Tuesday, September 30, 2008

bon jour!

i found this heart shaped rock on a hike we took a few weeks ago. you hike down down down through the forest and then it opens up onto a cove on the water. it was very pretty. and then when you are done you hike up up up. and then up some more.

to the boybarians' credit i didn't hear a peep of complaint!

the thing is though, see all those rocks? not the heart shaped one but all the rest of them? well, as we approached the cove a part of the trail was flooded over with a running stream. so we shucked our shoes and waded through. and the cove was just about there so we hiked over these rocks, barefoot until we got there instead of putting our shoes back on wet and muddy feet.

only wingman's little tootsies gave out on the rocks and he could go no further.

so what's a mother to do? i hauled him up on my hip, all 45+ pounds of him, dense and tightly packed pounds i might add, and carried him barefoot over those little sharp rocks the rest of the way.

good times.

anyhow, today is the first full day of rosh hashanah! happy new year!

i have more to say on that later in the week.

but for now we are busy busy and have a jam packed afternoon if we can get through the morning.

in the meantime, i wanted to let you know that the duke started french yesterday. and he got 100% on his pronunciation the first day! i know i know, it's the first day, but still!

he has a head set with a microphone and the computer analyzes the accent. he did say he missed one or two and the computer let him know, then on the repeat he nailed it! so the final score was 100%

hey, accent is half the battle! i took five years of french and i know so very little and my accent is whack! so i'm very proud of him and hope he keeps up with it.

and along those lines, A NEW WINE BLOG TONIGHT!!! and in honor of the duke's early (and hopefully continued) success with french i will be reviewing a wine from the south of france!

woo! hoo!

or oui! oui!

enjoy your tuesday.


Friday, September 26, 2008

reason # 39476 why i shouldn't leave the house.

i'm supposed to be working.

i'm supposed to be chopping and mixing and arranging for a party i agreed to do the food for tomorrow night. a party of 150 at a rented venue. a big party.

but i'm not.

and now i will tell you a story.

the other day i was at the store to gather some of what i needed for cooking today and to price out items to purchase a few days later.

so i needed 8 heads of napa cabbage. for a salad i'm making much like the one you see above you. like that big red solo cup of beer at the edge of the picture? good times.

anyway, where was i? oh yeah, so the store had just a few heads from what it looked like, and ON SALE, so i asked the produce guy if they would be getting more in. he checked and then came back and told me

"there is not more napa cabbage coming in in the near future, but maybe we'll get some."

huh? what does that even mean? the state of education in this country. i swear.

so now i had a dilemma. do i buy up what they have now and find room in my fridge for days on end until i needed them, or do i risk coming back in two days to see if they still had some or got some in? drive around town looking for 8 heads of napa cabbage at the sure to be more expensive stores? i doubted my budget or my recipe could deal with the gamble.

i called the lord of the ring to ask his opinion on this particular situation and it's just because he's a gentleman AND because i nearly died giving birth to his children, TWICE, that he didn't hang up on me and pretend the call dropped.

so i was on my own with this, and i pondered and decided to just buy up what they had now. just in case. so i ended up cleaning them out and got 7 heads of napa cabbage.

so i'm pushing my cart around the store pricing out some other ingredients. i was looking at olives when i felt something behind me. like a "presence." something disturbing in the fabric of the universe, yet there was no sound.

i slowly turned around and there was a gaggle of elderly asian women circling my cart.

uh. oh.

i walked over and one of them asked me but without "asking"

"where did you get all this chinese cabbage!"

"um, in the produce section."

"there's none left!"

"um, yeah, i cleaned them out."

how come i was feeling so nervous. like everything i said in the next five minutes was going to be measured and weighed and i better not screw it up. i started to sweat. they started to press in closer. i couldn't tell how many, it was all beginning to blur.

i didn't trust the one in the back in the knitted cap who kept pawing at my cabbages, i moved protectively in front of my cart.

"we came down here to buy chinese cabbage and you got here before us!"

"yeah. sorry."

"why do you need all this chinese cabbage!"

i explained about the party and the food i was making. all the while keeping my hand on the cart handle and my eye on the one in the knitted cap.

after awhile they seemed to be satisfied with my answer but no less irritated and begrudgingly let me go.

it felt oddly like being released that time on the border.

i waited until i was around the corner then i sprinted to the check out counter and hightailed it out of there before they changed their minds.

and for two days i've had 7 heads of napa cabbage waiting for my knife in the fridge. i didn't even bother to find another head just in case i ran into the elderly asian chinese cabbage cartel on the hunt.

so i'm off to chop!

enjoy your weekend!


Wednesday, September 17, 2008

can i get a witness!

"My heart is singing for joy this morning. A miracle has happened! The light of understanding has shone upon my little pupil's mind, and behold, all things are changed." Anne Sullivan

we all like to think our children are smart, gifted, special.

and they all are.

but when you are their teacher and they are your student, well, it becomes a bit more dicey if they are "not."

and by "not", i mean just average. or heavens agast! below average.

which is NOT a bad thing. at. all. it is what it is.

except if you are the one responsible for their entire education.

get where i'm going with this?

i have never pushed my children academically. sure, we have a pretty stiff curriculum compared to some, and sure i don't allow slacking off of that just because we are home doing it, BUT i don't push.

they learn at their rate and to the best of their ability. and what they learn, well, it's their to own. i just provide the space and facilitate the process.

my kids aren't geniuses, nor do i want them to be.

and i am fully aware of the public vs. home school mystique regarding the myth of genius. i don't buy it. there are geniuses in public schools and average kids who are home schooled.

that being said, good lord when you look at your child and he's absorbed the very thing you've been attempting to teach him, THE VERY THING, well, it's a moment folks.

it's a treasured moment.

like when you let go of the bike seat and they don't notice and they don't topple. when they spend the whole night in a bed other than yours and continue to do so every night after.

and when they spend a whole night in said bed and wake up dry.

when they say mama, papa, or NO! and mean it for the first time.

the first time they laugh.

the first time you see them.

knowing that a concept is grasped, understood, and regurgitated in the necessary context, and that you. facilitated. this., well, it's a moment.

in other news i leave you with a quote from the duke on the mccain;

"boy, you can just hear him getting older every time he talks"

and just so you know, we've talked about age, ageism, and how people can be competent at ALL KINDS of ages, but why HE AT HIS AGE and with related issues (i.e. leaving us to be raised by palin like a bunch of red headed stepchild orphans from the wrong ass side of the brimstone) scares us so much.

he's a smart ass, that one. and i cannot for the life of me begin to imagine where he picked that up.


Friday, September 12, 2008

just a little hello.

this little guy was at the butterfly house at the zoo. pretty, no?

and now a quote from wingman to carry you into your weekend.

"i LOVE group hugs! especially with other people!"


and listen, as easy as it is, don't be afraid of what's happening in this country. don't lose sight of the goal by letting fear cloud your vision.

cognizant and aware, yes. afraid, no.

don't be scared. be productive.

get out the vote, and keep your chin up. find a way to take that fear and make it work for you, not against you.

it's easy to hold on, it's letting go that takes some doing.

let go of the fear and get to work. today.

the clock is ticking and it's that important.


Friday, September 05, 2008

well, that was exhausting.

i watched all the democratic speeches and all the republican speeches and all the rhetoric and tabloidy news in between.

and i came away with more than a few things, but i've boiled it down and i'd like to share them with you.

the republicans scare me.

big surprise.

their whole message was one of attack. there was no policy and nothing about what they could do for the average american person. just attack attack attack.

i was sad to see giuliani being so bitchy. he's never been a favorite of mine, but i think he sunk to a new low in his speech.

palin is a mean girl. period.

she's smug and snarky. and not in a good way. and how dare she call out obama on anything. who in the hell does she think she is?

and that creepy smile and the way she crinkles her nose? plus she's a teeth licker. not to be trusted.

in fact, she reminds me of dolores umbridge from the harry potter books and movies.

i have a LOT more to say about her, but i think there isn't anything i can say that hasn't been said already. but i will say this, she scares me. she scares me because she thinks she has something that puts her in a special spot. that puts her in the "deserving" category. she scares me because she wants everyone to lay off her family, then she parades them in front of everyone and dares them to say a thing.

she's the girl that would leave her diary open on her bed and go to the kitchen to get you a snack and leave you alone in her room. she's the girl that would dare you to, lead you to it, and then rip you to shreds when you fall for it.

i know girls like her. and i don't like girls like her.

and i don't get this whole "oh, you're just afraid of a strong woman."

she's not a strong woman. she's a mean girl. she's no better than the 16 year old bitch in high school who everyone wants to be friends with but is secretly afraid of.

i say just keep letting out the rope and she'll eventually do herself in.

what saddened me most was john mccain. he's always been very reticent to even discuss his POW experience, much less trot it out for political gain. and yet, last night, he did just that.

in great detail and more than we had ever heard before, he packaged his most personal challenge for prime time and sold out right in front of us. and as he was speaking, telling the stories, reliving it for all of us, you could just see how much it cost him. how much he was giving away hoping for greater return.

it was truly heartbreaking to watch. he is not his own man anymore. last night was his "divorce" from the republican party in terms of where he's aligning his campaign, but it certainly doesn't mean he's in charge of his destination anymore.

someone convinced him that talking about his POW experience would be a "good idea" and that someone was wrong.

moving right along, i cried at all the democratic speeches because well, i cry at everything. and they're always so full of hope and a climb every mountain thread of rhetoric.

i like that. plus, again, i cry at everything.

bill clinton is still a great speaker. it was nice to hear from al gore, he's looking less bloated these days and is doing far better than everyone else from the old days is. of course i loved hillary's speech and i'm glad from all her color choices she chose the orange pantsuit. whew.

joe biden made me cry. i really like him, but then i would.

obama did less of the big old speech givin' and toned it down and layed down a lot of policy. i know some were dissapointed, they wanted the big old speech, but i suspect he did it the way he did to appeal to the undecided, the stubborn holdouts from the sisterhood of the traveling pantsuits, and the racists.

and now we wait.

in the meantime if you are not registered to vote for whatever reason, go register. or you've moved recently, or your county, state, city has changed voting rules, regulations, etc, check it out and make sure you're up on the changes and ready for election day.

don't let them tell you different, every. vote. counts.

and i don't give a rat's ass who you're gonna vote for (well, actually i do) just vote.

i'd really like to finally see what this country can do if the majority of us are putting in our 2 cents!

and that's my 2 cents.

i wish you all a fabulous weekend!

and now, here are some pretty boats.


Wednesday, September 03, 2008

sarah palin is the new trainwreck. evil genius is the new black.

(i removed the photo because it occurred to me that not everyone would understand that it was a fake.)

okay, so i was hanging laundry, drinking wine, being irritated.

every day since i woke up friday morning to sarah palin i've gotten just a little bit more irritated.

why in the SAM HELL sarah palin!?!

there is so much wrong with her! SO MUCH!

AND someone we can't even campaign against!!!

with all the family stuff and the messiness and the woman thing and the this and that and then a bit more of this, NO ONE WILL TOUCH HER! NO ONE!

she's not ready to be VP let alone president. she says she threw out the good ol' boys in her state but she IS the good ol' boys. she has zero foreign policy, a belly full of pork, ethics investigations, and threatens people with their jobs if they don't side with her.

she once even threatened to fire a librarian because the librarian wouldn't remove the "obscene" books from the library. a librarian!

she is a trainwreck and she hasn't even left the station! she's her own walking advertisement of what NOT to do! does she not get that the information, ALL OF IT IS OUT THERE! does she not get that EVERY LAST skeleton, picture, and e-mail about her and her family will be available to EVERY LAST person in america! does she even care?

supporting bridge to nowhere and then misappropriating the funds and then spinning the whole thing when you get picked to run for VP = whatever government pork and flip flops are selling for that week.

selling your family down the river for political gain = priceless

why did he pick her!!!

aaaaannnnnnddddd, that's when i got it and could actually hear the greedy little hands rubbing together

"i love it when a plan comes together!"

fuckin' mccain picked THE ONE CANDIDATE that could rally some, abhor others, but is sssssssooooooo messy no one can go after her without looking like a hard assed bastard.

and mccain?

poooooor mccain! had NO idea his pick was so messy. NO idea of the family troubles. so LITTLE vetting. ppppoooor mccain couldn't have crazy old lieberman because the republican constituents wouldn't allow that in a million years, FORCED to pick someone else, so he did a "good thing", a "maverick thing" by picking palin and NOW JUST look at the mess he's in. ppppoooor mccain just. didn't. know.

BUT WAIT! he's standing by her. and so is his wife and this conservative group and that and on and on and on. they are all going on and on and on about what a great pick it was and how sarah palin will be a great thing for this country. oh yeah, and she has some issues. but who doesn't?

um. right. when you've got the "morality" at all costs driven conservatives not saying a word and telling everyone it's none of our business, and acting like we should be proud of her how she is handling it all, then you know it's bad.

and john mccain supports her 100% and stands by her record and defends her right to her family privacy, even though she's practically waving it in our faces just waiting for someone to say something.

what a guy! standing by the troubled girl!

and there you have it.

a manufactured cuckold arrangement for the sole sake of garnering votes.

and she's pretty. and can turn on a political dime to appease the masses and do it well. it doesn't matter she doesn't know what in the hell she's talking about.

she talks a good game and looks good doing it.

so noble to keep the chin up for her family. so noble to "withstand" so much of the "unfair" media scrutiny into her "private life." holding strong and steadfast for her family, for this nation.

john mccain, the upstanding guy who will "do the right thing" and sarah palin, the troubled girl with the heart of gold.

what a story!

unfortunately, john hughes did it first. i'm sure disney perfected it.

fortunately, the formula is already there and now all the republicans have to do is repackage it for the times.

all along we knew. all along there was the "they are evil but not stupid" sentiment, and now we know that's true.

no one can touch biden. his record, his life, his kids, his speaking abilities, his intellect, his EVERYMAN FROM THE WORKING CLASS persona, and he can debate with the best of them.

no one can touch him.

and now, the republicans, for the very worst reasons, have one of their own.

it's time for those 18 million glass cracks to come shattering down.


i say hillary throws caution to the wind for once. takes down the road map that has so ultimately disappointed her in the end and has more importantly, not allowed her to EVER get angry, or get even, or have a lick of fun in the better part of three decades.

i say hillary throws off the pantsuit and gloves up. i say she takes this woman to task like no one else would.

SCREW the possible judicial seat, or diplomatic appointment, or whatever.

because we all know she's not getting shit. not now. not then. not ever.

and besides, it doesn't matter what you give her because she will never get what she really wanted and what she had to sacrifice and fight for all this time.

i say she says ENOUGH!!! and goes after the very idea of palin and the sheer stupidity of it as even a notion, the sheer lunacy of it all as even a notion, and exposes the party, their candidates, and their constituency for all they aren't worth.

she needs to shout from the rooftops, better yet the network couches, and let everyone know that the emperor is indeed not wearing a thing and anyone who says different is selling something and the people buying are a bunch of idiots.

someone has to say something.

because this is just too, too, much.

the only strength people like that have is in the rest of everybody else having too much fear to speak up. fear of back lash. fear of exposure.

fear of saying what every one else is thinking and too scared to say because it would be too easy.

and it would be mean. boo hoo.

and i think mccain and his campaign picked their vp based exactly on that premise.

evil genius is the new black.

sick hillary on her and let's finally get somewhere.