Sacramento’s Can You Hear Us Now Event

October 17, 2009 at 10:28 pm (Uncategorized)

Had a chance to attend the Can You Hear Us Now event in Sacramento this afternoon. It was once again great being around like-minded folks. I counted around 70 people at one point and more showed up after that, so I’d peg it at around 100 people at its peak.

My only complaint is that we should have been loud! Needed a rabble-rouser getting folks going (in a good way, of course).

I took a bunch of photos and cropped the signs. Here’s what the sentiment was like today:

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Why a Boy Needs a Father (Figure)

October 1, 2009 at 3:09 am (Uncategorized)

This post could have easily been called Lessons Learned from a Kitten (and his Box), because therein lies the truth to be found in this story. The other day I threw down on the floor a five-sided box (four sides and one end closed) that had come home with us from Costco. We have two five-month-old kittens now sharing our lives (a brother and sister), and they love boxes more than any expensive toy we could possibly ever buy.

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Wahu, June 2009

After they had played with jumping in and out of it for a while, my husband picked up the box and put it upside down over Wahu, who momentarily froze, not sure what was happening with this new situation.

Wahu is the brother of this pair. That’s short for Oahu–we named them for the two islands we had recently visited, as seemed fitting because we picked up the kitties the day after we returned from a vacation to Hawaii.

 

Wahu’s sister is Maui, and she promptly began batting at him as he reached out from under the edge of the box and through the crack between the top’s flaps. She then realized she could jump right on top of the box and bat down at him below her. Quite the position of power! That’s definitely her style.

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Wahu and Maui, July 2009

For some reason, that seemed wrong to me–what if Wahu wanted out and couldn’t get out because his sister’s weight was on top of him? What if he was scared, or even just worried? I didn’t want my boy to worry. My poor, sweet little boy!

That’s a woman for you. That was my instinctual reaction. And my husband saw it, even though I realized the ridiculousness of it right away and didn’t actually voice it. He, by the way, was just watching the whole play session with a smile on his face.

And he said, “You should write a post on that–because that’s a perfect example of why a boy needs a father” (although we later realized it’s really about a man, a man with masculine instincts). A mother might have promptly taken the box off in fear of causing Wahu distress, and nine-to-one a mother wouldn’t have even thought to put it over him the first place.

Wahu promptly tossed the box off after Maui jumped down at some point and proceeded to continue to play in and out of the box. And he clearly enjoyed having it put back over the top of him so he could bat at Maui from it’s den-like interior until he tired of it and tossed the box off again. There was nothing traumatic about the experience for him. It was fun, and he experienced one more thing he could tick off life’s list.

That was because his “dad” challenged him. Gave him a slightly tricky new situation to negotiate his way out of, which he did. That’s confidence building, and that’s what dad’s do for boys; in a way that’s difficult, if not impossible, for a mom. Because we are, after all, women, with all the feminine instincts that come with it. Those instincts have their place, they are vital, but they need the offsetting positive influence of masculinity. That’s what creates a confident boy, and later a confident man.

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What’s In a Birthplace?

September 15, 2009 at 11:48 pm (Uncategorized)

The awful video that surfaced recently of the white kid on a school bus getting beaten by a couple of black kids while the others on the bus cheered and urged them on really hit home in my household.

That’s because my husband could have easily had the same thing happen to him during the 5th grade, while he attended school in Washington state. The teacher had done some sort of lesson that involved the kids all talking about where they were born. My husband, not realizing anyone might have a problem with something as innocuous as a birthplace, told the class he was born in Montgomery, Alabama. His father had been stationed at Maxwell Air Force Base at the time and my husband lived there for all of a few weeks.

In any case, on that otherwise uneventful school day, as my husband was getting off the bus, he was confronted by a group of four or five black kids who were intent on beating him up. He had no idea why, and could only link it back to the fact that they had earlier learned of his birthplace. Just as he was assessing whether he could stand up for himself against such a large group, his mother happened to drive up to get him from the bus stop (something she didn’t usually do) and he was able to get away unscathed.

He’s always been grateful to his mother for saving the day that afternoon (she also brought with her the good news that they were moving to a bigger house and he would be going to a new school from then on). And he’s always been wary of telling people where he was born–because for some ridiculous reason, people do judge you for it. Isn’t that crazy? To judge you for something over which you had absolutely no control and that might not mean anything at all about who you are. Yet my husband was judged as a racist because of his birthplace (and would have been attacked for it), by kids who were themselves the racists.

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How Lucky We Are

August 30, 2009 at 12:46 am (Uncategorized) (, , )

I could have alternatively titled this post, “What Happens When the Power Goes Out?” (if I were a glass-is-half-empty sort of person), because I’ve been inspired by that very thing happening today. We were hanging out in our living room, wondering what to do on a relatively hot day when all of a sudden, in the middle of paying a random credit card bill online and while the Raiders were down to the Saints by some ungodly amount of points, everything clicked off. The ceiling fans slowed to a standstill and all was quiet around us.

And what immediately came to mind (after we ran around the house closing all the drapes and blinds and shutting unnecessary rooms–to contain the relatively cool temp in the house in case we didn’t get power back for a while), was how wonderful it is that for us losing power is such a very rare thing. Yes, we’ll get a blip every so often, but that’s when the power comes right back on and at worst you have to reset a couple of microwave clocks, but those are no big deal. It’s the ones where things don’t turn right back on that are rare, and also scary.

What happens if the power doesn’t come back on in an hour? What about five hours? What about tomorrow? What will I do? No one likes having to ask those questions, and unfortunately we often only do so when we’re faced with the reality of the thing and therefore are completely unprepared for it.

In our case, the power came back on in about a half-hour. Not long enough to even worry about it. But I will take a couple of lessons of the experience to heart. I’ll remember how lucky I am that power outages are such a rare and short-lived event in my life. And I’ll get my emergency supplies in order (including figuring out how to run that generator I bought last year), so those awful questions we ask ourselves about how long the power might be out aren’t quite so frightening. 

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Tea Party Express Rally Photos

August 29, 2009 at 12:48 am (Uncategorized) (, , , )

As promised in my last post, here are the rest of my photos from the Tea Party Express Rally earlier today in Sacramento.

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The Real “What Makes Your Life Worth Living” Checklist

August 27, 2009 at 2:31 am (Federal Government, Uncategorized) (, , )

I suppose it’s often the case that people start blogging not from an organized and planned starting point but because something comes along that gets them so riled up they can’t help themselves. It becomes an energizing, motivating catalyst, spurring an action that had long been in the back of their minds but hadn’t yet percolated to the surface.

Well, I’ve had my catalyzing event, my percolating moment, and it is the disturbing nature of the “Your Life, Your Choices” booklet put out by the Veteran’s Administration, which has been much ballyhooed in the press (at least the press of which I’m a consumer) for the past few days. What’s really gotten my blood boiling is the checklist that appears on page 21 of the booklet. I am thoroughly disturbed and appalled by this checklist for a variety of reasons.

First, how DARE they title this monstrosity “What Makes Your Life Worth Living”! There is nothing about life in this thing; it’s all about pain and suffering and death. It would be far more apt to title the checklist “What Makes Your Life Worth Ending” because that’s what it leads its users to consider.

Second, I cannot even begin to fathom what was in the minds of the checklist’s creators when they decided to include a column that would lead users to consider if the situations put forward in the checklist (such as “I can no longer control my bowels” or “I live in a nursing home”) make life “not worth living.” How can anything put out by our government in any way reinforce the notion that life is not worth living? The government should be promoting the living of life, not the ending of it because certain situations are painful or difficult. Yes, people might come to the conclusion life isn’t worth living on their own, but our own government should not be helping them along the road to that conclusion.

Finally, the last three situations put forward in the checklist are especially upsetting to me. I truly hope none of the people I love would ever consider their life not worth living because an illness of theirs “causes severe emotional burden” for their family. Of course the ill health of a family member causes severe emotional burdens (“such as feeling worried or stressed all the time” as further explained in the checklist). But that comes with the territory of family, and love. It’s a burden anyone who loves someone else willingly shoulders. And, trust me, that worry and stress isn’t going to go away because the person decides their life isn’t worth living—it’ll only get worse.

And then, why should anyone be led (again, especially by our government) to decide life isn’t worth living because they are “a severe financial burden” on their family? As with accepting the stress and worry that comes with an ill loved one, one of the things families do is shoulder financial burdens when one of their members gets sick. That’s life; that also comes with the territory of loving and caring for someone. I can only pray no one I love ever decides their life isn’t worth living just because of financial burdens.

And the final item on the checklist is shocking simply because of its inclusion in the first place. Being “unable to shake the blues” is bad enough, but then to be given license, by our government, to consider it bad enough to make life not worth living is unfathomable.

So, in direct response to this disgusting piece of government manipulation, I’ve created my own checklist—a real “What Makes Your Life Worth Living” checklist. And, because there are truly so many things that makes life worth living, this checklist could be pages and pages (and pages) long. But I’ve kept it to one-page just to stay in line with the VA booklet’s format. I hope you enjoy it and share it with those you love. And I hope my “tweaks” to the language at the bottom of the original checklist give you a chuckle.

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Hello world!

August 26, 2009 at 2:37 am (Uncategorized)

Welcome to WordPress.com. This is your first post. Edit or delete it and start blogging!

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