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Showing posts from April, 2010

to move or not to move

So now we struggle. We swore 3 years ago, when we built our house, our 4th house, our dream house, that this was it. No more. I am NOT moving again. Ever. That's what I said.

So as I pour through the listings of homes available back East, I wonder how it came to this. Two months ago, we went about our lives as if everything were normal. We'd weathered the recession. Sure we lived a little closer to the financial edge than we were comfortable with, but life was good. Then came the axe to the education budgets. Within weeks... undocumented concealed weapons became the law, not the crime.  And within weeks yet again, undocumented people became criminals, and grandmothers became suspects. Of what? We just don't know. Suddenly immigrants are no longer the backbone of America. They aren't lawyers or doctors. They aren't teachers or law enforcement. They aren't migrant workers or landscapers or dishwashers....they are now felons and murderers and drug dealers. With no…

The lunatics are in my head...

I must be nuts. I'm now living in what once was a pretty damn nice community in a beautiful state. Now I'm literally imprisoned in a nightmarish state of political football. Everyone is trying to make a point. Teach someone a lesson. Play hardball. Problem is, this stuff is not only irresponsible, it ain't gonna work.

First, they are taking away as much education funding as they can without violating our own State constitution. Then they tell the School Districts to tighten their belts. Act responsibly, fiscally speaking of course. And pat themselves on the back. Finally, that'll teach em. Instead our kids have no teachers, and in some cases, no school. No future.

Then, they pass a law making it illegal to be here without your documentation. How many of us walk around with a birth certificate. We don't. We're American. We have rights. Not anymore. Not here. Not in Arizona. I'm not going into details about it. If you don't know what's happening here…

You can fool some of the people...

Today I'm tired of the daily rant against the Arizona crazies. So on to the lighter side.

What if you called a press conference and nobody came? Hmmm. Why risk it. In fact, if you are Apple, you can't risk it. Mr. Jobs is becoming a bit ho hum with his announcements. Last time he stood up and practically drooled over the upcoming launch of the next iPhone OS which will do so many wonderful new things. Geotag your photos. Oh wait. Droid Does. Manage playlists for your music. Oh wait. Droid does. Well, you see where this is going. There's an underlying fear overhanging Silicon Valley that next time they say "get a load of this", instead of journalists with laptops and bluetooths swooping in for the scoop, they'll get pig farmers with shovels.

So instead, let's find some other way to spark some interest. Particularly from the Media, who are yawning so widely you could fit a mack truck in their mouths.

How about this. iPhone prototype left in Bar by accident…

The lunatics are in the Hall...

Here in Arizona we have a problem. The lunatics are in the hall. First, they are shutting down our educational system one giant step at a time. Destroying our children's future. Wasting our taxpayer dollars and then blaming the taxpayers. And punishing the kids. It's immoral, indecent, and insane.

Now the crazies in Phoenix have passed SB 1070. The most ridiculous, scary, immigration bill ever. And costly. I am going to state at the outset, yes, we need immigration reform, and we need border security. We need to quell the influx of drug runners and criminal border crossers. Having said that, this law is absurd, bordering on fascist.

If you don't look American, then you might just get stopped on the sidewalk and asked for your papers. Yeah. Be careful when you come down and visit our beautiful sunny state. Wear lots of sunblock. If you have too good a tan they might just profile you. And if your city isn't doing enough of this, you can sue them. And if you're caug…

Cancel my subscription...

If you want a good laugh, don't read this. Today I am angry. Angrier than I was yesterday, and still angrier than I was the day before.

It's amazing. Everywhere I look, stories about our tighter immigration laws in Arizona, yet noone seems to give a s*** that Arizona just fired half its teachers and is closing a huge number of schools. Why is immigration a better news story than the ultimate abuse of our childrens' right to an education? Coast to coast there is an outpouring of support as well as opposition to the new rules on the table in Arizona, making it a state law to be here illegally. I won't get into that here. It's a stupid law, but no stupider than the concealed weapons law letting anyone and their mother/brother/cat carry, no permit required.

But not a word about the desecration of our K-12 schools. Where is the outrage? Where is the uproar? What is wrong with this country? Someone find me a national news organization that is covering the utter sha…

25 years and counting...

So in honor of our 25th Anniversary, I am going to repost a blog I wrote about marriage. Not specifically. Just in general. The whole idea of choosing to spend your life with someone, for as long as you are lucky enough to have them, then actually doing it is fairly daunting. And a lot of people just don't seem to be able to manage it. Sometimes it takes more than one attempt. Sometimes fate intervenes, or it just wasn't the right time or, right person.

When I look around, at my closest friends, we've all managed this enormous accomplishment. In different ways I think, but there are some common threads, not the least of which is no cheating. Simple really. Not because Monogamy is essential to a good marriage. But because Trust is. And cheating, by it's very nature, is a betrayal of trust. So don't even go there.

That said, here are a few of my rules for a bumpy but exceedingly worthwhile and often entertaining adventure. Marriage according to Mary. With a caveat..…

speak up louder, since no one is listening

I guess all writers face it at one time or another. With so much blogging out there, there was bound to be the stray one that nobody read. Seriously. I can take it. But unfortunately, this one was about the drastic cuts in education here in Arizona and the kids' efforts to fight them. They spoke out. They rallied. They acted. And I wrote about it. But, it seems, no one was listening. That was the first blog I ever wrote that nobody read. At least according to the counter. Not one living soul bothered.

So I am madly out there posting on facebook. Emailing media. Trying to get someone's attention. Anyone's. Crazy isn't it? The one fundamental right our children have in this country is the right to attend a public school. Which means, we have to pay for it. And the fact that my daughter attends high school with close to 2000 other students and next year they will have HALF the teachers, working double effort for less pay, doesn't seem to have any impact on people outs…

Speak up, kids, we can't hear you...

There's an interesting controversy going on at my daughter's high school. First, the groundwork. They just cut half the teachers. Yep. Half. No need to do the math. The next year will be horrific in terms of educational quality for these kids at the most important time in their educational career. College prep.

Then, last night, they implemented further cuts. No more all day kindergarten. 2% pay cut across the board. And more. Full Story here. Now we all understand budget cuts. But these seem a bit, well, drastic. And they are. The governor, in one of her more lucid moments, proposed a 1% sales tax, temporary, the proceeds of which primarily would go to save education in the state. Prop 100. There's some opposition. Of course there is. So school boards across the state decided to act now and make their point. Maybe if they can get the naysayers to understand the seriousness of the current crisis, they'll vote yes on Prop 100 and get them at least enough to provide for …

psychic or psychotic

I have this fascination with psychics. Mentalists. Mediums. I have no idea why it is, but for someone who is pretty much on the disbelieving side of religion, and a self-proclaimed UFO skeptic, it's a bit strange. I have an insatiable appetite for watching them practice their craft. I want to know. Is it real? Mental tricks? good guesswork? Can they possibly know that the girl in the front row's Aunt's ring fell out of the box and down the toilet when she was 4 and she's been carrying this dark secret all her life? Is there any possible way that the medium on the talk show can know that the guy in the third row picks his nose in the car?

Well, yes. Of course he can. He probably was stopped at the red light next to him before the show. Or his assistant was. As for that ring down the drain...no way. Well, I'm sure there is a way. Just don't know how it's done. But somewhere deep inside I so want it to be real. I do. I want to think my Great Uncle Dave is off …

Palin opens mouth and inserts foot...again

Sarah Palin doesn't like the new Nuclear Arms reduction agreement. "It's kinda like getting out in the playground, a bunch of kids ready to fight, and one of the kids saying 'go ahead, punch me in the face, I am not going to retaliate, go ahead and do what you want to with me,'" Palin said. This in reference to the long-awaited and much needed nuclear arms reduction agreed to by the Russians and Americans.

So, let's see, how effective is this tactic? Well, I'm guessing those of us who remember a man named Ghandi think it's pretty darn effective. And those who remember MLK think hell yeah, that'll work. Might be a few bumps and bruises, but all in all, very effective.

Those kids getting ready to fight? They'll stand there waiting till the other side is ready to fight. No fist raised before it's time. And the other side doesn't and it's a standoff. A Sit-in. A peaceful gathering. Peace. Wow. What a concept. Oh sure there's…

In the market...

So everyone who has ever been to a supermarket knows it's not an experience for the faint of heart. Seriously. In the 5 minutes it takes to run in for some ground beef and salad fixings...ok I exaggerate. In the 45 minutes it takes to run, ok, stroll, in for some pre-made patties and salad in a bag, you see all kinds of things. It's as if people think they have some cloak of invisibility the minute they walk in.

During today's adventure, I first had to maneuver around the elderly, and I do mean elderly, gentleman who stood next to the Grape display apparantly having his midday snack. I mean it's ok to sample before you buy. Even munch on a few as you stroll through the store. But this guy was literally eating them a handful at a time. His wife was too busy sampling the Berries to notice.

I ran into them again later at the banana display. No need to elaborate. I continued on at my frenzied pace to the butcher counter. Now those who know me also know I don't see so …

When virtual farming becomes a bit too real

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So I had an epiphany today. I went to my farm, in Farmville, and lo and behold my crops had withered. Did I want to buy the unwithering potion and reverse time and bring them back to life? Only 30 Farmville Dollars. I only had 6. Though it seems if I kick in some real money, US Currency, my virtual bank account could increase and I could, in fact, save that farm.

Which made me realize that I'd been having fun in Farmville. But playtime is over, and it is becoming a tedious chore to maintain that place. Forget it. Zsa Zsa was right. Gimme Park Avenue. The whole experience for me was, for a time, quite enjoyable. In reality I can't grow a friggin Cactus. Just remembering to water it every 6 months or so it's just too much for me. But in Farmville, I grew the most amazing things! Roses and Corn and Watermelon and Pineapples. Potatoes and Rice and yes, even Tulips. It required so little effort. 2 minutes a day and I was handsomely rewarded with coins and pretty eggs and pieces …

It's Easter. It's Passover. Gimme some good news.

Not to sound like Andy Rooney, but did you ever wonder why we only have two choices for getting our news? The full version, or the shortcut to headline news. Breaking news. And it's always bad. I'm ready for a third option. The Good Stuff.

Instead of having horrible news streaming onto your pc and your phone and your tv, and now your iPad, how about only good news streaming in. Instead of getting beeped every 5 minutes due to some graphically horrific act of violence somewhere on earth, you would only get beeped for the good stuff. You wouldn't get beeped when little twinkles jumped on the railroad track and got stuck. You'd get beeped when Jack Flack jumped in front of a moving train to save Auntie Grace's kitty. You wouldn't get beeped because Billy Bob's cousin Richie Rags accidentally set fire to his grandmother's barn while practicing his flame throwing act for Louisiana's Got Talent. Uh uh. Instead you'd get beeped when Billy Bob singleha…

If Harriet the Spy had a Droid

So I needed a new cellphone. Not the antiquated version I had, which only let me text and phone...no no no...I needed a new one. Like an iPhone, but not an iPhone, because I didn't have AT&T. I was a little concerned about all this touchscreen stuff, my daughter had a Blackberry and it terrified me. I remember spending hours with her trying to configure her email. Which is the primary reason for moving on up to a "smartphone".

Now, for those of you who are certified techno-geeks and have all this stuff, read no further, it'll just be ho hum stuff. Probably bore you silly. For those of you who still know how to use a phone without voice commands, read on.

Because last week, I met Droid. I'm telling you it was love at first site. This is what I always dreamed of as a kid when I sat up late reading Harriet the Spy and Encyclopedia Brown. Watching Get Smart or Mission Impossible. In my hot little hands, I can now instantly chat with anyone anywhere. And if i'…

Adventures in Travel Part Deux

Taking my second business trip to Orlando in as many weeks, I'd decided to bring my husband and daughter along. Always makes everything more entertaining.

Day 1: Boarded the shuttle from hell so we can stay overnight at the PHX airport for early departure since I don't do 4am wake ups. It was the end of spring break, packed with tired, worn out, hungover students. We sat in the back. Like jump seats in the plane with no seatbelts. It felt like we were on one of the those Mine Transports on rails. Bumping around like pieces of coal. Wondering if we'd end up strewn in pieces in the middle of I-10.

Day 2: Woke up, all systems go, and boarded our flight to the Happiest Place on Earth, via Southwest, the Happiest Airline. With Flight Attendants who double as the entertainment. Bags Fly Free you know. Of course, when they fly. Sometimes it seems they don't. Sometimes, they sit forlornly on the tarmac, watching the great big steel bird fly away without them. So as catchy a…