of april fresh, line dried, unfolded laundry, like that of the common Idahoian."

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"I had to throw my toothbrush away after I was sick. I had a disease. I think it was the cancer."

-"Ace", five years old.

She really just had the flu.

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"It's not much of a tail, but I'm sort of attached to it."


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Saturday, March 29, 2008

"That's your problem. You don't wanna be in love, you wanna be in love in a movie."

Rosie O'Donnell to Meg Ryan in Sleepless in Seattle.

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Friday, March 28, 2008

why do these make me laugh so?

(click on the them to view them larger)

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kind words, revamped

While lying in bed last night I had an epiphany concerning kind words and what purpose it should serve. So I've changed the format. Each post (and I'm going to attempt to make them daily) will be a specific challenge to use kind words that day.

Today's challenge?

Say "hi" to three people you don't know. And smile.

Go spread some kindness!

p.s. each challenge will also by a hyperlink to different pictures to make you smile. Think of it as visual gift of kind words from me to you. Enjoy.

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It can be done!

It is actually possible - and believe me I didn't think it was - to sort, stain-spot, wash, dry, fold and put away seven loads of laundry in one day, without doing it at a laundry mat! Not EVEN a day - like six hours! Until today, I just figured that 5 days was the norm.

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Thursday, March 27, 2008

Sometimes You Need Some Boston

I was trying to change the sheets on Jane's bed. My too long, but too short to be tucked behind my ears, bangs, were driving me crazy. I left to go get a bobby pin. The bending over position I was in was giving me a back ache. Sweet and Creamy was rolling around on the floor generally in the way and generally, repeatedly activating a song on his toy. By the by,the toy's batteries had one foot in the grave and the "song" sounded like a distant ice cream truck with reverb. Oh, and the room was stuffy and hot.

I thought back to earlier in the day when I was in my car listening to some Boston, imagining the "Scrubs" air band. "Happy thought indeed."

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Big Day at the girlfriday Household

My husband is switching phone carriers and we are upgrading our phones.

Does anyone have Verizon?

If so, do you have any feedback on your LG phone? We are looking at a couple of models. Any feedback would be helpful!

ADDED: Proud new owner

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Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Better Late than Never

I don't want a single reader of girlfriday (insert self effacing remark about "all three of you") to miss this. I'm sure most of you have seen it and laughed your ever-loving butt off (and maybe cried a little) but just in case, as a courtesy to you who may have missed it (DAD), take a look.

"Rob Riggle goes undercover to report on Berkeley, CA's reaction to a new Marine recruiting station."

Read the comments on The Daily Show's website if you had any doubt about which direction Stewart's viewers swing.

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Don't delude yourselves . . .

Lest we mothers forget that our children view us as little more than waitstaff, I give you a scene from moments ago in my house:

Me: [Placing a plate of cheese, crackers, sliced ham and carrots before my child.] "Here's your lunch, Wyatt."

Wyatt: [Pointing at the carrots.] "Hey, Mom, I didn't order these!"

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Monday, March 24, 2008

Bananas in the Freezer

I freeze my too-ripe bananas because freezing old bananas is what you're supposed to do with old bananas. That's what "they" do.

Now I have a bunch of frozen bananas in my freezer.

What in the world do you do with frozen bananas?

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Dear God,

You are bigger than anything. That's all.

Love, Wyatt

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Happy Easter (a day late)!

In the words of a certain four year old:

Dad, here's a clue! God is bigger than the Foogeyman! God is bigger than Godzilla! He's bigger than the monsters on TV! He's bigger than our house, and the red house in our subdivision.

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Comma Sense

I have comma trouble.

You, see, I, apparently, really, really, really, like commas.

I've found a couple of online pages that help with correct placement, but I thought I'd see see if any of you (of course the copywriter in the bunch is coming to mind, cough, cough, Lois.) have any tips on how to remember comma rules. Because I think they'd help with my other problem:

I. Really. Really. Like fragmented sentences. Have you noticed that?

While we're on the subject, let's talk semicolons; I'm already salivating in anticipation of our upcoming dialogue!

I am Ross.

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Sunday, March 23, 2008

A word of advice to the copywriter(s) of the Tonka Truck ads:

Hire a proofreader. Seriously.

Boys are not built different, they're built differently.

I cringe every time I see that ad. It's one thing If i make a grammatical error or two (or 70) on here. I'm not being paid for my words by a multi-million dollar corporation.

Unless I'm wrong about this and still don't have a grasp on what modifies what. I'm sure I will be promptly corrected if that is the case.

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Friday, March 21, 2008

Okay you Blogger Nerds

How do I get rid of the title of each post in the comment box? I'm tired of not being able to read the first comment on each post!

Hob at White Noise did it, but I can't figure it out.

ADDED: I opted to have my comments appear in a pop-up window and that did the trick!


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Wednesday, March 19, 2008

"To me, Ann Coulter is somebody who says things that I say all the time, but I say them at three in the morning when I'm drunk as a monkey."

- PJ O'Rourke on Real Time with Bill Maher.

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Five years later.

"You know what's so messed up? I just got to the point where President Bush gave his 'Mission Accomplished' speech on a battleship and I've still got like 400 pages to go."

Dr. John Dorian while reading "The Iraq War for Dummies" on Scrubs.


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Tuesday, March 18, 2008

The Dude Abides

To be married is to enter into your spouse's interests, or some of them. My sister has blogged on her growing love and understanding of NFL football. I'm not there, but last night I did succumb to watching The Big Lebowski.

I am told this movie is universally loved, almost exclusively, by men

It's really a movie about nothing, crammed full of one-liners glittering with all the appeal of quotability. "Say what you like about the tenants of National Socialism, but at least it's an ethos."

I expected to be wildly offended but I wasn't. There were boobies, yes, but the Dude was refreshingly off-put by the porn. ("He makes women of objects.") There is a lot of vulgarity, but it's mostly forgettable.

Lebowski is a movie to remember, not to understand. And now I've watched it. What is there left to do in our marriage?

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Vote for Gracie!

Molly McGee has decided to support her friend Gracie Allen this election year. Read all about her 1940 Presidential run on Wistful Vista. You can also get birthday present ideas for Molly - how very efficient!

On a side note, I've created a new blog.

Another blog?

This one is quite a simple, and if I do say so myself, lovely little blog. I hope you will find things to contribute there.

"If the country's going Gracie, so can you."

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April showers bring mayflowers and the return of scripted television.

So close, so close. Maybe this can tie you over for a bit.

I suggest choosing the clip "Launch party," although I'm sure each will provide a laugh or two.

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Friday, March 14, 2008

I realize I'm just asking for trouble when I bring up the "O" word here.

I just really liked this quote.
"I categorically denounce any statement that disparages our great country or serves to divide us from our allies. I also believe that words that degrade individuals have no place in our public dialogue, whether it's on the campaign stump or in the pulpit."

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Do we laugh enough on this blog?

I don't know. But I do know that if I post things that I think are funny, but no one else finds amusing, then it doesn't really fulfill the purpose of making our readers laugh. I'll try anyway.

Don't know why I'm so obsessed with this site, but I am. More from

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Thursday, March 13, 2008

It's Everywhere You Want To Be

Cost of airline ticket to Colorado: $230
Cost of super spiffy ski wear: $100 (we got it on sale)
Cost of Ski School for Jane: $130
Getting a phone call from the ski instructor saying "your daughter refuses to go outside and attempt skiing after numerous attempts to encourage otherwise: priceless

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Not quite as well known as the Witness Relocation Plan is the Childcare Relocation Initiative

So, all four of us got on a plane to experience the wintery bliss that is Colorado. A lot of thought and planning, particularly by Tall, Dark and Hansom, went into this excursion. He wanted to make sure that both of our expectations were met during this 8 day long adventure. We were going to stay with our friends(let's call them dad, mom and daughter) in their Steamboat Springs condo for the bulk of our stay and still spend a little bit of time with my sister, who lives in Denver.
As we are picking up our luggage at baggage claim, TDH's phone rings and the daughter of our Steamboat Springs condo-owning friends, just came down with the flu. So rather than meet up with them right away, we stayed with my sister in her one bedroom apartment for the next three days. Great to spend time with her, not so great sleeping arrangements and not so great being basically inside of "four small walls" for two days.

We finally meet up with our friends and head to Steamboat in their two separate vehicles. The dad has now developed the flu and so we ride with our two kiddos and their daughter in the car we are driving.

Please close your eyes and picture your parents telling you to tone down the giggling in the back seat. Are you also remembering how their instructions fell on deaf ears? Not so much deaf ears as ears that hear the opposite of what you just said? Needless to say, the portable DVD player was employed as a giggling suppressant for the remainder of the ride. After the first movie had finished, on principle, I wanted to give the girls sometime to entertain themselves in the car. Gosh darn it, that is the way my sister and I had to do it, so they should learn car riding skills, sans electronics, too! Oh, they entertained themselves. Who knew how hilarious saying the same word back and forth to each other with different syllabic empahases could be? I'm a quick study, too. I learned that I cannot maintain my sanity when there are two silly, silly girls in the back seat. Off to Never, Never Land you go, girls.

The rest of the week consisted of TDH and I exchanging child care duties. We both did some skiing and I had a couple of spa treatments. Meanwhile, Jane (our 4 year old girl) had her defiant and attitude dials turned up several notches all week from hanging out with their 6 year old daughter and Sweet and Creamy (nine month old son) was pretty fussy all week dealing with his ear issues and trapped inside of a hotel room issues. Yeah, I guess I forgot to mention that I took S & C into the Dr.'s the day before we left and he had a full blown ear infection in addition to needing ongoing nebulizer steroid treatments for his lungs.

"What a spoiled princess,!" you might say. "She got to spend several days in the beautiful mountains of Colorado in a luxury condo, skied and did some spa-ing! Stop your complaining right this instant." Before you plan a selfish brat intervention for me, let me just say that I'm simply trying to do a cost, benefit analysis. Is all the hassle [for my personality (semi-controlling and structured) it is a hassle] of trying to merge two families' agendas and illnesses in addition to packing and lugging all our crap around and the full time job of caring for young children worth the "vacation?" I think by my very use of quotation marks around the word, vacation, you know my answer.

Fun was had, yes. Did I return rested and refreshed, or at least exhilarated? No. Again, kuddos to TDH for all the effort on his part - there were just two many variables out of his control.

I told him before we left that it is hard enough to take care of these kids at home, let alone in a place that doesn't have the conveniences of afore mentioned location.
Epilogue: S&C is going on his sixth day of having a fever (he started hours after we got home) and his second visit to the doctor since we've gotten back. The laundry from the trip is still not finished. On a positive note we unpacked all of our crap and put the luggage away. See how I'm trying to be upbeat?

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News You Can Use!

from Variety: Warner Bros. will split the last "Harry Potter" tome into a two-part film, with the installments unspooling six months apart. Read full story

This is a good thing. I was afraid they would do to this film what they did to the others: omit the quieter scenes, the more reflective dialogue, the character development. This is not to say that they won't do that again, but the odds are better.

More good news:

The sixth movie in the franchise, "Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince," debuts on the bigscreen in November. It is also being directed by Yates, who helmed the fifth installment, "Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix."

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Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Silda Spitzer, Hung Out to Dry

Take this as a given: I have no regard whatsoever for New York Governor Eliot Spitzer. I never have. I found him to be unscrupulous and ambitious in a overly-vicious and ideological way, willing to trample whomever and whatever got in his path. While NY Attorney General, he was pitiless in prosecution, usually against people who could not fight back, and as governor, he has been willing to attack his political enemies by any means necessary. He had had his staff go after State Senator Joseph Bruno (R), alleging improprieties in his state travel expenses, an attempt that current Attorney General Andrew Cuomo (a fellow Democrat and son of former governor Mario Cuomo) shot down quickly as unfounded and inappropriate. In New York politics, this sort of rebuke is as rare as Sasquatch sightings in Central Park.

As public officials go, Mr. Spitzer is not at all a nice man. As a private individual, he made a number of incredibly stupid and incomprehensible decisions that have ended his political career and resulted in his resignation as governor. And, as a married man, his behavior was reprehensible.

Men and women make mistakes and have errors in judgment all the time. It happens. Sex makes idiots of us all, and people behave in ways that damage and destroy their personal relationships, often without giving it a lot of thought. And there is a reason that prostitution is generally considered to be the world's oldest profession. But most of the time, bad behavior is not played out on a public stage. Betrayal, and the consequences of that betrayal, usually plays out behind closed doors, where the person betrayed can retain a certain amount of dignity.

Obviously, I do not know Silda Spitzer. My understanding (limited to reading news accounts, etc) is that she is a fine woman, and, certainly, her willingness to stand beside her husband during two hideously embarrassing and highly personal public statements speaks volumes to her character. But it doesn't say much about his.

She should not have been there. Governor Spitzer should not have brought her out there to stand beside him as a prop, hung out to dry in the glare of media scrutiny. He should have had the common decency to take his lumps, publicly, alone before his constituents. Instead, we were all "treated" to the sight of a tired, saddened, shell-shocked woman, struggling to keep it together while a man she entrusted her life to talked about trying to regain that trust.

It was indecent. It was horrible. And I take no joy in Spitzer's downfall, whatever I think of him personally or as a politician. I might have, once, but the pain written across Silda Spitzer's face put the situation into keen perspective.

This morning, I found myself praying for them both.

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My greeting from the Earp boy on a phone call to his house last night:

"Your brother is fine, both of your sisters are fine, one sister is pregnant and you just got green glasses."

He really likes to show off that he's figured out how we're all related to each other.

He then told my Mom (his Nana) that it was okay that the animal show wasn't on that they usually watch on PBS on Tuesday nights, because the pictures they were showing of Idaho were some "lovely sites."

Next he thanked me for the card I sent him and that he "really enjoyed it, especially the part about the Grinch." You see, when I was there for Christmas, we thought up this amazing game after watching the original Grinch movie. We pretended like we were Big Grinch and Little Grinch, and we stole everything in his house and threw it up the chimney.

Finally, upon learning that I was at my friend D's house, he requested to talk to her. When she got on the phone and asked what he was doing, he told her he had just watched a "weird show where three men had their shirts off." "Oh really, what show were you watching?" asked D. The four year old replied "According to Jim."

Of course you have to imagine him saying all this in his Brooklyn-esque style of speaking. Man, I love this kid.

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Monday, March 10, 2008

One of the benefits of not being someone with a high powered executive position that makes you lots of money and sends you all over the world. . .

. . . is that you get to stay home with your children and discover that animal crackers dipped in melted chocolate chips is DE-LISH. (And you can spread the chocolate on a plate, stand the animals up in it and say they are "stuck in the mud" and your kid will think you are a genius!)

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Sunday, March 09, 2008

Physician, Heal Thyself

'And here also is your brooch, Pippen,’ said Aragorn. ‘I have kept it safe, for it is a very precious thing.’

‘I know,’ said Pippen. ‘It was a wrench to let it go; but what else could I do?’

‘Nothing else,’ answered Aragorn. ‘One who cannot cast away a treasure at need is in fetters. You did rightly.’

from The Two Towers

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If you listen closely, you can hear David Spade say "Hey Molly, 1985 called and they want their exercise class back."

I started Jazzercise last week.

This is normally not a type of aerobics class I would be interested in. Frankly, I prefer to rule out all things which include the words "aerobic" and "class." Not that I'm not a fan of exercise. I've actually grown quite attached to it over the last year. There's just something about that aerobic peppiness that I don't tend to gravitate towards.

However, I have recently taken a babysitting job for a class on Monday mornings. In exchange for the one hour of my expert services, I get unlimited classes. Not a bad deal. I'm not gonna lie; I don't know what I'm doing half the time. But it's fun. And I definitely get a work out.

So yeah. I Jazzercise.

But I am not the woman in this picture. I'm sure I had quite a few of you fooled until now.


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Help a Girl Out

What's the good of a blog if you can't ask for help from your readers from time to time?

There are a couple of things I'm looking for:
1. Does anyone have any good resources for large-print books? I'd like to find Harry Potter in large print as well as the Trinity Hymnal (yes, both of these). Anything you know about a good place to buy books where the print is enlarged for the seeing-impaired would be really helpful.
2. I'd like to find an aerobics DVD that someone has used and actually recommends. It would be nice to have something to pop in in the mornings to get a little workout ("little" = 20 minute sessions or so).

Email me or put something in the comments if you can help me on either of these.

Thanks gang.

ADDED: How do I get rid of these annoying white borders on my gifs? Deleting "border=0" doesn't do it.

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Tartan Mom will love this.

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Saturday, March 08, 2008

I lied. This is my next post.

Hopefully I'm not the only one who had to Google Cory Doctorow.

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when your eyes play tricks on you

After Jazzercise this morning (that's right, Jazzercise. That post is next.) I was flipping through the guide on my friend's television. I saw certain letters from both "Snoop Dogg's Father Hood" and "Beverly Hills 90210" and I thought "Troop Beverly Hills" was up next!

At least an "O.C." rerun was on to console my disappointment once I realized my mistake.

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Friday, March 07, 2008

Do you ever feel like Molly McGee is taking over girlfriday?

Me too.

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The eighth wonder?

A white killer whale. How cool would it be to see that?

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Garfield without Garfield.

I have to give a hat tip to my friend Ryan for this one. A website has redone real Garfield comics but has taken Garfield out of them, leaving Jon talking to himself. I never really liked Garfield, but still read it religiously as a youngster because I felt compelled to read each comic every morning. It was a little something that spiced up my home schooled life.

Garfield with Garfield? Not so funny. Garfield minus Garfield? Hilarious.

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Thursday, March 06, 2008

girlfriday: Expectations, Surprises and Existential Ramblings

I started this blog around three years ago so my now-husband could keep track of me.

That noble beginning filled me, like a lot of bloggers, with lofty ideas about what I would write and who would read it. Oh for a place to post my existential ramblings (affectionately named by my brother).

Now, 758 posts later and a lot of sitting back and watching the other five contributors write, I'm thrilled with where this tiny corner of the Internet has wandered.

I used to get annoyed at posts that I thought were below me. Typical, proud little me.

It's gone a completely different direction, but still ended up where I hoped it would: simply bursting with compassion, diversity of thought, a lot of love, and fun.

Thanks, fellow writers, for making this a place I love to come again and again.

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Wednesday, March 05, 2008

I'd like to take a moment and ask the readers of this blog to teach me a thing or two.

1) I was just reading the delegate counts for each state on CNN (you can see it here), and I'm confused. It shows delegates given to each candidate from every state. Are primaries not a winner take all system? Do you still get the delegates who have pledged to vote for you even if you don't "take" the state? If so, why do we do that in our primaries and not our general election? Or am I just reading the site wrong? Also, if Obama happens to win the Texas caucus vote, he'll get more delegates, right?

2) Why all this sudden talk about NAFTA? It doesn't see like it's a topic that has gotten a particularly large amount of air time in recent years. How is our involvement in it a positive thing? How is it negative?

I realize I need to do my own research on these things, but I'd like to hear what y'all have to say first, so please do oblige me.

On a side note, my interest was unexpectedly piqued by a Ralph Nader interview on The Daily Show last night. Watch if you please, but I think he has some really interesting things to say, especially if you've ever found yourself thinking like a Libertarian at all.

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Tuesday, March 04, 2008

Today I voted for Barack Hussein Obama, and here's why:

He's not a Clinton.

For the first and possibly last time in my life, my vote for a presidential primary matters. My vote could help determine the amount of screen time Bill Clinton's face gets on our TVs during the next four to eight years. I couldn't pass up that opportunity by throwing away my vote for McCain.

I would say that I am currently sitting on the very tip of the rear of the Obama bandwagon, dragging my feet. I'm suspicious of him because so many my age are so into him. I don't trust my generation, because I don't think we often think things through, myself included. We've been raised in such a fast-paced society, we often don't take the time to really digest information and think about it critically. We tend to "feel" things. So the fact that 20-somethings are so rallied behind Obama, just gives me reason to make sure I really know why I'm supporting him. At this point I don't. I'm really not sure if I'd vote for him in the general election, were he to get the nomination.

I do know that I like that he acts like an adult and that so far he hasn't resorted to dirty politics. I like that he's a fresh face; his inexperience doesn't bother me. I like that he inspires people. I like that the Democratic party is energized. I like that the politically disenfranchised in our country are placing their votes for a certain candidate and not against their opponent (even if I am not one of those people at this time).

If I were to assign to our country at this time a movie title that would best sum up where we stand as a nation, I'd choose "Something's Gotta Give." I think there is a general feeling of disenchantment that is prevalent right now. In way or another, we've all been jaded by coming to terms with the reality of our political system over the years. Maybe I don't see eye-to-eye with a lot of people about what has gotten us to this point, but the point is we're here. We're at a point where people are generally apathetic because they don't feel like what they're saying is getting heard. And now a candidate has come along that is renewing their hope. I know that's not substantive. I accept that. But I'm still getting goose bumps. Every time I watch him. The emotion he evokes in the people in his crowds is something that I've never seen in my lifetime.

Of course I have my concerns. His foreign policy worries me. I don't know about all this talking with Castro's brother and us getting out of NAFTA talk. The spending promises he's making are ridiculous. I accept that as I begin to study the issues more, I'm going to disagree with a lot of what he has to say and his voting record. That's probably why I've mostly stayed away from delving into it. I've liked getting excited. I've liked seeing other people excited, and I don't want his 2008 presidential journey to be over yet. I think it will actually be demoralizing for the country if he doesn't get the nomination. I want to see what a presidential campaign would look like if both candidates act like adults. I think that's a possibility if we choose Obama and McCain. That's exciting.

Have I mentioned I'm excited? Again, I know that's not substantive.

Unlike many in my generation, I still believe that we have a damn good system in place that maintains separation of powers. If Obama is our 44th, true conservatives can still gain control of Congress and reign in his spending and have a voice in national policy.

Yes. I voted as a Democrat today. It was surreal. I voted for Obama. I have reasons. Like I said, they're not substantive. But I feel compelled to point out again...

...He's not a Clinton.

Hook 'em Obama.

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Monday, March 03, 2008

Obama on Education

You know, I'm not a teacher. I don't even have a child in school yet. I know several public school teachers though and I feel for them. It's not an easy job. And they don't get much support from parents or administrators it would seem. They have classrooms full of children who come from parents who don't care; parents who do care; parents who care too much; parents who meddle; parents who refuse to believe their child might not be as smart as the kid next to them; parents who both have to work and can't take time off to care for a sick child; parents who both work, but don't have to, but still can't or won't take time off when their child should be at home and not in school; parents who love their kids; parents who might not really. It's a big hodge podge. And frankly, I think they mostly have to teach to the lowest common denominator. They aren't allowed to raise the kids up to a higher level, because some kids might fail and that would not do when it comes time for "the test," or with regard to the child's self esteem.

What Barack Obama said in that 5 minute video that Elphaba put up is right on in many ways and I don't disagree with alot of it, but so what. Based on what I can glean about where the other candidates stand on this issue, he hasn't hit on anything anyone else doesn't believe. No one seems to like No Child Left Behind. I can't really speak on it's merits or demerits, except to say, I'm pretty sure that everyone was clamouring for someone to do SOMETHING pre-George Bush and he did try.

Almost anyone these days would say that parents need to be parenting - so kids learn to read, so kids learn math, so kids learn to be human beings, not animals. I'm pretty sure conservatives have been saying this publicly for quite some time. It's not a revelation.

The problem is that Obama's answer to all of this to spend more money. He wants to pay teachers more; he wants to create universal pre-school; he wants before school, after school, under school, and over school programs. I counted no less than ten talking points on education on his campaign website that specifically mention increasing funding for various education-related ideas. There is not enough money for all of that. There never will be without turning our nation into a complete socialist boondoggle. I don't have the time or the wherewithall to refute all of Obama's suggestions, but I'll make a couple points and then duck.

1.) Increasing teacher pay. I don't know what all the salary rates are for public schools all over the country. I don't know all the schemes and systems designed to take in money and pay teachers. Off the top of my head, here's what I do know:

* When I substitute taught in the Austin Public School system 6 years ago, the starting salary for an incoming teacher was about $33,000 - $36,000. Since all I ever hear is how poorly public school teachers are paid, I was shocked. My first job out of college was fully $12,000 below that level and it didn't significantly change until I'd been at it for about 4 years.
* In the state of Idaho, where I currently reside, we have a state lottery that brings in money for public schools on top of regular funding, and last year that lottery brought more than $33 million to Idaho public schools.
* The Idaho Legislature recently had legislation on the table that would have given public school teachers in Idaho merit pay. It was shot down.
* Some of the poorest paid teachers in the country are not public school teachers. They are private school teachers. Ask my father in law.
* Public school teachers are largely unionized. This may be great for teachers. At some point it may have been richly needed. It may still be needed to some degree. But I suspect that it is not the best interests of public school children that unions have at heart. Otherwise, why would an idea like merit pay be anathema to them?

2.) Tax credits for higher education. The last thing colleges in America need to see is the federal government giving them one more excuse to raise tuition. That is exactly what will happen. Pell grants, federal students loans, scholarships - those have all increased dramatically in the past twenty years and so have college tuitions. If you want me to provide source material backing this up, I'll can.

3.) Parents need to parent. This is all good and well to say. But providing free day care or "pre-school," or before and after school breakfast, lunch and dinner programs is not going to achieve that. Human beings are like water - they choose the path of least resistance which is usually downhill. If you want human beings to swim upstream to the good spawning grounds (sorry for the analogy - just went steelhead fishing this past week), you are going to have to take away some of the crap they can get into along the way. I know this sounds harsh. And in the individual sense, I am certainly not for letting children starve. But most of the time, government is not the one who should be feeding our kids or providing daycare for them. I should be feeding the hungry kid next door if his parents aren't going to do it. Because you know what - one day they are going to have to look me in the eye. This might not change a damn thing - but who is the person that the parent has to be accountable to at the school cafeteria? The lady filling trays with mac and cheese? The hall monitor? We keep talking about accountability. How about making ourselves accountable for each other. This is the big elephant in the room. Everyone wants kids to be taken care of, but no one wants to do it. Half the time, the "good" parents don't even want to do it. So I don't know why we are surprised that poorly educated, drug-addled, or just plain immature parents don't want to do it when there are whole host of "services" that will take the responsibility off their shoulders.

4.) Regarding teaching to the test. I thought one thing Obama said in that speech was enlightening and I've never heard it before: If a child starts out two grades behind and at the end of the school year, he's one year behind, then that is progress. It IS progress. And it's time we looked at children as individuals who might or might not be able to advance to a certain point on "the test." There may be a portion of the school population who is NEVER going to pass that test. But if we don't take that into account and redirect them to what they CAN succeed at - then we are forever going to look like we are failing and as far as the child with a below average intelligence level is concerned, we will be failing him or her.

Now, peace out.

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Texas Teachers Will Be Voting For Him

Even if you think he might be the anti-christ his views on changing the educational system, and particulary high stakes testing, are right on the money from this teacher's point of view.
Also, be sure to listen to about three minutes in.

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When I was 12, I remember holding hands with this girl
--I want to say "Patty" but I'm just guessing here--and something about the way she held hands was just...wrong. Our fingers didn't line up right.

You know how when you grab someone's hand, the fingers soft of automatically slide into place, your thumb next to their thumb, second finger next to their second finger? Simple, right? Not a lot of ways to screw that up. This girl did.

I think what she did was slide her fingers in too early so they were all out of sync with mine. (I'm sitting here, holding hands with myself to try to explain this to you.)'s what it is: I like my pinkie to be on the outside. And she started one finger too soon, so her pinkie was on the outside, and my pinkie was smushed up between her third and fourth fingers.

Now, I'm not saying she's a bad person. But the second we held hands, I knew she wasn't for me. We just didn't fit.

And I knew I couldn't explain it to her, either.

Because, the way I figure, there are two types of people: those who get it and those who don't. If they get it, there's nothing to explain, and if they don't, there's no point in trying to explain. They don't get it. Move on.

But I remember thinking that if you're going to be with someone, you should find someone who gets it. And someone who fits.

-Paul Reiser

Happy Anniversary to the guy who gets me,
my dear sweet Jonny.

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One year ago today....

...The B family was running around like a bunch of chickens with our heads cut off.

But it was totally worth it.

Happy first anniversary, gf and The Professor.

Here's to many more!

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Saturday, March 01, 2008

Quick Housekeeping Issue

Have you, this means YOU, updated your links in your blog to reflect our new URL: If not, please do so.

Back to whatever you were doing.

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