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"Pace is all. Rhythm is master. Consistency is your friend."

Thursday, August 31, 2006

RTT: How Did I Get to This Place?

(RTT, by the way, is short for Random Thought Thursday . . .)

So I've been updating my blog with all kinds of "widgets" and links, images and "blogrolls" . . . And I am slightly amazed or amused or confused, definitely very surprised at my new hobby and I just wanted to take a moment to consider "How exactly did I get here?"

I believe it was April when my sister setup a MySpace page for me. Yes, it's something I've been keeping on the down low from many of you. I am no longer a member of the hip crowd and my own gut reaction five months ago was that I was much too young and what would I do on there anyway? Well, I was bitten and it's all been down hill from there . . .

I mainly use MySpace to keep in touch with former classmates (yes, Cheryl had a hand in getting me online as well)and I must admit that I have a lot of fun decorating "my space" with all kinds of cute, flashy icons and photos, quotes (of course), etc. I have also met a few interesting and genuine folk there I might not have encountered otherwise. We share interests in writing, politics (One "friend" titles his page Impeach Dubya) and music (Only on MySpace can I list U2, Pearl Jam and the Dave Matthews Band as "friends.")

So within days of setting up my page I began blogging on MySpace. But their blog component is quite simple and once I started surfing the vast land of blogs, some much better than others, I realized that I could do so much more and I was led to Blogger. (Again, thank you Cheryl!)

And now I can't seem to stop! I find new icons and interesting hit counters and web rings I want to join on the endless number of blogs I can surf. There is just so much out there and sometimes it's like zoning out to the weather channel - strangely hypnotic, yet completely engaging. I will agree that there is a LOT of junk, but I've found quite a few gems among the rough.

What has been the biggest surprise for me is the number of moms I've found online and they're blogging! I mean like crazy! Many share their reflections about what being a mother means or how it has changed who they are and some just share their daily routine mentioning what Jr. may have accomplished that day or what behavioral issue it perplexing them at the moment; Still others emphasize that they're more than mothers and like to blog about a wide range of topics. No matter what the topics I can't believe the sheer number of "Mommy Bloggers" I've come across in just a few short weeks. (I've listed quite a few of them on my links list if you want to check a couple of them out)

(This will all contribute to the novel I keep threatening to write, by the way ...)

Six months ago I was almost scared of the internet as far as the interactive component went . . . I didn't have any kind of technical savy whatsoever and I wasn't interested in acquiring any. But once I began to connect with other writers, my Writing in the Margins group moderator in particular, I realized that like TV the internet can be a very useful tool as long as it is not abused and not used to replace physical activity and direct human to human interactions.

So to answer the question at the top of this post: How? It's like a really rich piece of chocolate - you start out saying you're only going to have a small piece and before you know it you've devoured the entire box.

And somewhere between potty training, wrestling, action figure play and preschool I've found the time to learn a bit of HTML, web design and web surfing. Go figure.

Wednesday, August 30, 2006

Finding God in a Bulk Mailing

Today I received the following flyer in the mail. On one side it said: "Coming Soon to a Theater Near You . . ." Then I flipped it over and it said:

"Rated R: Recommended for Anyone Over or Under Age 17 . . . People all over have been waiting, dreaming, imagining what it would be like to be able to engage God in a worship experience that is relevant to today's culture.

"On September 10, 2006 a new way to do church launches right here (in said movie theatre) . . . There will be great music, cool lighting, intense media, Starbucks coffee available and the most comfortable seating since the wooden pew. The environment is comfortable and relaxed, so come and check it out with no strings attached. I look forward to seeing and meeting you on September 10th." Signed, Pastor X

Anyone who knows me knows I do not promote ANY organized religion, so I will not be specific about which "church" sent this to me. And I don't really know what I have to say about it - I just wanted to share it.

Just another example of a PR campaign at every corner . . .

Our First Day of School

Yesterday was my older son's first day of preschool. Now, bear in mind that I have been fortunate enough not to have had to place him in daycare at any point in his young life and during the hours when I must work, he and his brother are either with my husband or an auntie or a grandparent. Babysitting is a family affair.

So this was most certainly a big day - for both of us. We'd been talking about it for a month, counting down the days on a calendar and talking about how Mommy would be dropping him off at preschool and leaving him there by himself. Then I would come and pick him up when preschool was over. He seemed to be grasping the concept quite well.

Almost too well.

This morning we walked into the classroom (he was a little anxious we were going to be late and was happy to realize that we weren't) and he immediately held my hand a little tighter. A comfort to both of us really, but the teacher introduced herself, gave him a name tag, (which he liked very much), and we hung up his coat and put his backpack in a little, wooden cubby. And I realized this was my cue to exit.

So I reassured him again that I would pick him up very soon and it was time for him to go play and for me to leave . . . So he let go of my hand, said "OK, Mommy," and walked away. He only looked back when I said "I love you!" "Oh, I love you, too!" was his reply.

Now don't get me wrong, I was happy to see him let go of my hand so easily. I did not want to have to leave a screaming child. That would have broken my heart. Still, a crack has appeared anyway. It's not from a fear of leaving him with strangers for the first time; I liked his teacher from the moment she introduced herself - I got a good vibe from her. And it's not because I'm having to let go of my "baby" or that for the first time in his life I won't know what he's doing every second of the day. (That's not the root of it anyway)

When I got back to my car, I shed a tear because I was leaving my precious son with a building full of strangers, with not one person he recognized and could turn to for comfort, and yet he was going to be just fine without me. That was what struck me. His days of depending on me for his emotional and physical stability are over.

Now not entirely, I know. He can't go out and get a job and support himself just yet, but he made it through the morning, on his own, in a world full of strange people, new experiences and at times his own sense of loneliness. And he's just fine.

When I went to pick him up I was happy to hear he had had a good morning. I was also happy, in a strange kind of way, that he did have a couple of episodes of tears, too, and had told his teacher that he missed his mommy. (I know, I know); That when his teacher gave him a family picture of us to comfort him he wouldn't put it down for quite some time and insisted on bringing it home today. So I'm glad he still wants to be with us, but he didn't need to be with us to make it through.

Now I'm the first one to talk about the role of parents as being one to guide children to become independent adults who follow their own paths without guilt and a feeling of obligation to their parents. I talk a good game about how I want my children to do whatever they wish as long as it is positive and what they want - even if it's 1,000 miles away from me. And I mean all of it. I want them to achieve a sense of autonomy from me, no matter how much it hurts if they don't call every once in a while and check in or come visit occassionally, but I just didn't realize I'd have to face the conflict between my ideals and reality quite so soon.

I remember having the thought when he was born that the very moment he took his first breath outside of my womb, from that point on, his purpose was to become independent of me and to begin the journey of his own soul. (Chalk it up to hormones) But I guess I had forgotten, until today when I was brutally reminded, that my children do not belong to me - they are not mine. I am simply their guide and it is my job to follow their lead.

And If I do this thing right, maybe I'll get a thank you or two along the way, a phone call to catch up and maybe even a visit from time to time.

Tuesday, August 29, 2006

On This Day One Year Ago . . .

Mother Nature sent them her worst

The state and city governments were caught utterly unprepared
And failed their citizens

While the Federal government simply abandoned them

To the more than 1,500 people who lost their lives during Hurricane Katrina, to those who were taken away in the ugly aftermath and to those who lost loved ones or whose lives were forever altered by the devastation they saw, the screams they heard and the smells of death - we remember you on this day.

Let us not forget those Americans who waited for days on rooftops or in overcrowded, unsanitary death traps called shelters and those who simply couldn't hang on and were left dead in the streets to rot. The U.S. government failed its citizens in the biggest way on August 29, 2005 - let us not allow it to happen again.

Monday, August 28, 2006

Uncle Sam Finally Gets It Right

Thanks to Jim on MySpace from whom I "borrowed" this image :)

Sunday, August 27, 2006

Take a Moment from Life's Daily Chaos

Just a few quotes you might want to ponder (you know how I'm loving the quotes these days!) while you plow your way through the week:
(There's one for each day!)

  • "It matters not what a person is born, but who they choose to be." -- J.K. Rowling, British Author

  • "Very early, I knew that the only object in life was to grow." -- Margaret Fuller, Transcendentalist writer

  • "What would you do if you knew you could not fail?" -- Unknown

  • "Once you make a decision, the universe conspires to make it happen." -- Ralph Waldo Emerson

  • "If one advances confidently in the direction of one's dreams, and endeavors to live the life which one has imagined, one will meet with a success unexpected in common hours." -- Henry David Thoreau, Transcendentalist Writer

  • "I find that the Americans have no passions, they have appetites." -- Ralph Waldo Emerson

  • "All that we are is the result of what we have thought. The mind is everything. What we think we become." -- Buddha

Is there a change you need to make in your life this week? What will you do to make it happen?

Friday, August 25, 2006

What A View

Courtesy of NASA

Thursday, August 24, 2006

I Knew It!!

You Belong in Dublin

Friendly and down to earth, you want to enjoy Europe without snobbery or pretensions.
You're the perfect person to go wild on a pub crawl... or enjoy a quiet bike ride through the old part of town.

Now, if I could just get there . . . AGAIN!! Maybe this time I would stay :)

Random Thought Thursday: The First in a Series (Or Maybe Not Since it's Supposed to Be Random)

What is it with the human desire to classify everything?

And it starts from a very early age . . . Or is that the adults in our lives began teaching us to put everything in its place when we were very young and we just followed suit?

I mean, I understand it from the standpoint of wanting to separate things into more manageable groups in order to better understand an ever-changing, overwhelmingly expansive universe. That I get and think may be very valid.

But on the other hand I wonder if this constant classification of things (shapes, colors, sizes, ethnicities, religions, nationalities, genders, sexual preferences . . . ) might be getting a little out of hand. Doesn't such marginalizing of people into cookie cutter-like groups cause division among humans? The whole idea that there's "Us" and then there's "Them?"

I don't know. I look at, say, the Animal Kingdom and while humans classify the she*t out of every living being (Maybe I'm a little bitter because I flunked out of Zoology in college, but really who can keep all of the species, sub-species, phylum, sub-phylum, genus, class, etc. straight?) the animals themselves could really care less who belongs in what category. I mean, obviously, there are those that don't hob knob in the same social circles - zebras don't hang around with lions for fear of being eaten - but other than that a herd of zebra will travel with a herd of wildebeest and a group of gazelles along with a few hangers on like birds and insects. There is an order to things, but you don't see animals debating what that order is.

Now yes, we humans live in communities (rural, suburban, city) - but look at that there are classifications for where we live, what food we eat, what kind of school we attend, what socioeconomic class we belong to, whether we rent or own a home - the list is endless. And so the great dichotomy goes . . .

Yet, such classifications cause great divides in my observations - necessary? I don't know. But just think about it . . . has being pigeon-holed into one group or another caused you difficulty in your own life? I think most of us reading this right now can think of at least once or twice where assumptions have been made, insults thrown, doors slammed in our faces . . . Is it all because we feel a need to classify things for understanding? Or is it more likely that we as humans want to make ourselves feel superior to others in some form or another? Or is it just because it's been done since, well, since forever?

Then again, maybe I'm just being cynical today :)

Monday, August 21, 2006

Bush Postpones 2008 Election

This was just TOO GOOD not to republish. This article was in my latest edition of The Nation. It's an incredible, amazing piece, although it's quite scary because it might not be that far off, and my heart just started beating out of my chest as I read. I mean, what if?
(It also made me think of my friend Rich who recently uttered the idea that maybe the next Presidential election wouldn't happen ... Maybe he's psychic ...)

Please tell me what you think about this one . . . And enjoy with caution . . .

What Did "Four Years" Mean in 1789
by Stephen Gillers

WASHINGTON, June 21, 2008. President Bush, citing his authority as Commander in Chief of the armed forces and his inherent constitutional power over foreign affairs, today ordered a postponement of the 2008 presidential election in order "to protect the American people in our war on terror."

In a speech during a surprise visit to Baghdad, where he celebrated the summer solstice with the troops, Mr. Bush told the nation that the election will be "rescheduled as soon as a change in leadership does not create a security threat and not a second later. When the Iraqis stand up, we'll vote."

"Elections are important," the President acknowledged. "I know that. I believe in elections. I'm President because of an election, sort of. But protecting the nation from another 9/11 is more important than holding an election precisely on time."

The President noted that as Commander in Chief he had already approved telephone wiretapping without court warrant, incarcerated alleged "enemy combatants" indefinitely without trial and, in a February 2002 order, now rescinded, had authorized the armed forces to ignore the Geneva Conventions when "consistent with military necessity," so long as everyone was treated "humanely."

"If I can do all that, I can defer an election," the President said. "Look, as between not voting on time and getting locked up without all those Geneva rules and such, which is worse?"

Read More

Sunday, August 20, 2006

All in the Family

I opened up the newspaper this morning, the Worcester Telegram & Gazette which I must mention by name as my husband is a reporter for said newspaper, and I read a wonderful story about a former teacher from my high school and his daughter. Now for those of you who went to school with me I highly suggest following the link at the bottom so that you can read the entire article. It was a great piece by reporter Richard Duckett and is worthy of a few minutes of your time :)

Anyway, this teacher, John Hodgen, was the teacher that everyone wanted to have - there was one in every school - and Mr. Hodgen taught creative writing. He was one of those teachers who inspired his students (which is no small feat with teenagers) and to add to his cache he was a published author. I always wanted to take one of his classes, but it was never meant to be. I had friends who gushed about his classes, who shared beautiful pieces of prose and poetry - and, yes, I'm still jealous. I mean, who knows. Maybe I'd have published my first book already if I had had such instruction . . .

So now he's published three books of poetry (two of which I have already added to my wishlist at so I don't forget to check them out at the library) and his daughter, Christie Hodgen, has now published her first novel which follows a collection of short stories she published a couple of years ago. She is also currently being highlighted by the Barnes and Noble "Discover Great New Writers series" . . . Man, some families have all the luck :)

But seriously, I'm happy for both of them and shall try to use them as examples of what CAN happen - afterall, we grew up in the same town, went to the same high school and had the same English teachers (except for Mr. Hodgen!).

If you're interested, both authors' books can be found on and John Hodgen's poetry is both powerful and elegant (this coming from someone who isn't an avid poetry reader). Once I read Christie's book I'll be sure to review it, too.

So congrats to a couple of fellow Shrewsburyians . . . and I will continue to ask myself not "Why me?" but "Why not me?"


Friday, August 18, 2006

It's All "Chick-Lit"

I just read an article from "In These Times," an independent magazine that features articles on everything from politics, international affairs to pop culture and the latest in the world of publishing. This particular article was titled "Why Hemingway is Chick-Lit" and it was written by Lakshmi Chaudhry.

Basically it set forth the following statistics:

- Men account for approximately 20 percent of the fiction market, yet overwhelming dominate the publishing arena both as authors and critics

- Women aren't just reading Chick-Lit either. "A 2000 survey found that women comprised a greater percentage of readers than men across all genres: Espionage/thriller (69 percent); General (88 percent); Mystery/Detective (86 percent); and even Science Fiction (52 percent)."

I find such news interesting and greatly encouraging. I mean, once again we see that women have a strong presence, yet are highly underrepresented. Why is that? I think it's the nature of the beast. Men have dominated the world in politics, economics, government - basically any power position in and outside of the home - since, well, forever. And while change has occurred, it has happened at a snail's pace and isn't showing signs of speeding up anytime soon.

And so now we see that even in our leisure activities the world listens to men. Do you find an abundance of material you wish to read when you browse the shelves at your local bookstore or the titles at I don't. I think there is a great lack of material for women, especially for us 30-something mommies.

I find plenty of novels about single 20-somethings and their wacky adventures with men who don't believe in showers or who bathe in "Old Spice" and I find books about women who have raised their children and are now facing that life changing "Who am I now?" moment. But what about those of us who find ourselves in between? I admit I don't have an enormous amount of time for reading, but I do make time as I know many of you do. I like to read non-fiction, political non-fiction, all kinds of short story anthologies - but what about a good, humorous novel that speaks to me and my life? Let me tell you - there's not a lot out there!

Well, I say, "Let's get writing, Ladies!" The time is now. Write the stories you want to read. Those pompous publishing houses can't ignore the statistics forever and eventually they will have to give their audiences more of what we want if they wish to stay in business.

Tear down the walls. Make your voice heard and put it in black and white.

That's my plan :)

RIP Black Nose

Well, as you can infer from the title of this post - Black Nose is no longer with us. I found him, as if frozen in time, floating by the filter on Tuesday morning. My son apparently noticed right away when he woke up that morning (I was at work and feeling VERY guilty about not being there for him) and wanted to know where Black Nose had gone. My husband, being the wonderful father he is, explained everything to him. My son seemed to take the actual death better than he did impending death a few days previously. I guess he had had time to think it all through - the whole cycle of life thing.

He even asked about getting a new fish when I came home that afternoon - after he told me about Black Nose's death. However, he did stipulate that he's not "ready" to get a new fish right now and that a new fish wouldn't be the same as Black Nose - just so I know :)

Then it was off to the beach for the past couple of days. Our last vacation before the craziness of school begins. It was nice. It was quiet. Exactly what everyone should have every couple of weeks. I could sit in front of the ocean for hours at a time, especially at sunset. So I managed an hour or so last night with my notebook and pen in hand. It was so peaceful and I felt so at ease, so relaxed. It was just the thing I needed to recharge.

So thank you all for your positive thoughts regarding Black Nose - I guess he was just ready for Fish Heaven and who are we to prevent him from going into the Light :)

I've got lots of things floating around in my head, but we literally just got home and I have laundry and cleaning and unpacking to do. I promise to write again later as I get rid of my "beach brain" and settle back into reality.

Until then, remember: "In the book of life the answers aren't in the back." --Charlie Brown

Monday, August 14, 2006

Airport "Security"

Am I the only one who thinks that this latest disruption to a terror plot came up at an awfully opportunisitic time? Let's think about it . . .

Ned Lamont, an anti-war candidate running against senior senator Joe Lieberman, won the Democratic primary in CT and the very next day the world hears about a potential terror plot to blow up airplanes bound for the U.S., thwarted by officials in the UK. Phew! That was close.

But not only did this sequence of events cause airports to become perpetual log-jams with added security and in some cases National Guardsmen/state police officers patrolling airports with guns - Politicians are able to exploit the incident for anticipated political gain!! America the Beautiful!

Dick Cheney came out with an immediate statement that said in part that terrorists plotting against the U.S. were encouraged by Lieberman's loss - it meant that Democrats couldn't even get their party together enough to support one of their own. He also said that Lamont's victory was a signal to terrorists in Iraq that Democrats didn't have the same resolve as Republicans to finish the job in Iraq (because Lamont is an anti-war candidate) and therefore bolstered the strength of the insurgents that if they just waited long enough the U.S. would go home. (And I hope we do)

Now let's pause for a moment - Cheney is a Republican through and through, Lieberman running as a Democrat. He's upset that Lieberman lost the primary because for some strange reason Lieberman has been buddy-buddy with the Bush Administration as of late. Sickening really. I'm glad he lost. And Cheney's never been one to pass up a clever PR move - aka mafia-like scare tactic - probably cooked up by should-be-felon Karl Rove.

Which brings me back to the disrupted terror plot. Coincidence? Call me a conspiracy theorist - I personally like the label. I've been right before. With midterm elections coming up in just a little over two months - is it a coincidence that the Republicans once again have the opportunity to try and use terrorism - the "We will protect you, the Democrats will not" campaign slogan - to win another election? I think not.

In fact, I heard on NPR on my way to work this morning that Newsweek conducted a survey late last week after the terror suspects were detained and after airports went on HIGH alert (I'm not sure what color that is on the Security Threat-o-meter) - that Dubyah's approval rating for keeping the U.S. safe went up by, I believe, 11 points.

Please don't tell me this is all going to happen again! What do Democrats have to do? We've seen over the last six years that Republicans have put the U.S. in a very precarious position - while we try and prevent Iraq from entering into a civil war which has sprouted from the illegal war we started there over three years ago, we have no means of trying to assist the UN in calling for a ceasefire between Israel and Hezbollah because we don't have the manpower to send peacekeeping troops to Lebanon!

Not to mention that much of the rest of the world is not happy with the U.S. and its attempts to build a bigger empire. George W. Bush and his cronies have been nothing but bad news for this country on both foreign and domestic policy fronts. Should we even get into Bush's horrifying environmental policies, his continued subsidizing of the oil industry while consumers struggle to pay their home heating oil and gasoline bills for their (allbeit) gas-guzzling SUVs and he has single-handedly added to the ruins of the public education system with his No Child Left Behind Act.

All right. That's it for the rant . . . for now. But just think about it before you go and vote in November . . . please?

P.S. If you want a funny, and very short, take on this whole airport security thing - check out Bunkosquad's latest entry.

Sunday, August 13, 2006

The Love of a Child ... for His Goldfish

My oldest son has humbled me once again. It's amazing the power they hold over us, isn't it?

He wanted goldfish for his fourth birthday, so about a month ago we went to the pet store and got the whole kit and caboodle - aquarium, filter, plants, rocks, pirates' treasure chest, etc. We purchased three goldfish - Goldie, Blackie, Black Nose (because of the black stripe he has going across the bridge of his nose) - and a bottom feeder we call Spots.

Well, Black Nose hasn't been well the last couple of days and we went to the store today to pick up some meds in hopes of saving him. It doesn't look good though. When I put the medicine in the tank it turned the water blue and my son was curious as to what I was doing. I explained to him that Black Nose was sick and I was giving him some medicine. He didn't say much in response, but I could see the wheels spinning in that beautiful, extremely sensitive, psyche.

After about 15 minutes I found him staring up at the aquarium again. He turned to me and said, "Black Nose isn't swimming very much, Mommy. And his tail doesn't look very good." I repeated my previous statement about him being ill and added that I was doing everything I could to help him get better. He looked over at Black Nose, then back at me and said, "Is Black Nose going to die, Mommy?"

I didn't know what to say. I was quite taken aback by the question really. We've never had any big talk about animals or people dying - that's not to say he hasn't heard about it from somewhere else, as is now obvious - and I was at a loss for words. So he waited. I didn't want to lie because it is very likely that we will wake up tomorrow and poor Black Nose will have departed, so I said "Yes, if he doesn't get better he could die. But I'm doing everything I can so that he will get better. That's why I gave him the medicine ..."

It didn't matter what I said after the word "Yes," - He began to sob. It was the saddest thing I've heard in quite some time. It was this hopeless, breathless little sob and I struggled not to break down myself. He told me he didn't want Black Nose to die, that he wanted him to stay in the tank with the other fish. I tried to tell him that we could get another fish, but he was not swayed. He said he didn't want another fish - he wants Black Nose to get better.

Then the big heartbreaker came - "Mommy, I need to go to my room right now and be alone."

He didn't want me to help him. I could hear him crying, but I left him alone for a bit like he asked. When I did go in, I asked him if we could talk about why he was so sad and he said he couldn't. He just wanted to cry because Black Nose might die. This went on for quite some time - a lifetime it felt like for me - but finally he stopped crying and wanted to go see Black Nose. We talked about the fact that he was swimming a lot more since I put the medicine in and that he might be OK.

"But you don't know for sure if he's going to be all right, do you?"

Another dagger to my heart and just when I didn't think I could take anymore - he leaned over and gave me a big hug. "That's OK, Mommy. Thank you for taking care of Black Nose. We'll just have to wait and see and maybe he'll get better."

All this from a four-year-old boy.

While I will miss Black Nose should he meet his demise over the next few days, what aches the most are my feelings of helplessness at not being able to give my child what he so desperately wants and the fact that I just have to sit by and watch him hurt. There's nothing I can do about this one and his realization that Mommy can't fix everything after all hurt me, too.

So today we both lost something. My son had to face the fact that he might lose someone he cares for very much and there's nothing he can do about it. He also learned that sometimes there's nothing anybody can do about it and my heart aches because I saw the look in his eyes when it all came together in his mind and his heart; I saw the tears, I heard the sniffles and most of all I saw the way he tucked it away in his memory. Mommy and Daddy are no longer like superheroes who can do anything and protect him from all the bad things in the world.

I know it's only a goldfish - the circle of life and all that jazz, but it's not the goldfish. My baby was just SO sad and I had to standby and let him work through it, on his own, because I was helpless to do anything else but just that. I held him, I hugged him, I kissed him and yet he was still in pain.

I just thought these days were, yes inevitable, but a long time in coming.

Saturday, August 12, 2006

A Quote for George Dubyah and His Administration

It happened again ... a quote from my new little quote box ... I'm sure this is just because of the novelty of the thing right now ... who knows ... Hopefully the madness will end soon ...

To George Dubyah, Dick Cheney, Don Rumsfeld, Condoleeza Rice, Alberto Gonzales, John Bolton, et. al:

“Leadership is a privilege to better the lives of others. It is not an opportunity to satisfy personal greed.” --Mwai Kibaki

Take that!!

Friday, August 11, 2006

Worcester's Own

“Just remember - when you think all is lost, the future remains”
--Dr. Robert H. Goddard (1882-1945)

This quote randomly showed up on my "Quote of the Day," box and I couldn't let it go by without a special mention. (Have you noticed I've been into quotes, lately? Of course you have!)

Anyway, Robert Goddard is considered the father of modern day rocketry (I did a paper about him in 11th grade!) and he was a good old Worcester, MA native! So my husband would be greatly disappointed, being a purebred and proud Worcester-ite himself, if I didn't point this out.

Besides, it's a great quote!

Tuesday, August 8, 2006

Will History Repeat Itself? Dare I Hope?

Lately I've had a thing for checking out the "This Date in History" section of my local newspaper. Curiosity mainly and it's given me a couple of things to think and blog about, too. Well, wouldn't you know it. I found a beauty today. One that inspires hope and introduces what is possible. Are you ready?

"On Aug. 8, 1974, President Nixon announced he would resign following damaging new revelations in the Watergate scandal."

Isn't it awe inspiring? I mean just think of the possibilities. Replace Nixon with Bush and Watergate with "revelations that he and his Administration led the U.S. into a preemptive, illegal war and were thereby directly responsible for the deaths of thousands of people, that he sanctioned the illegal wiretapping of phones and tracking of personal bank records of thousands more American citizens and endorsed the illegal imprisonment of hundreds of people at Guantanomo Bay; prisoners were held there indefinitely without charges filed against them and they were tortured by guards and "intelligence" officers seeking information - not to mention, he was an arrogant son of a bitch with a propensity for lying."

Could it happen? It would sure make it a lot easier than impeachment, which is at this point the only other answer. But alas, I think it's optimistic of me. I don't believe that Dubyah's cowboy machismo would allow him to consider resigning, even if articles of impeachment were being drawn as I type this very post. (There goes that optimism again)

I really believe that Bush thinks he is untouchable, that he is above the law, including those written in the U.S. Constitution and Bill of Rights; that the only being he has to answer to is God - and with what Dubyah's been pulling these last few years I can't imagine even God is happy with him. I don't pretend to speak for the Big Man upstairs, although George believes he does, but I seem to remember learning something in Sunday School about murder and war being against those 10 great commandments put forth by God, unless a person is forced to take the life of another in self defense. Now Dubyah and his cronies would like us all to believe that his "War on Terror" is in self-defense of this country and all its citizens, but it's really a drive to expand our American Empire in the best interest of the wealthy and their corporations.

Well, I guess I've gotten rid of my optimism . . . Oh, well, a girl can dream.


Sunday, August 6, 2006

Mr. Rogers' Wisdom

Check Out to make your own personal notes + much more!

Thursday, August 3, 2006

Bibliophiles Unite!

I've found an incredible website for you bibliophiles out there. It's called Library Thing and it's a place where you can catalog all of your books, books your reading, books you want to read . . . Basically you can do whatever you like with it. You can then categorize them based upon subject, favorites, books to read, books to borrow, etc.

Now, when I first saw the sight listed on another blog I was intrigued, checked it out but wasn't really sure what the point was. But I kept going back and I am now proud to say that I've joined up and it's addictive! I spent 45 minutes last night cataloging about 80 or so books (with Howard Zinn's works listed in bulk, as they should be) and it's so fun!

I listed mostly favorites, authors and books, and then have a lot that are on my "To Read" list. I used to use my shopping cart at to keep track of those, but now I have them all in one place and can go to my own personal library before I go to my public library or before I make my next book purchase at the bookstore or whatever!

But that's only the beginning. The best part about the site, in my opinion, is that it links you up with other people who have catalogued the same books or have an interest in the same categories. You can simply click on a link to see who else has that book and then you can peruse their library! You can get ideas for other books you might like to read or share your comments or reviews about the book, message boards so you can find groups of people with similar interests - an online book community!

I don't know about you, but I've been waiting for something like this. Hey, I've had trouble finding people to talk about books with (except for Shannon! We're our own little book club these days), and I know it's yet another online "community" thing which is somewhat of an oxymoron for me because there is no physical interaction between people - we're all just inputting letters into a machine and calling it conversation. Six months ago I would have been "No way. Not interested." I had a bit of a phobia about getting too deep into this internet thing because I think for some it can cause isolation, withdrawal from real life and real things that you can touch, smell, taste . . . But, hell, if you can't beat 'em join 'em, right?

So if you're interested check it out. It really is a lot of fun. I haven't even gotten to check out too many other libraries on the site, but I'm having a blast just listing everything! (I have no idea why) The site is free (you can list up to 200 books before upgrading to a paid account), the registration was one step and you're ready to go! Be sure to check out my library while you're there - I've got a link under the "Websites I Like" section to your right.

Keep reading, Everybody!

Tuesday, August 1, 2006

A Hermit Crab Spoke to Me

So the boys and I were getting ready for bed last night (or should I say they were laying in bed with me because it was so HOT and my room has AC) and they wanted a bedtime story. Easy enough. I went and picked out "A House for Hermit Crab" by Eric Carle because of our recent trip to the beach. We had in fact found a few hermit crabs while we were combing the tidal pools and I figured the boys would enjoy the connection.

Now, before I go any further let me give you a basic outline of the book, especially for those of you without small children. This is taken from the back of the beautifully illustrated children's book: "Poor Hermit Crab! He's outgrown his snug little shell, so he finds himself a larger one - and many new friends to decorate and protect his new house. But what will happen when he outgrows this shell, and has to say goodbye to all the sea creatures who have made Hermit Crab's house a home? Children facing change in their own lives will relate to Hermit Crab's story - and learn a lot about the fascinating world of marine life along the way."

So, as I'm reading this book I find my mind wandering to my own situation - my desire for change and yet my fear of it. My fear of the unknown, of spending time and money headed toward one goal and then fearing that when I reach that goal I might not want it anymore. Forget "Children facing change . . . will relate," - At this point I've almost forgotten I'm reading to my children.

It was so simple (isn't simple usually best?) in its message - You can't fight change, all you can do is react to it and it's up to you how you react. And once you've reacted it doesn't mean your decisions are permanent - things are always changing and therefore we must continue to deal with what life throws at us.

In this case, Hermit Crab, who has made all kinds of friends with his shell from the sea anenomes, to the lanternfish, to the coral, to the snails . . . decides that he can't stay in his now too small shell no matter how much he would like to. After all, he spent the last year creating a home that he was protected by, happy with and surrounded himself with friends - who wants to leave that? Not me.

I've spent the last six years making some wonderful friends and acquaintances through work - I'm safe here. People appreciate my work, I make my own schedule - but something is most definitely missing. I don't enjoy what I do anymore. I have many more bad days than good, but what keeps me here are the people and that when I have a good day it's REALLY good. It feels like a home, but I think it's time to venture out and find something a little bigger . . .

I may pursue school and as Cheryl pointed out to me it wouldn't be a waste even if at the end of the day I decided to do something completely different. The pursuit of knowledge is never a waste of time. And there's something about school, or more accurately the area of study I'm looking into, that won't go away. I'm drawn to it, but afraid I won't like the reality of the job itself. (School will be a struggle no matter what. I just wonder if I'm cut out for disciplined study led by others.) But how will I know if I don't try? No more fear. Time for action.

I guess this is what Shannon meant by "Force, no Force" . . . or when Shani told me to "Go where your spirit dictates and there you will find happiness." (It's wonderful to have friends who care so much and who are so wise, as well!)

I've been overanalyzing this decision everyday when I go to work, but I found the answer that really spoke to me in a children's book. Isn't life wonderful?