Archive for October, 2007

The Parent Report Card

Tuesday, October 30th, 2007

CNN is running a report right now on a school district attempting to implement a basic report card for parents. It is actually more of a checklist. The school will record if the child is receiving breakfast prior to the start of school (either at school or home), is dressed properly, is arriving to school on time and ready for the day, etc. These are very basic things. The PTA for the district appears to be fighting the initiative. There is some concern the checklist isn’t fair to parents. Not fair to parents?!!! Parents do know their job description, right? There are a few things that may qualify as ‘optional’ in the grand scheme of things, but feeding and dressing your children and getting them to school seems as though it should be in the mandatory column to me.

I say bravo for parent report cards. Schools and kids get report cards all of the time. Why not the parents? They are crucial to the equation. If parents aren’t doing their part, it seems likely the students and schools are already starting at a severe disadvantage. Gee, I wonder why the public school system is in crisis?

Phenomenal View

Sunday, October 28th, 2007

Okay, I get blog spam all of the time.  Most are about pharmaceuticals or porn garbage.  A spam comment that originated from a mortgage firm really tickled me this week though.  Obviously there is spam software now that allows the spammer to insert key words from the blog post to give the impression the comment is genuine and the blog has been read.

Here is my special comment:  “Phenomenal view about Red Toe Nails! I enjoy this blog!”

Of course, I couldn’t agree more.  My babble fest on the importance of keeping my toe nails freshly painted and manicured even though the rest of me may look like a grizzly bear at times is indeed cutting edge stuff.

Then and Now

Thursday, October 25th, 2007

I love it when people give me something new to think about for a bit.

Tonight, a friend’s husband offered up some insight to the situation I blogged about the other day. His thought, the individual who has been working so hard to frustrate and annoy was likely on the receiving end of unkind behavior at one point in time in her life. How often do we hear that a person’s actions as an adult have been influenced by cruelty experienced as a child or teenager? Of course, this could have nothing to do with it whatsoever. It does give me pause though.

No matter how tough or unphased an individual seems, there is a general need in life to be loved, accepted and noticed. This isn’t anything to be ashamed or embarrassed about. It is perfectly natural. When a person is denied those needs, it isn’t easily forgotten. Deep hurts result. Everyone deals with the void in their own way. Some act out violently. Some take a turn behaving in a similar fashion as those who hurt them so long ago. Others simply tuck it inside and no one is the wiser.

The thought this individual’s actions may be influenced by past pain is hard to process. I look at my daughter and think of how much cruelty she has to face on a daily basis. All of the stares and comments about her birthmark are difficult to shrug off. Pretty soon she will be old enough to know and understand that some in this world view her as unattractive or strange. How will she store these experiences? Will they resurface in her future? Will she take a turn at singling someone else out as different or ‘ugly’ when she is older and her birthmark is no longer an issue? I’d like to think her own experiences with people being cruel would make her more sensitive to other people’s feelings and less likely to carry on in a way that is hurtful. This is definitely one of the things I am going to store in my mental notepad to be sure we work on together.

Past pain is never justification for people’s actions. Lord knows we can’t let the molested molest or the abused abuse because someone did it to them. We can take the time though to consider when someone is saying or doing hurtful things that they themselves may be hurting as well. Not sure what the solution is. This insightful husband didn’t have a solution either. If this individual was indeed on the receiving end of insensitive or mean actions at some time, well, I feel horrible she had to go through such a thing. I am frustrated with her actions, but I don’t enjoy the thought she may have felt as bad (and likely worse) at one time as those she has taken the time to be insensitive towards lately. Again, this is no justification. People have a right to be angry over the behavior. It does take some of the venom out of my reaction though.

We really do need to teach our children at an early age the importance of kindness and being inclusive. Appreciating differences versus singling them out is invaluable. So many of our society’s current struggles are rooted in the past. We can’t change the past. We can reshape the future with a little care and attention to the present.

Great Discoveries

Wednesday, October 24th, 2007

On a more positive note, my daughter recently crossed the 18 month mark. This is such a wonderful age of discovery. Everything is a big deal. Inspecting the contents of drawers, boxes, purses and books is never ending entertainment. We spend a great time together as she seeks out new things to explore and learn about. She asks “what’s that” and I do what I can to teach her what is in the world that surrounds her.

Olivia’s excitement over the most basic things in life makes me realize I haven’t done much to notice new things in my world. I’ve been on this planet 36 years, but I’ve hardly seen all there is to enjoy and know. Every day Olivia strives to a new height. My days aren’t as much about accomplishing anything new as they are about repeating what I have done previous days. My greatest accomplishment is often doing something better the 30th time around than I did the first.

Stability is something I relish. Trouble is, stable means nothing is changing. You are experiencing no less and no more. I have a definite fascination of those who like to step beyond stability no matter what age they are. Perhaps it is the inner me appreciating they haven’t turned off the desire to reach out and grab all there is to discover and experience.

I am disappointed my mind clearly tells me “there is no way I could be like them.” Why not though? I imagine I was adventurous and curious when I was 18 months old. When did it turn off between then and now? What shut that part of me down? Was it an internal or external message? I am curious to know the answer to this because it would be a shame if our parents are the external source that launch us into a life of mere stability. I’d hate to be the reason my little adventurer shuts down and stops looking at and experiencing her world.

Idiots Are Smarter Than We Think

Saturday, October 20th, 2007

I really think the modern way of handling idiotic behavior is off target. The message seems to be to take the high road and ignore those who behave like jerks amongst us. Don’t stoop to their level. Be more mature than they are. Acknowledging their ridiculous behavior is only giving them the attention they so desperately crave. Some will take whatever attention they can get, positive or negative.

I bought into this line of thinking for a while. I like to think of myself as mature and able to take the high road in life. Lately it has felt like there are more and more idiots in my world. You know though, that’s not true. It just feels that way because they are being allowed a voice while the mature and considerate amongst us are silently walking this elusive high road. The real kicker is that the silent maturity is not accompanied by peace. It is tangled with frustration and irritation. Yep, the idiots are cozy as cucumbers while those who are doing the right thing are uncomfortable and upset. THIS MAKES NO SENSE!

I participate in an internet community that has been a big part of my life for over 2 years now. Lots of fabulous women who love and care about one another. Unlike most internet communities consisting heavily of women, this is not a dramatic or petty group. The goals of the cyber family are essentially to be funny, helpful, supportive and good natured. One person has decided that the peaceful harmony of our group is not to her liking and has taken it upon herself, in a passive-aggressive way, to irritate the group to the core. We weren’t giving enough attention and now the plan is retaliation. Of course, she denies this is the case. We are the immature ones, you know, for reacting this way. Yeah, 30+ women have it all wrong. Now, this is a group of resourceful and intelligent women. It wouldn’t take much to squash her like a bug if we all played by the same rules she is using and went after her. Have we done that? No. Why? Because of this misplaced logic that the best way to deal with idiotic behavior is to ignore it and carry on as usual. As if it should be beneath us to make this one person uncomfortable participating in our community if she is not going to do so in an acceptable way.

This is why I say idiots are smarter than we think. Really. They have figured out they can behave as poorly as they wish and the world is going to tolerate it with a quiet ‘oh well’. The irony is that not all of us can be an idiot. You see, it’s like calling “shotgun” for the right to ride in the front passenger seat of the car. Once someone has called it, they are in that seat. It’s theirs. Everyone else has to sit in back. Because this woman was the first one to make a claim on the idiot seat, it is hers. So, if anyone else wants to act like an idiot to counter her behavior, well, that’s just wrong. It’s not acceptable. Won’t be tolerated. To add to the frustration, the person with first claim on the idiot’s seat is also the one most comfortable criticizing others when they attempt to stoop to the same level. Do you see the silliness of it all? Civilized people really have made life more difficult for themselves. Ironic.

Iraq

Saturday, October 13th, 2007

General Sanchez announced “Iraq is a nightmare with no end in sight.”  You know, it would have been a lot less expensive and time consuming if Cheney had simply invited Saddam quail hunting.

15

Wednesday, October 10th, 2007

There was a loaf of bread in the store that boasted 15 grains. Wow! I didn’t even know there were 15 grains out there. I remember feeling pretty healthy with my 5 grain bread. Next came 9 grain. Then 12. Now 15! Isn’t anyone worried our insides are going to look like we swallowed a wire brush?

New Apple Varieties?

Tuesday, October 9th, 2007

Please tell me US growers are naming some of their new apple varieties after countries.  Stamped on the jug of juice in my refrigerator is “concentrate from Argentina/China.”  This can’t mean what I think it means.

Blah, Blah, Blog, Blah, Blah

Thursday, October 4th, 2007

Ladies and gentleman, thank you for noticing I haven’t been around. Though I haven’t been writing, I have kept up with feeding my fish. You can see they still look just as purdy as ever.

As of today I have 6 1/2 more weeks until my son (AND MY LAST CHILD) is delivered by c-section. David Frank will join us on, if not before, November 19th. Boy am I looking forward to that blessed event. Not only will I get to meet my little boy, I will no longer be pregnant ever again. I love my daughter and I know I will be just as happy to be David’s mom. I am way too old for this pregnancy stuff though. I constantly feel like a frat boy must on a Sunday morning after a long night of partying. Ugh.

There have been so many things to write about I have missed out on. Such a shame. Almost as criminal as the people I could have poked fun at. I assure you my blog is not abandoned. In fact, I might try to motivate myself to fire a few bits off before the big day.