Archive for the Category ◊ General Observations ◊

21 Aug 2008 Interconnected….
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…but probably not really.

I got an e-mail today, from NKOTB.com extolling me to pre-order their new album “The Block” on I-Tunes.

Now, I’m not above pre-ordering things.  Don’t get me wrong.  The last several Harry Potters showed up at my house the day they were released.  I definatley want to make sure I get what I want when I want it, but does it make sense to pre-order an album on ITunes?  I mean, is ITunes going to run out or something?  I feel doubtful about that at best.  If I don’t pre-order will ITunes NOT sell me a download.

Doubtful.  Nice try, though.

Now, speaking of JK Rowling, the girls have been watching (well, Emily.  Cadence glances at it in passing) Labyrinth.  You know, that 80’s movie with David Bowie?  I have to wonder now of JK Rowling was a fan as 1) a snowy white owl tracks Sara’s progress (Hello? Hedwig?),2) Hoggle, the goblin, is. mistakenly called Hogwart and Hoghead.  Also, the big beast is called Ludo and Ludo Bagman appears in Goblet of Fire which also, oddly enough ,features a Labyrinth.

Not that I blame her from possibly borrowing.  It is a great movie. :O)

There isn’t enough coffee in the world to wake me up this morning…..

15 Aug 2008 Has it really come to this?

I’ve been having a great time on Facebook lately.  It’s been so much fun reconnecting with old friends, classmates, family and interacting with current friends.  That’s part of the reason why I adore the Internet.  The miles between people are so few.  In a few minutes, I can upload new pictures of the girls that can be seen instantly by the family, friends and loved ones we have spread around the country.

And, you know, I’m not one of those people that forgets others easily.  If you spend time in my life, I think about you.  Maybe not often or all the time, but definitely every once in a while.  I wonder about how you’re doing or what’s going on in your life.  If the things I knew you wanted came to pass.  If you’re happy or sad or what has changed about you.

About a week ago I sent a “friend” request to someone I had known casually from an Internet group before Emily was born.  We had never met, but for the time that we posted together, she came to know a lot of things about me and I knew a lot about her.   Today I had my “friend” request rejected.

She just doesn’t have time.

And I’m wondering….again…..what sort of life we lead, in general, if we don’t have time for one more contact, one more friend.  I wondered this years ago when, at a scrapbook crop with people whom I doubted I would be friends with (yet hoped to be friendly with) the group at large agreed that they just had too many obligations to make any more friends.

<cricket cricket cricket>

Who are these people who are too busy for friends?

After that night at the scrapbooking crop, I cut off contact with the people who just didn’t have time to make more friends.  Why extend myself to them and why bother?  And, I feel the same way about my rejected “friend” request today.  Obviously this isn’t the sort of person I want to have a relationship with, no sour grapes intended (particularly since the excuse of not having time to keep up with anyone else via a social networking site that updates everyone at once seems a little….fishy.  Or stupid.  I’m not sure which  And I’m not interested relationships with fishy people or stupid people either).

But it does, in my mind, post a larger question about the choices we make as a society and about where we put importance.  I’m not like Emily in that I believe that everyone can be bosom buddies and that a few hours spent in happy play equates to best friends.  I know as you enter adulthood that real friendships are hard won and few and far between, but the carte blanche rejection of general friendship across social classes (the person who rejected my “friendship” today would consider herself very urban and savvy and probably above the middle class suburban moms who admitted to it as well)   is perplexing to me.  Particularly when the excuse given is ‘out of time”.

I understand how hard it can be to manage families and obligations, work and fun.  I’m sitting right in the middle of it too, attempting to balance Emily’s school time, her need for a social life, Cadence’s play dates, Eric’s work obligations, social outings and family obligations.  The only difference is, I’m not managing my own work obligations (which I probably make up for with Cadence’s schedule), but there still seems to be time inside of my admittedly busy life to reach out when I can to those who reach towards me.   It doesn’t make sense not to. What kind of people have we become (myself included of course, because I’m right up there with people who can’t find “time” to return e-mails or make phone calls or, this year, send out Christmas cards) that we reject connections with other human beings?

Doesn’t that seem….

……well……

….inhuman?

Isn’t our emotional connections to each other, our highly structured, hierarchical relationships one of the things that sets us apart from Mighty Joe Young and his band of primates?

Honestly, it’s not really about the Facebook thing.  My fondness for this person obviously wasn’t returned and I don’t want to be a pity add. ;o)  As I tell Emily multiple times a school year, we just can’t all be friends with everyone and that much is true, but we can always make time to lend an ear, extend a hand and put ourselves out there into the greater universe and wait for the good that will come back.

06 Feb 2007 Oh, the weather outside is FRIGHTFUL….
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and we don’t have a fire, but it’s snowing anyhow. Winter was slow coming to our part of of the world but is it EVER here now. The past couple of days have seen highs ranging around zero, with early monring lows being way below zero and we won’t get into the windchill.

Emily bundles up for the bus like she’s heading out into the artic with boots and snow pants and mittens and her coat zipped all the way to her nose.

I’m hoping it does warm up like predicted because starting at noon tomorrow, Emily is on a long weekend and I’d dearly love to be able to get out of the house with the girls a bit. It will make for 2.5 VERY long days if we’re stuck inside the entire time.

05 Jul 2006 Dear red Wings,
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My God am I going to miss Stevie. We all knew this day was coming, but Im still going to miss him like crazy. I know I’m not the only one. I cannot imagine the make up of this team without Stevie at the front.

Ted Montgomery from the USA today said “In some ways, he’s the antithesis of today’s professional athlete: He doesn’t run around with women, he doesn’t gamble and he doesn’t ask for the day off when he has the sniffles.”

From Mitch Album’s column

“So he pulls off the sweater and they take the name off his locker and they retire his number and anything else they can think of. Yzerman has never been into that stuff. Outsiders may not understand why Detroit had such an infatuation with this guy, but it’s because he symbolizes the way we feel, the way we approach things, and the way we dream. He was a hockey player, not the biggest of sports, and he was 5-feet-11, not the biggest of guys, and he played in Detroit, not the biggest of cities.

But he dreamed big. And he never stopped trying. And he never lost his humility. And finally, 14 years after he joined his company, at an age when other guys already have given it up, he saw his big dream come true.

And that’s what we want for ourselves. That’s what working class people fantasize when they drop their heads on the pillow: a chance for it all to come true. It is the reason why there have been and will be many athletes in Detroit who will be called “Captain.” But only one will get a “The” in front.

And that’s the difference.

That’s all the difference.

“I did the best I could,” he said Monday. This was his humble summation, and it was pretty much what he promised when he came here. So in the end, Steve Yzerman is, above all things, a man of his word, and his word was good and he was good and the idea of him was good. Better than good. It was the best of ideas, when you think about it, one man in one place for one team in one city, saying good-bye and witnessing, in return, a sea of admirers in a farewell salute, worthy of a captain.”

Gonna miss you Stevie. Every game.

But while we’re on the Wings…

DUDE—DON’T SIGN BELFOUR. What the heck are you THINKING?

19 Jun 2006 Why Can’t a Woman, be more like a Man? AKA The Pissing Contest
 |  Category: General Observations  | One Comment

I find social experiments interesting. I like to watch people, o observe them and see what they’ll do and what will happen. I think it’s why I like reality t.v.–under duress, how will people act?

Over time, though, I’ve grown tired of an interesting trend among women–the pissing match.

Oh, you may call it something else–competitiveness or similar, but it all means the same thing.

I admit to spending time in Internet message boards. I like them. I find them amusing (see above about social experiments) and I like a good time waster. Most of the boards I visit are made up of memberships of nearly all women. You need a rubber rain slicker and boots to ensure you don’t get wet from all of the pissing contests going on there.

What sort of contests are prevelent?

1) My husband/boyfriend/significant other is a BIGGER tool than YOUR boyfriend/husband/significant other

2) My Mother-in-law/Sister-in-law/various relative is a BIGGER witch than YOUR mother-in-law/sister-in-law/various other relative

3) My pregnancy/baby/children are more draining than YOUR pregnancy/baby/children

4) My boss is meaner

5) My house is crappier/dirtier/smaller

6) My pain is bigger than your pain (may also be filed under my grief is bigger than your grief OR my row is harder to hoe than our row OR my sob story is sadder).

Now, I do understand the need to gripe. Totally. It’s why I visit message boards and have friends. Sometimes I need someone to talk to (though I make it a point to NOT talk badly about Eric. I don’t agree with that idea) or to just bitch at about various issues that they can’t do anything about. I think we all do, but the competition is so….boring. Pointless. Pathetic.

In addition to these pissing matches you have the “you should be grateful” women. This is really just more entrants into the contest, but they’re being passive agressive with their entry.

1) At least your HAVE a husband/mother/father/brother in law/mother in law/dog/cat/ bird/hermit crab. My wonderful husband/mother/father/brother in law/mother in law/dog/cat/bird hermit crab is gone.

2) At least you’re pregnant/walking/moving/mobile/not paralyzled. I can’t get pregnant/have no legs/can only move my left eyebrow

3)People would be happy to have your crappy job. I/my husband/my baby daddy has been unemployed for and would love to clean toilets with toothbrushes for tips.

It goes on and on and one.

Why must we, as woman first and human beings second, do this? Why can’t someone say “I’m tired, I can’t bend over, my braxton hicks hurt like a sunnovabitch and I swelled outt of my favorite shoes” without someone else having it worse or worse still, pointing out how someone doesn’t have a right to complain because someone else would give anything to have those problems.

And you know, at times I find myself doing it too. Sometimes I have to bite my tounge (or my typing fingers) to keep from admonishing someone for complaining about something missing from MY life or something I wish I had. For being snide about how badly *I* have something–for what purpose, I don’ know. To make myself feel better that I’ve managed to trump someone having a bad time?

I don’t know. I think some of it IS passive agressive bullshit and I’m trying to avoid that now at all costs.

06 Mar 2006 It’s snowing….
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I’m a sap. I love snow. Yes, I love it even in March. Big white fluffy flakes are floating down from the sky and it just feels like the world is peaceful when it happens. I feel safe at home. Wrapped up and warm and the world is lovely and clean and white outside.

I hate winter when it doesn’t snow. I hate seeig he dead leaves and the brown grass and the bare trees. I like them better covered in snow. It’s pretty. Calm. Perfect.

It’s also fairly warm today. Perfect snowman snow and snowman weather. If I can fid our gloves maybe we will go out and play in the snow today.

Emily’s off of school today. It’s Pulaski Day We’re going to shop and hang out. We need some fun time together. OUrs has been in short supply lately.

27 Feb 2006 Where did the weekend go?
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Does anyone else’s fly by like….I don’t know…something really fast? It seems like we pine away all week waiting for Friday night and before we know it, it’s Monday morning again and we start all over again.

I’m day dreaming about home improvements today. Due to financial stuff, we’ll be catching up over the next couple of months, but once that’s done, we’re improving the house. Hard core. ;o)

There is so much to do here. SO much to make this place into our home. Something we missed the opportunity to do the last time. My mind is full of paint colors and furniture. Plants and lights fixtures. Curtains and throw rugs. Pictures and knick knacks. We know that in a few years time we’re going to move on from here. That space will become an issue and we’ll be ready to stretch our legs again, but the foundation is starting here, now and we can’t wait to put our mark on this place.

22 Feb 2006 And now it’s time…
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Several months ago, I stumbled across a blog that I quickly added to my blog roll list for daily reading. I loved Moreena’s writing styles and stories about her girls; Frankie, 2, and Annika, 4. I love reading the works of real people who get it. Moreena gets it.

Annika, Moreena and Jorg’s oldest daughter, was born very ill and has since had two kidney transplants. Prior to Chrismas, Annika got very sick again and had to spend monhs upon months at Children’s Hospital in Chicago. She teetered. Had infections and bleeds. Missed Christmas (as many of you know, a huge tragedy to me) and ran the medical gammet.

Moreena and Jorg have good health insurance and the majority of Annika’s lare bills occurred in 2005, but because of a billing SNAFU (the items weren’t billed into Jan.) they have already run through Annika’s ONE MILLION DOLLAR COVERAGE LIMIT FOR THE ENTIRE YEAR!

I don’t have to spell that out for anyone. To top it off, Annika is in need of a third liver transplant. Thankfully, Annika is home right now and doing okay, but Moreena and Jorg are going to need some help paying for the private, special insurance Annika is going to need to supplement the fact that her health insurance is gone for he year.

To the tune of three THOUSAND dollars a month. The family estimates that they are going to need EIGHTY FIVE THOUSAND DOLLARS to get by, medically, with Annika this year.

So, this is where I ask anyone who reads here to consider making a donation to Annika’s COTA Fund to help her family fund his private insurance and other medical necessitities during this time. We’ll be sending what we can, when we can. If you can’t send money, consider visiting Andrea’s page and joining the raffle or donating a good or service. Anything will help.

The good news about COTA is that any funds Anni and her family can’t use will be donated to others in similar need. It’s a win-win situation. Tax deductable and, you get the warm fuzzies from helping someone who needs it. I’ll be putting up buttons and links here and in my signatures around the Internet. Do what you can. You won’t be sorry.

15 Feb 2006 What’s Happenin’?
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Emily had a half day today.

Well, she always has half days, but today she attended in the morning because of parent teacher conferences, so we’re snuggled in at home before she normally gets off the bus. That’s kind of cool. She also has two days off, which is nice as well. I miss her when she’s not around.

I’m not going to be talking about the panic around here for a while. What I will be doing instead is trying to list, every time I blog, five positive things that have happened, either that day or since my last post.

So, yesterday I…..
1) Went to the grocery store
2) Drove myself to my doctor’s appointment
3) Made dinner and got it in the table at a “normal” time
4) Managed to do some normal housework
5) Fell asleep at a normal time.

The theme of yesterday seemed to be normal, which, trust me, ain’t so bad. ;o)

I’ve also been working on a digital scrapbook page. For two days. It hink today might make three. I’m not sure if I love the result or not. It took no less time than my paper scrapping does. Probably more. But my desk is a mess and things aren’t organized yet and this was sort of fun.

22 Jan 2006 We’re here…
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Sitting in our great big bedroom, watching a movie. Just like old times. We still have some unpacking to do. We got a lot of help yesterday and today and we’re functioning at nearly normal right now. Still some work today to ge us entirely back on our feet, but hopefully before we head back to MI this weekend.

It feels odd to be back here. Surreal. Lots of things are the same. Some things are different. Some things will stay different and some things will change. We forgot the paperwork that included Emily’s birh certificate in Michigan, so registering for school will have to wait until Tuesday, when we run to the county to get a new copy. She’s excited to go back. Her room is all set up and arranged and minus the fact that we need to purge about two moving boxes full of stuff to be able to successfully contain it in the storage she has, it looks nice. I’m thinking I’ll get to the curtain making this week and she’ll be on her way to her princess room by end of he week.