Friday, October 31, 2008

You must read this. . .

I found this while reading some comments on Newsvine. Some of the points are more relevant than others, but it certainly makes you think about the role that race plays in this election.

By Anonymous:

It’s a question of perspective : Obama/Biden vs McCain/Palin, what if things were switched around?..... think about it.

Would the country's collective point of view be different?

Ponder the following:

What if the Obamas had paraded five children across the stage, includinga three month old infant and an unwed, pregnant teenage daughter?

What if John McCain was a former president of the Harvard Law Review?
What if Barack Obama finished fifth from the bottom of his graduating class?

What if McCain had only married once, and Obama was a divorcee?

What if Obama was the candidate who left his first wife after a severe disfiguring car accident, when she no longer measured up to his standards?

What if Obama had met his second wife in a bar and had a long affair whilehe was still married?

What if Michelle Obama was the wife who not only became addicted to painkillers but also acquired them illegally through her charitable organization?

What if Cindy McCain graduated from Harvard?

What if Obama had been a member of the Keating Five?(The Keating Five were five United States Senators accused of corruptionin 1989, igniting a major political scandal as part of the larger Savingsand Loan crisis of the late 1980s and early 1990s.)

What if McCain was a charismatic, eloquent speaker?

What if Obama couldn't read from a teleprompter?

What if Obama was the one who had military experience that included discipline problems and a record of crashing seven planes?

What if Obama was the one who was known to display publicly, on many occasions, a serious anger management problem?

What if Michelle Obama's family had made their money from beer distribution?

What if the Obamas had adopted a white child?

You could easily add to this list.

If these questions reflected reality you might wonder would the election numbers be as close as they now are?

Educational Background:
Barack Obama: Columbia University - B.A. Political Science with a Specialization in International Relations.
Harvard - Juris Doctor (J.D.) Magna Cum Laude

Joseph Biden:University of Delaware - B.A. in History and B.A. in Political Science.Syracuse University College of Law - Juris Doctor (J.D.)


John McCain: United States Naval Academy - Class rank: 894 of 899

Sarah Palin: Hawaii Pacific University - 1 semester
North Idaho College - 2 semesters - general study
University of Idaho - 2 semesters - journalism
Matanuska-Susitna College - 1 semester
University of Idaho - 3 semesters - B.A. in Journalism

Maybe we feel that the White House should be the place where "Joe Six-pack" meets the leaders of the world and where the most honored profession on earth is Joe the Plumber who practices plumbing without a license and is an admitted tax-dodger. Admittedly, education isn't everything, but this is about the two highest offices in the land as well as our standing in the world. You make the call as to why you personally think the race is as close as it is. Talk to your conscience and God about it.

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Mother's Day Out

. . . this has been irking me for some time. . . There is no DAY out, as if once a month these moms get a day to deep clean the house, or have a spa treatment, a morning out with the girls that will tide them over until next month

. . . no. . . Mother's Day Out is anywhere from 2-5 days a week for about 4 hours per day. Most of the kids these programs service are young enough that you can't even really call it pre-school. You know what that is people?

It is called part-time daycare for the stay-at-home mom with discretionary funds.

Not that there is anything wrong with that, if I had extra funds I'd do it too (rather than spend every moment of every day in the sheer bliss of mommydom--with no grandparents, aunts or uncles even to babysit every once in a while)

...but let's call it what it is! (and then never badmouth the moms who take their kids to daycare)

Sunday, October 26, 2008


Do you remember Halloween costumes when you were young? I remember I never had a store-bought costume; they were always homemade. One that was popular in my family because it required really very little work was a Hobo. . . have you ever gone as a Hobo? We would don old torn dirty clothing, with maybe a few patches. Then we would take some ash or charcoal from the wood-burning stove and dirty ourselves up a bit. The last step involved putting all of one's worldly possessions in a handkerchief, tying it around a stick and slinging it over one's back.

I was thinking about Hobo's the other day, since Halloween is right around the corner... I have no idea the exact time-frame, but weren't they the vagabonds during the Great Depression, roaming around the country, jumping on and off trains?

Can you imagine going as a modern-day Hobo. . . which is essentially a homeless person and calling it that?

A: What are you dressing up as for Halloween?

B: A homeless person. . . isn't that clever?

Somehow I don't think the reception would be the same...

Saturday, October 25, 2008

Musings. . .

Have you ever noticed that when people talk about a female actress (they are all female-right?) who is very good they use the word "actor" as if that somehow connotes a much more serious, much more talented professional being? "Actress" is then reserved, almost as an insult, for the grossly undertalented, those with a tendency for superficial characters and plots, those perhaps chosen for reasons other than acting merit.

The lesson: if you are good enough, you can be called what men are called, if you suck you are stuck with a girly title.

What are male actors called who don't make the "real acting" grade?

I don't think it's fair. . .

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

15 minutes of Mom's Club fame

There have been a lot of things I have thought of writing about, but haven't found the energy. So, I'll post this: I belong to a MOM's Club. Mostly I am too lame and/or lazy to get out to many of the activities (actually it is because they are always at naptime and I am a nap nazi). I am a lush though, so I usually make it to Mom's Night Out. Anyway, the newsletter editor asked me to be the "scoop of the month" in which I tell my story based on a list of questions. Here are my answers. I hope all of the people who DON'T read this blog enjoy them.

How did you meet your husband? I went to Santiago Chile after college to teach English. He was one of my students. I ended up living there a lot longer than I had planned.

Where were you born and where did you grow up (if different)? I was born in Mesa, AZ. I was raised in Utah and then moved to Oregon for my last year of high school and college.

How long have you lived in Austin? For seven years

What did you do before you became a mother? Traveled more, slept in more, went out more, ran more, read more... Everything else, like teaching and graduate studies I continued after having kids.

What is your favorite thing about being a mom? There are things about the baby phase that I love: toothless grins, the looks of adoration, and incessant drool, but when that phase is over, I am relieved. I love the movement and sense of independence that comes with toddlerhood. My favorite part thus far has been linguistic development. Nothing beats having your child applaud and say “you did it” every time you go pee-pee. It has been especially cool to see Gabi’s bilingual development.

What has been your biggest parenting challenge and how did you handle it? I have had quite a few challenges but the biggest two have been breastfeeding and being a stay-at-home mom for now. I handle all frustrations by having a teeny-tiny breakdown and by being a teeny-tiny bit mean to my husband—thank gawd he has the patience of Jude and absolutely NO memory—he loves me the next day anyway.

What are your hobbies and interests apart from being a mom? Running, wine, baking… I am really into making bread right now. . . do you want some?

Tell us an interesting tidbit about yourself. Tidbits—yes; interesting—hmm? I have 6 brothers and sisters; I ran away from home a lot as a kid; and I love fossils, I look for them everywhere I go (can you say GEEK?).

What are you most proud of (besides being a mom)? I am dangerously close to finishing my Ph.D.

What is your favorite food? I have a pretty versatile palate: Thai, Italian, Greek, Cuban, Mexican etc. But the only real craving I ever have is DQ fries dipped in ranch

What is your favorite restaurant? I love Vespaio and Trattoria Lisina

What is your favorite movie and why? I have always loved foreign movies: Il Postino, Delicatessen, Strawberry and Chocolate, The Motorcycle Diaries, and Amelie are a few favorites that come to mind.

Where is your favorite vacation spot? The Chilean coast: 3000 miles of breathtaking views and the best seafood in the world.

What is your favorite TV show? I really appreciate some of the programs on KLRU (PBS): Frontline, NOW, Washington Week, Nature. In non-nerd TV--I’ll watch almost anything if I am bored or avoiding work but I especially like “The new adventures of old Christine” and “Life.”

What is your favorite reading material? Back in the days when I read for pleasure: Barbara Kingsolver, Jorge Luis Borges, Herman Hesse, Stephen Jay Gould, and any good poetry.

Monday, October 13, 2008

It's a GIRL!!!

When we found out our first child was going to be a GIRL my husband was somewhat relieved: "It'll be easier for you" he said (nervously). He knows I have issues with men (in fact he said once that I would probably be more comfortable as a lesbian)

Issues with men? you say, SAY IT AIN'T SO! (try to sound shocked)

I was raised Mormon, and if there is any place to feel the slings and arrows of gender discrimination it is in religion.

My brothers got Father and son camp-out

I got "Daddy-daughter-dinner date"

I was incensed at girl's camp as a teenager that there had to be a priesthood holder (a man!) at the camp with us. I highly doubt there was a motherhood representative at boy's camp.

Mormon young men go on missions at age 19. Women are only encouraged to go at 21 if they are not married by then (can you say old maid?)

As a Mormon young woman you go to college really only to meet your husband. Maybe deep down that is one of the reasons I am going for a Ph.D.--because it was never expected that you would get that far.

You know religions are created by MEN when:

***God is a man.

***God's power is expressed through men.

***and the immaculate conception... a woman gives birth

and is still a virgin--

doesn't that sound like every man's fantasy? (a tad irreverent, I know)

.......and don't even get me started on men and politics/war/business

So YES!!!!!!, I have issues with men

Has it been easy having a girl? That is another story altogether. . .


and every bit as SASSY as her mama

Sunday, October 12, 2008

The world through the blogger's lens

Have you noticed that once you start a blog, you spend A LOT of time thinking of all the clever poignant, funny posts you could post? Then you start reading more blogs and you immediately realize that you have no business even having a blog because you are not remotely clever, poignant or funny enough.

Las cosas que nos gustan:




(que vive en el water meter)


(only found in Texas)

Saturday, October 11, 2008

Why blog

I feel like when you start a blog you owe some kind of explanation. You have to state an objective, a public in mind, sentiments you feel the overwhelming need to share with the "interworld." I am not sure why I started a blog. I guess because I have been reading blogs lately for some reason, very uncharacteristic of me, but nevertheless. . . here we are. . .

I don't know that I want people I know to read it. Have you noticed that when you write knowing who is going to read it, it changes what you say and how you say it? And let's be frank here, who else, but people I know, would want to read it? Ah therein lies the rub!

I think I am trying to escape the inevitibilty of working on my dissertation. Thinking about writing THAT monstrosity has made me want to write anything else. I propositioned a good friend of mine, asked her if I could write her adoption story... denied--too personal. Then I asked the same friend if she wanted to illustrate the children's books I had in mind. . . She must think I'm trying to capitalize on her life and talents and that I can't write anything on my own.

Ah, but she is wrong. . . I have my dissertation!!! and it is mine all mine hahaha (evil laughter)

of course other projects don't seem so hopelessly endlessly pointlessly fruitless.

I do want to finish my Ph.D. But I think I am afraid of what happens after I finish. Then what? Accept the fact that having completed a Ph.D. has, in fact, made it impossible to get a job in anything but academia? (trust me I know, I tried all summer to find a"lay person's" job). I am, apparently, not qualified to do anything other than read academic articles and write academic papers.

So I will write for me

and post photos of pumpkins

And of my brave daughter jumping off the pile of hay when even the bigger kids didn't dare

and of chubby baby Nico. . . mi gordito, who drools incessantly which, of course, I love

and I will tell no one . . .

Friday, October 10, 2008

Conversations con el tata (grandpa):
(el tata vive en Chile)
on the toy phone

G: Hello, Tata?

G: Ah. Cómo estás? bien? Ah

Mami: Preguntale: Qué estás haciendo?

G: Qué sta siendo?

G: Fuiste tu, el peíto (was that you? the little fart)

G: ok bye-bye. chau chau pescao

She (G) is three (almost) and newly obsessed with bodily functions. . . what can I say?