Jun 21, 2016

Things that seem important enough to record

When I'm trying to lift myself up, I find it useful to do things I think I'm good at. I usually skate (if the weather is good) and I paint and then I clean house and usually by that time I'm feeling pretty cheery.

Twelve Other Things I'm good at:
-Driving
-Cake decorating
-Finding cool and valuable things at the resale shop
-Reading out loud
-Making lists about myself
-Taking snap shots
-Singing pop music in a silly way in the car
-Yelling
-Errands
-Stacking things into a tight space (closet, trunk, grocery bag, Tetris)
-Playing Atari's Break Out
-Remembering colors

***

I almost never talk about the kids anymore on the blog.  I'm trying to give them some privacy and not treat them as an extension of myself so much.  They aren't here for me to necessarily blog about, it's not my place to tell their stores... in fact my one child has her own blog and barely writes anything about herself, indicating some stories she just wants to keep to herself.  When they were young - this was a little bit of a baby book for me and them and the public (weird right?!)  but they're getting big and they often ask me NOT to put things on the internet and so.

***



I can talk about Thomas though.  I haven't figured out what is appropriate to say yet.  I guess first of all he has several blogs that should you want to know about him, you could read yourself.  How he fits into the family unit still feels pretty private as it's utterly possible my previous husband and maybe his new partner could read the blog... or maybe not... I really don't know.  I try not to talk about how great life is and how happy I am in a way that would make my ex feel bad about it and so there's that. Lastly sometimes it feels like bad luck to talk about how utterly happy you are when you are.  That all said, he mentions my name when blogging and so I feel like it's important to write his here.  Thomas.

My partner Thomas and I went to New Orleans at the beginning of the summer while the kids visited their dad.  It was odd to be able to walk out the door together without going through when we'd be home, where we were going, and how to reach us 'just in case'.  It was odd for me and Thomas to go on a date like regular single people would. It was fun and freeing and after a few days we started talking about the kids and the silly little things they ask for and do in a day.  We missed them. We still did our best to do all the things we wanted to do in a strange city and I think next time the kids go visit their Dad, we'll get out of town again and see another city.

***

I am obsessed with Cauliflower. It's so tasty. I could have it fried and baked or in a soup every day forever.

***

I felt like I should say one more thing after talking about Thomas to make is seem all very nonchalant and I was overcome by the need to profess my love for Cauliflower.  Now looking backwards (just up there) Cauliflower seems stupid and silly but now I'll leave it. So there.

Jun 14, 2016

What June 2016 is Like So Far

Jeepers, I didn't post anything in May.  I suppose it's just been super busy around here with the end of the school year and a vacation as well as three huge projects wrapped up yesterday.  The news and this election is draining me.  I'm actively trying to tune it out a little more than usual.  I'm not in any way advocating apathy, but I physically can't walk around mad at the world and in disbelief about the rift I feel between the two opposing opinions all the time.  Sometimes I wonder how we are all going to be able to actually cope with living next to each other with such diametrically opposed views, it just feels irreconcilable these days. I'm trying to limit it to a little NPR in the morning and a little Maddow in the eve but of course I'm on the internet reading all day. I'm genuinely surprised when I find out someone I like (but don't really know very well yet) is on the other side.  I try to justify and see why they think what they do and lately it's getting harder and harder. I just can't reason it out in my mind.

I know it's dangerous to see things so one sided.  I know it's good to be pliable and accept a compromise, I just don't think I can this election cycle.  The differences feel too great.

Civil rights are human rights.

Violence is bad.

Help people who ask.


This doesn't seem like things that should ever be up for debate.

.

I took the day off work and we went to the beach today.  I opted for no sunscreen on my legs and cheerfully laid myself out basking in the sun while the kids buried themselves in sand and splashed in the cold lake water. I didn't bring my phone down, for fear of sand in the cracks and so when it seemed like we'd been there awhile I flipped over and pinked up the back of my legs about as equally as the front. Then it seemed, all at once, we were all starving so we left and went to McDonalds.

I never figured out people who bring their whole living room out to the beach.  The chairs, the electronics, the snack cooler, the drink cooler, the entire medicine chest with all the sunscreens, the beach blanket, the towels, the flippers and flotations and goggles, the life-jackets and pails and shovels and squirt toys and sand toys and it takes three trips to the car to get it all down there.  Then there's the preparation of the children, taking a full half hour to apply all the things to the kids before one drop of water has even reached a toe.  I just don't have that kid of time or patience, plus the sand is hot and I like to get my feet into that water right away.

Today, I watched a mom apply sunscreen, then a swim shirt and a life-jacket, swim wings, water shoes, and a hat to her four year old son.  He looked like a kid in a snow suit who couldn't put his arms down waddling out into three inches of cold lake water before his mom screeched "Your goggles!" He turned and waddled back and when she stretched the rubber ribbon over his head and let the goggles snap back into his face with a smack noise, I held in a sinful giggle and was glad for the camouflage of my big sunglasses .  The kid plopped down on the beach and cried about his face, rightfully so, it sounded like it hurt.  I secretly wished his mom would calm the hell down before grabbing my towel and one sunscreen and yelling to the kids it was time to go. They put their flip flops on and we went out to the car where I showed them how to hold up a towel in between the car doors for each other while one brushes the sand of their bum and gets dry unders on.

It all made me feel smug and free and easy.  We seemed like the cool kids on the beach, aloof and un-tethered, squatting to check out the soft-shelled turtles and roughhousing with each other.  I didn't take a single picture.  Not a single "cheese" was uttered until I asked for some on my burger at McDonalds later... and yet here I sit recording the events of the day. sigh.

.

Apr 28, 2016

Zombie Logic From Thomas L. Vaultonburg, Outsider Poet: The Untied Artists of Rockford

Zombie Logic From Thomas L. Vaultonburg, Outsider Poet: The Untied Artists of Rockford: There's this very small building tucked in between two larger buildings on 7th Street here in Rockford, Illinois. For decades now 7th St...

Apr 15, 2016

Allen Clifton on Hillary after the NY Debate Last Night

About Allen Clifton: Allen Clifton is a native Texan who now lives in the Austin area. He has a degree in Political Science from Sam Houston State University. Allen is a co-founder of Forward Progressives and creator of the popular Right Off A Cliff column and Facebook page. Be sure to follow Allen on both Twitter and Facebook. Have feedback, inquiries, criticism or hate mail? You can email him as well. Read more at: http://www.forwardprogressives.com/author/allen-clifton/


 The following comments are from Allen Clifton's Facebook page:


"Once again, I am not anti-Sanders. Though I know it clearly sounds like I am.

But hypocrisy is a huge pet peeve of mine and there's been a ton of it from his campaign and his supporters.

He walks on water and can do no wrong - ever, while she's basically Satan who's held to a standard unlike any other candidate in political history. Every single thing she's said or done is held against her without the slightest bit of context linked to it. Hell, even things her husband or President Obama has done SHE'S the one who's blamed for them.

Meanwhile, Sanders has several questionable votes on his record - but, eh, who cares? He voted for those things so he clearly has his reasons. Bernie never lies - he's the greatest human being who's ever lived... ever, ever.

He's a once-in-a-lifetime candidate!!

Here's the FACTS: He's a career politician who Politifact proves lies just about as often as Hillary Clinton, who's benefitted from being a political figure in a very tiny state where constituents don't really demand much from you.

Bernie Sanders would never be "Bernie Sanders" if he were a politician from New York, California, Florida or any number of other states where elected leaders are forced to make very difficult decisions.

He's benefitted from the fact that, in Vermont, you're dealing with a state the size of most mid-sized cities.

I live in Austin, TX - a city (not including the surrounding suburbs) that has over 250k more people than the entire state of Vermont - ONE CITY.

And if you don't think that  benefits him immensely to say and do things others wouldn't be able to, you really need to learn a whole lot more about politics." - Allen Clifton

***

"Bernie Sanders is not all that much different than Donald Trump. By that I mean both candidates say (and endlessly repeat) their go-to talking points - then offer almost no real specifics as to how they plan to do any of it.

Then if you provide studies that debunk what they want to do, they simply cite their own findings (clearly biased findings) to dispute anyone who says their plans are unrealistic.

They complain about the same things: The establishment, the media, money in politics and claim that there's some mystical entity trying to "sabotage" their campaign. They also tend to try to discredit states that vote against them. To say nothing about their sudden whining about the primary rules they knew about going into this campaign.

And have you noticed how Sanders will NEVER apologize or say anything he voted on was wrong? Hmm, very Trump-like, isn't it?

Even when he was busted trying to "quote-unquote" Hillary Clinton during the "unqualified dust-up" - he admitted that he ASSUMED that statement based off a HEADLINE - and still never apologized for saying she claimed he wasn't qualified.

Break up the banks? Okay - how? Uh, well, you break them up - that's how.

How do you plan to pay for all of this? By my modest tax increases on the middle class and larger ones on the rich!

Well, then how come in Europe, taxes on the middle class are much higher than your promising? Uh, well, we need to catch up with the rest of the modernized world!

How do you plan to pass any of these big promises? A political revolution!

Well, sir, voter turnout is down and you're behind 2.4 million votes. Uh, um, political revolution! We won Utah, Wyoming and Idaho by YUGE margins - but those big wins by Clinton in the South don't count.

I'll be so glad when this is over. It's no wonder he's largely supported by young people who've probably been really emotionally involved in politics since a hashtag told them they needed to be.

I don't dislike the man, but the hypocrisy I see coming from his campaign is absurd.

Even tonight, after MONTHS of trying to paint Hillary Clinton as a shill for Wall Street, he couldn't name a single vote in her Senate career where she favored the big banks.

Not.One.Single.Vote.

One would think a candidate who's spent so much time undermining her integrity would know her voting record pertaining to Wall Street up and down. Yet, he couldn't name a single thing.

Oh, but speech transcripts!

Who gives a damn? I'm sure she wrote a speech geared to tell them exactly what they wanted. President Obama took millions from Wall Street and passed Dodd-Frank. Though that apparently doesn't seem to matter. Why should it? It doesn't fit the "Clinton is the devil" narrative being pushed by the Sanders acolytes.

When it comes to these pro-Sanders radicals, they don't care one bit about the facts. They want to hate Clinton, cheer for him and reality doesn't matter one damn bit.

A supporter of Sanders basically called Clinton a "Wall Street whore." Well, if a Trump surrogate said that, we would be losing our minds over how that kind of language is linked to Trump's attitude.

Well, I'm sorry, Sanders' rhetoric against Clinton has basically been calling her exactly what that person said for months. Has he said those words directly? No - but it's clear that person felt comfortable enough to say it based on the attitude Sanders has displayed towards Clinton.

Who won tonight's debate? Clinton. Why? Because when Sanders was asked to name ONE thing Clinton voted on to favor Wall Street - he couldn't do it. And if you've made a massive part of your campaign how "much of a sellout to Wall Street my opponent is," yet you can't name a single thing she voted on that favored Wall Street, you lose the debate.

I hope Clinton wins by 10+ points Tuesday just to put an end to this primary. It's already pretty much over, but apparently math and reality doesn't matter.

Facts: Clinton is up over 200 delegates and around 2.4 million votes. SHE is the candidate "the people" want."  - Allen Clifton

Mar 9, 2016

Styling

I gave Jack a bath last night because kindergarten pictures are today. He went to bed with wet hair. This morning he looked like a fresh young shiny haired chicken. So, I re-wet it but just before he went out the door I realized his bangs were hanging in his eye and got the scissors. I did a one snip trim of the bangs before he asked for a winter cap and we headed to the bus. This could go two ways: cute, fresh, shiny, kindergartner or chicken head with crooked bangs and chocolate on his face. yay me.

*2:30 update:
Soooo, I was just informed by my adorable kindergartner, the plain blue t-shirt I dressed him in today was the same color as the blue screen they use behind the kids, and the photo taken today looked like a mysterious floating Jack head. These pics may be even more epic than last year**

**Last year's photo:
Jack is in the front on the far right.