Problems

28 06 2008

(When I see that word by itself like that I hear the Sex Pistols. Just so you know.)

I have a lot of problems. Like the fact that I can never enjoy a Häagen-Dazs Bailey’s Irish Cream shake again both because dairy hates me and because I hate Nestle.

But the problem I wish to speak of at this moment is that one night while we all lay sleeping in our beds some evil imps came in and changed all the channels on my cable. You would think that our cable would have let us know, but we are not, technically, a client. Not in the stealing-your-neighbor’s-HBO sort of way, but in the sort of way that our apartment comes with free cable and so it is out landlord who is the recipient of the bills.

And so I woke up one morning to discover that PBS was replaced by Telemundo (uh, or something) and that the TV Guide channel was replaced by PBS and that USA was replaced by the TV Guide channel. I have no idea where USA went. I would have to watch the TV Guide channel to find out.

But here’s the thing: USA HAS ALWAYS BEEN ON CHANNEL 2. Always. And PBS has always been on channel 12! (Except for those of you fancy people with Cox Cable in which case it’s been on 11 for years now. Or it was back when I watched cable at other people’s houses. Like before kids? Anyway, yes, I know this. I am weird that way. I also know that when Nickelodeon first existed it was on channel 16. Back when cable only went to channel 18. And OMG remember when you had to PAY for Disney???)

*ahem*

Oh yes. I was saying: I do not deal well with change. How do I make my mind understand that MTV isn’t on 30? MTV feels wrong not on 30. Of course MTV just feels wrong with the lack of “music” in their “Music TV” but then I am old that way. The yoots of today have no clue they once played music videos. OK, bad example.

Back when I was little and there were un-cable channels hidden under the fancy cable channels for ritzy people like us, all I wanted was to watch The Berenstein Bears on Channel 2. But we didn’t HAVE channel 2, we had USA. And so I was stuck with Calliope and the Cartoon Express. And so you see that even though I was bitter as a child, I have spent 83% of my life feeling safe and comfortable in the fact that if I ever wanted to watch Monk or whatever-the-hell else they show on USA that I could turn to channel 2 and find it there, reliably. Now all I can do is turn to channel 2, wait until the TV Guide channel runs through 68 WHOLE other stations (hey, yes, we have ghetto cable) plus the weather and the show listings they recommend just to find out where USA is. I could be missing precious minutes of Monk or whatever-the-hell else is on.

I made a remarkably long entry on this subject (or lack thereof). I feel like this entry has been somewhat disjointed, but has had some funny moments and some good retro bits as well. What did you think? Did I drag it out too long? Did you enjoy the bit about the ice cream? (Way back at the beginning. Go ahead. Scroll back.) Do you remember Calliope? Did you know how to spell it? No, me neither.





Logic. Our gov’t has it.

28 06 2008

And by that I mean they don’t have it.

There is a new law going into effect on Tuesday here in Cali. A law which I fully support. Or did until I realized how STUPID it is. See, starting Tuesday we will no longer be allowed to talk on the cell phone unless we are using a hands-free piece. Good idea, right? I am fully aware that simply having a conversation impairs driving ability, and so I see where this law doesn’t completely solve the problem. But you cannot stop a person from speaking, or thinking, or listening to music. But you can at least take objects out of their hands so that they can, you know, steer the car ‘n stuff.

However. The law is sorely incomplete. Here is a list of the things you are still allowed to do while driving:
1. Dialing phone numbers.
2. Putting the hands-free ear piece on.
3. Plugging the hands-free piece into the phone.

and? The most inane one yet?

4. TEXTING.

Because it’s totally safer to text people than to talk to them while holding the damn phone. Riiiiight.

And here I offer our lawmakers a big, huge, WTF??? I fully expect an answer, thankyouverymuch.





Annoy.

25 06 2008

Last night we went to the public pool to swim only to be turned away because it was full. Not to the naked eye, though. To the naked eye it looked pretty darn empty. Apparently the budget cuts mean fewer lifeguards and fewer lifeguards mean fewer swimmers. The good news is that if we ever arrive early enough we know the pool won’t be too crowded. Nevertheless it was frustrating.

Today we tried to attend to storytime only to be told essentially the same thing. Yes, the library is also short on lifeguards. Because I am feeling proactive this week (stay tuned for my nasty letter to the grocery store) I wrote them a little note. And then because I am SO DAMN PROUD of it’s awesomeness, I had to save it here. Which means you have to read it. Enjoy. And then tell me who’s dumb? That’s right. The answer is President George W. Bush. I can trace any problem back to GWB. I am talented in that way.

To the Children’s Librarian and Staff,

I am a homeschooling mom of two, native to this community and a true CV’an at heart. My children and I have been attending storytimes and other programs regularly since my oldest was two years old. (In fact I grew up in this library and my grandma volunteered there when I was small so I have many fond memories myself.) We love the storytimes, and especially the Summer Reading program. From what I hear from my friends who live in other areas of the county, the CV libraries are some of the best over all and I am always proud to show off the awesome Children’s Room when our friends come. In short, we adore the library and all you do.

That is why we were disappointed today when we showed up 10 minutes early for the storytime and craft only to be told that it was already closed to any more children doing the crafts. I understand the limit of supplies – and I certainly think that supplies for 60 children is more than reasonable – but I think that if the budget does not allow for an additional storytime, then perhaps a note could have been posted on the website to arrive early?

We decided to stay to hear the stories anyway but there were only two stories told today and we had missed nearly all of the first one. The entire storytime was over before 2:00pm which was when it was supposed to start. My six year old was very disappointed and I was frustrated.

We will try coming early from now on to avoid this problem in the future.

Another thing I would like to address is the switch this year from number of books read to time spent reading for the Summer Reading Program. This change works well for my daughter, but it is very hard for my three-year-old to sit still for 15 minutes and I have a feeling he will not make it to the 6-hour mark that is required for a prize. He has already read more than 10 books, but at his reading level this amounts to less than one hour. I hope you consider switching back next year, or at the very least offering an alternative for the younger kids who don’t have the attention spans to read as much as their older siblings.

Thank you for your consideration into this. Thank you also for all you do for our community. You help to make CV my very favorite place to live.

I was tempted to write the pool a letter as well, telling them how I can solve all their problems (because, truly, I can), but then I became afraid that they would listen to me and post a note about arriving early and then everyone would read it and then we’d NEVER get in because instead of arriving 15 minutes early (which is do-able with small kids) we’d have to arrive an hour ahead of time (SO not do-able) and you know I decided maybe? they didn’t need me to solve their problems after all. (Also, I am very talented in the way of run-on sentences.)





Just for the record…

24 06 2008

I will NEVER understand Republicans. Never.





My shame is your enjoyment.

23 06 2008

I am going to tell you something very shameful about myself.

When I was a kid I missed seeing a lot of movies for some reason. It wasn’t until high school or college that I caught myself up on movies like The Breakfast Club, Pretty in Pink, and Indiana Jones. (Oddly some movies I did see as a child were Grease and Dirty Dancing which as an adult I wonder if maybe they weren’t the best choice for an eight-year-old?) There are still some movies I have not seen like Footloose or the last two Back to the Futures.

But that is not the shameful part.

I also did not see Star Wars. My mom tried to show it to me once when I was very small and I was Bored as Hell and ran off to play with whatever toy was popular in the year 1982.

But that is also not the shameful part.

The shameful part comes when I first watched Star Wars circa 1997.*

I knew the hero was Luke Skywalker. I figured he must be the strong, handsome, manly guy that all the girls liked. I was in for a Big Disappointment. Turns out he was the scrawny whiny brat of the story. Somehow I had made it through the 80’s and most of the 90’s without ever being truly aware of Han Solo. Nor was I aware that he was played by Harrison Ford. I think my exact quote was, “Oh look! It’s The Fugitive!” I also may have referenced Regarding Henry.**

Go ahead and do or say what you will to me. I may be horribly sheltered, but I am cute and you can’t deny that.

*Which, I mean, really. I watched the movies literally MONTHS before they were re-released on the big screen. I think I watched them and heard the very next week they were going to theatres. I would have just waited had I had any clue.
**Hey now. It’s a good movie.





Lost in Dreams

21 06 2008

So last night I had a dream that I registered for some college classes. My schedule was Hell – I was in classes on Thursday evenings from about 6pm until 1am and packed full of classes like Calculus and Economics all in two or three hour blocks. I was planning to drop a few as soon as possible. In my Medieval Studies course, I discovered I was sitting mere desks away from Michael Emerson.

OMB it’s BEN LINUS, Y’ALLS!!!!

We talked a little bit and in my babbling I let slip that I had actually taken notes on the Season 4 Finale. Oh, I was embarassed. I never intended to come across THAT geeky. He commented on that and I think I replied with an extremely mature and well-phrased argument along the lines of, “Shut up, it’s a good show!” It was a friendly sort of “shut up” not a rude one.

After class I had an epiphany. Clearly, Emerson was taking the course as research for Lost, right? So clearly that means that next season will take place in the 1200’s or so. You heard it here, folks. Zombie Season has been replaced with Knights of the Roundtable Season.





7 Days: Day 7 (At Sunset)

21 06 2008


7 Days: Day 7 (At Sunset)
Originally uploaded by zebrabelly.

Today is the Summer Solstice and we gathered with two other families at the bay tonight to watch the sun set and generally welcome in the summer. The kids splashed in the water (I am a BAD MOMMY for not thinking to bring swim suits or at least an extra change of clothes), lit candles, danced around the fire, and tossed around a sun pinata filled with lollipops and trail mix. It was a beautiful night and I’m still high from it.

See the rest of the set here. (I’ve made the photos of other people’s kids for friends/family only cause I have no idea if they want their kids all over the interwebs.)





7 Days: Day 6 (Embrace the Flaky)

19 06 2008


7 Days: Day 6 (Embrace the Flaky)
Originally uploaded by zebrabelly.

Here is the story of my day:

There is a new branch of a church opening in my town and I’ve gotten myself on the RE (religious ed) committee. There was a meeting today up at the home church about 25 minutes north of here. I catch a woman I know on the way in and together we spot the director of RE, not in a meeting.

"Oh good!" I thought, "I’m not late after all! She’s only heading there now."

HA. Turns out the meeting was yesterday and not today at all.

"But surely," I thought, "They told me Thursday b/c THAT’S WHAT I WROTE ON MY CALENDAR."

HA. I had it written on Wednesday. Very clearly.

*sigh*

I hate that. Aside from the gas I wasted and the fact that the RE director had to spend another 45 minutes of her time going over notes with me (didn’t HAVE to, obviously, she’s just super nice), I am most upset with myself for being flaky. I am a flaky person and it DRIVES ME NUTS. I do my best to hide it and pretend I am totally on the ball 100% of the time.

There is a scene from an old episode of Friends (as opposed to the new episodes, you know) where Monica and Rachel accuse Phoebe of being flaky and she responds, "That’s true. I am flaky." She is completely comfortable with herself, no matter how flaky she is. I need to get to that point. Somehow. (The scene is here at about 2 min 45 sec)

Please tell me about a time when you completely missed an appointment or otherwise embarrassed yourself. Please?





7 Days: Day 5 (Water)

19 06 2008


7 Days: Day 5 (Water)
Originally uploaded by zebrabelly.

Wow the bags under my eyes look enormous.

My kids are quarantined in case we get the Chicken Pox (lordy knows I don’t need to be the news story of the year, spreading the pox around. Yes news story. The news is weird about the Chicen Pox these days.).

We are in a drought, officially, now.

So this is the best I could do. Turns out Sonja had the same idea I did, but it’s OK. I still love her.

It’s my beautiful Sigg bottle – 1 liter size. I do my best to drink three full bottles daily, but sometimes don’t make it all the way there.

My original photo is here. Frankly I think it’s a better picture, but it’s much more serious than a peek from me. Serious? Well, I don’t know how serious hands are. Dramatic? Emo? Oh I’m tired. See you all tomorrow!





In The News

18 06 2008

So yesterday was, of course, a historic day for California – finally legalizing gay marriages! It was emotional and beautiful to watch the happy couples on the news and in person (we joined the local UU church in supporting the couples and giving them roses at the courthouse down the street from me).

But the thing I don’t get – will never be able to understand – is the fear and hatred from certain parties who protest against same-sex marriages. They are going so far as to get a proposition put on the November ballot which, if passed, will not only re-illegalize (like that word?) gay marriage, but will render any current ones null and void. Lovely.

WTF??? WHY do they CARE? I cannot comprehend it. I have heard all the arugments inside and out – and growing up as a Christian they were taught to me. But they never made any sense to me at all.

I once had a therapist tell me that all feelings can be traced back to two root emotions – love or fear. I think this is similar – all their weak arguments and reasoning can be traced back to fear. Some of it is blatant fear – they argue that their churches will be forced to perform these marriages they don’t believe in. Some of it is thinly veiled as some form of morality – they say that changing the definition of the word marriage will somehow degrade other marriages (which, really, is possibly the most offensive argument). The one that makes the least sense to me (and none of them make any sense, really) is when they argue that changing the definition of marriage isn’t FAIR to them. That’s so self-centered it isn’t even funny. Because how has ANYTHING in the past been fair to the GLBT community?

There are many reasons I left the Christian church, but the one thing I will NEVER get past (and that made me sick to my stomach even as a Christian) is when people drag Jesus into this and spread hatred in his name. That’s equivalent to killing in the name of Ghandi or Martin Luther King or the Dalai Lama.

Needless to say watching the news yesterday just about made my head explode.

On the other hand, it also made me all warm and fuzzy and maybe just a little verklempt. Congrats to all who can now (and hopefully forever!) enjoy their marital bliss.








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