Thursday, December 25, 2008

Merry Christmas!

As I sit here there is a mess of toys and stuff spread out all over the floor. A fire still roars in the fireplace while Christmas music continues to softly play. I'm still stuffed from bean dip, cookies and lots of coffee. Tonight we'll be dining on leftover turkey and probably going to sleep early. It's Christmas, my favorite day of the year. But this year is a little different. In all of my 31 years celebrating Christmas I cannot recall one that was not sunny and bright. It's always VERY cold, but here in California it always seems that the sun always shines bright on Christmas. Not this year. It's been storming on and off since yesterday, which only seems fitting as 2008 comes to an end.

2008 has not exactly been a banner year and we are pretty happy to see it end. It seems funny that this time last year we were celebrating a much bigger Christmas (toy & gift wise). Little did we know that a week later we would be suffering losses in both of our businesses (my husband and I both being self-employed). Or that by the end of January we would be filing for bankruptcy. We certainly did not know that the economy was going to make our lives harder and harder with each passing month. And we certainly didn't know a few months later my dad would be diagnosed with Cancer.

Like I said, not exactly a banner year.

So as 2008 FINALLY reaches it's end, the end I've been waiting for almost since it began, I breathe a aigh of relief. But I can't help to think about the good things that came from 2008 as well. And that I have hope that the hard work and energy we put into simply surviving 2008 will pay off in 2009. The good things? Well here is my list of things that I'm taking from 2008 instead of what Im leaving behind with it.

1. My Family- My kids are growing more and more each day, and are becoming the people I'd most like to spend time with. They are not only my kids that I love because they are my kids, but people who are warm, funny, smart and a whole lot of fun to be with. They have both just blossomed even more in Kindergarten & Pre-school, and I am proud of them and fall in love with them more each day.

My husband? Well, a lesser couple would have jumped ship long ago. But not us. Each hardship we have encountered has only made us stronger and more diligent in our resolve to make our lives better for us and our kids. He is my best friend, and never in a million years could I imagine drifting though life with anyone else but him.

2. Writing- When 2008 started sucking FAST last January, the first thing I did was pick up my journal again. Then I started blogging and then checking out some freelance writing websites. By February I had my first paying job as a writer. Real money, real writing. I still have that gig as well as a couple of others, not to mention the handful that have come and gone through the year. The writing has introduced me to the world of social media and Web 2.0, and I have developed a love and passion for it. I am now hoping to pursue a career in it as well as writing. By this time next year I am confident that I will be doing one or both for a living.

3. School- I never thought I would find the time or energy to go back to school. It didn't seem all that important to me when I graduated high school a million years ago, and that became one of my biggest regrets in life. One that my husband and I both shared and decided to remedy in 2008. In the fall we both returned to school. Though it's made for a busy semester, as it turns out it was pretty damn smart. Between Early Childhood Classes, Political Science & Marketing I am putting myself in a career I truly feel I was meant to do. My husband is taking music classes, his true passion. It's given him a sense of pride that I could never have helped him to have. It's all good.

4. America- The election in November was one of the greatest moments of my life, and as dire as our financial circumstances along with the rest of the country's is, I've never been filled with more hope and excitement about politics and the future as I am when looking ahead to 2009. This, my friends, is going to be an awesome ride.

4. My Dad's Obsession with Living a Healthy Lifestyle- In the Spring, cancer kind if came out of nowhere and decided to make it's way into our lives when my dad was diagnosed with throat cancer. We weren't sure how it was going to play out. All we knew is that we were pretty damn scared. Cancer sucks, and there really isn't a better way to sum it up. Explaining to my kids that Grandpa was sick was one of the most surreal moments of my entire life. One I don't think I'll ever really be able wrap my mind around. Lucky for all of us though, my dad had other plans that cancer just didn't fit in with. Last night as we enjoyed family Christmas festivities together, you would never know that over the summer he was a man who was unable to speak, had to eat through a feeding tube, and on some days could barely even get out of bed. His recovery so amazing in fact, that his doctor have even asked to write about. Most of it attributed to my dad's obsession with hiking, skating, eating natural foods and living a healthy lifestyle. Cancer didn't stand a chance against my dad's organic healthy mind & body. It will b a long while before any of us are able to stop looking behind us to see if the cancer has caught up with us and returned, but for now he's alive, he's healthy, he's laughing, and swinging his grandkids around like he always has.

You know, now that I think about it maybe 2008 was better than I give it credit for. At any rate, I hope nothing but the best for you and yours in 2009. Everyone I know has had it rough this year one way or another, and I hope together we can heal the wounds of the last year. Both as a country and in our personal lives.

Merry Christmas & Happy New Year!

Monday, December 15, 2008

Why I Tweet

I am a WAHM. Working from home part time as a freelance writer, hoping to somehow turn that freelance writing and love of social networking and online media into a work from home job that can actually pay the bills. Until I do make enough to do that, I pay the bills by running a small daycare out of my home.

Up until the economy stepped in, my business was a pretty successful large family daycare, but now I have three kids that I watch (5 if you count my own) and not a whole lot of adult interaction. I started freelance writing as a way to appease the writing bug that’s forever resided in a small spot in the pit of my stomach, and then as the daycare slowed down, freelance writing became a way of making extra money and helping us survive.

As I got more and more involved in writing online and began exploring the wonderful world of blogging I found myself getting into the various social networking sites hat was becoming all the rage. MySpace, FaceBook, and others. I even opened an account on Twitter, which sat dormant for a very long time. Those sites were fun, but never really seemed to serve a purpose. Other than reconnecting with some old friends from school.

Then not so long ago I rediscovered Twitter. And Twitter moms. Within a week I was tweeting daily with moms all over the country, and then began networking with people I’d connected with on other sites I wrote for, and the next thing I knew I was following and networking with some of the biggest names in online social media and blogging. Pretty cool.

So what is it that I’m getting from Twitter that I value the most? Strangely enough it’s not the networking and the amazing things I’m learning about social media, government, and writing (though I’ve come to value those things immensely), but it’s what I like to call the “break room factor”.

I enjoy working for myself more than any other job I’ve ever had. And that says a lot, considering I’ve worked in radio. And that’s pretty fun.

The one thing I do miss though about working in an office is being part of the world. At my last job (and every job I’ve had) the break room was where it always went down. The best and most innovative ideas about work came from the casual conversations had over coffee and doughnuts in the break room.

And of course there was always advice to be given out about the kids, gossiping about Lost or who got kicked off Survivor, and commiserating about and discussing all the latest news topics.

When I started working for myself out of the home to be with my kids, I didn’t realize how much those break room conversations meant to me. In fact you could even say that it wasn’t until I discovered Twitter that I realized it.

Because for me that’s what Twitter has become. My break room. If I’ve got an idea about social networking or an article that I want to bounce off of somebody, I can tweet it and get a response. If my kids do something cute, or something that drives me nuts, I can throw it out there in Twitter and at least one mom will know what I’m feeling. And of course if I want to know if anyone else thought Justin Timberlake was hilarious on SNL last night, well you get the picture.

Twitter has kind of become the world’s break room, where everyone can get something from it. It’s out of casual conversation that the greatest ideas and innovations are born, and Twitter is full of casual conversations about amazing things.

Well, and about Justin Timberlake in a leotard, but I digress.

Friday, December 12, 2008

My Online Playlist

Song 1 Etta James - At Last.

It was pointed out to me that I am slightly weird. Before you say anything, yes I have had that pointed out to me before, but this was in reference to something new. I recently discovered Now, I have known it to exist for quite sometime now, but it was not until recently that I finally dove in and created my own playlist.

I am now addicted. I don’t know that I have the most eclectic playlist ever created, but since I have received comments that it’s weird, I feel it has served its purpose. And at 54 songs, it’s really only the beginning.

Song 2 Patti Smith - People Have The Power.

As I write this I have my playlist playing (as you can see listed). I love the new technology and how in minutes you can do what years ago it took many of us hours to do. Create the ultimate mix-tape. Really, that’s what these playlist are, right? Only with access to almost every song ever heard, thanks to the web, we can almost perfect the ultimate mix tapes.

I, so far, am quite proud of mine. And it’s not because these are simply songs that I like. To me my playlist (much like my JamsBio) is a representation of my very soul. Each and every song represents some part of me, and is one of the key ingredients to making me, me.

Song 3 David Bowie - Magic Dance.

So what if people find Sam Cooke, Pantera, Dolly Parton and The Smiths clash. For me it’s just the music of my life. The things that touch my soul. My own personal art collection if you will. Except of paintings its words and music that create the picture.

I will continue to add songs to my playlist. And I will continue to rebuff the people that mock my odd selections. Because they are my pieces of art. A collection that I have spent a lifetime building in my own head.

Song 4 Public Enemy – Fight The Power.

Yes, I am a musical schizophrenic. But with all the great music in the world, in every genre, it would seem strange to turn off any of it. Life is full of variety, so why shouldn’t musical tastes be full of the same?

Song 5 Terry Reid - We Are What We Are.

Monday, December 8, 2008

December 1980

When I was three years old we had a big couch that folded out into a bed. It was a perfectly 70s looking thing. It was black and white with a paisley pattern. On the weekends or special occasions my parents would pull out the bed and we would all curl up to watch a movie or whatever. This morning while drinking my coffee and surfing the web I came across a news item that, in an instant, took me back to one particular memory I have of that old couch.

It was New Year’s Eve, 1980. We had the big bed pulled out and it was covered with blankets and pillows. My baby sister must have been long asleep, as was my dad on the sofa bed next to me. My mom and older brother were frittering about, and a Christmas tree remained lit up off in the corner.

On the TV was some sort of year-in-review kind of thing, I don’t really remember exactly. What I do remember was a man on the TV saying that 1980 would aalways be remembered as the year John Lennon was killed. What followed was a montage of John Lennon through the course of his entire career. Set to the song, Imagine.

I remember my mom and dad being emotional, and I remember how sad it was. Maybe I was just picking up on how sad it was in my house in those couple of weeks following John Lennon’s death. I was hardly three years old. I’m not sure how I remember any of it. But, I did. I even called my mom before writing this, and she verified the memory to be pretty close to correct.

For me, that New Year’s Eve tribute to John Lennon and hearing Imagine playing in the background was my very first clear memory of being affected by music. And to this day, after all the millions upon millions of times I’ve heard Imagine through the course of my lifetime, it still makes me sad.

My first memory of John Lennon was that he was killed way before his time. The entire landscape of music was forever changed on December 8, 1980. The day John Lennon died. 18 years ago today.

I imagine we’ll never really know what we missed having him taken from us too soon.

I imagine no matter how much time may pass; we’ll never really get over it.

Friday, December 5, 2008

Don't Fuck With the Babysitter!

I thought that last summer's nonsense about the 21 Jump Street movie had died down, but now this, this is just BLASPHEMOUS.

Now the 80s definitely saw its share of AWESOME movies. Most followed one 80s teen movie formula or another (mixed social classes chill, friends hang out & overcome adversity of some sort, or poor kid falls for rich kid and serious lessons in love are learned).

But one 80s teen movie was in a category of it’s own. Adventures in Babysitting. The awesome story of a Babysitter and her adventures with her three wards in Chicago. It stars kick-ass 80s movie & TV staples, Elisabeth Shue, Keith Coogan, Stacy Keanan, and a pre-Rent Anothony Rapp. Not to mention a list of other badass names. If you have not seen this movie please rush out and watch it.

I mean right now. It’s cool; go ahead I’ll wait.

Now that you’re up to speed on it’s awesomeness. Here is my troubling news. It’s being REMADE. Remade with MILEY CYRUS. This just cannot be. I really can’t imagine any circumstances where this would be ok, but if there were they would most certainly not be with miss Miley at the helm.

This madness must be stopped! So I am starting a movement. Pass on the message to Disney that this is most certainly NOT cool. Blog it, tweet it, scream it to the mountaintops. To Disney we say, to quote the classic line in the movie, “Don’t FUCK with the babysitter.”

Thursday, December 4, 2008

Thanksgiving's Lost Tooth

Well Thanksgiving has come and gone. Lots of warm fuzzy moments like any other Thanksgiving. But there was one incident that will probably make this Thanksgiving stick out in our collective memories more than others. It was the year my brother knocked out my son’s tooth.

Ok, so it’s not as exciting as it sounds. The frickin tooth was hanging by a thread for weeks, and my son would not let us take any extreme measures to yank it out. Turns out all it took was a wrestling match with good ol Uncle Jamie to get it to fall out. It was quite funny really. They were wrestling around on the floor (against my wishes I might add, I’m the mom always threatening that someone’s going to lose an eye, or tooth…)

Our of nowhere my son turned into the dad from A Christmas Story (Don’t Anybody Move!!) and was scanning the floor with this very intent look on his face. We all stopped.

“What’s up buddy?” I asked him. He looked up and smiled, revealing that his tooth has fallen out. We found it on the floor and carefully placed it in his special little tooth fairy tooth holder, and put it up for safe keeping until the tooth fairy could come.

This is his second tooth; the first came out in September. Not that I didn’t think it was a big deal, but I didn’t realize what a bog deal it really was until he actually lost that first tooth. What a milestone. It was his bottom front tooth on the right side. I sweat that’s where his very first tooth came in back when he was a baby, but I can’t be sure.

Now his big boy tooth is almost halfway in, with a big hole next to it where Uncle Jamie knocked out his left front bottom tooth. You think that sounds funny? So did his kindergarten teacher when he told her about it after the holiday. Ha Ha.

Seriously though, as I poured through the contents of my purse to count out money for the tooth fairy to leave under his pillow (a measly $3 is all he got this time, times are tough, even for the Tooth Fairy) I couldn’t help but think about what a big deal it was when that first tooth came in. And now, his adult tooth is coming in?

When did he get so big? How did these last 5 ½ years fly by in just a blink?

You see, this is the problem with both Santa and the tooth fairy, they always leave you misty-eyed.

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

The Following of Wil Wheaton

My newest & latest addiction is hanging out over on Twitter. It's been fun, great networking and of course given me a chance to chat with some awesome peeps all over. And in my adventures with Twitter I managed to stumble upon the twitter account of one Wil Wheaton.

That's right, that Wil Wheaton. Since he was one of my first childhood movie star crushes, I immediately had to follow him. I waited for a follow back. Nothing. So I began my own little quest to get Wil Wheaton to follow me back (something, judging by his 21,000 some odd followers and his 70-some odd followings that would not be easy). He has yet to follow me back and has even threatened to block people who continued to send follow requests. So far, I've yet to be blocked so there may still be hope.

All joking aside, I have actually been reading his blog and really enjoying it. He even wrote a piece for the LA Weekly about music, that for anyone who has ever read my posts over at JamsBio knows is vital to my very well-being. So it seems Wil & I have some stuff in common.

What's funny is that it was his LA Weekly piece that got me thinking about being a kid, all the things I loved as a kid and how those things have stayed with me into my adult life. Things like certain songs, certain books and of course certain movies like Stand By Me.

It reminded me of the summer that Stand By Me came out, and it reminded me of my best friend during that time. I wrote about it on JamsBio last November, and decided that I would re post it here to give some insight as to why the movie means so much to me.

The other day I was looking through my bookshelf and came across one of my favorite short stories, The Body by Stephen King. This of course the story that one of my all time favorite movies was based on, Stand By Me. I hadn't read the book, or even watched the movie in ages. In fact, I'm not sure when the last time I even thought of them was.

The great thing about a favorite book, much like a favorite song, is how quickly it can take you away. An author like Stephen King or a song like Stand By Me, has a tendency to be so perfect that you somehow feel like you're in another time and another place a million light years from where you reside in reality. I opened up the book, turned on the soundtrack and let the familiar words flow over me, like hearing an old friends voice on the phone after a million years. The strange thing was the place I started picturing in my mind was not the summer of 1959 in a town called Castle Rock, but the summer of 1986 in another small town. My small town, Livermore.

Suddenly the pictures of my mind weren't of the train tracks that I watched River Phoenix and Wil Wheaton hike down that summer a million times at the Vine Theater, but the train tracks that ran behind my house. The ones where Mikey Perry lost his life a couple summers later. The tracks I would later cross every day of my high school career at least twice, until I got my license anyway. Those tracks, that old hardcover version of Different Seasons (the book that the story The Body was in), my sister, a certain movie soundtrack, and of course my best friend and next door neighbor, Laura. Hiking down the tracks as far as we could without actually ending up in the hills of the Altamont Pass.

I remember my dad putting our old green army tent in our front yard and the three of us would camp out in the front yard. I remember the hum of the air conditioner, the dreaded countdown for school to start, and the soundtrack to Stand By Me ALWAYS playing. Pictures of River Phoenix and Wil Wheaton pasted all over me and my sister's room. That summer of '86. All of these things came across my mind like a flash as I read those first pages of The Body. Tears slowly started to well beneath the surface. I quickly, without thinking about it, flipped the pages of the book until I came to the part where Gordie describes reading about Chris's death.

Laura died in October of 2005 from cancer. I hadn't spoken to her since right after Patrick was born, and even then it was only via email. I heard through myspace & my sister actually, that she had passed away. I guess her getting sick, getting diagnosed and passing away, all happened very quickly. My daughter was only 7 months old, I was busy chasing around 2 year old son, and it was the Day after Thanksgiving that they had her memorial service in Modesto. I didn't go. It's strange how the little decisions you make on a whim sometimes haunt you forever. I should have gone.

To this day whenever I hear that oh so familiar opening to Stand By Me I think of this line from the movie, "Although I hadn't seen him in more than ten years I know I'll miss him forever. I never had any friends later on like the ones I had when I was twelve. Jesus, does anybody?"

So as we all celebrate Thanksgiving, I can't help but be thankful for my childhood. My warm sweet memories and the good friends that have touched my life.

I guess my following of Wil Wheaton has less to do with "Wil Wheaton" himself, and more to do with all the great memories he represents for me.

Monday, November 24, 2008

The Dentist & Flu Shots

The Dentist

All weekend I have had a small knot in the pit of my stomach, and though I tried to deny it, the big bold writing on my ical would not let me forget it. Today was Dentist Appt. day! Not for me, but for the kids. Patrick has been a trooper at every dentist appointment he's ever been to, while Cheyanne on the other hand, well Cheyanne not so much. Last year she cried and threw such an incredible fearful fit, that they ended up not giving her an exam at all!

So for the last year I have been dreading & putting off bringing her back. But it was finally time. We pulled in to the parking lot (running late as usual) and I took a deep breath, waiting for the inevitable freak-out. We made our way across the parking lot and still, no freak-out. I figured she must be waiting until we get in the door. S we ride the elevator and make our way to Dr. Josh's office (the best pediatric dentist ever) and go in. Still nothing.

Patrick was off & running the minute we came in because since his last visit he has lost his first tooth, had the adult tooth begin to come in, and now has another loose one, so he was all primed and ready to show his new grill off to anyone and everyone.

Cheyanne got called in and laid down on the table. I waited. All she did was lay down and watch Bee movie on the big TV screen that was hanging over the chair, and let the lady hygienist do her thing. I sat in shocked amazement as my daughter simply allowed a dental cleaning to happen. Then the dentist came in, and still she laid happily while Dr. Josh checked her teeth.

Isn't it amazing when your child suddenly just overcomes something on their own? Wow. Plus they got good reports across the board. Perfect teeth. That's right, my babies got some beautiful teeth.

The Flu Shot

After the very awesome trip to the dentist, I had to push my luck with flu shots. You know with school, work, and all the other crap we always have going on we only have so many free mornings to do these kind of errand and so I had to cram them into one morning. My kids made me go first, and though they both gave a cry while the shit was given, they recovered quickly, thanks in part to the suckers in my purse. So much for the healthy teeth! HA HA

As it turns out, I'm the big wimp. I've been whining about my sore arm ALL DAY. It feels all bruised and sore, and I finally took something. But I'm still achy. The kids haven't complained once. Go figure.

Saturday, November 22, 2008

November 22, 1963

As I started to write this, I decided to look at some YouTube stuff to see if I could find some footage of newcasts reporting the death of President John F Kennedy. Today is the 45th anniversary of his death.

But it was all just so chilling and so sad. Kennedy signified hope to so many people, and then in an instant he was gone. And now we, as a country, are riding high on the wave of hope once again and I just wanted to find something that simply reminded us of Kennedy & the hope he projected on to this country instead.

He personified hope. Hope & Imagination. He imagined.
He imagined a world where black & white lived together in harmony.
He imagined a world without war.
He imagined a man on the moon.

He imagined all that we could ever hope to be, and all we could actually become today.

John F. Kennedy May 29, 1917 – November 22, 1963

Saturday, November 15, 2008

How McCain Lost

Everywhere we have been reading about all the amazing things we can learn from the genius of Obama’s campaign. I agree whole-heartedly.

But I also think that some things can be learned from John McCain’s campaign as well. Really it’s just one lesson. One that I learned when I was a kid, but can always be reminded of.

In 2001 George W. Bush raged a dirty war against McCain that ended up costing McCain the Republican primary. McCain, in an act of great dignity, chose publicly not to fight dirty back. It was choosing to take the high road to the White House instead of the low one that made him respected and beloved by members of both parties.

Many of the conservative members of the GOP were not very fond of McCain’s views, which often differed from that of the party. But McCain didn’t care. He stuck to his guns with every things that came his way while in the Senate. Many times choosing to work with senate democrats in spite of the message it sometimes sent to the GOP. McCain made choices based on what was right for the country, not the party.

So much so that in 2004 he was asked by John Kerry to be his running mate. It was at that moment John McCain became making the wrong choices. Instead of switching parties and teaming up with Kerry (could you imagine how different things could have turned out had he said yes?) or possibly taking a gamble at running as an Independent without either party’s support he, as some of his former supporters put it, sold his soul to the GOP.

McCain, in a move that was as epic as Luke deciding to join forces with Darth Vader, ended his long-standing disdain for President Bush and began campaigning for him. Knowing that giving his whole support to Bush & the most conservative members of his party was the only way to ensure a place on the ticket in 2008.

In the years following, he strayed further and further from the ideals and principles that made him such a “Maverick” in the first place. Until finally he made the call that clenched his imminent loss, the call to fight dirty against Obama. So dirty that a McCain rallies the chant of “Kill Him” could be heard.

And this is where the lesson comes into play. It’s a lesson McCain should have learned long ago. It’s the lesson my grandpa taught me when I was just a kid. Stay true to who you are, and the rest will just come to you.

McCain cared about things like dignity, honor, and standing for what you believe in. But in his quest for the White House, he somehow lost sight of those things. And that’s what was playing “politics as usual.” Something he didn’t realize we really truly were tired of.

Staying true to yourself is never easy in this world. Especially in the ever compromising situations that can be found in the Government where people are constantly asked to bend this way or that way “for the greater good”.

But at the end of the day it doesn’t really matter how far you bend, as long as feet remain firmly planted in the roots of what’s right.

And in the end Obama’s were the ones deeply rooted in the heart of America.

Saturday, November 8, 2008

A Letter to the President-Elect

Dear Mr. President-Elect Obama,

First, allow me to say congratulations a well-fought campaign. You worked hard, chose wisely in the people you kept around you, and believed in yourself and your country. You deserve the title of President. You have thanked the many of us that supported you in this campaign, and we are appreciative of those thanks. But none are necessary.

Mr. Preseident-Elect, I do not envy the job you are about to begin. An entire population of people has laid their hopes and dreams at your feet. Your name will forever be the name that comes at the end of every textbook that tells the tale of Civil Rights. You have had more expectations and responsibilities placed on your shoulders than any one man ever should. How you carry that weight is up to you.

I can only imagine what George Washington must have felt the day after he became the first President of our great country. Looking out his window saying to himself, "God, please help me get this right." If I may be so bold, I imagine a part of you is quietly saying the same thing.

I hope you are saying that, in fact. Because if you are, then it means you can feel the weight of the world on your shoulders. If you can feel it, then for as long as you reside in the White House, you will remember that it's there.

I believe that you will do great things. I believe that you may not be able to accomplish all that you set out to do, but only because of the limitations that Washington can create.

I also believe that, though so much of what people attribute to your historic status is he color of your skin, you being where you are has nothing to do with the color of your skin, and more to do with destiny. I think that you were destined to be here, no matter what the color of your skin may be.

I also believe that my children, who are white, will be the most color-blind generation ever to grace the streets of our nation. I believe they will suffer from less ignorance than any generation that has come before them.

And I believe they will judge people on the content of their character, not on the color of their skin.

I believe that they will be that way because for them, you will not be the first "African-American" President. For them and the entire generation of school-age children across the land, you will simply be their First President.

And that, Mr. President-Elect, is what will make this country suddenly leap forward and achieve great things while you are in office.

That is why I voted for you. That is why I pledge my support and good wishes to you and your family on this journey that we are all about to begin together.

Go ahead and begin, because we are ready. We are ready.

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

One Last Try to Educate on Prop 8

As I write this I can see the street in front of my house. What I see are these ugly yellow signs, that all say the same thing Yes on Prop 8. I was born and raised here in the bay area. Gay marriage has been legal for a while now, and trust me, the world has not fallen into ruin. Unless you count the influence of the current White House administration, but I digress.

I'm not sure exactly how much publicity Prop 8 is receiving in the rest of the country, but here it is everywhere. And it makes me sad. You see I believe that everyone has the right to his or her own opinion on gay marriage. But personal opinions should not be the basis for removing a law that is not really hurting anybody anyway. The only ones hurt by Prop 8 will be the people who will no longer be able to marry the person they love.

You know else will be hurt if Prop 8 passes? The 52,000 kids here in California being raised by gay and lesbian couples, whose dignity and rights will be stripped from them if Prop 8 passes. 52,000 kids who are not even old enough to vote. Who’s taking into account their opinion? Who’s protecting their rights?
It upsets me that this campaign in favor of Prop 8 is taking advantage of peoples fears and ignorance and running a campaign based on lies. And people who don’t even live in California are running it. And these people don’t intend on moving here no matter what the outcome of tomorrow’s election. Why do they have a say at all?

Here's a few facts for you.

1. Being raised in the school system here and having a child in it now, I can promise that gay marriage is not going to be taught in schools. I am not saying that based on what commercials say. I am saying that as an active PTA parent AND an early childhood educator who is well aware of the curriculum here.

2. I was not allowed to marry in the Catholic Church. I was raised Catholic, but my husband was not. Instead I was married by an officiate in the mountains of Northern California. The Catholic Church still does not recognize MY marriage. And they will continue to not recognize it whether prop 8 passes or not. Because churches have rules about whom they will and will not marry. These rules won’t change. Again, I do not say this because of commercials, I say it as a Catholic girl who could not be married in the church, so I know. But the state of California recognizes my marriage. That also won’t change whether Prop 8 passes or not.

3. Nothing will change if people vote no on prop 8. There will only be changes if Prop 8 passes. Can I say that again?

NO Vote- Nothing Changes

Yes Vote-Many Things Change.

I say that as someone capable of reading English. I read Prop 8. You should too.

If you are a California resident you have the power to Vote NO tomorrow on Prop 8. Say no Hate. Say no to ignorance. Say no to Prop 8.

People have the power, use it!

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Prop 8 Update

So I am finally starting to see some No on Prop 8 signs around the hood, around all of town in fact. It's about time. I am so annoyed with all the stupid ads saying Yes on Prop 8. What's even sadder is that people here in California are actually buying this crap. I though we were a little more educated than that. Yesterday I received a notice in the mail from the California Police Officers, you know their voter guide. Usually they send this out right before an election and list all the Propositions that they support and why. Normally they simply list whatever props apply to them, but not this year. THIS year they included their position on Prop 8. Which is a big fat uneducated bigoted YES. Can you imagine? The POLICE taking a stance on something like this? How crazy is that?

On the flip side, the California Superintendent and the California School system have also taken an official position, which is NO. Thank God. Those of you who have not seen some of the Yes on Prop 8 ads, one of the many false claims that they make is that gay marriage will be taught in schools. Any of us with children know that that is of course pure BS. Since when is ANY kind of marriage taught in schools? Never has, never will. Not here in California anyway. That's why the schools have taken an official stand not only against Prop 8, but against misleading the California people.

You go Schools! Ok, well if you are in California, or even know people in California, please spread the word. Vote No on Prop 8!!!

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Digg me!

OK, so you may or may not have read my last post over at JamsBio,My Rocktober Night Out, but either way, help me out and click on this link and DIGG it!


Friday, October 17, 2008

Shaky Tuesday

Today was he anniversary of one of the craziest days of my childhood. It was supposed to be just a normal Tuesday. School, homework, and then CCD classes (my Catholic peeps out there feel me). But it didn't work out that way. Earthquake days never do...

This is a piece I wrote for JamsBio about that fateful October day back in 1989.

Shaky TUesday

They say sometimes animals can sense when something is about to happen. A storm, tornado, flood, or an earthquake. Well Mama Kitty had been missing since Monday, and it was now Tuesday afternoon. We decided to make some flyers and hang them up around the neighborhood. We sat at the kitchen table making up our lost pet posters, when suddenly the earth began to shake. Movies and books began falling of the shelves, and as all good California boys & girls do we got underneath the doorway.

Once the shaking finally stopped we all ran outside. All the neighbors had stepped out into the October evening and began joking and making guesses as to what size the quake was. Us kids were laughing and standing in the street watching the parked cars still gently rocking back & forth. When the cable finally came back on we all went inside to see the verdict. You see, earthquakes here aren't really a big deal. They happen all the time, and though this one was obviously a doozy, it was still just an earthquake. Or so we thought.

The first pictures I remember seeing of the devastating damage done by the Quake of '89 was that our beloved bay bridge had collapsed. No one had ever imagined something like that could happen. I just remember staring at the TV, and thinking "there's people down there". The newscasters just kept saying, "Thank God for the World Series". You see here in the bay area at the exact moment the quake hit, a good majority of bay area residents had gathered to watch our two bay area teams, The A's & The Giant's battle it out in the World Series. That game is the only reason the Bay Bridge was relatively empty on a Tuesday at 5:04PM when normally it would have been backed all the way to Oakland with commuter traffic.

The coolest thing about living in The Bay Area is that we do disaster, and we do it well. In less then 24 hours the local Red Cross and many concerned citizens were doing what they could to help find shelter for the 12,000 people left homeless by the quake. I heard it said on the news after the California Wildfires last year, that FEMA should base their emergency disaster relief plans on California's state disaster plans. I don't know if that's true, but I remember being pretty inspired as a little girl by the way the various Bay Area communities stepped up during what at the time, was the worst natural disaster in US history.

We Built This City was designated by Bay Area radio stations to be "Our Song" during the days following the quake. This was only right considering the song was written about the city anyway. As those rescue and recovery efforts continued and the rebuilding (which took years, hell, the Cypress just finally reopened LAST YEAR) began, this song fit. And ever since that shaky Tuesday in October I have forever related this song to all the kind, brave, and generous souls who did their part to help rebuild the city.

"Marconi plays the Mamba, Listen to the radio, Don't you remember? We built this city, We built this city on rock and roll!"
The next day was a Wednesday, and I woke up to find Mama Kitty sitting on the front porch as if she'd never been gone. That day after the quake, October 18, was a big day for me. It was my birthday, and I turned 11.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Blog Action Day

I have to admit that I do not have the energy to write a post on poverty, though I am very much against it, so I'm going to paste one of the best speeches ever delivered about the subject.

Vice President Johnson, Mr. Speaker, Mr. Chief Justice, fellow citizens, we observe today not a victory of party, but a celebration of freedom -- symbolizing an end, as well as a beginning -- signifying renewal, as well as change. For I have sworn before you and Almighty God the same solemn oath our forebears prescribed nearly a century and three quarters ago.

The world is very different now. For man holds in his mortal hands the power to abolish all forms of human poverty and all forms of human life. And yet the same revolutionary beliefs for which our forebears fought are still at issue around the globe -- the belief that the rights of man come not from the generosity of the state, but from the hand of God.

We dare not forget today that we are the heirs of that first revolution. Let the word go forth from this time and place, to friend and foe alike, that the torch has been passed to a new generation of Americans, born in this century, tempered by war, disciplined by a hard and bitter peace, proud of our ancient heritage and unwilling to witness or permit the slow undoing of those human rights to which this Nation has always been committed, and to which we are committed today at home and around the world.

Let every nation know, whether it wishes us well or ill, that we shall pay any price, bear any burden, meet any hardship, support any friend, oppose any foe, to assure the survival and the success of liberty.

This much we pledge and more.

To those old allies whose cultural and spiritual origins we share, we pledge the loyalty of faithful friends. United, there is little we cannot do in a host of cooperative ventures. Divided, there is little we can do -- for we dare not meet a powerful challenge at odds and split asunder.

To those new States whom we welcome to the ranks of the free, we pledge our word that one form of colonial control shall not have passed away merely to be replaced by a far more iron tyranny. We shall not always expect to find them supporting our view. But we shall always hope to find them strongly supporting their own freedom -- and to remember that, in the past, those who foolishly sought power by riding the back of the tiger ended up inside.

To those peoples in the huts and villages across the globe struggling to break the bonds of mass misery, we pledge our best efforts to help them help themselves, for whatever period is required, not because the Communists may be doing it, not because we seek their votes, but because it is right. If a free society cannot help the many who are poor, it cannot save the few who are rich.

To our sister republics south of our border, we offer a special pledge -- to convert our good words into good deeds in a new alliance for progress -- to assist free men and free governments in casting off the chains of poverty. But this peaceful revolution of hope cannot become the prey of hostile powers. Let all our neighbors know that we shall join with them to oppose aggression or subversion anywhere in the Americas. And let every other power know that this Hemisphere intends to remain the master of its own house.

To that world assembly of sovereign states, the United Nations, our last best hope in an age where the instruments of war have far outpaced the instruments of peace, we renew our pledge of support -- to prevent it from becoming merely a forum for invective -- to strengthen its shield of the new and the weak and to enlarge the area in which its writ may run.

Finally, to those nations who would make themselves our adversary, we offer not a pledge but a request -- that both sides begin anew the quest for peace, before the dark powers of destruction unleashed by science engulf all humanity in planned or accidental self-destruction.

We dare not tempt them with weakness. For only when our arms are sufficient beyond doubt can we be certain beyond doubt that they will never be employed.

But neither can two great and powerful groups of nations take comfort from our present course -- both sides overburdened by the cost of modern weapons, both rightly alarmed by the steady spread of the deadly atom, yet both racing to alter that uncertain balance of terror that stays the hand of mankind's final war.

So let us begin anew, remembering on both sides that civility is not a sign of weakness, and sincerity is always subject to proof. Let us never negotiate out of fear. But let us never fear to negotiate.

Let both sides explore what problems unite us instead of belaboring those problems which divide us.

Let both sides, for the first time, formulate serious and precise proposals for the inspection and control of arms and bring the absolute power to destroy other nations under the absolute control of all nations.

Let both sides seek to invoke the wonders of science instead of its terrors. Together let us explore the stars, conquer the deserts, eradicate disease, tap the ocean depths, and encourage the arts and commerce.

Let both sides unite to heed in all corners of the earth the command of Isaiah -- to "undo the heavy burdens...and let the oppressed go free."

And if a beachhead of cooperation may push back the jungle of suspicion, let both sides join in creating a new endeavor, not a new balance of power, but a new world of law, where the strong are just and the weak secure and the peace preserved.

All this will not be finished in the first 100 days. Nor will it be finished in the first 1,000 days, nor in the life of this administration, nor even perhaps in our lifetime on this planet. But let us begin.

In your hands, my fellow citizens, more than mine, will rest the final success or failure of our course. Since this country was founded, each generation of Americans has been summoned to give testimony to its national loyalty. The graves of young Americans who answered the call to service surround the globe.

Now the trumpet summons us again -- not as a call to bear arms, though arms we need -- not as a call to battle, though embattled we are -- but a call to bear the burden of a long twilight struggle, year in and year out, "rejoicing in hope, patient in tribulation" -- a struggle against the common enemies of man: tyranny, poverty, disease, and war itself.

Can we forge against these enemies a grand and global alliance, North and South, East and West, that can assure a more fruitful life for all mankind? Will you join in that historic effort?

In the long history of the world, only a few generations have been granted the role of defending freedom in its hour of maximum danger. I do not shrink from this responsibility -- I welcome it. I do not believe that any of us would exchange places with any other people or any other generation. The energy, the faith, the devotion which we bring to this endeavor will light our country and all who serve it -- and the glow from that fire can truly light the world.

And so, my fellow Americans: ask not what your country can do for you -- ask what you can do for your country.

My fellow citizens of the world: ask not what America will do for you, but what together we can do for the freedom of man.

Finally, whether you are citizens of America or citizens of the world, ask of us here the same high standards of strength and sacrifice which we ask of you. With a good conscience our only sure reward, with history the final judge of our deeds, let us go forth to lead the land we love, asking His blessing and His help, but knowing that here on earth God's work must truly be our own.

John F. Kennedy - January 20, 1961

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Yes on Love, No on 8!

I was suddenly taken back today by the sudden emergence of a number of Vote Yes on Prop 8 signs EVERYWHERE. Now, I'm taken back because we are a fairly democratic community. The majority of registered voters here in good old Livermore are in fact Democrats. Well, at least we are now... So I kind of thought that, generally speaking, we all agreed on the whole gay marriage thing. C'mon folks, this is the bay area, gay marriage is kind of our "thing" right now.

Maybe I should clarify for those of you who are not aware of Prop 8. Basically it takes back the right for gay couples to marry. The right that they were so rightfully given here in California. And I can't go half a block without seeing a "Yes on Prop 8" sign. WTF? I have serious issues with gay marriage. In that it should NOT be something we vote on. How lame is restricting marriage?

Here I am watching the debates, and no one can agree if "Universal health care" is allowing the government too much power. Last week the government went back and forth over the bail out bill because no one could decide if the government should or shouldn't step in to take control. Yet everyone is quite clear on how much the government should be involved in the marriage bed? C'mon.

Love is love, and should never be put on a ballot. People should marry who they want to marry, and actually Californians in general all agreed that to be true once already. Isn't that how gay marriage became legal in the first place? So how does that end up on the ballot again?

And how did all my crazy neighbors get these signs up in front of their house all of a sudden? What are we living in the fifties all of sudden? Did Doc Brown screw up the space time continuim?

It's just sad. I want so much for my kids to grow up in a world where love is honored in all it's beautiful incarnations. One of my worst fears as a parent, aside from my kids getting into drugs, is that my kids will grow up to be bigots. It would just break my heart. And I hope that I raise them with the morals, strength, and intelligence they need to not succumb to ignorance. Stupid Yes on Prop 8 people! I fear your influence on my children, not the gays!

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

My Hometown

I just had to share this slideshow I found. This is why I'm so lucky to have grown up here!! This is my hometown...

Livermore CA landscapes

Saturday, September 20, 2008

Separation Anxiety, Exhaustion, and I go to college (in my best Napoleon Dynamite voice).

So it's been a million years since I've blogged, not that I haven't been writing.... Most of my free time has been, well not free.

School! That's right I'm about a month into my first semester back at school, and my feelings are mixed. I am enjoying it, my teachers are very cool, and lucky for me I;m actually younger than some of the people I have class with. Which has gone a long way in easing my fear of being lost in a sea of eighteen year olds. I look forward to going, and have started hitting the starbucks drive-through to help me get through the late night (Thursday, when Im there until 10PM). Where it gets slightly overwhelming is the workload for semester. With working full-time, writing during all my free-time, and being a mom, and taking care of this nice two story home, well let's just say the math doesn't add up. There are simply not enough hours in the day.

Which is why it's so funny that on top of all that I'm chairing the Publicity comittee for the local PTA. It's not taking up too much time, and I love being a part of something like that. The community at Patricks's school, and well our neighborhood, is just awesome. I feel a little lame for enjoying it so much, but I do. In fact I wish I was able to do more. But with the daycare still going, I still lack a lit of freedom in volunteering and stuff.

That could soon come to pass though. I didn't get the gig at I was bummed at first, but am hoping for something else to come along. WIth the couple gigs I currently have going on, I figure I am one, maybe two more, regular gigs away from being able to make the switch to freelancing full-time. I'm not sure when, but hopefully not to long. Needless to say, that's why I;m investing so much time into it. It'll be worth it in the end.

Cheyanne has now started pre-school and is having a hard time adjusting. I never really went through a separation anxiety thing with Patrick, at least not like this . She screams and cries, and asks me to stay. I am a professional child care provider. I am going to school for child development. In fact I'm studying these actual behavior issues RIGHT NOW. But it doesn't matter how well you understand the issue of separation anxiety, or how well you deal with when it's someone else's child. When it's your baby crying, it just flat sucks. But I'm smart enough to know that she's going to be just fine, in fact she's already doing better.

That's pretty much the jist of it all. For now anyway. School, writing, and work. Exhaustion. The holiday break cannot come soon enough.......

Sunday, August 24, 2008

And so the Chaos begins...

I've been neglecting my blog for weeks now! It's not on purpose, I've just been keeping up with other writing gigs that are actually paying gigs (woo hoo) and they've been sucking up all my free time. I did not get the position at but the editor moved me right into training for another position (that I would MUCH prefer to have), so I'm smack dab in the middle of prep, again. I am so hoping that it works out. If I get it, I may be able to stop doing daycare and freelance full time. It would be a dream come true. Writing for a living would be spectacular. On top of it being what I want to do, it would give me so much more freedom with the kids.

Speaking of kids, tomorrow Patrick starts kindergarten. I am just in shock. I can't believe that he's going to be going to school. Not pre-school, but real school. It's crazy!!! I am wrenching with emotion and have butterflies in my stomach. On to of that Cheyanne starts pre-school next week. What happened to my babies?

Speaking of school, Allen and I both started school last week. So far so good. It's going to be fun, a lot of work, but fun. I'm a little overwhelmed because when I signed up back in June for the fall semester, I wasn't doing the writing like I am now. I'm a little anxious at trying to work full-time, write almost full-time, and go to school twice a week and fit in homework. Oh yea, and run my household and help my kids adjust to starting school themselves. The biggest relief would be if I could get a couple more writing gigs, and stop the daycare....

In other news, we went to a wedding yesterday. The daughter of a family that we're pretty close with. It was a lovely ceremony, and we had a wonderful time. Food, music, and atmosphere were all awesome. I had one thing that I perturbed me, just a bit. The vows. It was a very Christian ceremony, which is great, but the vows actually included asking the groom if he will make an income that can support her, and retain the position as leader of the family. Her vows were about supporting the husband and keeping a good home. I had to check my cell phone and make sure I was in the right year. It's strange because the family is full of strong women, and it just didn't jive with how I see the bride at all.
It was actually the groom I felt more upset for. I'm not unrealistic in the fact that gender roles exist in today world, and that's ok to a degree. Men are men, women are women. There will always be differences. But, I also think in a marriage, or lifetime commitment, a man and woman should be equal partners. In this day and age it's unfair to place the burden of supporting a household on one person. Unless of course it's what works for that particular couple, but I think just assuming that a woman should have a choice whether she wants to work or not, and a man does not, seems uncool. It reminded me of that scene form the Kevin Bacon movie, She's Having a Baby.

Maybe it's just me...

Friday, July 18, 2008

It's Been Awhile...

4th of July Weekend
It seems like forever since I've updated! I have a handful of stories to tell about the last couple of weeks. We spent the 4th of July weekend up at camp. Allen even played at the Lube Room up there on Saturday afternoon and I took the kids down to go see him. It awesome. It was the first time they'd ever actually seen him play. It was a busy weekend, but fun. It was Allen, the kids, my niece, Allen's friend, Allen's sister, her girlfriend, and me. A fun time was had by all, but we had an "incident" occur Saturday night. So the kids, Allen's sister, her girlfriend and I actually only stayed for the first set. We headed back to camp afterward had dinner roasted some marshmallows and then I put the kids to bed. Only problem is, the next door neighbors. Ok, so allow me to explain these campsites. They are leased sites, not public campgrounds, and most of them have been in the leasing family 3 or 4 generations. So when the grandson of the man next door showed up with 30 (I'm so not exaggerating) of his closest friends, I knew there was going to be a rumble. Their party was very close to the tent where we were sleeping. I got all "mama's gonna knock you out" on their asses and gave them some serious attitude each time I had to go over and tell them to shut up. Especially when they started puking and peeing all over the place outside the tent.

On the plus side it was just us girls for the evening (me, my sister-in-law and her girlfriend), and boy did we just kill ourselves talking shit around the campfire. Don't you just love those giggle fits? We had some fun making fun of the teenagers next door. Karma says that by the time they're old enough to be going up there with their own kids, Patrick & Cheyanne will be up there with their teenage friends...Ha Ha.

My Niece
The whole week after 4th of July, my niece stayed with us. She's ten and teh sweetest little girl around. the house seems empty now that she's gone back. The kids think the whole world revolves around her. They miss her terribly and are already planning her next visit. Hopefully it will be sooner than later.

On Writing
So after a number of months of trying I finally got accepted into the first stage of prep for a position at the New York times owned It's been a lot of work this last week or so, but hopefully it's been enough to get me into the second stage of prep, and then actually get me the job. The site I'll be running is soap operas (yay!) and it's going to be a nice step in the right direction of eventually be able to write full time. Me and my charming ways got an interview with Eden Riegel from All my Children to submit to my editor, so that will hopefully give me an edge over the other candidates I'm competing with. Please keep your fingers crossed. I also submitted some poetry to a greeting card company (Blue Mountain) and they sent me an acceptance letter! It was just like in the movies when the author receives the big manila envelope in the mail that says "Congratulations Mrs. Writer..." When they do get around to publishing it (which could take awhile) It could be up to three-hundred bucks! It's all happening...

Imaginary Bitches
Ok so speaking of Eden Reigel, have you seen Imaginary Bitches? OMG! It's like SATC meets Sybil. HILARIOUS. It's a web series that can be seen on youtube or their website, check it out now!!

My Dad
My dad finally finished his chemo and radiation. It was the worst round of them all, of course. But he's finally on the mend and sounding more and more like himself everyday. He has yet to go in for all the follow up stuff to see how well the treatment worked, so it's all back in the hands of fate. I pray for him to be better everyday.

Friday, June 27, 2008

Freaky Red Skied Friday, The Return Of The Cat Lady, & Winning The Lotto!

That's right, red skies. Though where I live in California isn't too close to the numerous raging wildfires burning through out the bay area, but it is close enough to have had the very freaky red smoky haze covering the sky all week long. Every morning watching the sunrise is almost like watching scenes from that classic eighties flick, Night Of The Comet. The weather has gone from cool to hot again, and has continued to carry a eerie breeze every single day. Here in California, we call this strange eerie weather, Earthquake weather.

The bad air quality, which has led officials to recommend not being outside any more than we have to, is the cause of the horrid cough, sore throat, and stuffy nose I've been fighting all week as well. I guess it could be a cold, but I don't know. By the way, that picture is actually from Night Of The Comet, it's not Livermore....

So where should I start with my week? The good, the bad, or the pointless? How about the bad? So one of my daycare parents gave me notice today. SUCKS. She gave me just two days shy of a two week notice, which is what my contract calls for, but I'm not going to push it. She is broke and can't afford daycare anymore, so her mom is going to watch her. I feel for her, I really do, but man, why now? We were just finally starting to recover from the whole bankruptcy thing, and with the little extra money I was going to be making writing things were going to start to get a little better finally, but NO. I have already put out an add, but so far not one call. So many people are out of work, that there's just not a whole lot of people looking for daycare. I may be getting a little girl I used to watch part time back, but we'll have to see for sure on Monday. Why is it, just when things start looking good, they go right back to bad? I feel like Charlie Brown. AARRRGGG!

And in crazy lady news, the cat lady has returned! In case you missed it, here's what went down last week. While trying to find out why we hadn't received our state refund, I found out from the franchise tax board that our refund had been denied because the paperwork was incomplete! That's right, stupid cat lady made up a phone number and left out all the information on the tax form that requested all our pre-school child tax care credit information. She MADE UP a phone number. The FTB person walked me through filling out the form and I faxed it back, but they said it would take about 8 weeks for them to review it and allow the refund. So we decided to wait until then to pay the crazy cat lady. It only seemed fair, after everything she put us through when we couldn't get a hold of her before the bankruptcy, and now finding out she didn't even complete the paperwork! We had every intention of paying her, she was just going to have to wait until we got that refund.

So I called her yesterday and left a very nice message for her explaining this. Honestly, I was very nice about it, and told her she could call me back if she had any questions. Funny thing, when it comes to her not getting paid, she is suddenly able to return a phone call pretty quickly... anyhow, she had a snarky tone right off the bat, and anyone who knows me knows that I dish snarky, I DO NOT take snarky. I remained cool, and she explained that she had called the FTB, and that they had told her that not only were we not getting our refund because of the bankruptcy (untrue, we know first hand that the judge/trustee allowed us to keep our refunds) but that there was nothing she could do to collect her payment that we owed her (another lie, like just because we're in bankruptcy we can go around not paying people for their services).

Obviously she talked to a generic operator, because she can't get our tax information without our permission. So I explained to her about the incomplete paperwork, and she asked what information I had to back that up? So, having the form in front of me, I rattled off the form number and all the empty lines, and the phone number she made up. She kept saying that she doesn't make up phone numbers. I told her, well maybe it's a real number, but it's not one I've ever seen. I kept telling her that we were going to pay her, but she kept interrupting me and saying that we were just going to have to pay her if it was in our hearts to do so (snarky tone still raging). I, still being polite, again tried to explain to her about the incomplete paperwork. She began to YELL over me saying bye-bye, bye-bye, bye-bye, until she finally hung up.

I immediately called her back and told her to suck it, that I hope her cats choked on a hair ball, and that she would not be getting paid until sometime after hell froze over.

Ok, so I didn't really call her back, but I did decide that my heart feels very strongly that she should indeed suck it, and won't be getting paid. So suck it, crazy cat lady.

Now, onto to the good news, we won the lottery!!!! Not the CA state lottery, but the Kindergarten lottery! Two weeks ago we received the letter that stated they had too many kids registered for our home school, and that they were doing a lottery for the open spots. We are in! This may seem silly to some, but our school is a three minute walk from our front door, dragging all the kids across town to some other school, on top of getting Cheyanne to pre-school would have been horrific. So yay for us!

Sunday, June 22, 2008

A Conversation With Corey Feldman..

My interview with Corey Feldman is up on Reality Shack! Please check it and bask in all my giddiness!
My Favorite Corey

Friday, June 20, 2008

First Day Of Summer

Well, with a 100 degree heat and daily trips to the pool, the first day of summer comes in with a heated bang. What a week. My big news of course being my phone call with none other than Corey Feldman on Wednesday!!!! That's right, I chatted with the Feldman for a good 15 minutes! Woo Hoo! He was much more down to earth than I expected and it was really fun talking with him. It took all I could though to keep from turning into Chris Farley from the Chris Farley Show sketch from SNL. "Hey Corey, remember when you did License To Drive? That was cool. Or when you filled the bathtub up with holy water in The Lost Boys? That was awesome. Or..or...or in Goonies, when the Pirate Ship escaped at the end and you had the jewels? That was awesome..."
I kept my cool, and the interview will be posted on Reality Shack just as soon as I finish it....which maybe I should be doing instead of this....

The first week of swim lessons is officially over. What a hectic thing! Patrick & Cheyanne are doing awesome though!! I can't believe how good they've gotten just over these first few days. I can't imagine how strong they'll be by the end of the summer! Well worth the chaos.

My big news item this week? The pregnant girls over in Gloucester, Mass. Seventeen girls in one high school, all pregnant? Rumor is that they made a pregnancy pact so that they could all raise their babies together. None of them are over 16, and it's reported that the fathers are all random guys in their twenties. One girl even admitting that the father of her baby was some homeless 24 year old. Basically sperm donors. WTF? The school apparently got suspicious when they noticed an unusually high number of girls coming into the school clinic asking for pregnancy tests. The girls who were pregnant were high fiving each other and planning baby showers, while the girls who were NOT pregnant, were noticeably upset. Pregnancy pacts? Are you kidding me? I thought kids today were more mature then in my day, but did somebody decide they would have to lose brain cells in exchange for the early maturity? And what the heck little fishing town is this? Ok, I;'m not stupid. There have always been teenage pregnancies ad there probably always will be. But 17, in one high school? All under 16? What the heck are those kids watching? Juno on a constant loop? Really, I think maybe the high school should be checked for brain cell killing asbestos or something, because that's just plain crazy.

Sunday, June 15, 2008

Father's Day Songs

Here's My Latest Article For JamsBio's Music Column, The Biolog!

Songs About Dad (pt. 2)

Posted using ShareThis

The School District, father's Day, & Showin The Outsiders Some Love!

So Friday I get a letter in the mail from the school district saying that they didn't have enough spots to fill all the kids who are registered for Kindergarten at our home school (neighborhood school). When I say "home school" I mean I can see the darn Kindergarten classrooms from my kitchen window, that's how close we are. So because priority is given to kids who already have siblings attending the school and then to children whose parents work for the school district, and then everyone in the area that our school is in. After the priority kids that leaves 54 openings for which there are 78 kids registered! The letter said that that they are going to do a lottery to fill those remaining spots, and the rest of the kids will be assigned other schools in the city. Does that suck or what? I called the school district and let them have what for. The lady was actually very sympathetic, but of course there was nothing she could do. The lottery is on Tuesday, and if I call around 4pm I can find out if we got in instead of waiting for the letter in the mail. I'm so frustrated right now. One of the things that made this house perfect was that it was only a two minute walk to school!! I can;t imagine having to drive all the daycare kids to and form another school across town everyday, on top of Cheyanne's pre-school schedule. I told the lady to go ahead and get used to me, because I will probably be getting to know her well over the next 15 years...

Well Thursday was the finale of my secret obsession, Celebacadabra. My man, C. Thomas Howell kicked cocky little Hal Sparks butt! Woo Hoo! I'm actually sad to see it end. Then yesterday I watched Outsiders. C. Thomas Howell did well, but should have had a much bigger career. Scott Baio is going to be doing a new show VH1 next fall. The untitled show will take a group of former heartthrobs and follow them as they try and revive their careers. If C. Thomas Howell is in it, I'm IN. Maybe they should just go ahead and get the whole cast of Outsiders (minus Crazy Cruise of course) and start from there. Hey VH1, if you're reading this, you have my full support on that. Oh and since you're here, how about bringing back Behind The Music & Bands Reunited?

Yesterday Patrick & Allen went out for some Father;s Day bonding and saw the Hulk. They both loved it. Cheyanne and I went swimming at the pool, and then did out nails. I painted hers and she painted mine. It was so cute!!! One of our first real girly bonding moments. She was quite precise too for a three year old. I have no intention of taking the polish off anytime soon, she's way too proud of it. We brushed each other's hair and watched the Outsiders (see above). I figure a girl is never to young to meet the original eighties heartthrobs. Lowe, Howell, Macchio, Dillon, Cruise, Estevez, and of course Swayze!

Speaking of which, I read in EW this week that Patrick Swayze is has responded well to treatment for his cancer. That's always great to hear, I wish him nothing but good health.

That brings me of course to Father's Day. We went out to Napa to have a BBQ with my dad. It was my step mom's brother's house, and it was nestled way up in Soda Canyon in the Napa hills. I swear it was one of the most beautiful pieces of land,. EVER. It was just gorgeous. I wouldn't mind to live in a place like that! The best part though was seeing my dad. He looks so unbelievably great for someone who is undergoing both radiation & chemotherapy. At the same time, mind you. We don't really know how the cancer is responding to the treatment, but his oncologist is amazed at how well my dad is taking at all. Not that he isn't in a lot of pain. Especially on a day like today, he was pretty much done after a couple of hours, but he stuck it out. He can't talk for very long at a time, but the doctors didn't think he'd be talking at all anymore at this point. We are all keeping our hopes up, especially after a day like today. 13 more days of radiation and one more round of chemo to go....

Here's some stuff I wrote about my dad over at JamsBio...
Moonshadows & Tadpoles


Happy Father's Day!!!!

Thursday, June 12, 2008

Neighborhood Gossip, Paper Plates, The Hogans and other Thursday Observations

I just got back from our neighborhood pool where I signed up the kids for their summer swim lessons which start Monday. Of course I had to got through the hush hush thing, because I was signing up 2 of my daycare kids too. They made an exception because they were daycare kids, but told me not to advertise because of all the drama that went on last year when the other daycare lady in the neighborhood took up almost all the 12:30 spots. You see those are spots that AREN'T going to kids in the neighborhood. I get their grief, and she' s got about 10 spots she's taking up, none of which are her own. I'm only taking two spots that aren't my own kids, and MY kids wouldn't be able to participate if I couldn't include those two extra kids. Anyhow, I got everybody signed up and my extra chaotic job of taking all six kids to swim lessons (the two little ones of course are too young for lessons and will be strapped in to the stroller) everyday for the rest of the sumemr. Yay for me...

I use paper plates all the time. I know it's wasteful both economically and environmentally. I do not care. It is one of the luxuries I afford myself. And with the daycare I still do one load a day in the dishwasher. Could you imagine if I served every meal and snack on regular plates? I guess in all honesty, I'm just lazy. But Dixie plates are now running this great commercial that makes me feel like I'm not lazy, but actually using paper plates for the well being of my family, and because it makes me a better mother. Kudos to you Dixie ad people. You have managed to turn my laziness into a noble gesture for my family. Thank you.

Note To Hogan Family:
You are bad bad people and to quote the esteemed Dr. Seuss,
"I would not like them here or there.
I would not like them anywhere.
I do not like the Hogan Family,
I do not like them, VH1 can't you see?"

OK, so it's summer and my TV viewing standards have dropped dramatically. Like to the point where I watched Celebrity Circus last night. It was awful, but somehow I couldn't turn away...

Speaking of, I have retracted my original opinion on Celebecadabra and am about to turn in to the finale on VH1. No, I'm going to watch my dear Ponyboy KICK Hal Sparks Magic lovin butt!!! That's right, I've decided anything that gives me C. Thomas Howell in weekly doses, is ALL good.

Saturday, June 7, 2008

I Married A Music Man

I wrote a piece for the Biolog called How I Became A Linda. This was the original, longer piece I wrote.

Over the years I've been asked the question, what's it like being married to a musician? That's such a tricky one to answer, because the answer is, it depends on the day. Music has always been one of the most personal and vital parts to my being. So marrying a musician seemed only logical. My life as musician's wife has actually been a number of different roles over the years. Each one different depending the phase of life we were living. When I met him he was jut a guy in a band playing at a party. When we started dating he was a professional Bluesman, touring the US and Canada, headlining blues festivals across the country.

The first phase was my "Killing Me Softly" phase. Seeing the music man onstage for the first time. "There he was this young boy, a stranger to my eyes, Strumming my pain with his fingers, Singing my life with his words killing me softy with his song, telling my whole life, with his words" Truly a moment when the world around me stopped, and I knew I would forever be changed.

Once we began dating I entered into my "Magic Man" phase. The week we started dating he whisked me away to Long Beach. My friends thought I was crazy, my parents trusted my instincts and gave me enough money for a bus home just in case.... "Come on home, girl he said with a smile, I cast my spell of love on you a woman from a child! But try to understand, try to understand I'm a magic man!" And he did cast a spell, one that I've yet to shake...

Being alone while he was gone was a hard thing to get used to. This of course was entering into my "So Far Away" and my "Save Tonight" phases. "One more song about moving along the highway, Can't say much of anything that's new, If I could only work this life out my way, I'd rather spend it being close to you, But you're so far away" Oh, the phone bills were outrageous, and the nights I spent starring up at an empty sky missing him seemed endless. Then he would come home, and we would spend every possible moment together. Until inevitably we would find ourselves on our last night. We would do our best just as the song Save Tonight says, "Save tonight and fight the break of dawn, come tomorrow - tomorrow I'll be gone, save tonight and fight the break of dawn, come tomorrow - tomorrow I'll be gone"

Over time being on the road wears thin. For the girl left behind, and the man alone on the bus. The decision to leave the band and come home after years of being on the road, didn't come easy for him. In his heart he knew it was time, and though I did my best to be supportive either way, in my heart I just wanted him home for good. Years later I would I swore I heard Michael Buble sing about the night that I drove to the Oakland Airport and picked up my music man. The night he left the road for good. "Another aeroplane, Another sunny place, I’m lucky I know, But I wanna go home, Mmmm, I’ve got to go home".

Then we began our life together. He immersed himself back into the bay area blues scene and hooked up a gig with a local Blues legend. I was able to join him on most gigs, and began to see what it was like to be part of the scene myself. Part of the band, part of that second family, in spite of the fact I was so much younger than everyone else. By this time we were engaged. I was no longer the "girlfriend" I was his Old lady, his woman, his fiance. Or as I remember it, his tiny dancer. Truly living the life with him. "Blue jean baby, L.A. lady, seamstress for the band, Pretty eyed, pirate smile, you'll marry a music man, Ballerina, you must have seen her dancing in the sand, And now she's in me, always with me, tiny dancer in my hand"

In time that gig too would end. He was ready to start fronting his own band again, and he started playing at a new club downtown. This quickly snowballed into him becoming the hottest ticket in town. Headlining our summer festivals, charity events, monthly shows, even hosting a weekly jam night, that anybody who was anybody came out for. Being that we were married by this time, it was truly a different experience. I was as well known as he was, just from being his wife. I helped promote some of those charity gigs, and events. What I remember most of those days, is late in the evening after the bar would close..."First thing I remember when you came into my life ,I said I wanna get that girl no matter what I do, Well I guess I've been in love before and once or twice have been on the floor, But I've never loved no-one the way that I love you..and I love you, And it was late in the evening, and all the music's seeping through"

Becoming a mother forever changed my role as musicians wife. Suddenly, I wasn't able to go to his gigs or stay out late at the bar. That feeling of being left out, though silly, was hard to handle at first. Another woman married to a music man had obviously had some similar late night phone calls as the ones I had during that time. The nights I would look over at the clock, waiting for his gig to end, and these words would float through my head... "Just a few more hours and I'll be right home to you, I think I hear them callin', Oh, Beth what can I do, Beth what can I do?"

Though my husband does play every couple months, and a few outdoor shows during the summer, his biggest fans are actually the two little ones that call him daddy. I get as much a kick out of watching him captivate them with his guitar as I ever did the huge crowds at all those Blues Festivals and classy clubs. The trick to being a married to a music man? Being faithful. Faithful to him, to my kids, to our life together, to myself, and of course, faithful to the music that brought us together in the first place. "Right down the line it's been you and me, And loving a music man ain't always what it's supposed to be, Girl you stand by me, I'm forever yours, faithfully"

Little Miss "Columnist"

Happy weekend kids! So it was kind of a quiet week. I had only one kid here all day everyday for the whole week. The rest were hit and miss, only here for a couple of hours, if at all. A very nice break. That's the thing about doing small family daycare. The odds are at some point during the year you'll end up with a quiet day...

Other news this week, I officially have my General Hospital blog up and running. I was a little surprised at how much traffic generated from day one. Not huge or anything, but I got twenty hits the first day! People love their General Hospital I guess! I was inspired to start it after applying for a guide position at running their GH website. I didn't get it, and was a bit disappointed (obviously the GH site is a decent money maker with the amount of traffic it generates). So I figured why not just make my own GH site, and see what I can do with it. The next time an opportunity comes up for a soap related site, I'll be all set. Besides, I think some small part of me hopes that the writers over at GH will see my complaints and suddenly start writing better material.... It could happen...

Speaking of writing, it looks like I may be getting to interview The Coreys!!! (shriek! giggle! swoon!) That's right, little ol me just might be interviewing both the Feldmaster and The Haimster for reality shack for the second season premier of A&E's The Two Coreys. I should be getting a screener of the show and then if all works out get to interview both Coreys, of course the will not do interviews together, so it'll be two separate interviews.... What do I ask? These are guys who I thought the sun rose & set with as a kid. I even saw Feldman live & in concert at Stoneridge Mall!!! Heck, my son is watching Goonies right now! I hope it works out! Keep your fingers crossed! In the mean time, hit up Reality Shack to catch up on the first season of The two Coreys and to get your hilarious fill of all things reality show related!
I wrote about my experience seeing Corey Feldman in concert over on JamsBio...

Well I'm officially a columnist for JamsBio's Biolog! I got an email yesterday. It's a paid thing (W-9 and everything!). I'm not about to quit the day job or anything, but it's something!! I can actually say "I'm a columnist". So I'm no Carrie Bradshaw or anything, but it's a nifty start... I'm also getting paid a little extra to help load up their new game they added to the site too. It's terribly addictive I recommend trying it immediately...
JamsBio Games
The Biolog

I am an Entertainment Weekly junkie, and through it have found a new BFF (Ok, so we'll never actually meet or anything, but in my mind she's my new BFF) Diablo Cody! She is hilarious, and when it comes to taste in pop culture I think we share the same brain... In her column, "Binge Thinking" in this weeks issue she talked about the return of 90210! Specifically the coup that is the CW getting both Tori Spelling & Jennie Garth to reprise their legendary Beverly Hills roles for the spin off coming to the CW this fall. Every 30-ish gal our age knows that this is huge news. My pop culture world would only be complete if they somehow made it known to the 90210 masses that Dylan has left Kelly & returned to be with Brenda in Paris. In your face Kelly Taylor!
Binge Thinking w/Diablo Cody

Wednesday, June 4, 2008

Wednesday It Is

So it's Wednesday and we finally have our democratic nominee! Yippee! I fully admit to, and am proud to be a Clinton supporter, but I do love Obama. So, though I'm disappointed in Clinton losing, I am still very happy with the candidate that's going into the general election. I have family in Chicago (republicans at that) who think the sun rises and sets with Obama & his wife. So I'm going to back him with my whole democratic heart. My only concern with Obama, is he strong enough to take on the GOP machine? And will all Clinton's supporters be as quick to support the nominee and the party like I am? It's a tough call. I'm still hoping for that dream ticket, Clinton as VP. I'm no politician, but it sure seems like a no brainer to me. It will make him unbeatable, and ensure her another shot at President in 8 years. Could you imagine? Our first black president followed by our first woman president? I can only imagine what the world my children are going to grow up in will be like! What an amazing time to be alive and living history!
Here's what I wrote about last night's history making event on JamsBio,
Sam's Resting Easy Tonight

And of course my other recent posts,
The Last day Is Always The Best Day

Sounds Like Chocolate
Back To School

Sunday, June 1, 2008

Now THAT's Johnny Depp...

Did you see Johnny Depp accept his two awards at the MTV awards tonight? I think I can honestly use the word swoon!!! He looked AWESOME! I don't know what he's all cleaned up for, but whatever it is, he can just have my money now. Would I be wishful thinking if I wondered out loud that it could have something to do with a 21 Jump Street movie? My heart is beating from seeing him. I swear I'm 12 years old again crushin on Hanson! Swooning over here still...
Iron man for best summer movie (yea, I know it's June 1...) and Adam Sandler was hilarious!!! I loved seeing Wayne's World skits again! This is the most I've enjoyed the MTV movie awards in years....

Home Alone

Allen took the kids to his moms and I'm sitting here in my PJ's chillin. I've already cleaned the house, well picked up the house. It just feels so weird to have a quiet house... Nice though. Yesterday we had a picnic at Sunol and had a great time. It was PERFECT weather. Breezy and cool, without being cold. Bright and sunny without being hot. It felt like Spring. It was strange walking around there with my dad and the kids. My memories of playing in that creek and camping there as a kid are so vivid. The smell of sycamore and willow trees filled the spring air. Just like it was did when I was a kid. Do you ever have those moments when your life feels like it's right where it's supposed to be? That was yesterday. Yesterday under the sycamore trees with my dad, just like when I was a kid.

On a less spiritual note, anyone seen the movie Let's Go To The Prison? Starring Will Arnett (30 Rock) and Dax Shepard? OK, this is teh stupidest YET funniest movie I've seen in a long long time. I don't know why or how or what, but it had me laughing my ass off. If you happen to see it somewhere, watch it!

Check out my latest post on the BioLog over at JamsBio,