Wednesday, July 30, 2008
Monday, July 28, 2008
Below is a video of Amma, "The Hugging Saint," at a visit in New York City.
How do you get your hugs?
Friday, July 25, 2008
And here are all three kids, setting off on a destiny of swimming from one end to the other, without stopping.
One lone swimmer makes it.
Even Robert Redford, who says he grew up swimming in Barton Springs, has jumped into the debate. He co-produced a documentary, The Unforseen. The trailer has a nice panoramic view of the Springs, and, more importantly, a sweeeet shot of Redford looking his environmental activist hottie best.
Ok, so after looking over this post, I gotta go back.
Blind Salamanders, make room!
Wednesday, July 23, 2008
Breathe deep. Fears aside. Focus on a solution.
So last night at 10:30pm SAM gets out his saw and three slats of 1 x 6 boards that happen to be in our garage (thank you, thank you), and on our driveway, under the light of the moon, he proceeds to cut the boards to fit across the bed frame.
And oh my goddess, what a difference! Support! I woke up feeling like a million bucks.
Sunday, July 20, 2008
Of course, I didn't copy the receipt right away. It sat in my appointment book where the dreaded smudge occurred.
What is it with today's receipts? Printed on soft, shiny paper, the fragile figures smear and fade, so that come tax time all the important numbers have disappeared. Its a conspiracy, but by whom? And for what purpose, exactly?
The store logo is there, however. Indelible, for the world to see. How is that? They've somehow figured out how to leave their permanently legible, fireproof, will survive in a nuclear holocaust advertisement.
But I digress. The rebate form, also printed on this shiny paper, has two critically smudged numbers: the rebate number and the P.O. Box number where the form gets mailed for processing. I've heard it said, if one tiny number is incorrectly copied, NO REBATE FOR YOU, SUCK-UH!
So I spent the better part of my Saturday afternoon with my strongest reading glasses on, under the brightest reading lamp, trying unsuccessfully to deciper the smudged numbers. Got my son involved in the investigation with his perfect vision. Together we pieced together a few more numbers with a bit more clarity but not the whole series.
Panic rising, I then follow the "What to do if you have questions" portion of the form. It directs me to to the Office Despot website. Click on the supciously cheery link, "If you're looking for a mail-in savings form, you're in the right place."
More hard-to-read numbers are required: Product SKU, Model Number and Offer Number, none of which are labeled as such on the receipt. But I make a determined effort, tentatively plugging in scads of alpha-numerics. Press "SUBMIT" and .... The webmaster's reply: "No records were found that matched your request." Again and again, failed attempts to deliver the website generated mail in form. Arghghgh.
This image lifted from Tobiasly’s Blog, a fellow cynic who thinks Office Despot has a scam going.
"This is exactly why they offer these %$^#$! rebates!" Says SAM.
"That and the corporate powers intend to keep consumers confused and sleep deprived so we'll hand over our credit cards without hesitation." Say I.
Thursday, July 17, 2008
Tuesday, July 15, 2008
Sunday, July 13, 2008
.....................Above the ordering counter, you can see the original exterior
........................shed roof that used to surround the old gas station.
The tables, every last one of them, are covered in hand carvings: the traditional initials and sentimental "I heart Katies." But also state names such as MICHIGAN, first and last names in full. It's all sanctioned, encouraged in fact, by the owners. Each of my kids have their initials on a table, somewhere in the place. I can't remember which table, exactly.
We sat after our meal looking around while the kids played video games, digesting our lunch (thinking I could eat another burger!) and taking in the rustic details. SAM kept saying, "everytime I come here I see something different."
But when it comes to ordering, SAM and I always get the same thing: a burger and fries. Delivered in one of those cheap, colorful plastic baskets, lined with paper.
For my burger: mustard and pickles only. This time, however, I ordered mine a little different. Quite possibly a sign that I've finally and officially shed my northeast palate and exchanged it for true Texican: mustard, pickles and japs. Jalapeno peppers, that is. Lots of 'em. You're looking at SAM's burger, above, by the way. No lettuce and tomato on mine, thanks.
Here's a burger, below, (courtesy google) loaded with japs.
I wondered as I sat there looking around, why I like this beat up, dive of a burger joint so much. What is it about looking at all the old, in some cases forgotten memorabilia that I find so appealing? It shows that time is noone's friend, afterall. It shows us that in two generations, that which we know changes and disappears from the landscape. Not so pleasant to think about.
Maybe the answer has exactly to do with the rapidly changing times we live in. That it's comforting to be in the presence of familliar momentos, to surround ourselves with a roadmap of where we've been since we can't see the road to where we're going. Or maybe its the old memories these sights conjure up. Takes us back to simpler times. The Kendall motor oil sign, for example, reminds me of the auto parts store in my neighborhood when I was four years old. Big and round, it hung, suspended on a metal arch.
My older brother and I would walk down to the auto parts store, pennies in hand to put in the gumball machine. Nothing beat the clink of the coin, the turn of the metal dial, the anticipation, waiting to see which color would be delivered into our waiting hands, fingers curled just so to catch it, steady eye on that little trap door.
Or, maybe the answer has to do with the burgers. Plain and simple. Damn good burgers.
Thursday, July 10, 2008
One of the things I love about "the internets" is the ready availability of answers. Answers in pictures, even. A virtual, day or night, daily updated encyclopedia.
Last night, for instance. I'm reading For Love, by Sue Miller. The heroine keeps mentioning the "porte cochere" on her neighbor's house. Its part of the story.
What the heck is a porte cochere?
I get out of bed. Sit at keyboard. Open Google. Type 12 letters in the long blank box. Hit return. Voila.
French for "coach door," it says. "The architectural term for a porch or portico-like structure at a main or secondary entrance to a building, through which it is possible for a horse and carriage or motor vehicle to pass, in order for the occupants to alight under cover, protected from the weather."
So one of those side-of-house car port thingies.
Oh, but wrong, continues my other late night resource, Wiki.
"Porte-cochères should not be confused with carports in which vehicles are parked; at a porte-cochère the vehicle merely passes through, stopping only for a passenger to get out."
So now I know.
Back to the story.
Wednesday, July 09, 2008
Laurie at three dog blog tagged me with ... drumroll ... my first meme! I'm obviously new at this or I wouldn't be excited. To be more accurate, this is the first meme I will have completed. I believe I was tagged first by motherscribe with a six-word-meme. I had every intention of completing the meme (complememing?) but somehow I let the moment pass.
Five Blogs that Catch my Fancy. I chose the kind of blogs I went looking for when I first jumped into the blogosphere, just over six months ago. I hoped to commune with psychologists, therapists and therapy types. Not just blurbs about research and the like, but a mix of psychology, therapy, and self.
Here's my list in (more or less) alphabetical order.
alison at woman and child first shares an inviting blend of psychology, art, music, and ..... in her words, the odd bathroom sink.
ann at eclectic blog is a therapist, photographer and mommy. Wonderful warm pics featuring her divine miss em.
health psych is an ussie psychologist who mixes good health news with music and funny videos, plus bits about herself and family.
slutty mcwhore Who is this brazen hussy? I had to know. A sex worker, she does a specialized brand of "therapy," many would say. Not your ordinary slutstress, she recently earned her masters degree while training for a marathon. She keeps it honest and real and insightful.
therapy doc at everyone needs therapy is a PhD social worker and family therapist. I was immediately drawn in by her blog name, being in complete agreement. Conflict of interest aside, of course. I keep going back for her wise professional insights and personal sentiments.Note: When I first was trying to figure out what a meme was, I thought it was pronounced me-me. (Hint for newbies, it rhymes with theme).
Monday, July 07, 2008
The afterglow, gazebo style:
The neighbors who threw the bbq said, "All these years we've had that gazebo, nobody has ever used it."
I'd say we gave it the proper christening!
Thursday, July 03, 2008
We typically hear news stories about adult transsexuals who have "transitioned" to the opposite sex,meaning they have undergone hormonal therapy and surgery in order to officially become and live as the gender of their choice.
The above photo is Mianne Bagger, a professional golfer who transitioned to a woman when she was 29 years old. She is the first (known) transsexual to play in a professional golf tournament.
What we don't hear much about is young children who solely identify with the opposite sex gender - young children diagnosed with Gender Identity Disorder, for example.
What happens when a young boy wants to wear dresses, play exclusively with dolls and other traditionally "girl" toys, and rejects typically masculine interests? Or a girl who insists she is a boy, who refuses to wear dresses, who wants only to play with the boys in her neighborhood, and who feels disgusted by the idea that she should "act more like a girl?" And what happens when parents pressure these kids to conform and they start acting out in extreme ways?
How do psychologists advise the parents of children such as these? Make the child give up their favorite toys and force them to conform? Or allow the child to go to school as the opposite sex gender?
According to a two-part news story aired by National Public Radio, each of these might be recommended, depending on which psychologist is consulted:
Part 1 : Two families, two treatments
Part 2 : Treatment to delay puberty
I occasionally treat people with transgender issues. I don't have an opinion as to which treatment is better for children, however. I think it is a highly individualistic decision that depends entirely on the child and the unique circumstances (as should all treatment decisions).
I do, however, have a wish. I wish that people could learn greater tolerance of gender identity differences. That little girls who want Tonka trucks are embraced. That boys who want to wear dresses, pink frills and tap shoes are accepted.
Maybe if society deemed gender as a fluid concept rather than a "set in stone" assignment, fewer parents would need to give hormones to their children. Fewer adults would feel the need to surgically alter their bodies.
Let boys be feminine. Let girls be masculine. It can all be good.
I know I'm looking at this in an overly simplistic way. I know it's idealistic. It won't solve every transgender problem, of course. But it sure couldn't hurt.
For a moving video clip on transgenderism, click here.Have questions about gender identity and transgenderism? The American Psychological Association webpage answers some of them, here.
Thanks to feministgal for posting the links to this NPR piece here.
Side note: You probably noticed that my blog post just boomaranged from the rough and tumble rawhide story of Texas barbeque to accounts of boys who choose to live as girls. Please be tolerant. My blog is experiencing identity confusion.