Tuesday, June 29, 2004

Fahrenheit 9/11

I have not seen the movie, nor do I plan to. I only see one or two movies a year, and I want to escape from reality, not think about current events. And nothing ticks me off more than propaganda. Facts, fine, but I don't need to be brainwashed with someone else's opinions and biases.

However, I did this very interesting review on feministe.

Don't mess with me- I'll write you a letter!

I learned as a little girl that when a business ticks you off, write a letter. And copy the better business burueau. That'll teach you. Thanks Mom! Here's a copy of what I sent to Hotel Galvez:

I would like to express to you my displeasure in your hotel’s customer service. My grandparents spent their honeymoon over 60 years ago in your hotel and myself and the other grandchildren decided to send them back as a Christmas present this past year. I ordered the gift certificate in November and received it shortly after.

In March, when my grandparents made the reservation, my credit card was charged again. I called at the end of March and again in April to resolve the matter. The duplicate charge was not removed, so when my grandparents checked into the hotel, they spoke with the manager on call at the time, Dwayne, regarding the issue. He said it was a problem with my credit card, but they would resolve it. The charge was still not removed, so I called again. Exasperated, I called one more time and left a message with the accounting department and said if the charge was not credited to my account within 24 hours, I would dispute the charge through my credit card company. I was forced to proceed with the and imagine my surprise when several months go by and I receive a rebuttal from your hotel attached with a copy of the order from me and a copy of the gift certificate (which said at the bottom that it was charged to my credit card in November). I spoke with Cindy Staton and was informed no record existed of the charge in November. I have since faxed copies of my credit card statements showing both charges. I have wasted numerous hours trying to resolve this issue which was through no fault of my own.

The irony is that when my grandparents arrived on their honeymoon night, their reservation (which had been made for months), was lost and the hotel was completely booked. The first night of their honeymoon and they spent it in the hotel lobby until a room opened up. Over 60 years and you have still to get it right.

Monday, June 28, 2004

They found me

Two days away from my computer and the inbox said 70 unread messages. Carp. The spam has hit. Time for a new email addy, obviously. I know who did it too, since they're all refinancing offers. Stay clear of lendingtree.com. Might as well call themselves spam generators.

Finding me again

Friday night as I was driving to Clear Lake to visit a friend, I was tired, cranky, and just wanted to stay home. I did want to see my friend, so I went ahead and made the 45 minute drive. After a relaxing and fun evening hanging out with the girls (and missing my kids terribly), I realized that I've lost part of myself. Okay, I've lost almost all of myself. I am so wrapped up in the minutiae of the day, I don't even think about me. All I think about is making it to the next day. This is not how I want to live my life, but I guess it is the reality of it. I am making a promise to myself to spend more time on me.

Rush is Right!

Sorry, my right-wing friends, not Rush Limbaugh. The concert Saturday night was awesome. 30 years and they still sound as good as ever. Even after the rain and thunderstorms all week and predictions of the same that night, the weather held out. It was amazingly cool with a breeze. It was a spiritual experience. If Rush was a religion, that is what I would choose. "Why are we here, because we're here. Roll the bones. Why does it happen? Because it happens, roll the bones." They also did cover songs of bands that had influenced them. I never thought I'd hear Rush do their rendition of "Summertime Blues"- much better than the original! The crowd roared for "The Seeker" by The Who, although that was a little before my time. I was disappointed that I didn't get to hear "Closer to the Heart", although we were graced by many classics. As any true music lover will tell you, it doesn't get any better than this. Can't wait for the next one.

Tuesday, June 22, 2004

Smokin' Party

The boy's 4th birthday party was a success! Everyone made it to the fire station on time, which was a good thing since they'd overbooked and sent us to a different one a couple of miles away. Which meant my directions to the park after the tour were useless.

After a quick look at how firemen live when on duty, we got to the good stuff- the truck and the gear. All I heard was *blah blah blah* and then he opened the door with the tools- the axes and picks and all that good stuff- ooooooh. One of the firemen graciously put himself into gear including mask and air tank. I'm surprised none of the kids wigged on that one.

Next, they climbed into the ambulance where the paramedics explained all their cool stuff. Both trucks turned on their lights (I was secretly hoping for the sirens) and they gave all the kids goodie bags with stickers and coloring books and a tattoo.

We all headed to the park where the boy's moonwalk was set up (yes, my son owns his own moonwalk- no, he's not spoiled *heh*) and lunch was served. It was a very nice sunny day with a heat index only around 110 and 92% humidity. We decided to cut the invite list by 300 and had only 30 people at the party, so the gift opening only took half the day. I would say it was a very enjoyable time even with the heat exhaustion.

Sounded like a good idea at the time

An entire family starts out the day like any other typical day. Then they all end up in jail. I'm thinking McMinnville, TN needs to build a movie theater or mall or something.

Thursday, June 17, 2004

Are we safe from terrorism?

My other hot topic (see women's rights, below) is international policy. Being that I'm married to an airline pilot and have two small children, I feel it's my duty to protect.

So, which presidential candidate will win my vote in November? Here's some things Kerry had to say in January 2004....

"I think there has been an exaggeration," Mr. Kerry said when asked whether President Bush has overstated the threat of terrorism. "They are misleading all Americans in a profound way." The front-runner for the Democratic nomination said he would engage other nations in a more cooperative fashion to quell terrorism.

Now, here's where I get confused.

This one is dated March 2004:
The Democratic Party's presidential front-runner, Sen. John Kerry (D-Mass.), has pledged that if elected he will abandon the president's war on terror, begin a dialogue with terrorist regimes and apologize for three-and-one-half years of mistakes by the Bush administration.

And this one in June 2004, where Kerry states "As commander in chief, I will bring the full force of our nation's power to bear on finding and crushing [terrorist] networks," ... "We will use every resource of our power to destroy." and he criticized Bush ... for taking a "kid glove approach" to hunting down terrorist money and for coddling Saudi Arabia.

Can anyone clarify his position?

Women's Rights Slowly Being Stripped Away

The future for women in this country scares me, especially if Bush is reelected. And being a woman, this is one of my top concerns, right behind the safety of my children.

Abstinence only programs in schools, contraceptive coverage removed for federal employees (is Viagra covered, I wonder?), but don't just take my word for it, this taken from Planned Parenthood.

- The president's FY2001 budget doubles education funding for dangerous "abstinence-only" programs (October 11, 2001).
- "Abstinence-only" proponent Patricia Funderburk Ware named to head the Presidential Advisory Council on HIV/AIDS (PACHA) (November 30, 2001).
- U.S. delegation to the U.N. Children's Summit, led by HHS Secretary Tommy Thompson, fights sexuality education and opposes condoms for HIV/AIDS prevention (May 2002).
- The president withholds $34 million in funding for birth control, maternal and child care and HIV/AIDS prevention from the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) (July 22, 2002).
- The president withholds more then $200 million in funding for programs to support women and address HIV/AIDS in Afghanistan (August 2, 2002).
- Anti-condom "abstinence-only" proponent Dr. Freda McKissic named to the CDC Advisory Committee on HIV and STD Prevention (September 6, 2002).
- HHS Web sites remove medically accurate information about condom effectiveness and the lack of a proven link between abortion and breast cancer (October 2002).
- "Abstinence-only" proponent Dr. Alma Golden named to oversee Title X, nation's family planning program (October 7, 2002).
- The National Cancer Institute (NCI) Web site posts a "revised" fact sheet that suggests an unproved link between abortion and breast cancer (November 25, 2002).
- State Department denies funds for refugee AIDS prevention (August 1, 2003).
- Anti-choice hardliners resort to intimidation tactics to pressure NIH scientists to abandon research on AIDS, sexuality and high-risk behavior (October 28, 2003).
- Budget released for FY 2005 funds "abstinence-only" sex education and marriage initiatives, freezes funding for Title X family planning services (February 2, 2004).
- FDA bows to political pressure and delays making decision on converting emergency contraception to over-the-counter status (February 13, 2004).
- FDA disregards recommendations of its own independent review board, and denies over-the-counter status to Barr Laboratories' Plan B® emergency contraception (May 6, 2004).

So, let me try to make sense of this. The plan is to ban abortions, but at the same time, deny coverage for birth control, promote abstinence only and appoint anti-condom proponents as the leaders on HIV and STD Prevention? Does anyone else see the ludicracy in this?

Tuesday, June 15, 2004

The little comedian...

Last night, as I was putting my son back in bed for the third time, I said- "Get out of bed one more time and you get a spanking". Yes, I spank my son. Call CPS. Anyways, he gets out of bed, so I go in to spank him. I smack his little tush and then he turns to me and says "You're tough!". I had to leave the room immediately for fear he would see me laughing.

Later, the phone rings so he has to come check it out. I again lead him back to bed and ask in a not so patient voice "How many times do I have to tell you to STAY IN BED??". He holds up two fingers. Again, I had to leave the room immediately.

It's so hard to discipline when all you want to do is laugh!

Thursday, June 10, 2004

Kerry announces running mate!

Finally, we've all been waiting...

Kerry Announces Running Mate

Gotta love the Onion!

Are You Politically Aware?

If you are, please share some NONBIASED sources for information. Most of the discussions involving either side pick and choose and take things out of context in order to prove their point. And often will resort to personal attacks, which to me, means they have no facts to back up their beliefs.

I've decided that I need to be more aware of the issues, especially involving local politics. Right now, the only person I know I will vote for is whoever is running against Congressman Tom Delay.

I know where I stand on most issues, but I don't know where the politicians stand. There's the disconnect that I need to fix. Here's my stance on the issues- what category do you think I belong?

Cells are not a baby until they can sustain themselves outside the mother's womb. Where the cutoff is, I don't know, I'm not a doctor. Therefore, a woman has the right to do as she chooses until that point. I do not understand the arguement that abortion is murder, but it may be okay if it saves the mother's life or in the cases of rape.

But instead of doing the pro-life/pro-choice arguments that get us nowhere, why don't we all work together and work on prevention. Teach birth control in schools. Provide free birth control for those who can not afford it. Prevent the situation in the first place.

Stem cell research:
See above, I think it's a good thing because it can save lives.

Partial birth abortions:
It's so horrid that I don't even want to think about it.

Gay marriage:
Why discriminate against a whole class of people? And why are you trying to tell others how to live their lives?

Separation of church and state:
I have no problem with others praticing their religion as long as it does not interfere with other's choice of religion. All the religious references in the pledge, on our currency, etc- that's just our culture. Doesn't mean you have to believe in the same god or any god at all.

We have one messed up system. Why would we reward people who do not work and punish those that do? People trying to pull themselves off welfare and get a minimum wage job lose. They lose money and can't make enough to sustain themselves and their family. Education is key. We have to help those that cannot work. My uncle is mentally retarded and could not ever live on his own. He requires government assistance, but he still does work at the center where he lives. But the people who have a capacity to work need to be given the skills to get a job and there has to be an incentive tied to it. Either you get assistance for xxx long or the $$ amount decreases as time goes on and you are REQUIRED to get continuing education and job placement assitance.

Tax system:
And the average American is supposed to follow all the rules that even the professionals struggle to keep up with? Scratch it all and start over. It's ridiculous.

Death penalty:
I heard a statistic a long time ago that stuck with me. Now, I never believe statitics because you can use any data you want to get the outcome you desire, but this one made sense. It costs more for a prisoner on death row because of all the required appeals than it would if he/she was in for life. And I don't think that it's a deterant either. Do you really think this goes through someone's mind when they're getting ready to kill-- "Well, if I bludgeon this guy, I'll go to death row, but if I just shoot him once, maybe I'll just go for life"? I also think prisoners get hardened rather than reformed in prison. What to do about this, I have not a clue.

The war in Iraq:
I was ambilivant about going to war in the first place because I don't think it's our duty to police the entire world. And I especially did not like the fact that we did not have many of the other power houses on our side. However, we are there and we'd better stay to finish the job. Pulling out now would be wasting the lives of the soldiers we have already lost. And a slap in the face, again, to the Iraqis.

Have I touched on enough controversy today? :)

Tuesday, June 08, 2004


Since the most exciting thing to do at work (besides checking the soda machine to see if the Diet Coke's have run out) is to check your blood pressure at the health check machine, I thought I would do a PSA about blood pressure.

For some strange reason since I have zero medical education, the terms systolic and diastolic have stuck in my head regarding blood pressure. I know nothing about what they mean. Must be time to google.

I won't bore you with the details, here's a good website for that. Basically, 120/80 is great, 130/85 normal, and 140+/90+ is hypertension.

We now return to our regularly scheduled inane drivel.

Frozen in Stress

Not frozen in fear, but frozen in stress. So many different things going on, I can't keep it all straight. I'd make lists, but I'd have 20 different lists and wouldn't begin to know how to prioritize. Trying to get the old house on the market, son's 4th bday party coming up, daughter's 1st bday, work is crazy busy, and all the little loose ends everywhere that need tying up. So, I think I'll just avoid it all entirely and blog. What do YOU want to talk about today?

Friday, June 04, 2004

I've got some change in my pocket

This afternoon I'm doing a search for the annoying country song that goes:

...I've got some change in my pocket going jinglelingleling...why don't you call me on the telephone and give me a ring....I said no hugging, no kissing, until you give me a wedding ring...my honey, my baby, don't put my love upon no shelf....she said don't give me no lines and keep your hands to yourself...

because I'm trying to fill in the blanks. Don't ask why, who knows? But anyways, I came across a website on kissing I found amusing and thought I would share for the millions of you reading this *cough*.


'Twas the night before Friday, when all through the house
Not a creature was stirring, not even a mouse;
The lunches were stacked by the pantry with care,
In hopes that splash day soon would be there;

The children were nestled all snug in their beds,
While visions of swimming pools danced in their heads;
And mamma and daddy nearly dead,
Had been sleeping dreamily in the brand new king sized bed,

When out in the bathroom there arose such a clatter,
I sprang from the bed to see what was the matter.
Away to the room I flew with such might,
Tore open the doors and threw up the light.

The glass from the shower was a thousand piece,
And the shatter around displaced like a wreath;
I yelled out to 'quick, come look',
And then I found the glass in my foot.

We spoke not a word, but went straight to our work,
And removed all the glass; then turned with a jerk,
And around 1 am returned to our bed,
With wonder, amazement, and disbelief in our head.

Thursday, June 03, 2004

My 5 Questions

Thanks to Sara for providing the following questions.

1. How and when did you first become aware of blogging?I first became aware of blogging about a month ago. It was something that a coworker stumbled upon while creating his website.

2. What inspired you to start your own?
Blogging seemed like a great way to document the stories that quickly evaporate from my mind and to share with friends and family the daily funnies from my kids.

3. How should a childless couple eating dinner in a relatively grown-up place deal with a nearby table with two out-of-control children completely disrupting the entire restaurant?Pour some whiskey in the bottle when the parents aren't looking. Seriously, there's nothing more stressful than taking our kids out to dinner. But maybe that's because we actually care when they act up and disturb other diners. That's also why we frequent family friendly restaurants- i.e. LOUD. So, to answer the question, order yourself drinks. Lots. Or ask to be moved.

4. Is loud sighing inappropriate? Yes, as are dirty looks. However, be prepared for snarky looks from me if I'm trying my best!

5. What kind of car do you drive and do you think it represents your personality well? I drive a F-150 super crew when hubby's working (it's his car) and a Focus (which I hate) when he's home. Neither represent my personality. But it's no longer about me, unfortunately.

Tuesday, June 01, 2004

My baby girl needs some air time

I think I figured out why 2nd kids never get as many pictures or baby albums or even basic documentation of their babyhood. We have probably 17 hours of my son's first year on tape and maybe 1 hour of my youngest. First, you've already seen all the cute stuff babies can do and second, it's not nearly as cute when compared to older kids who can talk. However, my little girl did do some cute things this weekend.

Being that we're still furniture-less, the stereo tuner is sitting on the floor. My daughter crawled over to it, turned the volume up and started dancing. She thought that was great fun and kept turning it louder and louder until I got over to her, thankfully before she blew the speakers out.

In the bath, she's standing up and pulling the knob that turns on the shower. Luckily, the water's off when she does it, but I'm thinking one of these days I should let her do it with the water on. She'd probably think that was great fun as well.

My daughter likes to imitate whatever we say. I asked if anyone wanted ice cream after dinner and everyone said "I do" and she repeated "I do"! And she's said "Josie", the dog's name. But her favorite is still "dada". She'll point to me or my husband and repeat "dada" over and over. Still can't convince her that I'm mama.

She also took her first steps last Friday. And her latest is shaking her head no. It's really cute because she gets her arms in on the act. Her head moves one way and her torso and arms the other. She's such a happy baby and everyone loves to be around her.