Same job, different uniform.

Friday, May 30, 2008

Conversations with four year olds: May 29, 2008

"Flying makes me fearacious."
- "Jane."

"Aunt Wessie (sob, sob, sob) please call me back (sob, sob, sob) I really want to talk to you (sob, sob, sob)."
- "The Earp boy." (That's a phone call you can't not return. Thankfully the tears were long gone by the time I called him back.)

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Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Memorial Day, One More Time

I am used to thinking of Memorial Day as a day of remembrance for fallen heroes, soldiers, men and women who died protecting our freedoms. But tonight I stopped by my local cemetery and realized that for some people it has nothing to do with soldiers or inherent freedoms. It is simply about the loss of a loved one.

There is a grave stone in this small cemetery, located on the far edge of the property, near the street, about 6 gravesites from the end of this last row. I found it on a walk one day when I first moved to town. It says, "Our Little Steve, August 24, 1966, February 14, 1977." Engraved near the top right corner is a horse's head; near the bottom left a football. The little boy was 10 when he died. If he had lived he would be only two years older than me - almost to the day, as my birthday is also in August.

Periodically, I check on Little Steve. From what I can tell he was well loved and is not forgotten. In August, I glance up at his grave as I drive by (it is located on a small rise of land in the last row of the cemetery on the west side) and see flowers in a vase. In December, perhaps a potted poinsettia.

Tonight I pulled up into the drive, near the the edge of the property and walked over to Steve's grave. There were no less than 6 floral tokens of affection on or surrounding his gravestone - potted, flowering plants; a professional arrangement of Daisys, carnations and irises; and one glass vase, inexpertly covered with tin foil and filled with now-wilted, fading pink roses that looked to be cut from someone's garden. This last was lying on its side. I picked it up and set it flat on the stone below the engraved football. Then I stood up and wondered, like I've wondered before, with tears on my face, who it is that leaves these gifts for a long dead little boy: parents, grandparents, siblings, friends? I'm guessing a mother at least. God bless her.

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Memorial Day, 2008, Idaho

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Monday, May 26, 2008

Memorial Day: We Will Remember

It's easy to forget, isn't it?

Thanks for people like my uncle and father who remind us. I guess that's what we have to do. Remind each other over and over.

Uncle Tom sent me this: 'Miracle' Marine loses final battle. I read it. We need more men like him, and I need to be less of a pansy.

A few days ago we went to "Theology on Tap" at a local bar (cool) and a Roman Catholic priest from Pierre talked about his recent tenure as an Army Chaplain.

Today's soldiers, it appears, are prepped for battle by being exposed to the methods of torture and execution the enemy employs. This particular priest was shown what the commanding officer told him was "The G Version" of what the soldiers see...and it included footage of beheadings; Iraqi soldiers being pushed off buildings and dragged through the street for being insubordinate; men getting their hands cut off.

Not suprisingly, just being there was, he described, the biggest part of his ministry. The unfathomable emotional and psychiatric needs these soldiers presented has stayed with me. I was struck, again, that the war on terrorism is unlike any we've fought. Our soldiers are fighting enemies who don't wear uniforms; they hide behind civilians. They don't care about their countrymen; they will sacrifice them on a whim.

There are few still alive who can relate to what today's troops have been exposed to.

And we have to remember them too.

Dear God, don't let us treat our armed forces the way my parents' generation treated Vietnam veterans! Forbid it.


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Sunday, May 25, 2008

Good News Comes From the Oddest Places

Indiana Jones Movie Upsets Communists.

Here's the money line: Moscow Communist lawmaker Andrei Andreyev said Saturday "it is very disturbing if talented directors want to provoke a new Cold War."

For making a silly adventure movie where the "Red" in question is a sword-wielding Cate Blanchett who works for Stalin in the 50's?
Huh. Can't imagine why Communists get a bad rap.

ADDED: Am I seriously the only one who find this hilarious? Communists. Upset. Indiana Jones. Come on, people!

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Saturday, May 24, 2008


If you need an uplifting, albeit at times heartwrenching, movie to watch this weekend rent "Bella." What a pretty little story. There are hardly any overt references to God, but the story is undeniably Christian in overtone - with messages about the sanctity of human life, repentance and God's forgiveness. You will need a couple hankies - but trust me, I got through it and I'm a weenie; it has a happy ending. (Hope that wasn't a spoiler for anyone.)

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Thursday, May 22, 2008

I'm still giddy.

Never have I been so shocked by results, and not since Fantasia winning have I been so excited. Never have the judges been so out of touch with their voters. Never has a contestant won by such a large margin (it wasn't even close, people!) After a season of many upsets, America finally got it right.

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Wednesday, May 21, 2008

girlfriday to Walden Media: Make Us Care

I'm BORED, Walden Media.
(Spoilers ahead, blah, blah, blah.)

Dare to imagine (you're filmmakers after all), that Lewis' fan base (that means the people who pay to see the movies) actually love the stories (even the weaker ones). We're shocked and sad with the children when they discover they're exploring the RUINS of their own beloved Cair Paraval. We thrill at Aslan's first apperance and wince when Lucy doesn't follow him. We wonder at the dumb beasts the talking animals of Narnia have become (not because they were TREATED like dumb animals but because they were corrupted). We're pleased when the true Narnians use the horn in the hour of deepest need, not when they fell off a horse.

Characterizations of Peter and Caspian are completely off. Honorable, humble, and wise young men are reduced to bickering, arrogance, and selfishness.

We want to really know Corneilus, punch Nikabrik, root for Caspian, admire Lucy, love Peter, loathe the hag, yearn for Aslan.

We do not want to see Lord of the Rings Lite. We're going to these movies because we're devoted to C.S. Lewis and his Narnia. Battle scenes with giant birds and clashing swords. Yawn. Mythical creatures, angry trees, magic water, old man, drown the baddie...oh, sorry, I drifted off.

[It]ignores this theme completely and shows none of the joy and beauties of Narnia. The Telmarines want to keep control of Narnia; the Narnians want to overthrow them. That's the only story-- no underlying nobility or goodness is evident.

Caspian the Spaniard, oops, Telmarine, is the rightful heir of Narnia. Who is he and why do we care? The Pevensies were called back but to what end? (To claim superiority, squabble and get kissy face, the movie suggests.)

Whatever the movie was, it wasn't Lewis' Prince Caspian.

This film is essentially a vehicle for PG-rated fantasy action, with very little causing you to root for the good guys. Douglas Greshem needs to exert better quality control on any future Narnia projects.

This review was written by me (large letters) and this guy at (in bold).

GO THERE and post your review. You can read my husband's here, Hob's at White Noise here.

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Summer reading list

Every summer I say I'm going to read more and every summer I fail miserably. But I'm at it again, and this time I'd like recommendations from whomever will give them to me. Here's the catch: you can only recommend one. I want this summer resolution to be doable, so I can't take lists from everyone. So think of THE one book you would tell someone they "have to read!"

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Tuesday, May 20, 2008

A blank page.

A full tank of gas.

A day without plans.

Rearranging my room.

What signifies "endless possibilities" to you?


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Monday, May 19, 2008

It sucks being unforgiven.

If you have ever been slighted, victimized, or otherwise wounded and you have felt justified in not forgiving the perpetrator, watch the movie "Atonement."

Those of us who have been hurt in life by another human being usually feel it is our right to carry it around, wear it on our sleeve, complain about, pull it out and show it off. Often we don't feel obligated to forgive the sin, however.

But it really does suck to be unforgiven. It can ruin the life of the unforgiven as surely as their victim may feel it ruined theirs. And the unforgiven don't usually have anyone to turn to for sympathy like the victim does. No one dries their tears at night. No one holds them up when they slump under the weight of their crime.

I would say that victims probably assume that a victimizer is unrepentant and thus doesn't deserve to be forgiven. But I know people who have tried to apologize and recieved no absolution. Their victim knows they are sorry, woefully and painfully aware of their faults and their crime and the penance they will do. But their pleas are like water poured into the wind.

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Besides the plague.......... what do you avoid?

Getting my down duvet and duvet cover dry cleaned. Do I want to pay 80 dollars to have that done? It's been been four and a half years. I'm sure there are dust things going on in there that I don't even want to know about.

Do I really need to mention folding laundry?

Conversations that will most undoubtedly turn into arguments.

I'm trying to think of examples other than house work and I'm stumped.

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Friday, May 16, 2008

This paragraph struck a chord with me, and I felt is was worth re-posting:

You can be honorable by talking to and with her in social situations and returning her calls and emails. Is this difficult? If you decide, after honest reflection, that you'd rather not be the one with whom she is most interested in talking (and chances are good that you are), you will let her go at once and not leave her dripping in a muddy pool of self-doubt.

If you want more commentary on this thought provoking post, go check out Lone Prairie. Here a couple of snippets from Julie that I liked:
--an honorable man doesn't leave a person hanging in silence, feed out excuses of being too busy right now, show interest when it's convenient and life slows down --
"...but he is a nice guy, despite all of this. He's a nice guy. Don't say anything bad about him. He's a nice guy. He means well. He's just too busy. But he's a nice guy." That niceness is a trap. It leaves a woman feeling like she must really be awful for such a nice guy to still be considered, to still seem, nice, while she somehow feels like a truck ran over her heart."

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Wednesday, May 14, 2008

There's a lesson here somewhere

Earlier this evening, while out buying Tylenol for a sick child, I decided to swing through Starbuck's. I asked for a 12 oz. cup of that new Pike's Place Roast (yummy!) and when I got up to the window the barista said that they had to brew a new pot and it would be about 4 minutes. Or I could have a cafe Americano. I opted to wait and get the Pike's Place. I was even pleasant about it.

True to their word, in about 4 minutes another barista was at my window with my coffee. They didn't charge me; they gave me a 16 oz. cup instead of the 12 oz. cup I'd ordered; and they brought me a a large slice of cinnamon coffee cake to go with it.

There's a lesson here somewhere - patience is a virtue?

(For those of you who regularly read this blog and used to work at Starbuck's, don't burst my bubble by telling me something like: "They gave you 16 oz. cup because they had to brew a new pot for you and no one else is going to order caffinated coffee at 7pm, and they gave you coffee cake because they are just going to have to toss it in a few hours. " Seriously. Don't do it. I like the world outside my rose-colored glasses.)

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A Pulitzer-nominated newspaper, ladies and gentleman

Below is a screen capture of a page on the Idaho Statesman's Web site a couple weeks back. I have blurred out the spots where they identified a young sexual abuse victim (I also blurred some of the page tabs for privacy purposes).

Later, the Statesman updated this page and removed the identification, but perhaps some damage was already done. In case you didn't know, identification of sex abuse victims -- especially young ones -- by journalists simply isn't done. This is bush-league. This is outrageous.

girlfriday adds: Adam at Adam's blog linked to this, noting that the Idaho Statesman didn't (fortunately) go to print with this story. It was still a rookie blunder and the consequences could have been devestating for the victim.

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Tuesday, May 13, 2008

"One may have a blazing hearth in one's soul and yet no one ever comes to sit by it." Vincent Van Gogh

Like my peers, I wonder at the apparent absence of honorable men in social circles. (If you are going to retort that modern men have wondered the same thing about women, skip it for now.)

In some ways it's easier to be honorable today, in an age where indifference and meanness abound, than it was in a more courteous age; which makes me wonder, Why aren't more men trying to do it? I suppose honor isn't as sexy as some of the more cherished virtues of our day (intellectual curiosity, physical prowess and success come to mind).

We mistake clever, sensitive men for honorable ones. We even fall into the trap of believing that nice, "red-blooded" American boys are honorable. Niceness should not be the standard. When we set the bar higher, we're derided.

Why are so many content to be paper-doll boys: pasty, one-dimensional imitations of real men? You could be great lovers but for your cowardice! Even if love eludes you (through fortune or choice) you can still be an honorable man; a man worth being loved.

You can be honorable by having the courage to admit that a woman may take your affection and attention seriously, regardless of how cavalierly you bestow them.

You can be honorable by imagining that she has something to teach you by virtue of being a woman.

You can be honorable by talking to and with her in social situations and returning her calls and emails. Is this difficult? If you decide, after honest reflection, that you'd rather not be the one with whom she is most interested in talking (and chances are good that you are), you will let her go at once and not leave her dripping in a muddy pool of self-doubt.

If you have made public or private claims of single-minded interest in her, you can be honorable by gritting your teeth and daring to be faithful.

If one of you makes the decision to part ways, the honorable man will allow that dreaded conversation to happen--all the awkwardness and pain be damned!

Finally, an honorable man will respect a woman's prerogative to say, "No thank you."

Warm your hands in the blazing hearth of a good woman's soul. You might burn, but it's better than being half-baked the rest of life.

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Godspeed, David Cook!

You made me not hate tonight!

Please, whatever you do to me, don't ever, ever, ever make me hear David Archuleta say the word "Boo" ever, ever again! I must add that I didn't hate "And So it Goes...", and I even got a few goosebumps, but it got too predictable towards the end. However, he's young and has time to reign in his voice. The kid's got a set of lungs, it's undeniable. And at least he didn't pick the Dan Fogelberg song. He's just so...vanilla. (girlfriday's choice of word, not mine)

Syesha. Oy. I'm going to pretend like I'm on my own blog where I can only use kind words. So I won't say anything at all.

David Cook is money, no matter what happens tomorrow night or next week. So I suppose this whole season hasn't been a complete bust.

Wait. Sayesha did look lovely on that first song.

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You say we're "all 'Idol,' all the time" like it's a bad thing.

Separated at birth?


Whew, let me catch my breath.


Am I cruel for finding this so funny?

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Sunday, May 11, 2008

Happy Mother's Day to a Mid-Century Mom.

Girlfriday waxed poetic about our mother a few weeks ago. I don't think I can top her words at the moment, if ever at all. They capture the essence of our Mom so well.

I hope you know how much I love you, Mom, even if girlfriday can put it better into words for me.

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Saturday, May 10, 2008

Aspirations of creativity, part I

This will be the first in what will (hopefully) be a series of posts. But they will not be a series trying to convince you not to vote someone. Unless that someone is Hillary Clinton.


Now to the heart of the matter ("I think it's about...forgiveness. Even if, even if..."...I am too easily distracted). Lately I've been thinking a lot about what I want out of life. Things like how I will make the money to keep a roof over my head and follow my dreams. I know, such a cliché line, I felt a little sick just writing it. But dreams are a reality, however strange that may sound. And I'm trying to figure out exactly what mine are. Maybe "aspirations" is a better word for them.

1. to long, aim, or seek ambitiously; be eagerly desirous, esp. for something great or of high value
2. Archaic. to rise up; soar; mount; tower.

"Eagerly desirous." Are you eagerly desirous for anything? I especially like that second definition. When will I rise up? What struggles do I want to learn to tower over? How does one soar?

I have had what I feel is an extremely productive semester. It was not the semester I anticipated it be as I once again found myself as solely an Austin Community College student. Up until now I had considered the school a side interest in my life. I enjoyed my classes, but had yet to be enriched by my experience there. Then this semester I had the time to explore new classes.

I am currently in the school's Sign Language Interpreting Preparation Program. This semester I took my second course American Sign Language (ASL) Linguistics and my first semester of Interpreting. I have been in the program part-time since 2005 and this semester I really began to feel like it's all "clicking." I also took a Public Speaking class required for the major, and I basically ate that up. I really like being in front of an audience, which made the Acting class I was also in all the more enjoyable.

I am 15 hours shy of receiving my B.S. in Advertising at the University of Texas, and in the ongoing process of figuring out how to get back into the school (and to pay for it once I do) so I can FINALLY finish my degree. The most important lesson I've taken away from the Advertising program at UT is that creativity is something that can be trained. Of course it can be something you're born with, something that naturally oozes from you. But I believe that the drive to be creative is sometimes all it takes to achieve it. I have been able to use the knowledge gained from the process of creating advertising and apply it to a variety of other artistic outlets. I have written speeches with it; I have brought characters from print to stage with it; I have written numerous stories and poems with it; I have entertained children with it (Yes. This is truly an art).

So my theory is that creativity is just an energy, and tapping into it exposes you to the fact that the outlets for it are boundless. So this series will be delving into harnessing that energy, and finding new ways of utilizing it. And maybe along the way I'll figure out just what the h-e-double-hockey-sticks I'm doing with my life. And how I'll do it all creatively.

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Thursday, May 08, 2008

The cost of things

I recommend watching this video; it's good.

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Tuesday, May 06, 2008

"I'm not trying to be Justin Timberlake."

Had me fooled. Thanks for the clarification, Clay.

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If The Producers of Idol are as corrupt as Molly says they are....

....we need to be on full alert tonight for the judges to fall all over Syesha and downplay Jason Castro.
Correct me if I'm wrong, but you did say, did you not, Molly, that they won't want to have three guys for the top three?
I know what you're going to say. "Thank you. At breakfast I'll be on full alert for room painting and sex weapons."

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Monday, May 05, 2008

Admitting Defeat

It is 6:13 in the morning. I've been officially up for 15 minutes, but haven't really slept since a bit after 5. I was up at least 3 times an hour since I went to bed at midnight because my darling children are freaking celebrating the beginning of May with yet more illnesses.

I tried to create more sleep for myself by bringing Douglas in bed with me but all he did is roll around and kick me in the stomach. Literally and figuratively. I finally realized I couldn't live the charade of sleep anymore and got up with aforementioned 11 month old.

I'm hoping the ibuprofen kicks in and my headache goes away. If only there were a pill for frustration. Maybe I'll make myself a martini.

I'm sorry, but I just don't do the whole not sleeping thing. I've never been able to. Ask my mom how charming I was after youth group lock ins. It's like Joey not sharing food.

Thanks for reading.

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Sunday, May 04, 2008

Is it just me...

Or is this picture way creepier than Miley's topless back?

p.s. We get it, Miss Cyrus, you're not pregnant. Pull your shirt down - that's your dad for crying out loud!


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"Actors don't direct other actors."

Said to me by my acting instructor this past week. And this is why I shouldn't be an actor.

I sometimes feel badly for my scene partners in my acting class. The fact that I have no qualms being bossy probably ranks high on the list of reasons why I can be an effective babysitter. Or another way to spin it, I delegate. I don't always turn this "quality" off when interacting with my peers. I even have a tendency to teach my classes sometimes.

So maybe directing would be more my cup of tea.

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Thursday, May 01, 2008

The Case Against Barack Obama

Somehow girlfriday has become all American Idol, all the time. It's time for a fight over something other than which starry-eyed teenager is a better performer.

Long threatening to write this, I will set aside my perfectionism and self-consciousness and just get started.

I'm not writing this for Democrats. You all vote for whomever you like. (I heard Senator Clinton's speech on Super Tuesday, though, and if I were a leftie, she'd have my vote.)

This series (simple though it may turn out to be) is for the handful of Republicans and Independents who read girlfriday and who see in Barack Obama hope for a shift in politics as usual. People who want change.

I will label every post "The Case Against Barack Obama" so it will be easy to reference them(once my temperamental Technorati Tag Cloud updates, that is). And I will try to break down every post by subject, so we can focus on what I consider the major issues.

My goal is to convince you not to vote for him.
It's really that simple.

If I'm wrong and Barack Obama turns out not to be the dangerous, idealistic, flaming left-winger I think he is, the better for all of us. Because he has a very good chance of winning.

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It's nice to know America was as pissed about Carly as I was.

But I think we did Brook a favor (as a non-voter, I do get to take credit when someone gets voted off that I didn't like). This show was stressing her out. She's a sweet girl, and she needed out of the spotlight. I hope "her" twin babies get her back.

Next week is a Rock and Roll Hall of Fame theme. Or, as I like to call it, "Just to make totally sure David Cook doesn't get voted off" week.

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