Sunday, May 15, 2016

Political, for a minute: Prop 123

Image result for prop 123
I don't normally wax political on this blog, but I'm going to today.

I'll keep it quick! :)

In my social (media) circles, there's been a lot of debate about Prop 123, which I mostly enjoy.  And learn from.  However, lately it's turned into an us vs. them type of rhetoric, focusing especially on, "If you don't vote for Prop 123, you're hurting education."

Which may not be entirely true.  I feel that supporters of 123 are overlooking the fact that, if enacted, Propl 123 will put into place a constitutional LIMIT on what can be spent on education in Arizona.  That limit does not exist now.   Obviously, that's not preventing current legislators from UNDER-funding education, you'll get no argument from me about that.  But when 123 is categorized as a poison pill, that is sadly probably going to be accurate.  I think within 6 years, we will regret passing it.

I also understand that sometimes you make horrible compromises in life, just to get by.  And the people that are currently in the trenches clearly feel it is time to take the money and hope that poison isn't deadly.  We're pretty used to toxic in Arizona, I guess.

But I know some people who care very deeply about education in AZ and are against 123.  Not because they don't like kids or schools or education, but because they are (rightly, I think) suspicious of the big wad of cash and the promises from the same people who got us into this tight spot.  Why are they basically paying us to not bother with the details, not look too closely, just take the money, be thankful, and move on?

What's funny is that when my kids were in a certain local elementary district, I HATED it when their response to parent questions was, "We're the professionals.  We know better.  Just do it our way, or else."  (You can tell, charters were pretty new when my kids were young!).  I didn't like it then and I don't like it now BUT I'm willing to try to give schools what they want.  What the heck.

But I do reserve the right to say, "I told you so."  Unless we voters really change who we're sending to the state capitol, we will probably regret this.  I call, in about six years.

Wednesday, May 4, 2016


Just in time for Mother's Day, this poem surfaced, written a while ago, but I'm finding that it both brings back memories of a younger me, and still applies . . .


I had 2 babies & the babies grew

One born in autumn as the winds spun through
One in the summer as the days grew long

I had 2 babies & the babies grew

A girl with the spirit of sun and moon
A boy with the strength of earth and shield

I had 2 babies & the babies grew

Now I am a woman coursing through these days
Now I'm a woman with this older face
Now I'm the mother of this family
Of this child, and this child
Who look like me, but who have become
Their own, fierce and strong
     wind blows them,
     rain soaks them,
     sun warms them,
     night rests them

And me, too.

I had 2 babies & the babies grew

May they grow
May they grow
May they grow.

Tuesday, December 8, 2015

Random Thoughts . . .

1.  I'm pretty sure Trump's campaign started out as a big publicity stunt/ego boost/joke and now he wants to back out but, you know, not look like he's backing out, so he's saying the most ridiculous, extremist things he can possible think of.  Trying to bait a backlash, so he is 'forced' to back out, probably blaming the hateful media, crazy liberal PC-police, whatever.  Yet every time he raises the rhetoric, people eat it up.  Then outcry.  I absolutely believe he will not get the nomination, so we should just ignore this little tantrum and every other one.

The more subtle danger is that with all the outcries over Trumpisms, no one is actually paying attention to any of the other candidates, one of which WILL be the nominee.  And I'm going to regret that the other Republicans haven't already gutted him by the time he gets to the national contest.  Means the actual campaign may be brutal . . .

2.  Let's just agree that ANYone, regardless of color of skin, type of headwear, gender, anything, ANYone who randomly shoots up a room-full, school-full, business-full, street-full of people is, indeed mentally messed up.  It's not a distinguishing factor.  They are mentally ill.  Doesn't mean there shouldn't be appropriate measures taken to prevent the shootings and, when they happen, respond to them.  There is NO REASON for police or others to try to discover 'why' they did it.  Will that make a difference to the victims?  I suppose for purposes of deciding if it's a 'hate crime' because that has legal implications.  But, again, can't we assume the person was definitely hating others at the time of the shooting??

And as long as a kid who has brown or black skin can get shot & killed for having a toy gun or throwing a rock at the wrong time & place, but a white skinned kid can shoot & kill strangers and be calmly arrested, we have to acknowledge we have a PROBLEM.

3.  Whoever the hell runs the "800 Service" that keeps calling my house, even though I am definitely on the Do Not Call List, should be marched out and everyone who receives these calls (but there is NEVER anyone there!!  I'm wondering if it's some sort of weird enforced exercise program, as I always get up to see who's calling??)--but every recipient gets to throw a water balloon or something at them--one for EVERY CALL.  Would that stop them??

4.  There is no war on religion, IMHO, but there is so definitely a war on public schools.  If I want to get into camouflage and just fight for our local schools, and the community they build, and the democracy they strengthen, is that so wrong?

Probably.  But how about, every parent who volunteers in a classroom, or in the office, or walks to pass an override, all of you get to say that you have worked to prevent gun violence, because I think that is exactly what you are doing.

May all your fights be good ones . . .

Thursday, August 20, 2015

On the Necessity of Moodling . . .

"So you see the imagination needs moodling,--long, inefficient, happy idling, dawdling and puttering.  These people who are always briskly doing something and as busy as waltzing mice, they have little, sharp, staccato ideas, such as:  'I see where I can make an annual cut of $3.47 in my meat budget.'  But they have no slow, big ideas."

This is from Brenda Ueland's If You Want to Write, A Book about Art, Independence and Spirit.  (The lack of Oxford comma is hers, not mine! :)).

It is a lovely, affirming book originally from 1938 which still has much that I need to hear about writing.

But I'm finding that I think so much of it applies to parenting nowadays, too.

I love this idea of moodling.  As parents, as kids, shoot probably as grandparents, we all to to moodle now and then.  Don't we?  We need to just hang out, do nothing, stick our feet in the water, poke sticks, whatever.  In all the politicking and test-creating and all the things going on today, I just want to send this bit of support out there for all the parents who may have or be moodlers.

What I love about Brenda's very subjective attitude is not just that this is a necessary evil, to let ourselves or our kids just hang out, do nothing, play in the mud, but that it is mandatory to creating better ideas, to building the big thoughts, the great ideas.  They take time, and quiet, and just . . . whatever.  Not hours of homework or drilling or focus or any of that.  Moodling.

Some more of her chapter titles:  Everybody is talented, original and has something important to say.

Yep, applies to kids, too!  (Though I can admit, listening to those four-year-old's existential knock-knock jokes takes a special kind of saintly patience!).

Be careless, reckless!  Be a lion, be a pirate, when you write.  Again, I think this applies to parenting and child-ing as well.

Welcome back to back-to-school, parents, it is the best time of year!  And feel no guilt, no guilt at all, if you hang at a coffee shop with friends, if you tinker in the yard, if you join your kids in after-school ice cream instead of jumping into homework.  Moodle away.  It's creating genius.

Thursday, May 7, 2015

The Bright Red Stapler of Life ... or How I Hold it All Together ;)

The Bright Red Stapler of Life

I don't, actually, hold it all together.  Things are crazy-falling-apart right now.  But you know what?  Aren't they always??  And the best way to handle crazy is to just Run Away.

And if I can't run away to Mexico (but I will!  and soon!  any day now!!), I can at least run away from the real world.  I used to turn to books for that (still do, can't lie about that), but lately I've been hiding out in theaters.

There are more people around!  And sometimes snacks and drinks :).  And so much creativity and energy and crazy-talented-people, that my own life is brightened by the experience.

So if anyone is looking for fun, for escape, for music, for inspiration, or just for a night on the town, I've got a couple of suggestions.

1.  Brelby Theater out in Glendale.  I'm hearing Great Things about their Little Women, on right now.  And they run classes--everything from improv to playwriting to stage combat--and it seems like they've always got something going on.  You never have to spend a night home alone again if you can get out to their store-front theater in downtown Glendale.

They've got an Indiegogo campaign up and running right now (here), if you're feeling generous.

2.  Class 6 Theater in the Mesa Arts Center.  (I'm on their board, disclosure moment there) but it's BECAUSE they're super cool.  That came first.  They're selling tickets to what sounds like a very original 12th Night, with music (not just the food-of-love variety), violence (of course), and some of Arizona's best local talent.  Some profiled here.

I guess I can say these actors really Swinglines like pros!! ;)

Wednesday, April 8, 2015

Argumentative, much?

I literally cannot think of something I would not disagree with right now.

I'm thinking specifically of all the marketing advice I've been reading/getting lately, which all seems like so much optimistic (if data-rich) hokum.  But also life advice.  Also writing advice (not that I'm doing much of that these days, but that might change for a little while).

But if someone came up and said, "You're beautiful," I'd probably just snort and worry about their eyesight.

"It's a beautiful day," is close.  It is.  But the neighbor's yard guys are also mow-&-blowing crap all over my yard, so I can't really go out in it.  But it does look nice.  If you can get past all that global warming stuff . . .

Is this being in-your-40s?  We think we know everything?  (although, don't we?)

"Want some more coffee?"  No.

"You should run the world."  Hmmm, now there's a tempting one.  But seriously, that would probably piss me off, too.  Because I know the world would not listen & obey like it should and then we'd have to threaten, then back up the threat, and that just goes metaphorically nuclear way too fast.

Being in-our-40s means so much more time handling health issues, and working a lot harder at keeping what little health there is left.  Also, really appreciating any pain-free moments.  Your own body aching at you all the time, I wasn't warned about that.  It's annoying.

Also, now part of spring cleaning is updating all my passwords.  This is going to be a two-day process.  And I've got to secretly note them down somewhere--because there is NO FREAKIN WAY to remember all of them--but in such a way that someone breaking in could not figure them out.  I've done such a good job at this I have to call my bank every time, because I can't figure out my own secretive code.  But when they get to the part that they can't tell me anymore, they'll have to reset everything, it all falls into place.  "Wait!  I've got it!" and then I can get in.  I'm like that little old lady who calls to talk to the nice young man.  Every. Time.

"You should just relax and have a muffin."  Oh god, a muffin.  Brilliant, except, you know, carbs.  On the first day god made muffins, sat back and enjoyed things for a while, that's probably what started the big bang and everything else.  Next we'll all be making them out of quinoa and fruit and chia seeds and calling those unholies muffins . . . ah well.  For health!

Still battling the dragon of Should, that stupid, pointless word.  Poisonous.  40s should mean could, would . . . have ;)

Perhaps what seems like disputatiousness is actually a surfeit of Will.  Since that is what it takes to get through some of these days.  A strong and sometimes overbearing will, not intending to do harm, simply intending to gird up and survive.

So to all who would like one, a lovely day.  It will probably be one.  To the rest of us, a day.  We will be having a day.  No arguing with that.  (Unless, of course, you're dead, then no day for you, but you probably still won't be arguing, at least not in a way we will have to deal with . . . )

{Okay, for the sake of this concept, I tried to take a picture of my hair, thinking that "You need a haircut," was something I could agree with.  Would have no choice, really.  And I sent it to myself to be able to post.  But it has not arrived.  So to whom did I send a picture of my hideous hair?!?!?!?  I deeply apologize to the recipient . . . }

Thursday, February 5, 2015

What If . . .

(Thank you, Creative Commons!)
What if . . .
we had two different words (at least) for believe?  I believe it's Tuesday, compared to I believe there is life after death.  I'm pretty sure you are using different parts of your brain for those different types of understanding/relating.  I think they deserve different verbs.

What if . . .
every child could have basic health care as a human right?

What if . . .
I could make a lot of money??

What if . . .
a college degree actually helped people figure out what they're good at, what they want to do, and what they will get paid to do.

What if . . .
all three of the above could be the same thing?!?!

What if . . .
Democrats could win campaigns in Arizona?

What if . . .
you could capture the weather of a day like today and keep it for when you really needed it?

What if . . .
you could train the @#$% cat to use the litter box AT ALL TIMES, no matter how ticked off they are at whatever injustice life is throwing them.

What if . . .
grown sons could laugh with their moms like when they were little?

What if . . .
roofs never needed replacing?  Aaaahhhh . . .

What if . . .
we could find a way to replenish clean water?

What if . . .
we could use waste products/trash to generate energy?

What if . . .
we understood hormones better, and they didn't always keep changing on us?  (and changing us)?

What if . . .
we could prove that every one--every single person on the planet--gets exactly the same amount of happiness allotted to them?  So although you might think someone else is richer, so must be happier; or healthier, so must be happier; or more powerful, so must be happier; what if we knew that nope, we're all going to end up with mathematically exactly the same amounts of misery and happiness as everyone else?  Would that change anything?