Bookmark This Blog

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

Friday, June 29, 2007

Happy Birthday!!

Today is my younger son's birthday. He turned the big 3!!

My husband and I have been talking about this day for some time because we have been trying to convince my son that three-year-old boys sleep in their own beds. Yes, for the last three years it has been quite the rare night when I haven't had my younger son in bed with me and over the last year or so that has meant that my husband has been sleeping elsewhere. There just isn't room for the three of us.

Anyway, he's been saying all along (except for the occasional "No. Maybe when I'm four.") that he will sleep in his own bed after his birthday. Well, today we wished him happy birthday and reminded him that he was going to have to sleep in his own bed tonight. "Today's not my birthday." We explained to him that today was indeed his birthday, but he wasn't going for it.

He's convinced that tomorrow is his birthday because that's when he's having his birthday party. So it looks like my husband will be spending one more night on the couch ;)

Besides the birthday excitement, it's been pretty low key around here. We just spent the last few days in the great state of Maine where the water was extremely cold, but that didn't seem to stop my older son from hitting the waves. Literally.

His teeth were chattering; His lips were blue when he came out, but he had a GREAT time and wanted to know when the next time would be that we would go to the beach. I enjoyed reading (a little) in the sun and watching my little one get covered in sand. It was literally everywhere and was quite the project getting it all out. (Thank you, Daddy!)

So now it's onto the birthday weekend. Hopefully a night or two alone in bed with my husband. And back to work on Sunday . . . If only every week were a vacation week . . . Although I'd need to get paid to be on vacation to afford it :)

Labels: , , ,

Friday, June 22, 2007

Not All Doom and Gloom

According to the Associated Press:
"PITTSFIELD, Mass.— A former Wal-Mart pharmacist who claimed she was fired after asking to be paid the same as her male colleagues won a nearly $2 million award against the retail giant on Tuesday." (Wow! I guess someone is reading my blog after all! I mean, talk about action!)

The plaintiff, Cynthia Haddad, claimed she was fired from her job as a pharmacy manager after asking to be paid the same wage as her male colleagues. After making her request, she received a bonus that had been previously given to other male pharmacy managers, but was then fired two weeks later.

Things that make you go hmmmm . . .

Anyway, after my previous post about the big step back for pay discrimination claims, this one was a bright spot. And of course, we all know I enjoy my day a little more when Wal-Mart has to take one in the chin :)

Labels: , , , ,

Tuesday, June 19, 2007

Discrimination Knows No Time Limit

I'm over at The Soccer Mom Vote today writing about the pay discrimination suit that went all the way to the U.S. Supreme Court a couple of weeks ago. Let me know what you think :)


And on a completely different note, I'd like to share a little conversation my four-year-old and I had yesterday . . .

Me: Can you please help me clean up these toys?

Four-Year-Old: I don't want to help you clean up.

Me: Well, it wasn't really a question. You need to help me clean up these toys.

FYO: I said I don't want to!

Me: Don't speak to me like that! You can either help me clean up or you can have a time out in your room.

FYO: (with an evil glint in his eye) You know, sometimes I like it when you go to work, Mommy.

Me: Well, sometimes I like being at work . . . Now help me clean up.

Labels: , , , ,

Sunday, June 17, 2007

Father's Are Important, Too

Happy Father's Day to the best dad two boys could have . . . Thank you for teaching by example, for giving us the best you have even when you're tired and overworked and for showing our boys how to respect and treat a woman by the way you love and care for me :)
I love you.


Dad, I'm glad to hear that George is still kicking. I was reminiscing today about all kinds of things . . . Indian Princesses . . . UNO games (Poor Uncle Jay) . . . Saturday morning cartoons . . . Nightmare Gallery (was that what it was called?) . . . Learning to drive . . . Your rescue mission to Paris . . . Thank you for everything. I miss you. I love you.

I'm still a daddy's girl at heart ;)

Labels: , , ,

Friday, June 15, 2007

I'm Still Here

Yes, I know. I haven't been blogging. Haven't been in the mood, I guess. Been busy with other things - Work mainly, but I've managed to squeeze in some good stuff, too. You know, real life. Like Thursday . . .

Thursday was my older son's last day of school. It was exciting (even at four years old he knows enough to look forward to summer vacation) and a little sad, too. I tend to get attached. I'm going to miss his teacher. (I will admit to having one of those sad smiles on my face when he hugged his preschool teacher goodbye.) She was great with him. She really got to know him and our whole family. She even gave him what I consider to be one of the best compliments someone can give when she told me that he reminded her of her own son :)

I won't miss having to split my day in half to go pick him up for lunch. I'll enjoy being able to take a few highly anticipated day trips to the zoo and such. It will be nice for my younger son to have his playmate back in the A.M. And it will be fun to experience that back-to-school excitement again in the fall. (Kind of brings me back to when I was a kid . . . going school shopping, picking out my first day of school outfit, not being able to sleep the night before the big first day . . .)

So that was Thursday. I've also been reading a lot instead of writing. Really I should be doing both, but haven't quite found that balance yet. I'm reading "American Bloomsbury: Louisa May Alcott, Ralph Waldo Emerson, Margaret Fuller, Nathaniel Hawthorne, and Henry David Thoreau: Their Lives, Their Loves, Their Work" by Susan Cheever. (Yes I'm on that transcendentalism kick again :) It's pretty good. A good portion of it I'd read in other books, but I'm learning a lot about Alcott and Hawthorne that I didn't know before. It really was a kind of magical time in the mid-1800's in Concord, MA. I think I would have enjoyed the atmosphere - all that talk of literature and philosophy. The idea that there was more to life than just work . . . That God could be found in nature and not just in a church . . . That it was important to experience life, to live it, to not rush from one task to another in order to get everything done . . . I just think I would have liked it.

What else? Oh, I was listening to one of my favorite shows on NPR the other day, On Point with Tom Ashbrook, and they were doing one of my favorite topics of the year - summer reading lists. Ashbrook had several guests on sharing what they thought would be great summer reads this year. There were quite a few that sounded interesting and I've already suggested Boomsday by Christopher Buckley to my husband. (Buckley wrote Thank You for Smoking which I haven't read but the movie was darkly hilarious.) It seems right up his alley. If you're looking for something to pick up at the bookstore, be sure and check out their list.

Another topic that was covered this week on the show was titled "The End of the Private Life." It talked about how people are willing to share everything from their most embarrassing moment to stories about their children and bosses with complete strangers via the Internet. And it got me thinking. I've always tried to be somewhat conscious of revealing too much (because you never know who might be reading :) but I know that I have also written things on here that I don't have the courage to say out loud anywhere else.

At the same time, I started to think about how this blog has changed over the last year or so. It started out as something that was somewhat impersonal where I mainly talked about issues that were important to me or thoughts I had about random things I saw or read about, but now it seems I spend more time talking about my personal life than anything else. And I'm not sure that's how I want it to be. I need to reevaluate what it is I want my writing to represent. I think I need to refocus on some of the issues that are important to me and share my ideas with all of you so that maybe you'll begin to do some thinking of your own.

Maybe I just haven't been thinking that much lately about anything other than my personal stuff . . . That's certainly a possibility and if that's the case, I definitely need to switch gears.

All right. My mind has pretty much shut down at this point. Getting up at 5 a.m. makes for a long day by four in the afternoon. I could really use a nap. Or maybe I should go clean my house. It could use it. But I'll probably go try and catch up on my magazine reading instead. Give me something to write about ;)

***Just to illustrate how unmotivated I've been - I started this entry Friday morning at 7:30 a.m. and didn't get around to finishing/posting it until 4 p.m. on Saturday. Oh well.

Labels: , , , ,

Saturday, June 9, 2007

Seven Words I Never Thought I'd Say

I actually feel bad for Paris Hilton.

That's right. I said it. And while I certainly don't agree that her story is news. While I applaud Brian Williams for not mentioning this ridiculous media circus in his NBC Evening News broadcast. (Especially after I thought I would never mention it myself.)

While I believe that Paris Hilton exemplifies so much of what is wrong in America today as she flaunts her attitude of entitlement, her wealth and the image that what's important is what she's wearing and who's noticing it. And while it truly makes me sad to think that there are young girls out there who look up to her as a role model, also buying into the idea that it's status, beauty, high heels and dresses that leave little to the imagination as to what's under them - that it's who you are and who you know, and more importantly, who knows you that makes you somebody . . . Need I go on?

But what is just as repulsive to me are the millions of people who are actually rejoicing in Ms. Hilton's recent trouble. There are people out there celebrating because she has been sent to jail. And the media frenzy surrounding it all is even more repulsive. I mean, a reporter (not paparazzi mind you, but a "legitimate" TV news reporter) was almost run over yesterday by the sheriff's car driving Paris back to court because of the piranha like atmosphere in trying to get pictures of a young woman in tears in the back.

For all that I find wrong with her behavior, Paris Hilton is a human being. I don't think it's a thing to celebrate when anyone gets sent to prison. Yes, she was on probation and she violated that probation and there are consequences to that. But why do we find it our business to know exactly what her sentence is, when she will report to jail, what she is eating and reading in her cell . . . she's just another young woman who screwed up. She's been sentenced by a judge and she's going to have to do her time. It happens everyday, people.

As if it wasn't bad enough that society made her into a celebrity for being a pretty girl with money; it's now society that has turned on her and decided that it's entertaining to watch her struggle through what would be one of the toughest things any of us would have to suffer through. I mean, I actually feel ill when I see the frenzy of flashbulbs, microphones and helicopters tracking her every move.

Have our priorities ever been so messed up?

Labels: , ,

Tuesday, June 5, 2007


Some time in the early 1980's El Salvador was in the midst of a civil war. People were fleeing the death squads for safety and the chance at a better life in the United States. Our Unitarian Universalist congregation symbolically provided sanctuary to a family. While the family didn't technically live in the church itself, our congregation sponsored them.

I'm not sure how it all worked out but I recall that the family had very few options to travel about and anyone aiding them could risk arrest. One afternoon my dad drove the father to a medical appointment.

This caused much concern in my little brother. He was of the age where police were always right and people shouldn't break laws. He was upset that my dad would risk making the police angry.

While I didn't fully understand the dynamics I knew this man needed medical care. I was also proud that my dad was taking a risk to help someone.

What I also didn't understand was how this deed ran counter to my dad's upbringing. He was born on a dairy farm in Virginia in 1940. He grew up in the segregationist south, where the white kids went to one school and the blacks to another (of course that happens today - while it was by law in the 1950's, it is through economics today). He earned his undergraduate degree at a public university that did not formally admit women until 1972. It would be understandable if he carried the privilege of a white man.

And yet, he has always worked to make the world, both in his neighborhood and much farther away, a better place. He has been a town meeting member and active player in local politics for decades. He has been on the board for an elder housing organization, a domestic violence shelter and an organization that advocates for severely developmentally disabled adults. I wish I had a recording of him describing volunteering at a food bank for the residents of the Chinatown neighborhood. He talks about the pride of the elderly men and women who entered the church as they walked in to receive their food.

He had a heart attack last year the day before he was to lead two church services about the genocide in Darfur. He was very worried about how the services would go even though he was told he needed triple bypass heart surgery. So while he couldn't get himself discharged from the hospital - he promised to return -he spent the days in the hospital trying to get the nurses to read his pamphlets about Darfur. To this day he still wears his green Not on Our Watch bracelet.

I've gone on to a career in social justice - first through public policy to expand health care coverage and now working on economic justice.

My father is the reason why I think I can make a difference.

Because he drove a man to a doctor's appointment.

This post is part of a blog exchange. Thirty-eight year old Allison can be found proudly wearing a pink "daddy's little girl" shirt. She is the mother of three children- twin 6 1/2 year old boys and a three year old girl and works outside the home as an advocate for economic justice. She found the the quotes at Nancy's place Just Thinking inspiring. Today the thoughtful Nancy is over at Allison's place - Soccer Mom in Denial. You can find more exchanges at The Blog Exchange.

Labels: , , ,