Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Precious Moments

My boys are 8 years apart but they're pretty good buds - they'll be 10 & 2 this spring. Dante goes away every month to visit his dad in California. It's been interesting and a little sad to see my baby recognize the absence and miss his "big bubba" each time Dante goes. And there is a definite change in him. I think he likes the alone time with Mommy, but I can tell he misses his brother too.

Today I called Dante to check on him since he was home alone at their condo while his dad worked. We were talking and then I said "Hey Noah, you wanna talk to Bubba?" His face lit up and he reached for the phone, grinning ear to ear. He got the phone to his ear and squeeled "Hi!" which is the first time he's ever said anything to the voice in the phone! Dante laughed and talked to him for a second and Noah answered with some long crazy baby-talk! He even said Bye when I told him to. It was so sweet - the first time he decides to really talk on the phone is with his far-away brother. I cried a teeny bit.

Tuesday, November 25, 2008


Yeah, I went to Coldplay on Saturday night. Since this is a busy week and I don't think I'll have much time to post, I thought I'd at least get up these awesome shots of the show. I am truly a photographic genius.
This is the band on the main stage, and some laser action there across the middle:
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This is the band on a little side stage. The floor was lit up disco style and they had a piano there... can you see it? The little box on the light box - lower right:
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And near the end of the show they all ran off stage & reappeared at the back of the stadium. They ran up into the stands where there were 4 empty seats, a few instruments and a microphone. The spotlight followed them up into the stands and they played 3 songs there near the back. Chris said it was the part where they all played instruments they didn't know how to play (all but one guy who he said can play anything). He said it would sound terrible but be full of passion & soul. It was fun.
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It was a really good time. I've seen 4 other shows at Energy Solutions arena: The Cure, Def Leopard, Oingo Boingo & Pearl Jam. I'm not a huge fan of the venue since typically the sound quality sucks, but it was a damn good show. I had a damn good time.
Here's me & Anthony in the stands in the dark. I know, I should really sell these photos to a magazine huh?
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Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Relativism & Recycling

I've always had a very live-&-let-live attitude. I have my areas of high standard - I don't think they coincide with most traditional ideas on morality, but I've got them. Recycling for example: I am ashamed of how little we as a society recycle. I try to recycle anything and everything they'll take at our curb. Even still I include myself in this judgment.

Really most of the things I judge harshly are my own behaviors, as opposed to those of others. Maybe you could say I've always felt we live in glass houses. So because of this, obviously I would never judge anyone for falling short of moral targets I've never bothered aiming at myself. Examples of this might be premarital sex done it, don't give a damn who else does it, who cares - even though my parents tried to raise me that way or keeping the sabbath holy Sundays are the ONLY day to brave Costco here in SLC!, etc etc. Never thought less of anyone who indulges in the same things I do, or who indulges in their own set of personally questionable practices.

But the other day I was at Costco (on Sunday) thinking about how here in the valley (I hear it's a slower more Utahish Sunday if you visit a Costco further north or south in Provo) there's not a whole lot of difference between Sundays & other days. I remember my sister telling me they always go to Costco on Sunday, then park their car in the garage & sneak all the groceries in the back door so their neighbors won't see them shopping on Sunday my parents church lessons held on my sister in a way they obviously didn't hold on me. I think I know a lot of church-goers that do this. So I started to wonder... If someone CLAIMS the moral high ground (not saying my sister does this, she's very cool about our differing ideas/ideals), feels superior, saved, whatever - should I be able to hold them to a higher standard than I hold myself? If someone professes to believe that God has given them commandments not suggestions - commandments. and they believe in him and this whole heaven & after-life thing, but then they do all the things I might do - shopping on Sundays, shagging a non-husband (before I was married obviously) etc, shouldn't I think less of that? Shouldn't I be right to see that they're holding themselves to an ideal that they then choose not to live up to?

I'm not saying I do think this way even now that I've made the observation. I still think I live in a glass house. But it puts me in a questioning philosophical sort of mood nonetheless. I'd really like to hear what other people think of all this. Are you disappointed by people who don't live up to the standards they profess? What if we were great friends out to lunch and I told you that 40% of land-fill waste is recyclable paper This is one of my favorite pet-stats and I do tell it to my friends often - then you came to my house and saw that I didn't have a recycle can. Shouldn't you think less of me? I do have a recycle can btw.

Monday, November 10, 2008

Finding Nemo In My Living Room (and asian cartoon warriors on my front lawn)

So I know I'm a little late with the Halloween post, but in my defense, I came down with an awful flu bug ON Halloween so I've been recovering since then and hey, I can only post so much! So the week before Halloween we took the boys (and my sister and her three girls) to Hogle Zoo for Boo at the Zoo trick or treating. It was a lot of fun, and more crowded than I've ever seen it. My husband read an article that said attendance at the zoo that day hit a record high, breaking the record set years earlier when ZCMI hosted a free-all-day event.
It wasn't a huge costume production for us: we threw their costumes on, tried to leave as many accessories at home, skipped hair & makeup and headed for the zoo. Dante was Inuyasha, Meghan (niece #1) was Mulan, Anna (niece #2) was Sleeping Beauty,
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Eloise (Niece #3) was a dalmatian (who didn't like her hood very much)
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and Noah was Nemo.
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We didn't even worry about hair-combing. And little Anna, my spit-fire niece that reminds me so much of myself, had to wear a shirt under her off-the-shoulder Sleeping Beauty dress or flash the world her little girl chest.

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It was a fun day, even if it was so crowded we could barely breathe. At least we didn't get parking tickets like so many others!

For real trick-or-treating, the kids were a bit more polished (I know the date on this picture isn't Halloween: Dante & Meghan dressed up in full regalia for the Utah Symphony event they go to each year and it was the only picture I had since Dante went to CA to see his dad again this year - like every year).
Dante wants me to post this picture because you can see his sword Tessaiga:

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But I like this one better because you can see their faces:
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Noah didn't love getting his face painted but he seemed to tolerate it well enough. His first night of trick-or-treating was great fun. He started to get the idea about half way through. "Okay, they give me candy and I wave bye-bye and move on to the next house for more candy. I can do that."
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He got a ton of candy, most of which mysteriously disappeared while he slept (Wonder-Rachel says as she innocently wipes chocolate from her face), and I think by next year he'll know how to say "Trick or Treat" on his own.
So despite my own flu-bug misery & the near rain we had to worry about, I think the kids had a great time this year.
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Friday, November 7, 2008

Why I Hate The Snow

To my regular readers: this will be a fun little mini-series that will appear throughout the next several months. I will post items in no particular order.

Today I went downstairs to do my daily load of laundry - this is the only way I manage to get it done. My husband of course is a laundry saint. So if I want to be any help at all, I have to employ the one-a-day method through the week. As I was pulling laundry out of the basket, sorting into piles of white, pink & red, blue & black, green & brown, nasty towels... I heard my cat Pilar meowing at me from the door. "Hello kitty" I said as I heaped laundry around the room. She daintily picked her way through the piles to the back corner where her littler box was sitting: not exactly clean, severely lacking in sand, and dormant all these past warm months. She meowed again and I was hit with the first example of the season.

Why I Hate The Snow: Pilar is going to want me to start scooping her littler-box again.

This is my beautiful white calico kitty Pilar where she made herself comfortable in a drawer I forgot to close a couple weeks ago. I love her dearly but I'm still not sure the litter scooping is worth it.
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Thursday, November 6, 2008

In the wake of Proposition 8

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"Common sense, and concern for the common good, trumped ideology, bigotry and power politics here in California," said Brian Brown, executive director of the National Organization for Marriage in California.

Okay, supporters of Proposition 8 have every right to be pleased right now I suppose. But that doesn't mean they can discard the definitions of words and say whatever the hell they want and think they're making sense at all.

Ideology was not trumped with the passage of Prop 8. This twisted ideology of what religious freaks think marriage should be is what won the day out there.

Bigotry was not trumped! Bigotry won the day.

1. stubborn and complete intolerance of any creed, belief, or opinion that differs from one's own.
2. the actions, beliefs, prejudices, etc., of a bigot.

Proposition 8 is the definition of bigotry!

Power Politics was certainly not trumped here! The campaign was won plain and simple, by the side with more money. Just as every campaign is won. Supporters of Proposition 8 were louder and spent more money. Not enough people came out against 8 soon enough to make a difference. The fear campaign initiated by Yes on 8 was enormous, ubiquitous and complete. And complete bullshit. Even here in Utah I heard all about it - saw more than I wanted to see.

Here is my question: How is that those who think homosexuality is wrong can spend years denouncing gays for their promiscuous lifestyle, then turn around and deny them the right to legitimize their relationships? The two ideas completely oppose one another! And why is it that religious groups want government to stay out of schools when school prayer is at stake, but when marriage curriculum becomes an issue (which quite possibly isn't actually an issue, just another fear tactic used by Proposition 8 supporters), now government should step in and dictate that schools teach only heterosexual marriage?

Another awesome quote from Brian Brown, apparently a man who didn't pass English in high school: "Government did not create marriage, and neither politicians nor legislators have the right to redefine its basic meaning,"

Interesting Mr Brown... so asking the state of California to impose a constitutional amendment isn't involving government in the definition of marriage? This guy's an idiot.

The situation is this: Homosexual couples and families are reality. To say they can't get married does nothing to stop them from becoming couples and families. So now Christians are not performing some noble act of ridding the world of an abomination. They're merely in the business of destroying families. How ironic.

Well if more than half of California (and Arizona and Florida - I'm really disgusted at this point) wants to deny homosexual couples the right to commit their lives to their partners in a sacred and ceremonial way, they've succeeded, for now. But lets call a spade a spade: They're bigots. Plain and simple.

Update: I just emailed this directly to Brian Brown.

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

I'm overjoyed

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I was working last night so I had my headphones plugged into my computer to listen to streaming coverage as the election results came in. It got exciting for me when they announced Ohio. I've heard the statistic before that no candidate has ever won without Ohio, so that sparked a little more excitement in me just as it did everyone gathering at Grant Park. No surprise about who Utah's electoral votes went to. I will hold back all my usual anti-Utah-spew this time - just know it's all still there in my heart waiting to be shared. But really who needs Utah's electoral votes anyway? My two other home states came through for me to push Obama over the top! I love you Washington and California! And of course you too Oregon - I may even make you home next! My husband came rushing into my office from his TV coverage to tell me, right about the same time I heard it on my internet coverage. We were overjoyed! So I waited till 10pm far later than I should have taken my lunch break and clocked out to watch Obamas victory speech. - listening would not be enough. He inspires me every time I hear him speak. I believe in what he says. I feel his passion. I share it. I cried. I'm a crier, so what? And I had goose bumps all over my body as he told the story of our history. The story of America telling the world Yes We Can! ...damnit, here I go again with the water-works! I really believe we can do some amazing things if we can find a way to care for each other and work with each other. I've always hated partisan bullshit and along with all my hopes for our future, I guess my all-encompassing hope is that we can come together as one people to affect change in our country. I don't see it happening any other way. But I know it can happen. And I know this election marks a huge change in our history. It makes me proud to know that my boys will grow up in this reality of diversity and tolerance. I know our nation has a long way to come away from racism but this truly is a huge step forward. And I'm so grateful I have this to be proud of - I don't know if I could face the rest of the world if we'd elected McCain. But while we celebrate we can't forget that the road ahead is beyond challenging and daunting. It is downright frightening. Our president-elect faces a host of misery, and we must all be patient and do our part to take this country back to its roots of being a country - as he quoted - "of the people, by the people and for the people". And I do have high hopes that this is completely possible!

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Yes, I voted - and it feels so good!

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To really get into it, sing that title to the tune of Reunited and it Feels So Good
I voted today! Got the boys up (well Noah was up at 6am cranky & sniffly), got us all dressed and fed, piled us all into the car and drove through the snow to the elementary school down the street. Noah isn't feeling well (he has the cold I'm just getting over - poor baby) so that was kind of a nightmare. He was extra cranky and so needed to carry both Beeya (his Bear) AND Ooh-ooh (his monkey) all over with him. Not easy for a 95 pound girl to haul around 25 pounds of puffy-coated baby clutching two stuffed animals! LOL But I did it and I'm pretty excited. My ex-husband would be shocked and mortified to know I voted all democrat this time. Hm, I guess it's no surprise we're not so compatible anymore huh (wow that's the understatement of the year).

I voted for Barak Obama (obviously) and I'm pretty excited now. I also voted to issue bonds to raise funds for Hogle Zoo and Tracey Aviary. I have so many great childhood memories at both those places, and my boys really love going to the zoo. We're regular visitors. :)

Now it's like Christmas Eve... will I get what I want? Have to wait and see... oh the anticipation!!

This is a way cute video of Noah - he's in love with the polar bear on our Renew the Zoo campaign sign. We had to preserve it for posterity. Ironically he had his own agenda this time. Most times he loved to go through naming every last part on the bear face over & over.