Tuesday, May 30, 2006

Seriously, with the kids home all day...

I'm playing with these silly quizzes!
This is how I hide from the little terrors. ;-)
I thought this was cool, because whenever Bret and I watch hour dramas, I usually figure out the dialogue and what is happening next. More so the dialogue though- so this could be a sign!

You Should Be a Film Writer

You don't just create compelling stories, you see them as clearly as a movie in your mind.
You have a knack for details and dialogue. You can really make a character come to life.
Chances are, you enjoy creating all types of stories. The joy is in the storytelling.
And nothing would please you more than millions of people seeing your story on the big screen!

How's that fence working out?

Silly and Cute

The Keys to Your Heart

You are attracted to those who are unbridled, untrammeled, and free.

In love, you feel the most alive when your lover is creative and never lets you feel bored.

You'd like to your lover to think you are flexible and ready for anything!

You would be forced to break up with someone who was insecure and in constant need of reassurance.

Your ideal relationship is lasting. You want a relationship that looks to the future... one you can grow with.

Your risk of cheating is zero. You care about society and morality. You would never break a commitment.

You think of marriage something you've always wanted... though you haven't really thought about it.

In this moment, you think of love as something you thirst for. You'll do anything for love, but you won't fall for it easily.

Monday, May 29, 2006

ASU jumps on bird flu hype-wagon

Holy Moly- seriously everyone needs to go out and get some air. From an article in today's Arizona Republic:

"If a flu pandemic hit tomorrow, months could pass before a targeted vaccine made its way to a panicked public."

"The H5N1 bird flu has killed 115 people since 2003, mainly in Asia, but has yet to mutate into a form that would be easily spread among people."

Uh... and how many have died in Iraq since 2003? Here's a hint.

Is there a vaccine for that?
Want more reality? Click here.

Seriously, I'm more afraid of my kids suffering from heat stroke as they are outside in 100 degree weather and jumping on the trampoline.

But if you're going to buy into the bird flu hype, then here's my advice. Watch out for terrorist chickens. They're everywhere. I think there should be fences erected around every KFC on the planet. We must keep them from getting in, raising our crime rates, and forcing us to use our hospitals when they infect us. You're either with us or with the chickens.

Now if you'll excuse me, I need to lie down. I've had this sniffle and a fever lately... and I am going to relax and catch up on my reading.

Sunday, May 28, 2006

As I roam around the blog-o-sphere

I find someone who is a lyric freak same as I am. This is neat idea, although there were some I just didn't have a song for. And there are about 20 answers for each.

1. A song that makes you think of yourself...
2. That makes you laugh... "Thank God I'm A Country Boy" John Denver (the kids sing it)
3. That makes you cry... (oh there are way too many) currently "You're Missing" Cowboy Junkies
4. That reminds you of a current lover..."Faithfully" Journey
5. That reminds you of a past lover... "Nothing Else Matters" Metallica
6. A song that brings back childhood memories... any early Madonna
7. That drives you up the wall... The Macareana
8. That you could listen to over and over... "Let Her Cry" Hootie and the Blowfish
9. A song that makes you tingly in special places... "Sleep Together" Garbage
10. That reminds you of someone who has passed away...
11. That makes you think of the person who shared this with you...
12. That makes you happy on a supremely shallow level... "The Real Slim Shady" Eminem
13. On a deeper level... "Northern Sky" Nick Drake
14. That you'd like to have played at your funeral... "Through the Dark" KT Turnstall
15. That you love the music video for... "Everybody Hurts" REM
16. A song that you've listened to in the past 24 hours..."I'm Coming Home" Martin Sexton

You know you're old when..

You take your kids out to the skating rink, and after two times around your knee feels like it's gonna give out.

They play an oldie, and it's THIS !

Tainted Love by Soft Cell
Album: Non-Sop Erotic Cabaret
Date: 1981
U.S. Chart: 8
U.K. Chart: 1
Sometimes I feel I've got to
Run away I've got to
Get away
From the pain that you drive into the heart of me
The love we share
Seems to go nowhere
And I've lost my light
For I toss and turn I can't sleep at night

Once I ran to you (I ran)
Now I'll run from you
This tainted love you've given
I give you all a boy could give you
Take my tears and that's not nearly all
Oh...tainted love
Tainted love

Now I know I've got to
Run away I've got to
Get away
You don't really want any more from me
To make things right
You need someone to hold you tight
And you think love is to pray
But I'm sorry I don't pray that way

Once I ran to you (I ran)
Now I'll run from you
This tainted love you've given
I give you all a boy could give you
Take my tears and that's not nearly all
Oh...tainted love
Tainted love

Don't touch me please
I cannot stand the way you tease
I love you though you hurt me so
Now I'm going to pack my things and go
Tainted love, tainted love (x2)
Touch me baby, tainted love (x2)
Tainted love (x3)

Cool tidbits and factoids at the link above, for those who feel like killing a coffee break.
Come on, y'all know you're singing it now...

Saturday, May 27, 2006

I could play with this for hours


And yes, if he gets stuck- force his butt through!

The most casual graduation on record

Well there you have it. I'm officially old. Isn't that what happens when you have two children who are now BOTH grade-school age? Yesterday was Samantha's little Kindergarten graduation. Right before their splash day, LOL!

Yeah, I cried. I imagine it must be hard on the teachers too, after all in Montessori you stay with the same student's for three years. I'm sure emotional attachments can be made in just one year- but three? That's alot of growing and development that these teachers are a part of. Allison is moving up to another class as well, she told me even SHE was crying.

But I love it deep down. The greatest joy being a mother has brought me is watching these two grow, and seeing the beautiful people they have become, and will continue to be. (One hopes!)

(Sam is to the left, second over from the tall girl in the middle)

Onward to the first grade!
I need a drink...

Wednesday, May 24, 2006

Don't be a strag...

"A towel, it says, is about the most massively useful thing an interstellar hitch hiker can have. Partly it has great practical value - you can wrap it around you for warmth as you bound across the cold moons of Jaglan Beta; you can lie on it on the brilliant marble-sanded beaches of Santraginus V, inhaling the heady sea vapours; you can sleep under it beneath the stars which shine so redly on the desert world of Kakrafoon; use it to sail a mini raft down the slow heavy river Moth; wet it for use in hand-to-hand-combat; wrap it round your head to ward off noxious fumes or to avoid the gaze of the Ravenous Bugblatter Beast of Traal (a mindboggingly stupid animal, it assumes that if you can't see it, it can't see you - daft as a bush, but very ravenous); you can wave your towel in emergencies as a distress signal, and of course dry yourself off with it if it still seems to be clean enough."

"More importantly, a towel has immense psychological value. For some reason, if a strag (strag: non-hitch hiker) discovers that a hitch hiker has his towel with him, he will automatically assume that he is also in possession of a toothbrush, face flannel, soap, tin of biscuits, flask, compass, map, ball of string, gnat spray, wet weather gear, space suit etc., etc. Furthermore, the strag will then happily lend the hitch hiker any of these or a dozen other items that the hitch hiker might accidentally have "lost". What the strag will think is that any man who can hitch the length and breadth of the galaxy, rough it, slum it, struggle against terrible odds, win through, and still knows where his towel is is clearly a man to be reckoned with."

Tomorrow is Towel Day!

Sunday, May 21, 2006

Adieu, Les Miserables

I remember the very first time I saw Les Miserables, it was with my sister Katie. I was hooked, I tell you, hooked! The summer before she went off to college and I was starting my senior year of High School, we put our allowance together to buy the soundtrack, and we took turns keeping it (although I think I kept it longer and she eventually bought her own copy... I guess I owe you some money K! *giggle*). My favorite song at the time was Fantine's "I Dreamed a Dream", because the lyrics (I'm a teeny-weeny bit of a lyrics freak) meshed with a very hot and steamy summer romance I was having at the time... though I'm happy to say that although the hot and steamy has mellowed out _a BIT_, my summer romance that year is still by my side 16 years later. And I didn't even have to sell my hair. :-)

It's come through Arizona 8 times now, and I think I have seen it six. Next to a Paul McCartney concert, tickets to Les Mis is something I would sell my children for, if I didn't have the funds (something tells me my summer romance isn't going to like that I wrote that. The NSA probably won't either). Thinking back, each time I've experienced this musical, different relationships have stood out for me, most likely due to all the growing and changing that happens to a person over 16 years' time. Becoming a mother brought out the relationship between Fantine and Cosette, and what a mother would do for her child. I do not need to explain my thoughts on the people dissenting against their government and the revolutionary drive that it brings out in me:

Red - the blood of angry men!
Black - the dark of ages past!
Red - a world about to dawn!
Black - the night that ends at last!

And always, Love, sacrifice, and letting go:

She was never mine to keep.
She is youthful, she is free.
Love is the garden of the young
Let it be... let it be...
A heart full of love
This I give you on this day.

This time, my focus was on Valjean, and his struggle to make peace with a God he always found to be absent. After all, who does 20 years hard labor for stealing a loaf of bread? Then to have your second chance handed to you by a Bishop you stole from? That's alot to make amends with. But what I saw into it today was a man who, although not perfect by any means, stuck with what was right in his heart, and always made his choices to better the lives and the communities around him. And in the end, his soul was free.

Take my hand
And lead me to salvation
Take my love
For love is everlasting
And remember
The truth that once was spoken
To love another person
Is to see the face of God.

Even Javert knew in the end that Valjean was just and true, and a man of honor. The conflict was so great for Javert and his beliefs he had to end his own life. When you believe one thing about a person for so long, it's hard to change your thinking, in either direction. In some ways it's like learning to speak a new language. And, always ending on an inspirational note:

Will you join in our crusade?
Who will be strong and stand with me?
Somewhere beyond the barricade
Is there a world you long to see?
Do you hear the people sing?
Say, do you hear the distant drums?
It is the future that they bring
When tomorrow comes!

I whispered to Bret that they needed to get these guys over to Washington, pronto! ;-)

I didn't realize until I was looking up links for this entry that this will be the last time the production comes through Arizona. That saddens me, because I had been talking to Bret about someday taking the kids to see this. Now, it heads into the vault of legacies in my mind, that I will look upon fondly, and always be able to recapture a bit when I pull out that CD I bought 16 years ago and listen.
Hey wait- it's on my iPod now! Heh, Cd's are so old school.

So I bid you adieu, Les Miserables. Thank you for bringing something so not your title to a small part of my life.

Saturday, May 13, 2006

The Happy Mother's Day Song

Written and sung by Samantha:

"Happy Mother's- Day!
Happy Mother's- Day!

Yeah, yeah, yeah......"

(repeat 529 times)

"I love you Mawwww-


(move over ladies!)

Friday, May 12, 2006

There Is No Danger

For a person of unsoddened mind,
unassaulted awareness,
abandoning merit and evil,
there is no danger
no fear.

-Dhammapada, 39

Perfect thought on Faith

"God may be omnipotent. God may be dead. As a friend said to me once: "How do we know that the big bang wasn't God exploding?" We could all be
carrion feeding off the corpse for all I know. Faith in something does not
necessitate belief in a religious structure. A simple understanding that
there's more to what we see.. there's something beyond our understanding
is for me at least, part of being a "Seeker" in life. Going beyond the
materialistic view of the world and recognising that any system that is
closed, eventually is circular. "


Tuesday, May 09, 2006

The 5 year plan... haha

Gallery Owner
You scored 44 Ambition, 55 Eccentricty, 66 Artsiness and 50 Humility!
You love the arts and you are probably pretty knowledgable about them--and you like other people to know it. You are stylish and outgoing, and you throw a mean party. Most important, you know how to promote yourself without seeming selfish and petty. You'll do to figure out what you are most passionate and stick with it, no matter how unlikely it seems. Chances are, with your affable social style and your ability to work system, you will be able to make a niche for yourself no matter where you are.

My test tracked 4 variables How you compared to other people your age and gender:
free online dating free online dating
You scored higher than 42% on Ambition
free online dating free online dating
You scored higher than 62% on Eccentricty
free online dating free online dating
You scored higher than 77% on Humility
free online dating free online dating
You scored higher than 42% on Artsy-ness
If you liked my test, send it to your friends!
The Five Year Plan Test

Monday, May 08, 2006

$134,121 x 6 please

Study: US mothers deserve $134,121 in salary

By Ellen Wulfhorst
Wed May 3, 9:11 AM ET

A full-time stay-at-home mother would earn $134,121 a year if paid for all her work, an amount similar to a top U.S. ad executive, a marketing director or a judge, according to a study released Wednesday.

A mother who works outside the home would earn an extra $85,876 annually on top of her actual wages for the work she does at home, according to the study by Waltham, Massachusetts-based compensation experts Salary.com.

To reach the projected pay figures, the survey calculated the earning power of the 10 jobs respondents said most closely comprise a mother's role -- housekeeper, day-care teacher, cook, computer operator, laundry machine operator, janitor, facilities manager, van driver, chief executive and psychologist.

"You can't put a dollar value on it. It's worth a lot more," said Kristen Krauss, 35, as she hurriedly packed her four children, all aged under 8, into a minivan in New York while searching frantically for her keys. "Just look at me."

Employed mothers reported spending on average 44 hours a week at their outside job and 49.8 hours at their home job, while the stay-at-home mother worked 91.6 hours a week, it showed.

An estimated 5.6 million women in the United States are stay-at-home mothers with children under age 15, according to the most recent U.S. Census Bureau data.


"It's good to acknowledge the job that's being done, and that it's not that these women are settling for 'just a mom,"' said Bill Coleman, senior vice president of compensation at Salary.com. "They are actually doing an awful lot."

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, some 26 million women with children under age 18 work in the nation's paid labor force.

Both employed and stay-at-home mothers said the lowest-paying job of housekeeper was their most common role, with employed mothers working 7.2 hours a week as housekeeper and stay-at-home mothers working 22.1 hours in that role.

"Every husband I've ever spoken to said, 'I'm keeping my job. You keep yours.' It's a tough one," said Gillian Forrest, 39, a stay-at-home mother of 22-month-old Alex in New York. "I don't know if you could put a dollar amount on it but it would be nice to get something."

To compile its study, Salary.com surveyed about 400 mothers online over the last two months.

Salary.com offers a Web site (http://www.mom.salary.com) where mothers can calculate what they could be paid, based on how many children they have, where they live and other factors. The site will produce a printable document that looks like a paycheck, Coleman said.

"It's obviously not negotiable," he said.

On average, the mother who works outside the house earns a base pay of $62,798 for a 40-hour at-home work week and $23,078 in overtime; a stay-at-home mother earned a base pay of $45,697 and $88,424 in overtime, it said.

In a Salary.com study conducted last year, stay-at-home mothers earned $131,471. The potential earnings of mothers who work outside the home was not calculated in the previous study.

And my check ;-):

How totally cool is that- I can get paid for all my online time!! That makes up for my lack of housekeeping... WoooooT!! :-P

A Limb Just Moved

Found this absolutely exquisite...

You taught Your songs to the birds first,
why was that?

And You practised Your love in the hearts of animals
before You created man,

I know the planets talk at night
and tell secrets

A limb just moved before me,
the beauty of this world
is causing me to


Sure, a movie about 9-11 is "too soon"...

But let's freak everyone out about Bird Flu with a cheesy TV movie! Bah!
As long as it's not used as a PSA... I'm indifferent.

Experts fear bird flu movie may spur panic

By Maggie Fox, Health and Science CorrespondentMon May 8, 5:08 PM ET

A film about a fictional bird flu pandemic that will air on television on Tuesday has experts worried it will panic some people and convince others that legitimate warnings are mere hype.

But the same experts are taking advantage of publicity surrounding the made-for-television movie to stress what they see as the need for individuals, businesses and local officials to do what they can to prepare.

The Health and Human Services Department issued "talking points" to staff who may get questions about the movie, Pennsylvania is rolling out a new Web site and telephone line to coincide with the release, and the Trust for America's Health held a briefing to try to sort fact from fiction.

"Fatal Contact: Bird Flu in America" features scenes with actors wearing spacesuit-like protective gear, a terrified populace and an ending scene in which most residents of an African village lie dead.

However, if we should fear anything at all, it should be things like THIS.

We Wear the Mask

We wear the mask that grins and lies,
It hides our cheeks and shades our eyes,--
This debt we pay to human guile;
With torn and bleeding hearts we smile,
And mouth with myriad subtleties.

Why should the world be overwise,
In counting all our tears and sighs?
Nay, let them only see us, while
We wear the mask.

We smile, but, O great Christ, our cries
To thee from tortured souls arise.
We sing, but oh the clay is vile
Beneath our feet, and long the mile;
But let the world dream otherwise,
We wear the mask!

Paul Laurence Dunbar

Friday, May 05, 2006

It's not the what, it's the who

Swiped ever-so-lovingly from my Bee-Sistah...

Peanuts Philosophy

The following is the philosophy of Charles Schultz, the creator of the "Peanuts" comic strip. You don't have to actually answer the questions. Just read it straight through, and you'll get the point.

1. Name the five wealthiest people in the world.
2. Name the last five Heisman trophy winners.
3. Name the last five winners of the Miss America.
4. Name ten people who have won the Nobel or Pulitzer Prize.
5. Name the last half dozen Academy Award winner for best actor and actress.
6. Name the last decade's worth of World Series winners.

How did you do?

The point is, none of us remember the headliners of yesterday. These are no second-rate achievers. They are the best in their fields. But the applause dies. Awards tarnish. Achievements are forgotten. Accolades and certificates are buried with their owners.

Here's another quiz. See how you do on this one:

1. List a few teachers who aided your journey through school.
2. Name three friends who have helped you through a difficult time.
3. Name five people who have taught you something worthwhile.
4. Think of a few people who have made you feel appreciated and special.
5. Think of five people you enjoy spending time with.


The lesson: The people who make a difference in your life are not the ones with the most credentials, the most money, or the most awards. They are the ones that care.

The Dreams of My Heart

The dreams of my heart and my mind pass,
Nothing stays with me long,
But I have had from a child
The deep solace of song;

If that should ever leave me,
Let me find death and stay
With things whose tunes are played out and forgotten
Like the rain of yesterday.

Sarah Teasdale

Wednesday, May 03, 2006

The Only True Fact Of Our Lives

It was a rough day today. Well, it had been sort of a rough week of contemplating my Truth Seekers network, friendship, and turning a year older, but today put my mortality at the center.

Last week (Friday to be exact) a good friend of mine from grade school's mother passed away. Quite suddenly actually. She was having back problems, went and got medication from her doctor, and went to lie down. She had trouble breathing, then that was it.

Bret went to the viewing last night, and this morning we both went to the service, which was a full Catholic Mass. I said I would go without question, which Bret seemed a bit surprised by. But at that moment all I was thinking is we need to go and support Erin. 12 hours later, when I had time to dwell on it a bit, I started questioning my decision. The last time I was in a church, I had to leave because it really upset me and I was in tears. And I never went back since.

But I believe in signs. I've been struggling more with this whole God and church thing over the past year, and working to find my place in this world (ewww Michael W Smith is running through my head now), and so here we go. This is a most unfortunately way for me to have to be forced to face what I want to face, but we grow the most under unfortunate circumstances.

I woke up, did a little meditation, got ready, took the kids to school, and headed up to the church. Got there with almost 35 minutes to spare. I tried to message a friend on the phone, but then as Bret pulled up next to me I suddenly thought to myself, "This is not about me. Just remember the reason you are here."

There is something to be said for 13 years of emotional maturity. What was I thinking? Lightening would strike me down? The HUGE statue of Jesus hanging at the alter would suddenly start scolding me? That everyone would suddenly stop and point and throw stones? I would spontaneously combust?

LOL- I really have to get over this idea that I'm a vampire. ;-) Especially because I still am able to walk around in the daylight... albeit grudgingly.

So, we go in and sit down, and I first notice how cold the place is. But I've always known that Catholic churches are just not very welcoming places. So symbolic, so slated and marbled. And I wasn't kidding about the huge Jesus hanging at the alter.

The processional was when I felt the twang, at seeing Erin and her family come in, and the casket (I had never been to a funeral before). My heart certainly went out to her, as I do know the burdens she undertakes at being the oldest sibling, and now with 4 of her own children.

But that was really the only moment I felt connected to the service. Everything was part of the Mass, and in Latin to boot! It just seemed oddly ritualistic, and even those in attendance seemed to be just going through the motions. The only part that was in English was the sermon, which was really quite good. In a nutshell, last week he was talking to this woman, and now she's gone. We're all going to die, and it will be sudden, so why aren't we living our lives knowing this? Why are we denying this only true fact of our lives?

We spend each day trying to hide the fact we're going to die.

After the sermon, the Mass continued. Later Bret and I talked about how no one got up and spoke about Erin's mother. There was no real personal connection to any of it, and for both of us that seemed a little odd. It just didn't seem to be a good way to say goodbye overall.

Afterwards, while leaving, I went up just to pay my respects to Erin and her father. She looked genuinely happy, and even a little surprised to see me, and she hugged me tight. I didn't want to say I was sorry, I knew she heard that enough. So I told her I loved her, and left it at that. Let her get through her mourning... then maybe catch up in a few weeks.

Bret had to rush off to work, and I got in my car and started back towards the school, as I had a message that Allie wasn't feeling well. I had also received a message back on my phone from my friend, which I wasn't expecting one at all so that made me smile inside.

I passed by the church across from the kids school, and this time it didn't look quite so scary to me, and I smiled again.

I'm exactly on the path I should be on.