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Tuesday, September 30, 2008

It's officially Fall. And we need a Chipmunk Relocation Program.

I took this yesterday, in the evening. These leaves literally turned during the day... I wonder what it would have been like to lie there and watch them?

It's rained since then, and temperatures are dropping. It's time for our resident chipmunk to take stock of his stores and think about hunkering down in his nest, which I am suspecting he has built inside our walls.

Did I say chipmunk? More like chipmunks. John thinks there are five or six ... the only question is, how many have taken up residence in our house? Finding the dryer vent flap on the outside of our house stuck open was a big clue. So was Sean-Peter pointing at a chipmunk scampering off and hollering, "He came out of that hole!"

This might help explain why our dryer isn't working...

Any tips on how to safely evict the little critters? (short of knocking a hole out in our wall?) Preferably without killing them. But if someone's gotta go, you know. Whatever.

Saturday, September 27, 2008

reasons to celebrate

John's been an Alabama fan since he was eight years old. He's "suffered for many years" (his words) but his time has finally come, as tonight 'Bama is, apparently, creaming Georgia.

Did you know that Georgia wears black to symbolize the importance of the game they're playing? Of course, I had no idea. Although you could wrap up my knowledge of sports in even a tinier package than Obama's understanding of foreign policy. (Did you all watch the debates last night??) And they don't even wear black every year, but they're wearing it tonight - the fans, too. It looks like a sea of black on their home turf.

College football is the only sport on tv that John makes a point to watch. Growing up in Alabama, you're either with Bama or you're with Auburn -- I don't think benign indifference is an option. John went with Bama and has been loyal ever since, no matter how painful it sometimes has been. Sometimes he even watches Auburn play just to root for the other guy.

Since this is the only time we ever usually have sports on tv, I really don't mind it; I actually think it's kind of cute how worked up he gets. But I was a bit concerned about him watching the game tonight since the odds were favoring Georgia and John had a Bad Day, trying to get stuff done (around the house, on the cars...) and being thwarted at every turn. (The dryer? Still ain't a go.)

He was even Mr. Grumpy when Olivia declared, "Tonight is Sean-Peter's Party!" She gets these urges occasionally -- to have a party, though not necessarily for her brother -- and breaks out the scissors and markers and paper and tape to "decorate", a process which usually ends up being the party.

But tonight she had a plan for all five of us to get in the Scooby Doo tent (that she had decorated) which was rather like trying to get a St. Bernard into a baby carriage. And I had to convince Mr. Grumpy and his sidekick Teenage Angst to play along because really, it only takes a few minutes to encourage Miss Social Butterfly in these natural urges, and maybe someday she'll be the one to organize our family reunions.

So he played along, then sat down to watch a tense game with his faithful companions. Since my camera has, like, a ten-year delay (have I mentioned that before?) I tried to get him to replay one of his "YEA, BABY! THAT'S WHAT I'M TALKING ABOUT!" complete with arms flung in the air and the cat flying, but Mr. Grumpy wouldn't play along. Thank God Alabama won.
Maybe Olivia will throw a party for them tomorrow.

**Update: Alabama did end up winning, 41-30. I guess Georgia's wearing black for a different reason now?

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

I Lost the Stupid Cat.

I know, I know, "Stupid's not a nice word". But it was my own stupid fault. Stupid stupid stupid.

I opened up the garage door, my normal routine, to greet the little ones' school buses in the afternoon. I intended to keep an eye on the cat, who now has access to the garage via this cute little pet door that John already installed.

Then the phone rang. It was my friend Stephanie calling from Germany. It was a bad connection so she had to call back. I got distracted. Then Sean-Peter got off the bus and rightfully asked, "Where's duh cat?" Um, good question. Ooh, I know! he's just gone on a "Long Explore"! I'm sure he'll be back soon.

But he wasn't, and no one was much in the mood for Winnie the Pooh. Conner asked where the cat was the minute he walked in the door. "Why did you let the cat out?!" I was seriously wondering the same thing myself.

So we were all bummed, though Olivia told me she forgave me. I asked Conner if he totally hated me, and he said, "Well, I'm not really liking you right now as much as I usually do."

At least he said he usually likes me.

John and Conner rode around the neighborhood for at least an hour, hoping to catch a glimpse of him. They made signs that Conner and his friend Mitch distributed to some neighbors and posted up around the neighborhood, in the nearby park. They talked to people who happened to be out. No luck.

The thing is, John and I had just been remarking the night before about how at home the cat totally was with us, a mere 24 hours into his stay.
I mean, really. Have you ever seen the like? He either really likes us, or he is really laid-back and could make himself just as at home anywhere. We were betting on the latter.

Really, it's been too soon for The Huckster to know his home, and I was sure I had lost our brand-new cat. I was sure he had sauntered into someone else's garage and made friends with whoever happened to be there, this cat so ready to chill and hang out with whoever's around.

Then, just as it was getting dark, with a little mew to hearken his arrival, in he saunters to our still-open garage, just like that. The little rascal was probably napping in the bushes the whole time.

Needless to say, I was relieved. Olivia's face lit up like a Christmas tree when she saw him, and Sean-Peter just tilted his head back and started laughing. And laughing and laughing. And maybe Conner likes me as much as he usually does?

I simply exclaimed, "He does know that we are his new home!" I was genuinely surprised. And did I mention relieved? Olivia's grin just beamed brighter. And Sean-Peter leaned back and chortled some more.
This morning he starting mewing plaintively, desperate to join me outside where I was hanging clothes out to dry. I wish I could say I was hang-drying clothes to be eco-friendly, or to save money. But really it's just because our dryer is out of commission so I didn't have a choice.

And I didn't let the cat out, either. Never mind that it's a beautiful day. The next time this guy gets let outside it won't be by my hand.

Stupid cat.

Sunday, September 21, 2008

Meet The Huckster

We finally succumbed.

Actually, we rescued him from a ditch off the highway after The Storm. He was wet and hungry and meowing pitifully, we couldn't just leave him there.

That's not really true, but it's a nice idea. In reality we got him from a vet who did rescue him. They named him Huck Finn, hence The Huckster. And we decided to get a cat to commemorate our one-year anniversary in Ohio.

That's not actually true, either. Although we did close on our house exactly one year ago, so that would be a nice idea, too. In reality, the kids have been begging for a dog, but since we already have Sean-Peter we told them a cat would have to do.

Okay, okay. Sean-Peter's not really a dog. But he did pee on Conner's bedroom carpet today -- again. So that sort of qualifies.

The truth is, the kids have been wanting a dog and a cat, and since we don't have a fence, and we might not be here this time next year (another story) making it fiscally impractical to get one right now, and cats are generally easier pets to transition to...

Meet, The Huckster. He loves his carrier, and is generally laid-back. Already seems to be the perfect moving cat. And that may be important sooner than we thought.

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Ike and Thomas. and Conner's birthday.

Who knew the effects of a hurricane could wreak such damage so far as into Ohio?

The winds were blowing in earnest by Sunday afternoon. I was coming back with the little ones after taking them to see Thomas the Tank Engine down in Lebanon, Ohio... which was totally awesome, by the way. But a little more on that in a bit.

So I got a little...confused, I’d say, on the way home, trying to make my way via back roads with which I have no familiarity. And it was windy, to be sure, but it wasn’t until the last few miles when I hit the open highway that I felt like I was in a video game, pulling to keep the van on the road while a giant invisible hand was trying to wiggle us off.

The power went out soon after we walked in the door, and the mighty winds blew while I nursed my imploding head with some motrin and a coke and, finally, my bed, none making much of a dent. I wonder if sinus medication is a recommended emergency kit item? For those whose heads react to the storm pressure like a Far Side cartoon.... Not that we had an emergency kit. Note to self: be prepared for hurricane-like winds; never mind that you're in Ohio.

Lots of beautiful trees in these parts are damaged and lost. But more importantly, thousands of people are still without power, some without water. We personally never lost our water supply -- not even a little bit of pressure. And we were among the lucky some 40,000 or so whose power was restored after about 36 hours, with phone and internet following about a day later. Yesterday 180,000 in the Dayton area were still without power. Today, about 150,000.

Can you tell I've been obsessed with listening to the radio?

I don't think anyone around here had any idea of what was about to hit us. We certainly didn't. Yea, we knew Hurricane Ike was going to head this way as it petered out over land ... at first they were calling for five days of rain in the hurricane aftermath. Then the forecast changed to no rain but very humid and muggy. But winds over 75 mph? No idea.

Dayton is calling this the worst disaster to hit this area ever. It's not that catastrophes haven't struck here before -- just not on this scale. A main difficulty in recovery has been the main power company's inability to call on its normal emergency resources -- because those people have their hands quite full with the same problems themselves, thank you very much.

There was definitely a shift once the governor declared a state of emergency on Monday. Some 900 crews are now working 16-hr shifts, with manpower from Indiana and Chicago helping out. There are still 1.3 million families in Ohio without power (as of this morning). Problems they're encountering include entangled wires catching things on fire once they go live; grids getting back on line only to blow again when old transformers couldn't handle the surge...

We're still being told to conserve water, but the urgency is no longer there and it merely sounds like a precaution. Originally with the state of emergency, the local government was asking for more diesel fuel -- necessary to power the generators that fuel the water pumps. That, and ice, for any hope of salvaging cold food items. And, of course, help with clearing the debris. And oh my is there debris. Not like Galveston, mind you. But Ohio has gorgeous trees, and so many are now strewn hither and yon. Some with potentially very dangerous wires tangled up in them.

We have been fortunate for so many reasons. We have our power back, when so many don't. We never lost our water. We were able to clear the debris from our property ourselves -- unlike our neighbors across the street who are having to pay [gulp] $1200 for someone to clear out their very large and hazardous tree wreckage. Nothing hit our house. And the weather has been positively beautiful.

And the power lines in our neighborhood are buried so I haven't had to worry about my own kids going out and electrocuting themselves. Important, since tomorrow will be their first day back to school and I think I would have gone even crazier if I hadn't been able to safely shoo them outside.

As it is, we didn't give them much of a choice. There's been work to be done, after all. Even if it is your birthday. Here's Conner on his last day of being a preteen, giving a thumbs-down. He's not too happy with his fate on his Birthday Eve.
Happy Birthday, Conner! At least you got the day off from school.

(On a side note, luckily Conner celebrated his birthday a little early by having a couple of friends stay the night. One of those friends hadn't left yet when the storm hit, and he ended up hanging out at our house a bit longer than originally planned. Thing is, the last time Justin stayed the night? We had a blizzard. And he literally got stuck at our house for a while that time, too.

This time we told him, Hey, Justin, nothing but love for ya. But I don't think we better have you over to stay the night again. Who knows what natural disaster might befall us.)

You might notice in the photos above that Sean-Peter is keeping his trains close. He loved going to see Thomas. I think they really didn't know what to expect. Even though I told them it was a real train they would get to ride on, seeing it actually coming down the track stopped them cold.They seemed a bit stunned.
But they loved everything, despite the oppressive humidity and increasing winds.

(Although Olivia kept saying she wished she could see James or Percy instead.) (I think she was just practicing teenage malcontent.)

Just today Sean-Peter asked me if we could go see Thomas again. I told him that Thomas had to go back to the Island of Sodor; his friends missed him and Sir Topham Hatt needed him. He's a "very useful engine" after all.

Sean-Peter cried, real tears, "No! Sir Toppin Hatt in Ohio, too!"

Actually, we had just missed our photo op with "Sir Topham Hatt" when he had to go to lunch. I had casually told the kids, "maybe next time" and was more than glad to duck into the gift shop and out of the wind.

And you might notice in this last photo that the wind was starting to kick up a bit and blow their hair about. And yes, I am thinking about cutting Sean-Peter's hair. Just not yet.

We had no idea we were heading home in developing "hurricane-like" winds. Or that the governor of Ohio would be declaring a state of emergency in a mere 24 hours.

It really plays games with your mind, how you just don't know what the next day, next hour, might bring. Even when you can prepare, like the people of Texas, who knew that Ike was coming and had every opportunity to escape out of harm's way. Now what? Do you just wait until you can go back, clean up and pick up where you left off as best you can? I suppose you do, if that's your home. So many people cannot imagine anything or anywhere else.

Remember Uncle Rich? His sister Sondra and her family live in Galveston. Although currently they are in our hometown of McPherson, Kansas staying with her parents, trying to figure out when they might be able to go back and assess the damage to their home. They left Galveston a couple of days before Ike hit, staying in a hotel with reservations they had made a week prior "just in case". Last I heard Sondra was going to go ahead and enroll their kids in school up in McP, since Galveston is not supposed to have power or water services back for a month. I was told that some siding was torn from their house, which is built on stilts, but that it did not flood. But I would still want to go down and see for myself. (Wouldn't you?)

It's easy to see in retrospect that Sondra and her husband did the right thing by leaving town ahead of time, even though I am sure it was no simple feat with the crowded highways, and I heard that they got shuffled around a bit from one hotel to another...

Livings still have to be made so the husband will be going back to Texas (not Galveston?) where his employer still has an office, but Sondra's job as a teacher at a private school is gone, at least for now. She has to buy her kids new clothes for school because they normally just wear uniforms, accustomed to attending the same school where their mom works. Sondra and her family have so many things to deal with immediately, I don't know what they're thinking long-term. Galveston is their home, has been for many years. Even if they were willing to make a change, what would they do with their house? I don't suppose the housing market would be at its best in the immediate aftermath of a hurricane...

I heard a story second or third-hand, that Sondra had talked to someone she knew from Galveston, whose family decided not to evacuate and they ended up having to be rescued. This woman complained that the only thing the rescuers gave her kids to eat for three days was pop tarts, and Sondra had to bite her tongue, because they wouldn't have had to give your kids anything if you had evacuated!

I've heard the sentiment expressed, from more than one direction, that when a city tells its citizens to evacuate in the event of a natural disaster, that if you choose not to, and you have to be rescued, that you should be billed for the services.

I have thought that sounds rather harsh. But then, is it fair? I mean, what about the people who do go out of their way to do the right thing, even at their own expense. Is it fair to them that others wait for the rescuers to bail them out? Taking up precious time that otherwise could be spent cleaning up and preparing for everyone to return to their homes?

I heard a piece on NPR (of course) with a reporter interviewing one of the rescue workers down in Galveston. She was addressing the issue of having to rescue people who had chosen not to evacuate, and asking him if that upset him at all. He evaded the question quite deftly, but she kept going back to it, a bit rudely, until he finally responded that, no, he felt no anger or resentment at all toward the people he was rescuing; there are so many reasons people have for staying behind, he just wants to do his job and get as many people to safety as he can. He sounded sincere.

If you've read this far, what do you think? Is it a moral obligation to evacuate from a threat of a natural disaster if you have the opportunity to do so? Should you be billed for your rescue if you don't?

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

No More Politics!

After this post! I promise!

Well, maybe.

And since I'm not planning on running for public office, I can say things like that.

I was listening to NPR today and they were talking about Palin and the now infamous "Bridge to Nowhere". The interview was with the guy who originated the phrase, I think. Though I was in the middle of dinner prep and kids were regularly passing through, so I could be mistaken. I'm not planning on running for public office, like I said, so I'm allowed to make a mistake.

Because the guy himself was against the bridge -- hence the catchy phrase, which he thought up one night while drinking a few beers, as he related...

You gotta love it, alcohol getting the creative juices flowing. Did you know that Ann Coulter has said she gets a lot of writing done staying up at night drinking red wine and smoking cigarettes? When I told my mom that, she said no wonder she stays so skinny. But I digress.

So this guy sounds like someone who should be on Palin's side, if anyone's, about her decision to not build this Bridge To Nowhere once she's in office despite her campaign previously saying she was for it, as I understand from all the dead horse beating going on in the press about it. And the guy did outline the reasons why the bridge was a bad idea -- what was it, a $240 million proposal? Like I said, there were a few distractions in this soccer mom life of mine (even though none of my kids play soccer) (but this is Middle America so it's soccer and not hockey) so I could be mistaken. DEAL WITH IT.

Anyhoo. So I'm listening about how Palin decided against it after looking at the budget and determining that earmarking is corrupt, etc. etc. But instead of returning the earmarked funds back to the federal government she used them for other things. If he said what things that must have been when Olivia was bugging me for a snack five minutes before dinnertime, because I don't recall what they were if he did.

Then he finished by stating that he believed Palin did the right thing not to build the bridge, but that it was incorrect (that was his word, I remember clearly, "incorrect") for her to say that not building it saved money.

Then I waited for the interviewer to say something in response, but she was apparently satisfied (or out of time) so that was that.

And I was left wondering, am I crazy? Am I the only one listening to this and wondering where has common sense gone? Because how could it not have saved money? I mean, what'd Alaska do -- bury the money in a glacier? Make it into confetti? Without even knowing where exactly the money was spent instead, it simply makes sense that, whatever it was spent on, was one less thing that then had to draw money from somewhere, or from someone (the federal government) else.

Like the kid who really wants this awesome new skateboard that costs a couple hundred dollars. His mom tells him, sure, I think we can swing that. Only when she actually sits down to look at the books she finds a bill she didn't know about that needs to be paid or the whole family will, I don't know, be cold come winter because the electric company will shut off their power. (I know there's a moratorium on shutting off people's heat in the winter, but bear with me, it's the first metaphor I could come up with.)(Maybe I should have a few drinks to get the creative juices flowing.)

So she tells her son that she was mistaken, they can't afford that new skateboard after all, even though it's the top of the line and would probably help him to forge ahead of the pack in that next competition he plans on entering. And he's a bit crushed, but he understands that other things are more important right now, and the family comes first.

The segment on NPR did include a short question and answer period with the mayor of Ketchikan, the destination of the proposed Nowhere Bridge. But he wasn't as forgiving as the kid who wanted a skateboard. I mean, come on, what do you expect? Of course he's going to slander Palin's politics. He's the one who lost out when she changed her position. (Based on new information.) (But I don't recall the interview getting to that part.)

I also heard a short segment today on NPR with Meghan McCain, about her new children's book, "My Dad, John McCain". While addressing one of the interviewer's questions, Megan mentions that she never read all of her dad's book, "Faith of My Fathers", because it made her too sad. Rather than following the flow of the conversation, the interviewer all but cuts her off and says, "But let's go back to what you just said earlier about 'Not finishing your father's book'". Megan then clearly elaborates by explaining that she had to skip whole sections, paragraphs, that dealt with her dad's torture as a prisoner because they were so painful they just made her cry. You could almost hear her tearing up on the air.

But I can see the headlines now. "McCain's daughter never bothered to finish dad's biography, yet authored children's book based on his life." You know, in the children's books circles, that is.

Meghan is young -- 23 -- and I imagine she is learning some hard lessons during this campaign about how your words can be twisted and misconstrued. She was extremely gracious and cordial at the end of the interview, thanking the interviewer profusely for her time and giving her the opportunity to talk. She understood what she was up against, though that doesn't guard against making mistakes.

For Pete's sake, even The Orator himself, Barack Obama, makes mistakes. That whole lipstick on a pig gaffe? Oops. Definitely not the most politically astute remark to make, in light of Palin's very popular reference at the RNC to lipstick on hockey moms. Of course people are going to make the connection. But sexist? I didn't think so. Poor guy. But politics and the media will pounce on anything, and do. Unfortunately it seems to lead the general public to ignore the headlines they don't like, and to focus on the ones they do -- depending on which way they lean.

It can be so hard to wade through the media bias.

I like to listen to NPR for a number of reasons. I love a lot of their music, first of all. Especially Saturday nights when the local station plays Bluegrass all evening, which I try to remember to listen to when John's not around, because bluegrass he no like.

I also like the human interest stories, like the World Cafe -- usually. And I like hearing the relatively few conservative interviewees they invite on the air, especially when they're intelligent and make the interview squirm and fight for her opinion. And then there's that little part about my tax dollars helping to pay for its airing: if I'm going to pay for it, I want to know a bit of what it's all about.

Sometimes I just have to turn it off, though. A few days ago Terry Gross was interviewing a couple of Times reporters about Sarah Palin. The interview questions were so leading and the tone was so mocking that I couldn't stomach it.

I do plan on watching the upcoming presidential debates. And the vice presidential ones as well. (I almost wonder, which will draw the most viewers? heh-heh.) I encourage all of you to, too. I don't know who is formulating the questions. I don't know who is facilitating the debate, if anyone will be ensuring the answers actually pertain to the questions asked...

But hearing it straight from the horse's mouth is the best way to be informed. Maybe we could all even try to find someone with a differing viewpoint to discuss the debate with afterwards...? Or maybe not. Either way, you're welcome to express it here. This soccer mom would love to hear what you think.

Monday, September 8, 2008

On Politics

Conan O'Brien: "While she was addressing the crowd, Sarah Palin spent a lot of time criticizing Barack Obama's campaign speeches for not having enough specifics. ... Obama was reportedly angry about the claim, but didn't say exactly why."

This quote made me laugh and reminded me of how I felt when I was watching the conventions the last couple of weeks.

While watching Obama's speech, listening to his declarations of Change and what he was going to do, I found myself asking out loud, "And how, exactly, are you going to do that? What are you going to do to make that possible? What does that even mean?" My questions hung in the air in my living room like so many dangling prepositions, unanswered and unaddressed.

While watching McCain's speech, I found myself starting the same questions. "So how are you going to do that...?" Only before I could say more I found myself staring at the screen in astonishment when I realized that, instead of going on to the next goal, McCain was elaborating on how he planned to accomplish the one he just mentioned. My jaw dropped and I resisted the urge to look around my living room for secret listening devices. Did he just hear me? How did he do that?

Even if you know who you're going to vote for, I've always thought it a good idea to try to stay informed about what the other candidate is all about. I don't always do this very well in my busy, soccer mom world. And it can be even more difficult when you're trying to read between the lines of a biased media.

The Democratic Convention? It was a regular scheduling blackout. All the major networks aired it live, leaving no other options for the couch potato too lazy to get up and find the remote.

The Republican Convention? Completely different story. I thought maybe I had the wrong night. Only PBS and a couple of cable stations were airing it live, the major networks completely ignoring it and airing regularly broadcasted shows...

Was this nation-wide? Or just in Ohio? I guess they thought the little people wouldn't notice...

Ohio is supposed to be one of the deciding states in this year's election. Ever since the conventions, it would seem that more and more people around here are starting to pay attention -- and advertise their political leanings. Obama signs went up first on these suburban properties, for the most part. Our neighbor across the street has an Obama bumper sticker on his car.

But the neighbor next to him has a McCain sign in his yard, as do more and more homes in this Dayton suburbia.

I knew who I was going to vote for well before the conventions. Maybe not so much because I was for a particular candidate, but simply because I am not a socialist. But like so many others, I am also excited about Palin. Oh, yes I am. Not just for this election, but for the possible future ahead for her, and what it could mean for women of this country, for the Republican Party, for the country as a whole.

Naysayers can nitpick and criticize all they want. The only reason they have anything to pass judgment on is because she's actually made decisions and has implemented policy that directly affected people and their government. She has led. Talk, schmalk. Leadership requires action, not just ideas. Leaders have to make decisions, not just show up and press the present button.

And this is just the vice presidential candidate.

I'm excited about this election because, either way you look at it, history is being made. We will either have our first African American President, or our first female Vice President. And I don't have any problem with Palin being a mother of five, the youngest special needs. I mean, there is a father in the picture, after all. What is he, chopped liver? So many women have to work. She is obviously called to serve in public office, and she does it with passion. She's fitter than many women half her age, and while her type of work carries with it much responsiblity, yes, it also likely affords more creative flexibility than the schedules of most working mothers.

That is my two bits, though I don't usually get half that far with anyone I actually talk to face to face. Talking politics is so difficult, so potentially volatile. In Germany you could have a great debate and disagree and yell at each other -- then walk off and grab a beer, arm in arm. Americans hold their views so dear, so personal. It's difficult to disagree with someone's viewpoint without feeling like you're offending their person.

We don't have any political signs up in our yard -- though John does sport some ... interesting stickers on his car. He was at Home Depot the other evening, and he came out and noticed a guy standing behind his car and looking at this:

John couldn't decide if he was looking so intent because he was confused, or fuming.

He's a funny guy, that one.

When we were living in Italy, John put some stickers on our vehicles that were, um, a little misleading. When my friend Ruth saw mine from a distance she thought maybe John had decided a peace symbol would detract from any possible anti-Americanism. You know, toward the not-so-subtle American SUV.

I said, "Um, look a little closer."

I suppose you could find two meanings in that, depending on whether you spoke English or not.

He has one more sticker on his car, one that I still have to have him explain to me from time to time, so vague and random it seems to me.
I'm not going to try to explain it here; I'm very curious if anyone reading can get it on their own. Anyone? Anyone? Let's just say I'd be DOUBLY impressed if you get it and are a female type. Because this one is so strictly a guy thing to me.

And please mention who you're going to vote for, or if you intend to vote, and who you think is going to win. No pressure -- and no obligation. I'm just curious, and I think this will be so interesting to look back on once more history has been written.

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

"Bald people are Special, too."

We're peacefully driving home from Sean-Peter's OT appointment this morning when Olivia abruptly asks me to turn the music down.

"I need to tell you something, Mommy!" she calls from the back of the van.

"What is it, babe?" I look at her in the rearview mirror.

"People are different from each other, and that's what makes everyone special."

"Um, you're right, Olivia." I wait to see if there's more she wants to offer to this epiphany.

After a short moment, I'm not disappointed.

"My Uncle Rich is bald. That's what makes him special."
Aw, Rich... You know that's not the only thing special about you, don't you? We've got nothing but love for you out here, really...

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Truly Inspirational

My MIL directed me to this video. It's impossible to watch without being inspired, and humbled.

I'm also going to have my 12yo watch it, anytime he might say that practicing his guitar is getting too hard...