Monday, April 28, 2008

All I Want Is You

If I really knew how to take full advantage of our available technology, I'd post a video for you...but you'll have to make do with this still shot of our little "Pickle" playing in the living room.

Pickle has become positively obsessed with the first track on the "Juno" soundtrack, "All I Want Is You," by Barry Louis Polisar. The moment he hears the opening stanzas, he stops whatever he is doing, jumps to his feet, and starts gleefully running around the living room in frenetic circles, urging us to join in. As soon as the song is just beginning to draw to a close, he races to the stereo pointing and grunting (he knows how to make his desires known!). Tonight we must have listened to this song about 10 times.


It's a very catchy tune, I must admit (and movie)...and what sweet lyrics! He could do far worse as far as songs that run through your head on constant repeating tracks...my favorite stanza is "If you were a castle, I'd be your moat, and if you were the ocean, I'd learn to float!"

My children also overheard me saying to a friend that Track #8 ("Loose Lips" by Kimya Dawson) has some choice language, and they either sing along with it (Chris--who memorized the lyrics when the younger kids weren't around) or turn it off (Kieran).

Here are the full lyrics of "All I Want Is You":

If I was a flower growing wild and free
All I'd want is you to be my sweet honey bee.
And if I was a tree growing tall and greeen
All I'd want is you to shade me and be my leaves
If I was a flower growing wild and free
All I'd want is you to be my sweet honey bee.
And if I was a tree growing tall and greeen
All I'd want is you to shade me and be my leaves
All I want is you, will you be my bride
Take me by the hand and stand by my side
All I want is you, will you stay with me?
Hold me in your arms and sway me like the sea.
If you were a river in the mountains tall,
The rumble of your water would be my call.
If you were the winter, I know I'd be the snow
Just as long as you were with me, let the cold winds blow
All I want is you, will you be my bride
Take me by the hand and stand by my side
All I want is you, will you stay with me?
Hold me in your arms and sway me like the sea.
If you were a wink, I'd be a nod
If you were a seed, well I'd be a pod.
If you were the floor, I'd wanna be the rug
And if you were a kiss, I know I'd be a hug
All I want is you, will you be my bride
Take me by the hand and stand by my side
All I want is you, will you stay with me?
Hold me in your arms and sway me like the sea.
If you were the wood, I'd be the fire.
If you were the love, I'd be the desire.
If you were a castle, I'd be your moat,
And if you were an ocean, I'd learn to float.
All I want is you, will you be my bride
Take me by the hand and stand by my side
All I want is you, will you stay with me?
Hold me in your arms and sway me like the sea.

And here are the R-rated lyrics from "Loose Lips" (which is actually a great song...)

"and we'll pray, all damn day, every day,
that all this shit our president has got us in will go away
while we strive to figure out a way we can survive
these trying times without losing our minds....
and i'll say F**K BUSH AND F**K THIS WAR
my war paint is sharpie ink and i'll show you how much my shit stinks
and ask you what you think because your thoughts and words are powerful
they think we're disposable, well both my thumbs opposable
are spelled out on a double word and triple letter score"

Walking for Babies

Years and years ago (18 to be exact), before Mike and I got married, we pounded doors and asked for donations for the March of Dimes. It was humiliating and highly discouraging. We were canvassing in my parents' neighborhood (as we were living with them before we got married), which is a predominantly white, middle-class area. We had probably 15 rejections for every donation. So our first fundraising efforts didn't meet with much success!

At the time we knew so little about prematurity. In those days, I thought of the March of Dimes as benefiting research and treatment of birth defects. I can't remember how we became recruited to go door to door, but I'm guessing it's because of my soft spot for organizations working to prevent and treat birth defects. (Because I was born with a cleft lip and palate, and I've always been aware of how lucky I was to be born in the place and time I was...)

After our 117-day experience in the neonatal intensive care unit with the birth of Chris, we have become ever more appreciative of research and development to prevent prematurity and birth defects. We've been walking to raise money for the March of Dimes for the past several years.

We were blessed with a sunny day for the walk! We came within $29 of our ultimate fund-raising goal of $1,500 (we raised $1,471), and Chris is a March of Dimes "top walker" again this year. To all of you blog readers out there who support the March of Dimes, either by sponsoring Chris or someone else, we give you a big, hearty thank you!!!


Our family with another Precious Beginnings walking family

Over the years, the organization we have been involved with (Precious Beginnings: Parents Supporting Parents of Critically Ill Newborns) has been shrinking, as our volunteers' children get older and as it's become very difficult to recruit new volunteers because of HIPAA regulations. Although the intentions of HIPAA were no doubt good, it's crippled our efforts to attract a new volunteer base. I'm sad about that, because I know we helped a lot of NICU families, but at the same time I got burnt out from years of volunteering. Mike's the one who is now involved, and I'm happy to be the supportive spouse!


Chris and Kieran after the walk


Playing in the kids' zone


Nicholas having a "ball" in the ball pit!

Thursday, April 24, 2008

As If You Needed Another Reason to Vote for a Democrat!!!

John McCain Is an
Enemy of Working Women!

In case you missed the news today: last night the Senate failed to pass the Fair Pay Act. And Caveman John McCain, our candidate for the presidency in 2008 (not 1908!!) is clueless about the lives and salaries of working women. He failed to show up for the vote, but voiced his opposition to the Fair Pay Act to the media. He said that instead of legislation allowing us to demand equal pay, women simply need "education and training."

Said by a white privileged Republican who blames the victim for not making as much money as our similarly qualified male colleagues. Said by a senator with only 16 female colleagues who’s completely out of touch with what’s going on in the country. Said in rural Kentucky, where women are mired in poverty because they cannot earn a living wage.

McCain doesn’t seem to realize that women now make up 58% of college graduates and nearly half of the labor force, but still earn less pay for the same work as men. Worse yet, mothers only make 73 cents to a man's dollar, for the exact same job.

Help Send McCain a Message
about Working Women

Momsrising.org has developed a way to send a clear message to McCain just how qualified we really are. Sign their Petition for Fair Pay and send McCain your resume while you're at it: http://www.momsrising.org/fairpaymccain. If your resume's not up to date, you can just send McCain your thoughts on the matter.

Spread the Word!

Got friends and colleagues who are more than well-enough educated and trained to deserve equal pay? Tell them to send their resumes in, too!

By the Way: Your One More Reason to Vote for a Democrat?

Both Senators Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama came back from campaigning to speak for passage of the Fair Pay Act and to vote to end the filibuster.

Read more thoughts on this issue at:

http://jezebel.com/383743/meet-lilly-ledbetter-shes-a-good-reason-to-vote-against-john-mccain

http://bucknakedpolitics.typepad.com/buck_naked_politics/2008/04/mccain-opposes.html

Monday, April 21, 2008

Addicted to Books Like Me?

If so, here are two sites you must explore!!

Goodreads.com: My good friend, Jeannette, of about 27 years or so (boy that makes me feel old!) told me about Goodreads.com. It's a social networking site for book lovers. You hook up with your friends and can see what they are reading and read their reviews. I find it much more valuable than amazon.com for book recommendations, since I'd rather see what my friends like than a bunch of strangers on amazon. I've transferred all of my book lists from amazon to goodreads, so you can see all the books I've read in the past 7 years, if you'd really like to waste a couple hours of your valuable time!

Paperbackswap.com: Another good friend, Shelia, told me about this great book-swapping web site. I blogged about it last year, in case you missed the post. They've increased the number of books it takes to get started (from 9 to 10)...but it's still worth the effort. What I like about it is that I've been able to request obscure secondhand books that Powell's might not have in stock. All you have to pay is postage! If you refer a friend who signs up, you get an additional book credit.

Speaking of Powell's...I love the fact that they offer in-store pickup now. You can select a used book in stock and have it held for you to pick up. I just wish Powell's was more convenient for my work or home. It's the kind of Portland hot spot where I never get enough time!

Happy reading!

Friday, April 18, 2008

Mamma Mia, here I go again

I admit, "Dancing Queen" was one of the first 45 records I bought. I sang along to ABBA with my peers during the 70s. But now I'm married to a true ABBA fan! Several years ago, we attended the Portland tour of the Broadway show "MAMMA MIA" which is a play set to ABBA music. I wasn't very familiar with the plot beforehand, so we found ourselves doing a lot of explaining to young Christopher at the time! We LOVED the play, and the music was toe-tapping fun.

I'm very excited for the movie (starring Meryl Streep and others) to come out this summer!

Have any musical, 40+ girlfriends? Pond's is sponsoring a contest to find a trio of women who best embody the sassiness, sexiness, and confidence of Donna & the Dynamos from MAMMA MIA! Lyrics are available via the website. Just click here for instructions (or to view a trailer of the movie). Videos are due to be submitted by April 30, and the winners get a lavish trip to London for the premiere. Sounds like a blast!

April in Alaska

I just returned from 3 days and 3 nights in Anchorage. A couple of my colleagues and I went up north to conduct a team-building session with our Business Services team. It's spring in Alaska, when the weather can't really decide what to do with itself. We had beautiful sunny skies some of the time, and one afternoon and evening it snowed steadily for several hours.

I stayed at the Copper Whale Inn in downtown Anchorage with one of my colleagues, Diane. She's become a regular at this B&B, and I liked it as well. It's much more personal than a business hotel (although unlike many B&Bs, we had our own private bathrooms), and we had amazing views of Cook Inlet out our windows. I also liked its proximity to restaurants downtown. Apparently, the building is one of the few structures to survive the 1964 earthquake.


Front of the Copper Whale Inn


Living room of the Copper Whale Inn

On Tuesday afternoon/evening when it snowed, I decided that I needed to walk to the restaurant downtown after all the heavy eating we'd been doing. It wasn't a pleasant walk because I wasn't very well equipped for the weather, and it was also difficult to cross the street at times because of all the standing water from the snow melt. But I stopped at this lovely artists' cooperative on the way. Anchorage has some wonderful galleries.

On my last evening in Alaska, we drove out to Girdwood along the Turnagain Arm. We weren't sure whether we would brave it, because the snow from the evening before had been frozen over in the morning, and we Oregon/Washington travelers are not very intrepid in the snow and ice. However, it had warmed up sufficiently in the afternoon to lead us to believe it would be safe enough. Girdwood is 30 miles away from Anchorage.

I have made this drive several times over the past 12 years, but I have never seen such majestic scenery. The entire drive along Cook Inlet is rimmed on either side by huge mountains, one after another, and this week they were beautifully blanketed in snow. We tried to ignore the signs that warned of avalanches and falling rocks and concentrated instead on the beautiful scenery. Dall sheep apparently cavort on the hills, but I've never seen any, and I've also never been lucky enough to see any Beluga whales in the water (even though I try to lure them with my version of "Baby Beluga"!). This website has extensive photos of this wonderful drive.



As is the case with all scenery, photographs rarely capture its splendor. And unfortunately, I didn't have my proper camera with me, but you can see a tiny glimpse of our view via my cell phone camera photos:














The end point (and purpose) of our drive was to have dinner at the wonderful Double Musky Inn, a fantastic New Orleans style restaurant out in the middle of nowhere. The Double Musky is famous for its pepper steak and seafood dishes. I had crab-stuffed halibut. One of my friends had the pepper steak and she gave me a taste (it was enormous!). Even though I'm generally not a red meat eater, I have to say that it was the best steak I've ever tasted.
The restaurant is decorated ecletically, with wonderful artwork, stained glass, Mardi Gras beads hanging from the ceiling, and New Orleans style mirrors and signs. It has more of a feel of a roadhouse restaurant than a place of fine dining...but the food is certainly not roadhouse food! (And the prices reflect the fine dining...) A few years ago when I was dining with some other coworkers there, we saw Bonnie Franklin (of "One Day at a Time" fame) across the room. As we were leaving the restaurant, her party was outside as well, and I couldn't resist telling her how much I loved her in that show--it was one of my favorites as a teenager, because it was one of the first to feature an independent, feminist, working mom.
Here are some photos of the funky interior and one of the exterior:



To top off the trip, I was lucky to be upgraded to First Class on the flight home (because of being an Alaska Air MVP), and the views over the mountains were absolutely stunning. I have always loved that flight, but yesterday was particularly spectacular. I have to say that flying over the Northwest for work has given me a keener appreciation of our beautiful region of the world! Looking out the window, I saw rows upon rows upon rows of snowy mountain peaks...as far as the eye could see. Amazing! These photos give you a tiny glimpse of what I saw.

Of course, the highlight of the trip was coming home to my four lovely boys. Three days and three nights is a long time to be away from them. The night before I left as I was kissing Chris goodnight, he said to me: “Mommy, I don’t want you to go. I don’t think Daddy will be able to handle it.” I reassured him that Daddy would be absolutely fine…however, I have to confess that I’m glad my children don’t want me to leave. I hope it will always be so.
And now they are forecasting snow in Portland this weekend, while Anchorage is expected to reach as high as 50 degrees F.! I'm ready for spring.

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

A Special Week of Birthdays

Between April 8 and 15, our family celebrates the birthdays of four very special people.

Bob/Dad/Grandpa

My dad turned 70 last week on April 8. These are some of the things I love about my dad:

His giving spirit and belief in social justice--after earning his M.S. and teaching math for a number of years, he went back to school to get his Master's in Social Work, and until he retired he worked for Portland Public Schools as a social worker and child development specialist. For many years, he worked in the inner city in predominantly black schools and made home visits to some very disadvantaged families. As an adolescent, I wanted to teach emotionally disturbed kids and follow in my dad's footsteps, working with needy kids. When I got to college, I realized that I didn't have it in me to do that. But my dad did, and I will always admire that about him.

His strong sense of moral values and integrity--I was taught to be honest and truthful, and my parents believed in being strong role models for their children. For example, my parents would NEVER have fudged any of our ages to get us in for a less-expensive admission fee to any venue. It conflicted with their values and their sense of right and wrong.

His thriftiness--We didn't have a lot of money growing up, so we were raised in a spirit of thrift and efficiency. I never felt deprived in any way; however, we rarely ate out at restaurants or spent money on travel or luxuries. My parents found ways to give us full childhoods without investing in material goods or services. Vacations were road trips where we camped or stayed with friends or relatives along the way. One of the best road trips was when I was 16, and we drove cross-country for a 6-week trip, with camping gear, clothes, and food for our family of 5 packed into the trunk of our car. My parents are comfortable in their retirement because of all those years of thrift.

His resourcefulness--Never one to hire help unless absolutely necessary, my dad will find a way to fix anything that is broken. When we moved into the house my parents currently occupy (I was 13), my dad built me a beautiful and very hip loft bed/dresser/desk combination in my incredibly small closet of a bedroom. Until that time, he had never even built a drawer!! Years later, he would build their wonderful beach house in Nedonna Beach, after finding a builder who would work side by side with him to do the initial framing work. Dad never shies away from anything he has not done before. He has an amazing mechanical and resourceful mind.

His love for travel and adventure--My dad hitchhiked through Europe after graduating from college. He visited Russia in the early 60s (something not many Americans did). He came back to marry my mom and then they went to live and work in Germany, where I was conceived. I guess travel was in my blood. In 1986, my parents saw my sister and me off at the airport, within a week, and gave us each their blessing to spend the year in China and Japan. I can only imagine how difficult that must have been.

His sensitivity and love for his family--When I was growing up, my dad was a great model for us of a sensitive, loving, and compassionate man. I'm sure that his modeling contributed to the fact that Nadine and I both married sensitive, loving, and compassionate men ourselves. My parents gave us the belief that, even though it's not always easy, marriage can enrich your life and fill your heart with love. He continues that modeling through the generations by showing his grandsons how much he loves them.


Kieran with his grandpa


Fix-it Grandpa


Nicholas absolutely ADORES his grandpa!

Kieran

Kieran turned 5 on April 9, and he continues to entertain us daily with his quirky personality, creativity, and spunk. For example, this morning he went to his 5-year-old checkup at the pediatrician in Harry Potter costume. He has his first "crush" on a girl in his preschool class (doesn't 4 or 5 seem too young to have a CRUSH???), and he has created a "love machine" so that she will fall in love with him. He's written her love letters and has been caught staring into space and muttering "she's beautiful..." Apparently he declared his feelings for her and she told him that she already has a boyfriend, which prompted him to feel jealous and invent his love machine.

A few weeks ago, Kieran and I stopped by one of our favorite children's resale shops, Hoot-n-Annie's, and Kieran spied a t-shirt hanging up behind the counter with a big, bloodshot eyeball front and center. One of the co-owners, Michelle, custom appliques t-shirts with cute, creative designs. Last winter I had her make a wonderful t-shirt for our vacuum-obsessed nephew Ryan with, you guessed it, a vacuum on it. (Can't buy those off the rack!!) This particular eyeball shirt had been special ordered and was waiting to be picked up, much to Kieran's dismay. On the way to the store, he had told me that he wanted to see "Sesame Street Live," and I proposed that he ask for tickets for his birthday. He agreed...until he saw the eyeball shirt. That was all he wanted. I showed him all the other shirts in stock with what I thought were much cuter designs...but no, all he wanted was the eyeball shirt.
He was absolutely thrilled--and not one bit surprised--when he opened up his very own eyeball shirt on the morning of his birthday. Apparently, it was quite a hit at preschool as well, so he knows what's popular amongst the preschool set much better than I do. Hands down, it's now his favorite item of clothing. He thinks it makes him look like Mike Wazowski.


With one of his teachers at school, receiving his "birthday book"


Celebrating his big day

(Saint) Annette

My parents went to Pacific Lutheran College (as it was known back then) with Annette and her husband Neal, but I didn't get to know them well until after they returned from Africa and Asia in the early 90s. They have since become close friends of ours, as well as my parents.

Annette is one of the most generous, giving, and genuinely altruistic human beings I have ever met. Not only is she caring and nurturing, but she is also incredibly well connected. I love to tease her about the fact that everywhere she goes, she meets someone she knows. It is amazing. I think it must be her positive magnetism that draws people to her.

As the photo above says, Annette was the first person at Mike's side when I was having an emergency c-section for the birth of Chris. Throughout the biggest crisis of our lives, Annette was our own personal parish nurse and friend, and we will always be grateful for her tender loving care. She has provided the same level of caring and loving dedication to many members of our community when they have gone through crises. In recent weeks, Annette's been caring for a woman at our church who is suffering from a very painful cancer in her mouth.

In recent months, she and Neal have regularly cared for Nicholas so Mike can get some writing done in the morning, which has been tremendously helpful to him. Nicholas can say two people's names clearly at this point, and one of them is "Annette." He has developed a very special relationship with both of them. Our family has christened her "Saint Annette," because of her giving and loving spirit.


Neal and Annette

Olga/Mum/Grandma England

I never join in on mother-in-law jokes, because I'm very lucky to have the mother-in-law I do. We haven't seen her as often lately because of some health concerns, which has been unfortunate for all of us, but we're hoping that will change and she'll be back to her jetsetting ways soon. Olga was born to Russian parents in Hong Kong and raised in Panama, where she met Mike's dad (a diplomat in Panama) and married him, and they lived all over the world during his working years.

Mike and his siblings have all sorts of funny stories about their childhood that get repeated frequently...many of them about their mum. She has a wonderful ability to laugh at herself, thank goodness! She too raised her children with a love for travel and adventure--proven by the fact that two of her three children live in Australia and the U.S. and married "foreigners."

Olga is incredibly creative and a gifted craftswoman. She has made all of us beautiful gifts out of paper, yarn, beads, and other materials. She's a talented knitter, quilter, seamstress, and beader. She shares my dad's love for a good deal, and they actually went dumpster diving together at Grand Central Bakery once for day-old bread!

Sadly I knew Mike's dad for only a few years before he died suddenly soon after we were married, so Olga was widowed at a shockingly young age (in her 50s). What is truly inspiring is how she has transformed herself into an independently spirited and adventurous woman. When she visits Portland, she loves to take the bus or walk all over town on her own and visit all of her favorite haunts. She has traveled extensively in recent years with friends and regularly visits her sons in New York and Australia, and Oregon.

I feel very lucky indeed to have an interesting, book-loving, creative, and loving mother-in-law. I would NEVER tell a mother-in-law joke, unless it reflected positively on my mother-in-law!


Mike and his mum on our recent trip to Florida


Nicholas, me, and "Grandma England"

Saturday, April 5, 2008

Wait, Wait, Don't Tell Me! Sexism in Another Children's Movie?

Kieran has been awaiting the arrival of "Horton Hears a Who" at the cinemas, although we have yet to see it. Yesterday we saw a delightful adaptation of "Go, Dog, Go!" at the Northwest Children's Theater...if you have read that book, you'll know that it's a very skimpy plot with not much text. They made an entire hour-long play based on that story. As far as I could determine, there were no sexist images...unless you consider the flirtatious poodle in the fancy hats. Except for that poodle, the female and male dogs seemed to be equal.

As the feminist mother of sons, I'm often torn between wanting my children to have characters they can relate to and wanting them to see strong female characters who don't follow the virgin-whore stereotypes (known in children's lit and media as princess wimps or evil stepmothers). Nearly all of the characters in Winnie the Pooh, Sesame Street, and other childhood teams are male. Thank goodness for Dora the Explorer, Peanuts (love that Peppermint Patty!), and the androgynous teletubbies. Last weekend I took Chris to see "The Water Horse," and even though the main character, Angus, was a boy longing for his father, his older sister was pretty cool too.

So imagine my chagrin when I just read this article posted on a wonderful blog called Feministing, with a link to an article on the NPR web site by the wonderful Peter Sagal (host of one of my fave radio shows, "Wait, Wait, Don't Tell Me!" He took his daughters to the Horton movie and discovered that the movie playwright had added a new subplot--the mayor of Whoville has 96 daughters and one son, and guess who saved the day? Wait, wait, don't tell me! What a surprise.

I often think of the irony of my fascination (and sometimes horror) with Asian cultures, where sons are highly revered. Combined with the fact that I always thought I would have a daughter, I find it interesting to consider that I have three sons. In India, China, Japan, Korea, I would be revered. Years ago I read a great book about women's status in India called May You Be the Mother of One Hundred Sons (by NYT writer Elisabeth Bumiller). Generally, in the U.S., people give me sympathetic or horrified looks when I tell them I have three boys. In American and European pop culture, literature, and media, though, the male continues to be revered.

Speaking of India, I'm reading a hilarious memoir right now called All the Fishes Come Home to Roost: An American Misfit in India. The fascinating thing about Indian culture and history is that, in spite of the fact that women have a tradition of being shunned as widows, burnt in suttee on their dead husbands' funeral pyres, or rejected or abused as wives because of their paltry dowries, India has a great legacy of powerful, inspirational female heroes and goddesses. Author Rachel Manija Brown found refuge from her unhappy, lonely childhood in a remote ashram in India by reading, researching, and emulating great Indian warriors--many of whom were female. Every child needs heroes they can relate to and find inspiration from...sadly, little girls have to search so much harder for those heroes. Or create their own.

Wednesday, April 2, 2008

Trying to Raise Nonviolent Boys

The recurring topic at our house recently is "Super Mario Brothers Super Smash Brawl." It is a Nintendo Wii game that involves the characters "brawling" with each other in cartoonish violence. Chris desperately wants this game--it's one of the most popular Wii games on the market.

We went reluctantly into the world of video gaming when we got Chris his GameBoy Advance a few years ago for his birthday. Last Christmas our family purchased a Wii as our sole family Christmas present for each other. (Kieran is not impressed or interested in the least bit...yet. Nicholas loves the remotes and also gets very excited when people are playing it!) Using Christmas gift cards and trading in his GameBoy, in January Chris acquired a Nintendo DS. The extent of violent video games in our household up until now is the boxing game on the Wii sports game that comes with the Wii, and the mild violence in Chris' Harry Potter games. One time Chris called me downstairs to watch the boxing match he had set up between my "Mii" and Mike's "Mii" (little avatars designed to look like us). Ugh! I told him that I could not stomach that and walked out.

Mike had Chris write a persuasive essay on why he should be allowed to get Super Smash Brawl, including the fact that he knew it was only a video game and it would not turn him into a violent person, and he included his "security plan" to keep his younger brothers away while he played it with his friends. Creative, yes; however, I finally put my foot down, on the principle that we are a nonviolent family. As long as I have some semblance of control over my children, I do not want them playing violent video games, however tame they are purported to be. Mike and I avoid overly violent movies, and we tightly control which movies Chris is able to watch. I don't think we're over the top--he's seen all the Harry Potter, Pirates of the Caribbean, and Star Wars films. But there's something different about participating in the violence itself. The primary purpose of this game is to fight. Period.

Chris has been teased at school for being a "noob" video gamer (which I guess means that all his games are tame and PG-rated?). About a month ago, he claimed that he was the ONLY KID IN HIS CLASS who didn't have violent video games. Oh please. Well, now it turns out that the kids he's referring to are not the ones we like anyway. And now his friends are nagging him to get the game...in fact, one of them came over the other day and even bugged Mike about it!

I know that he thinks this game will help him fit in, and he doesn't want to be teased about having tame games. His 5th grade pubescent persona seems to be drawn to the violence. I really do feel for him. My mom reminded me that when I was a kid, I was not so concerned about the "in" things or fitting in myself, so it's probably hard for me to understand this need completely. And I'm so not a boy.

Maybe I'm being overly protective. Most of what's out on the internet about this game argues that it's not more violent than what most kids see on TV or in the movies nowadays (or on the playground!). Perhaps. But our family's values are centered on peace, respect, and compassion for others. Not on brawling. While I still have some ability to control their choices and what they spend their money on, I'll stand by my overprotectiveness. I'd rather have him blame this decision on his mean mom than have regrets later on--and once we let that game into our house, it would be a slippery slope down to "Halo 3."

Interesting Perspective about Hillary Staying in the Race

Even though I'm really tired of the mud slinging going on in this primary and have hoped that it would all draw to a close with a candidate whom everyone can support...I also agree with the pundits who have talked about how much criticism Hillary Clinton would endure if she dropped out now.

Remember Pat Schroeder? She cried when she announced that she was not pursuing the nomination. I LOVE Pat Schroeder. I got to see her talk at a Planned Parenthood lunch a few years ago, and if she ran for president, I'd be the first to volunteer for her campaign! At any rate, when she stepped down, she was skewered for not being tough enough to be commander in chief.
Clinton would be faced with the same criticism. Yes, she only has a hope in hell at this point, but stranger things have happened. Chris, for his part, is a big Obama fan, mostly because all the "cool" fifth graders in his class support Obama, and he's a "cool" candidate. Hey--that's probably why a lot of people support him...and in fact, that's how a lot of politicians win elections anyway! Obama and Clinton are so close on the issues, that "coolness" is swinging a lot of votes in Obama's election. (Although he should stay away from the bowling alleys and chocolate shops, where he's not coming across as so hip...)

An editorial in the Eugene Register Guard today makes the case that Hillary's presence in the race is good for Democrats and good for the race, some very thought-provoking points indeed. Although I really still have that idealistic vision of all Democrats unifying behind one candidate and all the hard feelings going away somehow! Probably will never happen. I hope other Democrats feel as I do, that I will support whomever wins the candidacy.
There was an error in this gadget