Archive for Me-o-rama

Election Day in Michigan

Yes, I have voted already. I took my 19 month old son with me and explained everything as I was doing it. He liked the fire trucks best (I vote at the local fire house). I want him to have memories of going with his parents to vote. I remember going with my Mom. In fact, my Mom is working as an election worker today. I want voting to be a family tradition we carry on.

My husband and I spent quite a bit of time last night researching candidates and where they stand on important issues to us. We took a “candidate quiz” over at the Washington Post. Obama came up as the Democratic candidate that matched our views the closest. Too bad he took his name off the ballot, here’s two votes he won’t get.

So then I started looking the Republicans. GAH!

A women’s right to choose is a huge issue for me and it’s one I always look at someone’s stance on. As you can see, every republican, except Ron Paul, thinks Roe v. Wade should be repealed. Nice.

I have listed quotes from each candidate’s list of issues and provided a link so you can see for yourself.

Giuliani
* Would probably not sign federal ban on all abortions. (Nov 2007)
* Ok to repeal Roe v. Wade, but ok to view it as precedent too. (May 2007)
Probably? Probably? This is a strong issue to say probably too, don’t you think Rudy? Maybe the “uncommitted” selection means Rudy.

Huckabee
* Certainly good day for America when Roe v. Wade is repealed. (May 2007)

McCain
* Overturn Roe v. Wade, but keep incest & rape exceptions. (Jan 2000)

Paul
* Get the federal government out of abortion decision. (Nov 2007)
* No tax funding for organizations that promote abortion. (Sep 2007)
* Not appropriate to prosecute all illegal adult pornography. (Sep 2007)
Ron Paul thinks the government should be out of the abortion decision, but he also thinks it’s not appropriate to prosecute all illegal adult porn… huh? I’m not even sure I know what that means. He seemed a bit “take the government out of the government” to me, if that makes any sense.

Romney
* Was pro-choice, now proudly pro-life. (Dec 2007)
* Would be delighted to sign federal ban on all abortions. (Nov 2007)
* Two-step process: overturn Roe; then change hearts & minds. (Sep 2007)
Shouldn’t it be the other way around: change hearts and minds THEN overturn Roe. You got to change YOUR mind first. Scary, scary, scary.

Thompson
* Reverse Roe & return abortion to states, to allow SOME bans. (Nov 2007)
* Let states decide abortion with restrictions as they see fit. (Nov 2007)
* Lobbied for Planned Parenthood, but always voted against them. (Oct 2007)
Why would you lobby for something and then vote against it?

Here is how the Democrats feel:

Clinton
* Respect Roe v. Wade, but make adoptions easier too. (Nov 2006)
* 1974: pro-choice fervency not based on any personal abortion. (Jul 2007)
Why is this even listed under Hillary’s views??? I don’t recall asking any of the men if they ever got someone pregnant. Or if anyone they got pregnant ever got an abortion. WTF?
An option to abortions… what a novel approach and the ONLY ONE TO MENTION IT!

Edwards
* Right to abortion is constitutionally protected. (Jan 2004)
Doesn’t matter, he took his name off the ballot, but for those keeping score.

Obama
* Protect a woman’s right to choose. (May 2004)
* Supports Roe v. Wade. (Jul 1998)
Again, doesn’t matter since he took his name off the ballot as well.

If you are curious, I voted for Hillary. Her views matched mine closer than any other candidate ON THE BALLOT. I don’t know how my hubby is going to vote and even if I did, it’s not my right to reveal it here.

Frankly, this little exercise scared the shit out of me. My body, my choice. Period. It doesn’t matter if we are talking about abortion, organ donation or pulling the plug on my brain dead body. My body, my choice.

If you are willing to take that away from me, there is no telling what you would do.

Don’t even get me started on the war for oil in Iraq.

Please exercise your right to vote.

~*~*~*~
Tomorrow:
“Tree pretty… fire bad.”

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Basking

basking in the sun

Someone told me I looked rested today. Hell, I should, I was on vacation from Dec. 22 until yesterday. But really, I don’t think it’s all from being away from work. I seem to have a real sense of peace for this upcoming year. I believe this sense of peace corresponds with my personal year (if you believe in numerology).

Here’s a way to calculate your own, if you are so inclined.

Let me tell you how this sense of peace revealed itself to me. I told you in my happy dance post that I had a job interview coming up. Well before that can be determined, the potential employer sent me a questionnaire. The questionnaire had questions on it like I have responded to before in oral board interviews. I spent two days preparing my responses, researching numbers (for “annual budget for your current organization” question) and proofreading over and over again. The questionnaire had to be returned by 9:00 AM January 2nd (Wednesday morning). I finally finished the questionnaire Tuesday evening around 5ish – just about the same time my high-speed Internet connection decided to take a dump.

I attempted to call my ISP to inquire about my technical difficulties and see if they could get me up and running again. The first time I was on hold (using my home phone) for 40 minutes until I simultaneously called on my cell and got thru to someone. So I disconnected the line on my home phone and was then on hold for 25 minutes before I just hung up my cell phone.

Seriously, at this point I could have chucked the whole computer out the window… router and all. But this calm voice inside my head said “you can’t get mad at the ISP, it won’t accomplish anything. You have to come up with a backup plan to get this email where it needs to be by 9:00 AM – or this could cost you a ticket out of your current job.”

I have no idea where this rational voice came from, but it was right. And that’s what I did. Now, we had 12+ inches of snow fall on Tuesday, so I had to plan carefully and give myself PLENTY of time to get to work and send the email (sending it from work was the best plan I could come up with). I was nervous about getting stuck somewhere between home and work, but I stuck to the plan. I didn’t sleep very well, but that’s no big surprise.

As I was getting ready to leave home Wednesday morning, I noticed the lights on the modem were blinking. I turned the computer on and woo-who the Internet was working again. So I uploaded my (6 page) questionnaire response and emailed it. Then I took my sweet ole time getting Hunter to daycare and me to work.

I really wasn’t surprised. Like I said, I just have this calm sense of peace. It is an amazing feeling.

~*~*~*~

I hope to start taking pics for my 365 day project again, maybe I’ll start today. I’m also going to be picking up my camera more. I was on vacation for the past two weeks and I spent the time enjoying the company of my husband and my son. I wasn’t stressed about he holidays or worried about posting (obviously) or picture taking. While I did take some pictures, they were more snap-shots. I haven’t even been taking my camera with me until today. It’s a shame too, 12 inches of snow look amazing during the sunrise. I’ll upload some snap-shots and pics soon.

Can’t you just feel the peace?

2007 is officially in the history books

Lately I haven’t been big on resolutions. I don’t have any fancy expiations for why, I just haven’t. I do spend time reflecting back though… but no regrets!

During my time of reflection (that is so over-used – gah!), I discovered that I have really accomplished a lot this past 12 months.

The actually started out a bit dicey: Mom fell and broke her arm. It was rough for Mom, but also for me as I was taking care of a seven month old and my wonderfully stubborn independent Mom in her 70’s.

My Dad died. I didn’t have a relationship with this man to speak of, but still his passing hit me WAY harder than I expected.

It was pretty clear 2007 was going to be an asshole to me, but I didn’t let it bother me or get me down. Perspective is everything… I wasn’t going to let 2007 do this to me and the grandness that was 2007 started to reveal itself.

Received some insurance money from my Dad – to say I was flabbergasted would be an understatement!

We finished working on the place up north. Now we have real running water and flushing toilets and a wonderfully peaceful get-away to the north.

My Photoshop skills have more than doubled. My photography skills are still a work in progress, but I am pretty happy with several of my pictures. Nice new hobby!

Cleaned out my closet and got rid of* 3 large garbage bags full of clothes. * Of course by saying “got rid of” I was referring to donating them to an organization that passes them on to folks that can use them.

Raised my son for the first full year and he’s not an axe murderer… yet. I may have to research this, but I’m thinking since he is using several sign language signs correctly he may be lowering his possibilities of becoming an axe murderer. And a hint for you young mothers out there: if you want your child to understand the sign for “more” and how to use it correctly, teach it while eating ice cream. Warning: the sign for “more” followed closely by the sign for “please” and an audible “peez” could very well melt your heart.

Started and failed the 365 days project. I was supposed to take a picture of myself everyday for 365 days… I made something like 40. I’ll probably try it again – it was fun.

I completed another successful year of NaBloPoMo (and then promptly fell off the face of the earth).

My favorite reflection of all… my new one! That’s right; I lost 41 pounds in 2007!! AND, I won $320 doing it.

See, who needs resolutions. Good bye 2007, truly you have been good to me. 2008, I’m ready for you.

Cleaning out my closet

We spent today on a few deep cleaning projects. Kev cleaned out the front closet… actually it was more like throwing things out and handing me things he didn’t know what to do with. While I was trying to organize some things in the living room.

We had moved the living room around last week and also got rid of an antique desk I had that collected everything!

As I try to find logical places for computer supplies, office supplies and assorted other crap, I was cleaning out some drawers that have had stuff in them forever.

I don’t know why, but I am a packrat. I’ve tried to figure it out, but I can’t. On occasion I get in the mood to toss stuff and when I do, I really try to take advantage.

I started going through one of my file drawers today and I ran across a folder with old love letters in it. Not from anyone in particular, actually it’s most of the letters I received from the time I was 16 until I was in my 20’s or 30’s. I didn’t throw them out. What the fuck, people?… I. didn’t. throw. them. out.

I am so happily married; I could make you puke talking about it. I KNOW I will be married to Kevin for the rest of our lives. Yet, I didn’t throw them out. I don’t get it. I don’t know what I gain from keeping them. I don’t know what I will lose by throwing them out. I just don’t get my emotional attachment to those letters. It’s not just the love letters. I also ran across a file from 1983, when I tried to get into the U.S. Air Force. Twenty-four years ago.

24 years.

I re-read the file, but I didn’t… couldn’t throw it out.

I was 20 years old and trying to get into the Air Force. I scored in the 97th percentile on my ASVAB test and there were six openings that were available to me. As a female, I wouldn’t even have been considered without a score over 93. As I started through the paperwork process (after the test), I came across a question that asked about something that occurred in my past. I had to be honest. I was told I couldn’t get into the Air Force, but the Army was an option. I didn’t want to be in the Army, I wanted to be in the Air Force. Lots of paper shuffling and letter writing ensued. I tried to get a waiver. Even with my high scores, I couldn’t get that waiver. Obviously, I never became a member of the military. I never became a helicopter repair-person. It wasn’t meant to be, and I get that. More importantly, I accept that.

That chapter in my life is long since closed, yet I cannot throw the file away. It was a deeply emotional period of my life, but it was almost a quarter of a century ago.

Still, the file sits in my filing cabinet.

What part of our beings holds on to these past artifacts?
Is it a fear of forgetting?
Is it a fear of losing part of me as a person?
Do I keep things to reflect on how far I have come as a person?
Why do I think I would be losing part of myself by getting rid of some things?

I certainly am not the kind of person that lives in the past, and this part of my being baffles me.

~*~*~

One the upside: look at the cute pink hat I Kev found in the closet.
Day 24 - cleaning out my closet

blah


I’m sorry, but I’m just not feeling it today. I’m very very sick of my husband not being home. The one night he was home before 9, this week, my MIL came over (she has impeccable timing). He was supposed to have tomorrow off, but now he has to work.

This has been going on for the past month and a half. I know it isn’t going to last much longer, but that doesn’t change the fact that I am tired now.

We have had no family time together. Hunter hasn’t seen his Dad, I haven’t seen my husband and I have had to be Hunter’s sole source of … well… everything. This is all on top of working my full time job, keeping up on the house and the laundry. Obviously, the house has been suffering… obviously.

There is also some stress in trying to function in a house that is … suffering.

So rather than turn this post into a real downer, I’m outta here.

I promise to be in a better frame of mind tomorrow.

Today’s mood is…

Excited beyond comprehension.

img_3774-copy.jpg
Yea baby!

It was just another Tuesday

Yesterday, my day started like every other Tuesday; Kev kissed me goodbye at 5:30 AM and I rolled over and went back to sleep for a few.

Up at 6:30. No alarm clock needed.

Do some morning essentials (which I will spare you the details of), get dressed and go downstairs and start the Bug’s breakfast and pack his lunch and my lunch. Back up stairs to wake up Hunter. He was not already up. Open the curtains and blinds while I chat with him and do his morning routine (pj’s off, diaper changed, clothes on, etc).

Hand in hand, we walk down the stairs – apparently he’s getting too old for the backwards routine. Greet the animals as we go by and into the highchair for breakfast. He starts on his fruit and I open the three cards on the table.

I turn the radio on and we sing and giggle our way through the rest of breakfast (his, not mine). Rushed, but pleasant, none-the-less.

Then we clean up; first Hunter, then the highchair then the dishes. I do the dishes and Hunter wipes the highchair – he’s such a little helper.

Then it’s off to the living room (for Hunter) with the little bathroom (for me) where I try to do something with my hair, throw some make-up on and change the poopy diaper (his, not mine)… at least he’s regular. We do this while Hunter watches Oswald on Noggin and I think of Squigy from Laverne & Shirley. It’s like a bad accident between Laverne & Shirley and the Wonder Years, but Hunter likes it. I guess ignorance is bliss.

I wish The Upside Down Show was on, but then I would NEVER get to work… but that’s probably for another post.

Where was I… oh yea… poopy diaper…

Then I take loads of crap to the car: Hunter’s lunch, my lunch, my camera, my briefcase (or whatever bag of crap I’m carrying around at the time) and my purse. While I do this the dogs come out with me and I try to kick the ball to Tyler a few times. Then it’s everyone back in the house. The TV goes off and Hunter and I leave for daycare.

Hunter and I walk into daycare and I usually chat with the lady I drop him off with. Today, it was a diaper rash discussion.

Off to Starbuck’s and then to work. By now it’s quickly approaching 8:30 AM (woot! I’m only half an hour late). I have to be at an off-site meeting by 9:30.

Once in my office I try to gather all the materials I anticipate that I will need for this meeting. Incidentally, I was just told about the meeting yesterday afternoon. Gawd, I love this place.

Once at the off-site meeting (at a secret location: local hotel) I find the conference room and settle in. Everyone else is eating a breakfast of eggs, bacon, ham, sausage, sweet rolls and something with syrup on it. I opt out of breakfast – I’ve had my coffee and I’m good.

Jump to 2:00 pm, we finally get a potty break – 15 minutes. Insanity! Good thing I have a bag of grapes, a peach, a couple of Fiber One bars and a pitcher of water. That 15 minutes was all we got.

5:16 pm – we are dismissed. I have already called Grandma and asked her to pick up Hunter because I may be later than 5:45 pm. BUT, Grandma doesn’t have a carseat, so I have to meet her in the daycare parking lot. Gotta love improvising.

With Hunter secured in his seat, we head home, with Grandma following. You see, it’s Tuesday and I bowl… at 6:30 (practice starts at 6:15 – practice-smactice). Once home and unstrapped from the car, I get Hunter in and the dogs out. I change my clothes again. Run Grandma through the dinner menu for Hunter and I’m out the door by 6:10.

Arrive at bowling 6:30-ish. I didn’t arrive home again until around 10:00 pm. Hunter’s asleep, Kev is in bed, but not asleep (but close) and I’m home.

Hunter woke up briefly (well long enough to stand up and turn his light on and make noises at us). I rocked him for a while until he fell fast asleep again.

I finished watching the news and work on a word puzzle before I turn my light off.

Given the choice, it’s not how I would have decided to have spend my birthday, but that’s okay.

I still feel fortunate, loved and at peace everyday.
Happy belated 44th Birthday, Sheryl.

(damn, I’m getting old!)

Told you I needed another job…

I found this link over at Joy’s place. And I am a sucker for IQ tests so I took it. Joy had taken it over a month ago, so if you go looking for it over there, you have to go back to August. Hey, it’s an IQ test, not a punctuality test. 😉

You have to register to get your score but it’s not that big o’ deal. Just keep clicking “pass” on all the “cool” offers they send your way and after about 6 or 7 clicks, you get your score.

IQ Test Score

Set up to fail?

You know, I have really been trying to hone my photographer skills. I don’t do a lot of Photoshopping to my pics. Mostly because I don’t have the time to master PS but also because I want to be able to take great photos without all the enhancements.

Don’t get me wrong, I do believe the enhancements have their place, but for me, right now, I just want to take better photos.

One of the things I do is look at other people’s photos: professional photos, blog photos, forum photos… I think you get the idea. I know what appeals to me and then I keep what I see in the back of my mind and try to expand on it and incorporate it into my own pictures.

Today, in the process of doing some surfing I happened across a couple of sites that feature some before and after photo retouching. I could take you through the whole process in my brain that got me there, but believe me, you don’t want that close of a look inside my brain… it will scare you.

I ran across this site that a section entitled retouch-o-rama…how could I not read it?

There are several professional photo retouching sites listed.
To show you how good they are they post their portfolios, which are primarily celebs retouched photos. But to prove how good they really are they have to show you the before AND the after. Talk about some interesting clicking. Here’s another one, click on the word “Portfolio”.

Now this bothers me on all sorts of levels. The better photographer angle isn’t that big of a deal.

My own personal struggles with body image, now that’s a big deal!

Down deep in my subconscious I have struggled with my weight forever. Even when I weighed 135 lbs (a VERY long time ago) I thought I was fat. Was I? Probably not. Maybe I just hung out with really skinny chicks. Or maybe the media influenced what my subconscious brain thought was acceptable. Who knows?

I used to look at these photos and wonder how in the hell could Cameron Diaz even open a jar with those skinny arms? But the reality is her arms aren’t that skinny

… and I’m not really that fat.

Why does the media think it’s so wrong to be a woman of substance?

Why does the media think we want to see unattainable body images?

How can a celebrity look at one of those magazine covers and even recognize the person in the photo. But boy, what a great way to show a celeb going off the deep end… just publish an un-retouched photo and have a whole article about how bad so & so looks.

In my perfect world I would make some changes and they wouldn’t start with my body.

Tomorrow: Ode to a turkey.

07-07-07

Was today extra lucky for you?

In honor of 07-07-07, here are 07 things learned today:

1. It’s really helpful to have the memory card in my camera if I want to take a funny picture of a construction worker, removing his breathing mask (protecting him from cement dust I presume) to light a cigarette.

2. If my Canon can’t focus while the Auto Focus is on, the camera won’t fire until I turn the AF off. (duh! but I guess this is how we learn)

3. Mosquitoes like fireworks.

4. I still don’t get itchy when I get a mosquito bite (or 70).

5. I suck at firework photos (this explains the lack of photos for this entry).

6. If I practice really hard, I may be a half-way decent photographer when I grow up.

7. Last, but not least, I learned I can only think of 6 things I learned today.

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