Posts tagged ‘post’

June 4, 2011

Disposable

I’m convinced that my generation is disposable. We have disposable everything: beverage containers, storage containers, cookware, razors, water bottles, utensils, phones, electronics, etc.

Some items are just plain use once and throw away. Others you can get several uses out of. While still others last quite some time, but still they are disposable.

I bought a VCR it lasted a year that broke. I bought a new one. I buy my son shoes they last three to four weeks. I buy new ones. I buy a t- shirt it lasts the summer. I buy a new one. I buy a phone. It lasts a year or two. I buy a new one. My daughter buys a $70 pair of knee high converse and the zipper breaks after she wears them twice. I’m pissed.

The average American generates 4lbs of trash a day, 1460 lbs a year. Some statistics say as much as 1 million pounds. That’s a lot of trash. In fact one stat states we dispose of 3.5 billion pounds of carpet in our quest for cleanliness, and 3.7 trillion pounds of construction debris in the name of progress. What are we progressing towards. Have you seen the amount of homeless, poverty stricken.

Don’t get me wrong I’m all for saving the planet. I do my part. In California you pay a tax on cans and bottles. If you recycle you get that back. It benefits me. They don’t get to keep that money. They take in every way they possibly can pass a law to, so I take back what I can.

Back to the converse shoes. If I get them fixed by a seamstress who’s barley working these day because were so disposable. It’s going to cost $30 for one zipper. Are you kidding me. It makes more sense to just buy a new pair or at the very least stitch the zipper part shut. Of course, you understand it’s a plastic zipper. The cheapest kind.

Both you and I know the cost of running a business. The fines and fees from the state alone can cause your house to foreclose and your business to shut down. I get why companies go overseas. It’s basic math.

At what point do we stop wasting and start repairing, fixing, mending. Those are as respectable jobs as any. At what point is it going to be cheaper to wash you dishes than throw them away. There raising my water rates by the way. I have a huge vegetable garden. I grow most of my food. The rate hike will tarnish that quickly.

Being disposable means being dependent. Being disposable means spending more, using more fuel, making more trips, shopping more, buying more. Being disposable doesn’t benefit the individual it benefits the powers that be. Just think about the water bottling companies and how much they make on disposable bottles. Huge.

We don’t eat out ever. There is the occasional fast food stop, but not if I can help it by packing food. We don’t go to movies ever, although my daughter goes occasionally with her friends. We grow most of our food, and I love to cook. We use coupons. Look for discounts and are now trying to fix what is broken before we purchase another. It’s a good life.

I flopped around a bit on this one. It was hard to stay focused but I think I said all I wanted to.

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May 30, 2011

Memorial Day

I never really think to much about this. As it turns out it’s just another day off, although today I chose to come into work. It’s the first time I have worked this particular holiday in eight years.

As always I sat on my front porch drinking coffee with my husband, reading emails, playing words with friends, checking groupon. The usual stuff. Not thinking anything about the day. It just a day. Then…….my iPad started beeping with all the site subscriptions I have. Everyone was writing about Memorial day in one way or another.

The lives that have been lost; the lives that have been forgotten. The injured. The found. Every life has a value to someone. Every person has been loved. Everyone gone remembered in some way by someone.

I work with Marines. I have lost friends, and acquaintances to war. I remember them often. The smile on their faces. The sound of their voice. The kindness in their hearts. The things they loved to do with their free time: skydiving, sailing, rock climbing, biking, etc. They are all amazing men.

At work guys don’t speak of the war much. I never really ask. Their home. There with family and the war is in the past, although I hear my share of stories.  Most are amazing and totally different than what you hear in mass media. It makes you wonder, so I no longer watch stories about the war.  The Marines are proud and I am proud of them.

I have meet boys who are now men that have lost their sight, their arms, their legs, the normal mental state. I used to feel sorry for them. I don’t anymore. They are proud of their misfortune. Proud of the job they have done. Willing to do it again without regret.

I don’t think about all I am grateful for everyday. I should. We have many freedoms that others don’t.  I should be more grateful. It’s a shame we need a day to celebrate the one who sacrificed. Those who have lost their lives for our benefit. Those who have sacrificed their lives for the ones they love. The country they love. It’s a shame that as a people we forget. We get so involved with the day to day we simply don’t have the time to remember. At the very least we have today.

In loving memory of my friend.

May 23, 2011

Driving

Today as I am driving to the gas station after dropping off my kids I notice a man walking across the street before. He was of average height and build. Looked to be normal. Had everyday casual clothes on. Just walking across the street going from point a to b. I wonder where he is going. What he mint be thinking or whom he might be thinking about. Then like poof his whole life story pops in my head. I have made it all up.

He grew up here loving to surf and play guitar. He’s a musician by trade, but work is tough. The pay even tougher. So when he comes to run his errands he parks in a central location and walks. He figures it’s a good way to think and get exercise because he cancelled his gym membership. He needed to money to feed his two kids.

His wife is an RN at the local hospital. She is well educated and loves the sound his guitar makes when he plays. That’s how they fell in love. In a small jazz club. Recently she had to take a pay cut. He finds ways to save money by clipping coupons, walking, and car pooling with other parents.

You know his daughter is quite the budding ballerina. She dreams if being the princess in this falls play. His son is a star football player and practices hard to make it to the draft, although that is years away. Both kids play guitar to humor dad, but neither want to be a musician.

I have named him Joe because it’s an easy name. Joe is rather content walking. A happy man and I smile at the happy life I have given him.

After I get fuel its off to the dance studio to register my daughter for next season. I notice an older women sitting in her SUV just outside. Of course I have a story for her as well.

She’s a grandmother of two rather bouncy young girls. Who she takes care of while their mother is at work. No, she doesn’t live with them, but there’s are plans for that in the future when the housing market gets better and she can sell her house.

In the car she is discussing the dance schedule with her daughter. Who use to love to dance. She has fond memories of that. Now her granddaughters fill that void with twirling bodied, swinging arms, and dancing feet.

This is my usual day. Making up stories about people. Today they were happy. Sometimes they are tragic. But, there is always a story to be told.

May 20, 2011

Chaney Ranch

Tomorrow my boy is riding at Chaney ranch. Its invite only and many great riders will be there. I’m always nervous when he goes to a new track, of course, I’m mom. When he was eight or nine he said, “Mom, it’s ok if I die out there.” That’s what every mom wants to hear, but he’s focused and dedicated to his sport. I admire that he is willing to give it his all despite any negative consequences. This is my son.

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May 18, 2011

The morning

What hour of the day would you like to spend the rest of your life?

The answer is simple for me. The first hour when I wake up. I open my eyes, scurry down the stairs to have a cup of coffee on the front porch with my husband no matter how cold or hot it is. My feet are always bare and the freshness of the day is new and untainted. Everything is in place my guitars by my desk, my treadmill down stairs, and my iPad in hand. Its a new beginning. A fresh start to all the crap that happened the day before. You can do a whole bunch of things in that hour or you can just enjoy your coffee. Either way I love waking up and not because I’m not dead but because its like a new life. Its new, fresh, never happened before except for yesterday. It cant be explained. It just is. A moment that repeats itself over and over and over. Never changing and never the same. Its the little things like the amount of sugar in your coffee or the cup in your hand that makes it different. Amazing I just have no words for it. The rest of the day is always tainted with responsibility. Things we don’t always want to do. People we feel obligated to be nice to and places we have to go or not go because of one thing or another. the trouble with the rest of the day is that it’s just trouble. Its complicated, messy. The morning is always simple.

May 16, 2011

Perspective on raising girls

I often talk to parents about how they raise their children, daughters mostly. Mine has been a little more difficult than my son. In terms of raising her I tend to think psychologically as I wanted her to be balanced, and well adjusted.

When my daughter was two I was very new to the study of children. I should have known when she cried the first three months of her life she would be a challenge. I should have known when she skipped over the crawling and went straight to running I was in for it, but I didn’t.

When she was two and getting in trouble one day I sat her in a chair and told her to stay, like a dog I suppose. I told her if she got out of the chair I would spank her. I don’t know why. Spanking serves no other purpose than to hurt my hand, but that’s what I said. This played itself out several times and the only thing it got me was a sore hand. She never cried because her butt was covered with a diaper, but she did have fun tormenting me.

As the years passed the same situation presented itself over and over again in different scenarios mostly in the form of us screaming at each other. I never quite understood why until now that she would do anything her father said but fight me tooth and nail over the smallest thing.

Never does she have conflict with her father. If he asked her to do anything she does without complaint, because she knows this will pit him against her mother. If she severs their bond then she can becomes the leader. This can be her tribe. Dad always sides with mom but as a young child she never stops trying.

It’s just recently I hear people referring to their families as a tribes. It is the most accurate statement that can be made about the family unit. We are tribes. Preindustrialization, and modern man both men and women had roles to play. Although in the fifties era,  the Beaver Cleavers showed great signs of the separation of men and women in the home. Men went to work, they were hunters of food, protectors of the home. They were builders. The foundation of the very tribe in which they belonged. Women were the gatherers, the ones that nurtured the children into their appropriate place within the tribe. Women supplied the essence of tribes very life. Everybody has a job and they were clearly defined.

In the case of a mother and daughter. A daughter is meant for these things. I believe genetically. She is born to nurture, to supply the very essence of leadership that will one day support and guide her own tribe. Without her no tribe can exist. Now that’s not to say that boys and men do not serve the same functions in their roles but it’s clearly another essay. Females no matter the age are meant to do great things and conflict arises when there are two making the same soup.

My daughter from birth genetically, I believe, is a leader. All girls are. She wants to lead to take control of the tribe. She fights for this. She wants to make the decisions, and tells me no when she doesn’t like mine. It creates conflict, fights, a struggle between her very nature to be a leader and her age. This explains a lot about why little girls like dolls. They are playing the role of leader. Preparing for the day when she posses her own tribe.

When my daughter was three or four she wanted to pick her own clothes to wear. She wanted to make decisions, chose what she wore, what she ate, what cup she drank out of. These were all critical decisions that prepare her for life ahead. I let her do all these things. It actually makes my life easier. Now her choice is clothing hasn’t always been the best but it covered the parts of her body that needed to be covered so it was fine with me Because it is her peers that will judge her new look with blatant truth, I do not have to be the bad guy. It is her peers that become my greatest ally. They judge harshly and allow me to play the role of nurturer instead of dictator. They hurt her feelings when they say her outfit is ugly, or she’s fat, stupid, etc. To resolve this I get to tell her she is an individual, beautiful, brilliant. I get to educate her on proper nutrition, fashion, the three R’s of education. She turns to me and I become the hero, the caretaker, the wise one. It works in my favor every time.

As my daughter got older she found new ways to assert her leadership. She got bossy with everybody. The kids on the playground, our son, nana, papa, but never dad. She would tell her brother he was sick and he needed to stay in bed and home from school. She would command him to eat his veggies. Don’t throw sand at the playground someone could get hurt. Don’t go up the slide that way it’s not safe. She was being a mother and rightfully so. She is born to do this genetically, nurture, care for, emotionally tend to. We praise our daughters for these traits. We encourage these traits. This is her way of learning how to prepare for the future. How to be a mother. She immolates us because genetically that is what she is supposed to be learning in these early years.

As my daughter moves into the teen years she is afford more freedom to make tougher choices, more responsibility. She recently had to research a new school and find out if its a fit for her. She made the final decision and it coincided with mine. It worked naturally the way it’s supposed to. We have fewer fights because we work together for the greater good. I encourage her to make mistakes, take risks. She need only hear about my experiences but learn her own lessons.

I know a women that has three girls the oldest the same age as mine. She tells them how to dress everyday How to wear their hair. In fact she does it for them. They make no choices. None. They are told what sports they can play. The mother rules every aspect of their life. They have no freedoms. They are servants to their mothers will. Now this is extreme, but look forward ten years and picture what I see….rebellion and lots of it. Their mother has told me great, fantastical stories of her own rebellion but had not learned a single lesson from it.

There is not need to cuddle your child. The dress them, feed them, or rule with a heavy hand. Children by design know their path and are willing to tell us if we would only listen.

May 14, 2011

Schools

When we bought our house my kids were three and four, so my daughter would be stating school in the fall. I either didn’t think to at the time or didn’t care to check into the local schools. I wasn’t concerned about the districts grade point average, or the income level of families that attended. Those things are important to me now, although I’m not moving or selling my house.

Public education in California is a joke just like most state run agencies here. You can get free lunches, free bus passes, free everything if you just smear the truth a little bit. People do, and I don’t blame them because this is a tough economy to live in. California is expensive.

My daughter went to public school through fifth grade. I had complaints the whole way. The amount of teaching time that was taken away from the English speaking students to tutor and teach the none English speaking kids, even if they are illegal immigrants. The lack of homework, my daughter has been threatened, degraded, and insulted by a teacher.

The federal government says ever kid has the right to an education even if they are illegal. Ok, then teach my child Spanish in kindergarten. Instead my child has playtime while Spanish speaking get tutored in English. My daughters fifth grade teacher has tenure so he could threaten and insult the kids all he wanted to. The school board does nothing. I told her if his behavior was inappropriate to walk out and call me, she did. Still nothing was done. The school wouldn’t even put her in another class, because changing classes was against policy. My hands were tied. I took her out of the state funded public school system.

Charter schools.

I drive my kids fifteen miles one way to take them to a charter school. There first year there is almost over and it has been the best thing that ever happened to my daughter. My son could care less, school is school and he easy going so he makes friends everywhere. Now my daughter is the smart one. If her mind isn’t challenged she is a raging bitch. She fights, slams doors, is mean, won’t do anything you ask her. She’s out of control. She needs the challenge, and when she gets it she in perfect, amazing, incredible. My son on the other hand needs motocross. Without it he’s just sad. He withdrawals from the world.

It’s the end of the year and time for re-enrollment. Most of my daughters friends a going to a new charter school. She bummed. I told her I would consider it but she had to do the ground work which meant writing emails and calling the school for information. Now the charter school is sponsored by fender guitars for music and vans for the uniforms. Sounds good. The guitar lessons which are not part of the academics but rather an after school program are affordable but my daughter is not nor does she want to be a musician. I’m not sold. The tutoring programs are only available for a price, but there free at the school she attends now. Still not sold.

I don’t want to burst her bubble. I don’t want to let her down. She deserves a lot and works for it. What about science, math, English, history I asked her. You gather information on that and we will discuss it. She emailed the school a very professional letter questioning their academics. We haven’t gotten a reply and I don’t suspect we will. Her friend that is going there invited her to the orientation. She went and questionedthe teachers on the topics of academics. The blew her off. The only thing that the website talks about is farming. It’s an agricultural middle school. That’s all you get from the website besides the music after school program. My daughter came home disappointed and made the decision she didn’t want to go. She would rather make new friends than follow her current friends to a school that had no academic programs. Funny, she has the goal of taking trigonometry by the eighth grade. Im proud of her.

The lesson learned here is that not matter how beautiful the website. No matter how enticing the words like, academic, knowledge based, state certified, award winning programs are they are still words and prove nothing. I didn’t have to tell her no she came to that conclusion herself. Again I am proud of her for being the woman I know she is becoming.

May 11, 2011

Write about a mistake you can learn from?

There are so many to chose from. When I read this I thought it would be easy. A huge mistake I learned a lesson from. I guess all the little mistakes add up after a while.

I watch parents. I listen to what they have to say. I respect the fact that most try to be the best parent they can. Kids don’t come with handbooks. We all heard this from our mothers. Now that we are parents we understand. There is one thing that I find I learn the most from my kids. I say I’m sorry when I’m wrong.

When my parents were wrong and they were a great deal of the time. They never apologized. There word was law regardless. We had no voice and even if we did it meant very little. I see kids that face this situation all the time.

Kids have opinions, ideas about the world. They see through fresh lenses. They learn from us and god willing they learn something decent. I have bad habits. I say stupid things and pretend to know things I don’t. I don’t pretend to be a good mom, but I try.

Over the years I have apologized with tears in my eyes for being wrong. I didn’t listen. I jumped to conclusions. I got mad. I punished when I should have been praised. I wanted it my way, and I didn’t want them to see my shame. I was and am superior to them. I’m not.

Being wrong is part of life. It’s who we are. I don’t mind being wrong these day. In fact I cherish the moments when I can show humility. I have learned that this is not a dictatorship. It is a relationship and like a marriage or a friendship, and it has to be treated as such. I have to let my children make the wrong choices so they can make the right decisions. I am only here to help guide them down a decent path. Open their eyes to my experiences and let them make their choice based on that.

Children have a voice that should be heard. They are individuals who are nothing like us. It doesn’t always have to be done my way. There way might be better. Apologize it will bring a world of gifts. Children forgive like dogs. Lol.

For the mistakes I’ve made I have learned to apologize. I have learned to let go and move on. My children are great teachers.

May 11, 2011

Self worth

How do you feel about yourself? When you look in the mirror what do you see? Do you hide from it? Do you loathe it? Maybe you love it? Are you vain? Do you cherish the reflection?

If you are normal and I will assume you are in a special, f…..t up sort of way. Then you probably feel and see all these things, plus more. I’m writing a bit in response to Eminem’s song beautiful. I’m thinking so I am writing.

Everything you do has a positive and a negative side. Your hair was cooperative today, but it wasn’t the day before. You feel fat but you won’t tomorrow. You feel happy. You feel sad. All of these are the basics. Then there are the more complicated. Your unsure, self conscience about public situations. You can define that how it fits. You walk with your head high, you rule the world. Positive and negative. Everything has it’s place on the coin as it’s tossed.

We don’t determine we are fat unless we feel negative about what we see in the mirror. We feel the negative, search for it. It’s how we find the positive. We look in the mirror, we see a person who faces fears, turmoil, torment. It’s easy to see what we don’t like. It’s easy to pass self judgement. To put a value on self worth. There is no value on that. There is no value on who and what you are. It beyond that.

There is a value on life. I do not value those who murder others. Those who commit crimes. Those who suck up my tax dollars because they don’t want to work. I could care less about these people. That may make me a bad person feel free to judge me. Animals kill their weak. There is not value in the weak for animals. I don’t judge animals for this. Animals live in basics there is a beauty to that I respect. The prior statement as to the value of life is simply my opinion. I know you have yours.

Your self worth is dependent on so many things. Your mom said you were a loser, ugly, dumb, fat. You were abused. To many times our past represents who we are in the present. You are beautiful, smart, amazing.

I feel that I keep saying this. It just keeps coming up in things I see, songs I hear.

Im self conscience about being in public. I don’t like people talking to me. I never have the right words to say in return. Don’t like crossing the street I feel like the people in the cars are watching me. Don’t like traveling out of my circle. Like you, I feel like all eyes are on me. I don’t want to stand out in the crowd. I don’t want to be noticed. I don’t want to chat with strangers. It gives me anxiety.

Here’s the truth. I’m not watching you. I am sure you are not watching me. I don’t go around judging people, making fun of them. Oh I wonder about their life. I wonder how they got so fat. I wonder what happened to their missing leg. I try not to stare, but I do sometimes. I know you feel the same as me. Just as uneasy, nervous, scared, a wreck. We all are; I found my freedom.

My kids gave me the freedom to be alive. I skip in the mall. I sing stupid songs. I laugh out loud. I live with no anxiety about anything. They were my freedom. My heroes. No judgement required.

May 11, 2011

Walk a mile

Walk a mile in my shoes

I was listening to pandora last night, Everlast. There is nothing I don’t like about his music. It has a southern soulful sound to it. It has a sense of meaning to me. I can relate. A song from Eminem came on, beautiful. I’m not a huge fan of his music but this particular song influenced me. If you get a chance listen.

I don’t pretend to know anything, no nothing at all.
I don’t pretend to be smart
I don’t pretend to be tall

Life has afforded me great things
But great things need life
I have failed them all

I’ve tried so hard
The tears I have wept
The promises I’ve made
The lies I’ve kept

I suppose this sums up the life each one of us has had to lead at one time or another. Those are not the words from is song. I didn’t want to copy. From the very poor to the very rich life is complicated. Money doesn’t change that or make it better. Emotionally it is the about the same, extracting the from the equation those who are insane, mental, you get the point. No matter who you are or what you do you have to dealt with the human plight of emotions. Walk a mile in sorrow, happiness, fear. I know there are you’s out there that can’t relate, can’t feel another’s pain because you have never faced the tragedy. You will in one way or another. You have in your on way.

When I was little I lived on the outskirts of tornado alley. I grew up in segregation and I’m not that old. I have seen devastation. I have had a friend die at the hands of a bomb in Afghanistan, been addicted to drugs, lied for the benefit of me, and never made amends for the things I did to another. I have been made the fool, made a fool of you. I have cheated; I have deceived. I have done terrible things as part of my life.

I have help a friend, showed kindness where there was none. I have cared about issues, stood my ground in the defense of others. I have brought two beautiful children into this world. I have cried for your pain, and lent a hand to the fallen. I have apologized for the feelings I hurt, and felt compassion for the wrong doings of others. I have brought happiness, love and joy where there was sorrow. I have done good things.

That should be about a mile if indeed it can’t be measured. You know me better, but there isn’t much there that is different from you. Maybe you weren’t addicted to drugs or seen a disaster first hand. Both are unique, tragic. The disaster is an act of mother nature. Tornados are amazing, incredible things until they destroy your home. Drugs. I loved them, but they destroy your life. Most who used will agree in one aspect or another. Segregation afforded me perspective. A mile in the shoes.

Nothing I have done that follows me down the road I am on serves regret. I don’t hide from the past. It doesn’t torment me. I don’t let it. My miles have been long. It’s been a dusty road. One that feels no sorrow for my pains. I don’t want it to. I made all my choices. I stand by all my decisions, every one no matter how stupid they were.

Walk a mile in anyones shoes and you will see that they are much like you. Every emotion we have is called the same. Everyday begins and ends the same. Every mile is measured the same. It’s what we do with those emotions that make us different.