Tuesday, June 30, 2009
FALL BACK IN LOVE WITH THIS!*
*or maybe even: "Just fall back..."
I can see MTV (yea, when they played music videos, I know)...watching "The Making of Thriller"....my kids lined up in a row in front of the TV...fascinated....memorizing the words AND the dance moves....who were my babies kidding?....they were practicing those head snaps and pelvic things....so was I...
And the conversations that traveled around the table as MJ's appearance became stranger and stranger...and whiter and whiter....and then the accusations.....thankfully my children were older and we didn't have to "explain" things so much...they were moving onward and outward and finding other music and interests....they were outgrowing the King of Pop....
Their Dad and I looked at him this way..."Take the celebrity out of it and make him our neighbor...our freaky, one-gloved, military-apparel-wearing neighbor".....heck no, kids, you are NOT going over there to play...no way on this green earth, I don't care how many chimpanzees are playing on his backyard roller coaster....huh uh....nope....but the guy sure can sing and dance can't he?.....
Good bye Michael....thank you for the memories.....thank you for the talent.....the rest of the stuff you were burdened with I pray you can resolve now in a court of justice and mercy....God be with you...
Monday, June 29, 2009
There! I said it. They have no self-restraint. They are rude. They text during dinner, when guests are over, during "family time", during church...and on and on.
We went to a meeting at our Bishop's house last night. They are quaintly referred to as "firesides". There was no fire unless you count the middle-aged women who had just walked in from the 110-degree heat in the desert. We have to shake off the flames to sit on the furniture....but I digress. Our sweet bishop met with the parents of our youth to, basically, give us a good talking to about our own children. They aren't quite measuring up....Church standard-wise. Some are....some aren't. When he was asked about cell phones, he said that if his children were teens (and one of his children, a daughter, was right there in the room because she's the Young Women's President) the only cell phone would be in the glove compartment of the car for emergency use ONLY and there would certainly NEVER be texting on it. NEVER. I have to give this man props...he "walks the walk"....all of his kids...ALL....are stalwarts...
"Texter's thumb" (texting tendinitis) is now a condition....much like "tennis elbow". Now, I'm not talking about responsible adults who know when to stop or those who use it to facilitate meetings, etc. Don't compare the use of adolescent texting with adults who hold down jobs or school or other responsible endeavors. It's apples-to-oranges time here and you'll just make yourself look stupid...I'm talking to you, petulant adolescent!
Also, there is "texting addiction" that is getting more and more attention. There are four signs that you may have a problem.
Experts say that there are four distinct symptoms to diagnosing texting as a mental illness:
- Excessive use (neglect day to day activities)
- Withdrawal ( feeling depressed when not accessible)
- Tolerance (over texting)
- Negative repercussion ( social isolation)
I'm talking about the way-out-of-control-use of adolescents who have no boundaries. They have no self-restraint. They've been given the use of a technology without being taught the consequences of the abuse of that technology. And the consequences? Alienation of their friends and family when they're not interacting with them while in the same room because they're texting other ignorant adolescents...ignoring guests that are RIGHT IN FRONT OF THEM to texts other ignorant adolescents....not listening to those speaking RIGHT IN FRONT OF THEM because they're texting other ignorant adolescents....And have I mentioned that your credibility has taken a SERIOUS hit? I don't want to trust you with anything more serious than walking the dog...and even THAT has me worried....so don't ask me why I have issues with letting you drive or stay out late or anything else that requires that use of a brain and responsible discretion....you haven't demonstrated it....
You wish to demonstrate to the adults in your life that you can handle responsibility?...that you know how to step into adulthood?....tell your parents that you recognize texting is a bad habit and maybe, possibly, it's out of your control. You've met one or more of those four criteria named above and you don't want to be a slave to it anymore. You want respect and credibility and perhaps even some leadership responsibility placed upon you? Cool. Let's do it. Drop that texting. Cancel that service. Your life opens up. Really. I promise. You get to actually interact with people. Look them in the eye...hear their voices....watch their nonverbals....study their body language....learn all kinds of interesting things....things you will NEVER learn from texting....over 80% of communication is non-verbal and visual....think of what you will learn when you stop texting....
talking to your friends and family has worked for eons....talking...actually verbalizing....whodda thunk it?
Saturday, June 27, 2009
Did you know that you have to turn over your photo ID to even look at the model apartment? Did you know that? Is that standard operating procedures everywhere or just here?
And then there was the long ride from the desert into the "big city" that Peter and I had to take together....did I mention that we never see each other, thus forcing us to "make nice", as well as make conversation?...yea....
The "fun" part of the ride was driving along the Ramona Expressway where Peter got a speeding ticket last week (which he is contesting) and me (at his request, because let's face it, I wouldn't do this of my own volition for love nor money) video taping (working title "Entire Stretch of the Ramona Expressway") the ENTIRE STRETCH OF THE EXPRESSWAY to PROVE ONCE AND FOR ALL that there are NO POSTED SPEED LIMIT SIGNS....that's right....Deb Spielberg, at your service.....that was a joyful experience....me armed and taping with Peter shouting out commentary; mileage; cross streets; names of diary farms (?); and other seemingly pertinent information for the sake of....who?....who is going to watch the entire ten minutes of this riveting piece of work? I should post it for those of you with difficulties sleeping because it would do the trick...oh yes...it would do the trick....
So after the "Expressway To Nowhere", we were alternately talking and not talking. We don't listen to the radio because Peter doesn't like music. He likes "people". Okay. So now I sneakily put ONE of my IPod ear buds in my right ear and stealthily slide the music button on....yea....I'm a she-devil....and carelessly tap my feet and hum snatches of tunes...I would have gotten away with it if I hadn't spoken/croaked "my life would suck without you".....Dang you Kelly Clarkson!!!!....because as soon as I sang/croaked it....(MINDLESSLY mind you), Peter asks, "Really? Why is that?" and I had to scramble to figure out what he was talking about and then come up with a good enough to answer, which wasn't...good enough....and he knew...but he forgave me because he knows that at least my IPod was only in one ear and I was attempting to talk....cranky loner that I now am......
OTHER THINGS WE TALKED ABOUT:
me: I changed up the way I dried off after my shower today.
me: Yea. I thought I'd just be different and change it up...break up the routine.
him: How'd that work for ya?
me: I missed some spots.
me: I think the little dog may be stupid.
him: Why do you say that?
me: Cause sometimes I don't like him.
him: Deb. That doesn't make him stupid.
Yea. It's that sparklingly, charming dialogue that keeps us bubbly and zesty....kinda like a good salad dressing or carbonated beverage. Dontcha think?
Friday, June 26, 2009
I know he's being helpful but when I wake up in the middle of the night, really...all I want to do is stay as far away from consciousness as I can....really....I don't want to talk....I don't want to move....I don't want to do anything that requires a lot of cognitive processing....because if I cross a threshold into consciousness, that's it....I'm awake...and I will remain awake until dawn....not only will I remain awake until dawn, I will remain fully awake and alert until approximately 5 minutes before the alarm goes off at which point I will be in a Stage 4, delta/theta stupor....
So, I try not to interact too much during these times...no talking....no moving....no nothing....because you see, Peter can wake up at 3:00 a.m., walk the dogs, eat a bowl of cereal, and watch a sports program and THEN lay back down on the bed and be asleep BEFORE his cute cranium actually touches the pillow....not that I'm bitter....
Anyway, I was sitting there dealing with this gas bubble behind my left breast that was approximately the size of a Buick...it hurt...meanwhile Peter got up, turned on the closet light, went into the bathroom, got a drink of water.
He gets back into bed, shuts out the light-plunging the once lit room into blackness and begins (of course) to fall into a deep slumber. I'm still sitting up with eyes closed, attempting to dislodge the gas bubble, AKA impending blood clot/embolism/clogged artery/whatever-else-can-go-wrong-scenario and I say, "Oh, that's better. I'm dealing with impending death and you plunged me into the abyss" to which he replies as he turns over, "Let me know if you need anything", only the "anything" was barely audible because he was already falling asleep. Nice.
So I thought, "What if this really was it!" I panicked because my children and friends would have to go "through my house and things" and I still had lime stains in the toilet bowl. How whacked is THAT? And then I thought of each room of the house and thought (again), "Lime stains? That's the least of my worries. My loved ones would have to traverse through mounds of clutter and debris that would make those deeply disturbed hoarder reality shows look like The Donna Reed Show...so now I have house anxiety on top of death anxiety...what's that? consciousness?...oh yea....here it is....fully awake now....hello darkness...hello night time....hello quiet....lay back, get comfy, as comfy as you can with an alien getting ready to claw and kick its way out of your rib cage just so it can mock your lack of house-cleaning skills....go ahead, I'll be here all night, right up until 5:55....and then I'll fall asleep....
Wednesday, June 24, 2009
Saturday, June 20, 2009
Friday, June 19, 2009
Today it was a lady that was just homeless. I saw her at the end of the exit ramp as I was behind a long semitrailer truck. I had plenty of time to see her and get a buck ready. As usual, she was invisible to everyone else. In 1996, the Conference of Mayors (yea, I don't know where that was either) determined that 14% of the urban homeless in 29 cities was female. That was 13 years ago. I don't think it's gotten any better. In 2005, the Conference of Mayor took another poll (they are a busy lot, those mayors) and in half of the cities polled it was determined that domestic violence accounted for half...HALF...of the homeless families (that's moms and children). A study in Toronto found that homeless women under the age of 45 are ten (10!!!) times more likely to die than other women their age. One of the researchers of the study said, "Women don't fit the stereotype of homelessness, he said. "Most people imagine an older man sitting on a street corner. The women tend to make themselves less visible. They avoid putting themselves in the public eye."
I don't really know what the point of this post is. I'm frustrated and more than a little guilty that I haven't done more, I suppose. As I drove past this sister, I slowed down and she smiled, which is what she always does to anyone who stops, I'm relatively certain. But I purposely touched her hand. There was no one behind me and I didn't care anyway. We just held hands for the briefest moment and I said, "God bless you" and she kept smiling and said thank you...but the moment held more for me than her...it was just another day for her, sitting in the sun, another car, another person...but for me it was a sister with pretty eyes whose hand was warm and her voice was raspy and she was about my size and height and she had to sit on a wooden box that probably hurts. She's a daughter of God. Just like me. Nothing is different about us relative to that. Not one thing. Not. One. Thing.
Wednesday, June 17, 2009
Anyway, I was getting my brows waxed the other day at Walmart...yes....Walmart....and this was a real luxury ladies because we are biting the bullet here at the house....no extras for anything....and I got the "usual" comment from the lady...."you want face waxed?"....I always take this to mean that I must look like Wolfman Jack (a 70s reference for you younger folk) and of course I said "no", thinking I'll just go home and boil my face in some kind of horrible acid to remove the top several layers of skin along with the hair because apparently I'm some kind of FREAK OF NATURE....but does this stop the little person ripping the hairs out of my head?....no...she then asks me this...."how 'bout that lip?".... "?"....what?....are you serious?....who am I? Tom Selleck?.....Wilford Brimley?....whattya mean, my lip?....you know, I may color my hair, but I really am blond!....my body hair is blond, it's fine, it's virtually transparent...also, it's FALLING OUT...I'm going bald, lady....EXCEPT FOR MY EYEBROWS!!!!! because you see, irony has moved in and smacked me in the face, particularly over my eyes....so just wax the suckers and leave me the heck alone!!!! Is that possible?????
I'm not even going to mention the time I put Nair up my nose to "experiment"....
Tuesday, June 16, 2009
The latest update on Medscape discusses putting plans in place for multinational companies to prepare for the impact the flu will have on their workforce when it hits. Out of that particular post, we read,
The World Health Organisation (WHO) declared the first 21st century flu pandemic on Thursday and advised governments to prepare for a long-term battle against the new H1N1 flu virus.
The new flu has spread widely after emerging last April in Mexico and the United States. WHO warned the pandemic could last a year or two.
To date, 29,669 cases of H1N1 have been officially reported in 74 countries, including 145 deaths, most of them in Mexico, but the true number of infections is probably many times more.
Dr. Cherry from UCLA pediatrics, who has been through four flu pandemics, figures (as most of the epidemiologists from the WHO) that this will wane for several months and then flare up in the fall. This makes sense. The beginning of school is the start of our cold and flu season. This gives up time to stock up on vitamins, good food, water, groceries, etc.
As I searched through the archives for more information, there were guidelines on what to do relative to school closings. The WHO recommends that if one child is diagnosed with the flu, just one, then the school should be closed. Period.
It's also complicated by the fact that there are other strains out there. I read this: The simultaneous circulation of the highly transmissible novel H1N1 strain, the very virulent H5N1 avian strain, and the oseltamivir-resistant H1N1 seasonal influenza strain is an "unfortunate circumstance," I like the use of the words, "unfortunate circumstance". I think an "unfortunate circumstance" is when I lock my keys in my car. Of course, medical people consider labor pains as "discomfort", so go figure....
The purpose of this post is not to run around freaked out or frightened out of our wits. It's to be informed and prepared. The most effective way to deal with something like this, if at all possible, is social distancing. The pandemic could last 1-2 years. I know. That's a long time to "hide out" and we shouldn't. We should just take precautions. Go slow on shaking hands at Church. Don't go if you or anyone in your family has sniffles. Wash your hands. Don't touch your face. Use common sense. I plan on having a "sick room" in my house. If someone is sick, in they go, hopefully with access to their own bath. One person gets the joy of being the caregiver and no one else gets those blessings :) Guess who that is? :P Em, I'm comin' for you baby girl. Nancy, you'll have your work cut out for you too, girlfriend. Diane, ditto. Jetson, hang in there baby doll. T.T., Duck, Abbadab, Linda, Mary, Marissa, Nelly (Nells, I think you had this thing already), Rachel-are you there?, Cindy, all my sister-friends.....we'll stay positive and connected...right?
We have to remember that in addition to anti-virals, we have the big tools: prayer, faith and love. Take THAT H1N1....unfortunate circumstance my...well...whatev....
Monday, June 15, 2009
Sunday, June 14, 2009
Michael: Oh, okay.
Michael: It's whoever, not whomever.
Ryan: It's whomever.
Michael: No, whomever is never actually right.
Jim: Nope. Sometimes it's right.
Creed: Michael is right. It's a made up word used to trick students.
Andy: No. Actually, whomever is the formal version of the word.
Oscar: Obviously it's a real word- but I don't know how to use it correctly.
Michael: [to camera] Not a native speaker.
Kevin: I know what's right. But I'm not gonna say. Because you're all jerks who didn't come see my band last night.
Ryan: Do you really know which one is correct?
Kevin: I don't know.
Pam: It's whom when it's the object of the sentence and who when as the subject.
Phyllis: That sounds right.
Michael: Well it sounds right, but is it?
Stanley: How did Ryan use it? As an object?
Ryan: As an object.
Kelly: Ryan used me as an object.
Oscar: Is he right about that?
Pam: How did he use it again?
Toby: It was, Ryan wanted Michael, the subject, to explain the computer system, the object.
Michael: Thank you!
Toby: ...to whomever, meaning us, the indirect object. Which is the, the correct usage of the word.
Michael: No one, uh asked you anything ever so whomever's name is Toby, why don't you take a letter opener and stick it in your skull!
Friday, June 12, 2009
This time Uncle Joe put us up at the Venetian...VIP check-in....crazy....two gorgeous beds, sunken living room, a plasma TV with remote in the bathroom...really?....a phone with two lines in the loo 'cause I do sooooo much business on the john....
Cindy and I went to the Wynn and the Encore and were just blown away by the decor....when a structure cost over a billion dollars, the ideal of what it must be like inside is almost intimidating but this place has such a sense of whimsy, it's almost magical....crazy, colorful, almost Tim Burton-ish is places....anyway....enjoy....
Above and below are these HUGE parasols that are suspended over a white marble, winding staircase. It looks out over about a 3 story window that looks out onto a water fall with water sculptures, etc....it's nuts, it's so pretty....I wish I could have used something for scale....perhaps if Cindy had worked harder on her transcendental meditation skills years ago, she could have levitated up next to them for that purpose....next time......
Here's the famous gondolas and singing gondola....um....guys.....they float through these canals inside the Venetian and then float outside to pick up customers....
Above are some draperies with this crazy colored fringe and below is the detail of the fringe....I like fringe....it's fun to say....and it's an area I hang out in....a lot......fringe........
At the Wynn, they have this pretty little garden that you walk through...it's inside....everything is inside....it warps your mind....you could spend days inside and never see natural light...weird.....but there are little twinkle lights up there and these round bouquets of flowers situated up there....below is what you see when you look up.....it's a fairyland up there....
Below is some of the carpet at the Wynn....so bright...so red....so floral.....
The carpet's theme and colors was carried over onto a mosaic on the floor....GORGEOUS....
Detail of the mosaic of the floor....
I don't know what it is about symmetry, but I was often caught off guard by the hallways of the Venetian and the Wynn, and any beautiful place, actually. I love the long beautiful hallways...the endlessness, the repeated pattern...it just holds me.....
And lastly, the pretty little umbrellas suspended over the waterfall...how whimsical is that?....
TTFN Las Vegas......there were other stories....the poor man with the beautiful face whom we stopped and chatted with as we helped pick up his money.....and he told us about picking up the pennies....even the pennies.....there, between the casinos, the mosaic tiles, the fringe, the parasols, the waterfalls, the food....another entry maybe.
Wednesday, June 10, 2009
Time came for all of us to go to the stadium. The grads marched out....I spared you the pics of me standing up and cheering...they were super cheesy....this is the proud papa and I in the golden sun of southern California...it was the special time of day when the sunlight is like a liquid gold...I can't explain it, but it happens....
Afterwards...and I mean AFTERWARDS, because there were several speeches and 514 names that were called...we met on the grounds for pictures and this is the family....from left, David (the grad's bro-in-law), Marissa (the grad's proud sis), Matteo (the grad's step-dad down from Oregon), Nellie (the grad's proud momma), some kid in blue, Pete Jr. (the grad's bro), Peter Sr., (the grad's proud papa) and some pale chick. Look at that group of people...that is a group connected by a deep sense of love for that kid; united in purpose-it was a grand evening....
This is Eli with his siblings....these three kids adore each other....truly....I LOVE LOVE LOVE this picture because it captures their relationship so well. They are physically quite close, very protective of one another, and goofy as all get out.
Proud Dad...proud, happy, thankful....what more can one say?
Afterwards, we headed out for dinner. Here is Eli lovin' on his momma....CUTE!
Here's Peter Jr and Matteo....don't mess with these guys....they will kill you and hold their chins while doing it....they're that scary....*shudder*
Don't get me started with these two....."Men in Whack"
Nellie, Eli, Cassie and Aaron....sweet sweet Aaron....his friend/brother from Church....gotta love that kid......
Well, last one...over...kaput....he made it with his good heart and sweet spirit intact. Next big milestone: THE MISSION! Way to go, Son.....way to go.......
Sunday, June 7, 2009
Below are some of the pictures that we took after the graduation ceremony. We were honored to be there to witness it. Great kids. Great accomplishment. And one of the great payoffs? A diploma with the signature of President Thomas S. Monson on it. WOOT!!!! Take that high school diploma.....neener neener....
The happy family above.
The happy family with the happy (and relieved that it's over) seminary teacher.
Peter and old dear friend, Bishop Verdusco.
Eli and Sister Brown, the great seminary teacher.
Eli and some of his friends (hmmmm.....all girls......) celebrating the day....
The certificate that signifies.....
The signature on the bottom in our sweet and spiritual stake president, whom we adore...The signature on top....the signature of the prophet, Thomas S. Monson whom we pray for daily and sustain and love....ain't no other diploma in the world can top it....the next document he earns with that signature will be his mission call, and that will be an entirely different entry....
Wednesday, June 3, 2009
This was followed by cleaning up a bunch of old wood that was piled up outside of the theater area of his school from a couple of plays that the drama department had produced...and where I personally witnessed two scorpions and killed one...yea...it wasn't very zen of me, but hey, it was a SCORPION...'nuff said...
Here are some pictures...props to the boy...he rocks....all the boys scouts do....they're part of something bigger and better than most of the stuff going on today....rock it dudes!!!!!
Above is the before and below is the after for the stadium.
Below is Elijah (oftentimes referred to as "little Eli")....cute, isn't he?
Below is our killer group of volunteers...they are the best!!!!!
Below is the hideous scorpion mansion before Elijah and the crew cleaned it up and out.
Teamwork, teamwork, teamwork!!!!