Monday, July 31, 2006

The Day That Turned Into Days

A word of advice. Do not pick the night before driving 6 hours to San Diego from Phoenix to have an extreme case of insomnia. I managed a half an hour- 30 freaking minutes. Why does that happen when you've got shit to do? My mind for some reason would just not shut down. Normally, it wouldn't matter so much, being summer break and the kids being able to maintain their own life support for the most part now. But for once I needed to be coherent... ha.

I was thinking about friendships and relationships alot. And expectations. And how sometimes a relationship seems like one thing, then the veils are lifted and a person's true colors shine through. Sometimes it is exactly what you thought it was- a true friendship, and as the months and years go on the bond grows ever strong and true. Other times you reach out to that friend, and when they finally turn around you have no clue who that person is anymore. Then you feel foolish that you ever thought it was any different. Especially when you try to explain what you're thinking to that person. If they are set in their ways, it won't matter what you say. They are who they are, and really all you can do is choose how you are going to relate to them in the future.

I believe in equality and responsibility in relationships. All relationships. Romantic, friendship, business, it doesn't matter. Don't be emotionally dishonest, because your partner will trust you before distrusting you. It's misleading.

In the end, it does come down to one person. You. You are the only person ultimately responsible for you. You can't have anyone else be responsible for your feelings and how you relate to someone. If you try to push it onto someone else, then you are the one being emotionally dishonest. Not only to the other person, but to yourself.

That's not who I want to be. I value and respect myself too much for that. I've come too far in my path and my journey to fall backwards emotionally like that. I was told recently that because of my past I do just that. It made me angry, because I don't think it's true. I know because I feel who I am, feel it inside me. And I don't dislike the person I am at all. As a matter of fact I love the person I am very much. But that person saying those words to me did force me to look inside to check myself.

Emotional status checks are a good thing every now and again. It should be planned with your dental checkups.

And THIS is what causes insomnia folks. LOL! OK, day one San Diego: the drive there was eh, due to lack of sleep and the general grumpiness that ultimately follows. Bret got angry at my vague shortcut directions Rob had given me for going on a different highway, and thought we were lost after driving about 10 minutes after leaving Maricopa. So before calling Rob to verify we were going in the right direction, Bret pulled over into this neighborhood- and OMG I can't even call it a neighborhood because there were FOUR houses. One of which hada statue of a green alien with big black eyes in the front yard. I looked at Bret and said, "Oh no you're NOT doing this." I mean fuck, it had horror-movie premise written all over it!

"No, I'll go to that house- there are kids toys out front."
Oh. THAT makes a difference? At the same time Sam needed to go to the bathroom. Bret goes to get her out of the car too- and I'm like "oh HELL no," again. So Bret walks up to the door, and I'm looking around for Leatherface, just waiting for the chainsaw sound....

Fortunately no one answered, and Rob called back and we were on the right road. I just didn't write down that we needed to drive about 40 miles before hitting the interstate. Heh, so much for cutting a half hour off our trip.

We made it to San Diego around 4:30, called Rob, and he met us at our hotel so we could go to dinner. He took us to LaJolla to see the seals gather on the beach. The girls thought it was the most amazing thing, and were so excited to see Ocean. We went down and stuck our feet in, but the tide was starting to come in fairly high, so feet turned into wet bottoms on the girls. (THIS short-person's bottom managed to stay dry...) Then we walked uphill and had dinner. I splurged (with permission, hehe) and had LOBSTER. Mmmmm..... a whole lobster dinner for $25? Who could pass that up? Other than those who don't like lobster, of course.

Rob looks so much better than when we saw him in June. The color is back in his face, and his appetite is back too. I told him I was gaining weight as a sign of support. The girls of course were all over him, they love their Godfather so. It's really beautiful to see.

Now, I must collapse. But I needed to pen my thoughts so I can (hopefully) have a clear head tonight. Yes- PEN! GOD I need a laptop. Hell I don't even need internet on the thing, just a word processor so I can type my journal entries and transfer them to the blog later.

Tomorrow- Legoland and Dinner with Jenn and Omar!

Monday, July 24, 2006

Feel it hot, hot, HOT

118- flipping degrees Friday!

I walked outside, to go just across the street to get the mail, and I felt my arms burning. Smoke rising as it began to singe. It was the worst 3 minutes of my life.

Saturday it was noticeably cooler, we decided as we took Allie to see Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest. Sam stayed and swam over at Nana's. That night we learned yes, indeed it was cooler.

116. I'm sorry all you east coast peeps who say "well come out here with 100 degrees and the humidity"- but I'd take that ANY DAY OVER THIS. And I can say that, because I've been in it. Now go inside, turn on your oven to 120 degrees, and stick your head in it for 3 minutes. Though I give you no air-conditioning... that has GOT to suck.

I heard rain tonight... and it was actually pretty steady coming down. For like 5 minutes. It's dry as a bone out there again.

Next Monday- San Diego baby!!!! Rob says it's been 90 there... and I said I'll pack a sweater for that cold front.

Thursday, July 20, 2006

Give a gal a mic...

"Voice-acting, on the fun meter, is off the scale. You show up, you don't have to be all primped up, or dressed up. And you get to work with some amazing people, and goof off for four hours. " ~Jason Marsden

Kay... so I haven't written too much about my new voice hobby/love/obsession here. But something really cool happened, so I figured why the heck not?

Besides, I need to make up for that last entry about the water leak. Yeesh, am I really that hard up to post things on here?

So, alot of you are family, or friends that read this blog. Which is really why I have it. To have the ones I love, and who want to know what's going on with the Cutler-clan, know what's going on. Mostly about the kiddies... or an occasional political rant for the most part. But there is an audio side to me. Alter-ego, perhaps? I haven't written too much about my boyz up in Halifax and their amazing show Sonic Society. Which I ended up getting more directly involved with when I started handling their podcast of the weekly radio show back in January.

And you know? Me likey. Me really, really, likey. Sure, I love to listen, and I LOVE LOVE LOVE a good story. Hell, I even love a bad story at times. But editing? OMG- the tediousness of it all is FUN! Not that I have too much to do as far as editing their cast. I just need to throw in a few podcast promos, and boom I'm done. (I've gotten sort of good at that promoting thing too... I think they are up to about 600 subscribers now, and that doesn't include individual downloads of the show)

But then I got ballsy. Recorded a few promos for them. Mixed them with music and everything. THEN people started saying I sounded---- well, good. WTF?

Then I took another step, and created a podcast for my political message board, Truth Seekers. That has also received good feedback... for the most part. Encouraging enough to make me think I should give this radio idea a little more thought...

I dunno. Perhaps a journalism degree, then my own radio show? (Gee, I'm not thinking big here, am I?)

Well, the coolest thing happened this week. I took a stab at this voice-acting thing. Yeah, voice-acting. Through Sonic Society I made friends with another troop of awesome actors/writers/producers at Dream Realm Enterprises. I'm actually helping them with a fan-interview podcast for some of their productions, it's quite cool. Anyway, they are so encouraging. They nudged me gently into auditioning for a role in their Robotz series.

So I did. Sat here in the office, and belted out a couple lines while the kids were at camp.
Well, OMFG.
I got two roles out of it. Teeheeeeeeee......

Of course, my voice is going to be distorted, but hey- I'm gonna be in an audio play! How freaking cool is that? :-D

It's so neat to find a creative side that has been lying dormant for so long. AND to realize that creativity doesn't necessarily mean that I'm stuck with just musical talent. It seems to extend far beyond that. I'm having fun re-discovering this new-yet-old part of myself again.

Oh, the above quote? He's the voice of Chester on one of my fav- erm, I mean my kids favorite cartoons. (Yeah, my kids... thaaaat's it.)

He's absolutely right. It's off the scale!

The Great Cutler Flood (ok leak) of 2006*

Yah, there was definitely a smell. At first Bret said sour milk. Hmm... now I definitely have horrible eating habits around the computer, but I am not a big milk-drinker. So that couldn't be it.

So I took out the trash, stuck one of those Glade Vanilla-scented oil thingys in the wall, and it was pleasant.

Until I started noticing it too. Only... it was more like... wet socks. Yah, definitely locker-room smell. On a whim I moved the chair mat under the desk, to find the carpet underneath it pretty wet. Hmmm... I don't recall spilling anything. Yes, I am pretty sloppy, but if I spill something, I tend to clean it up. Sometimes even within 24 hours. And how did it get under the mat?

So we steamed it, and let it dry. Problem solved, right?

That night I'm in the kitchen, go under the sink for something, and everything is wet. Ahhh.....
Walk back into office, explore the carpet more closely. Not just wet under the chair mat apparently.

(heeheee... 'apparently'. I always giggle now when I hear/use that word.)

Entire carpet soaked under desk. Nutshell: R/O system leak, worked way through wall into office.

Well what do you know! Time to clean the office! Everything out, carpet pulled up, used steam cleaner to suck a good amount of water from the padding.

Do you know how much dust can accumulate on the back of a computer monitor over a couple year's time? Or on the top shelf of a desk where my short ass can't see? I was sneezing for days afterwards!

Epilogue: No more musty smell, no dust on computer equipment. LOTS of papers and b/s in recycle bin. Do not think there will be any permanent damage/mold in wall.

Ah, the joys of homeownership!

*quite possibly the most boring blog entry ever written in the history of the internet...

Tuesday, July 04, 2006


Let America Be America Again
By Langston Hughes

Let America be America again.
Let it be the dream it used to be.
Let it be the pioneer on the plain
Seeking a home where he himself is free.

(America never was America to me.)

Let America be the dream the dreamers dreamed--
Let it be that great strong land of love
Where never kings connive nor tyrants scheme
That any man be crushed by one above.

(It never was America to me.)

O, let my land be a land where Liberty
Is crowned with no false patriotic wreath,
But opportunity is real, and life is free,
Equality is in the air we breathe.

(There's never been equality for me,
Nor freedom in this "homeland of the free.")

Say, who are you that mumbles in the dark?
And who are you that draws your veil across the stars?

I am the poor white, fooled and pushed apart,
I am the Negro bearing slavery's scars.
I am the red man driven from the land,
I am the immigrant clutching the hope I seek--
And finding only the same old stupid plan
Of dog eat dog, of mighty crush the weak.

I am the young man, full of strength and hope,
Tangled in that ancient endless chain
Of profit, power, gain, of grab the land!
Of grab the gold! Of grab the ways of satisfying need!
Of work the men! Of take the pay!
Of owning everything for one's own greed!

I am the farmer, bondsman to the soil.
I am the worker sold to the machine.
I am the Negro, servant to you all.
I am the people, humble, hungry, mean--
Hungry yet today despite the dream.
Beaten yet today--O, Pioneers!
I am the man who never got ahead,
The poorest worker bartered through the years.

Yet I'm the one who dreamt our basic dream
In the Old World while still a serf of kings,
Who dreamt a dream so strong, so brave, so true,
That even yet its mighty daring sings
In every brick and stone, in every furrow turned
That's made America the land it has become.
O, I'm the man who sailed those early seas
In search of what I meant to be my home--
For I'm the one who left dark Ireland's shore,
And Poland's plain, and England's grassy lea,
And torn from Black Africa's strand I came
To build a "homeland of the free."

The free?

Who said the free? Not me?
Surely not me? The millions on relief today?
The millions shot down when we strike?
The millions who have nothing for our pay?
For all the dreams we've dreamed
And all the songs we've sung
And all the hopes we've held
And all the flags we've hung,
The millions who have nothing for our pay--
Except the dream that's almost dead today.

O, let America be America again--
The land that never has been yet--
And yet must be--the land where every man is free.
The land that's mine--the poor man's, Indian's, Negro's, ME--
Who made America,
Whose sweat and blood, whose faith and pain,
Whose hand at the foundry, whose plow in the rain,
Must bring back our mighty dream again.

Sure, call me any ugly name you choose--
The steel of freedom does not stain.
From those who live like leeches on the people's lives,
We must take back our land again,

O, yes,
I say it plain,
America never was America to me,
And yet I swear this oath--
America will be!

Out of the rack and ruin of our gangster death,
The rape and rot of graft, and stealth, and lies,
We, the people, must redeem
The land, the mines, the plants, the rivers.
The mountains and the endless plain--
All, all the stretch of these great green states--
And make America again!

Summer Means...

Flip Flops!!!

Another year, two more grey hairs

The first year of separate parties. What absolute chaos! First Allie (she has informed us that she would like her nickname with an 'ie' versus a 'y'- Ms. Independent 9-year-old!) took a group of her friends to the movies. It ended up being pretty much a day event, with lunch and cake and presents back at the house afterwards. But they had a great time, and she enjoyed having her best friend AND her crush there with her. I think her crush enjoyed being the only male amoungst the ladies too...

Then in between was Sam's actual bday, so that had to be celebrated on the actual day with present opening at the very least, along with her choice of dinner (mmmmm.... tacos). Friday a quick breather, then Saturday was Sam's party at the pool. Same as last year. We felt sort of bad for her, her little school friends didn't show, but her friend Emily did and they had a grand time. Along with family, friends, and Uncle Rob! (Rob- thank GOD you're ok, and if you ever scare us like that again.........)

It also happened to be Allie's actual bday, so again that evening it was presents and dinner. Sunday, since Rob and the parents were still in town, we all went to Build-A-Bear to let them blow some birthday cash. They love love LOVE that place! (I do too- I so want one! I asked for one for MY birthday or Mother's Day, but I didn't get one. :-( )

It was great having my parents here, the girls always enjoy when they visit. Mom started teaching Allie how to sew. It was great, especially since I just don't have the interest or the patience to learn. So now I'll have someone to do all the sewing for me!! WooHOO!!!

So now things wind down until we go and see Uncle Rob the first week of August for a few days. The kids have not been to San Diego yet, so it should be TONS of fun!

Sunday, July 02, 2006

Raise the roof!

Man, I'm behind in posting. I finally got through all the pictures from JUNE. Let's start with a fresh coat of paint:

See? I mean it. Father's day weekend was spent creating a masterpiece that would make Michaelangelo want to take notes.

Allison wanted a day/night theme on her ceiling. She designed it, drew it, and helped Dad paint it.

You can't see all the glow-in-the-dark stars, but they are there. Big dipper, Little dipper... shooting stars... it's absolutely wonderful with the lights out. :-D

*giggle-giggle* He's gonna kill me for showing him all sleepy... but it was Father's Day!